Category Archives: My vocation

A Song to bring in the New Year……

Much as I loved Christmas and wanted the new year to herald a new start of goodness and promise, somehow the dawn of the year always felt like a damp squib – watching TV, drinking (possibly too much), and if I was very formulaic, taking in Jools Holland’s Hootenanny followed by the fireworks competition to created the biggest spectacular show around the globe.  And then that song we sing – you know, that one that only 3% of the population know the words to (and probably fewer understand their meaning)…..

It has in the past made me feel very small and insignificant and somewhat purposeless.  This year I decided to do things differently, start as I mean to go on.  We started the beginning of Christmas eve as a church family memorising the verses of Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. (The Message)

 

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Trust like a child

Of course I feel insignificant – I am.  In the presence of the Creator of the Universe, the big ‘I Am’, I’m tiny.  And yet I was known and loved while I was still I’m my mothers womb (Psalm 139) and I am loved with the most unimaginably huge love (John3v16).

Next I spent time lovingly wrapping belated Christmas presents for my 104 year old Nana who I lived with for a year as a child and who I know looks forward to every one of my infrequent tracks over to Lancashire.  I want to do anything I can to help improve her quality of life, so reduced by loss of sight and memory. I hope that the illuminated magnifier and photo album with large prints of family together with a CD of many of her favourite songs will do just that.

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Moving on, I decided I would reflect on the words of the wonderful Rend Collective anthem to the tune of Auld Lang Syne (see below together with the link to a thought provoking You Tube video). This led me to other videos as inevitably happened and I stumbled upon the interview with the actor, Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ.  I am aware that many committed Jesus followers have not yet seen the film. I forced myself to do so – twice. The second time was more heart wrenching than the first but I wanted to appreciate just what the son of God had done for me and all of us.  The interview was astonishing. I’d been aware that Jim was a believer prior to taking the role.  What I hadn’t know was just how costly this was for him, physically and emotionally – and yet it appears to have been transformative. Rarely have I heard such intensity, purpose, humility, wisdom and direct challenge from a celebrity. Playing Jesus and taking up the cross literally can’t but change a person.

 

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So I have a choice – do I ignore this and do nothing with it or do I live in trust that the most wise and powerful being imaginable wants a relationship with me?  Knowing that I have already done the latter means that I am adopted into the everlasting family of God gives me both identity and purpose.

Now 2018 gives me a new perspective.

Rend Collective – For All That You Have Done

Artist: Rend Collective

Album: Campfire Christmas, Vol. 1

Your grace will never be forgot
Your mercy all my life
Will be my source forever song
My story and my light

From mountain top to valley low
through laughter and through tears
Surely the goodness of my God
Will follow all the years

For all that You have done for us
for every battle won
We’ll raise a song to bless Your heart
For all that you have done

You know our failures and regrets
You always led us home
Redemption’s arm has raised us up
Our triumph in the storm

For all that You have done for us
For every battle won
We’ll raise a song to bless Your heart
For all that you have done

(You’re faithful through the ages)

In unity we’ll stand as one
As family we’ll go
Shoulder to shoulder
Hand in hand
Into the great unknown

For all that You have done for us
For every battle won
We’ll raise a song to bless Your heart
For all that you have done

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Back to the future – will we still have an NHS?

30 years ago……..

In 1987 130 young and hopeful doctors fledged from Nottingham University with big plans for healing patients, sharing hope and health, holding hands……a journey of discovery and relationships.

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Every 10 years we have come back together to share our lives again, only a few of us are no longer here; a fond memory only, and in the summer we will toast their lives and smile as we recall the times we had together.  Those of us who soldier on giving succour to the ill, reassurance and advice to the well and try to pass on the years of wisdom gleaned to our junior colleagues are now wondering if at our next reunion in 2027 (!!!!) we will still be proud to be working in our wonderful national health service.  Perhaps we will no longer have an NHS.

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You may ask why I say that when the public are adamant that the NHS is an institution that these days is more sacred to people in the UK than the Bible.  Well here goes……

Even before austerity hit, the investment by the labour party had begun to plateau just as the percentage of GDP was approaching that of  our nearby neighbours in Europe (but still way below that spent by Scandinavia and the USA).  Since the combined efforts of poor government policies and  poor banking practices plunged the money markets into a downward spiral, public services have all been forced to make huge cuts in spending Continue reading