Editor: Rev Dr Alan Leighton Priory Lodge 86B Church Lane Eston Nr Middlesbrough TS6 9QR Phone/fax: 01642 504798 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile 07774 260 215 Web site: alanleighton.co.uk On some versions of Windows you may have to adjust your pagination so the top of each study is the top of the next page. If you have any problems contact the Editor. We can supply this in most formats from Text to Word 2000. Don't worry if the file is marked unknown it still will download. For illustrated assemblies please email us and we will send them in PDF files that can be read by the Acrobat program. We can also supply these for RISC OS Computers. If you require details of schools using our material please let us know. They comply with Ofsted requirements. W/e :18/9/2009 Theme : Friends 1) Friendship is in the doing. 2) Two can work better than one. 3) Standing up for yourself can make friends.Do not bully. 4) Cooperation between nations. 5) Forgiveness WEEK ENDING : 18/9/2009. Day 1. Overall theme: Friends THEME : Action Bob and Jenny, two newlyweds, moved into their first home, an old cottage that, frankly, had seen better days. The garden was untidy and over-grown. The rooms badly needed redecoration. But Bob and Jenny were so proud and thrilled they at once sent out invitations to their friends to come to a house- warming party. To their surprise, their first guest turned up wearing his oldest clothes and carrying a spade. He started to dig in the garden. The next brought a wall- scraper and began to strip off the old wallpaper. Another guest brought a pot of paint and started to brighten up a shabby door. Of course, Bob and Jenny soon realised that their friends had been putting their heads together. “It was nice of them,” said Jenny, “we still had our party afterwards and it was the greatest fun.” Aren’t they lucky to have such good hearted friends. BIBLE VERSE: Jesus said, “Do for others what you want them to do for you.” Luke 6:31. REFLECT: This verse from Luke’s gospel is sometimes called the Golden Verse because if you base the way you relate to others on it your life will be the better for it. Love and friendship are not just what you feel about people it is the way you act towards them. Love is in the doing, it’s the way you behave towards folk. It is not in your feelings or thinking it is what you do for them. The love of God is shown to us by what He did; He sent His Son Jesus to die as a payment for our sins. PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, Help me to be a real friend to people, To help where I can, To share what I’ve got, To care with action, To pray for your help, Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. WEEK ENDING : 18/9/2009. Day 2. Overall theme: Friends THEME : Work Together There’s an old fable which tells how a dying father called his sons round his bed and asked them to take a stick each, then break it. This they did quite easily, though puzzled at the curious nature of his request. Then, the father asked them each to take the same size stick as before. “Now,” he said, “place all the sticks together and tie them into a bundle ....Now, see if you can break that!” They passed the bundle of sticks round, but even the strongest son failed to break it. Then they understood their father’s lesson. By themselves they would easily be broken by the stress of life, but if they stuck together, in close companionship, they would remain strong and happy.... An old fable, but true of modern society. We’ve simply got to learn to pull together. BIBLE VERSE: Two are better than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, its too bad, because their is no one to help him. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. A few wise words on the subject of friends and friendship. “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” (R.W. Emerson). “Let us keep our friendships in repair. They are worth while spending time on and keeping them up, because they constitute a large part of our lives.” (Henry Drummond). “A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities.” (Shakespeare). “Give thy love freely, do not count the cost: So beautiful a thing was never lost.” (Ella Wheeler Wilcox). PRAYER: Dear God, our Father, make me more aware of others and their needs, in this school, at home and in society, Amen. WEEK ENDING : 18/9/2009. Day 3. Overall theme: Friends THEME : Stand up to people At every chance at meal time George would lean across the table to make a face at Tony when their mother was not looking. Then he would say “Boo!” The baby was a bit frightened. Young George was jealous of his baby brother Tony, as the previous baby is sometimes apt to be. But one day, when he was about eleven months old, Tony made a face just as ugly at his older brother and said, “Boo!” firmly in return. Parents and children, all burst out laughing. Now