Sunday, 15 November 2015

November 15

No sermon today

A time of prayer and reflection,
 and lighting candles for whatever touches the heart...
& communion

Saturday, 14 November 2015

A Prayer for Paris #NaBloPoMo

Ah Paris!
City of history and culture
maze of streets and steps
How often I walked within your bounds...

Today I weep for you
as you take stock
as you stand, bewildered by the force of terror
Oh Paris! What can we say?

Holy God - be with those who weep
and those who fear
Counsel those who react
Encourage those who help, and pray, and listen, and talk... 

Comfort those who survived against the odds
Quell feelings of guilt and wonderment
Why did I survive? How was I saved?
Walk, O Holy One with your little ones
Your broken ones
Your hurting ones
Walk and walk, until the pain eases and tomorrow comes

We pray
in words and silence


Paris - autumn 2008

Thursday, 12 November 2015

NaBloPoMo #8-12....


The world caught up with me...
I have been dealing with STUFF.... 
deep, grotty, rubbishy sort of stuff.

So the writing slid, and life just crept along. 
Saturday - the last day I blogged - was the chaotic, lovely wedding - which was lovely, but also personally painful (one day - me) 
Sunday, Remembrance Sunday, move the service early, welcome local dignitaries, uniformed organisations and all sorts who only come to church once a year. Followed by solemn procession to the village Square of the entire congregation, escorted by police cars to stop the traffic... 
Monday: Messy Church planning in the morning; banner group in the afternoon (share my unhappy news...) 
Tuesday: Funeral; Home bound communion service; visit to v frail elderly, just home from hospital - comfort daughter as he has another stroke and is readmitted... go to choir rehearsal in evening... 
Wednesday : Remembrance Day - High School - 5 Assemblies back to back; meeting over lunch; Junior School Assembly, walk with the oldest children to the War Memorial; come home - supervision meeting with student... lie down in a darkened room.... 
Thursday - today- after broken night of tossing and turning set off for Glasgow for training day; pull over into car park after 45 mins, as the pains in belly indicate IBS is imminent.

O God, grant me patience, to bear all things; to love at all times; to lean in to you in all places; and remember - you have already saved the world - I don't need to!

Oh to go to the sea and breathe!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

NaBloPoMo #7 - the greatest of these

Ahh... it's a wedding today!
Sweet couple with two little ones
the younger is two and a half - and I fully expect him to run riot this afternoon - just as he did last night at the rehearsal.... 

This is my third wedding this year - church weddings are getting fewer and fewer as more folks go for a "Package Deal" with venue providing a celebrant who will do whatever the couple want.... choice is what it's all about now; the upside of this being that generally those who choose to have a minister and a church also really want their union to be blessed - God is welcome! 
The first years I was in ministry the packages were only just beginning to come into the equation, so I got all sorts of requests, and suggestions. More weddings, but not necessarily more blessings... 

It is sad that the numbers have gone down
but good that those who come, really do seek to invite God to bless their union.

New wedding banner at Earlston

Friday, 6 November 2015

NaBloPoMo #6 - Friday random

It's Friday - so that means Friday Five over at RevGals... plus there's today's NaBloPoMo prompt, so I'm going to do a wee combo.... 

On the blog, 3dogmom asks: random Friday Five out of the hat today.

What is your “gotta go!” breakfast that you can grab and take with you in the morning when you’re in a rush?
Oh my! Breakfast is the one meal I never rush! I don't eat bread or dairy due to food allergies; so my daily breakfast is eggs and bacon with mushrooms and tomatoes and spinach - the meal I would rush or skip is lunch - easy when you have a decent breakfast. 

When was the last time you had a fun evening out, and what did you do?
Wednesday was my birthday, and my beloved took me out for a lovely meal in a very special restaurant, very fine fare, and we had a sweet time. 
Last real 'fun' night was with good friends, eating, playing silly games and laughing lots. 

Favorite poet or poem?
Oh - a tie between George Herbert and Christina Rossetti: GH - Come my way - simply wondrous; Rossetti - Remember me when I am gone away - sublime. 

Who makes you laugh?
Lots of people! My boys; my sweetheart; Peter Kaye; Michael Macintyre... I don't like the ones who do swearing or bad taste - there is so much funny out there without resorting to that.

