I found an interesting .pdf book online, Early Christian Prayers. I've been reading the section, 'Prayers of the Martyrs.'
First of all, why were those Christians martyred? Because they were criminals? No. It was because they dared to claim allegiance to a King other than the earthly king or emperor. What did this allegiance to King Jesus look like? It looked like following Jesus - showing kindness, generosity, humility, helping the poor, feeding the hungry, putting others before themselves and their own comfort. Those aren't exactly things that anyone should object to, but as is true in any generation, even our own, people in power don't like competition.
Here's an excerpt from 'Prayers of the Martyrs' in 'Early Christian Prayers':
'Besides praising God and thanking him, the witnesses to the faith call in their prayers for God's help at the critical moment. They ask him to put their sin out of his mind, to forgive their executioners and to strengthen the faith of their brethren. Then they resign their souls into their Father's hands.
'What makes these prayers so moving is that they are essentially the expression given in the imminence of death to a faith soon to be sealed with blood.'
"Carpus was a bishop martyred at Pergamum in Asia Minor, under Marcus Aurelius. The account of [his] sufferings come from eye witnesses.
Carpus was fastened to the post. As the flames began to burn him, he gave a loud shout and said:
'Blessing to you, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God; you have thought me fit to share this fate with you, sinner though I am.' So saying he yielded up his soul."
The other accounts are similar, the Christians being burned at the stake or being tortured first and then burned at the stake or killed by the sword, but all blessing God for the opportunity to suffer for him.
This reminded me of some verses in Hebrews 11, referring back to God's people throughout the ages:
'They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword, they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy)...'
Even today, in many parts of the world, there are Christians being persecuted for their faith in God, their love of Jesus Christ.
Pray for fellow believers who are enduring persecution.
The past two Anglophile Fridays have consisted of shots of the town of Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral. Although I have many more photos of the glorious interior of Canterbury Cathedral, we are ending (for now) this Canterbury series with these few photos.
Saint Michael's Chapel
I went to bed last night without scheduling this post to publish. And now I'm not quite so annoyed with myself for getting it up later than usual, because I just finished reading Mike's 'A Bit About Britain' post in which Stephen Langton is also mentioned. Be sure to catch that post about Magna Carta.
(Saint Michael's Chapel)
Memorial Chapel for the Royal East Kent Regiment
Stone Stairway, worn down from centuries
of pilgrims on their way to Trinity Chapel
which used to contain the shrine of Saint Thomas. (see below)
The Thomas Becket Candle
For the story of Thomas Becket and King Henry II, the BBC has a good summary. It was written by an associate producer of Simon Schama's A History of Britain, so I figure it's possibly more reliable than Wikipedia, and besides, I love that series. Who doesn't like Simon Schama.
On the sign:
"The candle burns where the shrine of St. Thomas of Canterbury
stood from 1220 to 1538 when it was destroyed by order of King Henry VIII"
And a few more photos of the interior of Canterbury Cathedral:
And for you other Anglophiles, be sure to stop in at Martha Ellen's blog. She and her husband recently took their dream cruise to England and she's blogging about it. You won't be disappointed.
Have a great weekend, friends!
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I took these photos the last day of April, when we took a walk on what I just learned is the Cedar Side Walking Trail in Rice Lake, WI. I'm not sure how I missed that. All my photos are tagged with 'Red Cedar Trail,' which happens to be in Menomonie, not Rice Lake, and which one should not confuse with Cedar Side Walking Trail. Both are along the beautiful Red Cedar River, by the way. Anyway, it was a lovely spring day, before the mosquito season arrived.
Along the Trail
We often see women from UWBC (University of Wisconsin Barron County) walking two by two, visiting as they walk briskly along the trail. Mr. C. calls them 'Walkie Talkies.' Mr. C. and I are more like 'Walkie Thinkies.'
Red Cedar River
Rice Lake, WI
It's even more beautiful, now that the trees have leafed out.
1. June is National Great Outdoors Month. Have you spent any time appreciating the great outdoors this month? If so where, and if not do you have any plans to enjoy the great outdoors before the calendar turns?
I live in the great outdoors and yes, I enjoy it every single day. (More in June than in February, however.)
East, from our front porch June 16, 2015
South, from our front porch
Also from our front porch
Jazzie, loving summertime
From our Vegetable (and Berries) Garden
You're noticing a serious lack of traffic and skyscrapers? We also have no noise out here. I keep a fan running at night just to create enough noise to sleep!
2. What's a current hot button issue for you?
The foolishness that passes for serious issues in our country these days.
3. What's a food or treat that 'disappears like hotcakes' in your house?
Mr. C.'s Speciality!
Popped in coconut oil and a bit of REAL butter.
Afterwards, left plain except for a sprinkle of salt and cayenne
JollyTime White Popcorn (the BEST)
4. How hot is too hot?
Regarding temperature, 95 degrees. (Actually 79, but I don't want to seem ungrateful after whining about the cold all winter...) Regarding picante, enough jalapenos to make my tummy burn. I think I kinda overdid it on the jalapenos in last night's chili.
5. Do you have an artistic outlook on life? What does that mean to you?
If you mean, do I see beauty all around me and take joy daily from God's amazing creation, His grace and blessing, then yes. If you mean, am I flower child, then no. And if that's not what you mean, you'll need to 'splain.
6. What's one question you'd like to ask your father, or one you wish you could ask your father?
Tell me again how you trimmed your lilacs?
Actually, I feel so blessed to have lived near my dad most of my life until he died late in 2010, and to have spent a lot of time with him. He was always a joy and comfort to me, a wonderful grandpa to our children, and a kind and godly gentleman to all.
7. Something you learned from your father?
To love God, to recognize His blessing in life daily, to enjoy life and see humor in just about everything.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
The First Gifts of Springtime
I think it's time to let the asparagus crop go to seed. We've had a great asparagus year, and are just about ready to have a different side dish with our dinners. Still, it is always such a treat in early spring, to see the asparagus poking up through the soil (and growing FAST on warm, sunny days). Yesterday afternoon I picked the first little crop of strawberries from our garden. They are incredibly sweet. My phone is in the basket because I listen to the radio on it while I'm picking berries. I'll enjoy sharing them with a friend who's coming for lunch on Thursday (and of course with Mr. C., who would probably always prefer cheese, crackers, and sausages to anything sweet).
Rice Lake, WI
Rice Lake, WI
Rice Lake. It's where the population looks a lot like Illinois and Indiana during the summertime. It's one of Wisconsin's 15,000 lakes.
Mr. C. says the popcorn's ready!
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