Dear Friends

Dear Friends,
I hope you all had a good Christmas. Thank you so much for all the
lovely cards and good wishes, which we greatly appreciate. We went
to my sister’s on Christmas Day, after the Ealing service and arrived
just in time for Christmas dinner cooked to perfection by my nieces
and nephews. Jamie and I didn’t have to do anything except eat, play
board games, and keep Lola our dog off the mince pies.
Walking Lola has been a good way to shake off the sloth and calories
of over-indulgence. One of our frequent routes is across a playing
field, where Lola can get a good run, chasing her ball. Last week, she
found a nice little hole to drop her ball into – one of the sockets for a
goalpost upright, at least 18” deep and almost the exact diameter of
the ball! She likes that ball. It was Saturday afternoon and they play
football on Sunday morning. It would have been impossible to get the
goal straight with a rubber ball at the bottom of one of the shafts. We
had to retrieve it.
We tried sticks, plastic strips, even a long-handled shoe horn, without
success. Finally, in desperation, I took my coat off, rolled up my
sleeve and stuck my arm down the hole. I got the ball out on the third
attempt. I knew one day there would be an advantage in having no
discernible biceps. Lola, left at home in disgrace during the rescue
operation, will never know how much we went through on her behalf.
I wonder if God ever feels that way about us. We can all find that the
hole we’re in is deeper than we thought; God reaches for us, right to
the limit, and brings us back into his presence. So often, we take this
for granted. But, unlike the dog, we know how much God goes
through on our behalf. The season of Lent, Ash Wednesday is on
March 6th. This is our time to reflect on the temptations and cross of
Jesus. We know what it cost. May we always be thankful.
If you are thinking of ways to observe Lent, why not come along to
the Bible Study group on Thursday mornings? We will have a special
Lent focus from March 7th to April 11th and everyone is welcome.
Meanwhile, as the weather gets more wintry, keep warm and safe.
Every blessing,

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