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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 3

  • Weekend treats...

    This week has been long, in terms of hours worked, and intense in terms of content.  It's been good, positive, interesting... but long and demanding.

    So Friday tea needed to be quick and easy, as I had little energy left to prepare it.  Chunky oven chips on/in a buttered morning roll, sprinkled with salt and vinegar and a side of red sauce.  That's how I like a chip butty (or a roll and chips in these parts).

    Among my ongoing lockdown lessons is the need for treats, and yesterday this was it!

    This morning it was coconut milk pancakes (the coconut milk being left over from a chick pea stew/curry recipe).  Setting the table nicely has become a 'thing', and I am glad as it gives me time and place to pause, relax and be.  I didn't eat all the pancakes, so I have two left for tomorrow! Yum.

    I wonder what you lockdown treats are?  I wonder how we will maintain the good things when increased freedoms could so easily to overtake them?


  • A little bit of Lancashire humour

    This sign was seen on a van parked in Partick.  Wigan is a town in Lancashire (north west of England) known for its love of pies.  A former colleague of mine was once on a training course in Wigan, and told the tale of being in the queue for lunch when the person in front asked for the pie. When asked what they would like with it they replied, 'pie'... pie and pie is, it seems a delicacy in those parts.

    The same quirky humour is seen in this poster the Wigan council created regarding the wearing of face coverings... (it's good advice)

    wigan masks.jpg

  • Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow...

    Recalling my valediction from college is always a little bit bittersweet.

    The lovely event (midweek that year) coincided with the day a church was voting on whether or not to call me.  At the end of happy evening the phone call came and it was a 'no'.

    Everyone who knows me already knows I remain utterly convinced God called me to that church.  That doesn't mean God didn't call me to Dibley or to the Gathering Place, I am equally convinced that God did.  God's 'Plan B' is never second best.

    The good bits of ministry are so much better, and the bad bits so much worse, than I ever think possible.  And that day, seventeen years ago, that was profoundly illustrated.

    The day after that decision I led prayers in college chapel - and was commended for being courageous.  A fellow student sent me some beautiful flowers.  My tutors and peers came alongside in ways that were gentle and supportive.  I was offered - and declined - an opt out from the wider Partnership valedictory.  Seventeen years on, some of my peers and tutors have died.  Some have moved into new forms of ministry, and some have left ministry. But they remain 'my' people.

    The old hymn, 'Great is thy Faithfulness' remains a favourite, with its determined faith in adversity, of a God who always gives me - and us - strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

    So now I call to mind Stephen, Nick, Gary, Andy and Diane, my peers at that time, and Richard, Rachel, Sean, Brian and Anne, my tutors, and I thank God for them all.

  • Unexpected Blessings

    Every year, my ministerial alma mater invites me to attend their valedictory event - usually a Saturday, with a barbecue and a service - and every year I can't get there, either the logistics are too complicated or local commitments rightly take priority.  This year lockdown means it is taking place online, so I can take part, and that is a real joy, an unexpected blessing.

    One tradition of the college, at least in my day, was to give you a book token and a book plate so that you could choose your own gift - they reckoned we had enough Bibles, and would almost certainly be presented with one at ordination, so it was over to us.  As it happened, I chose a Bible, now seventeen years old and very battered.  I am glad I made that choice, because the Bible has been with me in some of my saddest and darkest times as well as gladdest and brightest. 

    I don't always use it, there are newer translations and paraphrases, but it is always on my desk, never the bookcase, and goes with me to courses, conferences, care homes, hospitals and holidays.  And every time I open it, I am reminded not of a date (unusually this one has never fixed in my brain) but of a community of people who I love, and who love me.

    Today a new cohort of NBC-formed ministers will be unleashed on an unsuspecting Baptist world - I pray they may know the joy of God, the inspiration of Sophia Spirit-Wisdom and the accompaniment of Brother-Christ in all they do.


    (PS: Seventeen years? How did that happen?!)

  • Just for fun... (be careful what you pray for!)

    Thank you, B, for this hilarious cartoon inspired by one of my favourite celtic blessings...

    May the road rise up to meet you.

    May the wind be always at your back.

    May the sun shine warm upon your face;

    the rains fall soft upon your fields

    and, until we meet again,

    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.