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  • Sunset...

    Just beautiful.  I am very blessed to live where I do.

     

    Night has fallen:

    God our maker, guard us sleeping.

    (Traditional)

     

    Thank you for the night,
    the sign that day is done,
    that life is meant to rest
    and sleep to come.

    Thank you for the quiet
    as silence scatters sound,
    while God, in both,
    is waiting to be found.

    Thank you for the dark
    to compliment the light,
    as insight, open-eyed,
    replaces sight.

    Thank you for the word,
    which darkness can't contain,
    that life, laid down,
    is raised to life again.

    Thank you for the night,
    a measure of your care.
    In darkness, as in light,
    you, Lord, are there.

    John Bell (born 1949) and Graham Maule (born 1958) from The Courage to Say No
    © 1993 WGRG, Iona Community

  • What Next?

    This Sunday will our second "Think, Pray, Vote" service, ahead the General Election.  After that is one service intended as a follow-up, and I have been thinking long and hard how best to approach that. 

    On the recommendation of others, I am reading a book called "Those Who Show Up" by Andy Flannagan, which is an easy read and an accessible exploration of why (and how) Christians can and should get involved in politics beyond 'just' voting, sending post card or clicking online petitions.  It's not rocket science, for sure, but it is thoughtfully written.

    Certainly it is helping me begin to ponder what I might choose to say when speaking into a context the other side of the election.

  • Back into the Old Routine

    My week off was a good opportunity to do some much needed tidying up of my house, and also of my mind/soul, whatever it is that is the inner me.  Time to reflect on what is good and what is being neglected; time to to re-establish helpful practices that have been squeezed or even squeezed out in the relentless busyness of doing good, even Godly, things.

    Back to beginning my day with PAYG (expect on my day off when I am allowed a lie in instead!).  Back to ending my day with one of the oodles of Complines in the numerous psalters and prayer books I have.  Choosing to spend around an hour a day plodding through a bit more of my jigsaw (at the stage now where it is systematic working through of pieces, and a productive hour might see ten pieces put in to it, and that's alright).  Making sure that the cats get some quality play time, especially Sasha who has boundless energy, rather than just a few cuddles (though Sophie prefers that!).  Back also to the regular rhythm of church life, with lots of folk needing pastoral support, with services to prepare and meetings to attend/chair.

    Small changes, such as more intentionally making my 'down time' restful and refreshing and being more disciplined in devotional practices, undoubtedly lead to greater inner (and outer?) energy, which I hope in turn lead to 'better' ministry.  Today's PAYG was a passage from Matthew which began with 'become like a child' and ended with 'come to me and I will give you rest' - I think these are two useful messages for me to keep in mind, the need for hopeful playfulness and the need for restorative rest.  Will I achieve this long term?  No, of course not, because we are all victims of our personalities and mine is a driven, work-focussed one.  But I can keep on keeping on returning to the old routines that sustain and energise me as often as necessary in the hope that one day I really will find the balance.