Tuesday, January 30, 2007

For Brodie......the final frame............

To get away from ----------------->

(as if that would ever be in your mind!!!)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pastor Delia

Spent a very pleasant evening last night out for a mammoth dinner party for 16 cooked by one of my colleagues who is also a good friend (always kind of handy that; staff members actually liking one another. Think that's what called a "good witness". ) He put on a feast that would have put Delia to shame - with all the attendant gourmet touches to the meal, none of this boiled pasta and a meaty sauce nonsense. Let's have joints of beef, jus, garnishes, choices of starters etc etc

It was also a weekend where we prepare to say goodbye to a member of our congregation, a young man who has sold his house to pay for his training, given up his job and great earnings, to learn to be a missionary pilot . When he announced this as his intention, I felt a "frisson" in my spirit; you know where you just feel that someone is right at the centre of God's will for their life? Where you feel as if you can see God on someone - physically? Do you know what I mean? (Blogs are hard places to explain this). It's infectious; it's inspiring; it's powerful stuff. It's counter-culture.

He is a good friend to many, he's so warm and friendly; he's a servant, he'll do anything for anyone; someone who smiles all over - a gift to the church. And now a gift being given away.

Special for me is that he has been helping with children's work, and I wanted the children to hear about his call to leave everything behind to go and train for three years on the other side of the world. He told them simply; they listened and he knelt while two children laid hands on him and prayed for him.

God bless you!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trade Unions

I've always been a member of a Trade Union. They fulfill an important role, in my opinion.

Now I'm not, and its weird. I'm in a "non-union industry", like electronics and other sunrise industries.
Am I a being awkward if I make noises about trade union-type issues as they pertain to me?? (rhetorical question!)
Am I being subversive? ( have recently been introduced to that word and I like it. Then I looked it up on dictionary.com and found it can mean treacherous, traitorous and destructive!)

Answers on a postcard, please.
What do you think of trade unions ? A thorn in the side to management or grassroots workers' movement? Have you ever belonged to one?

(me: BIFU - banking and finance union - pffft, have experieced tea that is stronger)
then UNISON - public service. Too large to be effective in my mind
then EIS - teaching union. Always been incredibly helpful to me. Screwed up a bit on the McCrone agreement, my personal view!)

Monday, January 22, 2007


I have been involved in an adult training session all weekend, and as a result shared speaking at the main church service on evangelism in the context of the local church.

And I missed the children I work with! After the service I sought many of them out - that's not hard, head towards the tray of biscuits - to see some of them and chat to them. I really do love them and I miss them when I'm not there. Just as with my own biological kids.

I guess I'm in the right job.

I may have posted before that someone prophesied over me: "that you will save them from that which you went through". I was paralysed by fear when I was a child and I long that these children don't just exist as mini-Christians but that they develop apologetic skills, warrior intent and a disciple's heart!

A fellow SEVEN year old classmate asked my daughter why she loved God because, he said, he loved the devil. Winding her up or a statement of intent?? No matter what the intent behind that statement was - she's not just to stand but to stand strong :-)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Top Ten Last Words from Children's Pastors

I visit a great, flippant site on children's ministry now and then and I felt like having a giggle tonight so I have decided to post something from it....


10. We don’t have to preview this video; one of the deacons told me it was clean.
9. Just go ahead. It’s easier to beg forgiveness than to obtain permission.
8. The leadership team won’t mind.
7. We can set up the lightbox in the baptismal tank (that one is specially for Brodie)
6. What does this switch on the sound desk do?
5. I've seen this done once on TV.
4. I'm sure it's strong enough to hold both of us.
3. Let’s go ahead and order it, the church will pay for it.
2. I decided we’re not providing Sunday School this summer, we all need a break .
1. I don’t care if he is the pastor’s kid........

Money money money

Oh my, January in my part of the world is synonymous with fiscal issues.
(hey, remember my post on oxymorons? What about this one: January pay)

Got to do tax return by Jan 31st - not done yet
Got to put my budget submission in - not done yet
Got to pay various bills - not done yet, awaiting the fulfillment of oxymoron above.

Thinking about budget submissions - how does one budget for the work of the kingdom?

Think of a number and double it because you are faithful in your area of ministry? (prosperity gospel approach)
Pray and write down the first figure that comes into your mind? (charismata approach)
Declare the victory won RIGHT NOW over budget poverty? (triumphalistic approach)
Spend, spend, spend and believe that you'll not be sacked (blind faith approach)

Actually a little known fact about me is that I spent my first three years in the world of work in a major UK bank. I even sat three years of banking exams, making me ACIBS (Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers). In other words I know how to:
* spend money and
* say exactly what I spent it on :)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Theological question

I have been pondering over this verse for a few days now. As someone pastorally involved with children, it's obviously a verse that drives me. But I have been applying some of the theological questioning that I am being taught to some of the values and visions that I have in my work; which I share with my teams:

Matthew 18:2-3
Jesus called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Here are some of the questions I am revisiting:

Why are we told that Jesus called a little child? How little is little in NT times?
He said "unless you change". What attitudes do we need to change?
How can we become like little children? Clearly we can't do it physically; we are all "grow-d up".
And for me, the cruncher - what did Jesus mean when he said "you will never enter the kingdom of heaven"?

