Monday, November 22, 2004

With a little help from my Friends

It was ops weekend this weekend just gone. It was a tough one but thanks to the support found in that group I hope we all got through it. It really is a great group of people who enrich my life in ways they do not know.

Oh and Liz your not a bad person you are a lovely one thanks from me and Karen for being there.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

It Only Hurts When I Laugh

Where has the time gone since my last blog. I don't know how some of you are so regular (perhaps its somethng you take with your tea) time justs seems to fly by and before I know it days have gone since my last ramblings.

Any way enough of that, I know many of you (well Stick anyway) have been waiting with baited breath to find out if the present ever arrived from Karens shopping trip. Well it did in the form of a swanky pair of new trainer come shoes come thingys. Those of you going to the ops weekend may be priveliged to get a glimpse. The talk at Wilmslow went well, you were right Sally very posh! However it has to be said they listened and responded thoughtfully to the issues I raised about how we are to be a church community within the context of an area such as Moss Side.

Met with Phil last week to talk about Somali refugee's (you know Phil as in Sarah and Phil, liz's friends) I left feeling inadequate he just knows so much. This is for my urban theology assignment and presentation, I cant help feeling that I have opened a can of worms and do not quite know where to start in order to put them all back in again.

That evening we went to meet someone I used to work with who I have not seen for over a year. We went for a meall in yes you guessed the Punjab! The confussion Liz had with new moons and Diwalli must have started early the place was crawling with police (the street that is not the restraunt) however liz you will be pleased to know that our service was up to its normal high standard.

This week I have had loads of training for the prison, including my personal protection training. Now some of you may remember doing this for Greenbelt a couple of years ago. That session was led by a freind of Martins called Mike at the time he said he was being gentle with us and believe you me he was. I had bruises in places you could not imagine and ached all over, no correction still ache all over. Mind you as we were reminded all day better this than being beaten up. However we were also told talk before trying out these techniques. After all it would be a shame to have some ne on the floor with their arm locked to the point of breaking when all they had tried to do was shake your hand. Why didn't they apply that principle to us oh well as they say it only hurts when I laugh!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

It was that fine rain that gets you wet!

Many of you will know that about five weeks ago Karen passed her driving test. Oh how we celebrated, I was so happy for her, it had meant so much to pass. Little did I know that would be the last I saw of the car. Take today for instance out shopping a 9.15 now 22.20 still not back. Whist Karen gave me a lift to where I had to go this morning I had to make my way back on the bus. Now I had been wise enough to take precautins a personal cd player and an evenesance cd. That way if the nutter on the bus came and sat next to me at least I wouldn't be able to hear him or her. Anyway that was not the problem, as I started walking it started - the rain that is and to quote Peter Kay "it was that fine rain you know that gets you wet". Why does it always rain the minute I start walking anywhere? The only consolation was that as I arrived at the bus stop so did the bus.

Oh my mate had his service which was mystery worshipped on ship of fools (Dursley Tabernacle) published this week. He got 10 out 0f 10 for preaching and a 10 for would you make this your own church. Builders move in next week to widen the church doors (for his head of course).

Kathryn yet again stood in and made tea tonight in Karen's absence oh how I like my daughter growing up especially as she cooks better than me. The other two were pleased too it meant beans on toast were off the menu.

College tomorrow and then off to the posh reaches of Wilmslow to talk at the Wilmslow URC supper club which sounds very grand. Still not sure why it is then they invited me to speak, still off i will trot. I'm going to speak on how my time working with churches in Moss Side changed my theology sadly I'm talking from notes so a transcript will not be appearing (phew I hear you say) still I will let you know how it goes. If I'm honest I am scared stiff about it.

Well I await the return of my wife. I feel it is only fair to point out she went straight to a meeting and hasn't been shopping all night as well. Still she'd better come in armed with a pressie. Watch this space to see if she does!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Sometimes the mundane is good!

Well sorry for the delay in posting Sally!

What a week i'm working as a prison chaplain at the moment and whilst it is rewarding it does at times leave me exhausted. I have begun to realise though how we are all products of the choices and decisions we make. I am constantly surprised by the amount of great blokes I meet behond the locked door of a prison cell. Which leaves me only to contemplate the fact of how perhaps one foolish decision or life chance can change the map of your life. Trying however not to fall into a Cullen moment, I do see how God too is in the prison bringing about hope and changing lives not in big bold ways but in small simple ways that mean so much to those who notice.

Anyway enough of sincerity for now did you see the footy this afternoon dont worry for those who missed it click here we might not of won but wow what a performance and to leave with a draw was good enough fo me. Mind you that winging Scottish windbag Fergie said his players were not up for the more mundane games. Well from my seat mundane worked well for me and perhaps if they continue like that it may be all they have to look forward too, come on you blues.

Busy week ahead prison tomorrow, studying and writing stuff tuesday, college Wednesday followed by a trip to Wilmslow(very up market) to tell them all about ministry in Mosside, College Thursday and reading Friday. Still better than being bored eh!!

I must warn you that I am feeling in a reflective mood so I am going to finish with a story from last Friday. Along with a colleague I went to attend the Baptism of a four day old baby who had been born premature his sister had died only hours after birth and he had now only been given hours to live. On my way there I noticed my unease and reluctance about having to do this what would I say to the parents. By the time it was over I had learnt an important lesson. Sometimes the words don't matter its the being there that counts. Theology on baptism may be a good classroom discussion but on Friday it was something by which those devastated parents could have in order to remember the two small children that for such a short time turned there worlds upside down, so as I said sometimes even the mundane is good!