Monday, 19 December 2011

Re-train my brain

I have spent all my adult life saying 'Can I have a lift, I am sorry I can't drive.  Would you like some money for petrol?'  As of a few weeks ago I no longer have to say that.  I passed my driving test and now am in possession of a full drivers license with my name on it.  I am proud.

I haven't done much independent driving yet though.  I drove about 1 minute to turn the car around and also moved the car in a car park.  I am proud.  I need to go out for a proper drive.  I also need to re-train the way I think.  I can drive without supervision.  Eventually I will be able to go out on my own.  I am going to take it slowly but the skill is there.

After Christmas I will book a Pass plus lesson in order to do some more driving skills, eg Motorway driving.

I am looking forward to many happy and safe years of driving.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Things I love about Christmas

  • My little 'Charlie Brown' Christmas tree.
  • Christmas Cake.
  • Making lots of Christmas cookies and goodies for my family and friends.
  • Watching my children get excited.
  • Pondering the Incarnation, how did God become a baby?
  • Thinking about the wonder of the Shepherds and Wise Men.
  • Singing Christmas Carols.
  • Carol Services.
  • The smell of Christmas spices, cinnamon, cloves, star anise etc etc.
  • Glazed Ham.
  • Pickles and Chutneys.
  • The soft warm glow of a Christmas tree at night.
  • Christmas Candles.
  • Warm cozy optimism because everything is different.
  • Christmas chocolate.
  • 'The Lemon Drop Kid'.
  • Christmas Dinner.
  • Christmas Pudding.
  • Reading Mary's Prayer.
  • Trying to imagine the look on the faces of Anna and Simeon to seeing Jesus.
  • Wondering about Mary and the thoughts she had about being the Mother of God.  Did she wondered how to wean Jesus?  Or how on earth to potty train?
  • Fond memories of playing consequences with my brother, sisters and parents.
  • Cracking nuts, it doesn't matter which variety, I just love to eat nuts at Christmas.
  • Family times and snuggles.
  • Walking on the beach on Christmas Eve.
  • Stockings and the funny shapes all the presents inside make.
  • Watching Dr Who.
  • Satsumas.
  • Brussel sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.
  • World vision and alternative Christmas presents.
  • Wondering what Jesus would think of 21st century Christmas.
I did originally think I would list the things I hate about Christmas but then realised I would appear much too Scrooge-like so I will desist.

Happy Christmas to you all.  May the love and peace of Jesus be with you all this Christmas time.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Slide that I wish I could put on the Church Powerpoint

All credit to my brother-in-law for posting this photo on his facebook page with the caption "Get thee behind me Vader."


I just wish I could add this to the end of the Powerpoint to see if anyone noticed!!! Maybe I could slip it in small somewhere.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Whose job is it?

Last night we had a church member's meeting.  It went well and was encouraging.  We covered a lot of ground really.  One of the usual chestnuts came up 'Some of the older people can't hear when they sit in the one place in the church where the preaching doesn't reach!'  Suggestion:  Move.  And don't get me wrong I love the older people in my church but sometimes I think the need to sit in the only place you can't hear the sermon comes with being old and in church.  Oh and the music is too loud - turn the volume down then.  (Note to self:  Remember this in 30 years time when ears don't work!)

Anyway, swiftly moving on.  We were able to Praise God for the 3 meetings we have held at church for adults with learning disabilities.  We have another service in December and next year we hope to hold them every 6 weeks on Sunday afternoons.  It is great but it didn't start in a vacumn.  For years members of our church have been working with and alongside a local charity which supports adults with learning disabilities.  The ground had been well ploughed..  It is also a joint venture between us and another church in town.

In the past our churches weren't particularly known for working together.  And this is just one of the ways we are, hurray.  Another way, is the course for young people interested in the Bible, Jesus etc.  Our 2 churches plus another one from a different town are working together to do this.  We have had 2 Sunday nights when the church has had a lot of young people come along.  Tea is provided by one of the churches.  The young people have been known by one or other of the churches for a long time.  Some have been coming from their early years (eg, being brought up in Church families) and some come along to the various youth clubs.

