Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Strange Happenings

I had a strange experience last Thursday.   I got woken up at 5 a.m. with my front door bell ringing.  It alarmed me. I decided not to go down to the door and about 15 minutes later it rang again.   I still ignored it.   Then about 6 a.m. it went again, so I went into my office room which is at the front of the house and looked out of the window to the door, but couldn`t see anyone there, so back to bed.    A short time later it went yet again, so this time I thought I`d better go down, so I put my dressing gown on went down and looked out of the front room window.  No-one there and no one anywhere in sight in the road, no cars moving, nothing.   
I decided there was one way to stop this, so I took the batteries out of the bell.
After breakfast I put the batteries back, and as I put them in the bell rang, and rang and rang - that`s it I thought, it wasn`t anyone at all, its the bell gone wrong.

Later that morning I went out to get in my car and the key wouldn`t open the car when I pressed it.  I tried different angles etc. but, no go.  Must be to do with the battery in that key I thought, so I got the other key to the car...... and the same thing happened, it wouldn`t open the door.   What to do?
So I rang my local garage, he talked me through how to take a part off of the passenger door handle, and then there was a place to put the key in.  That done, I had to get in  (well squeeze in as it was close against bushes in the driveway!) reach across and open the drivers door so that I could get in and then take the car over to them at the garage.  I tried that, but the door wouldn`t open from inside either.   It sounds like the battery he said, and told me to ring the AA or RAC.   I belong to the AA so rang them.
The AA chap arrived in about 30 minutes, got in put the key in the ignition and then opened the drivers door. .  Then tried it all again for me and found the same problem with opening it with the key. " Sounds as if its to do with the coding in the key to the car which will need to be reset", he said then he though and asked "Can I take it down the road and try it in the next road" he asked.   I agreed.  So he did, and within a few minutes was back. "It`s fine he said, there`s nothing wrong with the key or car".   He tried it again with my car back on the drive..... and.... it refused to open!  
He explained that car keys work on radio waves, and asked if I had anything new around here that is interferring with the signal.  I couldn`t think of anything.  There was a police car parked just a short distance away and he wondered if it could be to do with the signal of their radio.   Then he spotted the light on on the door bell, and I said about the problem I`d had with that earlier in the morning - I think that`s the cause he said and went to examine the bell for me.   He discovered that rain water had got into the bell and was causing the sensor in the bell to stay on, and that was affecting the signal to the car key!  He took the bell off the door for me, and..... the car key worked fine!
So, I say - Well done to the AA man !   

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Amazing Weekend

What an amazing time  we had last weekend at our church.  

 On the Friday afternoon a Team of 9 committed Christians, ordinary people of all ages, from all over the country came together to share a weekend with us.   And what a weekend that turned out to be.  Within a very short time, they became a part of us and it felt as if we`d always known them as our friends.  They came from the Lay Witness Movement.

The weekend started with one of many delicious shared meals over the three days.  (Three ladies from another of the churches on our Circuit and the son of one of them provided the catering, so that we could all share in the weekend, without the worry of cooking and washing up.)  The good food was accompanied by much  conversation and laughter which flowed around the tables as we got to know each other. 

From the tables we moved into the church for the first of the four worship sessions over the weekend.  These were times when the Team members shared their testimonies with us, interspersed with times of prayer, and hymns, both old favourites and some new ones, all sung with a real depth of meaning to the words we were singing. 

Times for group discussions were held within the worship time, and in peoples` homes on the Saturday morning, these were a real blessing to many as the Team and us all shared aspects of our lives and faith at a deep level.

The Testimonies the Team gave throughout the weekend, I don`t think could have failed to touch us all in some way, as they shared the way in which Jesus had become real to them and the way in which he was working in their lives.  Some of the testimonies brought tears to the eyes of many of us as they so openly talked of the way God was working in them.   They were a real inspiration to us, and really were “Sharing God`s love” with us.

I know that the whole weekend has challenged me and made me think about my faith, and I`m sure I`m not alone in that.   I don`t think any of us who were present at the times of worship, discussion groups, and the shared meals, could fail to be inspired by them to deepen our commitment to Christ.

It`s really challenged me.                                                                    

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Natural beauty

Driving to work this morning - yes, I had to go to another location and not work at home today - I was out of the house by 7.30 a.m. and I am so glad I was - the sight of the morning sky as it became light and the sun came up was wonderful.

I am always fascinated to see, at this time of year, the trees against the skyline.  To see the shapes of the bare branches, the way they intertwine with one another all being part of the one plant. To me there is a real beauty about it, and especially so this morning when the sun was coming up, turning the sky behind them to all shades of apricot and orange, before the golden ball of the sun itself appeared.   It was awesome.    

