He Still Moves Stones!

He still moves stonesI was sharing at our last ‘open house’ on Saturday  the different  ‘joy busters’ that have been rolled across our path over the last 10 months.

There was the stone of a delayed operation, then the stone of discouragement with the reappearance of prostate cancer, then the stone of bereavement  on retirement and of leaving the job and church family I loved so much, then the stone of disappointment of not being able to do the Foreign Missions pastor’s job I was so looking forward to, then the stone of the debilitating effects of six month cancer treatment, and now the stone of the destabilising effect of moving from our home of 34 years. I also face the demands of conducting my father’s funeral on Thursday. So you can imagine my delight when Steve Rouse, the preacher at the Easter service this morning, began Continue reading

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Dressing the cross in Australia

Easter 11 040You’ve got to read this email we received from Australia of the impact of our Easter Sunday tradition of everyone in the congregation ‘dressing the cross’ with spring flowers.
Emma, working over here as medic last year, got ‘revived’ as she took part in our 40 DAYS IN THE WORD and then got blown away by our Easter celebrations , especially the way we transformed Good Friday’s stark, bare cross  by bringing it back to life on Easter Sunday morning by dressing it with hundreds of flowers.
She writes:
‘Since returning to Australia I am quite out of the loop what’s been going on in your life and All Nations – I’m sorry I didn’t realise you are unwell and receiving radical therapy for cancer. I will keep you in my prayers and hope you are recovering well – radiation therapy is a terribly brutal treatment (the hormonal therapy is new since I worked in oncology but I’m guessing it’s no picnic either).
I wanted to say I shared with my church back here in Brisbane  at our communion service the beautiful picture I took Easter Sunday last year at All Nations of the cross all overlaid with flowers. The process of watching the cross Continue reading

My dad’s £5 Wedding Ring

Live simplyJust before my dad died, he told my mum he wanted her to put his wedding ring on. They had bought it 66 years ago way back in 1946 for £5, and it never left his finger, still worn with pride, although it is now very thin, worn and bent and the pattern long gone. It kept slipping off his spidery thin fingers; he was anxious for it not to be lost.

In contrast mine has been known to slip off  (I’m on my third wedding ring after just 43 years of marriage !!) – and I’m praying I won’t lose it before tomorrow, the 28th March, our wedding anniversary or else I’ll be a dead man walking!

Dad’s ring was simple; it didn’t cost much – just a life time of learning how to love one woman. Not easy. Lots of biting the tongue, and doing the washing up!  But the value of that ring is priceless. Dad knew that he who finds a wife finds a good thing, and he intended to keep her.

Tomorrow I start out on my 44th year as a husband and then on the 11th April we will move away from our family, church, friends, neighbours, people we’ve known for years. It will be strange to walk to the shops and not hear two or three people call out ‘Hello Pastor Les’, and have children calling in on their way home from school to play with our dog Disney. Continue reading

‘I want my church back’

Bigger_King_finalI woke up this morning with the Palm Sunday blues!  I get them every year at this time, because of what I see Jesus doing on Palm Sunday. It’s so dramatic and challenges my comfy Christian lifestyle to its limits

Jesus riding, into Jerusalem on a donkey, went into the Temple and caused havoc! He drove out those who’d hi jacked the one place in the city that was supposed to be ‘God focused’ turning it instead into a religious money making institution. He knew that God’s longing was for Continue reading

Dad Dies

Charlotte4My dad died last Sunday after 92 long and full years. I’ll be taking his funeral after Easter and reading John 14, the passage he asked to have read which was given to him by his mum when he was baptised as a 15 year old just before the outbreak of war.

He worked so hard as a solicitor for the Metropolitan Police, advising on which cases should be brought before the courts, long days, sacrificing  much, so his three boys could have the best possible start in life. He loved all sports, especially football, tennis, fishing, and in later years representing his county in bowls.

He left two indelible marks on my life – the way every Sunday after lunch we would all get on a bus Continue reading

Ladder Holders LATEST NEWS!

Les in Sarita's jumperMy course of radiation which started in January finished on Friday; some emotional goodbyes with staff and fellow cancer sufferers. They say I will continue ‘cooking’ for the next two weeks like food coming out of a micro wave oven continues cooking long after the ping has gone!  I certainly didn’t feel well enough to go out for a promised celebration meal this weekend as I was looking forward to doing.

  • I have my last hormone implant this week which will be effective for the next month, then, as its effect and that of the radiation slowly fade, I should start to feel ‘normal’ again and recover strength. So glad we were given a few extra days before moving as there is no way I could’ve faced it right now; my body feels totally zonked out! Continue reading

Going Incognito

Pope Francis publiic transportOnly God could do this. Just when we think Christianity is nearly down and out in Europe, the Church of England goes and appoints a Holy Spirit filled Archbishop who keeps asking himself, what would the man in sandals do? and then the Roman Catholics appoint a Pope who begins his first day saying he wants to be known as Francis (the man of God from Assisi who had a heart for the poor and creation), and saying that the church should be ‘poor and for the poor’.

Minutes after the election result was declared in the Sistine Chapel, a Continue reading