I have always loved rollercoasters and thrill-seeker rides, whilst Matt goes a nasty shade of green even standing holding the coats, but one day, when our daughters were small we went for a family fun day out to Thorpe Park. Matt went for the first ride with our eldest, the first ride she’d ever been on, she wasn’t big enough for any of the monstrous rollercoasters, but there were plenty of family friendly rides too and she was begging to go on the Banana Boat ride with him. All was well, everyone strapped in and safety checked, the boat began to gently swing, steadily gaining momentum until the swing was full on, with huge highs and very low lows. I stood on the tarmac below, grinning as I imagined the fun they were having whilst I was left holding the baby (slightly resentful that I was missing out), oblivious to the fact that in reality poor Matt was having to try and reassure a terrified child, who was convinced that she was about to die with every plunge. It wasn’t fun for her at all, she was traumatised! Fortunately, the Fairytale boat ride saved the day, and of course a picnic followed by ice cream. [Read more…] about Mood Swings and Banana Boats
My family would tell you that I have a long memory. I remember dates and numbers quite clearly – something passed down in my genes, I think. For the most part, being able to remember things like birthdays and anniversaries is an absolute blessing in lots of practical ways.
But it can also be a strange way to walk through the year: I don’t just remember the good dates and the happy stuff but also remember the days when things weren’t quite so good. And, of course, we now have things like Facebook memories to help me, even if I have tried to suppress an uncomfortable date!
A memory popped up this week which reminded me that this weekend marks 10 years since [Read more…] about Thanks for the memories
It may not come as a surprise to some, but I do like to listen out for new songs of worship. Sometimes they are a barometer to what God might be doing in the church at any one time. Of course God also brings older songs or hymns to the front, but of late there have been a number of songs of growing importance to the church today. [Read more…] about Singing in a Strange Land
I have been watching some of this week’s coverage of the events around the 75th anniversary of VE Day and have been struck by the very clear memories of those who served in World War II and lived during that time. Even those who were very young can still remember the change in atmosphere as the end of hostilities in Europe was announced. [Read more…] about A new normal?
Recently I’ve been remembering my school swimming lessons, from when I was about 10 years old. I hated them! I still don’t like swimming much … unless it’s in an open air private pool at a villa in Crete, in hot mediterranean sunshine.
‘In the C10th a ruler in Cairo issued a decree to close all churches of the Coptic Christian community in the land and to forbid the church bells to ring. The churches were closed, the gates grew rusty and the pigeons took residence in the sanctuaries. Some of the faithful Copts travelled across the desert seeking monasteries in the wilderness so that they could meet for prayer and worship. However the majority of the Copts could not afford the time or money to travel on foot across the desert, so they were forced to stay in their homes on Sundays. After nine years, the ruler decided to see for himself how the Coptic Christians were faring. In disguise, he set out on a Sunday and walked in the streets of their quarters in Old Cairo. As he walked in the narrow streets, he heard the sound of their prayers, Bible readings and worship from every house that he passed. His reaction was another decree: “Open their churches and let them pray as they please. I thought I had closed the church in every street, only to find out that I opened a church in every house.”‘
I wonder what your favourite part of Easter is. Easter eggs, Easter egg hunts, family meals, a longer holiday. For me it is the Easter morning services in Church rejoicing at Jesus resurrection with other Christians singing glorious Easter hymns loudly (If not always in tune on my part!) [Read more…] about What is your favourite part of Easter?
There’s something comforting about familiarity, isn’t there?
This last week has seen us trying settle into a kind of new ‘normal’ in the Rhodes house, after the adrenaline rush of the previous fortnight, where each day brought something new to tackle. Two of us are working from home pretty much full-time and Mike is working slightly unusual shifts, all of which means we are having to learn how to pace ourselves sensibly without the normal patterns of our week to help us. [Read more…] about Comfort in the Familiar
We have all been caught up in the whirlwind that has been the last week. It began with being encouraged by the government guidelines to wash hands and keep ourselves safe, to much stricter measures curtailing our freedoms in a way not seen since the second world war.
But for Sandra and I, it’s all become quite personal. [Read more…] about It’s all got personal … for everyone
As black treacle dribbled, thick and glistening, everywhere other than where it was meant to go, this snippet of tantalising thoughtfulness, caught my sticky attention – ‘how profoundly delicious, Nigella!’. (Sticky Toffee Pudding, and it was very good). [Read more…] about Pudding Ponderings