Saturday, 13 September 2008

Nothing but Everything to Say !

Liz has prompted bloggers to get blogging, so here I am.

I have so much bursting to say and yet I don't know my blog today is I have Nothing and yet Everything to say and that is that !

Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Last Choir Standing

Tonight is the first time I have watched The Last Choir Standing from start to finish. What an inspiration they all are ! But the phrase that has prompted this blog is this from the leader of Sense of Sound group: "We are all individuals but with one voice".

They were all in shades of purple, all reflecting their own individuality through their dress but they were with "one voice" as they performed as a group.

I love that concept of celebrating our individuality alongside our "one voice"..... brings to mind
'Romford Salvation Army, Living as God's Family, Building His Kingdom'!

Lord show us how .....

Thursday, 10 July 2008


Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
American Indian Proverb

Reminding me to pray for our young people who are going to Zambia next week. Walking in their flip-flops!

Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Indian Proverb

Reminds me that I have personal responsiblity as well as replying on God. We are the hands of Christ etc....

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
Irish Proverb

Back to previous blog about 'reputation'. Again a reminder, I have personal responsibility for my own spiritual life.

What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth.
Jewish Proverb

Reminds me to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Hold a true friend with both hands.
Nigerian Proverb

Reminds me to nurture my personal friendships.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


I have been at yet another new ladies meeting today to talk about "The Salvation Army it's Beginnings and Symbols". They love The Salvation Army! One after the other say either one of their parents or their grandparents were members of TSA, or they say things like "My Dad told me never to pass a Salvation Army person by without giving them money".

All very humbling especially when they say "You do such good work" "You are the only Church who really get out there amongst the people"!

Deep inside me I want to shout - but WE DON'T..... we are riding on the reputation of those gone before and those in the Social Services who work their guts out to help the needy.

I know we are in a funny place at the moment, not in our own premises etc etc..... but my struggle with belonging to the Church side of our beloved Salvation Army, is that it is easy to ride on the same reputation The Salvation Army has because of it's social work.

I go to great lengths to say that Richard and I work within the Church side of the movement and that I actually know very little about the social work within the Territory - but I can get you the number of someone who does know more and can give an up-to-date talk!

Today highlighted for me again that yes...I want people to know we are just as much a Church as the Methodists, Baptists, CofE etc etc.....but I want to be a Church that bases its whole being on "With Heart to God and Hand to Man".

When my Grandchildren are giving talks about The Salvation Army to ladies groups.... I wonder what legacy my generation will have left them to talk about? Will it still be World War I and the Doughnut Girls in France or World War II with cups of tea in the trenches? or will it be Crest Cafe 2008 serving Breakfast to the needy while the Gospel Message is being preached? (William Booth would approve of this I am sure!) Will it be Romford congregation getting their hands dirty as they wash a tramps feet?

Sorry to go on a bit - but I just wanted to share the question going around in my head just now, whose reputation are we riding on? and for whose sake?

Oh and BTW..... I was persuaded to show them some moves with the tambourine ! How very very embarrasing.... that is one reputation I think needs to be squashed - TSA is not about bonnets, tambourines and bands playing on street it?

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Cracked Pots

Read this in the Adult and Family Ministries Resource book, thought I would share it with all the other crack'ed' pots out there !

The Water Bearer

A water bearer in China had two large pots, hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pots was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. ‘I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes my water to leak out all the way back to your house.’

The bearer said to the pot, ‘did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautifulflowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, we would not have such beauty.’

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

That's what Grace is !

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Grace & Forgiveness full and Free !

Been staring out at my garden today. Recently have spent quite a bit of money and time on getting it looking better and more colourful. It is now a pleasure to look at. But this morning, I noticed the neighbours tall red rose bush is coming over our fence and adding a depth of colour to our garden - making it even more beautiful!

Our current sermon theme is "What's so amazing about Grace" and this week in our small groups we will be looking at Forgiveness when it seems impossible. As I looked at my garden and the colours of our own garden being so enhanced by the lovely red roses, I thought of God's grace enhancing our poor attempts at being Christlike....full of grace, truth and forgiveness !

So I have decided today, I want to be a rose ! Those who know me, if you see me being more like a weed - please just remind me of this blog :-)

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Is God like a foreman?

Just wondering if God is bit like a foreman? Yesterday we spoke to the foreman oversighting the bricking up of the new extension at the Hall. He was on the otherside of the road just observing the men as they worked. I guess he was just watching their workmanship and then would get involved if something was not going right.

