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Archive for June, 2009

No one bothered to tell me that there are two 7 o’clock’s in America and one of them is very early!!

Monday has been yet another good day.  I arrived at my office for 8:30 AM with my secretary laying out that days schedule and giving me my diary dates for the week ahead.  Pat (my secretary is great).

I had a Church Directors meeting at 10 AM followed by staff lunch (which was plentiful and delicious) in the church with all the staff and Judith too.

After that I came back to the house to work on my talk for Wednesday evening at JAWS (Just Another Wednesday Supper).  I’m told they have sold out, 260 in the audience and 30 staff, all to hear my Lancashire twang.  I’m a bit embarrassed and wondering just what to tell them!!

It seems I have a very busy day tomorrow with a 7:30 AM start at the Mens Breakfast, $6 all in for a feast that will fill a big man all day.

I have also talked to the Senior Pastor, Don, about me doing an English worship service one weekend, and he is keen to let me do it.  Watch this space for more details.

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A Reminder

By reading someone’s comment to Pastor Derek, I have been reminded that you can see and hear Derek in action, at New Covenant United Methodist Church.  All you need to do is follow the link to http://www.newcovenantumc-fl.org/ and click on the appropriate date.  It will open a new window where you need to wait  a few minutes for the service to start.

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This evening went very well and Dan commented on the quality of the singing.  His blessing was a special one and I must get the recording and put the text of it on the blog.  It is well worth reading and thinking about.  That is my task for tomorrow. 

Good to know that Derek’s services have gone well.  I hope that Judith is benefiting from the good weather in Florida.  This afternoon was rather extreme, even by our standards.  Even the manhole covers on a major road had been lifted by the force of the water as it burst out of the drains.  It will leave behind a hazard for the unwary when the water recedes until the covers are replaced.

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This mornings service went very well and was appreciated by all.  Dan started by telling us a little of his experiences between Florida and Longton.  He had stayed for 10 days in Ireland and was still getting to grips with driving on the “correct” side of the road when, on a narrow country lane he came across a vehicle travelling quickly towards him.  Dans natural instincts took over and he tried to squeeze down the right hand side of the oncoming vehicle, only to realise at the last moment that it wasn’t going to work.  He swerved across and crept sheepishly past on the left side, safe in the knowledge that at least he wouldn’t be recognised.

One thing in his service which I found particularly helpful was his invitation “will you pray with me” before his prayers.  Although very acceptable, it is not a form of words which is commonly used in my experience but made it seem much more personal.

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Sunday 28th June

Just returned home following the fourth and final preaching service of the day and I need a cool drink and to rest my voice.  This is quite a difference from leading worship in England. 

I don’t know just how many people attended the four morning services but there must have been well over 1000.  Leigh Anne, the Deacon at New Covenant, guided me through and as I got to the fourth service I felt quite comfortable.  Judith joined the congregation for the last service and between us we have met lots and lots of new folk today, all of whom are extremely welcoming.

We have been invited out several times over for dinner and my next public appearance is on Wednesday at JAWS, Just Another Worship Supper.

And some brave soul has even told me they will teach me golf!!

All is going well here and I hope to be back again on the blog tomorrow.

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RAIN!!!!

On a Sunday afternoon, Ken and I usually go out with one of Ken’s friends, not today though fbecause for some reason Philip wasn’t at home. We decided to continue with our plans and set off  to Ashton Park so Ken could look at the giant sized vehicles. 

There was also a fun fair on the park.  We realised after some discussion that neither of us liked rides but we enjoyed looking at the faces of those who supposedly enjoy being thrown upside down and being spun round so fast that they no longer knew where their stomach were.  Actually Ken started looking at how the rides were put together and how they are then packed up onto the back of a lorry.  One of the rides was dodgem cars.  Ken and I decided that we would probably be able to cope with this so joined the queue.  Just as we were going round on the dodgem cars, the heavens opened – it absolutely threw it down!  This was ok for us as we were nicely under cover – that was until it was time to get off! 

We got off the dodgems and madly dashed to the one undercover bit but as you will imagine everyone else on the fairground had the same idea.  We stood there for a while and decided to eat a yummy cheeseburger while sheltering from the rain.  There were all sorts of people undercover but the ones that got to me were two little children (probably under the age of 5) and they were visibly shivering.  Mum was trying her best to dry them off with her wet sari. 

When the rain finally did slow down Ken and I decided it was the moment to run to the car which was some distance away.  If you know me you will realise that running is not my thing and so after a short distance I started to walk again and left Ken going on ahead.  I passed another mum who needed a medal.  She was carrying another young child and pushing his bike along the path, all the while though she was singing songs about the rain and talking to the child saying “we don’t mind getting wet do we, it’s only water, it won’t do us any harm” and of course they were both getting soaked to the skin.

When we finally got in the car we dried ourselves off as best we could and then set off home.  We couldn’t believe what we saw – there were streams of water flowing at a rate of knots down the road and it was all collecting and flooding the road before our very eyes.  As we went further down the road it was just getting worse – the water was rushing down the roads and had lifted the manhole covers so the water was gushing up from underground.  Amazing to watch but not great to have to drive through.

As you can tell we have survived to tell the tale but we were concerned about Pastor Dan and his family especially knowing that they have a brook running along the house and garden.  We have rung them and all is well – they too were fascinated at watching the cars drive through the flood water just outside the house.  I guess they really are experiencing the typical British weather of glorious sunshine one minute and torrents of rain the next!

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48 visitors to the blog yesterday and 180 during the week!  Either Derek is a media celebrity or they are trying to find out what we think of Pastor Dan.  Well,  Dan is preaching morning and evening at New Longton today so I will report back in due course.  The first thing Pastor Dan will have to live with is that we sing the hymns to the most unexpected tunes, or is it our American friends who have got it wrong?  That could be the topic for another blog because people make strong associations between tunes and words and become very animated when the “wrong” tune is played.

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