Sunday, 30 October 2011

The clocks have gone back, it's Sunday night, that means only one thing in our house.......hide & seek in the dark!

This has kind of turned into a routine tradition over the last few years, that through the winter months we play hide & seek in the dark.

When we first did it a few years ago the kids were all a lot younger and it was really good fun, and as parents, you know, you humour them and allow them to continue with these little games.  The kids are now 16, 14, 11 & 7 and it is on the 7 year olds insistence that we play, she counts down the weeks to the clock change, and now everyone is doing a little humouring.......although it still is fun!

Now ordinarily our house would be a death-trap if you tried to walk around in it with the lights out, but herein lies the beauty, if you want to play, you have to have picked everything up! And they do, they really do, so once a week our house gets a good pick-up done, all that remains now is for me to give it a clean through on a Monday.  We'll see.

The counter is chosen by whoever needs the loo first. We count in the bathroom and usually play within an hour of having our Sunday roast.........

With it being dark, you don't have to be too imaginative with your hiding, so I can choose my favourite spot, laid out on the sofa, and still be joining in.

Usually the only thing to give away our hiding places is our inability to contain our bodily noises, I know what you're thinking, but I'm talking about the odd cough or sneeze of course.

Anyway although some of us groan a little at what has become a 'tradition' and we all make out we're really only playing along for the little one, it is one of those things that the kids will talk about when they're older to their kids, it's a memory maker, of course it's not our only memory maker, but it's probably one of the more routine ones.

Any family bonding habits within your household?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Seriously Funny Adrian Plass & Jeff Lucas

Written communications between two friends, who are sometimes funny, sometimes grumpy, sometimes controversial, but always endearing.  Adrian and Jeff are on a wavelength probably similar to a lot of us, but they have had the guts to put their opinions in print.

I am essentially a nosey person, so to have the opportunity to read someones 'private correspondence' really appealed to me! I also like the reality of the situations of which they write, their anecdotes of book signings and tour interpreters are hilarious!
Their faithful thread is not lost in the humour though, with their thoughts of Jesus' reaction and the way a Christian might be used by the Holy Spirit in mundane situations is both touching and thought provoking.

If you are offended by the humour or some of the language in this book, you may need to re-address your outlook on what it means to be a 'normal, run of the mill, fun-loving, Jesus-serving Christian'.

p.s. Seeing them on their 'Seriously Funny' tour next month, so will probably do a little post on that!                                                                                 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Trick or Treat. Really?

I don't celebrate Halloween, why?  Because I'm a Christian? Partly.  Because I'm British and can't stand over consumerised nonsense? Definitely.

I haven't really got any big high and mighty ideas about the evils and witchcraft etc.  I just think it's daft to dress up as something horrendous and go out and beg.

I don't 'get' the celebration.  Sure it was pinched from the pagans etc.  But then so was Christmas......don't get me started on Santa!

What confuses me more though are the churches that provide an alternative party or celebration.  I'm not really sure why? Doesn't this only indicate, that Halloween is such an amazing event that usually Christians don't celebrate and we feel so awful about our convictions that we are going to offer you an alternative? Yay.

We have never taken part in Halloween, simply by not answering the door and fortunately we have been spared the unsociable behaviour.  But I have also never been pestered by my kids for a pumpkin or to go 'trick or treating'.  Because we've never been involved they've never asked or felt they've missed out.

For the few Christian parents I have heard agonising over what to tell their little sweetheart that has asked to go 'trick or treating' for the first time this year, here's my advice.  If you're bothered by it because of your faith, tell them that.  And if you feel allowing them to go to an alternative Church party is the answer, you're only fueling the idea that Halloween is worth celebrating.

Halloween, do you or don't you?

And remember's spooky out there........

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Puzzling Questions What Happens After Death?

So what happens after death? There are no right or wrong answers because nobody can know exactly.  But I don't think 'a family gathering and a buffet' is the answer we're looking for.

I think it's pretty straight forward in so much as, if you are a true follower and believer in Christ, one day you will be with God in Heaven for eternity.

And if you have chosen not to follow Christ, well the alternative is a little hotter.

