God has wonderful promises for us as we travel on through life and into later years.The best news is that,inside we need never grow old because He has actually promised to renew our youth day by day.

Isaiah 40:31



Friday, 30 October 2015

Lost in the Fog.....

Before I share another of my walks with you, would like to thank Gracie of  'One Saylor's Log' for the inspiration behind logging and blogging some of my walks.
Gracie's logs and blogs of her travels are far more adventurous than mine because of her location. I do encourage you to go and have a look at her web site, just for the glorious changing views of Mount Hood....

Right, before I start  must warn you that this post will be rather long!  Did try and cut some of the photos out but then it didn't make much sense at all and you wouldn't get a sense of my suburban/green fields environment....so shall we begin....

It is Tuesday 27th October at 9.30am when I set off, a rather damp and drizzly morning...

I am standing at the front gate looking down the street. The gate and gravelled front garden is the next door neighbour. All the houses are the same and attached in a blocks of six or eight. An alley way then goes down the side of the houses to give access to the back of our properties......


I have turned right and then right again at the bottom of our road and  am now out on to the busy main road walking up to a very busy crossroad and roundabout. It is rather misty.....



Turned right at the crossroad and approaching the  Pelican Crossing to get across the dual carriageway......see the green lights in the centre left..



Have crossed over the roads  and walking up a side road by houses towards the town boundary.
The 'double yellow lines' mean  "no parking at any time"...though often ignored!




Isn't this a glorious sight? Even in the damp and the increasing fog...



Am now at the town boundary where a large supermarket is situated to my right......you can just see it looming up out of the gloom. As I turn to my left ......


....this is where I am heading, down the lane and out into the fields and wood, visibility is poor and getting worse!!!


Had not expected the fog to be so heavy over the fields and it did rather spoil the surprise...sorry..



It did not make for comfortable walking at all, ...... my daughter would be a tad annoyed with me if she knew I was out here alone...but did have my phone with me....


You can just see the woods looming up out of the fog in the distance, decided that it would be best not to walk through the woods today...


The footpath I am on is actually the Bridle Path for the nearby stables and riding school, the horses have right of way over walkers. None about today!


Am finally nearing  the end of the footpath, straight down to the woods and turn left onto the road instead of straight through...glad to be nearing 'civilisation' once more. Perhaps it was not a good idea to come out walking  the fields, should have stayed on the pavements instead.


At last....stepping out onto the road that leads from the farm house just to my right out of the picture and up through the village and back onto the main road....



Isn't this a glorious sight? My church is just at the top of the lane here, to the right, just hidden by the trees. Will show you as I walk past....


Doesn't it look ethereal in the patch of sunlight?
Right....nearly home...follow the road round to the right and straight up past the few houses and  back over the town boundary again...


This is where we have been.....pity that the road signs are so close to the village sign, spoils the picture rather...

The traffic signs mean, cars can only travel at 20 miles per hour through the village and the sign underneath that means that it is a 'no through road'....it doesn't go anywhere, only to the houses.
Turn to my left to walk down the main road to the roundabout and here is this sign...


Great Grimsby has a chequered past and an uncertain future, and is much mocked by 'comedians' ...
Nearly home....


The busy crossroads where a large dual carriageway road meets two single carriageway roads and this huge roundabout.....


Nearly there, ....I now have to cross over two of these roads to get back to my street....


.....so I am going to put the camera away and concentrate on the traffic so I can get safely home to a very welcome cup of tea.

Do hope that you managed to get to the end and were not too bored by it all.




Monday, 26 October 2015

New Boots and Autumn Leaves


Have finally consigned my old and much loved walking boots to the bin, they were letting in water and not really practical for the wintry weather. So thought that I would share this morning's walk with you as I tried out my new boots.....

I love this time of year, all those fallen leaves to shuffle in. You are never too old to kick up the leaves.......unless you come across some one who has just spent a good hour sweeping them up into a neat pile; no matter how tempting that is!



For some reason  I like to walk  a route round  in a circle rather than  there and back.  So I set off from home on pavements  at the side of a very busy main road, then turn left at a junction of three main roads before turning left in to the nature reserve which follows the River Freshney, 


It never ceases to amaze me that  even though I live in the bustling suburbs of a busy town within a ten to fifteen minute walk I can be tramping along footpaths in woods, fields or this nature reserve.

There is a lake in the centre of the reserve, the reeds have become overgrown and  visibility is now limited. Soon they will have died down and all that will be above water will be the prehistoric trees...


One of this years Cygnets, not quite in full white plumage, still patches of grey. Not many ducks about today either. Wonder where they are all hiding?


Can you spot the Coot?


No idea what all these fluffy seed heads are from. 
The wind was carrying bits of the fluff away with it.


The sun had been shining when I started out on my walk, but now have been walking for about  thirty five minutes, not sure of the time as I rarely wear a watch, but a walk of three and a bit miles takes me about an hour. Anyway, turned my head to be confronted by this looming grey rain cloud.


If you look closely you can see the Cormorants perched on the tall tree to the right. They always over winter here on the lake. Last year we spotted eight of them.


See what I mean about the trees?  In the middle of winter when the vegetation has died down and there is a slight covering of snow they look like something out of an alien landscape.
Can you spot the Cormorants again? 
The two birds in the foreground are Seagulls, the Cormorants are at the back.


As I take the last bit of the footpath down towards the bridge over the river and back into suburbia, the sun comes out again....


........ and here we are, back to the traffic and housing estates. 
Another five minutes and I am home again. 

I opened the front door to be greeted by the smell of Vegetable Soup simmering  in the Slow Cooker.

Do hope you enjoyed taking a walk with me.










Saturday, 24 October 2015

Narcigesis





I  came across this new word  in an article I read this week. Had never heard of it before and wondered if it was one of those new 'made up/trendy words' that keep appearing in modern speech.

