Friday, 31 May 2013

Keep waiting

Adam has been a tremendous star - planning a route and booking places to stay. He is very experienced in cycling in Europe - great to have his wisdom and knowledge on this trip.
He can be slow when it comes to the hills but if I wait long enough at the top - he always makes it.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

We made it to Paris!

Relieved and delighted in cycling from London to Paris - another 100km covered today.
Now to make it to Brussels :)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Day 2

Same pose - different place.
Stayed in Sussex over night - today cycling to Newhaven to get the ferry to Dieppe.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Amaze-ing or torture?

Most people who come and visit us end up being taken for a walk to the green space at the end of our road called Bunny Park. I love it! A coffee shop / ice cream bar - depending on the weather, tennis courts, very large grass area for picnics and games and a free zoo (including my favourite - 2 monkeys!)

There is also a maze for the kids: basically you wait outside and let your children chase round and round burning off energy looking for the hut in the middle.

Recently I discovered that many old church buildings have labyrinths / maze patterns decorated into the floor. Believers for centuries have felt that the christian life can be a confusing set of twists and turns, often tortuous and frustrating but eventually leading to home / heaven.

The wonderful design feature of my local maze is that a platform has been built for the parents to observe from. Should the children feel lost or panic the parents can see over the hedges and shout directions to get their kids back on the right path.

I find comfort in believing that God our Father watches over us  - He knows the plans and the way ahead and if we stop and listen to Him we can hear His voice guiding us on.

How are you finding the adventure of being a Christian? Have you got your head down and feel frustrated or are you lost in amazement?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Time wasting

You may be well aware that in the game of football if a team is winning there are a number of activities the team pursue to waste time:
the goalie taking a long time to take a kick,
a player about to take a throw on before giving the ball to someone else at the last minute,
forwards running with the ball towards the corner flag and holding the ball up there......

This can be boring, is fruitless and frustrating to watch!

Despite living in a city and feeling as if life is fast paced and difficult to stay afloat I am concerned that I can waste time everyday:
Check Face book more than once a day
Rewrite lists that are already readable
Constantly tidy the house - the kids will only mess it up again!

What do you do that wastes time?

I believe that one day I will stand before God and have to give an account for every moment of my life!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Song writing

Incredible this week that a young girl @ Redeemer wrote the following song:

Sing the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Sing the name of Jesus, Jesus Christ

Jesus you can defeat the dark side
Jesus come on, defeat them the dark side

OOOOOOO Jesus you beat them the dark side
You're the best

Jesus,sing the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Sing the name of Jesus, Jesus Christ

Jesus is alive Hallelujah!
Jesus is alive Hallelujah!

Jesus is off the cross Hallelujah
Jesus is off the cross Hallelujah
God of our Father

Annabelle
Aged 6

Have you ever written one? Why not give it a go....

Sunday, 12 May 2013

School Leavers

On Friday this week Lois had her last day at Twyford High School: the emotional leavers assembly on Thursday night followed by shirt signing on Friday - after which they were escorted off the educational premises!

She is now meant to study at home ready for her GCSE exams - the first two are on Monday!

On the inside I still feel 24 but the reflection in the mirror is telling the truth: the years have flown by too quickly - my little girl has grown into a wonderful woman....and is making the next step on her journey.

I am so proud of her and already worry the house will be too quiet when it is time for her to move out.

Any tips on enjoying time with your daughter - much appreciated!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Life to the Full?!

A recent survey - commissioned for the release of Life of Pi on DVD and Blu-ray has come up with 50 things to show that you are living life to the full.
Apparently the average person can tick off just 8 out of the list..... which includes:

  • Stop worrying about money
  • Book an impulsive last minute holiday
  • Start a family
  • Pass your driving test
  • Snog a stranger
  • Travel to at least 25 different countries.

The list does encourage people to concentrate on what they do rather than what they don't have.

In some ways that is great is other ways that is limiting because living life to the full is still about us and what we do. I would rather listen to the words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of John:'I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.'
We get to know life in all its fullness because of who he is and what he has done for us. I honestly believe that we can know life to the full as Christians and that it does not stop when we die but continues forever in heaven.

Are you living life to the full?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Beating the Bounds

Bank Holiday Monday, glorious sunshine and Nicky & I walked 81/2 miles round the Old Parish of Hanwell.

The tradition of beating the Parish Boundary stones apparently goes back to the Anglo Saxon era. The idea being that each year the markers were checked to see that they had not been moved. We were given willow sticks to strike the 13 stones that are still in existence (actually 14 stones, as another one was discovered whilst we were out!) Throughout the 4 hour tour our guide sang a verse of a song describing each stone we paused at and we all joined in the chorus

Well here's a stone, and there's a stone
Our boundary they span well
They stand erect and well protect
The lovely parish of Hanwell.

A great afternoon spent with approx. 65 other local residents before receiving our certificates at the Old Fox.

It did make me stop and think about boundaries in my own life.  Do I reflect each year on what I stand for and whether my values have been moved due to societies influence? Have I compromised my beliefs and do I need to re-establish principles that have slipped or got lost over time.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Investment

When things are tight it always seems difficult to make investment a priority: this principle applies to money & time.

Life can often feel extremely busy and so it is important to force my priorities into the diary. Last year I went to the HTB Leadership conference at the Royal Albert Hall - and I can't wait till this years event - next week.

Rather than attend alone there will be 10 folk with me from Redeemer willing to absorb and learn as much as they can. It will be great hanging out with others from church. The line up of speakers and seminars looks superb. It will be wonderful to have 2 days to learn and soak in as much as possible and I am praying the church gets to benefit during the next year.

What investment will you make in yourself this year?

Why don't you book in the HTB conference next week?

Friday, 3 May 2013

Alpha Launch

Absolutely brilliant time on Wednesday night when Redeemer launched its 1st Alpha Course @ Costa in Ealing....


Refreshments popular
Place buzzing
Discussions humming
Someone kindly paid the tab

So looking forward to do the whole thing again next Wednesday - feel free to come and join us!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Released from Australian Shackles

Whilst our family was living in Perth, Western Australia, I endured the pain of paying for our daughter Lois to be fitted with braces for her teeth.

When we returned to the UK I was fortunate to register her with a NHS orthodontist, who agreed to take on the work (many were not prepared to do so).

The dental equipment in both countries is very different so basically it felt as if Lois had to restart the treatment.
It has felt ages and has been years that I have observed my daughter resist smiling as she has been so embarrassed of showing a mouthful of metal. We were so hoping that she would be free of the shackles by her end of school prom - in June....

The good news came early - the braces were removed today!


I felt very emotional as I hugged my beautiful girl whilst she cried in the car park from pure relief that her ordeal is over. (Tears of joy I am told). I am so proud of how well Lois has coped with the never ending treatment and am delighted that she is now free!

Josh also had his braces removed today - no tears there - we came home and ate skittles together (something he has not been allowed to consume these past couple of
years)

As a Christian I am aware that not everyone has their shackles removed as soon as they would like - life can be tough - we may have to wait till heaven. I do believe there is a day when we will all be free.... not sure how I will cope then as I am filling up with tears just thinking about today and I thought there would be no crying in heaven.