Sunday, January 31, 2021

Epiphany 5 B (February 7): Clues for Coping














Bible readings
: Isaiah 40:21-31, Psalm 147:1-11,20c, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39.
 
About the Images:
Upper Left: We all need clues for coping with the heat.  A few years ago we had a record number of days over 43C  (that's about 110F). This photo is of my husband, Joe, giving my car some tender loving care so it copes - even if he doesn't :-).
Upper Right: This image comes from Image bank - http://www.imagebank.org.uk . This is an excellent free image site and well worth bookmarking.
Middle Left and Middle Right: These are free images is from Heartlight (see my link column at left)
Lower left: This is a free image from Cerezo Barredo (see my links column at left).
Lower Right: A campfire (bush telly)and a nice cup of tea or coffee are great clues for coping. This is my stick billy and my campfire and my photo, so please feel free to use for worship and related activities. 

Listening Song: On The Wings of An Eagle
By Russell Morris on the soundtrack of The Dish (pictured at left). This goes well with the Isaiah reading.

Drama: The Things You Do To Get a Decent Meal
Found in Mega Drama 3, Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109178, page 52, (pictured at the right). This is based on the gospel reading.

Discussion: In age groups
What sort of things add stress to our lives these days?

Story: Alive and Present 
By Steve Goodier and found at http://sweetpovertyflats.savingadvice.com/family-ramblins/
 This talks about the objective in life being the journey, not the goal. 

Story: Sharpen
 your Axe
Found in Hot illustrations for Youth Talks, Youth Specialties Inc, ISBN 0310402611, 1994, pages 180-181 (pictured at left)This story is about the importance of prayer and staying in touch with God.

Prayer:
Give people the opportunity to find a quiet resting place with God by presenting the Isaiah reading (either as a data projection or as a printed leaflet - use both words and pictures) while playing some reflective music. 
Watermarks on the  album Watermarks (pictured at right) or The First of Autumn on the albuA Day Without Rain (pictured at left), both by Enya, both work well and are about the right length. Encourage people to watch, read and listen, and hear what God is saying to them to them.

Meditation: Withdrawal for Prayer
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 12 (pictured at left). This goes well with the gospel reading.

Prayer Exercise: A Life of Prayer is a Holy Rhythm
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 24 (pictured at right).  This is based on the Gospel reading.

Also:

Prayer Exercise: Singing our Prayers
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 68 (pictured at right).  This is based on the Psalm reading.

Creative Ideas: Isaiah: The Messianic Prophet
Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 25 (pictured at left). This is based on the Isaiah reading.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Epiphany 4 B (January 31): Power and Authority

 









Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Psalm 111, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28

About the Images:
Upper Left: Lake Tyers beach early in the morning, East Gippsland, Australia (http://www.caravanparkphotos.com.au/lake_tyers_camp/index.htm). Nothing like a stormy sunrise to remind you of God's power and authority. This is my  photo - so feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: A compilation of microsoft free clipart.
Middle  Left: This is the first line of a lovely Aussie Hymn by Elizabeth J. Smith (Together in Song 188)  which I think goes really well with ideas of God's creative power. The image of the Simpson desert French line is mine so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities. For more info on the Simpson Desert please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson_Desert
Middle Right and Lower Left:  These images both come from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left. 
Lower Right: The synagogue in Capernaum - the remains of the synagogue Jesus preached in are the dark stones at the base of the 3rd century building ruins.  These are both my images so please feel free to use them for worship and related activities. If you would like to use the two images separately, please email me and I will email them to you.  

Listening Song: Healing Rain 
By Michael W Smi
th on his album, Healing Rain, or on WOW 2006 (pictured at left). This song goes nicely with the gospel reading.

Kids Story: Where the Wild ThingAre
by Maurice Sendak, Randon House, 1963 (pictured at right).This story fits in very well with the gospel reading,

Image: ThScream by Edvard Munch. 
Great picture portraying the demon of loneliness, 
social isolation etc etc.

Film Cli
p: Arthur and the Invisibles
There is a great clip when Art
hur has his 10th birthday which portrays the demon of parental neglect.

Discussion: Arthur and the Invisibles
1. What makes Arthur really sad?
2. What happens when we are hurt badly by something someone does or says to us?
3. As Christians, how can we cope?

Drama: Not Everyone Knows This
Found in Mega Drama 3, Verena Johnson (ed), Openbook 2002,ISBN 0859109178 (v.3) page 34 (pictured at right)This drama is based on the Corinthians reading.

Quote: Etty Hillesum
My battles are fought out inside with my own demons (from An Interrupted Life)

Quote: Frederick Buechner
God does not give us neat answers, he gives us himself.

Quote; Frederick Buechner

It suddenly dawned on them that their wildest dreams hadn't been half wild enough.

Story: Sarah Windchester's Story 
Found in In 
thEye of the Storm by Max Lucado, Word, 1991, pp. 193-195 (pictured at left). A good example of the demon of guilt.

