for me

I was always taught not to ask for prayer for oneself; sorry but tonight that is my request. Please pray for Alison and myself that our new circuit will find a house for us in time for us to move. Seriously worried and stressed about it.

Super~size me !

I have noticed the tendency in fast food restaurants of late that when you ask for a meal they automatically ask “is that the large ?” or “do you want that super-sized ?” I like to think that it is a marketing ploy to make money rather than a reflection on my waist-size !

However I was interested in this link to the BBC website today 

Apparently a survey of religious paintings of the Last Supper over the last millennium has shown that the amount of food in front of the disciples has grown significantly in size. The main meals having grown by 69%. Given that it was reported (and presumably commissioned by) in the International Journal of Obesity, we may not be surprised that the findings are in accordance with the thinking of the journal anyway. However it does raise an interesting thought about how art reflects life.

Over the years it is fair to say that most people eat more than ever before and even religious art is not exempt from reflecting this. Even though the Bible only mentions the dipping of the bread into the gravy, it is well understood that it was in the context of the Passover, a meal with set instructions on content.

However it is still a meal celebrating the release of the captives from Egypt and therefore could well be described as a party. I don’t know about you but most parties I attend seem to centre on food. How many times have you sat somewhere at about 8.00 p.m. and asked your companions, “whens the food being served ?” or “whens the buffet begin ?” I think most of us have done it at one time or another. Food plays a major part in Christian thinking; it speaks of companionship, intimacy, communion. It speaks most of all of relationships and when I think about the promised great feast in Heaven which will come as a result of my relationship with Jesus as my Lord and saviour, then all I want to say is “SUPERSIZE ME !”

This is the wording I put into an e~mail last Friday morning, when I got to the end of my tether…………………..

This is an e~mail I hoped I wouldn’t have to send out, but here goes anyway. As some of you are aware I have become increasingly concerned about my workload (and I’m sorry if that sounds like whinging) and its effect on my health, but I am now working far more hours than is good for me. My best mate had a heart attack last week (some of you know him) and thankfully he is on the mend but he is only 6 days older than me. I don’t think I am anywhere near that stage but who knows ?
Certainly, I am going to have to watch things from now on. The pressure of holding the Ripley circuit together, combined with being involved with the negotiations to set up the Borders Mission Circuit and trying to protect the four Churches interest who are moving into the Amber Valley Circuit, is huge timewise. In order to fulfill that properly I need to create time to relax, so that I can perform better.
I am still trying to hold onto my passion for mission and fresh expressions so I feel that, as it is my calling from God, I need to protect that and try and remain focussed on it. In addition my leaisure time (Tuesdays ane Tuesday evenings) are taken up with Rotary. That has become very precious to me and is my release from Chapel life.
In addition I am trying my best to support Alison towards her Ordination, which should be a very special time for both of us.
This all amounts to an appeal to friends within Ripley and wider to give me space. Those meetings that don’t require my attendance I will not attend; those already booked in I will honour where I can but over the next few months I will not be able to attend meetings that can manage perfectly well without me. I trust you will understand.
I am going to the Lake District on the evening of 19th March until Sunday 21st as my last opportunity for a couple of days spare before Holy Week and then after Easter I will be away from 11th to 16th April at Spring Harvest.
There is nothing for anyone to get worried over, but I am ensuring that by safeguarding my health there will be no worries in the future.
I promised to serve you all when I came into the Circuit and I will fulfill that promise, but please give me a bit of space to do so. Ripley Circuit has always been special to me and will continue to remain special.
This e~mail is not private and I don’t mind who it is shared with.
Since sending it around the Circuit and to others beyond the circuit, I need to point out that everyone has been fantastic; This week I am already feeling more relaxed and able to `get on with things`. It is wonderful.
Thanks so much, everyone.