Zeph Daily 7

John Froud

Morning! The arrival of Friday doesn’t have the same magic, somehow…

Sheena and I went for a spot of exercise yesterday – just round the block. We waved at the Hardys and the Joneses as we sauntered past their houses. Actually we stopped and chatted with our grandchildren on mobiles through the glass of their front room window. Weird, but cheering.

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God said, “ I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people.”

And now, here’s the school formerly known as Clayton CE singing in tune! https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/and-you-will-walk-with-us

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There is something indefinably warming about being with someone, especially someone you love. I love touring, but being able to take Sheena with me in recent times has been extra special. Sometimes we don’t say much, sometimes we don’t say anything at all. It’s the being there that matters.

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Anyone researching their ancestors? I’ve come up on some huge gaps in my knowledge of my grandfather, and I’ve decided to make sure that the next generations won’t have that about my dad. I knew him. I walked miles with him. Sometimes we’d talk, sometimes we wouldn’t. I’d be there next to him, looking up to him, just picking up the vibe. I admired his ability to talk to anyone on any subject for long enough for them to know they were important. But I was only a kid and there were others who were his friends who knew different parts of him. So I’m asking people who “walked with him” (while they’re still here to ask) what they remember so I can build a more detailed picture. Brian Goodall remembers my dad saying that someone had called him Mr. Shroud, to which he replied, ‘That’s a grave mistake!” Ah, the power of the Dad gag!

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We can ask people who know Him about God, we can read what others who walked with Him say, and we too can walk with Him. We may not always talk – it’s good sometimes to just listen – but to be there is the thing.

And we don’t have to stay still. Walking is active, we can share tasks with him. Remember doing things with those special people in your life? Special times.

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Pray for those you spend time with; those you wish you could spend time with; those you find it difficult to spend time with… God wants to walk with them too.

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Today’s out-song is a long one… you may want to continue praying, or make a coffee, or finally get to the loo. Just know that God is with you.

https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/12-abide-with-me

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Zeph Daily takes a break over the weekend – Jenny will be back on our Facebook page live at 10am on Monday…

 

 

 

 

 

Zeph Daily 6

Morning Zephyrs! It’s Julie on Zeph@10 today.

I’ve got myself a coffee and I’m good to go this morning. How’s everybody?

coffee cup

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When you’re a storyteller, sometimes you have to grab a thought as it flutters through your brain and follow it down the meandering paths to see where it takes you. It may be it goes nowhere, drifting eventually into a hollow tree trunk in your mind and bedding down under some leaves, when it realises it should never have been out in the first place. Then there are those thoughts that trip lightly on the breeze until you arrive at a sparkling stream and there, beneath the rippling waters, spy a nugget of pure gold…

You never really know which one it’s going to turn out to be until you pay it some attention.

For today’s Zeph@10, I thought I’d give you an insight into that process and take you on a thought journey.

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And the deep and meaningful thought that begins our journey, is this…

I like my glasses.

Arran 4 (2)

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That is the thought that flashed into my mind yesterday. And I really mean it. I like my glasses. I mean, I really like them. I’m short-sighted and, without them, everything is blurry – even my laptop screen. WITH my glasses, the world is transformed. Rather than just being able to tell vaguely what something in the distance is, I can see finer details – colour, pattern, facial features. With my glasses, I can drive safely, I can read subtitles when I watch Scandinavian crime drama, I can pick my child out of a crowd in a school performance or on the football field. I can look further ahead and see things more clearly. They’re great. I mean, I REALLY, REALLY like them.

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But… There are times when it is nice to take my glasses off and let the world blur. Times when I need to lie down and rest but the glasses press into my face. Times when dirt has built up on the lenses and looking through the filter of the immediate grime to see further ahead makes my eyes hurt. Times when I’m tired or stressed and the effort required to focus threatens to bring on a migraine.

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Most of the time, I love and am thankful for the ability to focus on what’s ahead of me, to see as far into the distance as I can and know what’s coming. But occasionally, I need to stop, take my glasses off, let the distance blur, and focus just on what’s right in front of me, now. On this moment.

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When things feel uncertain in our house, if one of us is worried or stuck and isn’t sure what their next move should be, we have a mantra – “One thing at once.” And in those moments, God is there, guiding us, lighting up each step of the way, one at a time…

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a Light to my path.” (Psalm 119: 105)

Your Word is...

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It’s great to look into the distance, to focus on the future, to make plans; and God takes an interest and is present when we do that. It’s also great for our wellbeing and very necessary to look beyond whatever struggles are right in front of us and remember that these things shall pass. But we also have another, different opportunity, and now seems a perfect time to grasp it. Today, slow down. Pop your future plans somewhere safe. Take off your glasses for a few minutes. Pick up a Bible. Spend some time with God. Let his lamp light up your next step. One thing at once.

