Saturday, 29 May 2010

Happy Ever After



We had thought that we would have left the country by now and so would miss the celebration of our friends Gordon & Mina's wedding. It is an occasion when you feel the love as she walks down the aisle looking beautiful, they make promises, swap rings and can't stop kissing!

Makes me think back to 25th July 1992 when Nicky agreed to be my wife. I still am amazed that someone so kind, loving and thoughtful would love me. We have had almost 18 years together and Nicky continues to be my best friend and will remain so until the day I die. I am so glad that as I head off to the other side of the world that she is coming to!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Life and death

The great Liverpool Football manger Bill Shankly once said:

Some people think football is a matter of life and death…I can assure them it is much more serious than that.

For most of us sport brings out a ruthless competitive edge (or am I just making a confession here?) Even playing with the kids at home my attitude can be: Remember, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.

Whilst waiting for the sale of our house to go through I have been benefiting from extra time at home - to think, plan and pray - but also have grabbed the opportunity to have loads of fun as a family.
Looking back over the last week I was impressed to see how much sport we had done together: table football, running, table tennis, tennis, swimming, football down the park, badminton...

After any game is finished I often hope that I have not caused them long term emotional damage by my need to give my ego a short term boost.

Maybe for the kids sake you can pray that the house sale goes through soon!

As I am on a sporting theme I thought I should let you know that last night Nicky managed to do her first duathalon (swimming and running) despite only a weeks notice. Apparently it went well apart from the slow guys in front at the pool that she kept bumping into!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Becoming Australian?

Born a pom and having lived here all my life..will I ever feel Australian?

Maybe...
Isaac, my 11 year old son, is walking round everywhere bare foot so that his feet toughen up ready for wearing his thongs and always being on the beach!
I drink Fosters, the adverts teach me 'he who drinks Australian thinks Australian' (I know it is brewed in the UK)
I have set my sat nav in kilometers and not miles (I had an Australian voice but it kept swearing at me!)
Yesterday I opened an Australian bank account with Westpac.

However...
I already have my England Football (not soccer) World Cup poster ready to cheer us on in South Africa.
Though I do not follow cricket I know that we recently won the twenty20 cricket World Cup thumping Australia in the final!

Until I start to think and talk about sport I feel I am beginning to grasp the culture... though I know they will never stick a 'made in Australia' label on me.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

To Doubt or not to doubt, that is the question...


I have always enjoyed being around those who are positive and full of faith.
Isn't this why Kids like Bob the Builder and the Americans voted for Barack Obama as they both answer the question 'Can we do it?' by declaring - 'Yes we can!'

I would like my own outlook in life to be that the glass is 1/2 full rather than 1/2 empty.
Each time we approach the Football World Cup I honestly think that England can go on and win it!

So why is it that as time slowly rolls on that it becomes so easy to get anxious, to worry and to doubt?
The Estate Agent selling our house told us that everything was ready and we could exchange on Thursday 1st April (OK I have only just realised what the date was!)
I believed them.

Over the past 7 weeks there have been several occasions when I have been told by the estate agent, we have another buyer lined up, it could happen today, we are optimistic for the start of next week...

The disappointment of the continuous delay can lead to asking questions: I know this is a dangerous place - it was the serpent who said to Adam and Eve 'Did God really say....?' and look at the mess we have all been in ever since.

That is why it was so wonderful and helpful today hearing Angela Kemm speak at The Crown Church. Her message that as Christians we are on a mission and that it is a fight was timely and helpful, and her prayers afterwards for Nicky and myself so powerful.

So I approach a new week believing the house sale could soon happen and we will then book our flights and be on our way (Trust me I will blog you as soon as anything happens). I choose to believe God and not to doubt!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Car Crash

The other day I am driving Isaac back from his football game (where he scored and they ended up winning 7-4)when I noticed the car following me being so close that I thought I was towing it. I stopped at the roundabout only to be knocked forward from behind.
Just to reassure you no-one was hurt... in fact I could not even find a scratch on the car.(Maybe it was just a nudge!)

However it did make me realise we are impacted by the actions of others and our actions affect people around us. No-one is an island.

The Cornford family of 5 moving to Perth will impact our extended families. One brother has already indicated he plans to visit next year as have my parents and Nicky's. I have been impressed that despite being retirement age in a bid to stay in touch my parents have made massive steps in technology and will be reading this blog and may then text or skype me with feedback!

Some thought David Blaine mad to live in a perspex box on public display but I guess most of our lives are being observed by others. When things are going well we love others to cheer us on, but if things are tough we would rather hide away.

What impact have you had on people around you this last week?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Laughter the best medicine

Many have joked that the thing I will be most remembered for is my loud full on laugh.

At Church people have told me I knew you were in the building before I could see you - I heard you laugh.
I was once asked (twice in fact) to try and keep the noise down when on a plane as my laughter was keeping other passengers awake.

I would have liked people in England to comment on my wisdom, intelligence, good looks or sporting achievements.... but at least I believe that I have shared some joy.

What would people remember you for if you were to move on?

I have attached a clip (a first for me as I am trying to make this blog multimedia) called 'The Red Sparrows' - a take off of 'The Red Arrows'. The clip had me roaring out loud....enjoy!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Are we nearly there yet?

As a child I remember whining this to my parents as soon as the car journey with my 2 brothers had started. (Though at the time if felt as if we had been travelling for hours!)

