Pohutukawa Coast Presbyterian Church
Clevedon Presbyterian Church
Kawakawa Bay
Clevedon Kidz

Love is Spelt TIME

February 28, 2021
Mark Chapman

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 "Israel, remember this! The LORD—and the LORD alone—is our God. (5)  Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  (6)  Never forget these commands that I am giving you today.  (7)  Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working.  (8)  Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder.  (9)  Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.


Psalm 8:1-9  O LORD, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! Your praise reaches up to the heavens;  (2)  it is sung by children and babies. You are safe and secure from all your enemies; you stop anyone who opposes you.  (3) When I look at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places—  (4)  what are human beings, that you think of them; mere mortals, that you care for them?  (5)  Yet you made them inferior only to yourself; you crowned them with glory and honor. (6)  You appointed them rulers over everything you made; you placed them over all creation:  (7)  sheep and cattle, and the wild animals too;  (8)  the birds and the fish and the creatures in the seas. (9)  O LORD, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world!


Mark 10:13-16 Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples scolded the people.  (14)  When Jesus noticed this, he was angry and said to his disciples, "Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (15)  I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of Godlike a child will never enter it."  (16)  Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.


Love is Spelt TIME

Feb 28 2021


Let us Pray

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of our hearts, be acceptable in your

sight O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.


I was having a conversation with a young father the other day

and was so inspired by his take on what it means to be a parent

and the conversation reminded me

of much I had spoken if over the years


I believe that every child is born

with seeds of greatness within them

and that it is our role as parents

to gently help those seeds blossom.


I try to tell people about that as their children are growing up.

Call them:

The wonderful 1’s

The terrific 2’s

The tremendous 3’s

the fabulous 4’s

the fantastic 5’s

the special 6’s

the super 7’s!


You’ve probably all heard them called something else. Right.


I’ve even heard parents call their children that, something else, in front of them.

Which I think is kind of crazy.

You see we move toward our dominant thought and if our dominant thought is: this

child is trouble, and you speak that in its presence enough times - the child will be

trouble - believe it.


I’m a father of four - all girls except for 3 of them. They’re boys.  

Gratuitous information!

And being a parent has been the most wonderful

and exciting part of my life.


We shared some wonderful times.

Laughter and tears.

The death of pets!

Great times when they were little

they’d cry; their mother would cry;

I’d cry; and being a minister  we’d have burial ceremonies

and say prayers of thanksgiving.


And we learned the importance of life,

and that precious beings die, and my children learned to say thank you for life.

As I mentioned the other night, not like the mother who was trying to soften the blow

of the family cat’s death who told her daughter - “Uh dear, Tabby is in heaven now."

The little girl looked at her mother quizzically, then asked,

"Mum, why would God want a dead cat?"


And being a father the most special time for me was at bed time

reading stories

and saying prayers.

And it was a time when I learned you could say special things to your children.

You see just before a child goes off to sleep

and it’s mind is relaxed

what you say is so important.


I learned that it was the time to say

“Thankyou for being part of this family.”

“Thankyou for being such a wonderful person.”

“ I love you, son, daughter.  Sleep well, sweet dreams, God bless you.”

“You are so special.”


And if I learned one thing it was

I started too late and probably finished too soon.  

And if I had my life over

I would spend more time

on these simple yet profound moments of life.


You see I often sit with families and talk about mum or dad as the family prepares for

a funeral.

And when I ask, what was so special about your mum, about your dad,

no one in 40 years has ever said to me:

They gave me lots of presents

she gave me a car

he gave me lots of money.

Or they gave me dancing lessons or they made me play this sport or that

or they took me to this place or that.

Not once.

If anything I hear:

Well mum was special because she spent time with me

dad was special because he had time to listen

or we would go for walks,

or he would call me up,

or he was just always there;

she was more my closest friend.

Or, they say, I remember going to church as a family

and I remember those Christmas eve’s when we would go and sing Christmas Carols.  

And what they were saying to me is that when we tell our children we love them,

love is spelt T I M E


One of the songs that has moved me most is a song that speaks of the finite time we

have with our children


"Cat's in the Cradle" Harry Chapin

My child arrived just the other day,

He came to the world in the usual way.

But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.

He learned to walk while I was away.

And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew,

He'd say, "I'm gonna be like you, dad.

You know I'm gonna be like you."


And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,

Little boy blue and the man in the moon.

"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,

But we'll get together then.

You know we'll have a good time then."


My son turned ten just the other day.

He said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play.

Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today,

I got a lot to do." He said, "That's ok."

And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed,

It said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah.

You know I'm gonna be like him."


And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,

Little boy blue and the man in the moon.

"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,

But we'll get together then.

You know we'll have a good time then."


Well, he came home from college just the other day,

So much like a man I just had to say,

"Son, I'm proud of you. Can you sit for a while?"

He shook his head, and he said with a smile,

"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.

See you later. Can I have them please?"


And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,

Little boy blue and the man in the moon.

"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,

But we'll get together then, dad.

You know we'll have a good time then."


I've long since retired and my son's moved away.

I called him up just the other day.

I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind.

"He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time.

You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got the flu,

But it's sure nice talking to you, dad.

It's been sure nice talking to you."

And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,

He'd grown up just like me.

My boy was just like me.


And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,

Little boy blue and the man in the moon.

"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,

But we'll get together then, dad.

You know we'll have a good time then."

Copyright: Harry Chapin


There is an ancient proverb:

The parents ate the sour grapes, But the children got the sour taste.'

And that brings me to something else I have learned;

what we do as parents gets passed on down through the generations.

We grow up just like our parents and our children just like us

and if it’s positive it’s good.

But if we live our lives like we’ve been eating sour grapes

it’s our children who will suffer, our children who get the sour taste left in their



One of the most moving events for me is when a mother and a father bring their child

and say we believe in God.


Because in a world where there is little in which to have real faith,

where there is little hope for many,

where there is often an absence of real love;

I sense they are wanting to give their children something, or someone, who will

last them through pain and difficult times.

Someone who will embrace their joy.

They know they can’t always be that person.

They will at sometime fail them.  In lots of little ways and then, when they die, in a big



I sense they want someone who will always be there for their children

someone who would be a light for them,

someone they could turn to whenever they were unsure

or anxious or afraid.

Someone who had the authority and whose words they know have given hope to


And so,

they are  introducing them to Jesus Christ because there is no other who

has said the things He has said

who lived the life He lived

and who, when He was killed, rose from the dead.


So they introduce their children to the Best. For they want for them

the faith, the hope and the love they have found in Jesus.

They will simply introduce them to Him as their friend

and as they grow to know their mother and father

so they will grow to know the One who will hold them long

after we as parents can no longer be of help.

They will always have God!

That is our best and only lasting gift to them.


You who are here today,

you are the winners.

You make a difference

and your children will make a difference.

You are a blessing and God will bless you.


Now unto God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, be all honour and

Glory, world without end.  Amen

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