This morning I took a little time to glance over the most recent BMS magazines, and found myself laughing out loud at a short article in the Summer 2016 issue of Engage, which focussed on language faux pas by mission personnel. Should you be in need of a few laughs yourself, have five minutes to spare, or are simply curious, go here and click through to page 16. Happy reading!
Today I decided to have another go at decluttering - it's a long old process but each time I do make some progress.
In the course of sifting through a box of papers, most of which went into the bin, I stumbled across various cards made for me by children when I left Manchester and when I arrived in Glasgow. It was lovely to be reminded of those special moments, and makes me glad of my hoarder tendencies. I read some old thank you cards - one referring to something I had done which evidently was a real help to the person who wrote it, and of which I have zero recollection. That was nice too.
Definitely being blessed all over again (as well as a few 'yikes' moments when I realise how many years have elapsed).
I did eject six sacks of rubbish and fill a huge bag of recycling, as well as identifying loads more stuff that one day will find its way to a charity shop.
Not exactly a relaxing day off, but a good one in many ways.
(The picture in the photo was drawn by Edward who by now will be at least 18!)
Once again we've had a week when it's hard to find the words for intercessory prayer, so I was especially proud of the person leading them this morning who stood up and said words to the effect of, "I tried to write a prayer but the words wouldn't come, so I'm sharing this poem instead."
And the poem fitted the service perfectly, and touched on the key themes exactly, and said what was needful and helpful.
And I hope that the courage of this one person to admit the struggle of creating prayers for public worship will encourage others both to be brave enough to have a go and realise that it is perfectly OK to borrow the words of others.
Our church age range is now 0 - 102.
This, among many other things, makes me very grateful.
This, among many things, makes ministry hugely challenging and endlessly rewarding.
Congratulations to E&J on the safe arrival of baby O (a couple of weeks ago) and to G on your 102nd birthday.
Thank you God for these moments of joy and celebration.
I posted recently that I struggled to find anything to say in response to the endless succession of bad news. I shared a response to some word-free prayers that I had found really helpful. I have pondered the words of those such as Elie Weisel and Martin Neimoller that see silence as collusion, and of other bloggers who feel that it is better to say something, however trivial (and hence open to negative criticism!) than nothing.
So what do I say? What can I say?
If I say, and it's true, that all I hear about are events in the wealthy west, that what causes us to recoil in horror occurs day in day out in places we never hear about, does that mean I care less or deem acceptable such actions? Of course not. But it is true.
If I say, and it's true, that the ever increasing flood of reports of tragedy has the potential to lead to compassion fatigue, which is also true, do I have a viable alternative? I don't.
If I say, and it is the case, that I can't do everything and can end up so paralysed that I risk doing nothing, does that make me somehow a lesser person? I hope not.
If I choose not to make some quick response, some knee-jerk reaction, am I colluding with the status quo? Some would say so.
So what do I do?
I continue to pray with countless others for the continued expression of God's Kingdom/Kindom/Commonwealth/Common Wheal (sp?) or whatever people want to call it on earth.
I continue to practice forgiveness, even when it's hard, even when I am deeply wounded by words, actions or attitudes.
I continue to be grateful for what is good, to express that even in small ways for small things.
I choose hope, and love, and faith... and laughter, and kitty cats, and roses...
Life is not existence, life is a choice... and whether my words are many or few, whether I get it right or wrong or somewhere in between, I do my best to choose life.
Pray for the world... think global, act local:
God of all places, may your kingdom come, and may I play my part, however small, in its expression.