Safe, Sound and Flying

Earlier in the month we were all praying for Ashley, who was travelling to London from Findlay, Ohio on her own.  She planned her entire itinerary and accomplished all her goals.  Angels saw her safely through her journey and to be honest, I am really impressed.
If you want to read of her exploits, go to:

http://ashleydonaldson.blogspot.com

Praise God for his miraculous vision and power.

Share

Our Prayer List

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Galations 6:2 (NIV)

Bless Tom, Michael, Barbara, Jacqui, Donald, Baby Leo, Joanna, Dr. Wood, Connie, Cath, Ted, Janet, Chris, Tim, Jim, Nancy, Eunice, Margaret, Will, Hughey, Anne, Hazel, Lucy, Jackie, Issy, Melissa, John, Michael and Jo Ann with Your healing touch. Please saturate them in Your grace, mercy and peace.

New Additions!

Jo Ann has just had a kidney transplant.  On Christmas day a 19 year old boy died in an accident and donated his organs to help others.  Jo Ann is now going from strength to strength but is very much in need of your prayers. Praise God for this miracle of life.

Michael has been hospitalised for pleurisy and celebrated his 80th birthday on the 16th.  Friends and family are very worried about him.  Please pray for God’s blessing on Michael, his friends and family.

Extra Alert!

Chris and Tim are dealing with forces trying to prevent them from moving according to God’s call.  This is a critical time for them.  Please hold them in your prayers.

Share

A Vision for Coniston

Heavenly Father,

We lift up to You Coniston, our village – the mountains, the lake, the inhabitants, the tourists, the holiday homes, the families, the children, the businesses and all the good folks who want to make it better.  Your plans are bigger and better than any one of us can envisage.

Take off our blinders.  Let us see clearly and anew with Your eyes.  Show us the way to move forward for the future.  Bless the meeting of the Parish Council this evening.  Everyone there will have an idea of how to make Coniston better.  Everyone there will be thinking they know the best way.  Help us to learn to work together in Your love and light.  Together, we can accomplish anything.  Light our path and set a lamp on our feet.  Revive us with Your vision.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Share

When I Hailed a Fire Engine Mistaking it for a Bus

When I hailed a fire engine mistaking it for a bus (it didn’t stop but apparently I was given a cheery wave), and a week later very nearly pruned my cat’s tail as it looked suspiciously like a dead branch of a shrub then I knew the time had come to have my cataracts removed and, at the same time, my high myopia corrected. 

Five years previously, I had been advised by the ophthalmic consultant Jonathan Dowler, at Moorfields Eye Hospital to wait until I had ˜nothing to lose” and that phrase kept haunting me as my vision grew murkier.  I had still got something to lose, and knew that the chances of doing so were statistically increased in extremely high myopes like myself, but life is full of risks and we would cease to live meaningful lives if we pondered too long on them all.  So, was I really going to postpone this potential to see properly until  I had lost the last vestiges of sight, by which time I might  have lost other faculties too?  My dilemma was increased by the fact that I didn’t have a spare; vision in my left eye had become extremely distorted due to a Foster Fuchs Spot; new blood vessels develop in an attempt to provide the back of the (very elongated) eye with oxygen, but despite their good intentions they rupture, leaving one with just peripheral vision. 

Surgery techniques had advanced tremendously and Mr Dowler must surely have been confident of a good outcome, but I had difficulty in updating my mind-set.  For a long time, I just thought of the risks.  I thought of how shattered I would be if I lost my sight, and whenever I did research on the web in the hope of allaying my fears, I just turned up more grizzly statistics about retinal detachment and the problem of satisfactory re-attachment in people with degenerative high myopia. 

Colour deterioration is obviously a gradual process, and apparently some people are better at making a mental compensation than others.  On a sunny day, all too rare this Summer, I still read the sky as blue, because I knew it was, yet overall the effect was like looking at the world through thick, lumpy gravy.  The colour scheme was depressing and I was having an increasing number of accidents because of reduced acuity.

I was still working as a painter, but had introduced wax-resist and collage so that there was a tactile element in the process.  I was frustrated at not being able to work more efficiently, but I never seriously wondered how differently other people would view my work.  Sighted or not, no artist can really know that, at the best of times.

I had worn increasingly thick glasses from the age of three and a half, and suffered the usual stigma as a child of having milk bottle lenses  (Why is it that thick glass is such a sensuous material, until you stick it on someone’s face when it becomes the least sexy accessory imaginable?)  Later, contact lenses gave me increased confidence and markedly better vision.  The early hard lenses often gave me agonising corneal abrasions, but the new softer ones were a huge improvement and many people were unaware of my increasing disability.  Only when I gave up driving (it had become as impressionistic as my painting), became dependent on others in little ways and did a Masters Degree focussing on perception, did others become aware of my disability.

And so, on 25th July 2007, I sat nervously on a bed in Moorfields Eye Hospital, still agonising over which eye should be  first.  With a combination of wisdom and humour, Mr Dowler helped me to make the decision.  The right eye, with the thickest cataract but without the Foster Fuchs Spot would be done first. 

