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  • Busy, Busy, Busy...

    Someone asked me a fortnight ago if I was on a staged or phased return to work.  I nearly laughed aloud - ministry doesn't work like that.  I replied that I was back full time but that I was free to determine the shape of that.

    Me and my big mouth!  This week suddenly everything has gone manic.  Good job I like my work and am generally fit and well I guess.

    Not working the kind of hours I once did, but still life is busy, busy, busy.

    And I love it, even the tough bits which give me nightmares!


    Oh yes, and I posted that flippin' thesis today.  Hurrah!  (The gold letters look very impressive)

  • Cupcakes and Coffee

    Well, it was tea actually, but it doesn't make for such a snappy title!

    Today the mysterious 'A' and I met in the real world for the first time.  Alice and her husband are up in Scotland visiting relies and looking at possible houses ahead of their move up here for her to train at SBC with BUGB.

    We met at a place called Cup which is near the Gathering Place and is a great 'treat' place as they sell a vast range of cupcakes (though the gingerbread one which I really want to try seems always to be 'off').

    It was good to hear something of her story, good to find another female engineer (and in her case pilot) who was called to ordained ministry and great that God is bringing more 'girls' this way...

    Alice is also a blogger, but of a different kind - she has a photo blog here which is worth a look see.

    HT to Sue for linking us up after she and Alice met at Baptist Assembly.

  • Tousled!

    I know this is as nothing to anyone else, but when I got up this morning and glanced in the mirror I saw that my hair was tousled.  It is still very short - the longest strands being about an inch and most less than that - but is now long enough to get 'mussed' overnight. 

    I never thought the day would come when I'd be pleased to wake up with tousled hair!!!

  • Like I've Never Been Away...

    You know that feeling when you've been back at work for about 2 hours after a week's holiday... all the usual stuff is there in all its diversity and you find the holiday already receding into distant memory...?  Well that's kind of how it feels for me just now.

    After four months off work and having been back a month, it seems as if life is pretty much 'business as usual'.

    Yesterday the church celebrated my 'end of treatment' with celebration cake (ASDA 40 serving party tray bakes - excellent value) which was lovely of them.

    And already I seem to be busy doing all the things that ministers do...

    • Preparing services, and planning preaching themes
    • Visiting or phoning sick people or speaking to their relatives (and boy do we have our share of those just now!)
    • Addressing the niggles and concerns that arise on a day to day basis
    • Dreaming about what we might do/be next

    Remind, was I off for four months?  Did I really spend nine months undergoing serious medical treatment? Already it is starting to feel like a long time ago

    It's good to be back - even the bits that worry, annoy or bewilder me!

  • We Plough the Fields and Scatter The Good Seed...

    No, I have not totally lost the plot and arrived at harvest ridiculously early, we are marking Rogation Sunday today at the Gathering Place.  Traditionalists will know, of course, that Monday to Wednesday of this week are the Rogation Days, when in days of yore whole communities would go out in the fields not to plough or sow - that had already been done - but to pray for God's blessing on the harvest.  They had done what they could, now they had to trust God.  Think of the teeny parable in Mark4: 26 - 29, it relates.

    As well as asking (rogare) God to bless the harvest, traditions emerged of Beating the Bounds - walking the perimeter of the parish, stopping at landmarks and reminding themselves of their limits.  Essentially, if you stayed in the parish you were safe, this was home, these were your people who would look out for, and look after, you in time of need.  Boundaries are good, but they can become barriers, so we will also be using John 4, Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, to ponder that too.

    Yes, we will sing of ploughing fields and scattering good seed just for the sheer mischief of it, but also because it isn't really a harvest hymn: snow in winter, warmth, breezes, sunshine... It is, for sure, a rural hymn (there is a contemproary Brian Wren version which I've elected not to use) but people seem to love it and if we sing it now I can pick something else come autumn...!

    Plus of course we are only a fortnight from Pentecost which was the 'first fruits' or 'spring harvest' of the ancient Israelites, so not so far askew really...