Showing posts from November, 2016

Midweek Musing: Singing Christmas 1

Singing the Season 
When I lived in Australia, I insisted, for the purposes of songs and cards and decorations, that 'it does not snow in Australia at Christmas.'

Now I live in Scotland, it doesn't necessarily snow at Christmas, but it's certainly a Winter Wonderland.

The festivities warm up as fast as the temperatures outside fall down towards (and below) freezing, and we get to sing our favourite seasonal songs. In coming weeks, I will muse on some of my favourite ways to sing Christmas.

As with some of my favourite ways to enjoy Shakespeare, I quite like both traditional and reimagined ways of singing Christmas. Later in the season, I'll issue a warning to anyone who messes up my all time favourite carol. This week, however, reimagining Christmas carols receives more favourable reception.

A couple of years ago, a friend from my home town reimagined a whole bunch of seasonal songs, including this one, which stays closer to the original melody than some of the ot…

Throwback to courage in winter

On the day when my copy of Winter arrived, these lines seem a fitting  Throwback Thursday celebration, from my contribution to the book,  'We ask for courage', a prayer/poem for Christian Unity Sunday. 
Winter, ed. Ruth Burgess, Wild Goose Publications

Midweek Musing: body beautiful?

As a child and as a teenager, I was thin, could eat what I wanted. 
Then it all changed. 
Was it the depression, the not so good lifestyle choices because of the depression, the medication to help live with depression? 
Was it the hormone imbalance (PCOS - read about it, it's loads of fun), which who knows how that came about, inevitability, depression, medication, lifestyle choices ... ? 
I was not thin any more. I did not recognise the person in the mirror anymore. 

It took me most of my twenties to learn to like my body again, as it is. And I mean like it, love it: not settle, or come to terms with, or accept. 
I had to learn to approach exercise as something I would do for holistic health and wellbeing; would do because I enjoyed the activity and how I felt because of it. Punishing myself with aerobics and weights at the gym did not suit my personality. I tried to be the person who enjoyed the process, but it's not me. I enjoy walking, because under the sky I find God. I …

still throwing punches : tbt poetry continues


Midweek Musing: help (un)solicited

I asked Facebook friends. I received helpful responses from their experience. I also received further information which, in the voice in my head, sounded condescending and conveying a subtext of you're a child who knows nothing. But I asked, so getting annoyed is more my own sensitivity to being thought of as stupid than anything else.

But when I tell Facebook friends what I am feeling – sad, ill, in pain, homesick – and then get advice about how to fix it, my getting annoyed might be more excusable. For that advice is unsolicited.

Years ago I completed the Myers-Briggs personality scale. Some people find that scale and/ or all personality scales pointless, inaccurate, inadequate. I have found it helpful as a point of reference for understanding how I engage with the world.

I scored strongly on the 'NFP' side, with a balance of E/I. Briefly, this would indicate that I am intuitive, rely on feelings and perceptions for engaging with the world. I have heard the E/I balance d…

Midweek Musing: models of ministry

I have been pondering again the notion of the tent-maker, inspired by the apostle Paul who mentions his work crafting tents as a way of earning his living while on his itinerant mission to the Gentiles.

This image is often invoked as a solution to the challenge of diminishing resources in a church that still needs leaders, still ordains ministers. It is particularly encouraged in pioneer leaders, a designation sometimes applied to me.
As I pondered this approach to ministry, a random thought that occurred to me out of the blue one morning recently, I remembered how I felt any time someone suggested that I might like to consider 'tent-making', or bi-vocational, ministry.
Angry. Dismissed. Unseen and misunderstood.

Tent-making or bi-vocational ministry is not simply one 'one-size-fits-all' replacement model for an older 'one-size-fits-all' model of ministry practice. It will not suit every pioneer leader, for each pioneer leader, however many characteristics we m…

Throwback Thursday: to a dance, a moment

Find the whole poem in On Wisdom's Wings  (available from the author or MediaCom;  more titles from Sarah available through the publisher)
Help keep the poems coming : become a patron today! 

Midweek Musing: on trees, and embracing endurance

Observing the trees: Autumn.

As I note the leaves' changing colours,
I wonder – do they change colour in anticipation
of the shortening of the days, or
do the smaller hours of sunshine bring
about the fading colour, detachment
from the branch?

As I note the trees' undressing in
preparation for the lean times, I wonder –
how I might embrace the seasons of endurance
with trust and abandon, with hope
for the returning of the sun?