Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Gadget

I've just added a new gadget to this blog - blog followers.
(see very bottom of the page - you gotta scroll right down there \/)4
I've just discovered there is a benefit to doing this; like an RSS feed; on your blogger homepage all the updates to the blogs you're following are shown in the one place.

I know there are people who follow this blog - I see your locations, Mr/Ms Milton Keynes, Ms/Mr Fauldhouse, Ms/Mr Perth, Mr/Ms Bayern, Leeds, London, Livingston.....

At the very least, please do consider leaving a comment on Blog Comment Day, Wednesday 3 December....
Would be great to welcome a few more regulars onboard.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ten Things I Love Beginning with "M"

Over at Get Out of Jail Free, Annedroid assigned me the letter "M" to particpate in a meme that looks fun. I am going to attempt to blog about Ten Things I Love beginning with "M"......

1. Is My Mum. She's patient, tolerant, totally dependable (if I needed her for anything, even though I am now not a wee girl, she would come) and I do love her to bits (though she does talk about the weather a lot when I phone her, which drives me daft) I wonder if that'll be me in 25 years time....
hello Lynn, my washing's drying awfae well in the sun, stiff breeze are you? how are the kids? My word, it was cold last night. Did you feel the chill in the air when you went out first thing? Ah, you got a new car? They say it's going to rain later on.....

2. Mountains
Here's a picture of one of my favourites - Buachaille Etive Mhor. The picture is(c) to John Arthey images - thanks for the permission!

I walk round them rather than up them (shall leave that to Mr Smelly Socks and Gaiters, aka That Hideous Man) and this is in part due to my previous life as a full time Geography teacher. Once a field-sketcher, always a field-sketcher. The topography of our mountains is fascinating. The results of ice action and subsequent weathering over the last 10,000years has left us magnificent mountains. Dream on, oh great Alps, stand and shiver, Himalayas. We may be pint sized but our mountains are magic! A dream day out for me is paddling my feet in a plunge pool at the foot of a Scottish mountain. I have spent many happy hours in Glen Etive.....gazing wistfully....time to move on.

3. I love Maltesers. Quite simply - mmmmm. Eat one whilst having a hot cup of tea. Melts in the mouth.

4. I love melon. It has to be my most favourite fruit. You eat it and afterwards it feels like you have had a good drink. And all children, everywhere, eat it. Unless they are allergic to it.

5. I really like Meeting People (had I typed Meeting Men I'd have been in deep trouble. I actually wanted to make "Men" one of the ten things but I'd spend months protesting my innocence). I just love how different we all are; how no two human beings are exactly the same but how enjoyable it is to spend time with other human beings, talking, laughing, drinking coffee or wine, sharing food, watching Jack Bauer on 24 :::smile:::: I love how God made us for interaction. I love how part of the pleasure of having friends is finding out what makes each other tick and creating and sharing common experiences to make that grow.

6. I absolutely LOVE Me-time, which seems to come in complete contrast to number 5 above. When I am not at work I am cooking or washing or cleaning, OK, scrub that one, I don't really clean (dust!! bleughh) but I do tidy up, or going over homework or repacking school bags or sorting out bills. I have a very lovely husband who dusts and does the bathroom and supports me in indescribable ways (we make a good team) and allows me Me-time occasionally: to go for a facial (clearly its time for another: I got a very large spot last week) or to lie in a little bit on a Saturday or to read a Heat magazine. Love people, also love little bits of Me-time.

7. I love Miracles. I long for miracles. I've been privileged to see miracles. The most recent is a friend who has seen three tumours disappear and this has been medically substantiated. A terminal diagnosis has been reversed by her consultant. Stories like this make me long to see more - I struggle with the "now" and "not yet" of the kingdom of God but every bit of me is crying out for more of the things that Jesus did. Another miracle that I see often is a transformed life; a new sense of purpose, a walk with Jesus when before there was a life lived alone.
Want to recommend a book at this point: Heidi Baker's The Hungry Always Get Fed: A Year of Miracles

8. I love two more M's. For reasons of confidentiality I can't use their names. They are two whole sets of families in two different cities who love my family unreservedly and we love them back, every one of them i.e. not just the mum and dad. They are incredibly important to us and actually, I don't know where we would be right now without their love and support. I hasten to add that we have many families and couples who offer us such love and support; we are deepy blessed with very good friends in a number of places round the country, but this post happens to select some letter Ms....

