Sunday, 10 April 2022

Lent Reflections #6 - Living Fully

  1. looking again
  2. learning graciously
  3. leaving deliberately
  4. laughing innocently
  5. loving unconditionally
  6. living fully 

John 10;10 in the King James' Bible talks about living life "more abundantly", but I suspect that if I asked children what a-bun-dance meant, they might think it was a cupcake tango. A more modern version says...

Sadly, some churches [mostly in the west] have interpreted 'abundance' as 'affluence' and developed the idea of "Prosperity Gospel" - if you follow Jesus 'properly', you will be wealthy [and healthy]
NOWHERE do I find Jesus saying that sort of thing. He talks about having nowhere to lay his head, he talks about camels going through the eyes of needles more easily than rich men entering his Kingdom...
Living life to the full has NOTHING to do with material prosperity. It is about 
  • knowing peace in your heart, whatever the outward circumstance
  • knowing you are loved by God, despite your mistakes
  • feeling true joy, deeper than superficial Pollyanna cheerfulness
  • knowing that your life matters
  • enjoying good relationships
  • having enough for each day
  • being grateful for small - and large - blessings
  • having a purpose in life, 
  • having hope for the future,
I so wish you could all have met my cousin Gill. She was never 'rich' in terms of material possessions, and she was always working so hard - either at her job, or caring for her family, or helping other people. Ye
t she lived her life so fully, bringing a smile, and love to the bleakest moments. Even in her last two weeks, when her world shrank to a small bedroom in the Hospice, she radiated life. She was bright, and positive, and full of gratitude for the blessings she had, and the love she had experienced.  She was so very ill, and knew her days were numbered, yet she was able to speak of her hope of heaven. 

Today I am 67, Gill died less than a week after her 65th birthday. There won't be a carefully chosen card for me with a special message for "my Crazy Cousin". We never got to the "when we are both retired we will do this, and that together..." God knows how much I miss her. But in those last 20 days, when we were only able to visit her once, and all our other communication was via texts and WhatsApp, I was so aware of her joie de vivre. The Pastor visited her on the Saturday afternoon, and said she was so full of life then, he could not believe it when she died on the Sunday morning.
Gill's Mum, my Auntie Peggy, is coping incredibly well with bereavement [she is 93, housebound, with limited mobility] Every time I see her, she reminds me of one phrase Gill often used if anyone asked her about the Christian faith.
"My Man, He turns the water into wine"
Thanks Gill, for showing us what living fully is all about. As Lent concludes, and we enter Easter Week, and retell the story of death and resurrection, and God's grace help us to remember these truths.


  1. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Angela. Enjoy those special memories of your cousin, she wouldn't want you to be sad.

    1. You are right. I must focus on the joyful memories

  2. A lovely post. I do find having a purpose in life difficult at 74 being alone. However I am grateful for a warm house this very frosty morning. Sarah Browne.

    1. I am glad you are warm! Thank you for your comment. Praying that although you are alone, you know that you are loved. May this Eastertide bring you fresh hope, and a new sense of purpose ❤️🙏❤️

  3. Wish you a very happy birthday, Angela. May you be blessed abundantly, may all your days be filled with joy, and may you live life to the fullest.

  4. Bon anniversaire Angela!
    Merci pour tout ce que vous faites pour les autres.
    Aujourd'hui, c'est à nous, vos lectrices, d'avoir de douces pensées pour vous.
    Passez une belle journée remplie de joie et d'espérance.

  5. Many happy returns of the day dear Angela. Your cousin sounds such a wonderful example to us all.

  6. Such lovely memories. Best wishes for a lovely birthday and wonderful year ahead! Thankyou for reminding me what true abundance is and how much we have in our lives that Is really important in the lead up to Easter

  7. Your loving tribute to your cousin is a beautiful way of marking your birthday. A life well-lived.

  8. Wishing you every blessing on your birthday, Angela. Your cousin was a shining star, and I'm sure she touched many hearts.

    1. She did, and she will be remembered for a long time

  9. Your cousin was a very special person who was a big influence in your life. I know the loss of missing out on doing things together when retire d. I wish you a joyous birthday with happy memories of Gil. Grace and peace to you, Celie

    1. Thank you Celie, for your kind words. I know you are speaking with real empathy, having experienced such loss yourself 🙏❤️🙏❤️


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