Modern society with its ever expanding gadgets, has evolved into a race through time at cyber-speed:
We gulp down instant coffee
We race along in our cars with sat navs warning us of approaching speed cameras whilst also multi tasking by chatting away on the mobile hands free.
We text one another 24 hours a day and wonder what is wrong if we don't get a reply within 10 minutes.
The other day I even flushed the toilet whilst still stood there so that I would not have to wait and do it when the job was done!

Is it any wonder that I feel like I have been waiting for an eternity to complete the sale of my house. I know that patience comes to those who wait - but haven't I waited long enough?

Feel free to reply with your thoughts and if I have time I will read them and get back to you!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Excited and still looking...

Isaac celebrated his 11th birthday on Friday with great enthusiasm in England...despite the fact that we did not have his present for him!

We had thought by now, as a family, we would have moved to Perth so I, in what I thought was efficiency, ordered a gift to be delivered there to be ready and waiting...it is still sat there waiting for us to arrive!

So that the boy had something to unwrap Nicky quickly popped to Sainsburys and got him a wet suit and body board.
So here he is kitted up in the garden and looking to catch a wave!



Isaac's positive excitement rubs off on us all when we get impatient with the wait and helps us to look forward with excitement to the move!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Prayer & Fasting


I have just been away for 2 days at Kingsgate Church Peterborough with about 600 others from newfrontiers to spend the time praying and fasting. It is always good to pray and I find it much easier with others. (To be honest as I am on antibiotics I smuggled in sandwiches so prayed and feasted. I did feel a bit sorry for the guy who shared a room with me for the night as he had to watch me scoff supper and breakfast!)

This gathering happens 3 times each year and this occasion maintained the high standard we are used to: news from around the world, Matt Chandler spoke on Tuesday night and Rhys and the band were fantastic (if they had a call to Perth we would be rocking!)

It was great that Nicky was with me for the second day and we were able to share about our move and get prayed for... being called to the most isolated city in the world will mean I will really miss these family gatherings.

Being a Christian is not just about being forgiven but getting to know our Father and it has been 2 wonderful days of uninterrupted time loving and listening to Him.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Struggling on....


Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn't come before.

I know that the flavour of the tea bag is only discovered in hot water. I like drinking tea but not living in hot water!
I read about a study some time ago where scientists removed all the challenges in the life of an amoeba... instead of having a dream existence they died (the amoebas not the scientists).
I know that it is good to face a challenge and overcome.

It feels as though we are in the midst of many challenges:
The kids are sitting exams at school that they thought they would avoid
I appear to have an infection in my neck following the operation and am back on antibiotics
The second chain in connection with the sale of our house has fallen through

I know that it is good to keep your head above water but at times like this I feel like I need to develop gills as we are in it so deep!

When all is done it will be great to look back and tell the story but when in the midst of the tunnel things seem dark.

I appreciate many others are experiencing things much tougher than we are. I am grateful for all the good things in my life but just thought I would have a whinge and get it off my chest.

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Future?


As we wake up today in Britain, following the General Election yesterday, the one thing we are sure about is that things are uncertain. It is not just politics that is 'up in the air', people are seeking answers to all sorts of questions:

Will I still have a job at the end of the month?
How much pension will I get when I retire?
What will my blood test reveal?
How will my child do in their SAT's?

As part of our family moving to Perth, Australia we are keen to sell our house but the process has been dragging on a bit. Every morning my youngest son Isaac, who is 10, asks before going to school, "Do you think we will exchange on the house today?" Every afternoon when he comes back from school the first question is, "Did the estate agent call?" Every night when I tuck him into bed, his last question of the day is, "Do you think it will happen tomorrow?" (If so when can I finish school?)

We have no clue what the future holds. In times of uncertainty it is great to remember that God in heaven is our Father and that 'He has the whole world in His Hands!'

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Books!


On the 1st January 2010 I set myself a goal that I would read 24 books this year. I have always found reading enjoyable and believe that through books I am informed and stretched so would ultimately benefit from the challenge. (I must be getting older as my challenges are getting more sedate!)

I have definitely watched less TV since attempting this task and have aggressively made the most of any journey by train or plane to give myself to a book. I am sure that on occasions words have threaded through my eyes but not gone near my brain but I have pressed on regardless keen to pursue victory.
Anyway in case you have not yet guessed - I reached the grand total today! (I have listed them all on the blog as evidence).

I hope and trust that this will not just be 'job done' but look forward to seeing the fruit of my labour in being a better Dad to my Kids, an improved husband to my wife and a more dedicated passionate follower of Jesus.

I am now planning to continue reading and am also determined to read through the whole Bible this year.

What been the best thing you have read in 2010?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Plastic surgery!

I know that this can be a sensitive and emotional subject so I will try and tread carefully....

I saw a plastic surgeon on Thursday for a procedure and today took off the dressing to see how the wound was recovering. I am pleased to say that the stitches are looking tidy and the scar will allow me to tell the tale that I was attacked by a crocodile and managed to thrust my fingers into his eyes and bring a halt to the attack.

I had told Nicky that I was seeing a plastic surgeon for work on my head and she wondered why I was only in for such a short space of time - obviously thinking I needed more work that the doctor did.

The honest truth is that I have had the cyst removed from my neck and I really appreciate the dedication and work of the NHS (and the fact that this treatment is free here and would have cost me in Australia!)

On a more series note it was great to be at Northwest Church Today. The leader, Duncan Hanton, felt called to move to North London 6 years ago and plant several churches. They have already sent out their first church plant, led by Mark & Abi Tebb to the neighbouring Borough of Harringey.

This is an inspiring model and I would love to believe God for more than one church in Perth!