Favourite Things

October 13, 2008

(Notes for a children’s address based on Philippians 4, 1-9)

Children – have you read any of the Harry Potter books.

Remember bit in The Prisoner of Azkabahn where Professor Lupin teaches Harry to produce a Patronus to defend himself against the Dementors.

How do you produce a Patronus – apart from the words, you have to concentrate hard on one happy memory – took Harry three goes to get it right.


If you had to make a Patronus what would you think about – your happiest memory?

Song from “The Sound of Music”

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favourite things


Cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favourite things


Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favourite things


When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I’m feeling sad

I simply remember my favourite things

And then I don’t feel so bad


What are your favourite things? What makes you smile just thinking about it?


Both of these instances of power of positive thinking.

What St Paul was talking about in the letter to the people of Philippi. 

If you fall out with somebody, and spend your time thinking how horrible they are – you will never make up with them again. You need to remember all the good things about them, and then you will be able to make peace. 


If you are always worrying about all the bad things that might happen you are going to be tense and miserable all the time. But if you think about the good things that have happened to you, and which might come in the future, you will feel happy and content.


If you think about nasty things – or watch them on TV or on your computer screens – people hurting each other, people doing things that are wrong, there’s a chance that you may end up copying them – it somehow gets inside your head, and you fall under the power of evil.

St Paul says: fill your minds with what is true, noble, just and pure, loveable, gracious, excellent admirable – and above all pray to God and listen to Jesus – then your mind will be full of the right things.


Easy to get led into the sort of thoughts that suck the goodness and happiness out of you. Remember Paul’s words, especially at the end of the month on Halloween. 


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