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ST KIARAN'S

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February 2018
GRATITUDE
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melody Beattie
Dear family and friends of St Kiaran’s

As I put my thoughts down on


paper, I am aware that Cape Town
begins its year with one of its biggest
challenges ever…the possibility that we
may not have clean, running water
coming out of our taps someday soon.
It is our challenge too.
The impact on every sphere of life is unavoidable if this
comes to pass. Neither is it easy to calculate. I have to confess
that I, for one, do not look forward to such a scenario. Nor do I
relish the idea of lining up to receive a ration of water.
This brings me to the question of where God is in this
picture. I am certain that each one of us has been praying for
God to intervene and send the much needed rain. And so we
should. From large gatherings to the quiet, fervent prayers of
those who come before God “in their closets,” so to speak.
But here is the curious thing: we are also aware that Muslim
communities have gathered to pray for rain. I am sure other faith
communities have done likewise. Knowing this, how do we
understand God’s intervention?
There is a certain take on the issue which says: “We are
here at this point in history because our nation has turned its
back on God: in government; in our schools; through our laws
and Constitution…and so forth”.
So, as in the times of Elijah, the prophet, the heavens have
been “shut up” to bring the nation to repentance. A passage of
scripture is then levelled at the Church and the general
population in an accusatory fashion, namely 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Here is the larger portion that provides a bit more information:


2 Chronicles 7:13-16: “When I shut up the heavens so that
there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send
a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by
my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my
face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear
from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their
land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the
prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this
temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my
heart will always be there.”

The problem with this approach is manifold:


a) We are a democracy (led by a government elected by the
general population), not a theocracy (led by God).
b) We are a pluralistic society made up of many different cultures
and faith groups.
c) The church finds itself in the midst of this diversity.

It is therefore very clear that:


1. For these reasons, we cannot address the nation of South
Africa with this passage and expect some kind of biblical
response; and
2. We should use this passage with caution when applying it to
the Church.

I say this, for the following reason: In context, this promise


(verse 14) – which must be read along with verses 15 and 16 –
was given at the dedication of the temple in response to
Solomon’s prayer. It spoke of prayer offered in this place (the
temple which Solomon built), and my people was a reference to
Israel (this is prior to the divided kingdoms), and their land was
the land of Israel. It is not responsible interpretation to turn my
people into ‘the church’, and their land into ‘South Africa’, and
this place into ‘wherever we happen to be’.
Having said this, the Church is well-equipped with many,
many passages of scripture that call it to pray at all times for all
things. The passage in 2 Chronicles is unfortunately quoted as
the golden passage on prayer when it comes to issues of
“national importance”. But, clearly it is a passage that was
spoken in the context of covenant with the nation, Israel, and
whose disobedience would often result in the loss of their land.
Does this mean that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not important to
the Church? Not at all! It continues to serve as a reminder that it
must always understand the centrality of prayer; to live humbly
before God as those called out from the world (the ekklesia).
The problem is, that if we believe that literal adherence to
this passage by all South Africans is what is called for, then we
may never see it an answer to this prayer!
The key is this: to recall the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:43–
45:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate
your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for
those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in
heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

The Church will always find itself in the midst of a world that
is lost in sin. Our task is to bear witness to the risen Christ; to
proclaim the Gospel; to live our lives in such a way that the lost
are drawn to Christ and God is glorified; and to seek God’s face
for his mercy on all. This includes our desperate need for rain.

May God keep us and direct us in our prayers.


With much love
Your friend and minister
Mike

Church Family News


February 10 - Congratulations to Annica
Muir on reaching this milestone. Thank you
for your life here with us. May you be greatly
blessed in the days ahead with joy and
peace.

The fellowhip meetings in the coming


months are:
February 28 - We will hold a Quiz
March 28 - Lyn Gildenhuys will talk
about her trip to Holland, the UK and
Ireland. A highlight was her visit to the
Chelsea Flower Show.
All Welcome!
In CONVERSATION WITH …………

Odile Nagel
We are mostly unaware of the many ways in which our
members engage with the community at large. Odile is one of
our members who have been active in service to others over a
long period of time with the Joyce Chevalier Centre.
The Joyce Chevalier Centre in Fish
Hoek is hugely important, in that it
provides a Protective Workshop for
intellectually disabled adults, who are
unable to work in the open labour
market.
I visited Odile only recently at the
Centre and was warmly welcomed not
only by Odile but by all of the staff and
the current 36 students who were
actively engaged on the Centre's current
contract work. Odile escorted me round
the centre explaining the current duties being performed by the
students, who Odile introduced me to personally by first name
without reference to a name list. This impressed me greatly, and
her obvious loving relations with them was clearly evident. The
Centre was founded by Joyce Chevalier in 1972 and became a
productive workshop in 1977. Odile was a personal friend of
Joyce and has been active in the Centre activities from the very
beginning.
My visit to the centre was a complete eye opener and my
admiration of Odile and the amount of service she has dedicated
to the Centre from 1972 to the present day knows no bounds. I
encourage any member of our congregation who has the time to
visit the Centre; it will be a heart warming experience, which will
stay with you. Odile, after my visit and when I think of the
amount of service you have dedicated to the Joyce Chevalier
Centre, I can only end with this complement, Odile “You take my
breath away”.
John McDermid
A Thought from Miranda Moisey
As a child I was often encouraged to eat
more than my body really needed. This
resulted in a constant battle with comfort
eating. I even went through a phase of
thinking God could not answer my prayers
because He was so unimpressed by my
failure to control my eating. I would think
that there may be other Christians, in our
congregation, who have the same issues and my heart bleeds for
them.
I therefore want to encourage everyone to exercise
regularly, drink water and eat lots of veggies (see Daniel 1.)
Contact me if you would like special prayer. (Talking of
prayer - always remember to thank our Heavenly Father for the
food. Jesus did it too!) If you manage to shake off a few kilos, I
would like to know, so I can rejoice with you. I'd love to be part
of your weight loss journey.

