Falcon Lodge Chapel

A small church with a BIG heart...

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DAY 72:  Friday 29 May




Good morning – afraid it’s me again as I did survive the blood ordeal yesterday.


Thanks to those who sent sympathetic messages of encouragement – not so sure about the offer to help especially as it wasn’t from a reputable medic!  I managed to extract the sample no bother, but getting it to drip into the little tube was not so easy, so with blood already spilt over the breakfast bar, I had to resort to pricking a second figure to get to the required volume. At that stage I had a thought, would they notice if I had topped it up with a few drops of cranberry juice?

At that moment Karen came into the kitchen and commented ‘how can one person spread so much blood over the kitchen units – it looks like a slaughterhouse’.


I remember around 20 years ago Elizabeth used to have to attend the James Preston Health Centre in Holland Road to give monthly blood samples. Whilst she never looked forward to these appointments, she used to lighten the moment with the comment – ‘I’m going to see the flea bottomist called Mrs Leech’. – what an appropriate surname for the Phlebotomy nurse!


By the way, in yesterday’s email I mentioned a figure of 5ml where it was actually 0.5ml - now was that a typo or was I subconsciously looking for greater sympathy? Anyway, all done for this month – looking forward to 25 June (or maybe not…).

Just in case anyone reading these emails should misunderstand, those of you who know me well will realise my comments were intended to be read light-heartedly and not taken too seriously.


We certainly recognise that fear of suffering is a very real issue for so many people in our community, our country and across the world. There are many wonderful charities in the world that seek to ease suffering of the sick, disabled, disadvantaged through poverty and persecuted. Falcon Lodge Chapel has a long history of supporting such organisations working in many parts of the world. We have supported medical missions and charities in Africa, India and Eastern Europe including TEAR Fund, Leprosy Mission, Kids Club Kampala, Mission Romania, MAF, and many others.


And closer to home we have been able to support Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need, St Giles Hospice, Reachout Homeless Network, Birmingham City Mission, Acorns Children’s Hospice, and again many more. And that is what we have been able to do as a small church but on top of that so much more help and support is given by individuals.


We react to suffering in different ways. If we are the sufferer, we could be crushed by the experience; we could become bitter asking “why me?” Or we could react as I have heard from several people on being diagnosed with a dreadful terminal disease “why not me?” I know that some people prefer to keep their physical or emotional pains or suffering to themselves – they bottle it up because they don’t want to become a burden to others but the danger then is that prevents other people from being able to help, serve and bless them.


Our reaction to the suffering of other people says so much about us – are we dismissive or compassionate to the suffering of others whether they be thousands of miles away, or they live in our road. Millions of pounds can be raised by high profile appeal but is that more important than simple words and acts of compassion shown by us to a needy friend, neighbour or total stranger who is suffering.


Colossians 3:12 - God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient.

Galatians.6:2 - Help to carry one another's burdens, and in this way, you will be obeying the law of Christ.

Romans 5:3 - We are glad for our sufferings also. We know that suffering helps us learn not to give up.

2 Cor.1:4-5 - He comforts us when we suffer, so that we can share that same comfort with others in their suffering. We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives.


Remember, when we suffer it’s not always our fault (unless we’ve eaten too much chocolate or drunk too much wine). Suffering is a way we are made stronger – it’s a discipline that prepares us for the future. Like an athlete trains to the point of suffering, so we are being trained to become fitter and more useful in God’s service.

Also, don’t forget that Christ himself suffered so he is the one who can honestly say to us ‘I know how you feel and what you’re going through – I fully understand, I am with you through this’.


1 Peter 5:10 (NIRV) - So you will only have to suffer for a little while. Then God himself will build you up again. He will make you strong and steady.




Vera has suffered a recurrence of the problems she had a couple of weeks ago but after a further telephone consultation with her GP has been prescribed more medication

Jean Cussons who suffered a fall from a chair 2 weeks back and was taken to Heartlands Hospital last week is now receiving some physio to help get her back on her feet again



MAKE YOU SMILE: - a poem from Joy Phillips


As forecast, there’s a heatwave - Summer’s certainly begun!

I wish my constitution let me lie out in the sun...

while others smooth on lotion and relax on a sunbed,

I step outside and voila! I have turned tomato red.


And as for sitting out for an entire afternoon -

just minutes without shade is guaranteed to make me swoon.

And so today I’m sweltering - there’s not even a breeze.

I see that the thermometer reads thirty-three degrees!


My situation’s dire and it’s unlikely to improve -

I’ve run right out of layers I can decently remove...

Then suddenly, I’m saved-by clouds! Oh, isn’t Britain splendid?

Just hours after starting, yes - it seems the heatwave’s ended!



More tomorrow