We don't know the outcome of any of these meetings BUT it is wonderful to be a part of it.  In my case, that means making a cake and just being there to help as and when.  Lots of Christians are involved and each with a job to do.  If only we could get this all the time:  it isn't exclusively our work.  Not one of us can do it without other Christians helping.  I 100% believe that God has a work for each believer to do but it doesn't depend on individuals.  None of us are indispensable as Christians.  It is God that makes what we do grow.

So let us get out there, look around and see what God has for us to do, work together and leave the results to Him.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Book a Day keeps the cobwebs away.

We are a family of words.  And lots of them (I kissed the Blarney Stone twice, so I don't know what you expect really.)  Our youngest daughter risks disinheritance by proclaiming that she 'doesn't like reading' but we are willing to forgive her because she is very cute.  Our eldest daughter is a reader.  She loves reading, and will do so anywhere.  She even has books in her bed!

Many years ago we started a family tradition!  Well my husband did, as a way to keep the girls calm whilst I made tea.  He read them a book with Chapters - "Jack Fox Detective".  He has fond memories of this from childhood.  His original copy had gone the way of many of his toys and books but his dad managed to track down a copy for him.  Real life detective work.  :)

It was the first of many books we have read our children.  Occasionally (at the grand old ages of 8 and 10) they declare they are too old for this nightly ritual* but most times they beg for 'just one more Chapter'.  My husband and I take it in turns to choose the book.  I have read the whole 'Little House on the Prairie'series to them and am now plowing my way through the 'Anne' books (although our local 2nd handbook shop has discourteously sold the next one to someone else!)  In order to restore the balance he reads 'Paddington Bear', 'Swallows and Amazons', 'Dr DooLittle' and the like.  He also, sneaks a 'Narnia' book in on a Sunday afternoon!  I never enjoyed them as a child but am finding them surprisingly interesting; perhaps the fact that I am half asleep helps.  Sadly, we haven't keep a precise list of all the books we have read so with time we are forgetting some.

We have only given up on one book and that was after about 4 chapters.  It was the literary equivalent of watching paint dry and that was with my husband condensing the words!  So I am afraid to say 'Swiss Family Robinson' doesn't get a recommendation from this family.

And this is a book I want to read because I think it is cool that we aren't the only family to have done this.

* Our nightly ritual/routine goes something like this and happens about 5 times a week:

We have always believed in getting our children nice and calm just before bed.  It has adapted and evolved over the years but the essentials of it stay the same.  We have tea at about 5.30pm.  This is followed by 'jobs' - each family member has something that needs to be done.  The girls then go and get themselves ready for bed.  About 6.30 pm we are all ready to pile on the sofa and snuggle up ready for story time.  Each child goes with a parent and we take turns.  Then the reading begins.  Occasionally, the non-reading parent has been known to 'rest their eyes'.  We follow story time by Bible Time which of late the children have been more involved in as it got a bit stale for a while.  After this the children go to bed with kisses, cuddles, 'what to dream of' and we sing 'The Lord bless you and keep you.'  We shut the bedroom door and about 75% of the time the girls go straight to sleep.

It works for us.  And there have been days when our family life has been so fraught that this little routine has been the only good part.  So we stick to it.  And plan to for as long as we are able.

So if you have any good Chapter books then please let me know.  Answers on a postcard please or alternatively bung them in the comments section.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Lest we forget.

Yesterday was the 10th Anniversary of September 11th.  Yesterday, a decade ago an atrocity was perpetrated against innocent people by other members of the human race.  Yesterday, 10 years ago just under 3,000 people were killed in one foul swoop.  This doesn't take into account those injured by the events of this day.  It doesn't touch on those who have suffered psychological trauma as a result of that terrible day.  The children who lost parents or spouses who lost partners are not covered either.

We must never forget those people and their families.

A few weeks later as a response, on 7th October 2001, a war was started in Afghanistan.  It still goes on.  

Figures as to how many people have been killed during this war are difficult to work out.  However, figures could be as high as 47, 000; Military and Civilian combined. 

We must never forget those people and their families.

Iraq then came back in the radar of the world's superpowers.  Inspections for 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' were hindered in Iraq.  So on the 20th March 2003 Iraq was invaded by the US and UK.  No such weapons were found, the WMD programmes had been abandoned by the Iraqi government. 

Figures for deaths during the Iraqi war are extremely high.  As many as 111, 937 Civilians have been killed in Iraq.  The number of Military is nearly 6,000.

