Wednesday, 28 February 2018

London Calling!

Hi Everyone!
Nicole Kidman was looking decidedly cold; Rafael Nadal smokin hot ( as the young uns say!?)
Where was I? Madame Tussauds of course! Had a grand day out that started badly... my app to access my London Explorer Attraction ( paid for) wouldn't let me in SO...I had to enlist the help of Leroy and Monika , staff @ MT's. They got me more data, and were so helpful, getting me access to the waxess!!
While the other global touroids were taking selfies with Royalty or stars of sport and screen, I was making small talk with Angelina Jolie, and being delighted that I was the same height as Tom Cruise.
I then went on the ride "Spirit of London" which took me on a sawn off hackney cab down into the bowels of history like a ghost train. I went past Elizabethan rogues, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz..all in my own time machine with sound effects.
But the highlight for me was getting to sit next to Will.I.AM on the big red chair from The Voice ( Sat eve talent show with swivelly chairs and a red button).
Meanwhile my husband was en route to The Postal Museum ( with Royal Mail trains) and then he went walking in the Lea Valley.. near where the 2012 Olympic stadiums were.
Being in East Anglia, we visited David's parentals and sister and family despite the freezing temperatures and falling snow. These Englandshire folks aren't as hardy as we Scots. Ha! ha!
Byeeeee....keep warm...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Joy of Reflection!

For some of us, looking back to our past work or relationships can be a painful process as we go into a new year, but I've had a couple of "blasts from the past" which have encouraged me!
Last night I spoke to Mannofield Church Guild ( and yes there were two gentlemen among the gathering!?) and did everything but sing and tap dance! When another lady asked me what I spoke about, I said I told a few jokes, did a Bible reading and several prayers, spoke and answered questions, drank a cup of tea ( with a fly chocolate sweety...yes just one!?) as well as enlist help to show a DVD about the work and variety of The Diaconate.

The highlight for me, was going over the old ground of my first full time post as Development Co-ordinator at Shettleston new Church in the east end of Glasgow. My trusty helper googled the church afterwards and we saw on screen the extension to the building, which, by the grace of God,  the congregation, myself and a small team, had raised the 600 K required for refurbishment. It was a sigh of satisfaction and nostalgia as I looked at the photos.

A second reflection came from one of the Session Clerks from one of the locum churches I'd been serving at (the year before last.) The SC had been unable to access her funeral information for the Parish records, and was requesting that I resend this info about deaths and funerals "on my watch.."  Again, a wee sigh, when I remembered some of the families of the deceased- their interest in giving me facts about their recently passed loved one, or indeed, the families who argued about what should and should NOT be said!?

Then today I had the joy of praying with two individuals, one a churchy person, the other not- one whose husband had been very ill and was now recovering, the other who had been thrust into the role of deciding where next her elderly relative should live after a stay in hospital. This coupled with what to do with the property she had to leave ( and the family home with all its memories) to go into assessment and care.

 Real people situations in 2018. May God help us all to give adequate time to support others as sensitively and reliably as we can, and to know His wisdom to what we say "no" to!
PS A result of my first conduct of worship on Sun Jan 7th, was a husband telling me that after she heard the sermon, his wife decided to take to heart what had been said. No, nothing mind blowing or spiritually challenging, but the seemingly simple act of having the confidence to ask her boss if she could have another go at learning a new skill, which she's given up on, and which I apparently, gave her the confidence and nudge to retry... God moves in mysterious ways!? Byeee.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Christmas is Coming and Dot is NOT getting fat !!!

Hi Everyone
If you have time to read this then you must be sitting smugly on your tablet/laptop watching others frantically shopping for last minute presents. Yes, I am one of ye smug ones !!! 
Dot? Time to blog on Dec 23rd??? 
Have just enjoyed treating a single chap from nearby tenements to his cuppa in Cafe Connect, beside Mannofield Church where I work.  Hope he will come back with his neighbour. Then I popped in to see toddlers and babies having their last sing song before "Santa" comes. Enjoyed choosing a few tot friendly Nativity books for the cafe toddler play corner, and another about God making the world.
I guess these days , we need to be pro active to balance the see -saw of humanist propaganda that saturates our land. If we don't tell folks the Good News, who will?
 Once they've heard, they can respond with an " it's your opinion, but I'm not that way inclined" as one of my nephews did when I offered to do a Blessing for their first child OR "That's interesting. Do you still believe that twaddle/myth about Jesus?"  Yes I do!
Let me end with a quotable quote from a book I'm reading called "Sit, Walk Stand."....a golden oldie religious classic.
 "Since Adam the natural man, took the fruit of the tree of knowledge, people have been working out their own standards of right and wrong, and striven to live by them. Christ is for us The Tree of Life
 ( did anyone else enjoy Judi Dench's rapture at trees recently on TV? Wonderful)
We take in our sap from Him. We ask ourselves in this day and age..." Have I been justly or unjustly treated?" That is not the Christian's standard. the whole question for us is one of cross bearing. We are to live by the principle of self denial, non retaliation, others first. ( See that ever relevant speech by Jesus, recorded in Matthew's Gospel Chapter 5)
I leave you with a greeting to have a happy and safe and healthy Festive Season and New Year.
God will go with you, but will 2018 be the year you begin to follow Him. I hope so!
Love Dot

Monday, 20 November 2017

Well this is turning into a monthly fiasco!!

Well this is turning into a monthly fiasco!! Can't believe it's been over a month since blogged..
Been travelling to and fro from Aberdeen to Inverness and back to finalise home buying and see my husband. Just as well we do not pay for our train journeys ( sometimes I sneak into First Class and get freebie coffee and a goodie) ...However as from Nov 1st, I've tried to be gluten, diary and sugar free to support our elder daughter) After the first 4 days of a wee headache, it's been fine, except for the hunger!!!

