Saturday, 12 August 2017

Up to my neck in the Ionian Sea!

Just back from the Greek island of Corfu. What a privilege it is, to be able to afford a holiday.
God reminded me while away, that everything we have ( or own) is a gift from Him. So, when I was moaning about not getting the value of the house we have sold in Hamilton, I was acting like a spoilt child. ( Sorry God) or worse, behaving like the world around us...where all there is is what they have or own, so they cling to their rights as limpets to a rock....back to the Ionian Sea...inky midnight navy blue at its deepest, then melding into azure turquoise clear green hues and as you reach the sandy shores, some grey green colours. Magnificent! We went by boat one day to the nearby island of Erikousa to sunbathe. Then I had the local delicacy of  fresh sardines. I will never forget the taste of my soggy bread as it soaked up the flavours of the Mediterranean...lemon, olive oil, herbs and fish.
Enough of my foodiness...here are two funnies..
Breakfast was continental in the hotel we stayed in. Every morning, the waiter, Christos, would ask if we wanted the small oval cup of protein with our toast...asking "boileg? boileg? wan? two?"
Another evening he caught me reading a book at the dining table, saying "wot you read? Dirty book?" I looked at the title and laughed as I told him it was a book about prayer "Fuelling the fire!"
I am now brown on arms and legs below the knees...thankful to God for the heat of the sun,and lashings of sun cream! Oh and it was SO nice to be able to wash through our clothes and hang them on the balcony of the hotel room, knowing they would be dry in a couple of hours... oh to do that in Scotland!?
By for now...next blog will be about the move....the furniture, the chats about what we keep what we ditch...aaargh!!!!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Aw...is it August already????

July was busy and stressful- mainly because I had to try to keep the house in Hamilton reasonably clean and well kitted out with candles to mask the smell of cat, while viewers viewed and we showed them round. Those of you who empathise, will know that the blue candlewick bedspread that matches the recently purchased blue lamp from an Aberdeen charity shop, will also know that not every husband bothers with these niceties and prefers to talk about how many watts the garage light uses up!!!???
At "under offer " stage now, so in faith, we are de-cluttering slowly but deliberately. I just sent THE text to both daughters, saying, "I will be ruthless!!! Take your stuff away before the end of the month, or it will be THROWN OUT"
Looking forward to an early start at 4am for flight to Corfu...can't wait to get away from house selling and a settling in/names to faces, faces ( oops...nearly put an extra vowel in there!?)
 to names in 3 months of new church job with almost 1000 folks on the roll. Still enjoying the challenge. Biggest joy so far, is that I am meeting monthly with someone who is keen to let me into her life to mentor her in her walk with God. I gave her "homework" as she called it, and she texted me today to say she now understands something in John's Gospel that is pertinent to her just now, and she is so grateful. Makes it all worthwhile. to hang with getting less than the value of a house in a flat market....Life and people are precious, extra bucks will always come and go, and in the end you can't take it with you. Investing in family and church folks, is real investment in the Kingdom of God, and it's this that will never fade away !!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Wibblybum....

Wimbledon fortnight- very strange seeing two Eastern European women slogging it out on a tennis court this afternoon. I say "strange" because in another parallel universe I'd be cheering them both on "How come!?  " you say. Well, if my Dad had not become a naturalised British Citizen away back in the 40's, my name would have been "Kolodjinska" since he was born in Poland.

    Anyway before Being a couched spectator of sport on TV, I'd had a real game of badminton with some of the Mannofield crowd. Great getting to kn ow a few. Sundays with 1-200 folks is more daunting still.

     Church Secretary now on holiday for a week. Jean is a wonder- deserving a medal for her people skills as well as her IT knowledge, and lots more. Her experience of church life is invaluable.
Also today, the organist for this week's funeral was on my cell phone, checking hymns for tomorrow. There's a slide presentation of the life of the deceased too, so lots going on. Got a short powerpoint presentation sorted this afternoon too. I LOVE finding appropriate pictures to accompany a sermon- some are straightforward Scripture verses on a coloured background, and others are a bit quirky- like myself. Folks seem to like my "West Coast" sense of humour so far!

"Why so early?" I hear you cry. Your next service isn't for 10 days...ah but, well but, when a funeral may come in at any time, it's wise to have your next service "under your belt" so that you can relax and go with the pastoral flow. Someone may land up in hospital too, while the minister is on holiday- so in the old Guide adage ( or is it Brownies?)- BE PREPARED. This part- time business is tricky
a) Because you still live 3 hours drive away and most of your funeral/wedding admin stuff is there and b) Since you are normally up in Aberdeen WITHOUT the car ( so hubby can have it for early early morning shifts or late late returns) you decide to do pastoral visits further afield, up in Kingswells, while you HAVE the car...saving so much time than taking 2 or 3 buses. Actually, as I expected, Mannofield folks have been super at checking I have a lift to and from church on a Sunday when buses are fewer.

