Sunday, 2 December 2012

3 Kings & A Camel

Tonight we had a puppet show at church.

We laughed so hard I nearly cried.
I wish I had taken a video clip because it will be so hard to explain the episode with the camel to someone who was not there.

The three wise men, dressed as kings, were riding along on one camel following the star. The music had a certain beat to it that meant the puppeteers were jolting the camel & kings along forward for three beats and then flinging their heads backwards on the fourth beat.
A few times of this went ok and then one of the kings flung his head back so hard he lost his crown. Next time one of the kings almost disappeared as the one in front head-butted him but then to "crown" it all off the next time the camel head-butted the first king which resulted in him head-butting the second king and of course he head-butted the third king making all of them look like they were falling off the camel.

However the main problem lay in the fact that the camel had such a cute looking face that you had to forgive him & love him even if he may have almost killed the 3 kings.

Afterwards we came to the decision that the grown ups probably laughed louder than the kids.  We went through to have some refreshments and some of us were doing the camel dance (minus the head-butting of course) and saying how we loved the camel.
Christmas Card I sent the Church Kids

So what was the result of our Christmas Puppet Show? 

  • Children & adults both had a great time
  • Laughter brought lots of smiles 
  • Easy time of chatting with guests in the relaxed atmosphere
  • Everyone saw & heard the nativity story in a way they won't forget
  • The teenage puppeteers worked together to tell others the Message of God's Love
God is so good to us all of the time but often we don't see this and miss out on the great enjoyment we can have in our Christian walk, we forget to smile and enjoy being with others.

Perhaps we need to see & hear God's word in a way that we don't want to forget it but rather spread it around so that everyone can hear & see God's Love because God needs us to do that for Him, us - the ones who know it all first-hand.





Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Which Point of View?

Groupon deal, one night in Kettles hotel near Dublin, breakfast, free wifi.
Get to the room and tv is not easy to work, wardrobe hanging space is only high enough to hang trousers so nowhere to even hang a coat.
One of the bedside lights missing has obviously been broken off the wall.
Wifi very poor, keeps losing connection, and basically not even strong enough to show emails with pictures and takes ages to download emails on my ipad plus most apps keep saying there is no network connection.

Husband trying to work (when he should be relaxing but as usual something has cropped up) & calls are ok but some stuff cannot be done as he can't get things downloaded.

What's the solution?
Go home the next day early and forget about actually going into Dublin City.

       Is this the best solution?    Yes

He needs to access the data and it can't be done tonight here so he needs to go home to a good (better connection) to do so.
We can come see round Dublin another time because we are not so far away from it and anyway after over 20 years since last being there another few weeks or months won't matter.
I don't need to get too annoyed because it will only affect me and him and that's not fair on him when he has work deadlines and stress enough from that.
I also don't need to make him stay and go around the city for hours when he will still have his mind on work so it will not be so pleasurable for either of us and will actually only be more stressful for him with a deadline approaching.

How do I spend my evening while he is struggling with the laptop?
Well it is the evening when Sandy (not named after me) is about to hit the East coast of America so I'm watching all the news on CNN (one of the few channels available in the room).  We lived in the state of Delaware for 3 years quite some time ago but because of that I know places that are being mentioned, I have been to some of the places where the reporters are actually standing & later tonight Delaware is going to be hit by the effects of this storm.

So when I consider how many people are already with electricity because of Sandy and how many are going to be left homeless; I can put my couple of days into perspective and not allow myself to get distraught over our situation and certainly not put more pressure on a good, loving, hardworking husband with whom I have spent 35 years of married life and intend to share many more.

It all boils down to how we allow ourselves to view things.
If it is only from our point of view and not taking others into consideration then we are on the wrong track as we will never be happy and others will know how much we don't care about them.

God has given us instructions which are always for our benefit and one of them is about loving others.


               

         



Sunday, 2 September 2012

Stop & Let The Ducks Cross


Yesterday was just too busy a day.


Had to have a lie-in because it was Saturday and on Saturdays we have a lie-in followed by breakfast in bed unless we absolutely have to travel somewhere early.

Then preparation for packing for the drive back to our hometown for a family event only staying overnight but outfit for the event needed and then clothes to wear travelling, pyjamas, coat and of course all the things we will not leave without like the iPad, phones, etc.

Next came the Skype call with our daughter to talk about the notes I had made while proof reading her latest script. That was a long call well 3 calls actually because there was bathroom break and another break to check up on my husband Fred to make sure he was getting ready to go away and sure enough no, he was reading instead.
His punishment was to make the lunch but it was a very easy lunch to make.

Then the packing and the gathering up of the Sunday School materials & other things which had to go with us to be dropped off at church tonight on the way back from our trip.

