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  • Eric Liddell's Creed

    Yesterday I bought the kindle edition of a little book by Eric Liddell (so far as I can ascertain, first published about 40 years after his death) and it's excellent.  here's an extract, his presonal creed:

    I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Creator, infinitely holy and loving, who has a plan for the world, a plan for my life, and some daily work for me to do.

    I believe in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, as Example, Lord, and Saviour.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit who is able to guide my life so that I may know God's will; and I am prepared to allow him to guide and control my life.

    I believe in God's law that I should love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and with all my strength, and my neighbour as myself.

    I believe it is God's will that the whole world should be without any barriers of race, colour, class, or anything else that breaks the spirit of fellowship.

    He goes on to say, "To believe means to believe with the mind and heart, to accept, and to act accordingly on that basis."

    Later in the book he also adds:

    I believe in the Sermon on the Mount and its way of life and I intend, God helping me, to embody it in my life.

    Who needs a sermon when you can share this?!

  • Going Deeper - with Mari Jones

    Week 3, discussion starters...

     

    Going Deeper with Mari Jones – Some Questions to Ponder or Discuss

     

    My Own Story

    Mari (Mary) Jones is someone whose ‘story’ consists almost entirely of how she came to buy a Welsh Bible from Reverend Charles in Bala, and how that encounter affected him.  Thereafter, she lived a very ordinary life, working as a weaver, bringing up a family and keeping bees.

    • Most of us would describe our lives as very ‘ordinary’ yet there will have been significant moments or events that shaped us. Can I identify something significant in my own story? 
    • Mari never moved more than a few miles from the tiny village where she was born, and seems to have lived a quiet life. What encouragement can I draw from that?
    • Who are the Mari Jones type people I’ve known, whose stories are unknown or untold, but whose lives have made a difference?

    An Achievable Goal

    The young Mari dreamed of learning to read and of owning her own Bible.  She worked hard to do that, attending school lessons when they became available, walking many miles to read a Bible owned by a farmer’s wife, and undertaking chores for which she was paid a penny or two.  It took a long time to save up the 3/6 (17 ½ p) to pay for her Bible, and she then undertook at 26 mile walk to Bala to buy one.

    • Whilst a challenging goal, this was one that Mari could achieve with hard work and determination. What kind of goals (if any) do I set for myself?  Are they short, medium or long term?
    • How persistent am I in pursuing my goals? What one thing might inspire me to deny other pleasures, take on extra work and save for a long time?
    • The farmer’s wife and others helped Mari by giving her paid work. How could I help a young person achieve a goal to which they aspire? 

    A Living Word?

    As Baptists, we consider the Bible to be very important in informing our beliefs and our practices as followers of Jesus.  Throughout the centuries, people have worked hard to make this book available to people in their own languages

    • What part does the Bible play in my own life? If I read it, what does that involve?  What helps me to make sense of it?
    • What timeless truths and/or ethical principles do I find in the Bible? How do I live them out?

    It’s OK to be Ordinary

    Mari’s story is simple and brief, and most of her life was very ordinary, yet it continues to inspire individuals and organisations.

    • How does affect the way I think about myself or others?
    • What one thing will I take away from today, to encourage me in the days ahead?
  • Ordinary Heroes - Mari Jones

    It was tempting to use some online translation tool to convert this post into Welsh - except I know that would result in very dodgy Welsh!

    Today we're thinking about Mari Jones - Mary Jones to most of us - a Welsh girl who has a place in the story of the Bible Societies, and who spent most of her life in obscurity, never starying more than a few miles from her birth place.  it is that ordinariness that makes her special.

    Prototype love spoon.. messed up the dots but never mind!

    Love spoons have an interesting history... Way back when, each person had their own carved wooden spoon to sup their food.  Young men who wished to court young women would carve spoons with coded (not very if they could be understood!) symbols and would pass them over at chapel.  Later, they became a popular token for weddings.  My protoype has a mix of old Welsh and made up symbols, but the meaning is fairly self evident!