Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ABC Wednesday

I know it is Tuesday still for many of us, but for all our friends in Europe in a different  time zone, many of us publish ABC Wednesday on Tuesday.


First, The Village Green:  Most people from the UK know what this is but many others have heard the phrase but think it is the name of a store or pub.  This is the rather small but very pretty Village Green at Bempton, a tiny village near Flamborough.

(The field of yellow in the background is a field of canola oil)

Most, if not all villages in the UK have a village green.  It is a piece of grassland, somewhere central in the village and is a 'common' for all the people of the village.  The Maypole, picnics, village fairs, Guy Fawkes' celebrations (Bonfire Night) and other community affairs take place on the green.  Often there is a duck pond, usually populated by ducks or perhaps in a few cases, swans.  Many of these village greens are really beautiful and have benches set around in different places and patches of wild flowers, helped along by the residents.  So why didn't I post a photo of Flamborough's Village Green?  Well, Flamborough is a working village.  That by itself should be explanation enough, because Yorkshire people are very proud of their hard working, rough and ready background. Flamborough does have quite a large green, but not what you would call attractive to tourists, though Flamborough has plenty of other attractions.  When I lived there in the forties and fifties there was a mere, not a pond. This was a large area of shallow water.  Sometimes in the winter you could ice skate on it, if the weather was cold enough, but it was certainly not deep enough to drown in -- or sail a boat, unless it was a toy boat. Most of the area of the green was somewhat marshy, and at some point I'm assuming it was drained when the new houses were put in on the south side of the mere.  Of course it could have just dried up, because the limestone beneath the turf is rather quirky about its water courses which appear and disappear underground, according to their own whims all over the moors.

 This is a gold sovereign.  My husband's grandmother gave it to him for his 21st birthday. As you can, see it is dated 1892 and the 'heads' side is of Queen Victoria.  A golden sovereign was a very large amount of money in its day.  There are still quite a few of them out there.  Some are 100% gold and therefore very valuable.  We have no idea if this one is 100% gold.  We've never checked. The actual coin, because you could never tell from my photos, is about 0.75 inches across.  The horseman is meant to be St. George, of St. George and the dragon fame.  St George is the patron Saint of England.

Which brings me to my question from yesterday's blog:   
What is that thing on the Welsh flag? 
Well since this is ABC Wednesday and we are at the letter 'G', it has to be a GRIFFIN (GRYFFON or GRIFFON).  To tell the truth, it may also be a dragon, but I could only find one distinction between a griffin and a dragon, and I'm not sure if it's reliable.  Some say a griffin is warm blooded and is made up of an eagle's head, wings and claws, and a lion's body. (All signifying power). A dragon is a cold blooded reptile, so they say.  Anyway since today is 'G' day I'm going with griffin.  I hope I'm not about to start a civil war with this definition.  
      To add fuel to the flames I have to admit that I'm not even truly Welsh but both my husband and I have Welsh ancestry. We also gave our sons distinctly Welsh names (not telling you what they are today, because I'm saving that for another blog).  Our last name is rather over-used, but is definitely Welsh.  As my husband likes to say, we are descendants of Adam and Eve Jones.


G is for GRACE.  Grace is such a 'religious' word and many people don't really know the meaning of it.  When I was teaching I would give my students a deadline for turning in a piece of work. Inevitably there would be a student who for some reason or other would beg for a few extra days in which to finish the work.  Once in a while I would grant him grace,  not necessarily because he deserved it but really just as a favor, especially if it was a student who usually worked hard. 

So GRACE is UNDESERVED FAVOR and God's grace is exactly that.  

Sin deserves punishment, but God in his GRACE has freed us from the consequences of sin by allowing Jesus to take the punishment for us.  Nothing WE can do will take away the punishment we deserve.  Only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will do it. "For by grace you are saved, through faith". (Eph. 2:8).  We cannot do anything to earn it, for it is a free gift from God.  
     But we have to accept the gift from God, otherwise it is not ours.  If I give you a gift, it is not yours until you take it from me.  All this means is that we tell God we accept the gift of Jesus' death for our sins and thank Him for it. It's that simple.  
    The hard part is acknowledging that we are sinners.



Wanda said...

Yeah!! I'm loving your "G" today. The green and gold, and your pictures and narrative is so cool. I see the teacher in you coming out, and I love being in your class!!!!

Tumblewords: said...

I love the shades of green. There are so many and each such a glorious tint. Nice G post!

Lindz said...

nice thoughts for your G day today, as I recall England's countryside is very green, I wish to go back again, 1992 is a long time ago.

Rune Eide said...

A very nice post, and very informative for me. I enjoyed the photos from the "Green", especially the second one.

Such a gold sovereign must be a very nice family heirloom to have. Take good care of it!

When it comes to griffins and dragons, I may have a distant relation as my G this week :-)r

Autumn Leaves said...

Quick question, Chris. Doesn't having Welsh ancestry make one Welsh? (I am not being snide or sarcastic; I am truly curious at the distinction!) I love visiting your blog!

LisaF said...

Beautiful photos. I love the "greenery and gold" shot. But the best entry is Grace. I Good reminder for the season of Lent.

ChrisJ said...

To Autumn Leaves: I suppose having Welsh ancestry does make one Welsh but it must be a bit watered down by now, by marriages to the non- Welsh. Barry has more Welsh in him than I do. I think of a Welsh person as being born and bred in Wales. But I like Wales very much, so I hereby adopt it, even though I am 'watered down'!

Jose said...

I am with Wanda on this one. OH and BTW Sylvia's middle name was indeed Grace (Or Graciela in Spanish) Oh, and can you please send some green and gold my way. I could sure use it.

lv2scpbk said...

Looks like a beautiful day. On behalf of the ABC team, thank you.

claude said...

Great choices for G, Chris !
Sometimes i watched on the the TV some Tv movies played by german pepole in England). I find the english countryside is very beautiful.
I had some golden dollar coins.

Roger Owen Green said...

great green and gold.
I don't think that grace is limited by religious context necessarily. recently wrote about the graceless Bank of America sticking fees on their customers after the American people bailed them out.

Anonymous said...

"Amazing Grace" for sure

ChrisJ said...

You're so right Roger. Shame on them! But since my Wednesday's Words is supposed to be a short religious themed devotional, I chose the word 'grace' from a religious view point. It is a beautiful word when you think of graciousness, graceful and others. We sure could use more grace in this world--one towards another especially. Thanks for visiting. I always appreciate your comments.

Lorie Shewbridge said...

What a gorgeous Village Green... Thanks for sharing all the information with us. The gold coin is so beautiful also. I love the history behind coins, my dad used to collect them.

Carol said...

Nice shots of some beautiful scenery! I love the yellow field, a yellow field where I live would be soybeans. Love your Grace teaching.

Patty said...

Very nice post. I was amazed at the field of canola seeds or what ever they are called to make the canola oil. Have a great week-end.

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

So many village greens are not what they once were - my favourite duck pond was the one at Wetwang.

Werna Gail said...

I truly enjoyed reading this post,found it very informative.
And yes, thank God for his amazing GRACE.