Contact Miranda on 021 7851190

COMBAT FORCE Security

Combat Force have given their service free to the church


as from 1st January 2017. They have offered the same service
to members at a reduced monthly rate and if you have an
existing unit, usually at no extra installation cost. If you wish
to take advantage of this generous offer from Combat Force,
please contact Colin, at Combat Force at
Telephone 021-706-7775.
Tony Wilson - Finance Elder
Kid's Say The Funniest Things!

Q. How can you tell if two adults eating dinner at a restaurant are in
love?
A. "Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get
cold. Other people care more about the food." - Bart, age 9
LOOKING INTENTLY AT A LATE ARRIVAL

The late arrival being a Christmas card from England. I


opened the envelope to be greeted by a large, square, shiny
card. The colours were red, gold
and deep blue and it was a
nativity scene.
Once I’d established who had
sent it I consulted my watch: five
minutes to go before the news on
the radio. Good, I can now look
carefully at the painting during
the next five minutes ......
A bright red circle was imposed
on the square, gold background.
Mary, Joseph and the baby of
course all had haloes. The figure
in the foreground with a red cloth
cap and a red robe was Joseph, sitting upright with his eyes
closed (Yes, he must have been tired, poor man). One hand was
on his lap and the other was clutched to his ear almost as if he
was waiting for his cell phone to ring. But of course he was
propping up his head.
Slightly behind him was the blue-robed Virgin with eyes
closed and hands in an attitude of prayer. Behind, between the
two adults was the baby, placed diagonally in a manger and in
his swaddling clothes.
What particularly took my fancy were the two animals
looking down at Baby Jesus. On the left was an ass with a slight
smile on his face. Next to him was an ox, also looking down at
the baby, but with a slightly puzzled expression on his face.
Turning the card over we are informed:
Adoration of the Ox and the Ass from a choir psalter. Unknown artist,
possibly Maestro dei fondi giallini. c.1450-60, Cremona, Italy
By the time I’d finished gazing intently – well, more than
five minutes had gone and I’d missed the News. Sometimes it’s
more important to concentrate on something unexpected that
comes my way. The news can wait until later.......

Lucy Centlivres
Book Review by Jenny Strickland
Things Unseen by Mark Buchanan
“This book is about heaven and yet not.
It is about our longing for heaven, our instinct for it.
It is about eternity in our hearts.
It is about our yearning for things unseen.
It is about you and me longing for heaven and about
living here on earth now in light of that longing.”

Mark Buchanan starts the book “I am dying. Sometimes I


forget that” then goes on to assure us that he has no terminal
disease but, like all of us, he is in the process
of dying.
He speaks of being ‘Heaven-haunted’ –
that feeling many of us have that there is
something so much better waiting, something
Jesus promised. However, so much of the
time, we behave as if this life is forever.
I particularly liked the ‘Portraits’ he wrote
to illustrate his ideas. One was of a young
healthy Philosophy student who sneered at
Mark’s beliefs and said “Life has enough
pleasure and adventure in it, not to need anything else. Life
justifies living”. He mentions several tragic lives which disprove
this.
I enjoyed the example he gave to illustrate the impossibility
of describing heaven in words and how far short even the Bible’s
descriptions of it must fall. He drew a woman’s face and insisted
that she was the Mona Lisa. Clearly his sketch was nothing like
that of the great master Leonardo da Vinci. Neither are the
verbal descriptions anything like the ‘place prepared for us’ by
the Great Master.
In another ‘portrait’, he writes “Heaven is like a boy
eavesdropping” and beautifully illustrates the way God uses
failure, disappointment, discouragement, duty and waiting, to
carry out His kingdom purposes.
The book is a wonderful encouragement to live “Heaven-
bent”, consciously aware of the best that is yet to come.
Just Kidding!
Hey kids: something new is happening here! From now on there
will be two whole pages in the mag dedicated to YOU. There may
be interviews (anyone ready to spill their inmost secrets?),
recipes, craft ideas, puzzles, jokes, games – you name it. I will
need YOU to tell me what you want on these pages – and you
can contribute too, perhaps with some artwork, a poem or a
letter. We will start off with something for the youngest among
you: a picture of Jesus to colour in, to remind you just how
much he loves you!
Silly riddles:
Q: Who was the greatest comedian of the Bible?
A: Samson. He brought the house down.

