Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Looking Good !

I have just come back from weight watchers having only lost 1.5lbs this week ! Not too bad considering I have had a curry one night, Apple muffin and a meal at Frankie & Bennies on another day during that week. Funny how I expect more without trying harder :-) Just wonder if I do that with my spiritual life too - expect to be more spiritually in tune with very little effort mmmmmm !

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

SoF and the Bible !

I am excited ! (is that a feeling word, I am using by any chance !!!) BUT a familier piece of scripture came a new to me yesterday at Mulberry House......not quite what I had expected from the choice to have a day out with God yesterday....but still this is the new revelation to me:-

Colossians 3:16
"Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing Psalms (Scripture) Hymns (Song Book) and Spiritual Songs (Songs of Fellowship) to God with thankful hearts."

and then....

Ephesians 5:15-19
".....v18b let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts."

A little bit of everything is just what we need ! Perhaps we not on the wrong track after all :-)

Just a thought anyway.....

Monday, 19 November 2007

Feeling Numb

Thought it was time for another blog but to be perfectly honest I am just feeling numb at the moment. Last week I physically experienced my skin being put to sleep in order for a mole to be removed....the Doc kept on asking "Can you feel that, can you feel this?" as he prodded me with a needle ... very quickly the answer was "no" and the job was done.

Reflecting on this experience I realise that at the moment this is exactly how I am feeling. Not feeling much at the moment....not sure it self-preservation and protection from all that is being demanded of me at present? Is it just that I have shut down after a manic month of moving out of our building and other pressures? Have I given up? I hope NOT....but that's the point, I just don't know!

This is not intended as an alarm call - if you are a member of our congregation reading this, please don't worry....I am still functioning and love you all to bits....but have to be honest and admit that there is a part of me that has been put to sleep for a while - just praying hard it will wear off SOON !

Is it times like these that I just have to KNOW in my head and heart that I am been carried by God and those who are praying for me? Can I feel that? yes I can !

Thursday, 27 September 2007

The Truth about Words

I try not to allow myself to do this....but there are times when I stew over conversations I have had and wish I had said things differently....there is one particular conversation that has haunted me for 2 years now ! The main reason being is that the conversation ended in a bad way which will have left the group involved with a wrong impression of who I am or even how I feel - my own fault and the chances are that particular group (who I only see every2/3 years) will not have given it another thought since that day. ANYWAY...that is not the reason for my blogging today - the following is, but guess the above sets the context for why I felt I needed to blog:-

Whilst doing some housework last night, I found the following poem written by one of my children (I have permission to use it, by the way) :-


Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words can also hurt me.
Stones and sticks break only skin,
while words are ghosts that haunt me.

Slant and curved the word-swords fall,
to pierce and stick inside me.
Bats and bricks may ache through bones,
but words can mortify me.

Pain from words has left its scar,
on mind and heart that's tender.
Cuts and bruises now have healed;
it's words that I remember.

WOW ! We have since discussed the circumstances that surrounded the writing of this poem and all is well. But what truth is contained in this very mature poem.

There are occasions when I over hear conversations about people and sometimes to people, that really are like a word-sword. I need the courage to challenge those conversations more.

Everyone at Church is equally important, whether we "like" them or not. Sometimes no words is as painful as harsh words....being ignored leaves its scar too.

Question for the day:- Do Actions really speak louder than words?
I think they do....BUT in the light of these feelings put down in a poem - I wonder !

Sorry this has turned into a mega-blog...thanks for taking the time to read and possibly comment.

My final prayer for myself today is "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O Lord".

Monday, 20 August 2007

Route Confirmation Part 2 ha ha ha ha ha !

I have just read my blog "Route Confirmation" which I posted on 9th July and just burst out laughing !!! LoL..... :-) turn up at 3pm and follow directions for a stress free road trip - MY FOOT

Actually, as far as the information given to us is concerned and a very good Sat Nav (well almost very good) it was as easy as that BUT the lessons we have learned along the way have been invaluable. The main one being - total reliance on God.

No doubt Richard will blog along these lines at some point - when we catch up with emails etc ! But there have been a series of "unfortunate events" over the past 3 weeks that have taught us to completely trust in God to get us out of sticky situations ! Let me breifly outline a few for you:-

1. Hours before we are due to leave home - our clutch died on the very car we had registered to take with us on our 2,000mile round Europe trip !

