9am from St Pancras on Boxing Day! Yippee.
Friday, 25 December 2009
9am from St Pancras on Boxing Day! Yippee.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
It serves me right for not feeling appropriately sympathetic towards BA passengers who would have lost their flights if the strike had gone ahead. I remember thinking 'I'm sad for them, but really glad we booked to go to Paris on Eurostar'. I feel the Bah Humbug angel may just have bitten me!
Friday, 11 December 2009
“He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.” John 1 v.10
Did I recognise him?
When the well-spring of life
turned water into new wine
did I catch the foretaste
of a heavenly banquet yet to come?
When the hour he spoke
proved the hour of recovery
did I choose to see
healing or coincidence?
When a mat picked-up
meant a man could walk again
did I worry only
that it happened on a Sunday?
When the Bread of Life
broke bread for thousands
did I hear the echo of manna
as I ate my fill?
When he came to me
across a storm-crossed sea
did I grasp he ruled the waves
as well as walked upon them?
When the mudpack cleared
from the beggar’s eyes
did the scales fall from mine -
or did he alone see the Light?
did I turn away before the
unwrapping promised new Life?
Did my eyes slide easily over his surface?
Or did every atom of my stardust-being
recognise the One
who had been there at their creation?
Based on the seven signs of the Messiah in John’s Gospel:
the wedding at Cana (2 v.1-11); the healing of the official’s son (4 v.46-53); the healing of the paralytic (5 v.2-9); the multiplication of the loaves (6 v.1-13); the walking on water (6 v.16-21) and the raising of Lazarus (11 v.17-44)
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
It was in the middle of summer that I was asked to write a short reflection/poem about any aspect of Christmas. Mind you not such a challenge as one might think because the shops were already filling shelves with chocolate Santas, plastic trees and nuts galore. My Mum often buys nuts early for Christmas to put away, inevitably she has to buy some more by about 20th December because she has succumbed to nutty temptation, and who can blame her?
Behind the Tinsel
Within the tinsel shimmering, gift-wrapped
sentimentality a dim light catches my eye.
I follow the light to a messy shelter,
a simple coarse place where animals eat.
The stench of the beasts rises like a sour incense,
blending with sounds of struggle.
Here behind the cheery cards and artificial snow
is the hard, flesh-bound reality of love.
Here is the greatness of the small,
God’s risk-taking life-giving love.
In the weakness of a new-born child
is hope in the face of despair.
Here is the very essence of Christmas, Christ – holy,
God with us, Emmanuel.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Friday, 11 September 2009
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
On a very stuffy evening at the end of June we went as a family to Wembley Arena. The treats in store were John Mayal and BB King, each with their own groups – and being entertained by the royalty of Blues music proved to be a spectacular evening. What made it spectacular? Was there lots of well choreographed dancing and acrobatics? No. Was it a fancy back drop and huge screens – no, none of these were present. What made it a special evening? Each of the musicians was very talented, knew their instruments really well, the singing was great and the joy they found in performing was infectious.
I reflected afterwards about this simplicity of performance – the music was allowed to speak for itself and the skill of the performers needed no gimmicks. The story at the heart of the show was the music, the soulful and energetic sound born out of poverty and slavery which went on to influence rock and roll, soul, pop and all other modern music.
I wonder sometimes if we ‘over-produce’ the Christian message. We use gimmicks and programmes and assume that if we can’t offer ‘all singing, all dancing’ worship that somehow we are not good enough, or that we will be ignored. I wonder if we hide behind this idea and lose the essence of the story that we are called to tell. At the heart of all we do as Christians is the simplest, and yet most profound, story. The Gospel of creation, salvation and inspiration is what is truly spectacular and needs no glitter or gloss to disguise it or make it more interesting. Perhaps, like those wonderful musicians we need to relax and be confident about what it is we have to offer. To share the joy we have in Christ will be infectious – telling the story of God’s love with passion and simple delight will be irresistible.
Monday, 22 June 2009
It was very odd that almost exactly a year after submitting my dissertation I finally received my certificate of graduation. It was also a bit odd that it was half in Welsh because of being accredited through Lampetter - having only ever travelled to Salisbury to attend modules and tuition. Apparently I've been entitled to use the letters after my name since receiving the letter in December but I'm not sure that, apart from in Minutes, I shall use them. Should I?
Monday, 8 June 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
The nurse draws the stiff white sheet
over the face
as the doctor clips her pen to the clipboard.
“A classic case” she says.
“The damage was
over many years.”
“A hardening of the oughteries
led to reduced circulation of
spontaneity and laughter
around the body.
This allowed a build up of
in the internal organs with pooling of
stress and anxiety
at the extremities.”
“There was also evidence of crushing to the vertebrae;
the last straw,
having never been reached.”
“The irony is”, said the doctor
“that she had the medication in her pocket.
But the lid was adult-proof
and the child inside her, that might have opened it,
had long since gone away.”
Rachel Parkinson. Whitby. May 2009
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Saturday, 4 April 2009
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Saturday, 7 March 2009
The long awaited day has arrived and our 6 young hens have been delivered. Three are 'Miss Pepperpots' - mostly black with some lovely ginger details, and three are 'Gingernut Rangers' - you can guess what colour they are!