Homework

Doing What You’re Supposed to Do

17 Oct 2011

‘…everyone’s work will be put through the fire…’ 1 Corinthians 3:13
One day an ox said to a mule, ‘Let’s pretend to be sick.’ The mule said, ‘No, we need to get this work done.’ The ox feigned illness, and the farmer brought him fresh hay. When the mule came in from ploughing, the ox asked how things went and the mule said, ‘All right.’ The ox asked, ‘What did the farmer say about  me?’ The mule replied, ‘Nothing.’ The next day the ox pretended to be ill again. When the mule came home the ox asked, ‘How did it go?’ The mule said, ‘All right.’ After a week of this, the ox asked, ‘Did the farmer say anything about me today?’ The mule replied, ‘Well, he said nothing to me personally, but he stopped and had a long talk with the butcher!’ Understand this: you were born to fulfil a divine purpose. When you don’t, there are consequences, both here and in eternity. Paul focused on his calling. Shortly before he was  executed he wrote, ‘…I have finished the race…’ (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV).  Notice, Paul didn’t retire, he finished’! In the parable of the talents, the  man who buried his talent paid a high price. That’s because in God’s eyes the  greatest failure of all is failure to invest the time, talent and treasure He’s given you into His purposes. One day your life will be audited. It’s called ‘the judgment seat of Christ’. Paul writes, everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, the builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss (1 Corinthians 3:13-15 NLT).

 Bob Gass Word for Today

“You have an exceptional calling to be the very best you God created you to be.  Your goal is to unwrap this gift and use all that you’ve been given in the pursuit of what matters most loving God and loving other people” Kerry Shook

 

The last time I was given any proper homework was when I was at Uni. (The NVQ I did through work didn’t really have homework as all of it was work based with a case of writing things up – although it DID take hours!!!) Homework at Uni usually consisted of an essay of around 3000 words based on a question or phrase which you then had discuss and it always had to be handed in by 9am on a Monday!  Last week at Bible Study Father D gave us some homework to do based on the first part of Matthew Chapter 22.  It is where a King has created this beautiful wedding feast for his son and has sent his servants to go out to the people who were invited to collect them to bring them to the party. Vicar explained that at that time having a King’s servant visit you was like having the King himself as they represented him.  He then explained that we are representatives of God. The question set, however, was this:

Look at what God’s calling is for you and how do you understand it?

I guess I could write a 3000 word essay on this subject as over the years I’ve been asking this question and writing down my thoughts and feeling on the subject in my paper version of a Blog – more commonly known as a diary or a journal.  I’ve cried tears over this subject, read books and listened to sermons on this subject and still feel no closer to the answer.

Calling is like a vocation. Vocation is your life and represents who you are.  It is the role in life that you play. What is my role? With roles I find comes titles.  For a woman of my age most people would assume that I would be a wife and a mother.  Mother wrong – don’t have kids.  But does that stop me being a mother?  I’ve always said if God wants me to be a mother He’ll make me a mother till then I can be a mother in others ways…. for instance I’m a Godmother to 3 girls, I’m an Aunty (biologically and honourably), I sponsor 2 children one lives in Ethiopia and the other lives in rural China, I knit for children’s charities when I’m not knitting for me or loved ones and currently am preparing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I know it’s not the same but I often ask myself if I had my own child would I still be able to do all of the above? Probably not.  Wife – correct happily married for nearly 12years.  I am not a housewife as I work full-time.  Luckily hubby is a great help and does his fair share of the chores.  Am I a good wife?  Well I am human.  I have good days and bad days so does hubby but we make it work and therefore we are happy.  I feel though I could be a better wife and I ask God to help me in this.  I am also a Daughter, a Sister and a Daughter-in-law, a Sister-in-law which means I have duties to my family.

Mentioning work means I have roles there – Supervisor and colleague.  I work with the public so I am a provider of service to them.  Where possible I try and meet their customer needs. I have several friends and with that brings other roles – encourager, motivator, listener, hug and wine giver.

One of the themes in my quest I keep coming across is What can you do to make this world a better place? In a sermon I heard a couple of months ago on this subject my notes read as this:

Mother Theresa said “Go home and love your families”

Living by example.  By your influence – this can be done unconsciously.  People can influence you can you can influence others by our example.

IT HAS RIPPLE EFFECT.

Jesus said “Love your neighbour as yourself.”  By loving each other, neighbours and family we need God’s help.  We need his help to do what is right, to do God’s will and to change the world.  There is no limit to this help – it is in abundance.

Joyce Meyer also has a take on this.  She says every day we should go out and look how we can be a blessing and to be a blessing to others.  We need to ask God to show us how we can do that.

The reason why this question bugs me somewhat is that I feel at my age I should by now know what my role is.  What God wants me to be.  I’ve heard it said that often we won’t know why until we meet Jesus face to face.  Maybe it bugs me because there are things about me as a person that I feel aren’t right but then I have to remember that God loves me for me, He created me and chose me to be HIS.  I can pray that God will change things and help me become my own woman.  By being my own woman I am referring to be able to look at myself in the mirror on a daily basis going out liking what I see, doing work/things that pleases me and God that make a difference and to be strong (tower like) in confidence to accept the challenges that life brings.

I have the confidence in knowing that He is the Potter, I am the Clay and the verse from Philippians 1:6 springs to mind “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (New Living Translation).

Whilst pondering this over the past week two songs keep popping into my head “Shine” by the Newsboys and “One Girl Revolution” by Superchick.  As you can hear (if you’ve clicked on the link) the songs go on about being the best you can be and change the world.  Most importantly “One Girl Revolution” has the line of I’m gonna be myself.  We are scared to be ourselves warts an’all because of what people think of us.  How many of us can say we know someone who truly loves us for who we are? So if you are now sat there thinking no-one loves me like that you’ve forgotten someone.  Remember God loves you as you are!

