Saturday, December 29, 2007

and the three mystery days...

I'm too tired to create, so I'm sharing this great classic Christmas song from up north here.
It's just audio, but you can imagine the greatness!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I think it was the Tao of Pooh that mentioned one cannot save time only spend it...

Well. It seems that there has been a landslide of time being spent... So much so, that it seems the bank is overdrawn.

So if we can't save time, only spend it; what happens when there seems to be none left?

One scenario: get sick and lose one's voice. Thus going into more time debt.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Five: Preparation, preparation

Prayers go out to Sally as she writes:
This has been a difficult week for me, the death of a little six year old has overshadowed our advent preparations, and made many of us here in Downham Market look differently at Christmas. With that in mind I ask whether you are the kind of person that likes everything prepared well in advance, are you a last minute crammer, or a bit of a mixture..... Here then is this weeks Friday 5:

1. You have a busy week, pushing out all time for preparing worship/ Sunday School lessons/ being ready for an important meeting ( or whatever equivalent your profession demands)- how do you cope?
Just kinda barrel on through. Although a good glass of red wine at the end of the day often helps...

2. You have unexpected visitors, and need to provide them with a meal- what do you do?

Behold, the power of cheese. We always seem to have cheese available in our household. We love the cheese, and our lovely cheese monger - who we make a pilgrimage to at least once a month- has us set up well, ready for any and all people who come to share the beauty of cheese. Oh. and wine. maybe Belgian beer as well....

3. Thinking along the lines of this weeks advent theme; repentance is an important but often neglected aspect of advent preparations.....
When I lived in Russia I was first introduced to the idea of Advent being a mini-Lent, of sorts. The orthodox priests described it as the 'short' fast. Since then I've come to appreciate colleagues and friends who take this time to return to the source, either by cutting things from their diet, or purposefully stay away from the capitalist Utopia which we call Christmas shopping. Advent is a call to return to our source.

4. Some of the best experiences in life
occur when you simply go with the flow.....
Hmmm. Not an easy statement for us type A personalities to, uh, flow with.

5. Details are everything, attention to the small things enables a plan to roll forward smoothly...
Well, details are important, but not everything. There is enough of a rebel in me to enjoy some unexpected aspects... especially when I am reminded that I am not in charge of everything, the world does not rest on my shoulders, it's like the quote I have in the front of my calendar:
"You are not totally, personally, irrevocably responsible for everything.
That's my job.

Bonus if you dare- how well prepared are you for Christmas this year?
Ha! I laugh at the thought!
Are we really ever prepared for Emmanuel?
Emmanuel is ready and waiting for us

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

early, early morning wanderings

I woke up at 4:07 this morning.

Actually, that was what the clock said when I finally gave up on finding a comfortable sleeping position, and turned to see how middle of the night it really was.

It has been a few weeks since I have woken up thinking (OK, obsessing) about things. Usually my tendency is to wake up around 1:30 or 2am, but 4pm, well it's just late enough in the morning, that falling back asleep will really mess with the REM cycle.

So, I got up. The worries about everything: from trying to quiet down folks during the prelude to worship, to finding money to increase staff salaries, to broaching the topic with my folks about bringing the dog with to Christmas celebrations, to getting the press release out about the concert... the list goes on.

What is it about laying (lying?) prone at 4am that starts this tidal wave of thoughts, concerns, worries and fears. Everything is amplified as I look up at the bedroom ceiling. Everything seems to rise or fall based on my ability to keep the people in pew 3 on the right from talking during the music director's prelude.

So, I rose, grabbed a notebook and started writing down everything that was swimming in my mind. Set it aside, made the coffee, prepped food for supper tonight, cleaned up clutter in the rooms of the house, and waited for the light to come.

And as it gradually got lighter, the fears and worries melted away. No beautiful sunrise, just a growing glow. No epiphany of understanding, just a steady dissipating of fear.

The light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it.