Friday, June 29, 2007

The Countdown......

Ach. Last week the dishwasher broke down. I actually had to don gloves and wash dishes. My second hate, after dusting.

This week the washing machine broke down and I had to pay an engineer to sign its death certificate. I've been a little peeved with this and with a situation hanging over me, where I spoke out on what I perceived as an unjust situation. You know how sometimes you wish you hadn't bothered? I don't feel like this!! 'nuff said.

My little boy also celebrated his last week in nursery with his biggest tantrum ever - all records were broken; the gloves were off. This consisted of: spitting in his sister's dinner, slamming doors, kicking the bath panel so it came off and drawing pictures in the bath by squirting my shampoo and conditioner everywhere (when he was supposed to be in Triple P's "quiet time". Well, he was quiet at that moment. Artistic naughtiness takes concentration) All in half an hour.

I put him to bed at 6.15pm

I've got over that now. He's not too bad either! Never mind, off to Valencia in 5 days time.

It's going to be a good weekend. We're going to spend the evening with good friends tomorrow who we've not hung out with for a while. On Saturday I'm getting my hair cut (always a high) and going to hear this man speak. Everyone I know is raving about Velvet Elvis, must get it for holiday reading. (if anyone wants a ticket for this event, email me as a friend has loads spare and he would like to get rid of them)

Please visit Still Small Voices if you have the chance as it's been great for me personally to see a wee comment exchange going. Feel its been revived a little. Thanks to my comrades on this project, Brodie and Stuart for re-igniting this.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

And the winner is......

Last week I invited readers to undertake a "Leap of Faith" challenge - see here for details.

I happen to know for a fact that many considered entering this competition but few managed to do so; such was the challenge of writing utter nonsense in the style of a knowledgeable commentator. However I am delighted to reveal two people who exhibit exceptional gifting in this area and they cleverly wove *complete mince* into their usual posts, errrrrrr, I mean into carefully constructed literary pieces:-
Well done Guacamole Girl for this entry and also to Gadgetvicar - both pieces are completely believable. I laughed and laughed when I read each of them.

A donation has been made to Positive Action in Housing's destitute asylum seeker fund in honour of the Wordsmith of the Hour, Gadgetvicar!

Your next challenge is to weave the words into a real, live, sermon..........!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gently reminded.....come Spirit of God....

I was half watching the TV news tonight at 6, when what I saw caused me to fall on my knees to cry, and call out to God.

Did any of you see this story? In scenes reminiscent of Ceacescu's orphanages, US soldiers find two dozen boys tied to beds, lying in their own excrement, dying, while staff cooked in a kitchen next door, with well stocked cupboards of food clearly in view.

My heart broke and all I can do even now is cry out to God for the lives of these children. For them to be able to trust and love again. How stark ring the words in Lamentations 2:19
Arise, cry out in the night,
as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint from hunger
at the head of every street.

We have had the musician Godfrey Birtill visit our church a few times over the years; he has become a friend, and he has taught about "songs of lament" that are found in the Bible. He has written some for the church to sing too. He says, it's time for the church to sing songs of lament again for the state of the nations, to cry out prophetically to God for justice and mercy, for the freedom for the oppressed. I physically shivered with the majestic sense of God's presence the last time we sang this song. It echoes his heart, I think.

Lord turn Your footsteps towards these ruins
We need You here...We need You here...
Our homes are broken
Our children are stolen
We need You here...We need You here....

Our God and King...Ancient of days...
Alpha Omega, Jesus, Saviour
Work Your deliverance in this place.
Yours is the night...Yours is the day..
No-one is greater...come Lord save us!
Work Your deliverance in this place...

Lord turn Your footsteps towards these ruins
We need You here...We need You here...
In these streets filled with darkness
Our children fatherless
We need You here...We need You here...
Godfrey Birtill
© Whitefield Music UK

It's hard not to feel a sense of hopelessness. How long, O Lord? Till you come again and the Darfurs and Baghdads stop? I want to spend my life on things that matter in your eyes, Father.