2. On arriving in the town of our camp site in Lake Garda, we missed a turn. Sat Nav then redirected us to "Turn Right".....down an ever narrowing road, where the walls of the houses touched both wing mirrors (not in our own car either !), we pulled them in and I held my hand against my side to help Richard negotiate very Very VERY slowly past very uneaven stone walls (don't worry about my hands getting scrapped!). As we turned a very tight bend to the left we came to a dead end - Nowhere to turn the car around. Heart, Mouth, joined together, tears began to flow....panic set in in a variety of ways for each one of asking how we getting out of this - me shouting back - "we don't know, just stay calm for Daddy please !!!". Richard gets out of the car and walks back up the road - surveying the twists and turns ready to reverse back to a point where he could turn the car around inch by inch....the only way out was back up in I walked behind the car directing Richard and all the while we are both praying our little socks off that God would somehow get us out of here - we were very tired, stressed and life was completely out of our control ! Just then a lady opened a window and smiling at us said something in Italian and pointed towards two very large doors that were opening by was the opening to her beautiful courtyard which she was inviting us to reverse into in order to turn around and negotiate going back up this horrific road forwards.....God is closer than you think :-)

3. Arriving on site, we are told to drive to the very top of the hill for Canvas Holiday reception...we both looked up and up, saw very narrow road winding up and up - the smell from the clutch of the car that didn't belong to us was not pleasant - so we went. Half way up we decided to pull over (there was a space to do so) as the clutch really didn't smell nice. Richard decided to walk up to find reception - I was on the brink of tears once again, when a lovely English couple arrived and spent time listening to our woes and then reassuring us about the area and camp site etc (incidentally they live round the corner from Richard's family in Croydon). When Richard returned smiling - all was going to be well. We had pulled up outside our Tent and there was room to leave the car just next to us - we didn't have to take the car any further up hill ! Our neighbours turn out to be a lovely single parent family who used to live near Romford - we got on so well. She too listened as we downloaded our trauma of the journey. God is closer.....

4. On 7th August I learned that it is more blessed to give away....A new family arrived in the toilets without any toilet paper ! I gave away less than half a roll - not sure what else we had (10pm at night) but thought we could manage. In the morning I found some tissues but on my way back from the toilets - outside our tent was a FULL toilet roll ! God is closer.....

5. One of the rear tyres got a slow puncher ! Our Italian was not going to stretch that well to garage speak ! However, Richard pumped the tyre up and we took the car out in order to visit another town on the Lake and as we went we prayed....Lord point us to a tyre garage that speaks English and will understand what help we need. You guessed it, Just there beside the road was an Italian Kwick Fit type place - one man band - but this one man spoke English and within 40mins we were done and dusted and back on the road and only 20Euros lighter. God is closer....

There are a number of little stories I could tell - situations that have stretched us beyond our comfort zone and that have taught us that God is in control. Read Richard's blog for his take on it all.

This has been the most exciting, terrifying and restful holiday we have had as a family ever.... think the kids have got the message too that God is certainly closer than we think or remember.

Thanks for taking the time to read- hope I have not bored you too much :-)

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Marrow Confusion !

I have been donated a rather large Marrow......what does one do with it ? :-)

Monday, 9 July 2007

Route Confirmation

We received all the information we need for our Europe Trip today. Maps outlining our three day journey down to Lake Garda. Map reference points for each night stop over etc is all in the bag (well wallet thing !) all we have to do is follow directions closely, arrive after 3pm at each stop over and we will reach our destination, unstressed and safely !

Oh that life in general could be that mapped out and stress free :-)

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Loss of Human Contact

Hi....I am frustrated and also intreged (spelling?) this week! I have just joined FaceBook - much to my frustration! However, I am also very excited to see some long lost friends still accepting me as one of their friends, even after many years of not actually seeing them face to face. FaceBook is addictive and we have had to put in some home ground rules (well we will do!) and a great way to keep in touch - with pictures too !

BUT I am afraid this is the beginning of the end of human contact. Will we - or the next generations to come - loose the art of face to face conversation and interaction?

It is very easy to type away your feelings etc etc....but quite another thing to actually talk to someone about them.

I had the privilege of meeting with someone for 2 hours this afternoon for a catch-up chat (the biggest and bestest bonus of my job!) and it just prompted me to blog these thoughts. Interacting in conversation, body language, laughter, tears etc etc....personal sharing one to one....must not be allowed to be replaced by our internet relationships!