As to the timings of these events ie straight after death, when Jesus returns, after the 1000 year reign etc, I am not very good at retaining or studying academic information, so I can't really say when I think I'll be in Heaven, I just know it will be when I'm dead!

The dvd we're watching doesn't ever answer the questions, but then the questions are such that there isn't really a correct answer, it is to do with how you feel, what you believe, and whether or not you want to explore the topics even further and possibly come to have a faith in God, where hopefully some of the questions/answers might make sense!

It is difficult going through it as a Christian, because you're answers all hinge around that, so it would be interesting to hear a complete non-Christian perspective.  Some of the voxpops from the street are obviously non-Christian, but one stuck in my mind. They go around the street asking various people the question, "What do you think happens after you die?" A chap answered something along the lines of "probably nothing, but I hope there's something better."

I pray that he follows that enquiring thought in his head, I can't think of anything more sad than somebody hoping to find something that they don't even really believe let alone understand.

I listened to these two podcasts this year Liquid Church Hell, Heaven & The Afterlife Mars Hill Church (Driscoll) Revelation which I really enjoyed and got a lot out of them, but frustratingly like I said, I just cannot retain information in my brain (unless it's lyrical, so if one day the Bible is made as a musical from start to finish, I'll be alright), so however well studied, I don't feel confident that what I'm saying is Biblicaly correct.  I shoot from the heart!

So, what's gonna happen after you die?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Scone Incident

Well today was my 'perfect day'!  I had told hubby I wanted surprises and I think I can safely say I got them!

On birthday's in our house we always open the pressies on our bed with the four kids in our bedroom, I had lots of things I had hinted at - going well so far - and then, well I opened a yoga-mat, to a chorus of "you weren't expecting that!"

No I was not. Apparently for some reason they were giving away free yoga-mats with the perfume hubby had bought me? I know. Even the shop assistant was confused by the promotion.  That'll be going on EBay in the next few days so everyone's a winner!

I never make myself a birthday cake, let me re-phrase that, I never make cakes. I can make
perfectly nice ones, I just can't be bothered with all the faffing about
with ingredients and mixing and whatever else you do to make a cake.  And with a family of 6 they are not eaten appreciatively, they are wolfed down with somebody always moaning they didn't get a piece.
So I was delighted this morning when my mother-in-law turned up with a cake she had made for me on hubby's instructions, in the shape of a guitar. "surprise"!

Anyway as I hinted last week in my music post, I wanted to spend a nice day outdoors.  So off we set across the fields and hills heading for a nearby village with a pub to have some lunch in.  We had been walking for about an hour when we came across a conveniently placed bench at the top of a field, it had no memorial plaque on it so I assume it was a thought for ramblers from a kindly farmer, rather than a mourning relative who knew 'Bessy loved this spot'.

The view from where 'the incident' happened

Perfect. We sat down and my husband produced a cream tea, I mean the works bless him, he had really thought it through and had everything, a flask of lovely tea, scones with real cream and real strawberry's, how lovely I thought, so while he was mother and poured tea and constructed scones I was trying to balance my camera somewhere to take a timed picture of us enjoying our elevenses.  It being a field there was no natural tri-pod so I pulled across the gate and set it up balancing on one of the bars.  The shot was perfect, we were going to look so romantic sat on our bench having our cream tea, everything was set, all I had to do was get to the bench in 10 seconds and smile! Simples. Well, unless you are me.

As I dashed to the bench my left foot slipped out from under me and before I could even cry "I'm falling" I was laid on the floor in front of the bench with my ankle and my back in pain and covered in cold wetness which I had at first thought was cow-pat.  No.  It was my strawberry's and cream scones, which as I somersaulted as I fell I had hit out of hubby's hand and they came crashing down landing on me. SURPRISE!!!

Although I am always trying to capture moments like this, it goes to show, life isn't picture perfect and maybe I was trying to hard to capture it to prove to myself that it is. To look at how happy we were enjoying our scones on a lovely Autumn day and for others to see us as a perfect couple, to show to myself that we should be together, we can have fun and enjoy each others company.  But I think it would have been a false picture, I think I would've always seen beyond the smiles and remembered the issues and the fact I was trying to create a scene.

