Yr 2 – Day 38 – Sun 8 Oct – I was up at 6 to get the bus down to Northfields and caught the 8am train to Cambridge. It was a great journey and I finished of The New Pastor’s Handbook by Jason Helopulis, I’d lost it and then my father found it in Swansea. I think it’s a really terrific book that is useful for all in Pastoral Ministry. I also read Willie Still’s Rhythm of Rest and Work – it’s a very helpful book and refreshing. I feel I need to ponder it more but there’s great distilled biblical wisdom in it.
I was picked up by Peter Leverton one of the elders in CPC and the morning service is held in a school not dissimilar to us but a slightly smaller room. I found it hard going and preached on Psalm 16 , people were kind afterwards but they always are to visiting preachers. Hannah Lefroy who’s just gone to Cambridge to study came along which was encouraging. They are a lovely congregation and they’ve done well in the last year in an interregnum. Doug Macallum will be joining them the end of the month as the Associate Minister while they continue to look for a Senior Minister.
In the afternoon I was at the Leverton’s which was great fun, Heather was a student in Swansea when I was a little boy. We went to see little Leila Gibson’s grave, it’s still such a hard providence and so terribly sad yet she will rise. In the evening I was on Deut 6 and again didn’t find it easy to preach. Preaching is a mystery and sometimes there’s a feeling of it getting away from you in the very act. Sandra was across from Norwich so we piled back to Naomi Lefroy’s place before Daphne gave me a lift home. We were back just before 11.
Yr 2 – Day 37 – Sat 7 Oct – We were back at the Parkrun, both Noah and I got a PB! the feeling when the email arrives late morning giving you your time is a great one. There’s loads of house stuff to do still so we were finishing off jobs and had a nice day together. The kids were in lovely form. In the evening it was a joy to watch the Scarlets beat the Ospreys online and then there’s a cracking documentary on Chris Coleman on BBC, the Swansea boy done good. I can’t remember when I watched so much telly.
Year 2 – Day 36 – Fri 6 Oct – I had admin bits to do in the morning and then spent some time working on Matthew’s gospel. I met with Gethin, Chris and Donald and we began to discuss Gresham Machen’s Intro to the Nt which I think is wrongly neglected by people. We’re having a bit of a nightmare trying to find venues for Catalyst conference next year so I spent a couple of hours going round Ealing trying to find somewhere. Then in the afternoon I read through the elders application forms, we have 4 from Ealing being interviewed next Tuesday. It was really encouraging to read through these men who I know and have seen grown answer the theological questions in their own way but with clarity. There are also 2 new elders for Brentford and another 2 for Larbert.
In the evening I watched the Blues v Dragons game and our floor is finally down which was a good excuse for getting an Indian in
Year 2 – Day 35 – Thu 5t Oct – Chris Roberts picked me up and we made the trek over to Ilford. I’d invited all the Presbyterian Ministers I know in London for us to meet and pray. There were 9 of us there and quite a few couldn’t make it, the IPC, Simon Arscott spoke excellently on Exodus 5 “Don’t Quit and Reasons why shouldn’t quit”, just terrific material.
We all shared about our families and churches before praying for one another. It was a really great time. We’d done it before possibly 8 or 9 years ago now but it’s worth getting going again. I hope we’ll meet a couple of times a year. Afterwards I went into town from the East to meet with James Buchanan who is doing well in Liss, it’ll need a long term work there just patiently building the work.
Our kitchen floor is being laid so the house was a bit all over the place. Donald was with us for tea and then I did a quick Pastoral Visit in the evening before a flying trip up to IKEA and managed to get home before the end of the England match.
Year 2 – Day 34 – Wed 4 Oct – I spent most of the day on London Buses I had a visit to do in Hayes visiting one of our newborns and from there it was down to Chiswick. Apart from one family these are our furthest afield families. I’m a firm believer in the local church particularly in London and how likely it is for families who live further away to be involved long term I doubt. I saw Rob Ilderton by chance on the way back and then went to see another couple in Ealing. I managed to get reading done but it wasn’t the most productive day I’ve ever had.
It was the monthly prayer gathering in the evening and we had quite a few of our regulars away so were a bit lower.
Year 2 – Day 33 – Tue 3 Oct – I’m preaching in Cambridge on Sunday so this week allows me to catch up a bit on things. Donald was around in the morning and then I went to lunchtime talks – Gethin was on the parable of great treasure and the pearl of great price from Matthew 13. He had this great insight that the pearl of great price isn’t actually Jesus in the context but his people. For some reason that was fresh to me but beautiful. It was team meeting in the afternoon and then back here for some prep.
It was our monthly session business meeting and we had a good time, James gave quite a full report from Liss and there was helpful discussion on a number of issues. We were done by 9.30.
Year 2 – Day 32 – Mon 2 Oct – Our Child Minder Debbie had a Makaton course so I was on Child Care all day which rarely happens but I quite enjoyed it. In the morning we had Little Stars our Parents and Toddler Group which was good to see, the women involved in that ministry have been so faithful for years. I had to leave early for Phoebe’s speech therapy course. There were 3 children with their parents in the course, interestingly the other dad there was the vicar of St Gabriel’s Acton. It was back for lunch, Phoebe went down for a sleep and I did some reading, pick the kids up and do their homework.
I studied a bit in the evening before my friends from Wales arrived to stay Dai Hankey and Lewis Roderick, we were out for a Kebab with Gethin and then back to mine to talk into the small hours