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- Page 5

  • To every season...

    There comes a moment every year when I go out in the morning and sense the transition from summer to autumn.  Wherever I have lived, this has been somewhere during August, and dependent on latitude and the weather that year, it may be earlier or later in the month.

    Today was that day.  The subtle shift in the light to a more gentle, more golden hue; the first fall leaves and the tiniest hint of gold among the green, the feeling that another season has passed by under heaven...

    I've always noticed it, and maybe now I notice it all the more, with the significance August/September plays in my personal calendar. Two years tomorrow since the discovery that would, by the end of the month, change my world permanently... a time to celebrate (ha, I beat it, I'm still here, still well, still NED), a time to remember (how I was sooo terrified, the friends I have made (and lost) since then) a time to be grateful to the God who gives us the rhythm of the seasons, and shares the everyday with us.

    I try not to bore everyone with what, for them, is now ancient history.

    I aim to live life fully and vigorously, savouring the moments, delighting in its diversity.

    But it is a scientific fact that the brightest days are those when the clearest shadows are cast... Every new August is both a celebration and a reminder: bright sunshine creates sharp shadows. 

    I make no apologies (except to those it makes cry) for yet again posting this lovely John Glynn hymn...

    I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
    casting its shadows near.
    And on this morning, bright though it be,
    I feel those shadows near me.
        But you are always close to me,
        following all my ways.
        May I be always close to you,
        following all your ways, Lord.

    I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds,
    warming the earth below.
    And at the mid-day, life seems to say:
    'I feel your brightness near me.'
        For you are always close to me,
        following all my ways.
        May I be always close to you,
        following all your ways, Lord.

    I watch the sunset fading away,
    lighting the clouds with sleep.
    And as the evening closes its eyes,
    I feel your presence near me.
        For you are always close to me,
        following all my ways.
        May I be always close to you,
        following all your ways, Lord.

    I watch the moonlight guarding the night,
    waiting till morning comes.
    The air is silent, earth is at rest-
    only your peace is near me.
        Yes, you are always close to me,
        following all my ways.
        May I be always close to you,
        following all your ways, Lord.

    John Glynn (b. 1948) © 1976 Kevin Mayhew Ltd

  • I Won a Giveaway Prize!

    You know how it is, you complete an online questionnaire about something and it says there's a give away prize but you forget all about it because you know you never win.


    This morning the postie arrived with a packet for me - but I hadn't ordered anything recently, so it was a surprise.

    Ripping it open I discovered I had won the BMS Mission Catalyst Survey Giveaway!  Wow!  It's no secret that I am a big fan of Mission Catalyst, one of the few denominational or theological things I look forward to receiving AND read cover to cover.

    So I now have a copy of Denis Alexander's book "Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose" which I am looking forward to reading as it's a very long time since I revisited this question in any depth.  A quick glance suggests it is a complex book, and I suspect the title question is rhetorical, but hey, I won a prize!

    Thank you BMS!

  • Street Labyrinth

    Tonight's evening service took the form of a 'street labyrinth', a walk along the lanes (narrow cobbled streets) and streets around church, pausing at various points to consider or pray for people who live, work or pass by there.  The library, a swimming pool, restaurants, derelict buildings, green spaces, fly tipping, homes, shops, the Subway station and so on.

    I don't know what struck other people, but the defining moment for me was as we turned a corner in one of the lanes and a street musician began playing Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'... I had to chuckle to myself, but it also seemed quite a spiritual moment too.

  • Beautiful or What?

    Joanne Rowsell.jpg

    Joanna Rowsell, Olympic Gold medallist defining beauty and health.

    Courage and confidence - a shining example to inspire many generations.


    Not sure if this is highly inappropriate, but into my mind came this plagiarism of the Mica song title...


    Bald girls, you are beautiful!



    Having been one, albeit temporarily, I hope I can be forgiven any impropriety...


     Edit: I posted a link to the above photo on a well-known social networking site and someone commented that Joanna is not beautiful, and that outward appearance is not an appropriate way to judge women.   Now I wholeheartedly agree that no-one - female or male - should be judged on the basis of their appearance, but that does not alter the fact that I do think Joanna is beautiful - both in a physical and, based on what I have observed, in the spirit (if not the letter) of a Pauline Biblical sense.  So, if anyone wants to debate with me appropriate use of the word beauty, feel free, in the meantime I'm re-posting this steroid-bloated shiny-pated photo of myself from December 2010 because I stand by my assertion that bald girls are beautiful...


  • Olympics Accommodation

    This pleased, but also challenged, me:  I am really pleased that an accommodation has been made to allow a devout Muslim woman to complete; I am challenged that many of the Muslim women in countries permitting women athletes for the first time face criticism (or worse) for participating.  When we mutter in the west, we do well to remember what other people live with day and daily.