A Prayer For Cheesecake

She did not waste time on small talk.

When Margaret called me twice a month on Wednesdays, she simply said : ‘Can you bring some sandwiches for Sunday?’

I obliged and brought dainty crustless sandwiches to our after service fellowship times. All the ladies brought food ; we looked forward to these times.

I thought, though, that it would be nice to feed others in the village too.

Three times I suggested to our ladies’ group that we could offer a free monthly soup kitchen , or maybe a dessert night to people in the community, as a sign of friendship, and a way to introduce Jesus to others.

However, I am rather soft-spoken, and when I made my suggestion, Susan, the most boisterous of our group would loudly say : ‘That’s too much WORK’, and the ladies would chuckle.

Imagine my surprise when Margaret called and told me that our group was planning to host a dessert night, with tea and coffee, for the public . I felt that my suggestion had been heard !

Immediately I knew that I would contribute my favourite cheesecake.

Then came the disappointing news. They were planning to charge a $7.00 a person admission price for dessert night. I was hoping that dessert night would be free.

The church had some unexpected expenses, and so the ladies organized a fundraiser.

If we wonder why people are not lining up to join our churches, we might consider whether or not we present ourselves as closed cliques to outsiders.

May the Lord make us increasingly sensitive to ways in which we can present the saving grace of the gospel to others.

Praying Twice

Do you sometimes whisper quick prayers for assistance ?

Whenever I noticed ‘Linda’ at church, I prayed that God would give me extra focus and concentration.

I was our church’s music director, and led the congregation in singing.

Linda was one of the most enthusiastic singers I had ever met. She was also blessed with an extremely powerful voice. She, however, did not sing in tune. Technically, Linda lacked pitch accuracy.

Whenever I began to play and sing, Linda joyfully joined in.

However, Linda sang ‘her own tune’, and thus I needed true focus and concentration not to start wandering off key myself. Then, there was the morning when Linda’s notes were so different from my own, that for about half a minute, our voices blended together in exquisite harmony !

This is how God hears our voices when we are praising him in song. He does not notice the quality of our voices ; He delights to see the unity that his children show when they praise Him together.

God inhabits the praises of his people. (Psalm 22:3)

Here in NL, congregational singing is still not allowed. Whoever would have thought that group singing could be considered a dangerous activity ?

When covid restrictions are lifted, it will be joyful to once again sing praises to God.

As St. Augustine said : ‘They who sing once pray twice.’

Photo courtesy of iStock

Flower Flora Daisy and Music Notes Sheets Photo

The Argument

I was on high alert as I entered our seaside chapel for a prayer meeting. A heated argument could be heard. Because of past trauma, angry voices make me highly anxious.

‘Sarah’, and ‘Elizabeth’ were having still another of their many disagreements.

This time it was due to the fact that Sarah had brought a beautiful arrangement of lupins in a vase to place in front of the altar. These gorgeous large wildflowers bloom in abundance in Newfoundland in the summer.

Alas, Elizabeth had already placed an artificial arrangement of pink and white blooms in that spot.

This irked Sarah, who felt the need to remind Elizabeth too loudly that artificial flowers were not allowed in Catholic churches.

Elizabeth felt that the fake flowers were fine. She said that they were more practical, and would look cheerful for years. She said that she felt sad when real flowers started to wilt, and she felt that they were messy.

Sarah confidently defended her position. Real flowers take a prominent place in the Church since live flowers represent the sacrifice of life. Symbolically, flowers represent Christ’s sacrifice for humanity.

Finally, ‘Joan’ , our group’s peacemaker, suggested that Elizabeth place her artificial arrangement at the back of the church. Four years later, it is still there, looking as cheerful as ever.

When Christians bicker and argue, it is, what RJ Dawson calls, ‘a bad witness’.

When Christians are very vocal about who is right, and who is wrong, our ego-filled petty ‘battles’ are unlikely to draw others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

It is inevitable that we are going to disagree in some areas, but may our differences of opinion always be worked out in a spirit of love, and mutual respect.

Photo of Newfoundland lupins on Pexels

What’s Cooking ?

Have you noticed how some things may be better in theory than in reality ?

A new church was opened in the village, and its pastor used a new technique to try to entice members.

He planned to serve breakfast to prospective congregants before the Sunday morning church service.

This was unusual, since most churches may serve refreshments after the service.

My husband and I attended this new venture, since we like to be supportive of everyone in the village.

It was lovely to see the great care the church members had taken to feed each other. There were all kinds of goodies, and great fellowship.

However, eventually it was found that people had difficulty starting the church service on time, since everyone was so engrossed in breakfast conversation.

Ladies began to trade recipes, especially for muffins and sweets, and the church service started later each week.

The members who had prepared and cooked the food also seemed less attentive during the service, since they were tired from all the preparation, and they knew that they still had clean up duties ahead of them.

We returned to our home church after a while and we still wonder if the breakfasts are ongoing.

We liked this church, and we appreciated the ladies’ ‘Food Ministry’ of care, and love.The atmosphere contrasted with our home church, where members make a frantic rush to the door the minute the service ends.

There appears to be two types of churches, those where congregants like to break bread and socialize, and others where members pray and dash away.

May the Lord give us the grace to feed each other, with physical and spiritual food.

Photo by Joao Marcelo Martins