By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

- Page 3

  • Queen's Baton Relay... as personal symbol




    Today I joined countless others to cheer on the Queen's Baton Relay.  Living where I do, I could easily have seen ot go past in as many as four different locations, but various other commitments made that impossible, and even I can have too much of a good thing!

    I saw it first just up the road from where I live.  An interesting blend of wealthy and working class cheek by jowl, people flocked to see the baton and it was wonderful to be just a few yards from a hand over point... the man carrying the baton was mobbed by children longing to be in the official photo!

    A couple of hours later, I saw it again just round the corner from The Gathering Place, now knowing exactly how to spot the hand-over point at a bus stop, I was ready and waiting when a young woman arrived with her extended family and friends to take her 100m (if that!) stretch of road to the next bus stop.  A busy shopping street, the crowds were thinner, bemused tourists and shoppers waited for buses... and the lady who had served me in Boots nipped out early for her lunch break to see it (hope she made it back in time!)

    Then for some unknown reason I turned left rather than right and headed home the longer way round, which took me through the grounds of the Gartnavel hospitals (there are four of them) including the Beatson WoSCC

    It brought back to mind a time when seeing the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games felt like an impossible dream, when the bank card that expired in July 2014 might have seen me out (I cut it up last week when its replacement arrived), and when I vowed if I was still here to go and watch the netball finals (the tickets are in the drawer!)

    It was so good - so incredibly good - to cheer on these baton bearers, without a shred of fear or dread in my heart.  So good, almost four years on to be close to achieving those goals and to thinking about new ones.

    I feel very blessed, and the Queen's Baton Relay somehow symbolises hope realised.

  • Lovely Weekend!

    It's been a pretty wonderful weekend all things considered... I am, among all people, truly blessed.

  • Cultivating Gratitude

    Over in the addictive and displacement actvitiy world of social media, there is currently a craze for posting three things for which you are grateful every day for five days.  Ostensibly you tag thee more people a day, but I decided not to do that bit!

    It's a good discipline, but for me it's not a new idea - counting blessings, looking for something of beauty, finding a positive every day... it's something I've known since childhood and actively practiced since 23rd August 2010 (well, probalby 24th acutally; BC:AD (before cancer: after diagnosis) transition anyway)

    Why then, has it been challenging each day find three things to write down?

    I think because, intuitively, when I write them down I feel they need to be a little bit worthy, or at least worthy of begins seen by others, rather than just the fleeting moments that gladden my heart.

    Now, four days in (my fifth and final day will be delayed as I am offline for a couple of days meeting some friends in Greenwich) I have expressed my gratitude for...

    • the internet
    • sticky tape to remove laser toner from clothes and carpets
    • rain to green and refresh the city
    • lunch and great conversation with my 'mentee'
    • Public transport, especially trains, I love riding on trains even when it all does to pot!!
    • the NHS
    • Greggs (bakers) apple turnovers - tasy and one of my five a day!
    • internet shopping
    • Waterproof clothing
    • My chemo-buddies (who I will be meeting in Greenwich)
    • Recycling, upcycling, freecycling and bicycling (the (potential) outworking of de-cluttering.. anyone want a bike??)
    • Tea in all its varieties

    I know some readers have played this 'game' and others practice 'gratefulness' in other ways, but who knows, maybe there is someone who might benefit from trying for three-a-day!!

  • Nervous Preacher

    Now and then people ask me if get nervous about preaching, and the answer, for the most part, is not really.  But now and then I do.  Especially if, as is the case this week, it's a passage that has 'haunted' me throughout my ministry... am I just regurgitating my hobby horse (rather odd image!) am I being annoying or is it what God wants me to say?

    Time will tell whether I deliver what I've worked on or if I (a) bottle it and do something else or (b) have a flash of inspiration that makes it all come together afresh.

    Until then I'll just endure that knotted stomach feeling that all preachers experience once in a while...

  • Curious...

    The de-cluttering continues if not apace, at least it continues!  An hour of so a day is my target so as not to hurt my arms and because there is more to life that chucking stuff away!

    Last night I was sifting through ridiculous numbers of photo enevelopes containing now useless negatives and those failed pictures with no heads, or blurred, or out of focus from the good old days where you had to wait and see if photos had worked, to say nothing of spare postal photo-service envelopes that would now have no purpose whatsoever!

    In amongst it all I found a piece of A4 paper folded in half with some words typed on them... it was the church magazine article I'd written following my Baptism in which I made mention of Moses coming off the mountain with a shining face that would fade, and of the Transfiguration and Peter at al having to return to earth after their mountain top encounter.  I had long forgotten ever having written this, but it resonated with, and complemented some of, what I said last Sunday... and actually as I now realise anticipated some of what would be preached in my ordination sermon years later.  Spooky but reassuring, curious and comforting.

    So one copy of that (I had three...) has survived the cull and will go back into a drawer with other random items of personal significance.

    Holy Spirit timing?  Mysterious ways?  Or the interconnectedness of all things?  I don't know, but it made me smile.