50 not out !!!

Well, I never thought I’d be half a century old but here I am. 50 today, wow !!

Woke up ridiculously early because I’m so excited. Don’t know whats happening today as Alison has planned a surprise. All I know is that I’ve got to be ready to go at 7.45 a.m. but where I don’t know.

I feel like a little schoolboy, full of childish excitement. Tell you all about it later.

Long day but good

Been a long day today but a good one; a day when you felt good to be a Christian and a Methodist one at that.

Alongside other circuits we are exploring the possibility of working more closely, or even of merging. Today, at Grassmoor Methodist Church, folk from four circuits were led by Rachel Macallum (Sheffield District Development Officer) in an exploration of mission and Fresh Expressions.

It was both inspiring and exciting. We then spent some time together in groups looking at various questions on the subject. Too detailed to go into at this point, but sufficient to say that if Methodism can still generate the sort of `buzz` that we experienced today then the future is very hopeful.

Long night

Isn’t the night time long when you can’t sleep ? When you get something on your mind and it keeps going round and round; hopefully this will shake it off. Thankfully I got to bed very early last night or maybe that’s the problem

Still its given me the chance to catch up on a few things, so theres always a benefit. Night night. heading back to bed.

First day of 2009

Happy New Year ! 

Well what’s the new year going to bring ?  No doubt some will hope for great things and others will dread some things because of how 2008 has ended. For some the financial pressures which characterised the latter part of 2008 will extend and overshadow this new year; for others there is the hope of something great about to happen. 

For me renewed contact with my God children in London has brought the promise of visits; the prospect of finally turning 50 years old means that retirement feels ever closer (is this the start of my mid~life crisis? If so I’m going to enjoy it for all its worth!). Dad (80 years) got a poster at Christmas which said something like this “pushing 60 may seem daunting, but wait until you`re dragging it !”

The start of any new year always brings mixed feelings and I’m no different.

What are my hopes for this year ? This is the year when our long awaited Mission Shaped Ministry course in Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire gets under way; this is the year when Methodism in this area will make good, significant progress towards the new shape of its mission areas (circuits); These are my hopes for work, that we’ll see real progress in these areas.

Personal hopes ? That Alison continues to enjoy and be challenged by her Ordination training and that her first curacy placement will be sorted this year; that Rebecca and Vikki both get jobs they enjoy and that I lose some weight (!) before I return to Romania. Dad’s reading this over my shoulder and says that this might be the year when I become as slim as he is !

Why do we have these hopes ?  I think its something about the way that God has made us; he’s made us a people of hope, always looking for something around the corner, something better, something that will improve our lives. And whilst we might be the people who hope, he is the God who meets that hope in Jesus Christ.

Christ came into the world at Christmas time to be the bringer of hope, and that hope is fulfilled in this going to the cross to die for us; in his resurrection to show his power and to conquer sin and death for us and in his opening of Heaven to all who believe in him. That is the fulfillment of all our hopes: Heaven itself.