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Faith / Truth For Today
« Last post by PippaJane on November 18, 2019, 07:29:51 PM »

Truth For Today

Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (NIV)
Faith / Re: Devotion
« Last post by PippaJane on November 18, 2019, 07:27:05 PM »

Breakfast with Jesus
Asheritah Ciuciu
October 30, 2019
“When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’” John 21:9, 21:12a (NIV)

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  So when I read today’s key verse, I was delighted to peek into this intimate moment between Jesus and His disciples, but I never imagined how applicable it would be to us 2,000 years later.  Let me set the scene.  Jesus called a handful of fishermen to be His disciples, and for three years they enjoyed a close relationship with Him until He was betrayed and crucified. Their hopes had been dashed until Jesus surprised them all when He appeared to them in His resurrected body. Of course they were elated, but still a bit confused.  Jesus was alive, but He wasn’t living with them anymore; they were disciples without a rabbi. He’d promised to send them His Spirit, but He hadn’t ascended to heaven yet, so they were men without a mission. They went out to fish, but caught nothing all night, and now they were fishermen who couldn’t even catch fish.  We can’t know exactly why they reverted to their old occupation, but don’t we do the same thing?

When we’re waiting for God to act, but He’s not doing what we expect, don’t we often try to distract ourselves to numb our discomfort?

For me, it can look like shoveling spoonfuls of cookie dough ice cream while scrolling social media. Perhaps you turn to online shopping, a glass of rosé, a rom-com binge or a toxic relationship.  Distractions promise momentary comfort, but they often fail to resolve our deeper issues, only serving to compound our problems. These men had been up all night and hadn’t caught anything. Now they were exhausted, famished and demoralized.  It’s in this moment of desperation that Jesus entered the scene.  As dawn lit the sky, He called out to them to let down their nets on the other side, and they miraculously filled with fish. Jesus accomplished for them in a moment what they’d failed to do on their own all night.  It’s fascinating to me that Jesus didn’t berate them for going back to their old occupation. He didn’t admonish them for doubting His purpose for them. Instead, He sought them out, provided for their needs and invited them to join Him for breakfast.  Breakfast.  That most simple meal of the day for many of us, void of fancy silverware and linen napkins, is often shared with people who see you before you shower and who love you anyway.  It’s into this most intimate setting that Jesus invited His friends that morning. As they were toiling at their nets, Jesus was waiting for them, cooking their breakfast. And when they drew close to shore in defeat, Jesus invited them to abandon their distraction in order to come eat breakfast with Him. The conversations that followed that meal brought healing, life and joy to those disciples’ wounded hearts. (Read more in John 21:15-23 for the most touching breakfast conversation ever recorded.)  And thankfully, that breakfast invitation is issued to each of us today too.  If anyone understands our pain, it’s Jesus. Physical, emotional and relational?

Yes Jesus experienced it all, and He did it out of love for us. When we’re hurting, Jesus doesn’t send us away to get our act together. He invites us to find mercy and grace as we draw close to Him.  Over breakfast?

Yes.  Morning breath and all.

Cardiff and Swansea hospices inspire The Colours play about death
By Huw Thomas BBC Wales arts and media correspondent
30 July 2019

People using Welsh hospices have inspired a new play about the way we deal with death.  The Colours uses interviews with people attending Ty Olwen in Swansea and Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff as its script.  Recorded words are streamed into the headphones of actors, who deliver them during the drama, which opens on Tuesday at the Soho Theatre in London.  The play's creator wants to "lift the stigma" around terminal illness.  Harriet Madeley, who has written the play, carried out interviews with patients at the hospices.  She joined ward rounds and spoke to medical staff as well as people receiving palliative care.  Ms Madeley said: "I wanted to dispel some of the fear we feel around life-limiting illnesses. Not to normalise it, but to access some of the people who are going through it.  As soon as you go and speak to people you understand it, you humanise it. And the theatre is the medium for me to do that."

The play is about five people on a Welsh beach who use memory, fantasy and reality as they approach the end of their lives.  The actors wear headphones and listen to recorded interviews with hospice patients, repeating their words during the dramatised events on stage.  Ms Madeley, who hopes to bring the show to Wales next year, said the resilience of the patients she met had inspired the work.  "A lot of this is about human spirit and character. I find that you tend to get more surprising, richer, funnier and more meaningful characters if you go with real people," she said.

"It is so important that we lift the stigma. We are all getting older, we are all getting more long-term conditions.  Fifty years ago people were much more often dying at home, surrounded by family members, and dying quicker from infectious diseases."

'Finite and precious'

Two of the characters whose stories appear in the play are Joe and his wife Jill from Swansea. Joe has terminal cancer and attends the day centre at the Ty Olwen hospice every week.  He said it was a "strange experience" to be interviewed in order to be portrayed on stage, but said he hoped it would help others to understand what it's like to live with a terminal illness.

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Joe said another patient, who had not told anyone about his cancer, asked him why he was being so open about the condition.  "And I said, well, you are telling people, showing people, not just how we feel but if they come around the corner and they get it some day how they will feel too.  You have got to be positive, you know. I didn't in the beginning, I've got to be honest. I didn't feel positive whatsoever. But now, going up to Ty Olwen and talking to other people that helped me a lot."

Ms Madeley said she wanted audiences to be inspired by the patients' words.  "I hope people will leave the play with a stronger awareness of their own mortality, and not in a way that frightens them.  The play does acknowledge that life is finite and precious, and I think it would be difficult to have a meaningful life if it didn't end," she added.