Where do you like to go for some “time apart,” in the way that Jesus took time apart?
The sea!! Oh yes the sea, or if I can't get to the sea then a river or a loch will do 

And Julia asked us for today's prompt - when you were about 8 what did you want to be when you grew up?
For the longest time I wanted to be a scientist - I can't remember when I first got the notion, but my whole senior school choices were geared to me working in a lab, doing research - I wanted to find a cure, or discover a new treatment - I never wanted to be a doctor - just the scientist in the background. 
It all fell apart, when after school I applied to work for ICI - passed the interview failed the medical - too many allergies which would bar me from laboratory work. 
But for those childhood years, I'd wear my little white coat (one of Dad's old shirts!), and play experiments with bottles and jars, water and plants from the garden... 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

NaBloPoMo #5

Over at RevGals today's prompt questions what have we done that's not in the job description?
Which gave me reason to smile, as I'm not sure I ever saw a job description for Church of Scotland minister...

Today I've been thinking about time, years and their passing.
Yesterday I turned 56 (I KNOW! AMAZING! RIGHT!?)

Today would have been my grandma's birthday... She was born in 1904 so she's been gone awhile, but I still think of her, and our shared days.  We did stuff together. She lived close by us after my grandpa died, so from the age of around 7 until her death in 1986 when I was 27 she was a constant part of my life.

She was as Irish as she could be, and was wise and kind, but with an honest, sharp wit!
She was also a devout Roman Catholic her rosary was never far from reach and her simple faith was expressed in all sorts of "grandma-isms" PG, GW, TBTG, sweet Mary pray for us....

She lived life
She loved life and she did whatever she could for us, for as long as she was able

She showed what real ministry is. Faithful prayer, compassion and kindness, holding your hair back when you were sick, a cool cloth when you were hot, a full bodied laugh when you were taking yourself too seriously, and sympathetic tears when life did not go as you had hoped and prayed.

I often wonder what she'd have thought about how my life turned out.
Would she be proud? Happy? Shocked?
I know one thing for sure - she wouldn't have been worried about telling me!

Happy birthday Grandma, I hope you're having cake and tea!

This is me, my mum, my grandma and the first two of my three boys, summer 1986

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

NaBloPoMo #4 - picture spot

"NaBloPoMo Day 4: Photo post time!! Take a picture of something you see all the time- the simpler, the better. Write a little about what the thing means, symbolizes, reminds you of... Give us a little glimpse into your world."

 So, every morning as I come down the stairs I see this wall. This wall - or at least, everything on this wall, has moved into every home I have lived in, over the years it has grown, been added to; but in essence this wall is me, my life, my love. Here are my beloved boys growing up; my parents in various stages of their lives; my grandparents; my nieces and nephews, siblings - the people in the world who are the most important to me. 

Every morning, as I come down the stairs, I pause - I look at them, I pray for them - my loved ones.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

NaBloPoMo Day 3: randoms....

Julia asks: NaBloPoMo Day 3: What's your random obsession? 

Cups, china, especially beautiful delicate impractical ones.... 
I've always loved delicate china; and in recent years I've begun collecting.
Now I have two very special sets both of which came from my parents.

One is a gorgeous, harlequin coloured set of tea cups, saucers and plates, and the other a pretty floral set of tiny coffee cups... 
The tea set was an engagement present my parents received in 1956

The coffee set was presented to Dad when he retired 

I've lots of others - tiny Chinese ones
big chunky ones
a pretty creamware set.... 

Most of them I bring out & use - tenderly hand-washing after each time
Dad's coffee cups are now especially special - as I think of him, looking down from heaven as I sip away! 

Monday, 2 November 2015

It's here again!

what a great month!
I will celebrate turning another year...
and as I did last year I am accepting the NaBloPoMo challenge... 

And - if all goes to plan, prayers are answered and the court system gets into gear - I will be married!
Quite a month to choose to keep writing!

What does it mean?
NationalBlogPostMonth a blog post a day.... I just about managed it last year, the posts spread between my two blogs...
and I managed to get one in yesterday anyway as it was Sunday and I posted my sermon! 

Today is the 2nd of the month
And the wait for the process continues.... meantime, I've lodged our papers as required by law; I've paid deposit for a marquee and booked the catering equipement.... 

This year's NaBloPoMo theme is mostly going to be willshe/won'tshe....