Monday, 30 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 18

As we reach the end of September, it is good to have a final look at the summer bedding in my garden. This photo was taken yesterday morning.

After disappointing summers in 2010, 2011, and 2012, I am pleased that the garden did so well this year. It has given me many hours of pleasure. I wonder what October holds in store. An Indian Summer or early frosts? We shall have to wait and see!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Summer at Crathie - 7

Sadly, this is the last time we shall be visiting Crathie Parish Church this year. We thank the Minister (The Reverend Kenneth MacKenzie) and Her Majesty The Queen for allowing us to join them for Divine Service.

CALL TO WORSHIP (Responsive)

Min: The Lord is risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

Min: This is the day that the Lord has made

All: We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Min: The Lord be with you!

All: And also with you

Hymn 70 Give praise and thanks unto the Lord


Hymn 782 Lord of life, we come to you


Gracious God, we confess that we have longed too much for the comforts of this world. We have loved the gifts more than the Giver. In your mercy, help us to see that all the things we pine for are shadows, but You are substance; that they are quick-sands, but You are mountain; that they are shifting, but You are anchor. We plead your forgiveness on the merits of Jesus Christ. Accept His worthiness for our unworthiness; His fullness for our emptiness; His glory for our shame; His death for our life. These things we ask in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON: Jeremiah 8:18 - 9:1

My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick.

Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” (“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?”) “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?

that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!

GOSPEL LESSON: St Luke 16:1-13

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Hymn 813 All praise and thanks to God


‘Making Choices’

Hymn 509 Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult



Hymn 166 Lord of all hopefulness

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.



Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Summer in Perthshire - 6

Here is a view of the Dunkeld House Hotel from Pine Cone Viewpoint.

Discover a highland escape at Hilton Dunkeld House. Once the summer residence of the Dukes of Atholl, the hotel is idyllically set on the banks of the River Tay in the heart of Perthshire's Big Tree Country. Located in the charming town of Dunkeld, just an hour's drive from Scotland's main cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow this country house hotel combines scenic seclusion with excellent proximity to local attractions.

Positioned on a 280-acre woodland estate, Hilton Dunkeld House is home to the Dunkeld Activity Park offering outdoor activities including falconry, fishing, quad biking, archery, and clay-pigeon shooting. Play 9-holes on the hotel's putting course or challenge family and friends to a game of tennis. Treat yourself to a massage at the spa, work out at the fitness centre, or enjoy a swim in the heated indoor pool with whirlpool, sauna, and steam facilities.

Sample Scottish specialty dishes prepared using the freshest local ingredients at the Garden Restaurant overlooking the River Tay and enjoy a single-malt in the Garden Bar. Relax in the cozy atmosphere of the River Lounge with a light lunch or aromatic coffee.

Hold weddings and celebrations for up to 200 guests choosing from a riverside ceremony, indoor event or the outdoor marquee, and rely on the expert team to help plan every detail. Host meetings and team building events in Scotland, taking advantage of the expansive indoor events space and variety of outdoor activities on offer at the Hilton Dunkeld House hotel.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Summer in Perthshire - 5

Here we see the fine structure at Pine Cone View Point.

It is an easy walk up to this point, and the views are magnificent. You can see for miles and miles. A lovely spot for spying on life below!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Summer in Perthshire - 4

Craigvinean Forest forms part of the Tay Forest Park and is situated 1 mile north of Dunkeld in Perthshire.

Forming part of the Tay Forest Park in Perthshire, the Craigvinean Forest is one of Scotland’s oldest managed forests. Created from larch seed planted by the Dukes of Atholl, some 27 million conifers were planted in and around Dunkeld between 1738 and 1830. The lower forest slopes are a mix of Scots pine and beech trees, while the upper slopes include many larch trees.

The name Craigvinean is Gaelic for `crag of the goats`, and the forest has been popular since Victorian times. An extensive path network runs through the forest, which is suitable for both walkers and cyclists. The longer distance routes run from Dunkeld, through Craigvinean, the neighbouring Griffin Forest and on to Aberfeldy.