FaceBook and Blogging are fantastic means of communication but I must be careful never to use these internet "conversations" as a substitute to either a phone call or a face to face chat.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Sorry, Love, Hate and Want

I am struggling with the word Sorry ! We teach our children to say sorry when they do something wrong - to own up and apologise etc etc....but then comes "sorry" said after every conversation involving asking the children to do anything - even take their dishes out to the dishwasher ! "Sorry" is not what I want to hear then - it is action I want to see......sorry should be kept for occasions of remorse and learning - shouldn't it? Or kept for occasions when we are sorry 'about' something that perhaps touches us on the news or about our friends etc.

The word LOVE is also a struggle. Why is the English language so restrictive? I love chocolate and cosy nights in, I love my family, but when I say the words "I Love You" when I drop the children off to school after they have really upset me - LOVE means so much more than it sounds when it comes out of the mouth.

HATE such a strong word. Yet I have realised I use it so often....but in terms like, I hate Gallows Corner...will avoid it at every cost - as Dawn well knows! I hate listening to Charlie on Big Brother - she is driving me mad! I hear myself saying "hate" quite a lot recently and I 'hate' myself for it ! It is such a harsh word to form as you say it and even to hear it spoken...such a strong harsh word. But when I use it I don't really hate at all.....that sentiment is just not within me - I don't hate a thing really......what other word should I use I wonder ?

"I want never gets".....I was brought up with this I can't even use that phrase to express what I do really want. I end up using words like "I should" "I ought" "I better" "they expect"....I was asked by a professional Life Coach two weeks ago "What do you want ? Use the phrase I want to...." I couldn't bring myself to even utter those words! Something else for me to work on then!

Perhaps I should start speaking in Swahilli again - perhaps would express myself better :-)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Liberated !

I had a very liberating experience yesterday...I had my bra size measured ! I discovered that I have been wearing the wrong size for the last three years (shame, that is the last time I got measured!) NO wonder I have not been feeling that comfortable - but fancy sticking with it for three years (obviously have bought new ones in that time - didn't want you to think I have kept same ones for three years). So obviously it was not that bad, but I just knew something was wrong...I put it down to additional weight and gravity :-)

Anyway after an hour of trial and error and being observed by a complete stranger who kept pulling the straps etc etc, I finally came away with my right size and a couple additions to my wardrobe.....dont want to use the B word too often as I know Graeme Howell in particular will get embarrased as he reads this ! it feasible that we can be in a ministry "wrong fit" ? I wonder how many of us have felt this or feel it right now - that we are just not quite in the right "ministry fit" ? Please don't take this as an indication that I am feeling in a "wrong fit" at Romford - I am NOT feeling that, far from it .....but the hour in M&S "B" fitting service has made me wonder if it is possible to carry on in a particular ministry, but not quite feeling as Liberated and "close fitted" as we should?

Does God provide a "Fitting Service" ? How willing are we to throw away the wrong fit and pick up the new? How willing are we to allow God to "pull our straps".

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Tagged AGAIN

Am not near an actual book.....nearest thing to this computer is the Tune Book so have looked at tune 161 instead...."We'd better bide a wee" ! :-)

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha wetting myself now :-)

Not going to tag anyone else - sorry !

Monday, 28 May 2007


Kirsty has Tagged me....I think I have to do the following and post it as a blog - been a day off today, so half brain that normally does work is not working today, anyway...

Here's is what this is about - the rules:

  1. Grab the book closest to you
  2. Turn to page 161
  3. Print the 5th complete sentence on your blog
  4. Tag 5 others.

So here is my tag:

"I am reluctant to leave that box all this time." ('Sovereign' by C.J. Sansom)

Don't know how to provide 5 proper links....but hope that Richard, Fiona, Jenny, Zoe and Ed will do this.

Sorry if I have missed the blot completely !

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

The Naked Pastor

Been looking at various people's list of recommended bloggers and someone has called themselves The Naked Pastor...I have not actually clicked on to their blog yet, but it sparked me thinking about the pros and cons of being a "naked" pastor. A few years ago I was worshiping with the Icthus Community who Graeme Kendrick belongs to (think he does anyway) this was taking place in the William Booth College Assembly Hall. During sung worship I noticed a lady dancing uninhibited at the back of the hall, totally lost in worship.....and I thought to myself, 'that is what David meant when he said that he was dancing naked before the Lord' - no inhibitions - an audience of ONE with God.