Q: Why didn’t they play cards on the Ark?


A: because Noah was standing on the deck.

Q: What is the best way to study your Bible?


A: You Luke into it.

Q: What is the first maths homework problem in the Bible?


A: When God told Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply.
Blueberry Muffin with Streusel Topping Mug
Cake
Ingredients:
Muffin:
1/4 cup flour 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder 1/16 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp milk 1 tbsp vegetable oil
7 fresh blueberries
Streusel topping:
1 tbsp cold butter, chopped into tiny pieces
1 1/2 tbsp flour 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. Mix everything listed in muffin ingredients except blueberries
into a microwave safe mug with a small whisk. Drop blueberries
in, spreading them out. In a small bowl, mix streusel ingredients,
until butter pieces are completely coated in the flour, sugar and
cinnamon. Sprinkle small crumbles of streusel on top of muffin
batter, spreading out evenly across surface.
2. Cook in microwave for about 1 minute. Let cool for a few
minutes before eating.
Our previous Chocolate Mug
Cake recipe was very popular
so here is another to try!!
Mission Aviation Fellowship
St Kiaran's supports the work of MAF through Mark Liprini, a
MAF pilot. Here is some news about other wonderful works they
are involved in. (From their website)

Every 3 minutes an MAF Aircraft takes off or lands in deserts


or jungles, mountain peaks or rivers around the world. We are
reaching the remote with the love of Christ to bring help, hope
and healing to people who have often never heard of a
omnipresent God of love.
After World War II several Christian pilots who had fought in
the war had a vision to use aircraft to spread the Gospel and
uplift people spiritually and physically in highly remote regions of
the world.
When you don’t have access to schools, you don’t have an
opportunity to receive an education. When you can’t reach a
hospital, you don’t have the choice of receiving medical attention.
When you have never heard of the gospel, you have no true hope
on earth or in eternity.
Did you know that millions of people suffer because they are
simply isolated. Ironically, isolated from the rest of the highly
interconnected world, in an age when it has never been easier to
travel.
Here is a report on one of the works in South Sudan:
Thanks to Mick Ebeling and the team at Not Impossible Labs.
Not Impossible Labs’ mission statement is to change the
world through technology and story. Mick shares, “We look for
things that people need on the planet, especially things that slant to
where technology can help to solve the problems. Then we will come
up with low cost, affordable, pragmatic solutions, and make these
available to people.” It’s not only prosthetics they create, that’s just
one of many things they do. The team is working on a wide array of
projects including helping the deaf, and those with cerebral palsy.
Three years ago the team came to South Sudan with MAF and
launched the world’s first 3D printing prosthetic laboratory. They flew
to Yida, travelled to the Nuba Mountians in Sudan and worked
alongside Dr Tom Catena, an American doctor and the only physician
working in the area. These passengers truly have to rely on MAF to
transport them safely across the country, through war torn villages.
Their first recipient was a fourteen year old boy named Daniel.
Two years earlier, Daniel’s village was bombed. During the
attack he hid behind a tree which saved his life, but he lost both of his
arms in the bombing. He lost the ability to do so many things that a
regular teenage boy should do. He was at such a low point in his life
that he said he would have rather died than have lost both arms.
In 2013 Mick travelled to Africa to print a prosthetic arm for him
and after two long years, Daniel could finally feed himself again,
throw a ball again, be a playful child again. Not only did they deploy
a prosthetic arm for Daniel, but they provided 3D printing training to
ten young men from the village. They gave them printers, laptops,
and supplies to continue printing prosthetic arms after they were
gone.
Fast forward to the present, and you will find Mick and his team
on an MAF flight from Juba up to Yida and back again to continue the
work. Mick explains, “Three years have passed and we have refined
the prosthetic arm, we’ve made it better. The arm we can print
today has changed dramatically in terms of what it can do. Its
functionality has improved greatly. But what is really advanced is that
we have created a way for the arm to deploy, from nothing to a fully
wearable arm, in less than four hours.

“Before it used to take 16 to 20 (or even more) hours, but that was
only if electricity was consistent and if you didn’t lose any prints. Now
we have cut out the factors that made it more challenging.”
A New Year’s Prayer

Dear Lord, please give me…....


A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;

A work to do which has real value, without which the


world would be the poorer;

A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed; An understanding
heart;

A sense of humor;

Time for quiet, silent meditation;


A feeling of the presence of God;

The patience to wait for the coming of these things,


With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen.
St Kiaran's Presbyterian Church

Cnr. Central Circle and Recreation Road


P.O.Box 22146, Fish Hoek, 7974
Phone: 021 782 6118

Minister: Rev. Mike Muller

All are welcome at our


Regular Sunday Services
Sunday Worship Services at 9.30a.m. & 7p.m.
Holy Communion is served on the
1st Sunday of the month at both services

CHURCH PRAYER MEETINGS

• Tuesdays: 11.45 a.m. in the Craig


Room
• Prayer is offered after services for
healing or other needs, by members of
our Prayer Ministry
• Prayers with our young people: as
arranged .... or whenever you wish to
arrange times with fellow Christians.

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