Dr Idris Baker, consultant in palliative medicine at Ty Olwen, worked with the producer to capture the voices of patients at the hospice.  He said the play allowed patients' voices to be heard.  "For people living with an illness it is sometimes harder for their voices to be heard. "And a lot of the people we see here are living with a life-shortening illness and they are not going to survive as long as they might have expected, and it is so easy for their voices to be lost and not to be heard.  A hundred years ago, all of us would have had experience of people in the family dying, and of people living with life-shortening illnesses.  It's a good thing that fewer people die young than used to, but it does mean most of us don't have quite so much experience of that - experience of people close to us having a serious illness, a life-shortening illness, or coming to the end of their lives."

Dr Baker said many patients were keen to share their experiences.  "Keen for themselves, so that they can leave something of what they were thinking. But also keen to help other people in the future," he added.
Resources / Preparing Our Child’s Funeral
« Last post by PippaJane on November 15, 2019, 08:18:52 PM »
Preparing Our Child’s Funeral

Produced by The Compassionate Friends

A short leaflet offering suggestions to think about around the funeral. More suitable for a child rather than for a baby.
Resources / Saying Goodbye to Your Baby
« Last post by PippaJane on November 15, 2019, 08:15:30 PM »
Saying Goodbye to Your Baby

Produced by Sands

A helpful, practical leaflet which guides bereaved parents through the many decisions and tasks that have to be dealt with when a baby dies after miscarriage, stillbirth or shortly after birth.
Resources / Memorials by Artists for Young People, Children and Babies
« Last post by PippaJane on November 15, 2019, 08:10:26 PM »
Memorials by Artists for Young People,  Children and Babies
Harriett Frazer

A guide to helping families find a memorial to celebrate the life of a child from birth to 30-years-olds.
Resources / We Need to Talk about the Funeral
« Last post by PippaJane on November 15, 2019, 08:07:47 PM »
We Need to Talk about the Funeral:  101 Practical Ways to Commemorate & Celebrate Life
Jane Morell & Simon Smith

This book explains the wide choices that are available around the type of ceremony, coffin, music and much more. Although written mainly for adult funerals, it offers ideas suitable for a child or baby
Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Cocopops on November 13, 2019, 07:59:31 PM »
One Sunday a minister preached about shepherds.  He explained that sheep need lots of guidance, and that a shepherd's job is to stay close to the sheep, protect them from wild animals, and keep them from wandering off.  He said that the people of the church were God's sheep.  Then he asked, "If you are the sheep, who is the shepherd?"  (He was pretty obviously indicating himself.)

After a few seconds, a young boy piped up: "Jesus! Jesus is the shepherd."

The minister, caught by surprise, asked, "Well, then, who am I?"

The boy frowned thoughtfully.  "I guess you must be a sheep dog."
Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Cocopops on November 13, 2019, 07:55:42 PM »
A lawyer phoned the governor's mansion shortly after midnight. "I need to talk to the governor it's an emergency!" exclaimed the lawyer.

After some cajoling, the governor's assistant agreed to wake him up.  "So, what is it that's so important that it can't wait until morning?" grumbled the governor.

"Judge Pierson just died, and I want to take his place," begged the attorney.

"Well, it's okay with me if it's okay with the funeral home."
Articles / Mothers given dangerous drug: inquiry
« Last post by Cocopops on November 13, 2019, 07:26:12 PM »

Mothers given dangerous drug: inquiry
September 28, 2011 — 3.33pm

Some mothers whose newborn babies were taken away under past forced adoption practices unknowingly were given a drug, now linked to cancer, that suppressed breast milk, a Senate inquiry has been told.  Between the 1950s and 1970s, about 150,000 Australian unwed mothers had their babies taken against their will by some churches and adoption agencies.  A Senate committee is investigating the Commonwealth's involvement.  The committee on Wednesday heard some women were given a synthetic estrogen drug called diethylstilbestrol to suppress lactation.  The drug can increase a woman's risk of breast cancer, and the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer in daughters exposed to the drug in the womb, according to information from the Cancer Council.  Janet Tough has told the committee how she had been unknowingly given the drug.  ''I had been given something to dry up my breast milk, this drug was diethylstilbestrol,'' she wrote in a submission to the inquiry.  ''I was informed of this by a sister when I asked why my breasts were unnaturally hard and sore.''

Ms Tough said she began wailing when she realised she would not be able to feed her baby.  ''I asked to see him and was told he was being given away for adoption and I could not see him,'' she said.  ''For three days I asked continually for my baby, and began to cry, beg, and eventually scream when I was denied him.''

Hospital staff told her she would be disciplined for disturbing other patients.  Another young mother, Linda Graham-Tetley, also was given the drug against her will and not told of any health risks.  ''I was not asked permission for this drug to be administered to me,'' she wrote in her submission.  ''Someone had decided to dry up my milk, pre-empting a decision to adopt and not to breastfeed but it certainly wasn't me.''

Health department official Alan Singh told the inquiry the widespread use of the drug ceased in the 1970s.  "The National Health and Medical Research Council had not funded any specific research into the long term health effects of DES as a lactation suppressant," he said.

Mr Singh said he was unsure whether the council had been asked to investigate the issue but would take the question on notice.  Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert noted the inquiry previously had heard evidence some mothers had been given large amounts of the drug.  Mr Singh said he was unaware of any other departmental research of the drug's health risk on mothers.  DES Action NSW, in its submission, said the drug was first approved for use in drying up breast milk in 1941. Despite it being withdrawn in 1978 there were reports of its use in maternity units and hospitals in the 1980s.  There was anecdotal evidence that young mothers were given three times the recommended dose.
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