A few other texts and phone calls fill in the gaps and we are finally ready to leave at 3.30pm to be at our first destination by 5.30pm and the journey will take us almost 2 hours. We need to arrive before 5.30pm to get parked and walk to the location where our younger son Daniel's band is playing at a culture event in Londonderry.

Then over to my sister's house for a light meal and chat and introduce our Daniel's girlfriend Suzie to my side of the family. Change of clothes and on to the restaurant for the Surprise 40th Wedding Anniversary for Fred's brother and his wife. Time to introduce Daniel's girlfriend to the other side of the family.

Back to my sister's around 1am and flop into bed.

At least we weren't driving up the road to Belfast like Daniel and Suzie.


There have been many days when it has been just one thing after another and I feel like I'm going through one stage just as the preamble to the next and so on, never really savouring each part of the day.

One such day was when we were on a trip to Belgium in 2004 to find a school for our daughter and find our way around before finding a house and moving there to live for over 6 years.

We were driving in an area near the airport and not sure of the road at all when we came to a lake. The road ran alongside this lake and it was the approach to a small town.

          Suddenly we had to stop at a zebra crossing.

                    What was unique about that then?

Crossing the road on the zebra crossing were a duck and 3 little ducklings.

We laughed hard at the fact that the duck was taking her ducklings across the road via the crossing, was she a very clever duck or was it just by chance?

Whichever it was it caused us to stop, be amused and it brightened our hectic day. I just wish we had had a camera ready for that moment but regardless of the lack of a picture the memory hasn't faded.
I often think of it fondly and remember how we enjoyed that simple action. That is actually the thing I remember most clearly about that short trip to Belgium.


We need to remember to stop and wait

When we are very busy we just go through the motions of everything but when we are forced to stop and wait at times we can find so many things.

We can find amusement in a little snippet of life.

          We can find a source of peace and contentment.

                    We can find gratitude to God for the unique times in our lives that are so special.

                              We can find joy.

We need to remember to stop and wait a while with God.




Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Waiting for ..........?


We have to wait for lots of things, some seem to take an eternity to happen and some not so long.  Some periods of waiting are long but seem shorter because you are in good company as you wait or you have something else to occupy you while you wait. 


 I rarely go anywhere without a puzzle to do, book to read or something to plan & a list to make when I know there might be something or someone to wait for.

I've waited for transport; I've waited for a journey to be completed; I've waited for an event to begin; I've waited for friends to arrive; I've waited for my mother while she was at hospital appointments; I've waited for my kids to get out of school or other events; I've waited for my kids to come home in the evenings; I've waited for my husband to finish a call for work so we can have lunch; I've waited for my father to come through an operation; I've waited for others when they've been busy talking to someone; I've waited for my husband to come home from business trips; I've waited at the dentist, doctor, hairdresser etc.

Then there are the things I've had to wait for that have involved a long period of months or years like waiting for Christmas, a birthday, my wedding day, each of the children to be born, a holiday time to arrive. 

There are also things that we don't consider we are waiting for but they are going to happen, the main example being the death of a loved one. 

During this month I wasn't waiting for the month to be over but now it is over and the time, as we are always saying, "has just flown".  

          What did I do and what did I not do?  

                     What was I waiting for that happened or didn't happen?

Well we had different visitors, we went to a wedding, we visited family etc.  
Those were some of the things we waited for and they happened.  

But what about the things that didn't happen?  

I waited for a good time to restart being serious about losing more weight - didn't happen, I waited for a good time to clear out the garage - didn't happen, I waited for a good time to think more about writing this blog - didn't happen until now the last day of the month. 

          Why did these things not happen?  

                    Simply because I allowed them not to happen.  

Always saying "not right now, too much else to do", or "not today, there will be another day when I feel more like doing it".  The whole month has gone and I could have done those things, but basically it was my choice not to.


We do not know how much time we have on this earth so what are we waiting for?

When I think of how easy it is for me to pass the month and keep simply putting things off to "another day" I can understand how many people put off thinking about the most important question in their lives - 


what will I do about Jesus?   

Putting it off to another day is not just setting it aside without a decision, like it is "pending", instead, it is the same as saying I don't want Jesus in my life.  

We cannot say "Jesus just hold on until I'm older, or until I have sorted out the rest of my life" it doesn't work that way.  We are really saying "yes or no" to Jesus each time we put it off.  





We do not know how much time we have on this earth so what are we waiting for?

The longer we wait to do something the harder it gets to actually buckle down and do it.
  
 Oh how the devil loves that because it keeps so many people 
just where he wants them  -  away from the Saviour.



Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Daddy ........ Chips???


Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!

Who likes to have to make them? there must be someone?

Several years ago there was a television ad for McCain oven chips

         Daddy ........ Chips?


Our family loved it and forever, yes even still now we go "Daddy.......chips", when there are two things we would like but have to make the decision between the two.

Oh why can't things be simple we often say. Sometimes I am heard to complain why do things all happen together, why can't we have events spaced out more? Why does one week have to be very busy and the next one relatively free?

Why is it that when you want to go away for a while there will be something just have to occur in the middle of that time frame?

Last month we were so busy and made several trips back to Londonderry each just for a few days but for several months before that we weren't back there at all.  Then I saw the clippers were coming into Londonderry at the end of the month but just felt that we couldn't really justify going back yet again. Sad to say we missed a really great event.

Sometimes I like to make the effort to do different things even if they are sort of smaller things but may turn out to be quite enjoyable. Last Sunday we went to Belfast to have lunch there with our son Daniel and then went on into the city centre to see the street theatre the circus school were organising. Fred was a bit dubious but I assured him we would have a relaxing time and be entertained. Well he enjoyed it - I could tell by how he clapped and laughed.

Now do we mention the restaurant or not?
Daniel says it is what you call modern /cool but I didn't think it was either. Food was okay, but I think that if I am paying to go somewhere and eat that I want nice surroundings and comfortable seats. I really don't want to be in a room where they have mismatched, chairs, plates etc.

Didn't have time to sample their coffee however and as it was an Italian place the coffee could have made a big difference.

I would like to go back to Belfast each Sunday afternoon and enjoy the Street Theatre so I'm praying for good weather each Sunday until the end of August.

It does make our Sunday rather busy though with Church in the morning, lunch, street theatres, preparation for the music for church in the evening and then church itself again.  However every day can be busy and we need to remember to keep time in each of those days for God especially on Sunday but not just on Sunday and that is often where we have to make another of those decisions   Bible Reading..........TV, Book, Tidy up etc.

Well we also had tea and biscuits after the evening service this Sunday so we didn't get home until after 9 o'clock to be greeted by the phone ringing and our oldest son Jonathan declaring
 "Are you only getting in now?   What kept you?   Well my day has been busy!"
He just had to hold on for a while until I made a cup of tea for Fred and got a coffee for me and then we sat down and listened to his day.

There could have been the temptation to say.

     Coffee........Jonathan ? 

but fortunately for him there are some pleasures you can have together and not have to make the big decision, because that could have been a difficult one, seeing how fond I am of my coffee.



Do you have a Daddy........Chips decision time?








Thursday, 28 June 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere?

Well not quite, but most areas in Northern Ireland are getting very heavy rain yet again today after the flooding in Belfast yesterday.  

Some great pics have been tweeted around and the papers are full of them too, especially the one of the police jeep half submerged and where can the police go but onto the roof.






We drove from Banbridge to Londonderry yesterday afternoon via Belfast and the journey was okay until we got closer to Londonderry and the rain came down so hard I could scarcely see a few metres in front of me.  We laughed and said thank goodness we live at the top of a hill and so does my sister (our destination).


Great visit seeing our new great nephew only one week old and of course taking lots of pictures of everyone provided they got close enough to the baby because, of course, he was the star attraction.  

We were actually celebrating so many things yesterday that our nephew declared it was like a mini Christmas with all the cards and gifts being exchanged.  

There was a new baby, a birthday, an anniversary, and a new home.


Then came all the news about the flooding, the many roads that were closed, the damage done to homes and businesses and about the way people were helping others like the guy with the surf board, yes I did say surf board, and the guy in the canoe/kayak.  The RNLI were out helping with 2 boats as well and the Red Cross were distributing aid.







Travelling back this morning was relatively rain free but now as I write this the rain is pouring down in Banbridge again and probably elsewhere too.  As we came through Belfast this morning to drop off our son most of the roads that had been shut down to traffic last night were open again but loads of damage done that will not be fixed up as quickly as the roads can dry up.  

Most of the talk in the coming days and weeks will be of how the flooding should never have happened, the council were not prepared for it etc. and the city will be rife with criticism and the caring, helpful people will not be talked about in all the major discussions.  I love the way these people I have mentioned and others didn't sit back and complain but got out there and helped in there own small but generous way.  There were probably many other good samaritans around the city who I will never hear about but they all deserve praise for helping others.  

They say there could be more flooding today and maybe tomorrow but then too there will be people who will step forward to help and show that they care for others.  This is something we should all be ready to do but usually we are too concerned with what irritates us rather than thinking about who we could make a difference for.  

We don't need to wait for something like a flood to happen but there are many ways we can look out for others, we just need to notice what their needs might be.