Spectacular views across Dunkeld and the Tay can be enjoyed from Pine Cone Point, a picturesque viewpoint marked by a unique timber built pine cone structure. The forest is also a haven for red squirrels.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Summer in Perthshire - 3

Here we see the train which is travelling from Inverness to Glasgow Queen Street. You can see the River Tay to the right of the photo.

The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland and the seventh-longest in the United Kingdom. The Tay originates in western Scotland on the slopes of Ben Lui, then flows easterly across the Highlands, through Loch Dochhart, Loch Iubhair and Loch Tay, then continues east through Strathtay in the centre of Scotland, then southeasterly through Perth, where it becomes tidal, to its mouth at the Firth of Tay, south of Dundee. It is the largest river in the UK by volume of discharge.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Summer in Perthshire - 2

Trees are very good at hiding some of the more unsightly aspects of the physical environment!

Here we see the A9 road and the London to Inverness railway line. You can also spot the River Tay in the top left hand corner of the photo. So here we have three means of transport - boat, car, and train!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Summer in Perthshire - 1

I recently spent a week in 'Big Tree Country' in Perthshire.

As you can see, there are plenty of trees! Perthshire has some of the most remarkable trees, woodlands and country gardens in Europe and is the place to be during Year of Natural Scotland.

Just a short trip can take you to Europe's oldest tree, the world's highest hedge, the sole survivor from Shakespeare's 'Birnam Wood' ... and it doesn’t stop there. Check out the ancient tree hunt feature and discover for yourself the wealth of ancient trees listed for Perth & Kinross on the Woodland Trust database.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Summer at Crathie - 6

Once again this day of Sabbath rest finds us at Crathie Parish Church.

CALL TO WORSHIP (Responsive)

Min: The Lord is risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

Min: This is the day that the Lord has made

All: We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Min: The Lord be with you!

All: And also with you

Hymn 132 Immortal, invisible, God only wise



‘Lambs rediscovered

... but were they lost or hidden?’

Hymn 577 Christ be beside me

(Younger children may leave for the Crèche)


Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us.

O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders.

Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name. AMEN.

(Silent prayer and words of assurance)



The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt! The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.” But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’“ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

GOSPEL LESSON: St Luke 15:1-10

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them”. So he told them this parable: Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Hymn 815 Praise the God who reigns above


Hymn 14 The Lord’s my Shepherd

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff my comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnishèd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.



Hymn 562 Through the love of God our Saviour



Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Summer at Cawdor Castle - 6

Here we see a lovely woodland walk at Cawdor.

Visitors express surprise that the gardens grow so well, situated as Cawdor is, in a latitude that is geographically north of Moscow, although politically somewhat to the right. The answer is a combination of reasons: the soil is fertile; the climate is tempered by the Gulf stream; the rain-fall, at around 625mm (24 inches) is well distributed through the year; at midsummer there can be 18 hours of sunshine daily; and of course, not least, there is head gardener, Mr Derek Hosie who is quite excellent. Like good cooks, good gardeners are temperamental people and this seems always to have been the case; it is set down that as long ago as 1679 that a new gardener having agreed to come to Cawdor, suddenly refused to go north 'on any account.' Perhaps he thought of the winters.

Happy Feast!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Summer at Cawdor Castle - 5 & Retreat Details

Here is a view of one of the herbaceous borders at the height of summer.

On a different note, I have just received a very polite and friendly email requesting me to publicise a forthcoming retreat, so here goes:

During the weekend of the 18-20 October 2013, Young Catholic Adults will be running a national weekend at Cold Ash Retreat Centre just up the road from Douai Abbey (which was booked up this year).

* It will be include the following speakers:- Fr Goddard FSSP, Fr de Malleray, Fr. Pearson O.P. and Br. Gabriel O.S.B..

* There will be a Marian Procession, Rosaries, Sung/HighMass, Low Mass, Confession and socials.

* Gregorian Chant Workshops will also be running, this year led by the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge

Weekend rates: £99.00 for adults, £69.00 for Students and U/E ( weekends starts on Friday evening with supper and finish on Sunday after lunch.