I don't happen to believe that verse 3 is just about having a place in heaven when we die.

I could post more about my thoughts here but I would really like to reflect on others' opinions. However, I will say that academic studies on children's spirituality have enlightened me; particularly on the capacity of children to use their senses to have awe and wonder and "see" the kingdom (.....coming?) in a way that we can't; where we place logic and reason and "ahhhhh, buts" and fear and discomfort.

Enough Lynn! What are your views on my questions?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Nolans Quiz, Lurker Invitation, What's in the News plus Technical Question (not much really)

please can I echo Brodie's/John's excellent request for all lurkers to come and say "hello" this week?

In particular, if you have moved your blog from blogspot to typepad can you leave me a comment? Can I make the move without losing my archives and current posts/comments?

I was helped to set up another blog today - on typepad, and I was converted.
It seems so easy - no html editing; merely click the boxes! A friend had given his blog a lovely Christmas feel some weeks back and I was so impressed at the blog's decoration, then I saw for myself today that on typepad it's simple to switch the template (my admiration was genuine at the time, S!)

It's been a day of contrasts - pastoral work in the morning, appointment with Inland Revenue tax officer in the afternoon (yes, it's that avoid-the-fine-time again) and haircut at lunchtime. Came out with smooth supershiny straightened, curled under hair. Not me at all. Apparently it's a very trendy style but I feel a bit like Coleen Nolan circ19?? Found a picture to show you. My haircut feels as if it's the one on the far left:

Feeling very annoyed by some news this week too - as usual, Christmas and New Year are quiet on the controversial news front and then it all comes out in one week.

* Bush :::::feel anger rising:::::::20,000 more men and women to Baghdad. Nice one.

* Ruth Kelly - betraying Labour's roots - paying for education in my eyes goes against the grain if you are a government minister. I have noted some comments in the blogosphere about her right as a parent but I feel in very strong agreement with the letter writer to one broadsheet who said this on Wednesday:
Ruth Kelly would have been correct to exercise her right as a parent to send her child to a private school had she not pocketed a ministerial salary and trumpeted the excellence of the state system of education for which she had responsibility.

I shall leave you with a question: in what year was the picture of the Nolans taken? Post your answer in the comments (lurkers, you too can join in with this simple quiz!)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More poo

After a mammoth weekend of organisation, prayer, hosting and interacting with people, I am spending my second night wrapped in a blanket. I am feeling ever-so-slightly peopled-out. Does anyone else know what I am talking about?

I was at a denominational meeting today where I didn't really know anybody. I brought Hay and Nye's Spirit of the Child book so I could catch up on some college reading in the break. I paid close attention to the numerous issues that were being discussed and I thought I asked meaningful and pertinent questions although I am coming to the conclusion that:
(a) at these meetings where no-one really knows me and I don't really know anyone except to smile at, I can never stay silent; try though I might.
(b) I am the youngest by about 20 years representing my denomination and that's not good cos I'm not young. I think I was the only woman not wearing support tights.
(c) I worry far too much about what people think when I speak. I need to know the Father's ultimate and unending love and acceptance for me, me, me just as I am and not for anything that I do.

Had a lovely time over lunch with a fellow female blogger yesterday. It was the first time we had ever met and obviously it is always risky taking one's preschooler to such social events. Thought it was going really well with my son (who I do love so, so much); he of the headstrong behavioural tendencies; when he announced at the table as we ate lunch in a very LOUD voice in an airy museum cafe: "Oooooooh I think some poo is coming out!"

Thanks, M, for staying on!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ask me after Monday!

I've actually been very busy as my traditionally lazy week comes to an end - rather than winding down and getting ready to go back to school, the two week break ends with lots of training events this weekend, for parents, grandparents, kids' workers and finally with a fun event for primary kids themselves.

This is with the fantastic Heather Thompson of
Powerpack Ministries ; an organisation which this year celebrates twenty years of working with children. I have worked on events with Heather and her team twice now and I can't wait to learn more from her.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year everyone!

Happy New Year to one and all! I always get round to the New Year greetings, just two days late!

Had traumatic day at large park in leafy suburbs. Child # 1 fell off scooter twice. Child # 2 scooted right through the biggest pile of dog cr*p you have ever seen and my feeble attempts to poke it with a stick failed miserably. Now there's a big wodge of smelly stuff wedged under the mudguard.

Then he was mowed down by a child on new Christmas bike (blantantly sold without working brakes) going down a fast hill. (or fast downhill???) ; he was totally knocked flat. Just as well he was wearing four layers of clothing. You could hear the screams for miles.

Think we'll stay in the stale air of a centrally heated house tomorrow and away from the dogmenchie-besmirched*, roller-blading, bike-mowing, scooter-riding people crush of a popular park on a Bank Holiday.

* dogmenchie-besmirched = not a real word, but a lot more polite than other turns of phrase I could have used.