On top of the number of people killed are the numbers of those injured; both physically, psychologically or both.

We must never forget those people and their families.

This one event has led to a lot of deaths.  It doesn't matter to me whether the people who have died are from one of the 115 nations on that dreadful day, from Iraq or Afghanistan.  Innocent people are no longer with us.  As a Christian this kind of event and the subsequent wars need to make me focus on my attitudes to others.  Jesus tells us that we must love our neighbours.  Sometimes they will look like me and sometimes they will not.  I cannot think wrong of a person just because of the country they are from.  Jesus loves all people everywhere.

I didn't agree with these wars but I also firmly believe that once you invade another country you have to stay until the end.  I didn't agree with these wars but I will support the Military and their families.  (Well those that are doing their job within International Laws anyway!!)

Anyway, these are my thoughts.  Well, except Guantanamo Bay and you don't want to get me started on that!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Fancy a Blackberry?

I don't mean the phone version either!  In fact, I have to confess I don't really know what it is or looks like.  But that is not the purpose of this little blog.  The purpose of this blog is to show-off if I am being brutally honest. :)

This morning we got up early (nothing new about that in my house) and went out to find some good old-fashioned blackberries.  You know, the deep black-purple kind that grow in abundance in hedges.  We live near the country so it was obviously going to be a doddle.  Except it wasn't.  Thankfully, after risking life and limb, fighting off over-playful dogs, and stopping our youngest daughter from overreaching across a large precipice we managed to find some.  Enough to make a pie anyway.

Recently, I have stumbled across this blog:  It is in my Google-Reader and most days it comes up with delicious looking recipes which I want to try.  One which tempted me enough to make it was a Blackberry Pie recipe, hence the Blackberry finding expedition.

I came home; made the pastry and as is usual when I do that something didn't quite go well.  So I did what I always do and managed to squash and squeeze the pastry into a flan dish.  Who will know once the filling is put on it??  The blackberries were washed and the custard made.  The pie was ready to put together which I duly did.

So after over an hour in the oven and constantly checking on my pie, I am pleased to say that I was pleased with the finished look and, more importantly, the taste.

So for just a little boast some photos for you.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Getting into a pickle.

I used to make a lot of jams and chutneys.  Then we moved and our garden is a great deal larger but doesn't have half the fruit trees as our last one.  In fact, we have one pear tree that will produce 3 tiny fruit this year!  Our last (relatively small) garden boasted a plum tree, an eating apple tree, 2 cooking apple trees and elderberry tree!  We were near to good supplies of blackberries.  Each year my husband grew tomatoes which never ripened so we were able to make green tomato chutney.  For years, we rarely had to buy jam or chutney!  

Our move here meant I stopped making supplies for various reasons, some of which were the lack of fruit-producing trees in the garden.  So for 3 years nothing has been pickled or jammed from my kitchen.

However, this year I have made 3 jars of green tomato pickle as well as 5 ordinary jars and 1 large jar of rhubarb and sultana chutney!  I have loads of blackcurrants in the freezer and none of us are keen on the taste so I am planning on making some jam.  A friend has a large supply of apples which could easily be chutneyed.  My problem:  is a lack of jars to put the stuff in.

I have had a wonderful time making this stuff and it is good to be back in the home-producing business again. :)

Just some of the finished products, they wont last long in my house!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Spray on Shoes

I love the film 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'.  My favourite line is just after Flint Lockwood shows the class his invention, his wonderful solution to the problem of untied shoelaces - Spray on Shoes.  Unfortunately, he hadn't worked out how to get them off!!

It has become a metaphor in our house to take responsibility for our own actions.  Life will throw lots of stuff at us and, likewise we will throw stuff at others in our home and outside.  I have noticed in my life that it is easy to blame others or circumstances.

  • No friends - 'People just don't talk to me'.  
  • Lack of Happiness -  'I need something else to fulfill me then I will be happy!'  
  • Lack of status - 'I just didn't have the opportunities others had.'  

I could go on but as I get older I know that a lot of what happens in life can be affected by my attitude to it.  I have to take responsibility, get up and do things.

Nobody is going to give me qualifications on a plate and that is why a few years ago I went out and got some.  I endeavour to study for more.

