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

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Product versus Process?

I belong to a weekly 'Knit and Natter' group  at Church.
There are ten or twelve of us, not all knitters, we have two crocheters.

Last week I decided to do a straw pole to see why we knit/crochet.
Out of twelve crafters I was the only one who declared themselves to be a 'process knitter'

If you are unsure of what this means, here is a good article that explains the definitions.

I knit, anything, just for the joy of knitting. Most of what I make gets given away to the Salvation Army......

But the process knitters, knit fast and furiously to achieve the goal of the finished object.

Amongst our group of twelve, three ladies run Craft Stalls, so they knit and sell for profit.
Last week one lady was complaining that she was over run with orders and had to spend all her time knitting...now where is the fun in that?

The others are busy knitting items throughout the year for the "Operation Christmas Child" shoe box appeal, not a charity that I support for a variety of reasons, no need to air them here.

It does seem a shame to lose the pleasure of knitting to the call of profit. But that's just me.

A book revue:-

I picked this up on Amazon a few weeks ago, was intrigued by the title and am a fan of Stephanie Pearl- McPhee

Here is the revue from 'Goodreads'

"The tangled life of the knitter is the subject of inspired nuttiness in 300 tongue-in-cheek meditations from the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. At Knit’s End captures the wickedly funny musings of someone who doesn’t believe it’s possible to knit too much and who willingly sacrifices sleep, family, work, and sanity in order to keep doing it. Covering everything from the deadly “second sock syndrome” to a pile of yarn so big it can hide a washing machine, this hilarious collection will have knitters in stitches!"

Am  about half way through, it is one of those books you can pick up at odd moments and it cheers you up.

Can highly recommend it


Friday, 1 December 2017

Winter has arrived

Each Thursday I join my daughter as she takes the dogs out for their mid morning walk.....yesterday was rather fun as we ended up walking in a blizzard.

It wasn't snowing  when we set out.

But as we walked over the bridge that leads into the Nature Reserve the heavens opened and it was a white out.
I thought a dense fog had suddenly descended but daughter said that it was just the thick snow.

One of the dogs loved it (see top photo) and ran and jumped about enjoying himself.

The other one did not enjoy it very much (see above)
This dog spends most of her time in the river chasing sticks we have to throw in for her.
For some reason she never goes in by herself.
This worked to our advantage yesterday though as it meant that she stayed out of the freezing water...but she was definitely not happy about it!

It was very eerie, no other dog walkers about  (I wonder why?)
The Cormorants who over winter and perch precariously in these trees were also nowhere to be seen and we wondered where they had gone to shelter.

All we saw were the water fowl sitting tight on the lake and the Heron tucked snugly in his usual spot in the reeds.

We had fun walking in all this snow but glad to get home .
The temperature outside read -11"C

Winter has arrived

Monday, 20 November 2017

Fake News

The ‘silly season’ is upon us again, the season of “fake news”

I may be a Christian, but am also a Theology Graduate and learnt how false the nativity story is. Though my Father had explained this to me long before, and the relevance of other Pagan Festivals to the Christian Church

 It was written a long time after the gospels, just added on to the beginning to make the story popular for the growing audience.

There is very little in the gospel narratives that are historically accurate. We are fortunate that there is a wealth of historical writings available to be studied to compare the accuracy of the bible, not just the nativity story.

Jesus was not born on 25th December, sorry folks...
 It is a ‘man made festival’
Christmas like all Christian festivals are taken from the Pagan festivals held at the same time.

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. 
Many people rejoice during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight

In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, 

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.

Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth. Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival.  

 First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia and beyond

Accurate and well documented by contemporaries are the last three years and death of Jesus....that is the most important thing to Christians, Easter, not Christmas and is the time we should hold dear

 Sadly many churches do not really mark the whole of Lent as a time of prayer and preparation, concentrating only on Holy Week and the final days. 
We have it the wrong way round.

Ask yourself this question.......does it really matter that the nativity story, is just that, a story, “fake news”?

To me, it matters not, what does, and what is the main stay of my faith is that Jesus, died on that Cross, for me, my sins placed him there. But I am saved by grace, unconditionally, uncondemned.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Recipe for Rebecca

Nut Cutlets 

Letter in post Rebecca, but thought it simpler to post this recipe here for you.

Take care.

1 medium-sized Onion, peeled and finely-chopped

1 oz/30gr Butter (or tablespoon oil)

8 oz/250gr mixed chopped nuts - these can be cashews, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, etc (a variety makes the flavour more interesting)

4 oz/120gr fresh Wholemeal Breadcrumbs

½ pint Vegetable Stock
2 teaspoons (10ml) Yeast extract (Marmite)

Handful of herbs chopped (I use fresh basil, oregano and parsley)

1 medium egg, lightly-beaten

A further 4 oz/120gr fresh breadcrumbs

1. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the onions until they're transparent but not brown

2. Grind the nuts in a liquidiser/food processor; blend them in with the breadcrumbs.

3. Heat the stock and yeast extract in medium saucepan, then add the herbs to this, and then mix in with the nut and breadcrumb mixture.

4. Allow to cool a little then taste for seasoning. You may not need much salt, this will depend on the saltiness of your stock but pepper adds interest. If you wish to make the cutlets more manageable now is the time to mix in the egg.

5. Form the mixture into 6 burger-shaped patties, and then lightly coat these in the 2nd batch of breadcrumbs.

6. Chill the cutlets in the fridge for a while (a minimum of 30 minutes) to firm up.

7.To cook: Gently fry the cutlets for 3 minutes on each side, or until they're golden.......or bake in the oven, which is what I do because we don't eat fried food

Monday, 30 October 2017

Christianity and War........where do you stand on this issue?

Here in England the 11th November and is also known as Remembrance Day. 
(or Armistice Day)

It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, back in 1918. 

A two-minute silence is held at 11am to remember the people who have died in wars

There is also Remembrance Sunday every year, which falls on the second Sunday in November.

On this day, there are usually ceremonies at war memorials, cenotaphs and churches throughout the country, as well as abroad
The Royal Family and top politicians gather at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, for a memorial service.

On this day, there are usually ceremonies at war memorials, cenotaphs and churches throughout the country, as well as abroad.

The Royal Family and top politicians gather at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, for a memorial service.

The first two-minute silence in Britain was held on 11 November 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe a silence at 11am.
This was one year after the end of World War One.
He made the request so "the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead".  world, with state violence and injustice

However.................. this act of remembering the glories of war and the waste of untold lives unnecessarily is something I, and many other Christian Pacifists refuse to take part in.

Jesus's teaching is incompatible with waging war

Central to Jesus's teaching is the message of love for God, our neighbours and specifically our enemies.

A christian church should not support or justify any war of any kind.

We are to do good to those that attack us and not return violence with violence.
Violence achieves nothing. Talking achieves far more

This message is all the more urgent in today's world, with state violence and injustice creating terrorism. 

The UK is one of the worlds biggest arms dealer, and this arms trade is flourishing by encouraging the many intrastate wars.

Not to mention North Korea and the USA's thoughts on using nuclear weapons.

Humanity's very survival is threatened.

Military means fail to bring lasting solutions.

Active opposition to war should be central to our Christian witness
Which is why I wear a white poppy and boycott any  remembrance services. 
Which is why I am a Conscientious Objector ( as were my Father and Grandfather before me) and a member of the Peace Pledge Union

Fellow Christian...where do you stand?

The Throne of Weapons is a 2002 sculpture created by Cristóvão Canhavato out of disused weapons. It is owned by the British Museum and has been called the Museum's most "eloquent object" and has been shown in a wide variety of way