It was a day of strong winds, sunshine and showers, Tim and Em managed 2 4ths- they were racing too far out for me to capture any really decent shots... oh for a decent zoom!!! If you look carefully you will see boats!!!
There were lots of them:
It was wonderful to wake this morning to the sound of waves on the shore, rather than cars on the road!
This morning I have been sorting out our ancient caravan so that I can head to the beach with the rest of my family. They will be competing in North West Norfolk Week, as they have for the past few years....
I will stay with them this evening we plan to have a BBQ at the beach, for once the weather forecast is fine!
The remainder of the week I am working- first a funeral visit for a funeral on the 8th August, a big funeral on the Tuesday, after that I am heading down to Somerset for a few days to be part of a team going to the Big Green Gathering. I will be home on Saturday to run facilitate the11th hour Preacher Party on revgals- essential for me as I am preaching out of my own circuit that weekend at March Methodist Chapel.....
....I will take a few days out before ERMC Summer School begins, but am looking forward to a real break in early October, after we have dropped the twins and Chris off at Uni....
Peace at last? Short-lived I suspect.....
Excellent news- Martyn Atkins and Ruby Beech- President and Vice- President of the Methodist Conference are blogging here!
A revgals Friday 5. Here in the UK we are struggling with floods, other parts of the world have similar problems without the infrastructure to cope with it, still others are badly affected by drought.... My son Jon is in Melbourne Australia where apparently it has been snowing ( yes it is winter but still!).... With crazy weather in mind I bring you this weeks Friday 5...
1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope?
Short answer yes- as a child I lived in South East Asia- and we experienced the monsoon season every year. Most of the time it was a welcome change to the continuous heat, but one year the winds and rains forced us to evacuate our home and take shelter at a local golf club- I thought it was very exciting- but then I was 10!
Last year Tim and Jo were causgt at sea in a freak storm, Tim's experience showed through and they were safe, they then joined in rescuing others!
I am accutley aware that these two events are minor compared to what others in the world have suffered.
2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming?
Very important- if we were all to do "our bit" it will make a difference! Low energy appliances, and light bulbs, recycling and economic journey planning. Raising awareness and countering false reports that there is nothing we can do are also very important.
3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earths resources agree/ disagree?
YES, YES AND YES!!!- We need to preach a gospel that goes from creation to recration encompassing sin and salvation- this message is more community focused that the individualistic sin- salvation message that has too often been presented!!!
And because it is summer- on a brighter note....
4. What is your favourite season and why?
Early Spring- when the ground and air are full of re-creation promise, the days a a little longer, and a little brighter, and a little warmer...
5. Describe your perfect vacation weather...
Warm- but not too hot, comfortable for walking and sitting- a gentle breeze- stunning sunsets..... oh to dream....
I am still struggling with tiredness and lack of motivation- both classic symptoms of depression, it is easy to waste time doing nothing much, going round in small circles and ending up back in the same place...
..I want to read and pray, and have plenty of stuff to work on and yet seem frozen in a bubble of inertia....
... and then I remember:
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you ( Psalm 139: 7- 18).
... and I realise that God is with me even when I cannot sense her presence, even when it seems that prayer comes bouncing back from and invisible ceiling.... I am not alone....
...and then God speaks through music- I found this on Youtube today...
I have received a number of enquiries about whether the recent floods have affected us at all, and am relieved to say that no they haven't, interestingly the Norfolk fens are relatively flood free! I do live on the lowest lying area of the country- but excellent drainage systems mean we are OK.
Many folk are not however and with more rain forecast and river levels rising more flooding looks inevitable. If you are reading this please take the time to pray for folk who have lost homes and for farmers whose entire crops have ended up underwater.
Whilst tidying up the office today we came across a disc of photos from 2000, they were taken just after we had returned to England from Texas and were a reminder of some fun family times.
It is easy to look back and remember the difficulties and problems- and yet on reflection life was good, I am thankful for the reminder and encouraged to try to see the silver lining edging the clouds!
.Em, Jo and Jon..seven years ago; they look so young!!!
It has been a strange day, good but strange, we woke early this morning to take Jonathan to Downham High School for the first leg in his trip to Melbourne. He is travelling with the Sixth Sense Theatre Company, they are going to perform Twelfth Night in a series of venues in and around Melbourne over the next few weeks. He was excited but trying to remain calm- it should be a memorable trip! His girl friend cycled in to see him off.
In between times I have battled off a migraine by doing the sensible thing and going to bed for a couple of hours- and amazingly not feeling guilty about it!!!
This afternoon I was grateful to Em and Ralph for arranging their own transport, leaving me free to attempt a second reading of Furthering humanity, I usually highlight sections when I read ( much to Tims horror who feels it is a sin to mark books in any way- but then I do not have his photographic memory!)- today I was drawn to one quote;
" ...to bathe ones spirit in the Bible again is to be refreshed by its boundless certitude and exhilaration..." (p.31)
Gorringe who is quoting Arnold goes on to explain the need for us to read the Bible as a living word as a metaphor applicable today as it would have been years ago... he asserts the uniqueness of the Scripture to speak into any age. He feels we cannot allow such a vibrant and changing narrative to be set into stone like dogmas....
... a challenge indeed...
I have also spent time reflecting on the funeral and remembrance services I will conduct next week, to spend time with folk listening to their memories of loved one, listening to life details of folk I have never met is an enormous privilege and restores my hope in God for I sense her working in so many ways, in and through and despite of us!
This evening I dropped Joanne ( Jon's twin) off at an interview for a young leaders course, which if she is successful will be sponsored by the Rotary Club. She had dressed smartly and was ready to answer questions, and I am grateful to the God who has brought this beautiful young lady through difficulties of despair and self harm to be the confident young woman I saw enter into the interview process this evening. Is it wrong to pray that she would be accepted for this course?
And now I am going to veg out in front of the T.V........ my "babies" are all grown up, and I am proud of them all.
Update- Jo just got home- she succeeded in gaining a place on the course!!!