I also felt convicted about previous comments I have made about the US involvement in Iraq. Whilst not all of my beliefs have changed, I felt the Spirit say to me as clear as day: " be grateful for those US soldiers who found the orphans - they showed kindness and compassion to those boys; did you see the gentle touch of their hands?; I sent them to save them from certain death".

So thank you, God, for gently taking my eyes UP and OUT instead of IN on ME.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Highs and lows

I'm not talking about pressure systems in the title of this post.

I am struggling a little just now to get everything done that I have to do and in particular to balance the demands of church work (which is all consuming as I prepare for the summer activities), family and personal time. It's got to that time of year where I really need a holiday. Two weeks today I am in Spain - thank you Lord!

This weekend I was physically in the church building from 9am Saturday till 1pm Sunday (apart from a sleep) and then back at 5.30 for a clear-out of kids ministry stuff (thanks to the wee team that helped me with that particular job! I feel so much better!) The all age service and annual prize giving had been brought forward a week to Sunday 17 June for reasons outwith my control leaving me with the most hectic weekend ever as I had already booked the team training day on Sat 16th! Despite all my attempts at smart planning, still too much ended up happening on one weekend!

Today I got my essay result. I worked really hard on it and, although I was heading in the right direction, my script was dotted with not the most positive statements "random", "weak" etc. There was the odd "good point" in there too. Someone once said we remember 99 negatives and forget the one positive statement. So true. I am not a natural theologian. I struggle with the depth of thought required in pure, not practical, theology. However, the one thing I really like about college is that there is a wide variety of classes and courses ....and after all I did pass this one and with some comfort - so I mustn't be too hard on myself!

On the positive note, I have an interview next week for a very part-time teaching job. I feel a real need to be in the secular workplace a little. (interestingly, see Graham's post today).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Anyone up for a challenge? There's a PRIZE!

A few weeks ago, I was telling a friend about one of my all-time favourite movies, Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin. It's a fascinating film, on the face of it a comedy, but actually chock full of deep meaning, and particularly at the end when something unexplainable happens leaving Steve Martin contemplating the faith of others. Read this great review of the film here but please note the warning that "those who take religion seriously may be offended". Therefore recommendation of this film is highly suitable for those of us in this wee corner of blogland ::::chuckle:::::

Anyway, one of the best bits is when Steve, pretending to be an evangelist-cum-showman appears to exercise words of knowledge in an evening meeting (these are really bits and pieces of information that he is team and have picked up from townspeople in the days prior to the "revival meeting"). Check here for an example!

His partner in crime issues him with a challenge every night; to insert some random words or phrases into his "message" for the evening.

And so I bring you..........the Random words challenge
, courtesy of this website.

The challenge is to use one of the pairings of random words in a blog post, in a serious thread, over the next week or so. Following Brodie's excellent idea, the example that tickles me most will win a PRIZE.

So come on all you wordsmiths; there are four pairings to choose from. One of these pairings (only one, to make it subtle!) must be inserted seamlessly into a blog entry of yours in as normal a fashion as possible. Will anyone notice? :-)

Your choices:

nonjuring capriole
reboant mutagenesis
semipellucid aspasia
curule thurification

Deadline for prize winning: a week on Friday - 22 June 2007.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I've been tagged! How exciting!

I should actually be posting my photo-journal today but I am going to respond to Brodie's challenge to spill the beans on 7 things about me. I have been in the library for most of the day, and I took pictures to prove it, but they haven't come out! I think people around me thought I was a little....unusual....for photographing my desk. I've been reading various critiques of the Christus Victor theory of atonement so I have come to the conclusion that either God doesn't want me to post photies today or the cosmic battle ranging in the unseen realm has prevented the photos uploading..........

<<(1) a baby (2) beer (3) girls (4) time (5) dislikes (6) hobbies (7) tomorrow>>

1. What was I like as a baby? I was going to say "cute" but I'm not sure that's the first thing my mum would say! My response is "not alone" as 11 months after I was born I was joined by my brother. Mum, what were you thinking........!?!?!?

