Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Greeting from the frozen north

I'm on my travels again :)

I'm in a and of snow where the country doesn't come to a standstill and everything carries on as normal when the fluffy rain comes. ok maybe not all one school yesterday did close as it was too cold the heating wasn't working and it was about 10c in the classes. 

outside it was almost -20 most of the day though my friends doggies din't mind too much and enjoyed their walk and rolling in the snow.

the evening was great it was my friend and fellow bloggers birthday and we went out for pizza at Dennis's in turku ( made even more famous by the fact that the Beckham's ordered takeout while david was here having a op in the summer you can even order the same pizza the 71. BECKHAM SPECIAL ham, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil) I had to go for one pizza that you wont find in the local pizza shop MAAHINEN and it was great ( go and look it up :) ) 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

out and about

I've been a bit under the weather the last couple of days, and hoping and very much praying my voice lasts the weekend as I'm preaching...

But today I got to escape as I had a visitor for the day :)... and we went into london.. Piccadilly Circus, regents street and oxford street yup on a saturday and this close to christmas it was nice though even with all the people.. though I did get told off by my visitor for the mole, hamster and duck step impressions when people got in the way... 

the lights are up and a Narnia theme this year yay ( hoping to go see it next week when I visit my friend in finland hint hint) 

At Hamley's the biggest toy shop we came home with a new friend.. A beanie boo

Born May 11th 

and called waddle 
I love penguins there great always psychotic love the one in the film madagascar 

the christmas tree was a treat too

 And the window display bears carol singing :)

A nice day :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Around 2000 years ago, the Emperor Augustus announced a census and called everyone to return to their towns of birth to register and respond. Now, on social media sites, the Natwivity (an up-to-date Nativity play) has announced it’s very own… could this be Emperor Augustwus?!
Tweeters and Facebook users can respond by visitingwww.natwivity.com and copying and pasting the details to update their status.
Please feel free to blog, tweet or press this news.

or follow the link on the blog... get the daily updates and messages as we journey together 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jack Frost

Today I woke to a carpet of frost and clear blue sky... giving my patch a very different view to normal... Though there was very little else that I could see due to the fog...  The heating went on as well it's been on a few times recently but today it was on for 3 hrs.  Even put the liner back inside my coat......

Today the patch looked different for another reason...

for sometime about 10 yrs I've had a nagging to candidate as a Ordained Minister in the Methodist Church. To go before the Church last night was one of the scariest moments I've been through.. many of my friends and family have known for sometime that this was what I was thinking praying through.. to have what I've felt on my heart for this time now to before openly examined to begin that being discerned  by the church is a scary place to be... 

Today I woke to the first part of this discernment within the local church taking place and the church giving me there blessing to continue. Sometime in February I'll go to meet with the district candidates committee and the process willl continue.. before then I need to get my portfolio complete and sent in in triplicate ( have to admit that makes me smile all I can think of with that is Klinger off the tv series M.A.S.H moaning about things being in triplicate for the army)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We will remember

All Fell silent to day at Westminster and  along Whitehall as the sound of 11am rang out from Big Ben as the act of remembrance took place ... It is a awesome experience standing at what is a very busy junction for tourists and locals alike. 

Remembering those who hold the Burma Star this one means a lot as my grandfather served and was awarded the burma star and atlantic star

Row upon Row of little crosses each with a single poppy lay in remembrance of fallen comrades, brothers, fathers,Uncles, sisters, mothers....  Some  from many years ago some from just a few days lay in the grounds of the Abbey ... 

That we stop this day to remember is a poinient time.. to forget what has happen would be far worse than many of the things that take place.. when we forget our history when we forget these horrific events WWI was the war to end wars when a million men died in a few short hours. the events of WWII, the atrocities around the world that continue today... Yes that 11-11-11 was the signing of the armistice which ended WWI today it is also a time remember those killed across the generations and time.. of friend and of foe... today there was a patch of ground marked for other nations there were crosses for german russian Italian.

Duke of Edinburgh Leaving the Abbey 

Whatever we feel are the rights and wrongs of past and present conflicts no-one truly wins in war let us remember lest we repeat history 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Saints and Soldiers

I Got the dvd of this yesterday and watched it last night it wasn't what I expected...

The film is based on actual WWII events, the film tells the story of five of Allied soldiers ( four americans and a british pilot ) trapped behind enemy lines with information that could save thousands of allied lives. they try to make their way back to their own lines. saints and Soldiers is set  In mid-December 1944, as Hitler's Army makes it's way through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, ithe starting of a offensive that will come to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. The German soldiers open fire on the unarmed prisoners,  now known as the Malmedy Massacre. 

What struck me through the film was the link in lives and events that drew friendship and hatred together... hiding in a farm two german soldiers come to search one is killed as he tried to attack the women harbouring the Allied soldiers. the other ran into the woods to be caught by one of the others in the band and brought back to the farm...

this is where for me the story really had a human touch deeper than anything we think possible... one of the americans recognises a friend from before the war when he was a missionary they talk and pray.. while the rest of the group are suspicious and want to killed the german... during the night the german is let to escape after giving up valuable details. 

