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Archive for the ‘Delight in the details’ Category

5 things

5 Things I love about summer.

1. The sound of wood pigeons in the distance. Don’t know why, but the soft cooing sound makes me feel safe and happy.

2. Never wearing socks or shoes.

3. The ridiculously pretty golden, pink and red and green and blue skies when the sun sets.

4. The relief of cool breezes, cool drinks and cold showers after lots of bike riding home.

5. After getting home from work the feeling of there being another day to live and enjoy because the sun is still out.

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Today I got up at silly o’clock in the morning to wave my aformentioned brother and sister in law and small nephew off at the airport. They are off on an exciting journey to Canada, Regent college in Vancouver gets the pleasure of their company for the next few years. It’s brilliant for many many reasons, not least my lovely Big Brother gets to do what he has always wanted to do, and lets face it, was made to do. I am a Very Proud sister, not least because he goes with his lovely wife and son and that makes me Very Proud of him as well.  I’ve always wanted to go to Canada and now I have even more good reasons to head out there.

Obviously I’m very sad as well, I love Mark and Roz and Matthew. They are my family, but thankfully we have a good Maker who made people who could invent skype and webcams and 3 years isn’t that long really.  They aren’t my possessions to hold on to, they are loving gifts of a brilliant Dad who loves me and who is our strength and refuge through all this. He’s got good plans for them and I’m glad.

So:

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand”

His hands are the best to be in.

Bruce Springsteen also says it well…

“On through the houses of the dead past those fallen in their tracks
Always movin’ ahead and never lookin’ back
Now I don’t know how I feel, I don’t know how I feel tonight
If I’ve fallen ‘neath the wheel, if I’ve lost or I’ve gained sight
I don’t even know why, I don’t why I made this call
Or if any of this matters anymore after all

But the stars are burnin’ bright like some mystery uncovered
I’ll keep movin’ through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother”

We have a God who is in charge of all this and who has good plans for the future. Whose mercies are new each morning, whose grace is ridiculous in it’s power and scope. He has washed us clean. He has set our times in his hands, He is always glad to hear our cries, He understands the language of tears and of laughter, He is our shade, our Helper, our Friend and our King.  He set us free and He calls us to explore this world, love the broken, hold out light and beauty and the pathway back home.  There’s a whole world out there of newness to experience and we are free to trust the one who knows the future and who holds us in his hands.

Phew.

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Around about this time of year in the last 5 years my brain has gone into meltdown at the end of the term with end of year type thoughts, long summer ahead, changing seasons and the like doing odd things to my brain.  Last year I combated with 31 daysof remembering our Creator’s brillant gifts. This year May has been weird (and brillant) for a whole host of other reasons.  Change is still rumbling on and once more I am reguarly faced with the reality that I am not in control of this world or the people around me.  Which is a pretty good place to be, even if it doesn’t feel like a pretty good place to be…

ANyway today I was reminded that usually I do a whole host of talks on Hebrews 13 at this point in the year to remind me (and maybe the people listening…) of the God who does not change.  Hebrews 13- It’s all about Jesus. He is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever. It’s all about a God who is our Helper through all this life and therefore we can live well, we can have hope and we can delight in that. Here’s some of it…

“5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
   “Never will I leave you;
      never will I forsake you.”[a] 6So we say with confidence,
   “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
      What can man do to me?”[b]

 7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”.

We have a Maker who does not change. Who is our Helper. Who walks with us through change, through weird times, through brilliant times, we have a God who IS and WAS and IS to come. The whole of history, the whole of our lives are shot through with the reality of Him and His presence.

That means through all the change to come and change that is happening right now He is the one constant, he is the one who is always with us and always at work in our lives. That means we are free, free not to cling to our comfort, free to let others head across far seas, free to allow friendships and relationships to shift and change because they do not belong to us.  We are free to look to the future with hope because we know that whatever it brings, the One who created this world out of nothing and said let there be light (and there was) is at work in that same future. We are free to live now, loving the people we encounter each day because our times and relationships and friendships are in His hands.  And He is really, very, strangely, wonderfully good.

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Cycling down to work today, sun shining, past a lumious green Preston Park, winding through the North Lanes, past intriguing shops and many cafes I’ve yet to try. Past Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror (go Brighton Festival) and then onto the seafront. Crusing along with the green and blue sea to the left, both Piers looking their shabby best in the bright light. To the right the vast array of diveristy of beauty and ugly that make up Brighton seafront, the grim concrete Centre contrasted with the white flowing flats of Hove. Green Hove lawns, string of people going to a conference, runners on the front and Jack Johnson in my ears. I love this city, I love my home. I love Fridays.

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bach1On Saturday night I went to hear Bach’s The St John Passion at the Brighton Dome. I can’t think of a better way to start Holy Week than the awesome sound of a full on choir singing through the death of Jesus. We even got to sing a long at points, although in a slightly different way to say, a sing-a-long Sound of Music. I was moved to tears and broken again by the incredible story of Jesus going through all that agony, pain and suffering for you and me. It’s the most powerful story of all, one man healing forever the alienation of Creator and creatures. His death instead of mine. His blood, my life.

As we sung: “Thy Name is shining on me Lord Jesu, day and night; Thy cross alone hath won me my hearts delight; For now by faith depicted the saving truth I see, how thou most afflicted has shed thy blood for me.”

Possibly the best start to Easter.

(On a more frivolous note, one of the best sights of the evening was a man who clearly was overcome by the music conducting furiously to his hearts content from the balcony. It’s a strange crowd at these events)

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Morning routine

I have nothing I can blog about. But we dug this out the other day as it reminds us of what happens each morning in our house when Lou and myself are sat at breakfast. Larry invariably arrives in a towel and we are reminded of this song…Mainly because we too are shocked and slightly embarrassed at the sight of Larry in a towel 🙂

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100_3219

I love this proud parent shot. It would be more fun if there was a random object in the pram but there’s just little Matthew. And he really is as fascinating as their faces suggest. I gazed at him in wonder for about five hours yesterday. Fully worth the slightly drunk overtired feeling on the way home. Mwah.

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