9. I love Magazines. The more pictures the better.
I think this is because I often engage with heavy-duty reading, I like to switch off with something that doesn't smell musty, have small print and comes with a burgundy hard cover. Regular readers of my blog will know I love Heat. And I don't buy it every week!! Only about once a month (the content doesn't change that much. X Factor, Allan Carr, Russell Brand and Kate Moss just about covers it). I've had to watch where I put Cosmo (which I only get occasionally) as my 8 year old daughter asked her father last week about the lady who slept with 54 men, wasn't she awfully tired?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I have asked permission from Lucy to post this poem of hers. Lucy has published an anthology of her poems, "Fragile World", which she put together in order to raise money for women in Darfur who have suffered horrific abuse, almost unseen by the eyes of the outside world.

I love this poem.

Come with me, be one tiny streak of brilliant white rather than choosing a safe passage to mediocrity.


inspire me
do not leave me
in my world
of waste,
the place
where I crawl
inside my own

strengthen me.
do not let me give in
to the voices
which say:
what you do -
you will never change
the world.

remind me.
that on a canvas
entirely of black,
one tiny streak
of brilliant white
can change the whole

(c) Lucy Mills

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Children Under Attack - Sign the Petition

If my last post moved you in any way, please consider signing the online petition here. The aim is to get 2,000 signatures and its up to 1400 now. Promise the next post will be a cheery one......!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ashamed to be a called a Christian

I am ashamed to be called a Christian tonight.

Strong words indeed.

Please check this out

It is, quite simply, one of the most painful things I have ever had to watch on TV. And I know it is not fictional reporting. Trainers from this organisation have told me of similar things.

I wept and wept.

There are really no words of my own to explain how I feel about what I saw. The pain and misery on a child's face as a man, face full of hate, on camera, tells her he is going to machete her. She is about 6 years old.

Lord, Lord forgive us. Church, cry out a lament that such things happen in our name.
Liberty Films "End of the Wicked" is used as propaganda from village to village to turn adults against children "scream through the night; show signs of fever or a tendency towards ill health". This means, they claim, that they are witches. Pastors teach this as truth to be actioned. Children are tortured and killed. They are separated from their parents and abandoned, or worse. What must go through the child's mind as this harm is done to them?

In truth, the only comfort I find just now is in the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:
verse 10 "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."

and in Lamentations 2:19 - a reminder that the Lord hears our cries in prayer for the abandoned children:
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.

Consider writing to the Nigerian government to complain. According to the documentary, no pastors have been imprisoned for inciting child abuse, as yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My church family, hunnerds of them, is gathering around a vision meal tomorrow.

Vision is absolutely essential. Communicating it is a rare gift which my SP possesses in abundance.

My take on "vision casting" , from my little bit of experience, is that getting people to let go of their own ideas of what is best is the hardest bit of all. We like our ideas, thank you very much! They have been with us a long time! I'm no exception to this.

My prayer this week is simply for open hands; a loose grip on the things that we perceive dear and a heart to bless others. To speak blessing over "signs of life" and to resist the urge to go "hmmmm" because it looks and feels different. I've done it and I freely confess my own lack of immunity!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

my week

Hello dear blog

Realised I haven't posted any sort of update on the denominational conference. That's mainly because it's been a testing week - not insurmountably difficult because of the way people around us have pulled round us - but not an easy one.

My seminar at this went well; it was packed out and I was delighted that so many pastors and leaders were present, including Mark Greene of the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity.

My friend and colleague had a tremendous turnout at her seminar the next day, c'mon the women :-) :-)

On Sunday it was the all age service - I meant to take a photo of the tremendously awesome banquetting table (but I forgot). I really enjoyed the worship and doing the teaching but I was too long :-(

Felt disappointed with this on Monday morning. Why do we always remember the negative and not the positive? Some of the reasons for being too long were under my control i.e. it was my mouth, not anyone else's, and one or two of them weren't.

On Monday I lost all my keys (and got into fear about telling the office manager)
On Tuesday I crashed the car
On Wednesday I was late for my Moltmann class due to the above and also things house-wise came to a financial head and
On Thursday God answered a crisis prayer
On Friday the courtesy car I thought I was getting was withdrawn as I was told the car was a write off
Tomorrow (Saturday) I am heading North to do some teaching and training on faith development and disruptive children.
On Sunday I repeat the all age service with the 9.30 congregation

Promise to write more next week.