Archive for July, 2009

Well its my day off today which will give me time to finalise the sermon for this weekend and prepare another Childrens Moment for Saturday afternoon ‘Open Door Worship’.

We took Adam and Jessie to the Japanese Steakhouse for supper yesterday where they were entertained by the chef cooking right in front of you.  It was marvellous as usual. 

Today we are simply relaxing until this evening when we have been invited next door to, and i quote, “fun and games and key lime pie”

Judith’s talk yesterday went very well indeed, she is a natural speaker and all the ladies present loved it.  She was given many thank you notes and one or two beautiful gifts.

Pastor Dan and his family return today and we hope to see them tomorrow, depending on the jet lag. 



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Hello everyone, just one week to go now until we are back on English soil, by this time next week we will be home and ready to start work on the weekend’s services and Marjorie and Trevor’s wedding!!  (I wonder how nervous they are right now?)

We moved accommodation yesterday to make room for Pastor Dan’s return and we are now living in a house on The Villages until we leave.  The house is beautiful, it has all we  need and more and backs onto one of the golf courses.  Adam has the free use of a golf cart, Judith the hot tub and me..?  well there’s an ENORMOUS HD tv mounted on the wall with surround sound and all the channels you could desire to simply flick through.  Its also much more practical for Jessie as its a bungalow and therefore no stairs for her climb to get to bed.

I arrived at work to find my early morning meeting had been cancelled but that fits in well as i have to go back to the house to collect Judith because she is talking at a ladies lunch, held in her honour!  She doesnt seem nervous yet, and i’m sure she will do a fine job.

Hope all is well at home…anything i should be aware of?

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Trip to Blackpool

Took Pastor Dan, Patti and Taylor for a ride along the Fylde Coast.  First stop was the Royal Lytham Golf Club.  It didn’t look like we would be able to get anywhere near because Thursday is the beginning of the Women’s open championship.  However, we managed to find a parking spot in a side street and asked security at the gate if we might be allowed in.  Yes, come in – it’s free today.  In we went and Dan was in his element.  I decided that £52 for a t-shirt was out of my league but Dan picked up one or two souvenirs.

Next stop was Blackpool Tower and the Tower Ballroom.  The Wurlitzer was being played and it all looked very impressive.  Then we put Dan, Patti and Taylor on a Tram and sent them off to Fleetwood.  We followed in the car and just managed to catch them up as they were arriving near the Fleetwood Ferry.  It had started to rain as we left the Tower but I think they enjoyed the ride to Fleetwood.  I told them about Fisherman’s Friends and gave them one to try but I’m not sure that they are addicted just yet.  I think they are an acquired taste.

Thursday is packing day ready for their return journey on Friday.  We wish them a safe journey back home and trust that their stay with us has been enjoyable.  We have certainly gained much from them and have made three wonderful friends.

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Morning folks, well it is here anyway.  Just one week left before we return to England and i will sure miss this place.

On Monday the four of us went to Busch Gardens and had a wonderful time, however when we arrived there was a terrific thunder storm which lasted for one hour, everyone took shelter and when it was over i made my way to the Sheikra ride, 200 foot vertical drop and 70 mph, but the wait was 2 hours so i abandoned it.  (I’ve been on twice before but still missed the thrill)

Yesterday was a working day for me but i still managed to do some grass cutting at Dan’s house before going to Spanish Springs for the evening.  First thing was the Mens Prayer Breakfast and had about 120 men present this week.  The speaker was very good and told of his own life with Christ.

Today i am leading staff devotions and we are moving accommodation onto the villages.  We will miss the seclusion of Dan’s house and the use of his pool but we are looking forward to living a week on The Villages.

I was asked via the blog to explain who the ‘Olde Southern Boys’ are.  Well after careful consideration and much deliberation they have decided to keep their identity a secret, but i can tell you that they all come from the southen states of America and when they start to talk together, they speak so fast and in such an accent i have no idea what they are saying!

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Today was a great day for worship.  At Pastor Don’s suggestion we did worship English Methodist style and the folks seemed to love it.  I taught the congregation “Come All Ye People’. we sang Wesley hymns including And Can It Be, I led the ‘Children’s Talk’ and preached at all four services.  It felt really good and the music was excellent.

An afternoon rest before going out to CrackerBarrel for supper.

Only about 10 days left now, we need to make the most of the time remaining and the folks here seem to have lots planned to make that happen.

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Forgot to mention yesterday that I made a pastoral visit to The Villages Hospital on Thursday, well it seems very much like a 5 Star hotel to me rather than a hospital.

They have 500 unpaid volunteers and the reception area is superb with settees and a baby grand piano which volunteers play all day.  Clergy get free drinks and meals in the cafeteria and there are a maximum of two patients to each room.  Each patient has a flat screen digital TV and the unlimited use of a telephone.

The wards (if that’s the right word) cover 5 floors and when the first two were complete the hospital took its first patient as work continued on the other three floors.  When they were complete, one of the first two floors was closed for refurbishment!!! And that’s how it continues, always improving, always something new to learn and offer.  It even has a helipad.

Yesterday Adam and I did get to Universal Studios for a boys day out, we had a terrific time whilst Judith and Jessie went to Leigh Anne’s for supper, they too had a great time and Judith was in her element playing with Regan, Leigh Anne’s daughter who’s just two and a half.

Today for me is sermon prep day whilst the others sun themselves round the pool…again.  More news in time…keep reading

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I attended a very interesting group meeting on Wednesday, it was the Stephen Ministry group who offer personal one to one care to folks who are in need and spend one hour a week with their care receiver.  Everything is confidential and the care giver has to undergo 50 hours of training before they are matched with a care receiver.  It is good stuff and I have been given lots of info to bring home and delve deeper.

We also went to JAWS (Just Another Wednesday Supper) along with another 150 or so folk before Adam watched the movie and I went to the class on Finance God’s Way.  This is a great class and I hope to maybe do this myself when I get back to Blighty.

Three weeks ago Judith and I were invited to George and Andrea’s house to discuss mission opportuities and perhaps see if we could swap ideas.  It was a great meetng and we even talked about a group of folks from NCUMC and Longton and New Longton doing some sort of exchange!  Wouldn’t that be exciting?!  What I had forgotten was that they were providing lunch and I was already booked for Thursday lunch with the ‘Old Southern Boys’.  I had two lunches (shades of the Christmas edition of The Vicar of Dibley).

All four of us were invited for dinner at Ron and Thelma Airey’s house which was a truly brilliant meal and afterwards we learnt yet another new card game.  What a fantstic couple and along with their 14 year old grandaughter, Katie, we had a great evening.

Today, Friday, is a relaxing morning then Adam and I are going to Universal Studios and Judith and Jessie going to Leigh Anne’s for dinner.  Its very hot again today, just wonderful!!! 

The diet is looming large when I return…

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