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Father God, we pray for calm today, calm enough to slow down and stop and spend some time with you, so that you can light our next step. One thing at once.
We pray for those who are feeling wobbly this morning. Draw close to them and let them know that you are near.
We give thanks for those who can offer us wisdom and point us to you.
You are here. And we choose to recognise that today.
Amen

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Remember, God’s got the bigger picture covered…

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Have excellent days, Zephyrs – may you find peace, sunshine and lots of God in them!

See you tomorrow at 10am when John will be taking the helm…
www.facebook.com/zephaniahmusictrust

Zeph Daily 5

March 25 2020

Hiya! Y’alright? So this morning you’ve got me (Yvonne, newest member of the Zeph team). How’s your morning going so far? Things started as normal here – big mug of tea!! Followed by putting the washing on, 2 games of Cluedo played (and lost) with our Thea, washing hung out on the line (got to love the great weather we’re having; got to be slightly depressed that the highlight of the great weather is that I get to hang the washing on the line!!), brekkie and now……. Zeph@10!
So, how’s your morning going so far?

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Following on from Julia yesterday, she reminded us that time and again in the Bible we see Jesus meeting and befriending people wherever and whoever they were.
Another thing we see time and again in the Bible is God promising that He is with us, no matter what. That He will never leave us or forsake us. Time and again, to various people in all sorts of situations. God’s promise is that He will never leave us or forsake us, no matter what we might be going through.

Zeph Daily 5

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Those of you who know me will know how this idea of God never leaving us or forsaking us particularly resonates with me. It particularly resonates because of a song that has Huge Importance to me and never fails to move me and always gives me goosebumps, You’ll Never Walk Alone. Over the years, it has come to mean so much from a footy perspective. But when you think about the words, and think about God’s promise to never leave us, it becomes an even more awesome song!

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Standing in the Kop singing You’ll Never Walk Alone is incredible. Holding onto God’s promises that He is the reason we will never walk alone takes it to a whole new level.

This may not be Gerry and the Pacemakers, but have a watch…

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However we may be coping with all that we’re going through right now, remember, hold fast, cling onto God’s promise that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us! YNWA

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Following Zeph Daily this morning, we took part in the global call to say the Lord’s Prayer at 11am – God hears us, our voices joined, whenever we can pray. Join us now…

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Julie will be back on our Facebook page tomorrow for ZephDaily@10am – join us there or check back here afterwards…

Zeph Daily 4

March 24 2020

Welcome to Zeph at Ten. It’s Julia today, with a small helper. Please allow me to introduce
you to Fluffy Cat – here face planting the back of a chair. He might look as though he is in
deep despair, but worry not! Him choosing to sit in the same room as you, in your line of
sight, striking a needlessly dramatic pose is his way of showing affection. If you were to
stroke him, he would chirrup happily before tucking his face firmly back in, like a fuzzy little weirdo.
Anyway, morning!

Fluffy Cat

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Now that you understand the wonderful and ridiculous Fluffy Cat a little better, I wanted
to think about what it is to be understood, to be known. The Bible tells us time and time
again how God understands us and knows us. There are so many stories of Jesus meeting
people and befriending them exactly as they are, where they are at, no matter the situation.
One example is the story of Zacchaeus- tax collector no one liked who Jesus invited himself round for tea with. Feel free to post any other example of stories you may know showing this here…

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I love stories that show God meeting people in the midst of complicated situations. It’s
good to know that wherever we’re at, whatever we’re feeling – stressed, worried,
overwhelmed, irritated, angry – God isn’t waiting for us to sort ourselves out before
meeting us. He’s already here. Psalm 23 says “even though I walk through the dark valley, you are with me”.

Psalm 23 4

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God will meet us wherever we are, even in the darkest of times. But that doesn’t mean
he will leave us there. Psalm 23 goes on to say “your rod and your staff comfort me”-
shepherds tools protecting their flock and guiding them forward. We’ve thought about how God understands each one of us. This suggests he also knows what we need, and what will comfort us and bring us hope.

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Let’s pray this morning for pieces of God’s light, and his hope this morning – for ourselves, for people we love, for people we don’t know who need it. What has made you smile recently? Do post below! (further pictures of notable cat poses encouraged)

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May we remember that whatever life has in store for us today, God walks with us
through it. Here’s a song to finish. Amen.

WATCH:  You Never Let Go

Zeph Daily 3

March 23 2020

Morning! Welcome to Zeph’s 10am gathering. It’s Jenny taking the lead today. As I used to do as a lecturer, I’ll wait 5 minutes for everyone to arrive, but in the meantime, perhaps you’d like to reflect on the words in this image.

