I like this birthday lark ! Here I am virtually a week after my 50th birthday and I’m still getting cards and phone calls from people wishing me happy birthday;its great
Just spotted that the last posting was my hundredth thought since starting this. I don’t know if anyone has had the stamina to keep reading or not. LOL
I have to make a big decision this week which may affect my whole future and that of my family. Please hold Alison and I in your prayers.
Its amazing how many folk in this circuit have taken to thinking that I’m working too hard while I often think that I don’t do enough !! I suppose its about perspective.
Yes, I do tend to have to rush about from meeting to meeting, from caring to evangelising and often back again; yes, it is tiring and exhausting, and yes there are times when it feels like a treadmill.
BUT, this is the treadmill I chose to get on when God asked me to, and for me that is the crux of the matter. I firmly believe that God called me to this way of life. I did not have to accept it but I did. In the annual Covenant service said in many Methodist Churches each year we make the promise to give our lives to God, and I took my covenant promise 20 years ago to mean precisely that. it says in the covenant “put me to what you will…………………..” He chose to call me into the ministry and I chose to accept. That’s not to say that I want to work every minute of every day but it is to say that with this calling has come a passion. A passion to see His Kingdom established, a passion to see people come to know my Lord Jesus Christ and a passion to see them give their lives to Him in order to gain all that I’ve gained. And when you have passion for something then it really doesn’t feel like work, its too important to be work.
As a Minister this is not a job but a lifestyle. The only time I really hate it is when people become petty (as we all do at times) and worry more about the Chapel tea towels than the souls walking past the building; when people stand on their principles about the order of the hymns rather than remember who we’re praising. These are the times when I get annoyed, but I have to remind myself that I’m not a lot different.
So, yes, I probably do work too hard but I also get my breaks as well; times when I can sit and do nothing and times that I can spend with Alison. These are precious gifts given by God who has rewarded me mightily for following him,not with money but with a lifestyle full of caring people who genuinely show their love for me. This week by the admonitions of people about my work load, I simply see folk who care for me and that is the greatest pay anyone could receive. I am truly blessed.
I also recognise that God has given me a wonderful family in Alison, Rebecca and Vikki, Dad and Freda who have all supported me mightily in my Ministry and who have given me the time to do it.
He’s a good God.
Many of you will have read about the Richard Dawkins campaign to put advertising slogans on the side of buses in London with the message “There is probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy life”. I do find it offensive but feel that God is more than capable of overcoming such a statement so I don’t worry about it. I also think that Richard Dawkins and others will find some difficulty when they have to explain the ad to God on judgement day. Alison and I saw several of these buses yesterday and today
The Methodist Church through its Spirituality and Discipleship Officer, Revd Jenny Ellis, said; ‘We are grateful to Richard for his continued interest in God and for encouraging people to think about these issues. This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life.’ I love the way we give thanks to the athiest society for keeping God on the public agenda.
However, probably the best response can be found in the Church Times blog. Follow this link http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/blog_post.asp?id=69093
Too often we get defensiv e about these things instead of seeing it as an opportunity. How much more is this a positive message to send, than to condemn Dawkins and others ?
As per yesterdays post I was, indeed, whisked away for a surprise weekend. Alison took me to London with our friends Alison and Stuart Wood. She had booked us into a 3 star hotel, the Queens theatre to see `Les Miserables` (my favourite musical-5th viewing) and a champagne reception on the London Eye.
Unfortunately the London Eye wasn`t working so that trip was cancelled (got money back) and we then walked across to see Westminster Abbey but that was closed instead ! Thankfully, good old Methodist Central Hall was open for a good cup of tea.
We estimate that we walked over the course of the weekend about 5 miles plus as I don’t believe you really experience London on the Tube; you need to feel the pavements. Well, by the end of today we were ready to hug the pavements as we were that tired. Going to the North~East tomorrow to see Dad and Alison’s Mum, Freda.
Its easily been my best birthday ever. I could get used to this birthday lark, which is just as well as I intend having several more over the years.
But what are to make of London ? I love the place and think it is always exciting to visit; it has vibrancy, life, fun and information.I can agree with Samuel Johnson who said “Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
However, although I love the place, I am the same as many folk unable to find myself wanting to live there. This is because it seems to be an impersonal place; everyone is in a hurry living our their own lives and not getting involved in the lives of others except in passing. It is a round of getting up, going t work, often eating on the way home and not seeing neighbours, and back to bed. A friend of ours who lives on the edges of the City once said that for many of her neighbours the house was only a place to sleep in as their socialising and eating were done elsewhere.
I much prefer the small town mentality of knowing people at a much deeper level, of neighbourliness, support and friendship. Yes, I’ll continue to go to London as often as I can but give me small towns like Ripley any day as my home base.