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  • Never Too Ordinary

    Today's focus was on the story of Stephen from Acts 6 and 7... the table waiter who gained the confidence to speak boldly in public and who was executed for his beliefs.

    One of the options we offered was to do some ceramic painting - using special markers to decorate mugs and plates (tiny plates; the example above is a plain white tea plate I used from home as a prototype).

    Other options were 'grown up' colouring, word searches, puzzles and 'fun with food' as well as listening to a spoken reflection with interative prayers using newspapers.

    It seemed to go pretty well - and the ceramic painting was amazing, I wish I'd taken my camera to record the skills of those who chose that option.

    The key message was a simple one, about healthy self-esteem, about healthy regard for others whose gifts and skills differ from our own, about no-one and no-thing being too 'ordinary' or too 'special', about the priesthood of all believers...

    Three out of seven now completed, we have all adjusted to the format, I've kept my word and kept services to 50 mins... not remotely complacent, but I think it is going OK.


  • Weaving My Life Tapestry...

    I'm not sure tapestries are woven, but never mind.

    Last Sunday one of the metaphors I used was that of weaving.  One way to employ it is to see that every experience, every emotion is somehow woven into the pattern.

    The last few days it has felt as if quite a few strands have been woven into my own tapestry, strands that arise precisely because of life events and choices made.

    These last few weeks up to 'five years since diagnosis' are proving remarkably introspective one way and another, and I think the last few days have highlighted that...

    • the privilege of being called in by a charity to conduct a wedding for someone with only a few days to live...
    • ... which arose because someone I know works for that charity...
    • ... and that someone knew I'd recently been asked to conduct a blessing for someone in similar circumstances


    • a number of phone calls regarding my peer support  clients...
    • ... to reschedule...
    • ... to let me know one was unwell ...
    • ... and to women at various stages of treatment, offering them a listening ear and an open heart...


    • preparations to travel south to Blackpool to meet friends who have shared a common experience...
    • ... and to remember friends whose lives were cut short


    So many people whose paths have crossed, and continue to cross, my own.

    So many lives interwoven for a reason and/or a season

    So many ways in which I am enabled to make meaning of my experiences, weave new patterns, add new colours and textures...

    So many ministry and (loosely) mission opportunities I'd never had imagined and would never have chosen...

    Bit of a waffly post... but it makes sense to me!

    Tomorrow I'll travel south to meet people I'd never have met had things been different, but who are now among my closest friends...

  • And breathe!!

    It's a lovely morning in Glasgow, with blue skies and bright sunshine.

    The last few days have been rather on the busy side, and some of the stuff quite demanding emotionally/spiritually.  Today I am more or less on top of things again, have a draft of Sunday's service to check over this afternoon, the PowerPoint is done, the change-to-published-schedule creative activity is hopefully winging its way to me, and I can devote time later to some administrative/legal matters.

    This morning I will poddle along to the Coffee Club - remembering to take my sunscreen, sunglasses and probably a sun hat too!  It will be good to slow down, to catch up, to listen and chat.  It will be good simply to take time to breathe after the busy and challenging days recently.

    Oh, and remember, children, do not look directly into the sun, you will hurt your eyes!

  • An Old Adage

    This post comes with a health-warning... I am not pointing at any one or any church, I am not making any points about anyone or anything... Indeed, au contraire, there are lots of people I know who quietly and privately undertake vital little tasks that make my life a lot easier.

    It's a little thing I remember seeing many years ago and which popped up when I was researching some ideas for Sunday's service.  So I am sharing it out of nostalgia as much as anything, and to perhaps to remind myself not to get so grumpy sometimes!!

    This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

    There was a job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. 

    Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. 

    Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Somebody wouldn’t do it. 

    It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

  • Grace

    Last night I attended a service where the reflection used metaphors of a plumb line and a measure to reflect on the need to align our lives with God's law/teaching and then subverted itself with the image of a heart to signify the central tenet of love.  Very simple, very straight forward and somehow quite helpful.

    Grace is about that... about love over-ruling legal minutiae when the intent is right.

    Compassion is that which allows a person to recognise the need to exercise grace.

    Today I encountered compassionate officialdom, grace in the ordinary, and a reminder that God's love will ultimately overcome any and every challenge.

    Thanks be to God who is in all and who can use even fallible, stressy me as a medium for incarnating grace.