Story: Aristotle's Claims
Find this story at http://onelifeministries.org/PathOfSpirit/090507_TruthClaimsandDiscernment.asp under the heading Wisdom. This story makes a good contrast with Jesus' authority in the gospel reading.

Story: Jesus Walks His Talk
This story is found at http://net.bible.org/illustration.php?id=4708 under the heading Need for Godly Leaders but I like my title better :-)

Story: No One Stops Them Ringing Their Bells 
This story is found at http://www.calvaryriverton.org/sermons/debbie/s-012906.html when you type "Alexander Solzhenitsyn" in Find. It is about the meaning of authority. This story is actually embedded in this site in a sermon on the Corinthians reading.

Adult response:
Give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil. Ask: What is bothering you most? Is their something specific in your life or is there someone you love who needs the healing touch of Jesus? What ever it is, write it down on the piece of paper and lay it at the foot of the cross to signify that you want Jesus to have the authority from now on in that situation from now on.


Also:

Creative Ideas: Moses: The Pattern of a Prophet

Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 7 (pictured at left) . This is based on the Deuteronomy reading.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Epiphany 3 B (January 24): God Gives Second Chances/Following God
























Bible readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10, Psalm 62:5-121 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20

About the images:
Upper Left: I took this photo up at Hervey Bay (http://www.hervey.com.au) a few years ago - two whales were so interested in us and the boat we were on that they hung around for ages popping out of the water beside us to get a closer look. Feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. 
Upper Right: A free Microsoft clipart image with my text.
Middle Left: My image of Uluru with Biblical text.  Please feel free to use for worship and related activities.
Middle Right: A free Heartlight image - see my links column at left
Lower Left: This is my photo of middle eastern fisherman. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. 
Lower Right: Once again, my image. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. 

Listenin
g Song: More
By Matthew West on his album, Happy, universal South/Sparrow Records,or on WOW Hits 2005
 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Jonah reading.

Listening Song: I Am
By Jill Phillips on her self titled album and on WOW 2000. (pictured at right). This goes well with the Jonah reading.

Image"Jonah and the Whale" by He Qi (2001).
Look at the painting. Notice the face looking over the whole scene in the top left hand corner.

Film Clip: The Colour Purple 
Sh
ugs father refuses to speak to her but when she returns to the church with all her friends singing "Listen, God's trying to Tell You something" he realises he has been given a second chance her back as his daughter.



Discussion: The Colour Purple
1. Who was given a second chance in this film clip?
2. Do you think God has anything to do with it?
3. How does it feel when someone gives you a second chance?

Film Clip: Veggie Tails: Jonah
I can never work out who usually enjoys Veggie Tales the most - the kids or the adults.



Film Clip: Wild Stories about Jesus by the Australian Bible Society




For Children: Jonah and the Whale
By Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2006, ISBN 1921229020 (pictured at left).  I cannot recommend these books highly enough.  They are excellent and engage all ages.  The website also has numerous extra activities - some free and some at a small cost including each book in powerpoint and apple format.  

DramaHas God Been Talking To You Lately?
Found in in Mega Drama 2 edited by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, page 27 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the Jonah reading.

Discussion:
What is it in the story of Jonah that tells us that God is the God of second chances.

Story:
 When The Tag Was Changed
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, 
ISBN 0830718834, page 201 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the Jonah reading.

Adult Response: Prayer Stations:
Station 1: A Mirror and Card:
The card reads: Ask yourself: Do you need a second chance from God?

Are you also hard on yourself - do you need to give yourself a second chance as well? Look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that it is you that God loves. Read these words from Isaiah 43:4. God says: “You are precious and honoured in my sight and …I love you” What do these words say to you about God’s love for you?
Station 2: Christ candle, tapers and card
The card reads: Think of somebody who you need to give a second chance to. Think about that person now. Light a taper as a symbol, that just as God is willing to give you a second chance, you will give them a second chance.
Station 3: Map, tea lights and card
The card reads: Think of a part of the world that needs a second chance – a place where there is need or a war or natural or man made disaster. Think about that place now and place a lighted tea light on the location of that place on the map.


Also:

Meditation: Difficult Choices
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 85. This goes well with the gospel reading.

Poem/Meditation: Jonah
By Ruth Burgess in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 32 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Jonah reading (duh!).


Poem/Meditation: Follow Me
By Ruth Burgess in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 47 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Mark reading.


Various Ideas: The Message for the Least Deserving
Found in Multi-Sensory Message by Dave Maclure, Scripture Union, 2008, ISBN 9781844272730, page 17. Connected with the Jonah reading. 

Drama: The Motivator
Found in Mega Drama 3 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109178 (v.3), page 19 (pictured at right). This drama matches up very well with the gospel reading.

Sermon ideas: The Call to Follow Jesus
Found in Life on the Road by Athol Gill, Herald Press, 1992, page 27.  This is based on the Gospel reading.