2. Beer - oh sweet memories. Early university days - cider drinker. Only in small amounts (cheap). Then between First and Second Year I went to work on an archaeological dig with the most cosmpolitan and interesting bunch of folks you could ever imagine and I was indoctrinated into the world of hard liquor - well, vodka and gin. Hence began my short period of being quite far away from God but it didn't last long as a deputation from my home (and current) church came to find me as they were "worried about me". This pastoral visit from a trusted bunch of friends resulted in me repenting and coming back to God - but still liking voddy to this day. Mmmmm, with ice. And in moderation :-)
Don't really like beer that much - except Rolling Rock. Does that count?

3. Boys - how much detail do I go into here? I can remember every one of my deeply held infatuations, though my first proper "last song" snog was at a Scout Disco, age 14. Don't remember anything else except what I was wearing !?!?!?!? (blue sailor dress, from What Every's). Longest crush (about 3 years) was on Richard Phillips, mad scientist-type guy in my class, now a puffin watcher on Antarctica (so Friends Reunited tells me). Oh, also on Adam Ant - Stuart Goddard - for about 3 years. I really did kiss the posters on my wall every night.

I also fell into the non-Christian/Christian boyfriend dilemma at University but made some right choices, hard though they seemed at the time. Then I went to the Orkneys and was swept off my feet for a few months by a Christian fisherman (you couldn't make this up).....before falling for my to-be husband at the ripe old age of....19....Yet I had gone out with him two years previously and chucked him round about the archaeological dig time! Those years are testament to the grace of God and my heart that yearned to be obedient, even if I didn't always manage it!

4. time - I hate being late. Since having children I can tend towards being 5 or 10 minutes late for personal appointments (not school or work) but I try to be on time and usually manage it.

5. dislikes - intolerance, unfairness, procrastination and inaction, coffee, high heels, dust.... but also dusting. Oh, and my own judgmentalism.

6. hobbies - 24! Cinema. Listening to a wide range of music (and used to be going to gigs; not so often now). Going out with friends - I spend a lot of time with friends from outwith church - phoning or emailing those who are scattered across the country, going out regularly with those who live near here. This is very important to me.

7. Tomorrow - during the day, everyone is leaving me so that I can finish my essay on the meaning of salvation. So I'm going to be alone ::::sob::::: and distracted, no doubt. However at night, I am cooking dinner for friends who are coming round. A lovely way to end Saturday.

Now I tag:

The Boy Likes Butteries

Talk Rhubarb
Wood Street Girl

Monday, June 04, 2007


Some of my esteemed blogging comrades - I shouldn't really I mention names - but this one, this one and this one, have got lots of cool and funky visuals on their blogs with personal "motifs" that tell us a little about them and their lives. We see dogs, vegetables, megaphones, cast iron maps of the River Clyde, voluminous shelves of books, hats, YouTube clips a-plenty, clustr maps and the like....and all I have on neanderthal blogger (WHY DO I HAVE TO LOG IN EVERY TIME when it says it will "REMEMBER ME". Clearly it doesn't.) is the odd wee picture here and there.

I thought I would record my day with photos tomorrow and have a photo journal (this will be a laugh as I have just realised that I am out all day at LOADS of places) so hopefully this will provide a bit of interest for the visual learners (like me)....

Hope I don't get arrested at some of the places I will be photographing......

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fun Weekend

Taking seventeen 10 and 11 year olds up north this weekend with a small team for teaching on the theme of "Awesome God" and of course the usual fun, games, crafts, dvd, popcorn, angels and mortals, teaching, worship, weekend like this is worth - I am convinced - HUNDREDS of hours of "Sunday School" time, when children are perhaps hurried out of the service to be looked after a la IKEA creche mode, with things to watch/make/listen to/run about doing until the bell tolls at midday and their parents come to collect them, having had their spiritual fill....

I'm NOT being cynical, but isn't that a fair description of how we do children and church in many of our places now?

I want to push the boat out a little and teach these youngsters that they are "CHURCH" now - armed and dangerous warriors, whose life, witness, prayers and action can have effect NOW (and ooooooohhh I love it when we do all this all ages together........)