the burning hut

Dear friends
One of my cousins passed this story to us, so I’m passing on, hoping it will encourage someone else 🙂

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little
hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, and soon there was nothing left. The worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. “God, how could you do this to me?” He cried.

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” The weary man asked his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

In life it’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, when things are not going our way, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain, and suffering.

Remember this the next time your “hut” seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God. Please consider passing this message on, because “You Never Know Who Feels Like Their
Hut Is On Fire Today”

time for yourself – a poem

Dear friends,

I mentioned how a few weeks ago we cleared out the garage.  Well, I came across one of my old sketchbooks from university days, 1990-1991 and in the back was a poem I wrote for a project.  I think every RIBA School of Architecture does a ‘design a retreat’ project – no-one can claim that RIBA validated architecture courses are anything other than creative – I sketched the section of an onion, wrote poems and drew an androgynous figure!  Anyhow, I thought you might enjoy reading the poem – I’m not a poet, I’m an architect, so I’m sure the more literary among you will see room for improvement 🙂

time for myself

Time for myself and not for the world

of strife & malice …

and competition

to succeed, to win.

Why never to be yourself?

But here’s the chance

with a time of its own,

and still enough time for me.

So that I can grow,

in the world

but not of it.

A chance to dream, or rather ponder

without worry of waking,

work, food, work.

Here, at one with nature –

for are we not nature ourselves? –

we can be honest,

with nature,

with ourselves.

Having honesty enough not to hide

– we can hide but a short time in our dreams

from the world –

but if we are true to ourselves,

we need no dreams to hide in,

for we have nothing to fear.

The world can not harm us,

it can not touch us if we are honest,

showing integrity

being ourselves.

and then we can go back,

knowing that we’ve lived,

to our fullest potential,

And,

knowing that we had time for ourselves & not for the world,

living for that one dream, above all,

To return.

 

last week in summary

Dear friends,

Last week really revolved around the children. I’ll name them (for ease, in descending age order) Son1, Daur1, Daur2, Son2.

Son1 – finished his secondary school exams (GCSEs) with 3 last week – Maths (calculator), Chemistry and Physics; and yesterday I was on chauffeur duty to take him for the county athletics meeting – Son1 was called up to represent our town in the 100m; he came 3rd in his heat, and as I was filming the final, facing the sun, it looked like he came in one from last but then he was handed a letter… i knew that meant he made top 4 and then the town athletic coach is speaking with him and inviting him to the elite sprint training sessions… and that night I ordered a pair of spiked running shoes!!

Meanwhile, Daur1 and Daur2 were sick Monday overnight,  so stayed off school Tuesday.  Daur1 then had a relapse after returning to school on Wednesday and spent the rest of the week off school – Thursday with big brother Son1 and Friday with me (working from home).  I never quite know when to go to a doctor – we are, of course,  blessed to have a surgery and the NHS.  I decided if it continued into this week I would contact the doctor – but the rehydration solution and rest seems to have worked. And Daur2 landed the part of narrator in the school production = Bugsy Malone – remember that strange children’s movie!?

And Son2 had a scheduled trip to aural outpatients for microsuction – sucking the wax from his ears, which seems to have real problems finding its way out leaving Son2 a little hard of hearing, literally!  This is about the 4th visit, same specialist nurse; this time we left with one ear drum clear, the other partial… which reminds me, I must do the olive oil in the latter ear.

So, I’ve started writing a couple of times but get too tied up with things.  I’ll try to do better this week.  I  do love our little family – they are all very funny and individual 🙂

Sabbath delight

Dear friends

Mini holiday was fun! Unfortunately I missed the ‘chilly night’ in the weather forecast which had day temperatures of +20c.  And even though I was sandwiched between my daughters, they’d already chosen the superior sleeping bags, and I kept waking up.  Kayaking was great and relaxing – it’s a sheltered spot on the river – neither of the girls capsized this time.

The rest of the weekend has been uplifting.  There was a special Europe (northern) wide broadcast of a live conference from Edinburgh (my second home!) with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an Apostle of the Lord.  What would an Apostle say specifically to the Latter Day Saints in this part of the world?  Well, it was a warning message – this is a time of sifting – wheat & tares, goats & sheep, wise &foolish – but also one of hope – cling to the iron rod, cling to the word of God, cling to the scriptures.  And the following description from Paul of this time was used a couple of times 2 Timothy 3 vv1-5:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

But we do not need to fear – we need to have faith in Jesus Christ and know that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion – if it stands, everything does; and if it falls everything falls; after 185 years of the book, no one has claimed to be it’s author, despite the impact it has on lives and the claim that it’s one of the most important US books.

I have read the Book of Mormon many times – I know it is the word of God. It stands with the Bible as another testament of Jesus Christ. If you’ve not read it, you need to – get a copy and get to know some wonderful prophets of old.

the begging person

Dear friends

Yesterday was parents’ evening at our eldest daughter’s school. During a break between appointments, we walked down to the local shop for a drink – I had come straight from a work meeting and our daughter had stayed on from school. As we approached there was an older man sat on the pavement outside the shop asking for spare change. I literally had none since I was heading for the ATM machine in the wall, where a younger man sat, also asking for change.  I gave nothing to either man and we headed into the shop.

