Prayers and Verses – 3 The burning bush

Publication Day for The Bible Story Retold, and Prayers and Verses, is coming up in the USA and Canada! The date, 28th September.
They are available for pre-order now.

Some links to Amazon are below – of course, if you have local bookshops, they will order it in for you if it’s not in stock.

Canada Bible Retold here

Canada Prayers and Verses here

USA Bible Retold here

USA Prayers and Verses here

 

Here is a little bit from both books, to give you a taste!  I hope you enjoy them.

 

Andrea Skevington

prayers and verses cover UK publication date – Friday 17th June 2016

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It’s nearly here!  the official publication date for Prayers and Verses!
I thought I would share something from Chapter Three of both books – Prayers and Verses and The Bible Retold.
The story of Moses, and how people escaped from slavery, is absolutely central to our understanding of the story of the Bible as a whole. It is truly remarkable.  Written records usually tell the story of the victor, of the rich and powerful.  This ancient narrative tells the story of the slaves, the powerless, the people pushed to the edges.  It says that God is listening to them, and is sending someone to bring them out of slavery, into freedom.

Prayers for those who labour under heavy loads, who bear much sorrow, are included at the opening of the chapter in the prayer book.  The Hebrew scriptures are full…

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New Term

Where I live, teachers and students are starting a new term today – some are starting a new school.

Here are a few prayers from Prayers and Verses to bless you on your way.

With much love.

Goodbye, dear old school,
Hello, bright new start.
May God guide our lives,
Head and hand and heart.

Dear God,
Help us as we learn new things. If we learn quickly and easily,
may we help others to understand. If we make mistakes, may
we understand what went wrong. Help us never to be afraid
of new things, but to see them as an adventure.

Dear Lord,
There are so many things we could ask you for.
Today we ask for wisdom, that we may
understand you and the world and people
better.  Help us to look, and to listen, with
an open mind, that we may learn. Help us
grow in wisdom as we grow in years.

 

Do not imitate
what is bad,
but imitate
what is good.

3 John 11

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s coming! Publication day – USA and Canada – Bible Retold, Prayers and Verses

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For our friends in the USA and Canada, these two titles are out on September 28th, and are available for pre-order now!

Over the next few days and weeks I’ll share some extracts from both books, but here is a little snippet to begin with.

From The Bible Story Retold:

THE SMALL, AND THE HIDDEN

“God’s kingdom is like the yeast a woman used in baking.  She took a little pinch, and mixed it into a great mound of flour.  And the yeast worked its way right through the flour, making well-risen dough, and making all the bread good.”  The crowds smiled at the thought of the warm smell of baking.

“Imagine buried treasure – just under the ground in a field.  That’s what the kingdom of heaven is like.  One day, someone was working in the field when they spotted something glinting in the sun.  They dug away until they uncovered it all – gold, silver, precious stones.  Then, they and sat back on their heels and laughed with joy.  It was a fortune!  Quickly, they buried it again and went away.  They sold everything they had and bought that one field.
“Or think of a trader looking out for fine pearls.  At last, he found the one he had been searching for.  It was large, and smooth, and glowed with all the colours of the rainbow.  It was the best pearl he had ever seen. He went and sold everything he had, and came back with a heavy purse of gold to buy it.”

From Prayers and Verses:

Help me to be patient as I wait for your kingdom
and your righteousness:
as patient as a farmer who trusts that the rains
will come in their season
and that the land will produce its harvest.
Keep my hopes high.
Help me to pray to you and to praise you.

 

I wait eagerly for the Lord’s help
and in his word I trust.
I wait for the Lord
more eagerly than watchmen wait for the dawn.

Psalm 130:5–6

The Kingdom of God is very near.
from Luke 10:9

 

Some links to Amazon are below – of course, if you have local bookshops, they will order it in for you if it’s not in stock.

Canada Bible Retold here

Canada Prayers and Verses here

USA Bible Retold here

USA Prayers and Verses here

 

 

Day of Prayer for Creation – a Parable

 

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Photos of a walk taken near Wandlebury Ring and the old Roman Road, Cambridgeshire

September 1st is a day when we make Creation the focus of our prayers, knowing that others around the word are doing so. It is the first day of the Season of Creation, which ends on October 4th.  As I was praying for our hurting world, the story below came into my mind. I hope it may help you, as it has helped me, focus my prayers with urgency, and consider how I can live in a way which respects the beauty and glory of Creation, and the love of God for it all.  I have found, over recent years, my eyes and my heart have been opened to both the pain and beauty of the world around me, and the many ways the natural world is honoured in Scriptures, particularly in the prophets.

Jesus invited us to consider the flowers of the field, and the birds of the air, and learn from them the heart and mind of God.

If it helps you, please feel free to use and share it, saying that you found it here.

 

 

The parable of the good craftsman

Once there was a craftsman who had two children. As you might expect, he had built a beautiful house out of seasoned wood, with wide windows that looked out over his lush green fields, his flocks and herds.  He had made fine, carved furniture for his house, and he had smiled when he made it, and said, “That’s good!”  He had made beautiful plates and cups and jugs out the red clay near his house, he had smiled when he made those, too, and said, “That’s good!”  He had made a sheepfold to keep his flocks safe, and smiled, then, too.  In fact, all that was around him was good and flourishing and abundant, and as he looked at it all, he laughed out loud and said, “That is all so good!”

The day came when he needed to go on a journey, as the people in these stories often do.  He thought, “My children are old enough to be left in charge now.  They have watched what I did, some of the time, and I have told them how good it is.”  And so he left, and the children looked around, and they, too, saw that it was good.  So good, in fact, that they started to think how much it was all worth.  So they sold the furniture, and the plates and cups and jugs, for a fortune.  They were made by a master craftsman, after all.  The plastic ones they bought to replace them were good enough. They looked at the lush green fields and thought, “We could rear more animals in pens.”  So they did: twice as many, three and four times even, the poor creatures.  They sold the pasture they no longer needed, and a factory and a car park grew there, large and grey and ugly.  The water from the well their father had dug became bitter, but they bought water in bottles with all the money that they had made.

Then, the time came for the father to return.  As he drew near the house, he noticed the trees along the road were withered and dying, and his smile left him.  He came across a bird trapped in plastic that blew across the fields, and he set it free.  Then, near the house, he found a thin child sitting by the side of the road.
“What is the matter?” he asked.
“I drank water from the stream that flows from over there, by that factory.  It tasted bad. Now I’m sick.”  The father gave the child water from his own flask, and picked up the child to take home. He had herbs for medicine there.

But when he got even nearer, he could see that the factory was on his own land, and that where his own fields should be was all noise and smoke.  He could see the plastic rubbish spilling over from his own front garden, from where the flowers and the vegetables and the herbs had been.  He saw his own children, with grey, indoor faces, and said, “what have you done?”
“Father, we are so pleased to see you!  Come inside, we will bring you the accounts and you will see what we have made!”
“That is not the kind of making I intended you for!” replied the father. “And see, see this child, poisoned! How will you enter that in these books of yours?  What have you done with all that I have made – do you not know that I love it all?”

 

 

 

Some prayers from the first chapter of Prayers and Verses

 

Lord, purge our eyes to see
Within the seed a tree,
Within the glowing egg a bird,
Within the shroud a butterfly.
Till, taught by such we see
Beyond all creatures, thee
And harken to thy tender word
And hear its “Fear not; it is I”.
Christina Rosetti 1830-94

 

O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.
Basil the Great c330-379

 

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772–1834

 

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Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner – at Watchet, the place that inspired him.

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