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  • Back to Blue!

    OK there are around three hours of October left, but I reckon I can legitimately turn my blog back to blue!

  • Things that make you go "hmmm" (Is God speaking...?)

    A lot of things recently are pointing to something I have not yet quite worked out, but I have a sense, a hint, that maybe in it God is speaking.

    At the Baptist Assembly, we had a series of three 'Bible studies' (sermons by any other name) based on the first half of Luke 4.  This interested me a lot as, for the next lectionary year, the gospel is Luke.  Recently I read something that pointed out how Luke/Acts is framed by the context of the Roman Empire (Luke 2... Emperor Augustus/Quirinius; Acts 28... Paul in Rome) that intrigues me and offers something about context.  At the Baptist Assembly the first study/sermon cnetred on the theme of Jubilee which is short through Luke/Acts.  The speaker (somewhat cynically) compared Biblical Jubiliee with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee... I got his point, up to a point, it was too simplistic but yes, what does Biblical jubilee look like.

    One of the other speakers alluded to his own jubilee - he turns 50 this year, as do I, as do lots of other readers of this stuff.  That made me think too.  How do I live my jubilee in a biblically jubilee fashion...  Good question.

    Next year is a 'zero' for our church as we reach the giddy age of 130 (mere children compared with Dibley, but even so, a good age).  I have some ideas of fun ways of marking that, but hmm, yes, a jubilee-filled anniversary; I like that idea.  And it's challenging.

    Back in May I undertook to preach a series on Mission early next year, and as I looked at the lectionary, woo hoo Luke 4 comes early and offers a helpful leaping off point for such a series.  And the diamond as a jewel with many facets is a helpful metaphor for aspects of mission.

    Next summer will be my sabbatical - a concept linked to jubilee - and as part of that I will be spending some time thinking about aspects of how to continue to serve God via the Gathering Place.  Stuff about mission and jubilee and so on...

    I feel quite excited and re-energised to continue what I am called to.

    Not got a clue what it will all look like but, hmmm, maybe God is speaking...

  • I Want One of Those...

    No secret that I have a "big birthday" looming and that I plan to celebrate it with great gusto.

    When I had my 40th, I asked that, instead of gifts for me, people made donations to charities of their choice.  And on the whole they did.  I was really touched at the range of projects supported in celebration of my big 4-0.

    This morning I was buying Christmas cards online from a number of charities close to my heart, and I stumbled across the 'thing' I want for my birthday:

    Reconstructive Surgery

    For £120 it is possible to buy reconstructive surgery for someone affected by leprosy.  Until I had reconstructive surgery myself, I had no idea how significant it is - in my case it is, outwardly, largely cosmetic, though it does help keep my back straight and avoid lop-sided stresses.  But more than the appearance is what it does for the person, restoring confidence, giving hope and possibilities.

    I will be spending money on partying with various groups of friends in various ways, but I will be saving some pennies to buy this gift of hope for someone else.  I kind of hope some of my friends might find it an appealing idea too... (not that they should give £120 each but could maybe club together)

  • Gutted - and Glad!

    Gutted because I just found out a couple of friends visited the Gathering Place yesterday when I was off elsewhere.  Glad because the message I picked up said they'd been made so very welcome by people here.  Hopefully I'll catch up with them in the not too distant future, but for now I'm just glad the Gatherers did what they do best - express welcome and hospitality.

  • Just Mince.

    In Glasgow to term something 'mince' is to say it is rubbish.  In the north west of England to term something 'mint' is to declare its brilliance.  Idiom and accent can cause confusion.  This has not a lot to do with today's random post, except that I guess the theme is 'mince is mint'.

    Way back in the early 1980s, long before the cult of celebrity chefs, Sainsbury's began to publish little softback (and later hardback) recipe books sold at the checkout for (if I recall correctly) 99p.  As a student and as a young adult I collected several of these, but notably absent was one my Mum had bought called "Marvellous Meals with Mince" by Joceline Dimbleby. 


    Last week as I cooked up a pack of mince that had lain in my freezer for rather a long time, and divided it to make different meals, I recalled this book and wondered if it was possible to find a copy via Amazon or Ebay.

    What I found was this hardback edition:

    At a cover price of £9.99 (discounted to £6.09) I guess it is not too inflated after thirty years!  Republished this year, at a time when economically the situation is similar, I hope it find the same level of popularity it did when Sainsbury's first published it - evidently their version was reprinted no less than eight times!  So now, a little older than my Mum was then, I have my own copy of this classic!

    The message of the book is simple: mince is mint!