the two youngest, both a little older, are firm friends. If we have the courage to face up to things which frighten us we may possibly find that they are quite harmless - maybe even friends. BIBLE VERSE: Do not be afraid of your enemies; always be courageous, and this will prove to them that they will lose and you will win, because it is God who will give you the victory. Phil. 1:28. When you feel a little afraid of someone, say a little prayer and ask your heavenly father to give you a little courage. Often standing up to people has the effect of making them think of why they are being awkward. So you do them a favour by being a little braver than usual. Mind you if you do bully someone reflect on why you do and make up your mind to treat everyone you meet in a friendly way. PRAYER: Father in heaven, forgive me if I’ve ever bullied someone, Sorry I’ve been such a wallie in the past. Help me to be a friend to everyone I meet today, Yes even the ones I don’t like very much. I pray for those little nations who get bullied by those more powerful. And those who get bullied because they have a different colour skin. Give courage to all who are pushed around because of race or creed. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. WEEK ENDING : 18/9/2009. Day 4. Overall theme: Friends THEME : Nations It is a great work to encourage friendships, to link one individual with another. But what about encouraging friendship between whole communities? The idea of town-twinning is credited to Bill Baxter, the enterprising publicity manager for the spa town of Harrogate in Yorkshire. It was largely through his efforts that in 1953 Harrogate was “twinned” with the French town of Luchon, a spa in the Pyrenees which was seeking a partner. The Harrogate-Luchon bond was the very first town-twinning in Britain, and since that time countless friendships have been formed between British communities and their counterparts. In almost every European country through letters, radio communications and all kinds of visits and exchanges, people living thousands of miles apart have been brought together in frienship and understanding. BIBLE VERSE: God rules the world with righteousness; He judges the nations with justice. Psalm 9:8. When you study the history of the nations it seems to me that even the most powerful ones get their just rewards. Great empires that became wicked and treated other nations badly in the end lost their power and wealth. Yet those who have been righteous and care for other nations seem to prosper. Little Switzerland and Sweden who are very concerned about justice and fairness have escaped the horror of two world wars. I believe we can see in history the hand of God over riding the affairs of nations. Let us seek to cooperate in every way we can with other nations in friendship and peace. PRAYER: Dear God we pray for other nations today, For financial help for those who are poor, Food for those who are hungry, Technical assistance for underdeveloped nations, Peace making initiatives for those at war, Amen. WEEK ENDING : 18/9/2009. Day 5. Overall theme: Friends THEME : Forgive This story came to me from a nurse in a big hospital. It happened at two o’clock in the morning. The crowded ward was quiet and still. In one bed lay an old man who was dying. Whatever family and friends he had once, had forgotten him. He had a long prison record. His life had been a failure. Now he`d come to the end of the road. Then a tall figure entered the ward, smiled at the nurse, and crossed to the old man`s bed. The visitor was the Rev. James Currie, who had heard about the lonely pensioner. The old man took the minister`s hand and, in little more than a whisper, spoke the words of a familiar chilren`s prayer: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. As the nurse listened, she had tears in her eyes, for she realised it must have been the first prayer the old man`s mother had taught him, and perhaps the only one he ever knew.It seemed his way of asking forgiveness for his wasted life. They were the last words he ever spoke.A few moments later he died. There are many more prayers for mothers than fathers, so I was pleasantly surprised to come across this one: Mender of toys, leader of boys, Changers of fuses, kisser of bruises, Bless him, dear Lord. Mover of couches, soother of ouches, Pounder of nails, teller of tales, Reward him, O Lord. Raker of leaves, cleaner of eaves, Dryer of dishes, fulfiller of wishes, Bless him, O Lord. BIBLE VERSE God is love. 1John 5 The Bible tells us that the purpose of life is to find God as your friend. Jesus told us that God so loved the world that He sent his only son so that, whoever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life. Christians believe that if you ask God to forgive your sins he will. If you believe Jesus death we to pay the price of sin God becomes your friend.