Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

I'm sat in my living on the sofa trying not to fall a sleep and hoping the bug I've had all week will behave and it's only 18:30 at 22:00 I need to be at church to run through the service tonight for the first time I've been asked to act as deacon for the watch night service at the Anglican church.. Scary very.

But while I ate my supper I picked up a copy of the big issue that I by from a friend. I saw her today and found that it is her birthday tomorrow. 

One of the articles in this addition is a letter to santa written by the founder of the big issue John Bird he opens his letter 
Dear Santa
I am going to be greedy this year. Not content with a few bags of sweets and socks and hankies.I want big stuff in my stocking please.
Big stuff big Issues!!  as Christians are we willing am I willing to ask big things of God to step out with big requests expecting for them to be answered. What are the things that make us burn with righteous anger in our communities. To see the need and ask God to move and to go further and be the answer to that prayer. Are we content this year with staying where we are with God or moving deeper into Him deeper into that personal relationship He calls us into, or instead will we stay content with ''sweets and socks and hankies'' the choice is there for each of us.

What is the big stuff? 

for John Bird 
''I would like a big box of CLARITY. Followed by some LEADERSHIP. And then, you can never get enough UNDERSTANDING. I suppose the other big want, and I hope you are in a generous mood, is SOLIDARITY.''
What would I write

I would like UNDERSTANDING that we could have that empathy and concern for another even when it's hard for us.. To HEAR and LISTEN to each other and what the other is saying rather than what we would like to hear. That each of us would be JESUS with SKIN on to all we meet.

I'm not going to say the rest of the article to do that would ruining the ethos of the big issue if you want to read it go by it from a vendor or get a back issue.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eat,Drink, Sleep..

Thats a bit different to how the saying is normally to be found  eat drink and be merry ...........

At the moment I'm trying along with a friend to read Beginnings and Endings daily readings from the start of advent to epiphany... I've not been doing all that well with it to be honest. It's not the format I'm used to that a bible passage to read and a reflection on it then time for my own reflection. Nor that it follows a theme for a couple of days then changes that I can cope with too.. So what is it ... to be honest I'm not all that sure.. but it is challenging..  Let me share with you the reading for December 12th 1kings 19:1-9  The reflection Eat,Drink, Sleep.. the prophet had challenged the people of His day to take God seriously God showed up in fire on the mountain then.  and now he's  despondent alone in the desert...  the answer from God was providing  food...water..... rest. the next part of the story is that again he finds himself on a mountain but this time God isn't in the fire but in the still small voice 

at the end of the days thought is this 
Life out of kilter? Need to find God afresh? Eat, Drink, Sleep. Don't forget that you are a body as well as a soul. The still, small voice is hard to hear when your body is exhausted and you are sleep-deprived. Increase your chances of hearing that voice by looking after yourself - body and soul.
maybe thats what the ouch was in reading these last few days and why its taken since dec 12th to write the post..

we may turn our noses up at the five-a-day healthy eating option and eight hours sleep but there may just be something in 5&8

On Friday (31st Dec)  New Years Eve many of us will make a new years resolution, things we plan to do or change for the coming year  I have already been asked this week if I have one.

How about the challenge that this year it's a 5&8 year  Increase your chances of hearing that voice by looking after yourself - body and soul.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Lion Saves

I have a friend staying with me for the weekend so after a very late start to the day we took a walk along the Albert Embankment toward vauxhall bridge. I've taken this route a few times normally when walking my adopted fore-legged friend. Today though i chose to walk this way to avoid the slushy black mush that was being thrown up onto the pavement by the passing traffic there is nothing worse than when the snow becomes mush. 

Like it or love it the snow makes the place look so different... As we walked I spotted the lions that decorate part of the river wall with snow on them. So went to take a closer shot what i found made me smile. You can just see in the picture above that the lions have rings in their mouths. 

the one on the left though was what caught my eye and imagination instead of the stone ring like it's neighbour this lion has in its mouth one of the buoy's you normally find for rescue.. gripping it firmly in its teeth..
I wonder what was going through the mind of the one who placed it there.. had it been washed up on the slipway with the drift wood and other lost or cast off items. Did it just seem like a fun thing to do. I don't know it doesn't really matter. What I saw as I looked on was  

The Lion that Saves.. 

Jesus is referred to as the Lion of Judah. 

In the chronicles of Narnia C.S.Lewis uses this imagery with Aslan the lion who gives his life to save.

