Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Back in my childhood we had a white cat with a grey smudge on his forehead like a smudge of soot so his name was Smutty.  Our parents probably knew it well, but it wasn't until later at school that I understood the double meaning.

Ash Wednesday today, and we hear the words - you are dust and to dust you will return * - and we get that ash symbol smudged onto our forehead ... so then we're all smutty.  

And that's it.  We're remembering we are prone to smuttiness.

The days of Lent give us the prompt and the opportunity to think about that, to engage with the wilderness experience, and explore how we can live differently.

Our Vicar Tony reminded us this evening that though the wilderness experience is not comfortable, it is not a process of punishment but a process of discovery so that we can blossom and grow - and relating to this there's a reference to crocuses in the promise by the prophet Isaiah.

And we remember that the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus Christ spent in the desert (Si Smith portrays them delightfully in '40') were the prelude to his liberating teaching, example, life, death and resurrection.

* [pssst: listen to Dust from Dubb & Coyote available from Proost - brilliant! (audio section, title nine, item one)] 

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

laughing and smiling

Thanks to Christine Sine for pointing to this lovely piece about the healing of humour.

Smiling's good for you too!  [This is a Parish Nursing poster]

smiling is good for you

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Iconic ironic

... certainly poignant for those who've lost theirs.

Stunning writing by Dave Bookless, A Rocha

The latest A Rocha magazine is out - and it contains a stunning piece of writing by Dave Bookless (co-founder of A Rocha UK) about good leadership and healthy life. We can all learn from this candid account of tough choices.

Among his thoughtful points Dave says
... there is a painful sense of erosion in stepping back from leadership
Whilst I've been speaking about God's call to get deeply stuck into the places where He plants us, I have been losing touch with the place and people to which God has called me.

(It's the Spring 2009 edition - not yet on the A Rocha UK website.)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Lloyds TSB decision about Gaza relief organization

This information about a decision by Lloyds TSB is 2 months old.

It really took me by surprise when I stumbled on it just now.