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  • Coming Down the Mountain...

    Let's be honest, there was an element of 'mountain top' about my trip to NZ - I felt enthused, energsied and rather proud of myself for getting there in the first place.  Day three since I came back to work I am still feeling very tired from the travelling, and the intensity of the shiny happy feeling is diminishing rapidly.  That's the thing about mountain top moments - you have to come back to earth sooner or later.

    Tomorrow my plan is to make lots and lots of zeds, having worked fairly intently all week and put in a fair few hours I am ready for some sleep!

    My sermon for Sunday kind of follows this thread, so I'm preaching to myself as much as to anyone else... coming down the mountain is inevitable; it's how what happens at ground level is affected by the experience that really matters.

  • Just wondering....

    ... if one of J K Rowling's characters could transfigure the sow's ear that is my Transfiguration sermon into a silk purse... At least I have a first draft done now and all tomorrow to re-work it into something better.  Sometimes it seems I need to brain dump a rubbish sermon in order for the ideas to find their way out of my head!

    Good as it is to be back at work, my brain is still rather sluggish from crossing quite so many time zones and being offered quite such odd foodstuffs at wierd hours (I declined the midnight snack of steak pie!) along the way.

  • Back to earth...

    ... and back to work.  Somehow February disappeared without me noticing and now on the cusp of March there's a lot that needs to be done - so as you can see I am busy on the diversion tactics!  Out shortly to a meeting then need to crack Sunday's 'transfiguration' sermon and start thinking Lent planning!

    Seem to have a possible cold brewing courtesy of someone on the plane who snuffled and sneezed all the way from Auckland to Dubai and/or the one who coughed all the way from Dubai to Glasgow.

    Good to be home - lots to do and looking forward to getting back to it!  One last pic of the Sky Tower by night before normality returns:

    nz 110.JPG

  • Rightside Up - I Think!

    Safely home after my amazing adventure - all unpacked and stuff put away, Holly cat cuddled, essential contacts made... and now just chillin'

    Nothing much to post today (have been on airoplanes for most of the past 36 hours) but this sign at Auckland airport made me smile...

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  • Last Post from NZ

    That's just about it, then... been to church, lunch with the minister and her family, took a quick look at the art galleries and back to my appartment to sort out my packing ready for off tomorrow.  Flight not until the evening, so some time to have a last look around, once I''ve  dropped off luggage somewhere or other.

    Today's sermon was on epiphany - the visit of the wise men to the young Jesus, and the return home by another route after an experience that defied expectations.  I felt it spoke to me in at least some measure, not so much about my visit to NZ as about the whole journey that has brought me to this point and the return to my physical homeland, changed by what I have experienced.

    Three and a half years to the date, and pretty darned close to the time (NZ time anyway) from hearing the words "I'm sorry, it's cancer" that unchosen, unwanted, unplanned journey has brought me to the far side of the planet where sharing my story has somehow helped or blessed some others, where I have recovered/rediscovered some of my confidence, been blessed by awesome Kiwi hospitality, worshipped with two very different Baptist churches, and retrun home invogorated and refreshed.

    I still maintain that God did not send me cancer, let alone try to teach me anything by it, but given that it happened, God has given me amazing opportunities I would not otherwise have had.  In fact, so much that is good, beautiful and wonderful has emerged that I am left with a bit of a quandry!  Whilst I'd rather not have had cancer, I cannot regret one moment of my life since hearing those fateful words...  Because God has shared that journey (and still does) and perhaps because I've been willing/determined to play my part, I have been blessed beyond my wildest imaginings... I cannot regret the friendships made, the opportunities that emerged.  That irreversible paradigm shift BC:AD (Before Cancer to After Diagnosis), probably my one contribution to cancer-theological lore/language, has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined, and most of them a pretty amazing.  I can't go back and, if I am honest and if it meant giving up what I've gained, even if I could I wouldn't.

    I've had a wonderful time in New Zealand, have been blessed and energised, refreshed and challenged: all of these are good things.  Now I return to the UK tired and happy - it's been great.  Kia Ora

    Radio silence now until at least Tuesday afternoon UK time!