We don't need to wait for something like a flood to happen



We should ask God each day to make us aware of people we can help or even needs we should be praying for.





Friday, 8 June 2012

Olympic Torch Run in Northern Ireland - Xtra Special Day

On Monday 4th June 2012 we were delighted to return to our hometown of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to see our nephew Lee Kitson carry the Olympic Torch through part of the Waterside area. 






Lee is a good fencer, coach and referee, although where he gets this from is beyond all of us as none of the immediate family are very sporty but Lee has a good talent when it comes to fencing. He also started a Fencing Club in Jordanstown, Belfast in 2011. 



Lee with his mum & dad



Well I was armed with the video camera and Fred (my husband) was armed with one of his cameras, while Lee's mum and dad and brother and sister and brother-in-law also had cameras and video cameras.  As soon as Lee was left off at his starting position with his torch in his hand he became a celebrity.  

Later I asked Fred why he had taken quite a few photos of strangers with Lee only to be told that he didn't know if Lee knew them or not because Lee just stood and smiled and let everyone pose with him.  

Friends got pictures taken, children got pictures, grown-ups got pictures and teenage girls got pictures (that bit we could understand completely as Lee is a good looking 20 year old) and even the family managed to push in and get pictures taken with him.



Lighting the Torch

Then it was his time to run and we all got very excited seeing his torch being lit and taking over in the relay from a young girl.  Getting pictures and video was relatively easy when he was standing still but much harder when he took off on the run. Now we had warned him to run slowly so we could have more time to enjoy but Lee is about 6 foot 4 ins tall with long legs and running slowly for him is fast for someone like me (being quite petite in height).  



Me keeping up with Lee but not for long

Fred (who is 6 foot tall & a bit fit) ran along one side of the road stopping and turning to snap shots of Lee and I gallantly ran off on the other side trying to keep up with lee or even get in front of him to try to take more video.  

That was a laugh for everyone as I was out of puff in no time at all, even calling out to him to run slowly just got a laugh from him in return (plus laughs from the security guys running alongside him).

Needless to say Fred got some nice shots as he could easily keep up with Lee but I just have shaky, blurry video for that part.



Front Page of the Local Paper

Lee gets to keep his torch so he will have a great momento of that "Moment to Shine" as well as all the photos the family and other friends have taken.  He even got his picture on the front page of the local paper (the Sentinel) with a little write up inside and then also discovered he was on You Tube as part of the video of the Torch Run in Londonderry.
The next day he was on the go again and raised money for a local charity by allowing more pictures to be taken of him and the torch.





Lee with Fred & I

The City of Londonderry was also in the news because some people tried to disrupt the Torch Relay but I am grateful that those who ran and completed the relay around the city where not thinking of anything political but instead they were proud to represent their country (no matter what their religion) in this once in a lifetime opportunity. 


         
         The smiles on the faces of all the runners proved that.






Sunday, 3 June 2012

Praise and Old Friends

Fred (my husband) and I along with 2 old friends from university days went to the Keith & Kristyn Getty concert in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast last night. 

 The Gettys were joined by Stuart Townend who co-wrote the modern hymn "In Christ Alone" with them and also some other pieces. 

I have to say that I enjoyed the pieces Stuart was involved in most but overall it was a good night out made better by going with friends. 

The four of us had dinner first in Benedicts restaurant which Fred & I had only been to once before on the graduation of our son Daniel from Queens University (a great university but then I'm biased because both Fred & I studied there).  

We had been living in Belgium for over 6 years and had not seen these friends all during that time and also for a few years before that but when it is true friends the time gap doesn't matter.  Yes there is more to catch up on but the familiarity and the ease of conversation and the knowledge of the care and understanding on each side is still there.

True friendship lasts throughout any space of time.

Let's Praise and Thank God for Old friends (and New friends).


 This was the third night of concerts in the Waterfront for the Gettys and it is lovely to think of so many people singing God's praise there together.


Do you keep in touch with old friends?

I'm grateful for old friends, aren't you?




Friday, 1 June 2012

First Twitter, Now a Blog!

Last week I joined Twitter  (come follow me there)


@thearkpage



so this week I've decided to start a blog.


As of yet I'm not sure if I will write with a certain theme or perhaps I'll just write what I feel like at the time.


Anyone who knows me well or has visited my home will know that I am mad about Noah's Ark.
  






I collect pictures of arks, ark ornaments, ark material, ark picture frames etc.  

   
My email address even has ark in it.  



   Hence the name of this blog.



I'm also on Pinterest so why not click on the side bar to follow me there too.



To get to know more about me click on the ABOUT ME tab at the top.