As we went round, selecting cookies and drinks, my daughter began talking of homeless people needing to help themselves and how they’ll probably spend it on cigarettes or alcohol.  I said little in response because in my mind I kept seeing the old man. As we came out the shop, heading back to the school, I gave a coin to the old man.

Typically, I don’t give anything to people begging on the street though I recognise one must have little other options at that point.  I haven’t, consciously, made any judgement on what they may or may not spend the money on. It is simply a case of my own perception of me and my family. I feel we have sufficient for our needs, but not an excess. Apart from a few days at the temple over the last few years, we’ve never been on holiday together.  All the children have had to wait for new school shoes at some time,  including this year and we’ve all worn clothes from the charity shops.  I do pay my tithes, fast offerings and donate to other humanitarian funds which support people all over the world.  I guess I have justified not giving away more because we don’t have a whole lot in the first place.

After parents’ evening, we walked back past the shop, back past the old man, who was now smoking, who did not ask for money.  He recognised us by asking for no more than a brief smile.

As I’ve thought on this brief experience last night, and pondered why I felt impressed to give when so many times I haven’t, I have been taught, and I hope I am humble enough to learn and make a difference to my actions and motivation in the future.

The Saviour’s observation of the widow giving her ‘mite’ came to mind, Mark 12 verse 44:

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

So, I may not have abundance, but I do have more than some and when we truly serve others, maybe it should stretch us.

Also, King Benjamin’s beautiful sermon on how we should serve, including towards others, Mosiah 4 verse 19

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have,…

I do rely upon our Father, I do cry for help and forgiveness and I feel he was teaching me that I can do more, I can be a better rescuer 🙂

a quick hello…

Dear friends,
I’m at the bus stop – having missed two since I stopped to get a newspaper & there’s been two ‘not in service’.  It’s a grey and very windy morning and I have a runny nose – no sore throat – does that mean it’s viral?  But life is great! 🙂 
I heard of a spontaneous rescue at the waterfront – a passerby jumped in the water to save the last crew member trapped in an air pocket of a sinking tug boat.  The tug sank; both men are safe. We need to be there to help others.
And it’s Easter week – I’ve never understood why this isn’t a bigger deal than Christmas since it is what makes all the difference.  Being born is one thing and, yes, that made a difference (especially to a certain group of believers – see 3 Nephi chapter 1); but successfully completing your mission which rescues all mankind from death, for ever… That is important!! That can make a huge difference!! #BecauseHeLives
Bus!! Have a great day. 🙂

gifts of healing

Dear friends, I have been reading Moroni chapter 10 these last couple days and was struck by verse 11 which includes this phrase: “and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;” speaking of the gifts of God to us, to help us help each other.  This gift is plural, suggesting to me that there is more than one way to heal, maybe more than one way to be healed.

And this has got me pondering about healing our spirit being, as well as our physical body or being.  Which is easier? Which is longer lasting?  And, am I doing enough to help others be healed?

the 3rd commandment

Dear friends, the third of the Ten Commandments states “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”  (Exodus 20 v7).  This is one commandment which many seem to have forgotten but which I strive hard to defend.  I’ve had grown men say, you sound like my mother, when I warn them.

So, today I was sat with the structural consultant discussing depth of steel beams versus the ceiling, when he starts slipping in the conversation our Saviour’s name.  The second time I remarked, I don’t think we need to bring Jesus into this!  He apologised, we continued, then another time, and one look from me (not quite over the top of my spectacles) brought another apology with an explanation.  Oh, I don’t swear at home because of my son, so when I’m in the office it all comes out, and anything else would be far worse.  I gently replied I’d rather have something worse than the name of the person I worship! Sorted! 🙂 we have to stand up for what is right and let others know what is wrong.

children & parents

Dear friends, it’s good to talk! Especially with our young people, our children, the ‘I’ generation (not my phrase, for this generation that has grown up with the Internet).  I walked up to the local library today with my two eldest dear children – yes, they do borrow books :). It was a great and simple opportunity to talk and discuss things that are in their lives – school, friends et all – in a relaxed manner.

I believe it is important that I stay close to my children so they feel comfortable speaking and opening up.  If we are not there for them, A N Other will be and what values or standards will A N Other have?  We love our children, so let’s not let them down.  One day I’d like to hear Proverbs 31 v28 spoken of me 🙂

church & rescue

Dear friends, Sabbath today and I always love church! This evening we watched ‘Ephraim’s Rescue’ (film) and once again I am inspired. I want to be a rescuer; I want to be worthy & ready to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands to bring relief to others – whether physical or spiritual it’s all the same at the end of the day.  “All things unto (the Lord Jesus) are spiritual,” that’s what He said!  I’m far from perfect but I try, and I want to be better than yesterday 🙂