The week we come to the final week of advent as we think about Christ and His incarnation Jesus being born as a child, Emmanuel God is with us , the plan of God to save mankind to draw each of us back to himself.

That great act of salvation remembered at easter in His death and resurrection. Talking about the cross at christmas seems strange well maybe not as strange as you may think. 
Three gifts were given to Jesus by the Magi Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. the significance of these gifts gold it's a gift fit for royalty He is King,frankincense Ancient people burned frankincense, believing it to carry their prayers to heaven. Its use as incense illustrates His role as our PriestMyrrh was used in incense, perfumes and holy ointments and also medicinally. The most notable use for myrrh was for  embalming, and was used in Egyptian mummies. As an embalming ointment it signified that He was born to Die for the world., Myrrh is mentioned as one of the burial spices of Jesus (John 19:39).

So from the very gift brought those of the Magi the recognition of who the small child was and was to become.

who is He to you at this time...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carols from Central

I love Westminster Central Hall... It's not as pretty as the buildings across the road... not as elegant... nor in many ways does it enjoy the prestige that Westminster Abbey and Cathedral see.. The Abbey will host a royal wedding early next year...

But central has something about it... there's always a warm welcome... until recently I had only been there once for a service in 2008 during a mission placement in Whitechaple. Yet the sunday I went one of the stewards welcomed me that said he recognised me it turned out I had spoken to him one coffee break that spring while he was on retreat at cliff... this summer I went back a year later and there was the same steward again with a warm greeting of a old friend... things like that matter.. yet this welcome went out to all those who came through the door and each was spoken to with a greeting that would have been said at least a hundred times but with a individual touch...

Tonight was no different... 

I was there for the traditional Carol Service which was truly wonderful to see the great hall full and the sound of not 'o for a thousand' but over two thousand tongues to sing was to give a glimpse of heaven on earth of what it will be like to sing before the throne of God. Do I pay too much of a compliment that's not like me..

The service was recorded and will be transmitted at 1pm GMT Christmas day on Premier Radio

The sermon was by Rev Martin Turner he spoke about 'what does it matter' what does it matter about the state of our community when I can close the door and hide... what does it matter about my life when so many think that about themselves... the spinoff from that the Am I bovvered? to use the phrase of Lauren when deep down that's actually where she is hurting that she's not been invited hurting that no one notices.. what does it matter if the Son of God came if He makes no difference in our lives, what does it matter if angles sing yet the song of heaven doesn't reverberate within our souls... 

the close of the service was to send to send shivers down the spine as the lights dimmed and a flame was past one to the other.. I was sat between two strangers I was past a flame to light my candle from their's.. then it was past from  mine to my neighbours.. strangers yet together....

Friday, December 10, 2010

3 in 1

That not the oil for my bike.... 

but the time zone I have been in in one afternoon... Finland    +2hrs
                                                                                          Denmark +1hrs
then finally back in London and back to GMT+0 

was a long day of travelling but like many on the flight we were glad to be on a plane that was going to fly...  so rather than my normal route of Turku - Helsinki - London and time wandering around the shops I was upset not to fly via Helsinki I was eyeing up a Raindeer skin so maybe it's a good thing that Helsinki was out.

so as with other trips this was out the window at Copenhagen 

The colours from this don't really show through but they were great.......

back in London things didn't go quiet as they should... we had to wait to be let off the plane for a while... grrrr

but back now after a trip to tesco ( I nearly wrote prisma lol) I have supper... 

now it's off to bed..... 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Right now I should be somewhere above Finland on my way back to London...Rather I'm sat with Glögi and Pepparkakor on my friends sofa. 

This is the first time that I've ever been stuck anywhere. For the past week Finnair have been on strike. So now I have a ticket for Friday evening and hope that a arrangement can be made so I can fly. 

Earlier this year I had two guests stay with me, they were stuck in London due to the volcano that erupted in Iceland they were with me a week. 

they joked on sunday that we seem to get tuck in each others countries.... 

my friend already has a house full of 'waifs and strays' plus hubby and daughter oh and the three doggies. Yeah it's tough at times.

but here is a feeling of home.... a welcome.... a place to lay a head.... to be warm..... 

Hospitality is a gift that often goes unnoticed... but its one that my friend has in abundance even when tired... 

I'm thankful that even when plans are thrown out that here is always a welcome..