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Hello from Rivendell.

You may know that J.R.R.Tolkien described Rivendell
as a perfect place for story-telling and thinking.
Those words have influenced
what I will try to include here.

Each week, hopefully, you will find two items.

In “Sunday Reflection”
there will be a Prayer and a Reflection to think about
based on the Prayers and Scripture Readings for that Sunday.

On Wednesdays
there will be something a little different.
Over the years I have come across all sorts of writings
by many different people.
Not all of them have been by people who believed in God,
but all have believed in people.
The things about which they have thought and written
remind me of what Abraham Lincoln once said:
“I have always plucked a thistle and planted a flower
where I thought a flower would grow.”

It is quite possible that amongst all that appears
under the title of “Wednesday Thought”
some will find thistles and some will find flowers.
I hope that in most of the writings
you will find more flowers than thistles.

What all sorts of people have said can be of help to us,
and if we reflect on them,
they might influence for good,
the way we are,
and what we think, and say, and do.

If you know of anyone
who might find something here that is helpful,
please let them know of my website address.

 

May you have a happy time reflecting.

Barry

If you would like
to make a comment or contact me,
but without using the comment facility,
and so making sure that
I’m the only one who can read it,
please email me on:
rivendellsfoodforthought@gmail.com

Prayer Thought for August 4, 2021

This year might see the end of Covid-19
but it probably won’t,
it may just be
something we will have to learn to live with,
and there may be other troubles ahead.

It is always important that we don’t focus
just on ourselves and any problems we may have.

Other people must continue to be
at the forefront of our prayers and actions.

As a small contribution to help with this
each day I will continue to include a prayer thought,
posted at 9.01am from Monday through to Saturday.

August 4, 2021

That we may remember how much God loves us
by doing kind deeds.

Wednesday Quotation for August 4, 2021

I love my darling tractor, I love its merry din,
its muscles made of iron and steel, its red and yellow skin.

I love to watch its wheels go round however hard the day,
and from its bed inside the shed it never thinks to stray.

It saves my arm, it save my leg, it saves my back from toil,
and it’s merry as a skink when I give it a drink
of water and diesel oil.

I love my darling tractor as you can clearly see,
and so, the jolly farmer said, would you if you were me.

Charles Causley

Prayer Thought for August 3, 2021

This year might see the end of Covid-19
but it probably won’t,
it may just be
something we will have to learn to live with,
and there may be other troubles ahead.

It is always important that we don’t focus
just on ourselves and any problems we may have.

Other people must continue to be
at the forefront of our prayers and actions.

As a small contribution to help with this
each day I will continue to include a prayer thought,
posted at 9.01am from Monday through to Saturday.

August 3, 2021

That our cities, towns, villages and streets
will be places of safety.

Prayer Thought for August 2, 2021

This year might see the end of Covid-19
but it probably won’t,
it may just be
something we will have to learn to live with,
and there may be other troubles ahead.

It is always important that we don’t focus
just on ourselves and any problems we may have.

Other people must continue to be
at the forefront of our prayers and actions.

As a small contribution to help with this
each day I will continue to include a prayer thought,
posted at 9.01am from Monday through to Saturday.

August 2, 2021

For those enduring great trials,
and those threatened by violence.

Smile for August 2, 2021

Ira Gershwin wrote the lyrics for the song
‘Love is here to stay’
as a tribute to his brother George
who died on July 11, 1937.

The opening words are
‘It’s very clear,
our love is here to stay.
Not for a year, but ever and a day.’

It is beginning to seem that
Covid-19 and its effects
might also be here to stay.

So it’s very clear that
a little humour will always be needed.
I’ll try to send you some
on Mondays and Fridays
at 7.00am.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Sunday Reflection for August 1, 2021

A Prayer and Reflection for Sunday, August 1, 2021
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Prayer

God of all people,
all over the world there is a longing
for a life of freedom and happiness.

May we do what we can to bring these
to a waiting world.

May we follow the example of Jesus,
and try to make sure
that the hungry have nourishing food,
and the thirsty have clean water.

Reflection

You may wonder where I am going
with this week’s reflection,
but I hope it will start to become clear
with the quotation from Dostoevsky.

Whenever the summer holidays arrive,
I remember the days when I was a Scout Leader,
and went camping.

It was once suggested to Robert Baden-Powell,
the founder of Scouts and Guides,
that it would be a good idea if Scouts
from all over the world could get together.
The 1st of these events, called a World Jamboree,
took place in Olympia, London in 1920.

In 1979 I was just getting ready
to go to the 15th World Jamboree.
It was due to take place in Iran,
but only a few months before we left,
the anti-Shah revolution took place,
and it was cancelled.

Instead, 1500 Scouts from the United Kingdom
were sent to 6 different places:
Sweden, Switzerland, 2 sites in USA,
and 2 in Canada.
I ended up at Birds Hill Campsite
just outside Winnipeg, Canada.

World gatherings of any groups of people
are not cheap things to do,
and some people question the expense of it.
All I can say is that if you’ve ever been to one,
you might question the expense,
but you would rarely question the value.

The friendliness is such that
it can do a great deal for world peace.
That reason alone would make it worthwhile.

When the Jamboree was over
we all stayed with different Canadian families.
On one of the days the family I was with
said “Let’s go for a car drive down the road.”
So we did.
200 miles later (!)
we stopped on the American-Canadian border,
where Manitoba meets North Dakota.