Nobody is going to invent a magic-pill to get me on a plane.  I will have to pray lots and trust God if I want to do that. And I have to do that if I want to go to other countries for holidays and mission trips.

Nobody can force me to be a more positive person.  Only I can do that by trusting God, counting my blessings and experience the wonder of the world around me.

Nobody is going to find friends for me and bring them around to my house so they can bask in my marvelous presence.  I need to get out there and make friends of the incredible people I already know.  I need to pick up that phone, write that text or email.

I can't blame the way I am on the fact I am a Pastor's wife, a Pastor's child, the 2nd oldest in my famiily, being short or wearing glasses.  God created me.  He gave me a brain and I must use it creatively to live here and now, in the moment in which I am.  I am not good at that; I still believe that if I run hard enough I will run away from my own feet.  However, I can't, they aren't that bad and if I work with the gifts God has given I will get kind of used to them.

Disclaimer:  I am well aware that sometimes life brings up stuff that no amount of the right attitude can sort out and I am not referring to those things in this post.  I am talking of the things that we can do something about.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Wise Women and my Great Auntie

Sarah at Emerging Mummy has written this post recently.  It got me thinking about my Great Auntie.  In her latter days we would occasionally visit her in her retirement flat in the South of England.  Her life story is largely unknown to me now, and if I did know I have forgotten.  She was a formidable lady and not to be messed with.  If she didn't agree with you then you would know about it but she loved God and people.

I know that after the death of her father she lived with various relatives and was split up from her siblings.  Her sister, my Nanny ended up in Ireland but Auntie stayed in England and eventually trained as a Nurse and Midwife.  Around the age of 55 she left the comforts of these shores to serve her God in Pakistan; in a School that now boasts its own website!  In 1974, she started a 20 year stint that only came to an end because of her heart problems.  She was a long way from hospitals and didn't want to be a burden to others when she got her pace-maker.  She returned to the UK and served God for a further 10 years here.

When she died my mum cleared out her flat and found a very long hand-written description of one of her journeys home.  (It was hard to read as unlike her sister, my Nanny, her writing was not that clear!)  She travelled overland from Pakistan via the Kyber Pass to Kabel ; Kandahar; the Iranian Border; Tehran; Ankara and Istanbul through Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Italy then onto Paris, Calais and across to Folkstone.  She landed in the UK during a train strike!  Mum thinks this journey was made around 1977 when she was nearly 60 years old!  The last words in her account were "It was good to get here - although sometimes I felt I was in a dream - I thank God for His overruling care and love through it all."

My Great Auntie is no longer here to ask questions about her further adventures, and when she was here I didn't know the extent of what she had done and wasn't interested.  I need to draw inspiration from her and learn to serve God and people in the same way.  I need to stand up to my many fears and take some of her courage.  She prayed faithfully and read her bible like her life depended on it (which it did!).

Thanks Sarah for causing me to think of this remarkable lady.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Forgiveness and the Image of God

This is a fascinating story.  One of immense pain and suffering, brought about by inhumanity to fellow men brought about by ignorance.  It is also one of amazing forgiveness in the face of a horrific act.  As a Christian I can learn from this news item.

I believe that I have been forgiven much by a all-powerful God; I know that the punishment for sin has been dealt with in Jesus, His death and resurrection.  Surely, if this is true then some of the forgiveness that Rais Bhuyian has shown Mark Stroman should be evident in my heart, mind and behaviour to those who have hurt me.  I should be more forgiving and willing to work alongside people for the good of others. It should be evident in the way I deal with fellow believers.

What about the Christian Church as a whole?  What does a story like this teach us?  It should be there when we find things difficult.  We should be able to deal with people who don't agree with us in a way which shows the tolerance that Christ has with us.  Christians should be able to sort out their difference in a loving, calm and patient manner. It should be evident in a way Christians deal with world situations.  We should be the most forgiving people living on this planet, it should be in our DNA!  I have read some awful stuff written by Christians in response to September 11th and the ensuing conflicts. It has made me ashamed.  Christianity is a religion that should be full of grace and forgiveness to all.  (I understand the need for repentance and a 'go and sin-no more approach as well but this is not the purpose of this post.)