Saturday night only - £60.00 for adults, £50.00 for Students and U/E Full Board

B & B - £35.00 for adults, £30.00 (for student - U/E) per day

Non - residential and full board - (Friday & Saturday) - £45.00 for adults, £40.00 for (for student - U/E) per day

Non residential (includes meals) - £30.00 for adults, £25.00 (for student - U/E) per day

Non residential & no meals - £20.00 for adults, £15.00 (for student - U/E) per day.

To download a booking form please see :- http://www.youngcatholicadults.co.uk/events.htm

For general enquiries about the weekend please ring Margaret on 07515 805015 or Damian on 07908105787.

How to get to Cold Ash Retreat Centre (near Thatcham, Berkshire)

Car - Roughly halfway between Reading and Newbury, Cold Ash Retreat Centre is within easy reach of these towns as well as London, Oxford, Bracknell, Winchester and Basingstoke. The A4 (Bath Road is a couple of miles and the M4 is just 4 miles away.

Trains - The nearest railway stations are Thatcham and Newbury, with a regular service on the line from Reading to Taunton. It's just c. 45 minutes from London Paddington. The local railway station, Thatcham, is a couple of miles away (and has plenty of taxis available). Timetables and other information are provided by http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

Buses - Weavaway operates a bus service from Newbury Town Centre via Thatcham Broadway to Tilehurst, which stops at Cold Ash along the way.

I hope the retreat is well-attended and fruitful.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Summer at Cawdor Castle - 4

There are some lovely walks around Cawdor Castle.

Cawdor is fortunate to have three gardens. The Walled Garden is the oldest and dates from c.1600 and later became a kitchen garden. The Flower Garden was laid out some 100 years later and was originally designed for enjoyment in late summer and autumn. However this garden's season has been extended to give pleasure from early spring, with bulbs, bedding plants, herbaceous borders, ornamental trees and shrubs all providing delight. The Wild Garden is the youngest, being planted in the 1960's and lies between the Castle and the stream of the Cawdor Burn.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Summer at Cawdor Castle - 3

This coming Saturday 21 September sees the Living Food Festival at Cawdor Castle. It is being held between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm.

The popular food festival returns to Cawdor Castle after one year’s absence. Living Food celebrates local, artisan and organic food & drink and along with crafts and family entertainment makes a great day out.

Tickets are available at just £1 for children and £3.50 for adults.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Summer at Cawdor Castle - 2

Cawdor. A magical name, romantically linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth. A superb fairy-tale Castle, and just what every visitor is looking for ... Scottish history that you can touch and see and sense for yourself. Cawdor Castle is not another cold monument, but a splendid house and the home of the Cawdor family to this day.

Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th century and was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. The ancient medieval tower was built around the legendary holly-tree.

Although the House has evolved over 600 years, later additions mainly of the 17th century were all built in the Scottish vernacular style with slated roofs over walls and crow-stepped gables of mellow local stone. This style gives Cawdor a strong sense of unity, and the massive, severe exterior belies an intimate interior that gives the place a surprisingly personal, friendly atmosphere.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Summer at Cawdor Castle - 1

On the Feast of the Assumption I made a visit to Cawdor Castle, which is located about 8 miles from my home.

Cawdor Castle is set amid gardens in the parish of Cawdor, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Inverness and 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Nairn in Scotland. The castle is built around a 15th-century tower house, with substantial additions in later centuries. Originally a property of the Clan Calder, it passed to the Campbells in the 16th century. It remains in Campbell ownership, and is now home to the Dowager Countess Cawdor, stepmother of Colin Campbell, 7th Earl Cawdor.

The castle is perhaps best known for its literary connection to William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, in which the title character is made "Thane of Cawdor". However, the story is highly fictionalised, and the castle itself was built many years after the life of the 11th-century King Macbeth.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Summer at Crathie - 5

On this Day of Resurrection we return to Crathie Parish Church.

CALL TO WORSHIP (Responsive)

Min: The Lord is risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

Min: This is the day that the Lord has made

All: We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Min: The Lord be with you!