Suspicion grows and threatens to brake the group they continue to make there way through the forest and come across germans again and a fire fight ensures leaving one badly injured when it seems like all is lost it is this german who was allowed to escape that provides a way out to get to the allied lines... 

there is a constant tension between the medic and one of the soldiers nicknamed "Deacon" a christian comments made about what was so interest in the book he was reading....

at the end of the film all but the medic and the british pilot die but something striking happens the medic who was the strongest in the hatred becomes the one who aides the now captured german solider.... and takes the bible from deacon....

Forgiveness, friendship hatred all mix in this film.....

And something much deeper the grace of God actively present in the worst places of human life. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Tempus fugit ludus .... Musa sapientum fixa volat instar fructus

This time last year I was just coming to the end of my first month here in lambeth... I'd written to a friend to say I was moving part of that note said something along the lines of what a privilege it was to be moving to London a stones throw from the houses of parliament. You can walk not far from here and find the embassies of many different nations... The embassy I work for is based in north lambeth not as flash as some of those that are near by theres no driver and limousine... no special perks or diplomatic amunity why should there be many of the ambassadors of the king who sent me to london face imprisonment suffering and death....

but paul writes that we are all ambassadors of Christ and therefore should live lives that that represent the one who calls and sends us to a hurting world....

I don't know what this year will bring ... but do know one thing where God calls he equips... that if we stop and listen in the midst of all that is going on around us he will and is there... though we don't always see him... 

He promises that he will never leave us or forsake us that if we draw near to him he will draw near to us...

The choice is will we choose to spend time with HIm....

That we can be salt and light to the communities to the patch that we are called to be in.... in the times of reaping and the times or toil 

Thursday, November 04, 2010


I have a new neighbour.... Just before half term my favourite horse at the city farm Dolly retired.... Today I met  Pimms a four year old pony.... pics to follow as I dint get chance today 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Cardboard and Glue Guns

I got home from scouts today to find a e-mail from a friend and former workmate from last summer I guess you could say my old patch. 

We'd worked at a place which mad up cardboard advertising posters and frames the ones you see in supermarkets with DVD's on and those big ones in the Cinema's... the few week's I was there were fun and tough. 

Fighting with glue guns for 8 hrs a day or double sided tape which decided no matter what you did wouldn't stay in a straight line. 

But tonight it was great to hear that some of those guy's have semi perminate contracts rather than the wait for the call on your way home to find if you were needed the next day... they were and are hard working guy's... 

the other side of this was to hear the news of my friends family and how the grand Kids were growing... that he had got a new job...

we never know as we journey through life how lives cross and mingle but what impact they leave on our lives... but even though it was just a few weeks that I was there in Benfleet there will always be a part of that place in me i still have the scars from missing the a and hitting my hand with the hot glue...

I learnt a lot form those guys but most of all to be real, what you saw with them was what you got  and it was great... you got there respect by doing the same by pulling your weight... yeah there were grumbles and jokes I was on the end of a few.... questions and conversations...  one of the ways a question was asked was by starting with I don't mean to be rude but ............ genuine questions from real people 

one of my favourite conversations was a group telling me what they knew of the easter story what we got to was this...

that there were these guys who arrested  jesus and they took him to another guy who was in charge ( pilot) and then loads of people wanted him dead so they got some wood and put him on a cross.... 

we got the story down to the wood coming from B&Q and the crown of thorns well.... we got being made from stolen barbed wire off a near by warehouse fence...

it was a real meaningful way to hear the story being retold as it came gritty,rough and ready and most of all it was very real...

we often as leaders and preachers struggle to find relevant ways to repackage and share the message of the gospel to people day after day last summer I had it shared by those I worked with..

I'm so thankful that I got to spend a few weeks in their patch last summer there's a lot that the church can learn from being open honest and real... not projecting a false image but actually saying this is who we are a group a people journeying together hurting together and after a 14hr shift you hurt laughing together teasing the boss.... and being supportive they may not have got what I wanted to do but the day before I came for my interview there was no place else I'd have been than with that team in Benfleet and after the writer of seethroughfaith they were the first to be told I got the post in my new patch...

Monday, November 01, 2010

All Souls

Last night at the local Parish church of St Peters we celebrated all souls.... I went last year for the first time it was really interesting as those who through this year had lost loved ones wether friend or family joined together to celebrate and remember their lives as part of the service a list of names was read it was a simple but special service on the service sheet it says this 

welcome to our service of remembering those who have died. During the service there will be an opportunity to light a candle. Why do we do this ?

Lighting a candle is a prayer 
when we have gone it stays alight... kindling in the hearts and minds of others the prayers we have already offered for them

lighting a candle is a parable  
burning itself out it gives light to others.
Christ gave Himself for others 
He calls us to give ourselves

lighting a candle is a symbol
of love and hope  of light and warmth