So being a Naked Pastor touches me on two levels - how "naked" am I in worship and how "naked" am I when coming alongside people in pastoral way. My prayer is always that I will be authentic and genuine at all times - why then do I find it so hard to be totally free to be "dance naked before the Lord" ? Maybe it is something to do with having to lead worship - when do I actually worship myself ? mmmmmm

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Am I Ready ?

An interesting thing happened to me today (as if that doesn't happen every day !). Arrived back from dropping kids off at YP Band and saw our neighbours walking back to their house from a family stroll around the estate. They explained that they had been looking for a bigger house and had seen one like ours up for sale. Bonnie went on to ask me details about the sizes of rooms in our house etc etc......I then said - "would you like to come and have a look around?" WHAT WAS I SAYING ?- haven't tidied house properly for over a week and every room was (in my eyes) an absolute tip! What state was our bedroom in? Oh help how do I get out of this one? Well, I didn't she was obviously interested and said - "that would be great thanks!" SO before I had chance to get in the house and just double check etc - we were ALL walking into the I reaffirmed they were very welcome in my home, but "please excuse the mess as we are a very busy family home !" For the next half hour I walked our neighbours through our house, room by room....including seeing the ant powder I had had to sprinkle all over the living room floor and coffee table just prior to YP Band !

Fortunately they are a lovely family and we get on very well with them. They accepted us as we were and understood our busy life and in fact Bonnie was very kind and said "Its not as bad as all that!" Incidentally Jamie is a Fireman and inspected our alarms while he was at it ! The one downstairs has been disconnected from mains as well as battery and I didn't even know we had one downstairs (4 years on..!)

ANYWAY why has this prompted a blog? It has prompted me to think about how ready am I for Jesus if He were to come back tonight? what "spiritual mess" would He find? What excuses would I give? mmmmmmm will continue to ponder on these things. Am I Ready? Are you Ready?

Thursday, 26 April 2007

360 profile

I have learned today that there is no such thing as failure just feedback ! Interesting :-)
Do I like Feedback? Well, I certainly hate failure ! Today has been helpful though to put some things into perspective and to have "space" to give myself a kick up the backside vocationally speaking ! Thank you to those of you out there who took part in my 360 profile, really appreciate your feedback and want to assure Romford SA I will do my best for you all (and God of course !). Luv ya

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Mum's the word and loneliness

Two things on my mind today....Firstly, couple times recently I have heard children call their parent by their first name and not "Mum". I think this is really sad. There are only two people in the world who have the right to call me "Mum" - and that is really special to me. I just felt when I heard their first names being used by their child that a line was being crossed and a devaluing of "Mum" was taking place.....probably being silly - but just the way I feel about it. I know a 59 year old who sometimes refers to her Mum as "Mummy" that may be a little bit odd but part of me loves that too - because "Mummy" is even more special because for me it is even more intimate. Secondly, I have been involved in a few conversations today about loneliness and how even within a Church fellowship such as ours, some are not totally embraced.....touched a few raw nerves and realised that maybe I understand more than they actually will ever know - made me realise too how "closed" some hanging about groups are after the do we put this right? BUT I also know that each one of us (including myself) needs to make however we want the fellowship to be, happen - we have to make it happen for ourselves too.

Sunday, 15 April 2007


"Tomorrow never comes" .... sometimes I wish that were really true, because our tomorrows do come and we do have to face whatever that particular "tomorrow" promises/demands. The amazing thing is that at the end of the "tomorrow" I look back and realise that God's grace is just there bringing me through - All things come to pass! This of course applies to both the "tomorrows" we look forward to as well as the ones we don' I need to grasp each "tomorrow" and make it the best "present" that I can because each day/opportunity to live life to the full is very quickly over........can you believe that we are nearly at the end of April already!!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

ME again !

I am muzing about ME again today - because this afternoon I am leading an O60s group and have decided to share a talk I was asked to do about 2 years ago to a bunch of retired SA Officers - entitled "My Life as an Officer's Child". They wanted me to share experiences of being what we call in the SA "An OK".

So I have a powerpoint presentation outlining my life so far - a few video clips that are mildly amuzing - especially a scene of one of our family holidays in Mombasa where my brothers were particularly unkind to me by throwing my fav doll into the sea etc etc...

BUT anyway, I am left thinking - do people really want to know about my life? It is boring for me to talk about - but realise that perhaps to someone who has never been outside Romford, it may sound quite an exciting life.

Question to pose today is - Do experiences shape you?

I guess the answer is what experiences am I providing for myself and my family that will enhance and not harm in the future?