The forms of the trees today set me thinking of how we are rather like those trees, just one small branch or twig of it yet all dependent on the feeding and nutrients from the trunk - It made me think of God being the root and trunk of the tree and our lives, although interwined with each other and needing each other for support are yet all dependent on the care of God.

Monday, January 02, 2012


I`ve been tossing up whether or not to make any New Year resolutions this year - I`ve done it before on here but, as I guess happens with so many of us, I haven`t manage to keep them for many weeks.

So, instead of making a whole list of them, I think this year, I`m just going to make a couple and see if its easier to keep two than a larger quantity.    Perhaps if I can make 2 a year and stick to them through the year I shall in the end achieve all from the list of previous years.

My resolutions therefore for this year are:

1.  To be more tidy in my house - ie. to put things away when I`ve finished with them, including filing mail as I open it, instead of piling it up to "deal with later".    (Later does come, but how much nicer the room looks when it`s done straight away!)

2.  To post more regularly on my blog, and to resume doing a daily  Counting Blessings Daily  in which I`ll endeavour to post something for which I thank God that day - it may be something seen, heard, something which has made me smile, a photo I`ve taken or.........   who knows!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

It`s Two Thousand and Twelve

It`s Two Thousand and Twelve already - where have those years gone since we were celebrating the Millennium?

Happy New Year
to you All

I wish you - 
good health, happiness and peace in 2012


Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Christmas Letter to Santa

I went to a Christmas Tree festival the other day - again a very moving experience seeing all 40 well decorated trees brought a tear to my eye, as it made me realise again just how many charities and good causes were in need of money.   And, really forty is just a tip of the iceberg of how many there really are with great needs both in our local community, as well a nationally and internationally.
Some of the trees were decorated with commercially produced and purchased decorations, others with handmade decorations and items relevant to their charity, and others with photos of their aims within stars and other shapes.

As another visitor said, it`s an expensive place to visit! - although the entrance is free, you want to give a donation to all the collecting buckets because they are so worthwhile.

I think my favourite part of it all was this tree and it`s letter to Santa.

  (click on the photo to enlarge it to read the letter)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Full Names

I wonder if others have noticed what I noticed when working the other day?....

I was addressing a lot of envelopes - no, not my Christmas cards yet - but envelopes as part of my work to post off invoice payments.   Copying from the firms addresses on their invoices I discovered that, whereas we used to abbreviate the county, such Nottinghamshire to Notts., Berkshire to Berks,  and Cambs., for Cambridgeshire etc..etc...  they all now put the full word, as well as the postcode.   And it set me wondering why. 

In these days of text messaging; of shortening of peoples names, some even to just initials (I know somone who just likes to be called CJ instead of the full name); of the short versions we use of so many words in everyday language to what they used to be - all to save time, I suppose,  it seems odd that the counties have gone back to the full names, especially as we have the postcodes by which I think the mail is really sorted.   

In fact I did an experiment a few years ago and when on a holiday sent myself a postcard with just the house number and postcode on to see what would happen....... and, it arrived as quickly as a fully addressed envelope!    Wonder what would happen if I just did that for all my Christmas cards?!  It would save a lot of time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Birthday Cake

Better late, than never! 

Having written about missing not having a birthday cake on my birthday, I decided to make a `special` cake for tea today with my Mum.   So yesterday out came the mixer, tins, ingredients and I got baking.... and this is the result.    Not as professionally or artistically decorated as it could have been but time was short. 

The sponge, with a thick layer of chocolate buttercream filling and chocolate on top, was delicious, and thoroughly enjoyed by both my mum and myself!   Anyone fancy a piece?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

No Birthday Cake

Today is my birthday, and after spending the morning working as normal, I took the afternoon off. 

It was a nice sunny autumn afternoon, so I took my Mum out for a ride along the coast to Burnham Overy Staithe and we sat in the car by the water.  Very surprisingly for a sunny afternoon there was only one other car on the whole of the car park, so it was very quiet and peaceful.  As the sun went down there was a beautiful sunset.

Funny enough the one thing I missed this birthday, was not having a birthday cake - I don`t mean a highly decorated iced one with candles, but not having a home-made birthday cake of any kind.   Obviously as a youngster my mother had always made me a cake, and then when she became unable to stand to cook, I always made myself one.   Not a fruit cake, as I`m not fond of fruit cake, but usually an orange chocolate chip one, with chocolate on top to decorate it.    But, this year I`d not felt inclined to  bother to do that. I`m getting older and I didn`t think I`d miss it - but when it came to tea time - I did.
It`s strange isn`t it, how a small thing like that, which has been a part of the pattern of life, can be missed so much.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ring, ring!