Chapter 22 then goes on about giving tax and about giving to God what is due to Him. But what is this?  This is our lives.  We need to give our lives back to God.  Become His living temple.  Doing His will.  Showing His love.  Being the wonderful person He created us to be.

 

By showing His love to others will have a ripple effect.  By going out to be a blessing to all means that we will change someone’s life.  How do we do this?  It can be something as simple as a smile, holding the door open for someone or something slightly bigger like buying a homeless person a cup of tea.  By being safe in the knowledge of His love and asking Him to show us the way we can accomplish these few things plus loads more.

So where does that led me in my quest?  Well God wants me to be me and to be a blessing.  So for now I’ll have that as my calling in life.  So I’d better go and get dressed.  I’ll put a smile on my face, go out and be my wonderful self.  I’ll be a blessing and will make someone’s life better today!

She’s flowered

My Christmas Cactus. 3 weeks earlier than last year. Living in the city you have to look for the subtle change in seasons and the clues that nature gives towards what type of weather is coming ahead. Those who live in the countryside or work outside notice these changes better than me. For me in my world of full-time working and living in the suburbs I have to look slightly harder.

One thing I’ve noticed is that there are lots of berries on the trees. Up my street there is a house that has a bush with berries on. Usually at this time of year the colour would be a mix of red and green – red for the berries, green for the leaves. This year it is a mass of red! Lots of berries I was always told meant that nature was leaving food out for the birds to prepare them for the bad winter ahead.

My Christmas cactus has been with me for a number of years. I got it to remind me of my Grandma. She had a few of them that lived on the table in her back porch. Mine lives on my front porch where it gets quite a bit of sun and I water it when I remember. When she flowers has varied over the years but it is usually between the back-end of November and January. Last year she flowered around Bonfire night – a couple of weeks later we had snow and the worst winter for 30 years. This year she has flowered in October. I guess we will wait and see what this winter brings and see if the signs of nature that are see are right.

So impressed!!!!

With the guys that I work with. Even in these tough economic times they still managed to give generously to charity. £26 was raised for Jeans for Genes Day – a charity that raises money for genetic research and thus due to OH illness a subject close to my heart. £67.00 was raised for the Macmillan Coffee Morning which is know as Cake Day at our work place. Coffee may have been made and drunk but the amount raised is soley on eating cake alone. Just shows what greedy pigs we are at our place. Loveable and big hearted! Well blessed!

Laugh till your cheeks hurt!

As the song by Hummingbird goes “You’ve got to live your life laughing so you don’t cry.” This week saw hubby and me laughing around Snowdonia,  mostly about my narrow escape from the Bog Monster that tried to eat me for breakfast.  We was walking through a muddy patch and well ……. my leg went down into the bog up to my knee, then I fell onto my bottom.  Hubby (bless him!) managed to pull me out minus a boot and then got down on all fours to pull the boot out so we could carry on with our walk, with me having one dry foot and one wet cold foot.  If you do ever find yourself in  Snowdonia I can recommend that you pay a visit to Steffan at Pen-Y-Ceunant  http://www.snowdoncafe.com/    as he does the best Hot Chocolate that I’ve tasted anywhere.  It comes served in a Chalice and it does become almost a spiritual experience.

Of course when on holiday you always spend a little too much – in my case it was yarn at Siop Anna in Porthmadog.  I got invited to their knitting group that takes place on a Thursday afternoon and heard about the project that they did for The Cob’s 200th birthday. They knitted a big long scarf that stretched from one end to the other.  Amazing!  You can read about it here: http://cob200.com/english/knitthecob.php  and on this blog here: http://woolwinding.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/the-cob-is-knitted/

Which then lead me to tighten the purse strings slightly for this Sunday’s meal.  Typically a roast in our house but yesterday I came across something that sounded interesting Pig Cheeks.

Pork Cheeks

 

Now I can get a bit squeamish about eating others parts of the animal but the label said slow cook so I thought slow cooker – one pot meal, saves on the washing up and gives me the time to catch up on myself.  They were under £2 – bargain!

Last night I sat with Mrs Beeton to see what she said about them.  In my edition from 1973, brought by my granddad for my grandmother at Christmas there is only one recipe which states to wash then boil for two and half hours before covering with breadcrumbs and bake in a moderate oven for another half an hour.  To me it sounded a bit boring so I lightly dusted them in flour mixed with Paprika before laying them on a bed of vegetables in the slow cooker.

 

Pork cheeks in the Slow Cooker

Cold stock, herbs and tinned tomatoes added to it and cooked on low for the best part of the day.  Served with mash and the last of my home grown runner beans, a few peas and a glass of Red.  Taste?   Well……… it tasted (surprisingly!) of Pork.  Since it had been cooked really slowly it just fell apart.  Delicious! Made a mental note to look out for it again!

Today I also got several compliments for my cakes.  You may remember that I got asked to make my lemon and poppy seed cake for the Macmillan coffee morning at the URC.  Which I gladly obliged and added a Sultana Spice cake as well.  I was asked if they were Secret Family recipes which made me smile.  I don’t actually own any family secret recipes although I do collect them.  One which I did have which was Spaghetti Bolognaise I tweaked and even now every time I make it it tastes different every time!  I’m not about to enter the Great British Bake Off Series 3 but well done to Jo for winning!

Another job I did today was to wrap up my contribution to the Innocent Smoothie Big Knit.  Unfortunately I could only manage to do 45 this year but I’ve been busy knitting so many other things.  Here is a little peak at some of them – Look out for them they’ll be appearing in a shop near you soon!

 

Smoothie Hats