Another lesson from this news item is that all men and women are made in the image of God, it was the Fall of humans that corrupted something that was perfectly beautiful.  However, this story tells us that remnants of it potentially remain in all of us.  As a Christian I believe that both men in this story are on the right track and would enter into a full humanity (as God originally intended) through a relationship with Jesus.  I believe I can learn from both of them. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I finally did it!

I managed to develop a back bone and begin the process to change Driving Instructor.  My (now) previous one was doing nothing to build my confidence in driving.  Her teaching style and my learning style just weren't compatible.  I have known this for a very long time but had a weird sense of loyalty to her.  I was supposed to have a Driving Test this week which she encouraged me to cancel because 'You will fail!' 'You aren't up to it.'  I still had a lesson with her and the tipping point was her pointing out that we would have lessons over the summer, she would assess me and then see if she would allow me to use her car to take my next booked test.  I was incredibly discouraged and realised that I couldn't learn under those circumstances and needed someone who will accommodate my nervousness about driving and build confidence in the ability I have.

This morning I phoned her up and told her I was reassessing my driving and would no longer need her services.  I also pointed out that I felt discouraged after every lesson and wondered if I would ever pass my test.  She seemed completely underwhelmed  by me giving her the boot.  I have already made enquiries with another Instructor and may take an Assessment Lesson with him in order to have a second opinion.  If he is so disparaging I will take the hint and give up.  But not yet.

Either way, once driving is out of the way I have to find my bucket list and see what is next on the list of things to tackle.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

I love the sea

I have always known that I love the sea but I hadn't realised how much until recently.  Today, my daughters and I went Body-boarding.  It was our eldest daughter's birthday on Wednesday and we wanted to give her a bit of a birthday feel today. 

My husband suggested going to the beach to play cricket.  The girls liked that idea.  However, usually we get to the beach and they want to go into the sea, so today we packed wetsuits and body-boards.  Thankfully, all last year's wetsuits are still OK.  (We do need to buy my husband one but that will be a job for another day!)  We drove to a nearby seashore which has a beautiful beach, life guards and great surf.  On arrival the sea was a long way up the beach but we still managed to find enough space for our stuff.  The girls and I finished getting ready and hit the waves.  We had a great time; although they despaired that I couldn't ride the waves correctly..  'No mummy, like this' was a constant cry.   I managed to catch a few great waves and the feeling was fantastic. 

After what seemed like 10 minutes, but was in fact nearly 40 we got out as we were all hungry.  We had a picnic on the beach after changing into dry clothes.  Half the beach still managed to find its way into our belongings.

As I look out into our garden now it is a good sight to see three wetsuits drying on the line and a jumble of pink 'beach shoes' strewn across the patio.  I hope it is a regular thing that my girls and I can do together.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Home is where the heart is.

I have come to know the true meaning of that phrase in the past 3 years, for that is how long we have lived in this part of England.

We moved here and were promptly plunged into a deep grief with the loss of our friend from our previous church.  This came at the end of a long period of stress (although my parents don't believe there is such a thing but that is a blog for another day!)  It had taken the best part of 6 months to pray and decide whether to move and then we had to say a long drawn out goodbye to our previous church, school and home.

Starting a new place with such a deep sadness doesn't make settling in easy.  Neither did the 6 months of perpetual rain, the fact that everything was just so different or that we made some decisions that were too hasty!  I struggled for 2 years to feel any warmth for my new home or church.  Although last summer I had my eyes truly opened to the beauty of my county. 

During this past year I have worked in a place that for the most part has been wonderful.  I enjoy my job and have learnt so much.  I have also felt more at home at church and have found some great friends.

Anyway, last weekend, we went away with our previous church.  It was lovely, I thoroughly enjoyed being with old friends but during the weekend I realised that my heart is no longer there.  I didn't feel part of that church family in the way that I once did.  I love the people (they will always be friends) but I also discovered that there are now people in my new church and home that I love. 

I realised that my heart is here.  I still get frustrated with a lot of things but I don't want to go back to the familiar.  Actually here is the familiar; God is showing us how to be and serve Him.  I couldn't go back to living away from the seaside either (I am desperate to master body-boarding).  I love that I discovered that if I cut my hair it would grow again.  I am so proud I have become a runner and have entered a race.  I have also learnt to drive (and hope soon to have passed my test!)  Here is where I have learnt that you can be a working mum and a rift doesn't form in the space/time continuum!  I have discovered that I can use the Internet in my learning about God and theology.  I have made some wonderful new friends.