Birds in Wuhan

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Imagine standing in a busy city street, with a constant stream of cars, buses and mopeds surging by, punctuated by blaring horns and screeching brakes, while people swirl around you, their conversations blending into an unending babble, broken by the music spilling out of shops and restaurants.
Or imagine that you are stood in the middle of Holiday Club, with all the noise and chaos of 70 children bringing their enthusiasm and creative energy to junk modelling, building their bases, making friends and enjoying the freedom of the summer holidays. Constantly moving bundles of humanity, pulling your attention in many different directions at once.
Now imagine the silence brought by thick fresh snowfall, blanketing and obscuring everything, and deadening all the normal sounds of life.
Or imagine waking up early on a still summer’s morning, before the rest of the world is awake, and hearing, on the still air, through the open window, the sounds of the birds singing.

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Watch:
God Speaks

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“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper”. (1 Kings 19: 11b-12)
The quote from Facebook, “They can hear the birds in Wuhan”, struck me as being true in two different ways. The writer simply meant that, with everyone staying indoors, and no cars on the roads – normal city life suspended – it was quiet enough that the birds could be heard. But there’s a second meaning. The slowing and quietening of people’s frenetic lives had given the space and time for them to hear the birds.
The fact is, that our lives today are fast-moving and crammed with activity. We sometimes don’t have enough time to notice the birds singing……. Or to hear God’s gentle whisper.

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Father God It is hard to slow down, to put aside the busyness that seemed to give our lives so much of its meaning. Help us.

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Father God, the wind and the earthquake and the fire outside our doors and on our TV screens and news feeds are deafening. Help us to hear your gentle whisper.

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Father God, We know people for whom this is a scary, unsettling and worrying time. Lord, we name them before you now. Help us to help them.
Amen.

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Watch:
Be Still and Know That I Am God

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Today, may you remember that whatever storm or fire is raging around you, God is there. His voice will be the quiet one, telling you He loves you, and that He’s with you in the storm. Still your heart and mind, so can hear him whispering in your ear. See what he has to say to you today, here, now.

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This is the point, at our church, when tea and coffee downstairs is announced. Feel free to grab a mug from your kitchen and hang around for a bit, enjoy a chat, ask for prayer. I shall hang around too. If you have to get back to work/homeschooling, or just want to enjoy the silence, this is your chance to make a break for it.

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Join us on our Facebook Page for tomorrow’s Zeph Daily with Julia…

 

Zeph Daily 2

March 20, 2020
Welcome to Zeph at Ten.

This is John hoping to help you connect with God this morning. Sharing the Peace is safely non-contact on here, but I guess any kind of greeting is good… Hiya!

Yesterday Julie took us right back to Genesis “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you may go.” God’s promise. Whatever happens, whatever changes, he is with us and will watch over us.

Today, as we approach a very odd kind of Mothering Sunday, we’ll try to remember God’s goodness to us through the places he takes us, the people he puts us amongst, the Son he sent for us.

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Song: https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/i-will-remember

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 John Guitar Case

You’re wondering about a scripture for the guitar case?

I am blessed to have met many wonderful people in different places as I get around our city of Bradford and further afield. I met an old lady recently who asked, after I’d sung “Tell ‘em about the dream”, whether I’d known Dr King. “Only on the television, I’m afraid.” She had marched to Selma with him. Now that is a memory to treasure.

The guitar case is full of memories. As it happens, it’s full of guitar. It’s my heart that’s full of memories. The case “only” prompts the remembrance. It seems to be easier to remember bad things (hurt, lies, mistakes, etc) than the good things, but if we can try to hold God’s goodness to us at the front of our mind and thank him for all he has done we will be doubly blessed. And we will expect more of his Good Things!

So… let’s pray. Let’s thank God for happy memories, for favourite places, for brilliant people who’ve made a mark on our lives, maybe our Mums, maybe teachers, maybe… and thank him for Jesus. Either out loud (no embarrassment in your own front room) or silently, or type it in…

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Tear Bottle (2)

This is a tear bottle from Zephaniah’s Bible Times Exhibition.

In Bible Times, before the invention of cameras, these were used as souvenirs. At a family event where everyone was weeping (weddings, funerals etc) someone would collect tears from those present and store them in the bottle. Their names would be written down and kept with the bottle—any more accurately spelled than the Telegraph and Argus, I wonder?

It’s only mentioned once in the Bible, Psalm 56:8.

“You have noted my grief;
Store my tears in your flask.
Are they not recorded in your book ?”

David remembers that God knows his distress, and cares for him—whatever he might have done.

Take your worries to God and remember he remembers!

