I remember when I took skittles into the church and asked for volunteers to have a go at knocking the skittles down, only to pick them up again. I must admit that most of the congregation enjoyed the games and there was no problem in getting players but there were a few people there who were appalled at playing games in church. There was, of course, a reason for it as we then looked at life. Sometimes we experience a time that seems just like the game of skittles. First of all, we have a bad time that makes us down in heart followed by something good that lifts our souls, then soon afterwards another bad time happens. It seems that we have only been stood up to be knocked down again.
I was reading an old copy of the Grace Magazine which is now out of print, and I read what one unknown author had written about how being positive is good for our hearts and minds.
I will talk health instead of sickness; will talk prosperity instead of failure;
I will carry good news instead of bad news; I will tell the cheerful tale instead of the sad tale;
I will mention blessings instead of my burdens;
I will speak of the sunshine instead of the clouds;
I will think of the cheerful things, not the gloomy, and my thoughts will shine in my face;
I will praise, whenever I can, those who are putting forth an honest effort to perform their task creditably;
I will always remember a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
The following was a saying by John Armstrong (1709-1779):
KNOW, THEN, WHATEVER CHEERFUL, AND SERENE, SUPPORTS THE MIND, SUPPORTS THE BODY, TOO.
The Direction by Richard Harries. URC Prayer HandbookHoly One
From whom all things come and to whom at the last they return,
We give you thanks that you have set us on the way,
Able to look both backwards and forwards, to remember and look ahead.
We remember before you the good times and the bad, the pleasure and the pain.
We regret at the times we have strayed from your path and gladness that you have drawn us back again,
Especially we remember before you those who have loved us and prayed for us and influenced our lives for good.
As we look ahead, conscious of the uncertainties of life, we cannot see where the horizon lies or what stretches beyond it, but we know, O God, that you are the direction in whom and to whom we move, enable us to journey on with courage and with hope, and to be a source of encouragement to those we meet on the way. AMEN
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Almighty Lord of all the world, last week we prayed for the people of Beirut whose homes had been destroyed and at that point there was a chance that more people might be found. Heavenly Father, although we have not heard of any more being found we thank you that more people had been made aware of their situation so that they can have more help.
We look out across the world again to another disaster and through our televisions go to Lesbos, a Greek Island where the homes of refugees have been burnt to the ground. We have been horrified to know that hundreds of people of all ages have been living in small tents and even those have gone now. Many of us will have holidayed in Greece and not known of this island or situation. We are ashamed and ask that the refugees might be found better places to live, In Jesus name. AMEN