All: And also with you

Hymn 106 Bring to the Lord a glad new song


Hymn 561 Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Saviour am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long.


Min: The robber says: 'What is yours, I'll take.'

ALL: Giving God, we ask forgiveness for those times
when we are 'takers' in life, demanding
selfish attention, robbing others to time,
energy and emotion.

Min: The priest says: 'What is mine, I'll keep.'

ALL: Seeking God, we ask forgiveness for those
times when we are 'keepers' in life, wanting a
church to meet our needs and serve our tastes,
missing the chance to welcome strangers and

embrace your renewing grace.

Min: The Samaritan says: 'What is mine, I'll share.'

ALL: Loving God, we ask forgiveness for those
times when we forget to share our life with
others and to let them share their life with us.

Min: What must we do to inherit eternal life?

All: Love God and others as we love ourselves.

Min: This is God's invitation to all.

ALL: We will live this life of love. AMEN


Philippians 3:7-14

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

St Luke 10:25 – 37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

Hymn 187 There’s a wideness in God’s mercy


Hymn 560 Jesu the very thought of thee



Hymn 424 Blest be the everlasting God


Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 17

The antirrhinums have done particularly well this year.

I am fond of these Madame Butterfly doubled flower blooms. They come in some lovely shades and make perfect cut flowers for the altar. They last a good time in either the border or the vase.

Happy Feast!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 16

Well, here they are - picked and ready for eating!

The tomatoes are Apero F1 Hybrid. They have been granted an RHS Award of Garden Merit.

* Strong plant habit producing a good crop of long trusses of bright red fruits - approx. 16g (1/2 ounce)each
* Flavour guide: Superb balanced high sugar/acid flavour
* Abundant crop of small 'cherry plum' shaped fruits

They have sure delivered!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 15

At last the tomatoes have turned red and are ready for harvesting and eating!

Nature is quite amazing - I note that nearly all the trusses consist of 23 tomatoes. I allowed each plant to develop 5 trusses, so on average each plant will have yielded 115 tomatoes by the end of the season. With six plants, that makes a potential crop of 690 tomatoes in all. The odd tomato didn't develop properly, but I reckon I will be harvesting at least 600 fruits in all. Not bad for a £2.99 packet of seed and a couple of grow bags costing £4.99 each! That works out at around 2p per delicious tomato. My labour is free!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 14

Here we see the tomatoes turning from green, to yellow, to orange...

...soon they will be red and ready for picking and eating!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 13

As I mentioned in one of the comments, although I enjoy growing tomatoes, they do rather take over the conservatory!

I have to stop the vines when they reach around 7ft tall - I would be interested to know how high they would get if they were not stopped! They are a fairly labour intensive crop to grow - but very rewarding.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 12

We now move into the conservatory to admire the tomatoes.

The six plants (the seed was sown on Good Friday) are yielding a rich harvest.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Summer at Crathie - 4

Once again we attend Divine Service at Crathie Parish Church.

CALL TO WORSHIP (Responsive)

Min: The Lord is risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

Min: This is the day that the Lord has made

All: We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Min: The Lord be with you!

All: And also with you

Hymn 59 Oh, come and let us to the Lord


Hymn 755 Be still and know that I am God


O God, our heavenly Father, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed rest and refreshment in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany, and who, by his Presence blessed that home: give us the will to love you; open our hearts to hear you; and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for his sake.

Almighty God: grant that, like Martha, we may serve Christ faithfully in the person of our brothers and sisters; that, like Mary, we may, without distraction, feed on his Word, and grow in his love and grace; and that, like Lazarus, we may be brought forth from death to new life in him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. AMEN

(a short silence will be kept)


GOSPEL: St Luke 10:38-42

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

Hymn 601 Look upon us, blessed Lord


‘Just one thing’


‘He is the image of the Invisible God’

Colossians 1:15-28 (The Message)

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels – everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and – leading the resurrection parade – he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he is there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message – just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.

I want you to know how glad I am that it’s me sitting here in this jail and not you. There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world – the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering. When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth. This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.

Hymn 552 Oh, for a closer walk with God



Hymn 739 The Church’s one foundation

The Church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation,
by water and the word:
from heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.

Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth,
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy Name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
men see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed;
yet saints their watch are keeping,
their cry goes up, "How long?"
and soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war
she waits the consummation
of peace for evermore;
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blessed,
and the great Church victorious
shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
with God, the Three in one,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.


Happy Sunday!

Yesterday, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the Braemar Games, not far from Crathie Kirk. They had a great time!

How good to see Prince Philip looking so well.

What a charming photo of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and The Duke of Rothesay.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 11

Here are some splendid carrot plants. I have promised the tops for the rabbits next door!

At the front of the raised bed are young wallflower plants which will feature in the Spring bedding next year.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 10

I am enjoying a bumper harvest of runner beans!

Top and tail the beans and pull away any strings (these are usually found on older varieties of beans, although stringless varieties are available). Slice runner beans at an angle or use a bean slicer to cut them into thin strips. Serve steamed or boiled and tossed with butter, or add them to minestrone or vegetable stews.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 9

Here is close up of the runner beans - they are a magnificent sight, and have an even more wonderful taste!

O taste and see how gracious the Lord is;
Blest is the man that trusteth in him.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 8

A fine crop of runner beans on the way!

The bees love visiting the red flowers - they are doing a superb job of pollinating. It is amazing how rapidly the beans grow once pollination has taken place. I am being kept busy watering the plants - they are very thirsty!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 7

My geraniums are just coming into bloom - but the leaves have been giving me much pleasure for a number of weeks.

Most of my geraniums are in the conservatory where they will remain until October. Once the frosts arrive, they are moved into the house where they continue to provide welcome colour until Advent.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Summer in my Garden - 6

Victoria has requested a more general view of my garden - this is about the best I can do!

My next door neighbour is a landscape gardener, and recently he left me a large amount of wood (left over from a job) for use in my woodburning stove. The wood was far too large to fit into the stove and so needed sawing up before it could be stored in my wood shelter. This job was way beyond me, and I had to wait for him to find time to complete the task using his circular saw. He is extremely busy during the summer months, but eventually found time to do the deed yesterday. Until then, much of my garden resembled a timber yard, and so my photos have been cleverly shot to avoid the timber!

I will certainly be keeping nice and warm during the coming winter months!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Summer at Crathie - 3

Once again we are at Crathie Parish Church for Divine Service.

CALL TO WORSHIP (Responsive)

Min: The Lord is risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

Min: This is the day that the Lord has made

All: We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Min: The Lord be with you!

All: And also with you

Hymn 129 The Lord is King! Lift up your voice

The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,
O earth; and all ye heavens, rejoice!
From world to world the joy shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King.

The Lord is King! who then shall dare
resist his will, distrust his care,
or murmur at his wise decrees,
or doubt his royal promises?

The Lord is King! Child of the dust,
the Judge of the all the earth is just;
holy and true are all his ways;
let every creature speak his praise.

He reigns! ye saints, exalt your strains;
your God is King, your Father reigns;
and he is at the Father's side,
the Man of love, the Crucified.

Come, make your wants, your burdens known;
he will present them at the throne;
and angel bands are waiting there
his messages of love to bear.

The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,
O earth; and all ye heavens, rejoice!
From world to world the joy shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King.



‘Will you please show us how to do that?’

Hymn 351 Jesus’ hands were kind hands


Heavenly Father, you have loved us with an everlasting love, but we have gone our own way and broken your laws. We are sorry for our sins and turn away from them. For the sake of your Son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us and change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you, and to please you more and more; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Silent prayer and words of assurance)



1I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;

before the gods I sing your praise; 2I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

3On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

4All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.

5They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.

6For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

8The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.

Do not forsake the work of your hands.

GOSPEL LESSON: St Luke 11:1-13

11Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him,

“Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2He said to them,

“When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”

5And he said to them,

“Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’

7And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’

8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

9“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Hymn 69 Just as a father shows his love


‘What place Prayer?’

Hymn 548 Approach, my soul, the mercy seat




Hymn 562 Through the love of God our Saviour



Happy Sunday!