To use another phrase, made famous by Paul Young, 'Whereever I lay my hat, that's my home.'

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Don't interrupt me, I am reading a book.

No further comment is necessary.

The Great Bake-off.

I love cooking and baking.  I have a family who appreciates good food of any description.  I am blessed that they will let me experiment with different types of pulses and beans (I love them and they tolerate them as long as they are made suitably tasty!).  My husband can cook decent meals if I am unable to (eg, Omelettes and Salad, Sausage Casserole and anything along those lines.) 

My daughters are beginning to re-discover the enjoyment they had for making food when they were younger.  It is great that they are at the stage where I can be in the kitchen and just loosely supervise their cooking.  They are great at reading recipes, collecting all the ingredients and then weighing them all out.  All I do is check the scales before they move the ingredient into the bowl! 

So tomorrow when they have a day off school, one is making Pumpkin Muffins (so I am using Sweet Potato but it needs using up!) and the other is making Flapjack.  We need snacks for our weekend away and the girls offered to make them.  I am looking forward to the day when they can make me a dinner.  Having said all that I do feel nostalgic for the 2 little redheads who needed my help stirring the cake mix.

(On a related note:  I am looking for Tray Bake recipes so that I can bake lots, eat some and then freeze the rest.  So if you have any please let me know.)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mummy saves the day.

Today, is bike day for daughter no. 1.  This means she takes her bike to school, gets it checked for safety and puts some stickers on it ('bling your bike!').

On the way home from school last night I realised the shed key wasn't available.  The bike is in the shed.  "Houston, we have a problem" I said to my daughter in not so many words.  Cue: tears and only the kind of drama a girl can produce.  Great, this is not the week to lose the shed key and not be able to get to the bikes.  When we got home I looked around the shed for the key and couldn't find it.  We had to launch Plan B: Take the whole bolt off the door.  In order to do this we raided daughter number 2's tool box to find a screw-driver.  Thankfully, she had the size that I needed and I was able to take the bolt off, get the bike and helmets out of the shed and put the lock back on.  A major disaster was diverted, the tears dried up and I was 'Hero of the hour', for a few minutes anyway.  It felt good to be 'Super-mummy.'

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Is Jesus focused on Sin?

I read this quote on a blog post ".... A good mix theologically, as well.  We have done a good job so far of emphasizing love and toleration over doctrine.

we are not as organized, could use more leadership, but very generous and giving.  maybe too lax with sin at times, but try to be patient.  I am proud to be a part of it.
"   Someone replied: "Jesus was not too sin focused either...except when He was dealing with the Pharisees."

I think I know what the commentator is saying but as a Christian I believe that Christ is/was very focused on sin and sinners.  He mixed regularly with people that society (in other words:  US, more to the point ME!) would find difficult.  He didn't seem bothered by petty local conventions of the day.  He spoke out against the hypocrisy of the religious rulers often and didn't mince his words with them.  But he was still focused on sin, still had the sinful nature of man very much in his thoughts and was determined to do something about it.  He hates sin and the havoc it wrecks on the lives of those made in His image.

In the gospels in the bible we read many times of Jesus helping people in a variety of different ways.  He healed the sick and often forgave their sins at the same time (sometimes before He healed them)!  He stopped the women caught in adultery being stoned; He didn't condemn but urged her to 'sin no more'.  He preached against behaviours that could be called sin. After an hour with Jesus, Zaccheus started offering to hand back any money he had stolen.

Also, when saying Jesus wasn't sin focused, I have to ask 'What about the Cross?'  I believe that Christ died on the Cross because of sin.  He died to take the punishment for sin.  He died to reconcile sinful humans to Himself.  He focused so much on sin that He willingly did this; taking separation from His Father in order that those who believe will not have to endure it.  He focused on sin so that we could have a better life here on earth and in heaven. 

I firmly believe that Christians should be focused on sin and sinners just like Jesus. We should go out into the world and preach the good news of Jesus (which includes sin) and help the sick, disaffected etc etc of Society.  Jesus did both and so should we.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


I am a great fan of adoption, but then again I am slightly biased.  My two growing red-heads were brought into our family that way. 

