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  • A week in the life... and a bit of reflection...

    It's hard to believe that I've only been back at work a month since my retreat/holiday in Wales, because it's been a very busy - enjoyably so - and exhausting month.  I'm not sorry that I have a long weekend 'off' which will include a guest preach in Dibley on Sunday.

    So, my week...

    Monday, with help from N-and-M clear kitchen, get vinyl fitted, alter and reinstall kickboards, put furniture back in kitchen, sweep new flooring how many times?!!

    Tuesday, took kitties to the vet for their annual check up, admin, service prep, house group

    Wednesday, Coffee Club, mentoring, supervision, sent apologies to meeting which would have been three back-to-back

    Thursday, admin, pastoral, important meeting

    Twice yesterday the conversation turned to the reality that chaplains have contracted hours, whilst pastoral ministers don't; twice I commented that chaplains are paid for their contracted hours whilst ministers are paid an overall stipend, but both are in ministry 24/7/365 because you can't just switch off.

    It's been a manic week, a manic month, a manic year, but, overall it feels good.

     

    This time last year, I was dog tired, irritable and not a nice person to know. 

    This year I am dog tired, happy, energised, enthused and looking forward to Advent.

    Whether I was clinically depressed this time last year, or whether it was a mix of life-experiences and surgically induced hormone changes, I can never prove; quite possibly it was a bit of all of them.  What I do know is that once I found a drug that suited me, I felt hugely better (and the monster has only reared it's ugly head once since).  A doctor friend wisely said that it was evident that I had 'depleted serotonin levels, even if it expressed itself in unsual ways' (well it is me, after all) which is a great way of expressing it... if iron levels are low, we take iron tablets, so if serotonin levels are low we take drugs to address that.

    So, a busy day today and then a slow weekend as I mentally and spiritually prepare for Advent 2017.  Bring it on!

  • Juxtaposition

    Last week, a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was sold for $450,000,000

    Last Sunday, our Sunday School went to visit a painting called 'Our Last Supper' featuring men associated with Glasgow City Mission (GCM), which offers support for diasadvantaged and homeless people.  As a church, we took up our annual appeal collection for GCM, raising enough money to pay for a Christmas Dinner for fifty people.  We also collected 52 bags of chocolate coins to be distributed via the charity's family centre.

    At the moment, the Dali painting is on loan overseas - sometimes it seems to be away more often than it's at home! 

    In our prayers on Sunday, we used these three paintings, and some quotes from the gospels, to focus out thoughts...

     

    One evening, a woman took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured the lot over Jesus' feet, drawing criticism from those who saw her, one even going to far as to say it was a waste, the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor.  Jesus' reply was this: the poor will always be with you.

    ~

    Jesus said, 'foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'

    On another occasion, a devout young man with great wealth had come to Jesus asking what he should do to inherit eternal life.  He left upset when Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor.

    ~

    Seven sayings of Jesus from the cross have been preserved...

    Father forgive them, they don’t know what it is they are doing

    Today you will be with me in paradise

    Behold your son… your mother… your new family…

    Have you abandoned me? Why have you abandoned me? 

    I am thirsty…

    It is accomplished

    Father, into you hands I commend my spirit.

    ~

    I wonder what emerges for you, gentle reader, as you explore the juxtaposition of these images (or the texts, or both)?

    What prayer would you pray?

     

  • Beauty...

    Today I had new flooring fitted in my ktichen - and I absolutely love it!  It is just beautiful and perfectly compliments my table and chairs.

    Two folk gave up the majority of their day to help me shift furniture out, then back, and to re-install the kick-boards, which needed to to planed down quite considerably to fit.  A bit of a topsy-turvy day for the cats, but they coped remsrkably well.

    The end result is very beautiful and I feel very blessed.