Does God stand back and watch us and then step in if necessary? Or is he more hands-on than that?

Saturday, 19 April 2008


I have realised again this week just how Liberal I am in my thinking. BUT I have just shocked myself at how alarmed I got just now when I found a black handled fork amongst the multi-coloured set !!! What is that all about :-)

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Date Frustration

We have just got back from a few days away in Bedford with my parents. It is always nice to be in Bedford - it has always held a special "default" setting for my family over the years. Anyway, the reason for blogging today is that as I reflect back on the days away I have a disappointment and a dilema (spelling?!) - one of the evenings Richard and I went out on a "date" lovely walk down by the river to a coffee lounge for a couple of hours on our own. This was lovely however I am sad because we just couldn't help but end up talking about our work, the corps, vision, officership, Army .... I am worried that having been work parterns for 15 years now, our lives are so entwined with "Army work" that the "we" we created in 1986 when we got married is being overtaken.

Not sure expressed all this very well - but any tips from those who perhaps are reading this and understand what I am trying to say would be gratefully received!

Also cross because a day that has been organised in Norwich for couples in ministry called "Life in the Fishbowl" looks really fab and potentially important for us to help work this type of thing out, is just not feasible for us!

God is good though and does work all things out for His purposes - He is faithful !

Monday, 24 March 2008

Music or No Music ?

Easter Sunday was an interesting day for me. In the morning we shared with the URC congregation and experienced a special time around Communion and Blessing. There was dignity and freedom, some congregational singing of songs we didn't really know - so words had to be read and taken in.

In the evening we had our own service with a few of the URC joining us, which was great. We had every musical section on duty in an Easter Praise celebration. It was a good meeting, but my reflection today is - do we use music to generate emotions? By contrast to the many spoken words we heard in the morning in liturgical readings, do we allow our music to do the thinking for us?

Was there any point in allowing all the music sections to take part so often in one meeting? Why do we fill every moment with sound? There was a one point last night, to be perfectly honest, that I felt it was "battle of the bands"!

I wonder how we would cope without any music one Sunday? mmmmmmmmm

Thursday, 6 March 2008


I have a new favourite phrase....."If life gives you lemons, make lemonade"..... All I want to share with you, is that I am trying to make lemonade honest I am !!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Sooo Trusting !

A surreal thing happend to us on Monday. Edward, Richard and me went into London for the day. SP&S / IHQ / Tate Gallery / St Pauls then walked back to Liverpool Street to get train back home. Just before we got the train home we decided to have a drink in McDonalds at the station. As we were sitting there a well dressed gentleman came to the chair beside me and put a plastic bag and briefcase down on the table and said "would you mind just keeping an eye on these please while I go to the toilet and order my food?"....I promptly said "sure, that's fine, no problem".

The moment he left and disappeared out of sight we looked at each other and realised what a trusting thing I had just agreed to do....."What if this is not just an innocent couple of bags?" What if it is a.....whisper....bomb?" Realising that we had left Hannah at home on her own - I then said "you better take Edward and get the train...I'll meet you back home - can't risk all three of us getting blown up!"

The next 3/4 mins were taken up with Richard and I arguing over who would be most missed and who Hannah and Edward needed the most. Both of us had good arguments for the other person to be the one to stay with the children. Neither of us suggested that we ALL leave !

Just as it was beginning to become a bit of an issue - the very gentle man waved at us as he ordered his food and very soon had joined us and his bags once again. He said "Thank You" and I said "Your Welcome" and we quickly left to get our train. Little did he know the anxiety he had caused the three of us.

Very odd few mins - but on reflection - how sad it is that we now live in a world/society that makes us so suspiceous (hope I have spelt that right....mmm?). Would I say "yes" again....I don't actually think so !

Monday, 28 January 2008

A Family Night In

I am just about to make a cup of tea and settle down for the evening after a days work....think to myself, "be nice to have an evening with the family".... but these days that generally means:-
Eldest child either on sofa or our bed with the laptop talking on MSN to her friends - far more exciting than real conversation with the family.
Youngest child doing homework and watching what he wants on the TV
Husband in and out of office answering building related emails, and then wanting sports on TV
ME....well, worst offender of all - since kids been home I have gone from kitchen, my computer, eat my tea, back to computer, hang washing up, back to I am ready to sit down and of family settled in what they are doing - so I guess it is another night in with the family - at least we are in the same house :-)