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A song written by a Zephaniah Associate to close. Monday sesh will be led by Jenny. See you in my memories…
https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/show-me-your-ways

 

Zeph Daily

We may not be able to visit schools or churches for a while, but more than ever, we want to reach out to our Zeph Community, our ZephKidz and ZephFriends – and that includes you!
When life changes, we need to find new rhythms, new routines, new touchstones. So, from tomorrow, we’re starting a virtual Zeph Daily Prayer/Community Gathering.
At 10am, every weekday (Monday to Friday), one of our Team will be on our Facebook page for half an hour of prayer and community. We might post images or Bible verses, songs, or anything really, but we’ll let you know we’re there. You can join us in the comments, posting prayers or requests or just letting us know you’re there.
If you can’t join us, know we are there, praying. At the end of the gathering, we’ll publish the day’s content as a separate blog post here, so you can work through it in your own time whenever you get the chance.
Love from
John, Julie, Jenny, Julia and Yvonne

Read on for Day One’s reflections…
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I am with you

Hey Zephs!

Welcome to the first online daily prayer and community gathering.

It’s Julie here (the one with the glasses, not the long blonde hair…).

If this were a collective worship or assembly in a school, I’d start by saying the magic words…

“Good morning!”

…and you’d reply, in beautiful unison, “Good morning Julie!” (You’d likely as not forget my name and some of you would call me ‘Julia’ or ‘Mrs …’ or look at me in weird silence.)

If you want to let me know you’re here, post a greeting below!

In a couple of minutes, I’ll be telling you the story today’s Bible verse comes from…
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When everything feels a bit unsettling, it’s good to focus on that which doesn’t change – have a listen to some ancient words…

https://m.soundcloud.com/johnfroud/father-god-who-is-in-heaven?fbclid=IwAR17RXT67KXE2fx9wD56l_mNTLBcQlIfDWpudGWeftgtLlC6ckriF0LDuKo

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The verse in the image above is from the first book of the Bible and, to be honest, things weren’t going well for the family involved…

There were four of them: two parents (Isaac and Rebekah) and their twin sons (Esau and Isaac).

Esau was the oldest (and Isaac’s favourite), Jacob the youngest (and Rebekah’s favourite). When Isaac was growing old, Rebekah knew he would have to bless one of of his sons to hand on the family name and all that went with it – their inheritance. Esau, as the eldest, should have been the one to receive the blessing. But Rebekah wanted it to be Jacob.

So, she and Jacob played a trick – while Esau was out hunting one day, they dressed Jacob up as Esau and sent him in to his father. Isaac’s sight had failed him and he could no longer see. He was taken in by the trick and blessed Jacob instead of Esau.

When Esau returned and the trick was revealed, the family was torn apart – and Esau was livid!

Jacob had to run away, leaving his home and his family and everything he knew, to keep himself safe.

He set out on his journey, alone, and on that first lonely night, with no clue of what lay before him or whether he would ever see all that was familiar and loved again, he fell asleep, and God came to him in a dream, and this is the promise he made him…

“I am with you and will watch over you,
Wherever you may go,
And I will bring you back to this land.
I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
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“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you may go.”

God’s promise. Whatever happens, whatever changes, he is with us and will watch over us.

I’ve got my window open and I can hear the birds tweeting away out there. The sun still shines. God is there.

Take a couple of minutes to connect with the world around you, what can you see or hear or smell or feel or taste that is familiar, that reminds you God is with you?
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God is with us. That’s worth being thankful for.

And he is present in his world through the hands of those he made.

Let’s give thanks for all those who are being God in his world – for the doctors, nurses and NHS staff who are working so hard to care for people; for the teachers, headteachers and school staff who are providing care for our children; for the supermarket staff who keep us fed; for those who provide care and company and comfort.

Know someone you want to be thankful for? Name them below. May God hold each one of them in his hands.
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The second part of the promise:

“I will bring you back to this land.”

Jacob didn’t know how long it would take for God to fulfil that promise – he only knew that it was a promise made and he could choose to trust it.

This shall pass. Uncertainty shall pass. Worry shall pass.

And God will be there at the end, as he is there at the beginning and throughout.

Do you know someone who is ill? Or worried? Or lonely?

Pray for them now, name them if you like. Pray that they will know the comfort of God’s promise – this shall pass.
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“I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

He doesn’t leave us. Ever.

Is there someone you can get in touch with today who may need to hear that? Write a letter, send a message, make a phone call?

Claim God’s promise as your own and pass it on to someone else who needs it. Make a note of their name.
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“The Lord is the everlasting God.”

(I don’t have the extensive repertoire of Mr Froud on my guitar but this one I can play so it’s an assembly staple!)

https://m.soundcloud.com/johnfroud/dont-you-know
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That’s it for this morning’s content, but feel free to stay around, chat, revisit it later, add your own thoughts/reflections – none of us are far away, digitally if not physically!

I’ll be hanging around for a while now and we’ll be back here and there throughout the day.

Thanks for being here and for joining in, you’re all brilliant!

John will be taking the lead tomorrow at 10am.

Today, claim God’s promise:
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you may go and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Wishing you peace, Zephyrs.

– Julie