I came across this video a while ago and was reminded today when my husband found it again.

I love this.  When my husband showed it to our girls today the first response our eldest gave was 'I am adopted twice!'  That did my heart good to hear when he told me.  I am so pleased to be their mum but also pleased that they feel they are adopted into God's family.  It is our prayer that as they grow they will be strong and holistically healthy humans who long to serve Jesus and others.  We long for them to be confident in the kind of people God has created them to be. 

Saturday, 11 June 2011

In His Shoes

This is cute.


Thursday, 9 June 2011

There is nothing new under the sun

We don't have a TV License at the moment, that means we can't watch programmes as they are being broadcast.  For the few programmes we watch we make good use of catch-up services on the internet.  This means I am reading a lot more.

I have read a lot of books this year.  At least 3 of them brought to my mind the horrors of prejudice.  I have read 'An Imperfect God - George Washington, His Slaves and the Creation of America' and was once again shocked about the inhumane treatment of slaves, all because of the colour of their skin.  That the slave triangle ever came into existence is beyond belief but the fact that it lasted for so long is incredible.  Thank God for William Wilberforce and others who fought hard to abolish the trade.

Alas, our job is not completed as modern day slavery still exists around our world.  In the 21st Century.

'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' is another book about prejudice.  Told from the point of view of a 9 year old boy.  Towards the end of the book he has a conversation with his sister and it is obvious he hasn't understood that he isn't supposed to like the Jews.  During the conversation he says "I don't understand why we're not allowed on the other side of it (the fence).  What's so wrong with us that we can't go over there and play?"  His sister tries to explain that the Jews have to stay together, and that they ('the Opposites') can't mix with them.  The little boy just doesn't understand this at all and asks his sister "Well, why don't we like them?"  Her answer is short and to the point "Because they're Jews,". 

Are we any different today?  How many people don't mix with 'Opposites' just because of race, colour or some other different feature?  Thank God, Christianity (in its perfect form as Jesus created it) is without prejudice 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.'

The last book I want to mention is called  'The Island' by Victoria Hislop.  It is a story about a lady who wants to find out about her past.  She is led to Crete and finds out things that she didn't know and people she didn't know existed.  One theme in the book is leprosy and how people react to those with it.  Misinformation and folklore lead to lots of prejudice and awful behaviour perpetrated from one group of humans towards another.

In the UK recently a reporter went undercover for 5 weeks into a home for adults with learning disabilities.  He recorded the behaviour he witnessed and then made a TV programme about it.  The Carers' behaviour towards their clients was abhorrent; the men and women were abused purely because of their disabilities.  Here is a report about it and a video which is distressing. 

The awful thing is that the report is recent.  It is now.  It is no different from what went on during the slave trade and the war.  It is sad.  We have to use our voices to speak out against prejudice and hatred.  And the show the world that there is a hope and a different way in the person of Jesus.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I did it!

Way back in February (the last time I posted!) I entered a 5k race (Race for Life).  I carried on with my usual exercise plan but also went back to running after a hiatus over the winter months.  I whizzed through the C25K this year as I found I was able to run without expiring.  I eventually got to the 5k run.  I admit to running some of them in my house, going round and round the rooms.  But I still ran 5k.

A month ago, I ran the whole race around the edge of my town.  It was early in the day but it was a beautiful Spring Day.  I was listening to my cheesy C25K Christian Indie music that both inspires and makes me laugh. I had a great run and even (dare I say this) enjoyed the run.  You have to understand when I was younger I could barely run the first 200 metres of a 1500 run!  I would get wheezy just running around the playground with friends.  Looking back now I think you could say I had asthma but it wasn't treated and therefore, exercise could be difficult for me.  My ability to run now as an adult has come from having my asthma treated and shear determination.  So back to that Thursday a month ago.  I arrived home proud of myself.  I had run a 5k and was on track for my race.

Except that night my small toe on my left foot started to feel funny.  I put it down to a bad pair of socks rubbing my feet.  I woke up on the Friday morning and more of my foot was incredibly red and painful.  Even I knew it was time for a trip to the Drs.  He diagnosed Cellulitis and prescribed anti-biotics and some cream for athlete's foot.  Needless to say my running (and any exercise) was put on hold for a while, even walking was way to painful.  Like someone was hitting my foot with a small brush with fine metal bristles.

