Archive for August, 2009

Well holiday bible club has been and gone!  The week before we were to begin we had only 17 children filling 50 spaces.  By the end of the week we had 34 children in total.  They all seemed to have a great time.  Some even put their name down for next year – so I guess we better get our act together and start the early preparations.

 Each day we had a theme and a daily bible passage.  The theme of the day was taught through the daily skits (mini plays), games, stories, crafts, singing and fun learning.  We also had a bible passage for each day.  The idea being that we learnt them off by heart.  I have to say that I am not very good at this, even though we used the simple versions.  The theme and passages were:
DAY 1 – Jesus Accepts Us – “God loves us and calls us His children” (1 John 3:1)
DAY 2 – Jesus Protects Us – “God Says “Do not fear; I will help you”” (Isaiah 41:13) 
DAY 3 – Jesus Saves Us  – “Believe in Jesus and that He is alive” (Romans 10:9)
DAY 4 – Jesus Forgives Us – “You are forgiving and good, O Lord. You always love me” (Psalm 86:5)
DAY 5 – Living For Jesus – “God made us do good things” (Ephesians 2:10)


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Hello and here we are again!  I think that must be a phrase I’m into at the moment.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, this week is holiday bible club – Son Rock Kids Camp.  Monday was day 1.  I was absolutely exhausted before the week began.  It’s called doing too much, something which should be banned.  As those who know me well already know, I DON’T DO MORNINGS! and when is holiday bible club – that’s right – in the morning. Aaaaahhhh!

Anyway, on Sunday my eye had started hurting but it was OK, bearable but on Monday when the alarm went off at 7.45am (usually still middle of the night for me) I was in agony.  I really didn’t know how I was going to cope with the pain and add that to the tiredness as well – well it was a lost cause before it had begun.

At the holiday bible club, before the children arrive, all the adults get together for what we call devotions.  A time when the adults can focus themselves and come before God to offer themselves to Him to fully do His work.  I decided that the only way I was going to get through the morning was with some help, so I asked the leader to pray that the pain would go away.  I know….turning to God shouldn’t be a last resort but I had to do something….and it was better then than not at all.  So they did pray for me.  Those who were able placed their hands on me and everyone else looked in my direction and John prayed.

Within half an hour the pain had gone.  Thank You God!  I mean it – no more pain all morning, all afternoon, all evening until bedtime and even then it was only a little niggle.

I went to bed looking lovely after using steroid drops, artificial tear drops and some lovely vaseline style ointment especially for the eyes.  It is so lovely because it runs down your cheek and is greasy…delightful it is not!  Then I put my eye mask on which helps to keep my eyes closed at night – something my right eye can no longer do.

When I woke this morning my eyes, especially my right one looked terrible – bruised, red and swollen – it reminded me of early days before treatment when everyday was just like that.  But and I’m being honest – there was still no pain.

If you are anything like me you think well maybe the pain would have gone anyway (not usually the case) or maybe I had the pain because God wanted me to turn back to Him for strength (again that’s not God’s style) and loads of other questions which people use to explain things away but all I can say is the pain went and I felt much better so Thank You Lord for taking away the pain and giving me the strength to continue and to have fun!

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Here we are again!

Can you believe that it is almost 12 months since we were apologising for not writing much because it would be soon be our Holiday Bible Club? Well here we are again – Monday sees the start of  “Son Rock Kids Camp”.  Although there aren’t as many children registered as last year I’m sure those that come will have a great time and we pray that the children and families who are involved will learn, see and get to know more about Jesus and the love He has for us all.

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Well this will most likely be my last entry before we leave for England tomorrow, so i will bring you all up to date.

The JAWS evening on Sunday went very well indeed, we had a great meal along with 350 others and then at 6:00pm even more folks crowded into the worship area, the chapel amd the narthex to see and listen to Dan and I answer questions posed by Gary Cantrell.  The video should appear on NCUMC website soon but i have also been given two copies, one for each church when i get home.  It was a wonderful occasion and i was very touched by Dan’s welcome back to his own church.  A standing ovation no less!!

Yesterday, Monday i met with PAstor Don and Pastor Dan and some other members of the leadership team to debrief the exchange and then out to lunch at one of the country clubs on The Villages.  The we went to Dan’s for a “cook out” and enjoyed a social occasion.

Today, Adam and I went to the Mens Prayer Breakfast, the usual 120 men gathered for a truly wonderful breakfast.  I then did some more filming (you will find out what for in time) then i attended the worship meeting, in prep for this weekend, and then it was out for lunch with the “Olde Southern Boys” and guests, for some good old BBQ food.  After lunch it was onto the SALT (Strategic Action Leadership Team) meeting when i was presented with a hand made wooden cross made by a member of the congregation and a UMC Communion Set. 

Toninght we are having a final meal with our good friends Joe and Pat Frost at Outback.  Joe has been named as Judith’s knight in shining armour and Judith as ‘Dame Judith’  Joe and Pat are great and i think its fitting to spend our last night in their company.

It will be a very sad day toimorrow and i’m sure we will shed tears as we leave this wonderful place and church and the many new friends we have made here.

Will we come back..?  Who knows what God has in store, but we sure hope so.  It has been a fantastic journey and i wouldn’t change a thing.

Look out England, here come the Oldham’s…cant wait to see the girls and Lewis and Grace..

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Well, as far as worship services are concerned, that’s it.  Another full morning preaching and leading Holy Communion, to what seems like multitudes of people.  We had 107 youngsters share in the 10:15 service; they are camping at a nearby Christian camp site and do the rounds of the churches whilst they are close by.  It was great to have them with us.

Yesterday we went to the book store to get some supplies for when we get home and bought some keepsafes too.  In the evening we had a ‘cook out’ (BBQ) at Don’s, the Senior Pastor.  He had some steaks the size of a full cow, they were so big he couldn’t fit them on the grill properly.  And boy where they good!!

Tonight we are attending the JAWS supper which has been brought forward from Wednesday and Pastor Dan and I are going to share our experiences of the exchange with all those present.  The meal is a sell out, 350 people but just before Dan and I speak, the doors will be opened to let even more folks in and it will be piped (?) to the small chapel and any other place where it can be seen and heard.

Dan, Patti and Taylor arrived home safely, late but safe and are feeling good.  They send their love and thanks to all at Longton and NEw Longton Methodist Churches and the South Ribble Circuit for looking after them so lovingly and graciously.

It doesn’t seem possible that 6 weeks have passed so quickly but they have and we are preparing to come home on Wednesday.  Lilian B and June T, dont worry we are coming back!!

More news tomorrow after tonights JAWS and tomorrows busy day.

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At the Methodist Conference in Wolverhampton in July of this year a resolution was passed that being a member of an organisation which promotes racism is “not consistant with being a Methodist”.  This targets the BNP but could include other groups.   It is believed that the Methodist Church is the first in the UK to back such a move.

Well done Methodists!  It is time that more people nailed their colours to the mast on this issue.  How soon will the other denominations follow our example?

The Rev Sylvester Deigh said “the racist policies of BNP and other such parties are a denial of the Gospel”.

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