My pupils were dilated and I was walked through a seemingly endless maze of corridors which became whiter and more ethereal. The nurse who accompanied me stopped to pick up my ticket, and noted that we needed theatre No.8.  She counted as we passed each opening off the main aisle, and I half-expected the lens implants to be called something like Knuplf; but if this was an ophthalmic Ikea warehouse, was I about to be told that they were out of stock of the clear ones and I would have to make do with black? 

Finally we reached our destination, I was greeted by a cheery anaesthetist and invited to choose the level of sedation, from nothing through to complete oblivion an impressive range of cocktails.  I opted for being awake and aware, but not minding what was happening.  I vaguely remember asking, “Is that you Mr Dowler?” and as a hairnet was put on my head, a disembodied voice answered “No, I’m just a passing hairdresser from Walthamstow.” My only fear from that point on was that I might giggle as the critical incision was being made.

I remember being under a blue tent, the occasional request for an instrument, what sounded like free improvisation music (apparently the ultrasonic removal of the cataract) and then, after what seemed like four minutes but was actually more like thirty, “Well done, it’s over!”  After a brief spell in the recovery room, I was taken back to the ward (the luxury of a trolley this time).  There was no pain, no nausea, no fear; relative lucidity and ravenous hunger!  A reassuring visit from Mr Dowler, clear instructions about removing the dressing in the morning and taking regular eye drops, a hearty supper and then home. 

That night was like Christmas Eve as a child, mystocking being the pad and shield covering my right eye. It was tantalizing, but I was tired and it had been a long day, so I slept well enough.  In the morning, I  carefully removed the dressing as instructed and slowly, slowly opened my eye, unwrapping the best gift I could have wished for.  At first, the glare was unbearable, but gradually I became accustomed to the light and was overwhelmed by the colour and clarity of the room around me.  My sight was probably better than since I was a small child.  From then on it has been one discovery after another: trees have individual leaves that one can see from indoors, my garden is really very beautiful, my little tabby cat has exquisite markings, I can see the green parakeets in the pear tree and I can paint my toenails.  I saw my paintings as if for the first time.  I am less enthusiastic about my wrinkles and the kitchen floor. 

There are millions of people who, thanks to the skill of surgeons and scientific developments, enjoy an even more dramatic improvement in their vision, but this is my little miracle and I cannot imagine being more inspired, more enthralled or more grateful. 

Joanna Brendon

Note:  We have been praying for Joanna and this is a note sent by her on her progress along with grateful thanks for our prayers and praise.

Share

Holiday Blessings!

Venetian Glamour
Venetian Glamour

 

It’s the time of year when many of God’s children are feeling at the end of their ropes.  Gifted with talents and blessings and a call to serve, they’ve been working on overdrive for far too long.  We may be saved by grace but armed with the incredible joy of salvation and the love of Christ, we are off to the races.

So………this is for God’s children. Back to square one. In Genesis 1 we read that after every act of creation, ‘God saw that it was good.’  There is a lesson here for God’s children.  God sees that what you do is very good and you should take pleasure in this knowledge. It may be that no-one else in the world seems to acknowledge the wonderful work you are doing but God does and God says that it is good.

The next lesson is another one that we have completely lost.  On the seventh day God rested.  Here we go again, having totally lost all sense of balance and harmony, we have pretended that we can keep going until that holiday.  Christ took time out regularly for communion with his Father and we need to do likewise.  Holidays are wonderful but if we are so burnt out by not paying attention to the plan that God had for us from the beginning, that holiday will not be nearly as refreshing as it could be.

This is a prayer for refreshment for all God’s children but particularly for those we know and love who are on or preparing to go on holiday.

  • Mark, our Priest in Charge and his family, Elaine, Naomi, Nathaniel and Caleb who having spent a week of ‘holiday’ at home are now fleeing for their ‘refreshment’.
  • Smileangel who is off to China to visit her son and capture true life scenes on camera.
  • Mike, Melanie, Ben and Stepanie from Ohio who are in Europe at this very minute celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with the trip of a lifetime.

These are but a few of the souls we would like to bless at this time.  Please pray for all your loved ones, family and friends and brothers and sisters in Christ for holiday blessings and refreshment.  If you would like to add others to this list, please write your comments below.  Last updated 12 August 2007

 

Share

Prayer works!

Hands at Prayer
Hands at prayer

1 John 5:14-15

‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.’
(from The Holy Bible: New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society)

So God hears our prayers, but to see prayers answered we need to know a few truths.

1) We must pray according to His will i.e. keep focussed on what He wants, understand His word (the Bible) and humbly ask that He make His will known to us.

2) Realise that He can answer in several ways – YES, NO, NOT YET, or IN ANOTHER WAY i.e. your request may not be what you really need at this moment, and God truly knows what needs to happen in your life and His world.

KEEP PRAYING!

Share

Praise

We believe that the answer God supplies is every bit as important as our prayer. Since we have two ears and one mouth, we ought to spend more time listening than talking. God often speaks to us through prayer and when we receive an answer to our prayer, it is always a transformational experience, even when the answer is not what we expected. Your experiences can help others who are going through trials of their own. Please feel free to share your experiences here.

arms-in-praise.jpg

Share

Prayer Chain

At St. Andrew’s church we have a prayer chain and encourage those in our congregation, local community and beyond to support one another through prayer.  If you wish to be added to our prayer chain, please add your request to our list. God always answers prayer and we encourage our members to share their experiences with others.

Share