Weekly Meditation for the village 23/10/20

Sometimes there only seems one way to go, the road ahead seems clear but you cannot see the final destination. The signs are few or not too clear to see but you think to yourself “I think this is the right direction”. Then the path turns and seems to be going in the wrong direction, away from where you wish to be. What do you do? Stop and rethink your next move? Turn round and head back to the last place you could recognise or find comfortable? Ask for help and how can you if there’s no-one around?

Too often we find ourselves in that sort of situation and often there is no right or wrong answer to the quandary. I have often heard couples arguing over this issue where one has said to the other “You should have asked last time we saw someone” whilst the other will respond “We’ll just keep on going we’ll get there eventually” Doubtless you’ll see yourself or others in that conversation. I know there will always be those who will say “I never get lost!”

Yet the best laid plans of mice and man gan oft agley as the bard wrote (go oft astray to the uninitiated). In Life in general we lose the way. Our plans we made so painstakingly in youth seem to vary as we get older, passing into adulthood and later into middle then old age. Some of us get very good at rethinking the journey, on the fly so to speak. Others get totally discombobulated (love that word) and wander astray for a period of time.

There are those among us who have always managed to know where we are headed. Since a child I have been open to the voice of my Saviour gently guiding me forward along the path to the heavenly kingdom. I love the picture that Jesus painted of Him being the Good Shepherd. In Israel the shepherd walked ahead of the sheep rather than behind as our shepherds do. He would talk all the time in a reassuring manner, they would get to know his voice and know that he was leading them to water and sweet pasture. Listen to the One who will lead you in safe paths to Life

John H Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodists

Weekly Meditation for the village 16/10/20

I remember these guys first appearing on our old black-and-white TV on Dr Who. Mind you in those days everything was black and white anyway. The elder of my two younger sisters, Carol, was terrified by them and ended up hiding behind the settee. Now be truthful folks how many of you or your nearest and dearest found a place of safety there? Even some years later the cry of “Exterminate!” still sent a shiver down her spine. For others it was one of the many other monsters that populated several incarnations of the Doctor that sent you off to get a drink or whatever.

Even if you never saw Dr Who many people have their monsters to contend with. Too many people still have nightmares of monsters under the bed/in the wardrobe/behind the curtain. How many recall shouting for a parent figure to come and chase the monsters away and keep you safe. Did they come and rescue you or were you told not to be silly? For some monsters are cute and cuddly – compare the characters in “Monsters Inc” the Family film full of cartoon figures.

I certainly remember being told by my grandparents generation to be good or the bogeyman would get me. My contemporaries too it seems were told the very same thing for they were terrified. It was several years later that I learned that the bogeyman was a nickname given to Napoleon Bonaparte. So the bogeyman had been around a while it seems. Figures of darkness and menace have been part of the human psyche for many years.

No matter what may be around to frighten us we are reassured about the Love of God which helps us face our fears. As it says in scripture “Perfect love casts out fear”. Whatever fear lies in our hearts let us be certain that like a child calls out to a loving parent to save them from the monsters, God will be with us as we call upon him in times of need. Maybe not in the way we might expect it but his loving support will come in myriad ways.. Do not be afraid – sound familiar?

John Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodists

Weekly Meditation for the village 9/10/20

I suppose many people have heard the expression “The pen is mightier than the sword”. When I first came across that saying I was 7 years old, just new into Junior school. I couldn’t understand it, at the time I was heavily into Robin Hood and Ivanhoe. There the sword played a huge role in defeating evil, inevitably the good guy won because he was a better swordsman. What good was a pen? In our school we weren’t allowed any sort of pen until we had proved we could write reasonably neatly. Then we were allowed a ball point pen!

 As to a sword! Every playtime it seems the boys fought with imaginary swords, crusaders, outlaws or even pirates!. That is apart from those who re-fought the Second World War or played football with an old tennis ball. How many though spent time with pen and paper though? I don’t recall anyone ever spending time with those any play time. So how could the pen be mightier than the sword to a 7 year old in 1962?

It was only much later in my early teens did I begin to understand what the maxim really meant. Despite many wars being won at the point of a sword, the argument behind the motivation didn’t always persuade others to a different point of view. However with the advent of printing ideas began to grow and get disseminated further and faster than ever before.

A skilled writer did and still can lead others to change their minds sometimes to radical new ways of thinking. When God’s Word was printed, especially from Greek, Hebrew and Latin into the native language of the reader the result became huge. People’s lives have been changed just by reading about Jesus. If anything proves the point that “The pen is mightier than the sword” lies here. In some ways it is quite funny to understand that the Word of God is sometimes referred to as the Sword of the Spirit. So read and get battling!

