Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life is never dull - joy and anxiety mix.

Grand daughter Edith Daisy Brown having a bath. She does not look too comfortable!

Completed tiles my daughter (mostly) did to pretty up our new vanity unit.
Some joys...

  • This week we have continued to get photos of our new grand daughter. It has been a delight to receive them. I am thrilled that my son seems to be wrapped to be a father. I have to chuckle.... He was "never goin' to get married" and "never goin' to have kids! - they're just noisy brats!"  ... Well now he has done both and I think he's happy with both conditions. He and his lovely wife put this on Facebook...Natasha and Phillip would like to announce the birth of thier baby girl Edith Daisy Brown. Born 15th May 8.50pm. 6 pounds. Feel like the luckiest two people in the world right now. We are both smitten with our daughter :)
  • I had a busy but good Friday. I started the day doing some Church and Night Shelter work for an hour and catching up with one of my Night Shelter colleagues. It is always great to feel a part of a team. I then, reluctantly, went out to a "Professional Development Day" for workplace Chaplains from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.  I was feeling that I really did not have the time for the day and did not look forward to the content. While much of it was "revision" I did receive some resources that will help. I guess I enjoyed most the linking with other Workplace Chaplains, the brief chats we had and again the feeling of not being alone so much in this weird journey. After 3 p.m. I visited fire stations for two and a half hours and enjoyed the conversations and friendships there. Our regular Friday drop-in centre happened from 6:30 until 9:30p.m. and once again I played heaps of table tennis, but generally felt positive about what we are doing there. It was funny - I get so hot playing that I often strip off jersey, then generally I take my singlet off and replace whatever shirt I wear just to stay cool. On Friday night I had a light thermal tee shirt looking singlet under my shirt and figured that was decent enough for me to wear playing table tennis. A wide eyed young girl looked at me as I got myself a drink and said,"What the....? I've never seen you like that before!" Next time I think I better wear something more "decent"... I might warp the poor girl for life!
  • I have a friend who graduated this weekend with a Master of Education and I have been pleased about that for her. We have enjoyed a weekly run together (recently it has been a walk) for years now.
  • Yesterday an Elder and friend, Curly by name, joined me as we searched the church for water leaks. Our Church water account seemed high so he and I crawled under the Church, fixed taps and checked cisterns to try to find the escaping costly water. We were not as successful as we hoped, but I enjoy working with Curly. He and his wife are good friends and are important colleagues in our ministry. They help us in our drop-in centre and support us in so many ways around the church. 
  • We had lunch today with our son, his fiance and her mother. It was good to spend time together.

  • As I prepared for today's Church service I was conscious that quite a number of our folk would be away. Some are ill and others are out of town. As it turned out we had the smallest Church service I have seen for some time. It is anxiety producing because it is a harsh reminder that the congregation is fairly fragile. 
  • On the way into Church we had a phone call. It was my friend Curly's wife. He had been having mysterious blackouts lately in spite of being relatively fit and healthy otherwise. He apparently had one just as he was awakening this morning. We advised her to get the ambulance, despite his refusals. She did and he ended up in the emergency department, where he had another of his turns. This lead to serious investigations. We visited after Church. (My wife does voluntary work in the ED area of the hospital so could run around getting things for them.) Apparently they found his heart is actually stopping for a short time, and then starts again. I called to see him in the coronary unit this evening. They are planning a pacemaker for him, but somehow it was quite hard seeing this man I depend on so much, a bit disorientated and wired up to machines. I came home a bit anxious and will be pleased to hear that he has his pacemaker fitted and going.
Today's sermon...
"If the church were Christian inviting questions would be valued more than supplying answers."
  • The Church has often been afraid of people questioning or doubting their faith.
  • But the Church should be a place where people can explore truth.
  • Jesus questioned his religion. ("It was said ... but I say to you...") He told stories that often invited questions and were often open ended and evocative.
  • The realities of life have us questioning faith, like the Psalmists and the book of Job. We need to develop a faith that is real.
  • Some expressions of the faith need to be questioned and left behind. We need to grow, and a readiness to question allows us to evolve. 
  • To make our faith "ours" and have it truly assimilated into our life we need to work out what our core beliefs and values  are. Questioning is like a gold pan, it gets rid of the gravel and dust and leaves the "gold". 
Tomorrow.. my day "off".
I will work for two thirds of tomorrow. I have night shelter stuff to do, a brewery to visit, some church work and a hospital visit. After that I will pack to go visit my grand daughter and her parents. Life is never dull. 

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