So thanks God for a busy happy week, the use of a car, and I mustn't forget, a chance to hug a retired Deacon called Ann Lundie, who was in Cafe Connect ( cafe attached to church) one afternoon. Old Deacons don't retire, they just.............................................finish the punch line. Again, in my experience, when we hear a tribute to a "Deac" who has died, always they will say."She/he retired  the first time, in 1973, then they went to X. When they retired the second time, they went over to Y church, and so on. I wonder how many times ( in the current shortage of ministers) I will retire!!?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Housey ! Housey!

Well here we are. David and I said 11 years ago- that's the last move! But today we had surveyor in for obligatory Home Report, and a lovely guy from our estate agents to measure up, take photos etc.

I've watched enough "Location, Deviation, Hesitation" TV programmes, to know to put clutter into a corner or out of sight ( stuffed in wardrobe) to only show to the camera "dressed" bedrooms and living rooms. I thought dressing a cat was to neuter it...and so I " neutered the rooms" so that potential buyers can see themselves in oor hoose.

 It was raining heavily so hoping the gutters didn't overflow and give the impression we don't care ....ha! ha! In one sense we don't fret about material possessions because we know our Heavenly Father has the route mapped out for us, but I DID tell the surveyor that funding had been invested in our student daughters and not the house, and he nodded sagely...

Watch this space..I shall be travelling back and forwards to Aberdeen and David will be training elsewhere, but between us, we'll show folks round with the smell of coffee and home baking wafting seductively in the new owners direction......

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Message in a Bottle

...Captain's Log June 21st....
Have been cocooned away from the world for 2 days and nights- n ot adrift on the ocean in a bottle, but in Musselburgh for annual "Deacins Meetins and Greetins" i.e Diaconate Council. Superb fun,and  fellowship with family. that is honestly how I feel, afgter being about 15 years around Deacons. active and retired.
I sensed a new spirit among us, a spirit of movement into the 21st century...we are no longer harking back to a bygone era but sprinting via Facebook and other technologies into a more modern and even more relevant variety of ministries and teams throughout Scotland.
Downers: Assumptions made by central committees and Councils that we are "in the know" about certain new developments, and at times; feeling patronised by those folks who are paid/ valued more highly than us.
Uppers: laughter, more free time with each other for cheese and whines. ...keeping on keeping on and growing in resilience as we have, and continue to persevere against many odds....

Train Sporting!

Early June... Finding lots to do on my weekly 2 hours + journeys to and from home to Aberdeen by train! Took up the hem of a charity shop maxi dress in prep for summer holiday in August. So mindful darning/sewing ....AND colouring- in, have been my pastimes. Actually, all these colouring books are so pretentious and expensive, aren't they??? A child's colouring book costs next to nothing and often has more cheerful line drawings in it.... Just buy yourself a cheap set of coloured pencils or felt tips and you're away! ( by train, of course!?)




Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Sunshine and Showers !!

It's been a strange week or two- not just in weather terms, but nationally and politically too, We must not forget the murders of  British and European folks in the Manchester and London attacks by religious extremists.
The only sunshine I can find after those events is that once again, people came together to mourn, and to lay flowers ( quite moving to see them in George Square Glasgow, as I crossed to get local train back to Hamilton)
How extraordinary that such atrocious evil happenings here, should bring out the Rainbow of Hope that is God's comfort through the lightings of candles, visiting bedsides, and showing many kindnessess in little and big ways.
Like Band Aid of the 80's, popstars loudly proclaimed peace. generosity and solidarity,with the sufferings of the world. Maybe it puts the church to shame/OR will spur us on to be bolder in our demonstrations of love !
Speaking of rainbows, I had an interesting chat with T and N who served me my "chippy" (child's portion my blogspotting friend who is a Weight Watchers Rep) !?) So T told me in broad Aberdonian why she doesn't believe in God..
."If I want near your cherch I'd fry and sizzle jis like moi chips here !?" She then told me how her daughter had had a baby boy still-born, and showed me her tattoo with his name on it imprinted on her arm. As my dinner cooked, she continued speaking about how her daughter was now having IVF treatment  and was now  4 weeks  pregnant with her "rainbow baby."
How wonderful that she hadn't a clue that the symbol of  coloured-spectrum-light-show was God
given  after the catastrophe of the Flood in Noah's time!
Showers and Sunshine!