I was sound asleep and dreaming, dreaming something about a piano being delivered and they`d then got to the front door and were ringing the door bell.

 The sound of that bell was so real.

And I awoke, and could still hear the bell ringing, it sounded like my front door bell.   It couldn`t be.  I looked at the bedside clock it was quarter to three in the morning.  It was dark.   Then I heard it again, yes it was my door bell.

I was alone in the house, I felt alarmed.   Whatever it is, I`m not going to answer the door I thought.  It must be teenagers on the way home playing about.   It went again.    So I stumbled out of bed and went into the other room to look out of the window and down to the front door.    I couldn`t see anyone there, nor anyone in the road.   Did  I imagine it?   I looked at my car, yes that was still there ok.    I went back to bed.

A few minutes later my phone rang.    What to do?   Should I answer it or not.   By now I was feeling more alarmed, I could feel my heart thumping,  perhaps something was wrong and someone was really trying to get me.   I looked at the number showing on the phone, it was a mobile number, so that didn`t tell me anything. 

To answer it or not?   I decided I`d better answer it, so I picked it up and said a very curt  `Yes`, not my normal way of answering the phone.   I somehow expected to hear no reply, but a voice said, It`s Xxx...... I`m so sorry to ring you in the middle of the night, but I`ve just driven all the way up to here (the house next to mine) and I`ve been trying for half an hour to get my key to open the door and it won`t, can I bother you for the key you hold. 

Putting on my dressing-gown I went downstairs and got the key for him.   So relieved that it wasn`t bad news or anything like that.    Then I went back to bed, but sleep was a long while returning.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

All Saints Day

Today is All Saints Day and is the day that was also my Dad`s birthday. Tonight our church held its special service for All Saints Day and the coming All Souls Day.

As we entered the church we were all given a stone. During the service we were encouraged to think about that stone as our loved ones who were no longer with us and to think of the journey of our life that they had shared with us. We then brought these stones to the front of the church and built them together into a cairn.

Following the very moving sermon by our minister, we were invited to come and place lighted tea-lights on the cairn in memory and giving thanks for our loved one. The church lights were then dimmed and we sat as long as we each wished before quietly leaving the church.

It was a very special, emotional, meaningful and moving service.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What is Life?

I was very challenged today, when a friend, who was obviously feeling a bit "down" on having discovered that something he had hoped for most possibly wouldn`t be able to happen for them (and I`m not refering to material things), suddenly said a very serious "What is Life?"

How to answer?
- I thought for a moment and then said "that`s a very deep question".   I sat and thought, but I couldn`t find words to really answer it, and I ended up saying "that`s something that very difficult to describe and to put into words".  

I felt that I had let him down, by not being able to give a better answer.  And that he was probably expecting a better answer from my faith.

I wonder what answer others would have given or what any of you would advise me to say if a similiar situation arises again?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thank God for a bus

One of the memorable things about my recent holiday was something that happened on the second morning there.

Living in Norfolk we have few, if any steep hills around where I live, so although I had been to North Yorkshire several years ago, I`d forgotten quite how steep some of those hills were.

When I arrived I safely navigated my way down steep hills to the flat where I was staying.  The next morning deciding to go out for the day, I ofcourse had to drive up the hill, so knowing the road I had come down was steep and twisty I decided to try the other one out of the village.   But, that was just as steep and I found myself stalling the car and struggling to get up it.

So, the next morning I was very apprehensive about going out with the car, as which ever way I went I had to go up a steep twisting narrow road.   I knew I couldn`t stay in the small village for every day of my holiday, for one thing there was no grocers or butchers and I needed some food!  And common sense said to me, you`ll have to go up the hill when you leave on Saturday and the longer you wait the worse you`ll get about it.

I got into the car, praying that I`d get up the hill ok.  

As I left the driveway of the flats, a bus was just pulling away from the bus-stop in the road, `Oh, no`, I thought `I`ve got to follow that bus I just hope he doesn`t have to stop at a bus-stop on the hill`.   But, as we began the ascent of the hill, I found myself thinking `Well, if he can get that bus safely up the hill, and he`s much bigger and heavier than me, I must be able to do it`.   And I did, very easily!     I found myself then thanking God for sending that bus to guide me up the hill that morning. I think it`s something I shall always remember of God answering prayer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Holiday favourites

Here are a few of my favourite scenes from my holiday

Yes, the sky really was that colour, and shortly a heavy shower fell!