I have to admit to being really disappointed that I wouldn't be running my first race, and at the start of my illness it didn't even look like I would be able to walk the distance.  However, as those near and dear to me will testify I am a determined little thing.  I haven't done any training or exercise (except walking the children to school and to work and back for a month) but last night I was able to run all but 3 minutes of the race.  My finish time was 35 minutes.  So all the training has paid off and was well worth it.  Some of the ladies I went along with managed to run the whole race without a spot of training BUT for the little red-head who would expire in the corner after the smallest amount of physical exertion I have come a long way.

Next goal: 10k .......................

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Sponsored Run

I have entered myself to run a 5K race.  The first of many I hope.

It is to raise money for Cancer Research in the UK.  I have had many friends suffer in one way or another with this disease so my race will help with this dreadful disease.  Please sponsor me if you feel able.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Big But


I found this interesting and amusing.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Achievements planned for 2011 - Updated.

Ok, so that is just another name for New Years resolutions.

  1. I plan to book and pass my driving theory.
  2. I plan to book and pass my driving practical.
  3. And then drive with confidence and not crash.
  4. I would like to read the bible in more depth.  I have started to read my bible and ask myself a few questions each time.  It is helping as it keeps me focussed. 
  5. I need to stop letting people make me feel inferior.
  6. I would like to laugh more and smile at the little things.
  7. I am plan to seek out more friends.  For so long I have allowed the fear of rejection stop me.  
  8. I am going to carry on with my exercise routine.  I log my daily exercise onto facebook.
  9. Run a proper race.  I have run my first 5k in 35 minutes.
  10. I would also like to join a running club but I need to either a) get my number 2 achievement sorted really quickly or b) or start working on 7 and hope they can give me a lift!
  11. I am going to read a lot more books.  I have already read loads this year, given up the TV license and re-found my local library.
  12. I would like to learn more about cooking.  I enjoy it.  And I am going to be proud of my achievements.
  13. Resume my body-boarding career in the better weather.
  14. To be the person God has created me to be.
  15. To give Debs her giggly big sister back.   

I would say that is enough to be going on with for the moment.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Today is national delurking day!

I have a tracker on my blog so I can see the location of where you come from.  Although since changing Internet provider I am not sure of the accuracy but I think it gives the correct country.

So who are you?  How'd you find the blog?  Please tell me about yourself.  Anything you want to say.  I want to know who you are.
I started blogging in order to write down quotations but I write more of how I feel now.  I also like to post videos of songs etc.  What do you blog about mainly?

Friday, 14 January 2011

Dear Elliot

This video needs no other words.


Monday, 10 January 2011

'The Silence'

My husband is on a 2 week talking ban.  No, I did not put him on it.  It is per the Dr's orders. 

He has been having problems with his throat since October 2009; we think that he had a throat infection and then went back to work too quickly.  He is a Church Minister so that would have had a negative effect.  All through 2010 he visited our GP.  They referred him to an ENT Consultant who put a camara down, told him it was red and angry looking and then promptly dismissed him from his clinic!

He went back to the Dr in November 2010 who recommended a 2 week talking ban.  Can you start now?  My husband told him that as a Church Minister with loads of Assemblies booked, meetings at various Old People's Homes and the general Christmas Services that wasn't going to happen.  So by mutual agreement they booked the first 2 weeks of January for 'The Silence'.

So my husband wrote a list of all the things he was going to achieve during his 2 weeks off sick (the Church Leaders said he could take the time as sick leave).  He was sort of looking forward to the opportunity to get stuff done. 

Then he went down with the flu followed by a Chest Infection. He spent the whole of the first week of his Silence coughing and feeling like death warmed up.  I think he managed to read some of his books towards the end of the week but the first half was spent sat doing nothing or inhaling Vicks vapour from one of my cooking bowls!  (I will not be using that one to cook with again.)

We are at the beginning of week 2 and the antibiotics the Dr prescribed last Thursday are beginning to take effect.  He feels somewhat better. 

We communicate by me talking and him writing.  I can't understand his gestures (maybe that is a good thing) and he has been known to slip into whispering which was banned as well.  I am hoping the 5 days left will help heal his throat.  It is of the utmost importance; his job depends on it.