However, on further research, discovered that it is a noun taken from the word 'narcissist'.
According to the Greek myth of Narcissus, a young man fell in love with his own reflection in a pond, and his desire for himself consumed him.

Since eisegesis is a mishandling of Scripture, narcigesis is a clever term for those who take Scripture and personalise it. Making the bible verses all about themselves , taking passages out of context to fit into their personal lifestyles.

To understand narcigesis, we must first understand exegesis.

Exegesis is the preferred method of Bible teaching. It means explaining Scripture after careful study of the words, the context, and the Bible as a whole.

Narcigesis is quite a different theology. It explains a passage of Scripture with the focus on man, not God. Blending Scripture with cultural errors, narcigesis promises health, wealth and carefree living. Passages on personal responsibility and personal sin are ignored  or "reinterpreted." 

This is a brief description of what narcigesis  means. If you want to read further into the subject follow this link

Narcigesis is one reason Colossians 2:8 says,

 "Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ"

Monday, 12 October 2015

"For all the Saints...."



On 12 October 1915, British nurse Edith Cavell was shot at dawn by a German firing squad in Brussels for helping hundreds of allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium.

A century later, she is being celebrated in exhibitions and concerts in Norwich Cathedral and in public buildings in the city, and in the nearby village of Swardeston where her father was vicar and where she grew up.

Cavell was hailed as a Christian martyr concerned only with saving the lives of allied soldiers. Her execution provoked outrage in Britain. Egged on by the government, she was dubbed “our Joan of Arc” by the press.

“Everybody must feel disgusted at the barbarous actions of the German soldiery in murdering this great and glorious specimen of womanhood,” wrote Arthur Conan Doyle.

A headline in the Manchester Guardian on 22 October 1915 read: “Merciless Execution of Nurse Cavell,” while an editorial dwelled on the “callousness” and “brutality” of the German occupiers in Belgium, and the way Cavell’s execution was carried out quickly and secretly.

As All Hallows' Eve draws near on November 1st we remember the lives of all those gone before and those Christians who continue to be martyred across the world.

The Christian agency 'Voice of the Martyrs' defends religious liberty and contends that more of Christ's followers have been killed for their faith in the last century than in most of the previous centuries combined. The global evangelism movement reports an average of 165,000 martyrs a year, more than four times the number recorded in the last century.

'Amnesty International' brings to the public notice all those Christians imprisoned for their faith...there are many.

In this the twenty first century those countries that support religious freedom are experiencing increasing derision towards Christians. We can see it in the media, when academics; scientists; newspaper columnists; 'comedians'; radio and television programmes routinely denigrate people of faith.

 Here in UK there has been a rise in an aggressive kind of secularism which is intolerant of Christianity.   Some Christians sense that their ideas, symbols and activities are being marginalised.  As evidence of this they draw attention, for instance, to Christian images relating to Christmas being replaced with symbols of winter by some city councils.  In some situations Christians have found the implications of their beliefs to be unacceptable to their employers and they have been sacked for refusing to remove the Crucifix they are wearing

On UK television, Christians long to see themselves portrayed as normal and reasonable.  It is not uncommon for Christian characters to be presented in drama as narrow-minded or hiding evil intentions behind a show of religion.  This fosters an attitude of mistrust in which prejudice can thrive.

This persecution will increase, and it is a form of persecution, just as much as the  torture and persecution Christians face in those countries not tolerant of religious freedom.

With this increased secularism fragile convictions will collapse and the half hearted will become the cold hearted. Spiritual stowaways will jump ship by abandoning their faith. Many church goers will be exposed as faith pretenders  and not only will they leave the faith they will make the lives of the faithful miserable.

Makes for grim reading doesn't it?   But look around you, this is happening now to Christians here in the UK, and elsewhere.

Like Edith Cavell we should be prepared to die for our faith.



Friday, 9 October 2015

'Toeing the Party Line'......or not




As you know from previous posts I am a Novice in the Third Order of Saint Francis also living an eremitical life...as much as is possible within my urban environment.
The continuation of my journey to Profession  may be about to come to an end because I do not  'toe the party line'.

Let me explain ...in April  my particular Area saw a change in 'management' for want of a better word; that is a new Area Novice Guardian was appointed and unfortunately power has seeming gone to their head and numerous irritating 'new'  directives have been issued, none of which are country wide but personal edicts from the new ANG

First we had the edict that we  could no longer wear brown, we were to be 'individuals' in society rather than the Franciscan Community. Fair enough, am quite happy being an individual but am still a part of the Franciscan Community..then we had "no wearing of the Franciscan Cross"...or at least not on show.  So I reverted to my previous black wardrobe and my 'everyday cross', the San Damiano one is  at home. 

Then we had the very silly edict that we were not to refer to each other (fellow Franciscans) as Brother or Sister...this has just been totally ignored and we continue to use this greeting .

However, I remain an inconvenience because I do not' toe the party line' and do not accept the edict that I need  "permission" from the TSSF to live my chosen eremitical path.

Last time I looked we were free to pray and worship God as we please in this country and  no permission is needed as to how I should pray.
 
 So, an email informed me yesterday that my Novitiate will be "up for discussion" at the Area Pastoral Meeting in November. The outcome is a foregone conclusion  that  I will be deemed 'not suitable' to proceed forward to Profession.   A disappointment but not one that will alter my Franciscan commitment .  

Don't think that I have ever 'toed the party line' about anything...my Father taught me well , to think for myself, always ask questions, always make my own mind up and not follow the crowd blindly.


Great maxims to live life by...even though it means that friends are few and far between and you get labelled as a nuisance and an inconvenience.




On a totally different topic..... my daughter sent me this link , go watch it, a superb song by two great singers.