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  • The Annual Reminder...

    23rd August 2010 - a date indelibly etched on my memory.

    It was a Monday.  My Mum was in Oxford John Radcliffe hospital undergoing pioneering heart surgery (with less than 50/50 chance of survival let alone success, amazingly she lived nearly eight years).

    It was a glorious summer day in Glasgow. I had a morning meeting to discuss some financial matters for church. I had an egg sandwich from Tesco for lunch.

    And it was the day that I heard the life-changing sentence, "I'm sorry, it's cancer."

    Eight years on, and seven and a half years NED, the intensity of the memory is far less. 

    I remember it, but it doesn't any longer disturb me. 

    I remember it, and I continue to be grateful for the work of NHS Scotland. 

    I remember, and I give thanks for all those who have journeyed with me since that date.

    I remember, and I do my annual nag to those kind enough to read this blog to do the screening, to check their 'bits 'n' bobs', to report worrying symptoms. 

    Caught early, cancer can be effectively treated - even aggressive, locally spread cancer such as I had.  Bottom line: I have beaten and continue to beat the statistics for the place I started - had I not been breast aware or had I not been proactive in reporting my symptoms, I wouldn't be here to nag.  Treatments continue to improve, prognoses are better. Whilst of course it's not nice being bald or bloated due to chemo, undergoing surgery or being zapped daily for weeks on end, at least I am here to tell the tale.  For the most part, life is good, more than good, it's great, fantastic, brilliant...

    So please, for your own well-being endure the indignity of poo-sticks or smears or squishing or whatever it is... it just might save your life.


  • Summer Series 2018 - Questions to Ponder - Week 7 - We are a Team, Together

    This morning we wrapped up our summer series with a very interactive service (thank you everyone who entered into the slightly whacky aspects).  We reflected on the last three chapters of the letter to the Hebrews, and were then invited to consider, privately, these four questions:

    • What one thing have I heard this summer that encourages me?
    • What one thing have I heard this summer that has challenged me?
    • What one way might I help and encourage myself or others to live out our values as part of Team Gathering Place?
    • What message of hope or encouragement would I like our church to hear today?

    There was an opportunity to write the message of encouragement on a sticky note, and some lovely messages were shared.

    The next few weeks are a different kind of 'all age' and will bridge the transition into 'winter pattern' with songs of praise, world music and commissioning of teams... I'm certainly looking forward to them.

  • Up above the streets and houses...

    My evening walk this evening was all four seasons in an hour, let alone a day!  As heavens opened the most beautiful rainbow appeared, so much so that people stood in the street and snapped photos (obviously I was one of them!).

    I do love rainbows.  I love the tradition that they are the sign of God's promise to creation after the great flood.  I love that they can mean so many things to so many people, that no-one actually 'owns' them.  Rainbows always make me smile, always remind me that there is hope... so what's not to like?

    I am very fortunate to have plenty of pleasant walks on my doorstep - whether riverside, streets, parks or a mixture.  Now I am indoors, the sun is out, the birds are singing their evening songs and life feels positive.