Wafting across my garden came the pungent smells of a Bar-B-Q. !! It was such a lovely day, blue skies,warm....
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Salvation Sound - June 2007

Posted on June 3, 2007

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Salvation ArmyWafting across my garden came the pungent smells of a Bar-B-Q. !! It was such a lovely day, blue skies,warm sunshine, just the hum of bees, the songs of birds and the scent of flowers, a day for me to contemplate my allotted plot; a day to commune with nature and my God; - but it was spoiled for me by the intrusive smell of burnt fats and meat...

So then I retired to the inner sanctum of my lounge; where I started to mull over times gone-by. Afternoon tea on the lawn with bread and butter, strawberry jam, and a homemade fruit cake. A picnic with salmon and shrimp paste, or sometimes bloater paste sandwiches, with mustard and cress or water cress added; perhaps even finger rolls with cheese and pickle, and tomato wedges, madeira cake and swiss roll. Flasks of tea and bottles of homemade lemonade; and very important, the Box Brownie, for the family photograph. We all carried something and set off for a spot by the river or a place under the trees in the orchard. Happy days, a time of innocence and simplicity, days when fields were still ploughed by ploughmen, when you paid for your groceries with shillings and ha'pennies, and when no motor traffic noise was heard; when we could gather bunches of wild flowers and take them home to be placed in a jam jar on the kitchen window sill.

I thought of that wonderful picnic that Jesus held, when He fed five thousand with loaves and fishes. Matthew 14:13-21.

One of the joys of getting old is that we can look back a long way. Sometimes the Senior years are viewed as a pleasantly useless era - when we just claim benefits, senior citizen discounts, have lots of free time and do very little. On the other-hand we can be useful - for God still has much for us to do - we may be prone to illness and weakness,even confined to our homes, but we can still PRAY. However infirm, this is a benefit we can offer, and we can become a godly example to others.

"When I am old and greyheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare strength to this generation." Psalm 71: 18.

"The older saints who trust God's word,
Have trod the paths that you will walk;
They've fought the battles you will fight -
There's truth and wisdom in their talk."

Then I thought time for tea - I could just go for one of those burnt sausages and a dollop of mustard !!!

"Some tempestuous morn in early June
When the year's primal burst of bloom is o'er.
Before the roses and the longest day -
When garden-walks and all the grassy floor
With blossoms red and white of fallen May
And chestnut flowers are strewn -
So have I heard the cuckoo's parting cry,
From the wet field, through vex't garden-trees;
Come with the volleying rain and tossing breeze:
The bloom is gone, and with the bloom go I!

Matthew Arnold. 'Thyrsis'.

Source: Focus, June 2007

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