John Pugh (Rev)  Wymeswold Methodists 

Weekly Meditation for the village 2/10/20

Many drivers now use Sat Nav to get themselves from A to B. How many slavishly follow the instructions and find themselves in some rather angry farmers stockyard? Or maybe following some old B road into the middle of nowhere with a similar name to the place you needed to get to. After travelling to some destinations I find myself (when I do use one) second guessing the directions. I think it would be quicker going right/left here rather than going the Sat Nav way.

 I used to travel with my father as a youngster when he delivered foodstuff around the West Midlands. He encouraged me to remember road numbers and look out for landmarks. I have to admit this was usually during school holidays I wasn’t skipping classes! I used to be fascinated by the flashing of headlights as he greeted passing vans and lorries when he knew the drivers (which was often). When we headed into an unknown area he taught me basic map-reading so I could follow where we were going. On the odd occasion he was uncertain or road conditions made onward journey difficult he knew I had my finger on the map and decisions could be easily made.

 When I became a scout map reading proved easy for me and much later as a Territorial Army Chaplain with map and compass I could easily find my way about. Even now if there’s time I prefer map and compass to the Sat Nav. Mind you the Army can make life difficult, maps with waterways marked, contour lines but no other details! Find out where you are and get to a specified point within xxx hours! Good fun.

 People have often said if only there was a Life map how much easier it would be. No difficult decisions to make the route is mapped out for you. There is some guidance available if only people would read it and follow the directions. The Bible is full of the guidance laid down for us in the words of Jesus often referred to as “The bright and morning Star”. Sailors have used the stars to guide them on perilous voyages so why not use the light offered by Jesus to guide you on your daily journey

John Pugh (Rev)  Wymeswold Methodists

Weekly Meditation for the village 25/9/20

The classic question about this photograph is “How do you describe this?”. So, are you a half full person or half empty? Optimist or pessimist? I like to think at least I am an optimist, the scientific part of my brain thinks the glass is actually full!. I can almost hear some of you screaming at your screen saying “What idiot thinks that!” Well – look at it this way, it is half full of water but the rest is full of air. You cannot put any more air in without displacing the water nor can you put more water in without displacing the air ergo it’s full.

 I know it’s splitting hairs but overall it does say a lot about the sort of person we are. For example how we see the world that we live in. For the more pessimistic among us are full of negative impressions about everything it seems. The world is full of danger, humanity is destroying the world, it’s environment, it’s wildlife, society in general, no-one thinks others are important, bother you Jack I’m alright attitude. For the glass half empty individual there is so much to be grumbling about! Everything is painted in the most dismal of colours.

 However if you’re more of a glass half full person there can be a more optimistic view on life. Yes the world can be a dangerous place so how do we make it safer? Yes humanity seems to be destroying the world so how can we be ecologically good stewards over the environment and flora and fauna? How do we help everyone know they are important not just white/black/coloured/Asian/Oriental etc? To use the words from the old Children’s’ programme “Rainbow” – “Paint the whole world with a rainbow!” Be a glass half full individual make the world a brighter place.

 God has given us, when we’re not wearing a mask, the most wonderful of gifts to give to others and that is a smile. It costs nothing and the more you give them away the more you see them coming back with interest. I love the idea that physiologically it takes fewer facial muscles to smile than to frown, so be lazy and share your smile as much as you are able.

John Pugh (Rev)  Wymeswold Methodists

People and Places of the Wolds

The WHO’s third book, People and Places of the Wolds, will be published on Tuesday 15th September.

Copies will be available to purchase from G.G. Granville’s in Wymeswold and Marcol garage in Burton on the Wolds from 15th. If you would like a copy posting to you then please email bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk – we can accept payment by cheque or PayPal.

As with the previous WHO publication, Discovering the Wolds, there are a variety of articles in roughly chronological order. However, in People and Places of the Wolds a great many of the contributions are about the people who were born or lived in this part of north Leicestershire.

Herein are the ‘great and the good’ and all types in between. They include a locally- famous schoolmaster-cum-antiquarian; two men who both collected plants and climbed mountains; a soldier involved in the Charge of the Light Brigade; a man transported to Australia; the ‘gentry’ who built Burton Hall; all the owners and occupiers of one of the manor farms; a Second World War airman who miraculously survived; a once-famous speedway rider; and a girl with a passion for riding horses.

Paperback, 245 x 175 mm, 113 + iv pages, 19 colour photos, 84 b&w photos; 2 maps,

£9.95 (plus £2.00 postage to UK addresses if applicable).