At this place, since 1932,
there has been an International Peace Garden.
It has got flower gardens, landscaped areas,
lakes, nature trails,
and a Chapel of Peace.
Inside the Chapel, on 3 of the walls,
they have engraved quotations
from people of peace throughout history.

Among them was a quotation that summed up
one of the main reasons
for the existence of Scouting and Guiding,
and many youth organisations.

It also explains why such events
as Jamborees and Olympic Games,
though very expensive, can have great value.
The quotation
comes from the Russian writer, Dostoevsky:

“Until you have become really, in actual fact,
a brother to everyone,
Brotherhood will not come to pass.”

Thirty three years later, in 2012,
in the main news on Radio 4 at 8.00am,
these were the 1st seven items:

People accused of cheating
in a Badminton game at the Olympics.
A swimmer becoming the all-time winner of medals.
The possible winners of medals for Britain later that day.
The death of Gore Vidal, an American writer.
Human rights abuses in Syria.
How to boost High Street Banking lending.
Then, last of all, it mentioned
a major food crisis affecting 18 million people in Africa.

The current Olympics started recently,
and there is a possibility that
with even more troubles across the world than in 2012
the BBC News programmes, and much of the media,
will once again get its priorities confused,
although I hope I am wrong.

Sport will be at the top of the agenda.
News items will be more concerned
with what is happening in the world of sport
than with the lives of millions of poor people
just trying to stay alive.

In 2012 reports from CAFOD and other Aid agencies
confirmed the scale of a disaster in Africa.
The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund
estimated that over a million under-fives
faced the threat of severe acute malnutrition.

The gospel today is from
John Chapter 6 verses 24 to 35.
In it, the people ask Jesus

“What can we do
in order to do
what God wants us to do?”

Many disasters, often created by people at war,
can make us question whether the little we try to do
is what God wants us to do,
and can be of any practical help.
It reminds me of something written by Mary McGlone:

“A number of years ago,
I took what was supposed to be a 14-hour bus ride
from Lima to Arequipa, Peru.

Knowing that 14 hours was an optimistic estimate,
everyone boarded the bus with provisions
for whatever mishap might come our way.

Of course, the bus broke down.
We sat for more than an hour
as the sun began to heat up the bus.
No one was allowed off,
everyone was crabby, hungry, thirsty.

I had one orange
hidden in my otherwise depleted food pack.
I realised there was no way
I could secretly peel an orange on a hot bus.
I waited until I was desperate.
Then I pulled out the orange,
and immediately
felt the toddler on the Mum’s lap next to me
look and lean into my seat.

I peeled the orange,
and offered mother and child a couple of sections.

People started to look at me, so I shared more.
Finally I was left with one section for myself.

Then the woman in front of me said:
‘I have some bread,
but it would make us too thirsty.’
A young man said:
‘I have a litre of Coke.’
Little by little,
the bus became the scene of a picnic potluck,
each sharing what they had hidden,
and receiving from one another.
And it all got started with an orange.

I can’t claim that our bus ride repeated
Jesus’ miracle with the loaves,
but there are similarities.

Everyone was hungry;
no one had enough to meet their need.
In Jesus’ case, one child gave all that he had.
In our case, each opened up their hidden store,
and we found that among us there was more than enough.

Interpreting both stories,
it seems to me that the key
is that when we give out of our scarcity,
we will find that there is enough.”

You may remember the English poet John Donne
who wrote the following in the 17th century.
He was comparing people to countries.
He said that people are not isolated islands,
we are all a part of a larger thing,
and if one person dies,
everyone is affected.

No man is an island,
entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor
of thy friend’s or of thine own were.

Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore
never send to know for whom the bell tolls,
it tolls for thee.

Prayer Thought for July 31, 2021

This year might see the end of Covid-19
but it probably won’t,
it may just be
something we will have to learn to live with,
and there may be other troubles ahead.

It is always important that we don’t focus
just on ourselves and any problems we may have.

Other people must continue to be
at the forefront of our prayers and actions.

As a small contribution to help with this
each day I will continue to include a prayer thought,
posted at 9.01am from Monday through to Saturday.

July 31, 2021

That refugees, immigrants, and migrants
will find places of safety.

Prayer Thought for July 30, 2021

This year might see the end of Covid-19
but it probably won’t,
it may just be
something we will have to learn to live with,
and there may be other troubles ahead.

It is always important that we don’t focus
just on ourselves and any problems we may have.

Other people must continue to be
at the forefront of our prayers and actions.

As a small contribution to help with this
each day I will continue to include a prayer thought,
posted at 9.01am from Monday through to Saturday.

July 30, 2021

For the hungry and the homeless.

International Friendship Day, July 30, 2021

One of those days in which
you relax and enjoy the company of friends
who by definition are rather fond of eating.
A. R. Melrose

Here’s a little something from A.A.Milne.

Pooh said:
“When you’ve been walking in the wind for miles,
and you suddenly go into somebody’s house,
and he says,
“Hallo, Pooh,
you’re just in time for a little smackerel of something,”
and you are,
then it’s what I call a Friendly Day.”

Smile for July 30, 2021

Ira Gershwin wrote the lyrics for the song
‘Love is here to stay’
as a tribute to his brother George
who died on July 11, 1937.

The opening words are
‘It’s very clear,
our love is here to stay.
Not for a year, but ever and a day.’

It is beginning to seem that
Covid-19 and its effects
might also be here to stay.

So it’s very clear that
a little humour will always be needed.
I’ll try to send you some
on Mondays and Fridays
at 7.00am.

Friday, July 30, 2021