Happy birthday Anewday

The blog is two years old… I would like to thank all my readers and to those who made this blog possible for without them I would not have been inspired to keep writing.Happy-birthday-blog-2

Most of all thanks to God Almighty for giving me this opportunity to showcase the talent He has given to his humble servant.

 

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Just Right

Challenge: In an effort to know more places in my country Barbados, I am visiting the Churches featured in the Diocesan Calendar 2016. Not only will I increase an appreciation for my country but also an appreciation for my faith in God. Give it a try. Take it from the national to a regional or international level. See where it takes you. 

world travel

Last December, I received my copy of the Diocesan Calendar for 2016. Immediately I turned the pages to see which churches were featured. Beyond that, I was duly impressed with the colourful and lively images of the Anglican Church. I thought to myself: would it be a fabulous idea to visit each church featured each month? So I compiled the list of churches and started alphabetically. The first Church on the list was St. Augustine. I inquired from Reverend Ellis, priest-in-charge, of the times of the service. She informed me that there was only one service at 8 am. Personally, the time of the service at St. Augustine is just right, for 8 o’clock is not too early and not too late. Today, I attended the service with my mother and my sons.

Sunday School also began at 8 but I was pleased that the children returned in time to hear the sermon which was the Parable of the fig tree.

fig treeReverend Ellis taught the members of the congregation. To expand upon that she ensured optimum understanding as each member of the congregation listened attentively to the sermon. One particularly engaging anecdote which was used, was from the well known comic strip “Peanuts”.

lucy football

At the end of the comic strip, Reverend Ellis noted that there is a difference between acknowledging your faults and changing your ways. She said that God is a God of second chances, but there will come a time when the chances will run out and destruction will set in. figtree 2The choice she gave to the congregation was simple: do you want to hear “Cut it down!”  as in the case of the parable of the fig tree or do you want to hear: “Well done!”

The message of the sermon was a reflection of the order of the service. The interactive screens engaged my son’s attention as he informed me that he would not be needing a book. I was appalled at first for to me church and books are synonymous, yet I opened my mind to this technological advancement in the worship of the Lord. On the other hand the screens were beneficial to visitors who would not be familiar with the service. At one point during the service, I placed my books at the side and read from the screen to enhance the worship experience to God. I was able to lift up my hands in praise and worship to God Almighty.

Equally impressive was the gender role allocations. The priest, organist and most of the servers were female. Males were not to left out as they were playing the roles of verger, chalice assistant and sexton. Overall, there was a balance of gender roles: not overwhelmingly female, not overwhelmingly patriarchal. The physical structure of the Church buildings were lovely as were the Church grounds. It is wonderful to see the freshly painted exteriors and well maintained gardens and parking facilities.

The visit to St. Augustine was just right. The time of the service, the essence of the sermon and the ambience of the Church communicated a balance which was complimentary to the worship experience. I would visit this Church again in my sojourns across Barbados, this year. I end by inviting you, just as Reverend Ellis did, to pause for a moment and reflect. Search your heart, see what needs to be aligned in your life, so that you can be fruitful in this part of God’s vineyard.

Next month: St. Christopher Anglican Church in Silver Sands Christ Church

Love Like That

 

I really don’t know how I feel about Valentine’s Day. My memories of Valentine’s Day gone by have been horrible. When I was a little girl, my father point blank told me that our family does not celebrate “that day”. It is utter nonsense that people celebrate love one day. Love should be celebrated every moment of every day. So when I got my velvet hearts from school, I put them in the garbage before my father came to pick me up from school.

I have always been a romantic. I cry at the times the chick flick producers expect the viewers of their films to cry. I hang on to every word the actors say. I internalise every action of love in the movies, from the look to the touch to the kiss. I’m hopeless. So I’m a bit divided about how I feel about Valentine’s Day. As a teenager, our school would have a song request fundraiser for the Graduation committee. In addition to the song requests there would be cards  and teddy bears and chocolates and of course roses. Every year of my teenage life I would wish with my heart that someone would request my favourite song at the time: Cupid by the group 112, or that I would get a special delivery of a rose. But every year was the same disappointing result.

As a woman I remember being in labour with my first child on Valentine’s Day. My water broke at 4 in the afternoon and the baby came the following morning. That Valentine’s Day was painful but the following day was even more joyful as I saw my first born and swore that I would die for him as love engulfed my body. As a woman I also remember my boyfriend breaking up with me on Valentine’s Day, telling me to find someone else because he was not good enough for me. As a woman I remember another Valentine’s Day, entering a restaurant by myself, dressed up to the nines. I looked pretty good after giving birth 6 weeks prior. The staff treated me like a queen and I still celebrate special occasions there.

I’ve made a decision. I love everything about Valentine’s Day. The pain and sorrow makes me appreciate the goodness even more and I am grateful for these experiences. I choose to celebrate God’s love for me by loving everyone. I open my hands, open my mind and open my heart this day and every day for the rest of my life. For I experience the love that is patient and kind, the love that does not keep record of wrong things and the love that never fails. I celebrate being engulfed in unconditional love and the feeling to love and to be loved permeates my soul. That’s how I love like that because God loves me and without God there is no love.

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