Saturday, 22 February 2014

For The Suffering People Of Ukraine

following petitions were requested by Patriarch Kirill for this Sunday's (Feb. 23) Liturgy (at the Augmented Litany):

* That Thou mightest look down with a merciful eye upon the people of the Ukrainian land, and make it unconquered by those who create havoc, we pray Thee, O kind hearted Lord, hearken and have mercy.

* That Thou wouldst enlighten with the light of Thy Divine wisdom the thoughts of those darkened in bitterness, and strengthen Thy faithful in the Ukrainian land, keeping them from harm, we pray Thee, O Almighty Creator, hearken and have mercy.

* Thou Who hast given us Thy commandment to love Thee our God, and our neighbor: make hatred, hostilities, offenses, greed, the shedding of blood and the other lawlessness to cease, and true charity to reign among the people of the Ukrainian land, we pray Thee, our Saviour, hearken and have mercy.

Lord, have mercy!

Remembering Our Dead

Today is one of the All-Souls days.....

Let us remember +

With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy departed servants where there is neither sickness nor sorrow nor sighing, but life everlasting. Amen.

Remember, O Lord, the souls of Thy departed servants and of all my kins according to the flesh. Also remember all those of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection and of the life eternal, and render unto them eternal memory.

Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of Thy departed servants and pray to Thee to grant them rest, O Lord, in the place of Thy rest, where all Thy blessed saints repose, where the light of Thy countenance shineth. 

Grant that our lives may be godly, sober and blameless, that we may be worthy to meet them again in Thy Heavenly Kingdom. For Thou art the Resurrection and the Life and the Repose of Thy departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Remember, O Lord, our parents and brethren who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection, and all those who have ended their lives in piety and faith. Forgive them all their transgressions, both voluntary and involuntary, committed by them in word or deed or in thought.
Set them in bright places of light, in places of green pasture, in places of rest whence all pain, sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the light of Thy countenance shineth and gladeneth forever all Thy saints. 

Grant unto them and unto us Thy Kingdom and participation in Thine ineffable and eternal blessings, and to delight in Thine unending and blessed life. For Thou art the Life, the Resurrection and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and we render glory to Thee, with Thine Eternal Father, and with Thine All-holy, Gracious and Life-giving Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Memory Eternal!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Meeting The New Doctor Who

 I had heard on the grapevine that the BBC were filming part of an episode of Doctor Who in our town, and it was too good an opportunity to miss. On Tuesday, the weather was much better, so The Hubster and I picked up the girls after school, determined to pay a visit and see if we would be lucky enough to spot anyone famous.

We were! Normally, DD4 is out late on Tuesdays due to a Games lesson which always finishes late (and then she has to get changed) but today, the lesson was cancelled and both of them were out of school dead on time, so we drove straight up to where the filming was taking place.

Being as blind as a bat, and not wearing my glasses,  I did not spot the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, in the midst of a small crowd, but The Hubster did, turfing us out of the car in short order while he dashed off to park the car. Luckily, I had my camera in my pocket and our quick-witted DD3 grabbed a pen and some sheets of paper in case we were lucky enough to speak to The Man.

We gradually edged our way closer to the front.....

and closer still..... one of the crew was encouraging Peter Capaldi to go back indoors as they were needed, but I asked him would he mind giving my girls autographs, and he very kindly agreed to do so! 

They were each given an autograph, and then he asked if they would like a photograph to be taken too, which was wonderful. For privacy's sake I am not posting those shots here.

The Tardis was under a sturdy tarpaulin to protect it from our very variable weather this week.

Some of the many production vehicles parked around the site.

                                               We still cannot believe our luck :-)

Houses For Sale

We finally have my Mum's house up for sale as well as our own, and it is interesting to hear the things people say when they visit the houses. Some classics recently have been:

"Too many rooms."

To which I was very sorely tempted to respond "So just why did you ask to view a four bedroom house with three reception rooms, then?" Needless to say, I just smiled sweetly instead.

"Not enough rooms."  Ditto. Rolls eyes

"The rooms are too small."
Well, all the dimensions were clearly printed on the estate agent's web site and in the property particulars you saw **before** you made the appointment to view our house :-)

We have more viewers scheduled for tomorrow morning, so any spare prayers would be appreciated. I find it incredibly stressful having our lives and home on display and hope it will all be over soon....... we are hoping to sell both houses and buy one detached house/bungalow instead.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Recently Read

This is dark, gripping and chilling. When an elderly rich man is found dead in his apartment, nobody knew he had a tiger as a companion.
Regarded as a benevolent animal lover and benefactor by a wildlife charity he supported, a bitter old man to his children and a man with weird sexual proclivities to his ex-wife, who exactly was he?

Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus investigate, and in the midst of it all, their foster-son Gabe has to give evidence at a major trial as well as trying to carry on a clandestine love-affair...

Rachel Joyce's new novel, "Perfect", was very enjoyable, heart-breakingly sad and had me completely fooled by the ending.

Diana seems to have an idyllic life. A beautiful home, two lovely children, a loving husband who lavishes money on her, including an expensive car, and their son Byron goes to an exclusive school - but all is not well in their world, and when Byron is convinced that extra seconds have been added to time, he inadvertently precipitates a disaster which causes their lives to unravel completely....

This is a big book, possibly too long. I did enjoy it, but it might be better to "dip into" rather than attempt to read right through.

Visiting The Big City

I recently took No 3 daughter on a shopping trip to the Big City; No 4 daughter opted to chill out at home with Dad instead, so it was just the two of us that caught the train at our local station. We did not have long to wait, and were about half way down the platform, when I could hear a dickens of a racket and eventually, we could see two ladies, each toting a massive suitcase on wheels, and with several small children in tow.

I was really surprised - and very saddened - to see that no-one in the area of the steps they were walking down made any effort to help or even offer to help, even though there were several strapping young men waiting there. When the train arrived, No 3 daughter and I walked over to the ladies and asked if they would like any help getting their bags on the train. Their faces lit up, but they explained they were sure they could manage, and they thanked us profusely. No-one else offered to help them at all, out of at least fifty people on that platform :-(

As DD3 and I took our seats, we could hear the ladies remarking how lovely it was that someone had offered to assist them; they sounded delighted and shocked, which was a sad indictment of how much help they must have had on their travels so far.

DD3 and I had heaps of fun wandering round the shops and making a few purchases.

This made us smile: if you click on the photo to see a larger version, on the left is a coffee shop chain called "Costa" and on the right is a clothes shop called "coast" - same letters, different order :-)

Flags out for the Six Nations Rugby season.....

And this large sign:

"Brains" is a famous Welsh brewery, producing real beer.
"Croseo i Gymru" is Welsh for "Welcome to Wales"
A "cwtch" is a cuddle :-)

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Stormy Weather

 I thought you might like to see some photos of our recent very stormy weather! This was taken (by a photographer acquaintance via Facebook) two days ago on the seafront .......

And this one was taken today, with the winds at ~40 mph with gusts of wind up to 60 mph.....

Needless to say, I am hibernating safely indoors and have no intention of venturing out unless absolutely necessary :-)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Free Orthodox Book Download!

I was  delighted to find that "The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology" is available as a free PDF download here.

 The 18 chapters and their contributors are:

1 Scripture and tradition in the Church 
2 Biblical interpretation in worship 
3 God in Trinity
4 Creator and creation
5 The human person as image and likeness of God
6 Christ and salvation
7 Eschatology
8 The Church
9 Theology of the icon
10 The spiritual way
11 Church Fathers and the shaping of Orthodox
12 The patristic revival and its protagonists
13 The Russian religious revival and its theological
14 Some key themes and ļ¬gures in Greek
theological thought
15 Personhood and its exponents in twentieth-century
Orthodox theology
16 The witness of the Church in a pluralistic world:
theological renaissance in the Church of Antioch
17 Russian theology after totalitarianism
18 Orthodox Christianity in the West: the
ecumenical challenge

This is an Armenian Church Library website and has many books available in English as well as links to classic Christian films etc. It's an interesting site and worth bookmarking!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Bardsey Island

Bardsey Island (or Ynys Enlli) lies off the coast of North Wales and has long believed to have been the final resting place of many great saints since its sixth century Celtic monastic foundation.

It is a peaceful and very lovely place, and I was thrilled to discover this truly wonderful photograph by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes on Fickr:

It's A Mystery

It's a mystery to me where the time seems to fly to!  I blink, and yet another week seems to have vanished....

I do have an excuse for part of last week as youngest daughter was experiencing severe stomach pains and our doctor did mention that she could possibly be developing appendicitis..... we had quite an anxious few days when she was in a lot of pain but by Saturday, thank God, she was feeling better and the pain had started to recede.

 On Sunday she was very much improved and today she was well enough to return to school. She was tired when she came home, but otherwise feeling well and her appetite has returned with a vengeance.

I do have a few more books to comment on, which I hope to do in a day or two, but tomorrow  I will be accompanying our dear John to a routine hospital visit to provide him with moral support and to act as an extra pair of ears for him as even with his hearing aids, he can still find it quite difficult to understand people if they are speaking quickly or have a strong accent.