No seriously, I am feeling better in my digestion and have lost a few's a 30 day Arbonne Healthy Eating Plan. We have I've had to have a caffeinated coffee on occasions to keep up my morale and energy at work.

Speaking of work- I got an email from Life and Work magazine as an "Emergency :Big Question" person...topic in 250 words. "The Holocaust" Well I had a lot to say, and fast, since my Dad went through this unspeakable horror.

On a lighter note, gearing up for Advent this and that. Doing a "Blue Christmas" afternoon Event for those who might find Christmas 2017 less than jolly.Tonight is a Mango choir concert and tomorrow the Guild Craft Sale. Have given my apologies, since on 18 and a half hours a week, I have had to be ruthless. Edinburgh national mtg Thursday and full day Wed, with Worship Service, Airyhall Primary School, worky chat with two people over coffee am and pm. Byeeee.

Monday, 9 October 2017


Last week my Line manager had sent me a list of older folks in Residential Homes for me to fit in visits this month and next, before the rush and bustle of the C word ( or A word for Advent)
So I decided to walk across one Thursday afternoon -down the long granite housed  Cranford Street, to see 4 residents with dementia, pass on Greetings from Mannofield church and a current church magazine.
I only managed to see 2 out of 4 folks, because at 2pm that day ( unbeknown of course to me) there was an Activity Session/Discussion in Common Area. The Manager kindly foisted upon me a welcome cup of tea. I chatted to one  seated resident, before moving on to another room where Resident 2 lived. She was having personal care at the time so I went back to the foyer with my tea and texts.
After a few moments, a member of staff informed me that Resident 2 was ready to see me. She was lying very still in her bed ( there were very helpful photos on each residents room doors so I knew what he/she would look like) There not being a lot of response , but for a gorgeous smile as I waved goodbye several minutes later, I left
Fast forward to Saturday in Balmanno Hall in church, and I noticed the Church Officer pointing at my Body Shop stall ( selling off one of my daughter's surplus beauty products) and me.
"Yes, I was the Parish Asst who had left her card at Cranford Home, and yes, I'd be happy to speak to the gentleman in the vestry." Turns out, how timely that visit to his wife ( Resident 2) had been. She had not been expected to live many times over in her 12 year residency, but now the end looked like it was in sight. The chap said how thankful he was that I'd been to see his wife, and would I kindly do the funeral when need be. Of course, I consented, so grateful to God, for that God-incidence that had led me there two days before. These encounters greatly encourage me that I am in God's will and in His time, even when I don't realise it till later!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

River Church flows....

On Sunday Sept 17th, I 'defected' and went up from Mannofield Church to River Church , which meets in nearby Airyhall Community Centre. I wanted to meet the pastor and see if our churches would be compatible to work together on Messy Church next year. I was delighted that, though small, this church is vibrant and alive and mission minded. The pastor told me that they had asked God to show them where there was a gap in Aberdeen, where no churches existed. He also asked God to give them favour in His eyes. They have laboured away for several years, and I believe the breakthrough has come! River did a two day Holiday Club in the summer so have valuable experience in reaching this space!

Went on Retreat for two days recently to the Black Isle, to a wee village called Kilmuir overlooking the Moray Firth.. beautiful views across the Firth, bird life galore, and inside in the warm, several Deacons learning to be still and listen to God with the aid of Scripture and poems. It was a gift, and a joy to be there. Just need to practice being still in the busyness of people and meetings. Looking forward to leading wee half hour Wed morning service tomorrow.

I feel I need wisdom  these or two individuals needing pastoral care, and I am out of my depth. But God is faithful and will show me when to be silent and listen; when and what to speak.

Our house hunting in Inverness is progressing, but I'm getting weary of travelling the two hour train journey most Fridays.. showing photo ID or signing know how it is!?
Patience and trust required!  Autumn is a time of letting go, as the leaves change colour to hues of gold, burgundy, and forest green.So, I shall allow myself to let go of one meeting this weekend, in order to be fresh for a busy Sunday service followed by an Elders Conference 11.30-2.30.
Blessings! Byee....

Monday, 4 September 2017

"You're going to have to watch yourself!" Monday Sept 4th 2017

"You're going to have to watch yourself!" is perhaps the most caring quip I have had since telling folks I am knackered after the move ! Arrived late last Thursday back to ABDN, aching all over but filled with thanksgiving to God for ordering our move of furniture into storage in Inverness. David took the cat up in his van, like Postman Pat.
So... Fri, Sat and Sun were 'down tools days' for me and daughter Dawn. Both she and her Dad started new jobs couldn't write it, could you...the providence of God...wonderful.
Came back to office with quite a few emails to answer, and to sort out a rota muddle...
The lovely lady who coined that title phrase was responding to my recap of last few days. She's the convener of the Pastoral Care Grp in Mannofield Church....I call it a Task Group because they get things done and organised very efficiently and I love liaising with this lady, who is an inspiration.
Committees which meet and discuss and pen push to make them look as if they are effective, I have no time for, being honest. So in this new post, I am only partnering with the 3 grps where I feel I have something to offer, and where they are fired up for action....
Bye for now...yes, I AM going to have to watch myself....
Joke...was at a student lunch in another church in Aberdeen with older daughter yesterday, and the conversation got round to "Eggheads" and "Pointless" TV shows, both of which I have been on, so if you say to me again..."you are going to have to watch yourself" I say to you "Not again !!?"