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  • Laugh or Cry?

    Today I was visiting my mother and as we were catching up on news, I said, 'we had a Baptism at church last week.'

    Her reply?  'That's nice, what was the baby's name?'

    I despair!  Still, it made me laugh, which is no bad thing.

  • Remarkably Easy!

    Tonight we had the planning meeting for our Christmas carol outreach service - I know it is incredibly early, but anything organised by committee takes some doing.  We managed to get representatives from two out of three traditions - the usual culprits (M & B but no A) - and had some fun picking carols and thinking how to fill the slots between them (apart from lots of Bible readings which we use each year).  Our theme, stolen from Spurgeon's Childcare, is 'sing like an angel' and we are intending to give everyone an angel themed gift to take away with them as a reminder of the messengers and the message (clever, huh).  This may yet mean making 200 paper angels, but IKEA, Ebay, Poundland and the like will be scoured first.  In between carols and Bible readings will be two sketches, a reflection by Hilary Faith Jones and something from Gervaise Finn, as well as a '5 minute message' by the Methodist minister who is on a three line whip to stay on theme, on time, and in comprehensible English!

    So, what will we be singing like angels?

    Good Christians all, rejoice (as per BPW)

    Angels from the realms of glory

    Hark, the herald angels sing

    While shepherds watched their flocks

    See him lying in a bed of straw

    It came upon a midnight clear

    Christmas is a time to love (this one to be taught to us as part of the service)

    Joy to the world


    There are a couple I wouldn't have picked, and a couple I'm really glad we didn't pick, but it nakes for a good, rousing sing and lots of mentions of angels!

    All planning done and everyone gone in time for me to watch 'Silent Witness' - fantastic!

  • Pauline Humour

    handy with face.jpgOn Sunday one of the passages I'm using is 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 which is something of a favourite, guaranteed to ear cartoon.jpgcheer me up with its crazy images of talking hands, feet, ears and eyes.  It really lends itself to some wonderful cartoons, but try as I might there are few if any to be 'Googled' though two I found are on this post.  I love the anthropomorphism of body parts - a foot than can presumably see and understand that it is not a hand, can express this verbally and then hop off because it feels useless, an ear that can see the eye can do what it can't (superb irony) and then flap away.  Definitely some real humour here - but humour with a real point to make.  Talking ears, eyes, feet and hands are a ridiculous concept, and in order to imagine them they have to become bodies in their own right, complete with... eyes, mouths, ears and feet.  How ridiculous then that people feel valueless because of what they're not - but we all do.  How crazy that as individuals or as churches we think we can go it alone, don't need anyone else - but we do.

    Paul often has a reputation for being a misery guts, but the humour of this passage resonates with my own, and makes me think, which is, after all, what the best humour does.

  • Three Years Young

    This blog has now been in existence for three years - which is probably at least 2.5 more than I anticipated.  Looking back over the posts, it is fun to see what has been on my mind at various times and how some themes recur over time.  Since I still enjoy it, and since it is still a place where I feel able to express things, play with ideas and share some of the things that happen in my world, it will continue for the foreseeable future.  Thank you to those who are generous enough to read this stuff and sometimes even comment on it: you are always encouraging and gracious and I value your friendship 'real' or 'virtual.'

    So, happy birthday little blog of mine!

  • Losing my voice...

    No, not literally, metaphorically.  I am suffering from the challenges of trying to please too many people all at once and in the end being left unsure who I am any more!!  It seems that what I write is simultaneously too much like a report and not enough like an essay, is too narrative and too formal, not 'sharp' enough and not 'soft' enough, is too complex and too facile, too detailed and not detailed enough.  I am confused, bemused and now, bruised.  I am sure that all the commenters on stuff I have written in various contexts recently have valid perspectives, but somewhere in all of this I am losing my voice, losing the freedom to say what I want to say how I want to say it, not in the sense of ignoring the requirements of specific audiences, but in being able to be authentically me.  I never was much good at creative writing, though better at poetry than prose, but could produce a decent factual account and deduce inferences from information.  Maybe having a little sister who is fantastically good with words, and will hopefully soon have her first book published, adds to my sense of inferiority?

    So, this becomes my safer place to write, where I use my own mish-mash of styles, grammar and vocabulary, can blend bullet points with paragraphs, creativity with commentary, and generally find some freedom of speech.

    Verses from a couple of hymns come to mind, which speak to me today:


    Take my voice, and let me sing

    Ever, only for my King;

    Take my lips, and let them be

    Filled with messages from thee.


    ...Take my intellect and use

    Every power as thou shalt choose.

    Frances Ridley Havergal

    Take my talents, takes my skill,

    Takes what's yet to be;

    Let my life be yours and yet,

    Let is still be me

    Iona Community


    Now I will return to my latest rewriting task, and try to balance the intent behind the comments with it still being my voice that is heard...