Well I certainly did create a scene, but not the one I intended.  But it made me realise that if we weren't a good couple, if we couldn't spend time in each other's company and have fun, that little incident could have ruined the day, but it didn't. We laughed about it together and wished that the camera had been on record because we would've made a fortune on 'you've been framed'.  There was no embarrassment or frustration or anger over the spoiled scones, just laughter, and those moments you will never capture on camera.  You have to hold on to them in your heart and remember that when it could've all gone horribly wrong, it didn't. Because you were with the right person at the right time.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

The cassette of choice in the Volvo this week has been Lou Reed's Transformer.  Some of the best poetic songs ever written on that album!

Everybody loves Perfect Day and if you don't, I'll pray for you - you're missing out.

I love this time of year, the weather is gorgeous, the trees look amazing with the leaves in all their different colours and the ground becoming carpeted with them.

Next week is my birthday and I am anticipating having a 'perfect day'. For me that would be spending it outdoors, going for a long walk, surrounded by all things natural, that is probably the one time I don't allow music to infiltrate my life, when I am outdoors, I love to hear the natural sounds around me, that is music in itself. 

It never ceases to amaze me how many different varieties of natural things there are. Take trees, green is my favourite colour, so that is probably why I like trees so much, but have you ever thought about how many hundreds of different trees there are? Why didn't God just make one or two varieties or just think, 'I have made a tree, now onto the next thing'. And getting back to the colour, grasses, leaves, plants have so many shades of one colour, it's fantastic!  If that isn't 'supernatural' I don't know what is!

Anyway, if while I'm outdoors on my perfect day I find a pub to have lunch in, well it would be rude not to stop.

Have a good weekend.

What's your perfect day?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Puzzling Questions What Is God Like?

Someone so filled with love, you could never end up in Hell?  Someone with so much hatred for sinners?
These are two views from mega-pastors that have appeared on the blogosphere etc. The latter one within the last 24 hours!

I am now sure that God is filled with love for us, I feel His love for me. Someone asked last night "could God really forgive every sin he's ever done?"  The answer was a resounding "YES!" God loves and will forgive each one of us, if we only ask Him. 

What if we don't ask Him for forgiveness?  What if we simply don't believe He can do anything for us? What if we decide to take our chances and live our lives for ourselves?  Well, I don't think we will be spared an eternity in Hell, no matter how loving He is. There will be a price to pay and the Bible says the wages of sin is death. 

But does God really hate us because we have all let Him down and fallen short of His glory? I don't think so.  When you hate someone, you lose interest in them, you give up on them, you don't want to spend time with them.  God will never give up on us.  We can anger Him and do things that dis-please Him, but cause Him to hate us? I don't buy that.

So, what is God like?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Puzzling Questions Who Am I?

Last night a new course started called Puzzling Questions, so as I did with the marriage course, I will air my opinions of it on here!

I think this is a fairly new course and is designed to run before Alpha (I haven't done an Alpha course, but I may if I get the opportunity)

Anyway last nights question was 'who am I?' I don't know if this is a typical question people are asking themselves, and I'm not really sure if I came away with the answer!

Does physical beauty make a difference to who we are?  Are we defined by our job, or our position in our community?

These things shouldn't define us, but inevitably we will be judged by others on them.  That is where the security of knowing you are a child of God comes in, for those of us that have that relationship we can know that we are beatiful no matter what, we are made in His image, and are loved unconditionally - simples.

Yeah right, we are also still human and get hung up on all the things we lack or differ from our peers.  Last night when the talk on the table came round to describing yourself or how your friends might describe you, I couldn't move away from the subject fast enough!I also think our identity is constantly changing, I know mine is.  Even in the last year my identity has been evolving into someone more confidant, someone who isn't always wondering what people might think about me, someone who is willing to step out and do things I wouldn't have dared to do before.

I do put this 'new me' down to starting a real relationship with God, with taking Him seriously and believing it when I am told He loves me.

God loves me and thinks I'm alright, and for now I'm happy with that!

Who are you?