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Classic Country Footy Club Coffee

Wonderful hospitality at Tarpeena Football Club after a funeral today.

I saw cups like these in The Dish earlier this week, and the take me back to childhood memories.

And that mug has every one of 43 beans in it.

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Pulpit Chair, Penola

This chair is in the pulpit of the Presbyterian church at Penola.

No one sits in it anymore, but it’s still there.

A chair is not what the church is about, but it is a reminder of the centrality of the word in that place. It represents a wonderful legacy.

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Abide With Me by The Slocan Ramblers

I’ve been reflecting on the hymn ‘Abide With Me’ for a couple of funerals this week.
Here’s a rendition I found by The Slocan Ramblers from 2012.
I’ve never heard of them before, but I like this interpretation, it’s not a mournful hymn, it’s a great and comforting hope.

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“Knocker-Uppers” The Human Alarm Clocks Of Industrial-Era Britain (via Flashbak)

I wake up without an alarm each morning, but there are mornings where I’m 20 or even 30 minutes past the time I usually rise.
Of course I’ve got any number of devices that I can set as alarms.
Before those devices we used an alarm clock (or two).
Some of you might even remember the wake-up call, where you could book someone to ring you up.
This article on Flashbak recalls the time when folk had the job of going around and knocking on doors (or windows) for a fee.
Knocker-Uppers have passed into history, but the struggle to get out of bed continues.
From the article:

Known as the “knocker-upper” these predawn risers would pass by working-class buildings, rapping on the windows of those who need to get up.
Rural laborers, used to keeping time with the seasons, relocated to manufacturing towns and cities at significant rates. They not only had to adjust to dangerous, fast-paced industrial work, but to new schedules. Night shifts in factories disturbed circadian rhythms; dock work in London depended on the movement of the tides. There were alarm clocks at the time, but they were expensive and unreliable.
Some workers might only find out they’d been called in for a shift from the knocker-upper that morning. Such was the case for many clients awakened by Doris Weigand, Britain’s first railway knocker-upper (below in 1941). Conditions could be cutthroat. “In London’s East End,” Paul Middleton writes “where life for the employed was forever balanced on a knife edge, being late for work could mean instant dismissal and a speedy spiral for those workers and their family into poverty, homelessness and destitution.”
Knocker-uppers used canes, long batons, and even pea shooters…

read the rest at Flashbak.

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Funerals That Highlight The Defeat Of Death (via Jason Allen at 9Marks)

This article urges Christians to refrain from allowing funerals to be replaced by celebrations of life.
A celebration of life evades the inescapable fact that there’s been a death.
Instead of an acknowledgement of that they become “post-mortem roasts for non-celebrities.”

Jason Allen isn’t against laughter and a sense of lightness, but any lightness should come from the sustainable source of Jesus’ victory over death.

[Funerals] force us to consider soberly what comes after the finality of death. The preacher of Ecclesiastes tells us, “It will be well with those who fear God” and that “It will not be well with the wicked.” These contrasting truths follow the preacher’s comments on the burial of the wicked. Once praised in the city, presumably praised at their burial, this wicked person is now dead—and what matters now is whether they feared God.
Does this mean all funerals should be dreary and depressing? Of course not. Instead, their emotional tenor should be appropriately attuned to the sad reality of death, even as it’s considered alongside the joyful remembrance of the dead.
After all, death is God’s enemy. Paul tells us as much in 1 Corinthians 15:26. But it’s an enemy that has already been defeated by the resurrection of Jesus. What better venue than a funeral to highlight this glorious truth?


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You Serve A God Who Isn’t Limited By Your Fear (via Rebecca Reynolds)

Following Jesus alongside others provides encouragement and the example of other believers in situations similar to our own.
If encouragement gives way to comparison we can succumb to feelings of failure and lack of worth, not because of any inadequacy in us, but because we’re not the same as someone else.
And God has not created us all to be identical, or to respond to every dark valley the same as every other Christian.

From Rebecca Reynolds:

In the midst of fear, we also need to be careful about comparing our emotions with the emotions of others. In groups of nonreligious people, you will find some who are naturally bold. Certain personalities are just born risk—takers, not prone to thinking through consequences. Then there are rationalists who rarely allow themselves to be driven by feelings of any sort. Strategy is their default, not their instinct, so panic doesn’t hit them in the same way as it might hit a feeler. Feelers, on the other hand, may find themselves moved quickly and easily by circumstances or emotions. Tranquility isn’t on the emotional playlist as often as excitement, giddiness, sorrow, and fury.
Some of these inborn personality differences are impacted by personal choice, but chemical and genetic factors also come into play. God makes some people with a high natural capacity for analysis, others with a high natural capacity for risk, others with a high natural capacity for sensitivity. Instead of feeling pride or shame over our wiring, we can just acknowledge our defaults, seeing them as tools in a toolbox. We can acknowledge the pros and cons of our personalities and then ask God how he wants us to move forward.
So if you struggle with fear while someone in your religious community brags about his or her boldness, don’t let that comparison go too deep. This difference might not result from spiritual maturity so much as chemical capacity. And besides that, you serve a God who isn’t limited by your fear. In fact, it’s possible that your inborn sensitivity is vital to the specific work God has prepared for you.

Rebecca K. Reynolds, Courage, Dear Heart, Navpress, 2018, pgs 101-102.