Day 312 – Wed 12 July – I did a load of adminy/ planning stuff in the morning and then got on with painting. It seems to be taking forever, there’s a deadline of painting in the loft to be done by Monday. The other slight disaster was in trying to move the metre, we (the builders and I) weren’t ready for the appointment so the electric company arrived and wouldn’t wait for the hole to be dug out. We’re back to square one trying to get appointments so at some point it’ll be hours on hold again. I was painting in the afternoon and then got some reading done.
We had our first summer prayer meeting which was well attended and went through the Lord’s Prayer, 3 or 4 folk praying after every petition. It worked well and there was good comeback after it. It makes people think in how they pray and allows Jesus to set the priorities in prayer. I wouldn’t do it everytime but it’s probably worth throwing it in occasionally.
My favourite book on Pastoral Ministry is “The Work of the Pastor” by William Still, he had a remarkable 50 year ministry in Aberdeen and his writings in many ways are unique, sometimes quirky but it’s freshness and wisdom shines through. I found the below very helpful…..
“Next to the Ministry of the Word, the most fruitful pastoral duty is to help all sorts of odd sheep to live together, and show them how to live in the world amongst goats without becoming goats. One of the great lessons of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is how the saints should fit in together. The greatest sin is to refuse to fit in, and want to stick out like a sore thumb, drawing attention to oneself. Some have to be shown by the Word, and in private conversation, that soul-cure is largely a matter of learning to live and worship together. The testimony of a true Christian church ought to be how Christians love one another including the ‘odd bods’. Christ likes odd bods. I sometimes say nearly all the fruitful Christian ministers and fruitful laymen I know, are odd bods. But they are odd bods with a mission, a mission to fit other odd bods, along with themselves, into a fellowship” (p51)
Day 311 – Tue 11 July – I got up early to have a go at the painting, radiators need to be hung and carpets arrive next Monday so the loft really needs to be finished by the back end of this week. Chris Roberts popped in and then the three of us had a meeting with Gethin, we’re going to try and meet weekly to pray and hopefully read some books. We’ve pretty much mapped out who’s preaching till Christmas.
Donald was speaking at ELT, it was his first time preaching and he did very well indeed. He was on Colossians 2:6-15. He was good on the text, lots of content and some really helpful illustration and application. There’s lots to work but the raw material was there. I was so encouraged to see how he’d taken on board lots from Cornhill.
I had a couple of Pastoral Meetings that afternoon and then was painting and moving things for Electricians to come in. I made it back to 5 a side last night, a returning hero!! It was great to be back with them.
Day 310 – Mon 10 July – I was supposed to have gone to York to meet with representatives with EPCEW but we had enough men going and with Ellie and Phoebe not being well I felt I didn’t need to be there. The girls were in much better form, Phoebe still had a bit of a temperature but Ellie is fine, too fine.
In the morning I did some reading ahead, my three Rainbow sermons are pretty much done! When we were at my accountants on Saturday he challenged me that if I could get my tax return done by Wed night he wouldn’t charge me so in the afternoon I attacked it with venom and unbelievably to me (and even more so to my wife) I got it done. It took most of the evening too.
Day 309 – Sun 9 July – The girls were sick overnight so Claire stayed at home with them. I was leading the service the services, Chris Roberts preached excellently in the morning from Haggai 1. Great on the text and I think he’s found his own voice in his preaching. It did me the world of good to hear it. We welcomed 6 new members into the church from Portugal, Brazil, Spain and Wales. Geoff Thomas was out again with us, it always encourages me just to see him.
Noah was at the Cradock’s for the afternoon and so it was very chilled at ours. Will Allen preached at night and did a fine, fine job in Matthew 8:5-13 on the faith of the Centurion. He’s done really well in his two weeks with us and has got huge potential.
Day 308 – Sat 9 July – We had an undisturbed night which was good as the kids haven’t been that well this week. Dad, Noah and I watched the Lions at our neighbours over the road, it was a magnificent game. It’s an incredible achievement, I’m a Gatland fan and think he’s done a good job. There was the usual chores and array of things for the house we needed to get. My parents left after lunch and we headed down to some friends near Epsom who have a pool in their garden. The kids and I were in and out of the pool all afternoon and had a great time. Sadly little Phoebe isn’t keeping her food down at the moment, so mealtimes are a little traumatic but inbetween she’s right as rain. We were back just after 7 absolutely exhausted.
Day 307 – Fri 7 July – I was out of the house before 5 to get to Heathrow for a 7am flight to Edinburgh. I had a free morning and so went to the Scottish Gallery and had the most magnificent cooked breakfast. I had to take a funeral in Edinburgh a few years ago and got taken to the Gallery then for breakfast, Haggis is a fantastic addition to a full English/Scottish. The commission for the church in Kyle was meeting and we met at the Edinburgh Theological Seminary. It wasn’t an easy meeting but I think we made some progress.
Afterwards I caught up with Iver Martin the Principal of ETS, Iver had preached at a weekend for us in Ealing about 8 years ago. The plane was delayed so I had a few hours at the airport and managed to get some reading done but Edinburgh airport is a pretty soulless place. I was home about 11.30pm so it felt a long day.