Monday, 8 October 2012

service reflection

Yesterday 7 October, I led the service at GMC my home church.  the service had a congregation of about 70 people with a mixed age range.  Before the service I was quite nervous, but aware of the blessing of the Holy Spirit.  The theme of the service was radical love and extreme trust.  Initial feedback has been positive which is encouraging.  My parents came, and enjoyed the service along with a family friend.  The sermon seems to strike a chord with several people in the congregation. The worship team were on top form and gave a wonderful rendition of "Looking in the sky".    I look forward to preaching at GMC again.  Several members of the church had a role in the service even though I was involved from start to finish.  My wife Carol and youngest daughter also gave wonderful approach readings at the beginning of the service, giving the service a family feel to it.  Praise God!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Walking with God

I originally wrote this piece 2 summers ago, but think it is still relevant.  My Knee still hurts from time to time but what is important is the trust in God and the growing of relationship with him.  Today I read a blog by Anita Mathias of hanging out with God.  Such a true perspective on life and what matters.  I therefore thought I would share this again.  I hope you enjoy.

Just before I was due to go for elective surgery in late August, I had a dream in which I heard what I believe to be God saying to me "Walk with me".  it was one of his normally short discussions when I get the hint these days that something interesting and hard is going to happen.  This happened once before and I hadn't listened properly, to my subsequent pain.
On 28th August I duly went in for my surgery a simple arthroscopic menisectomy.  I wasn't expecting a problem but I was aware that god had forewarned me of something on the horizon.  I left the day ward, the only person unable to walk under my own steam.  Me, a physiotherapist being wheeled out in a wheelchair by my wife who herself suffers with chronic pain and an inflammatory arthritis.  Oops.
I had lost function of my quadriceps muscles, the knee straighteners.  I gradually improved over the next 7 days but no real improvement with muscle strength.  Then on the night of 7th Sept I suddenly started to get severe left knee pain - the one I had the surgery on.  I eventually went to meddoc the following day and was subsequently admitted to medway with a possible infection. An extremely long wait in A & E and I was admitted to an orthopaedic ward where when seen by the consultant the following day was put on IV antibiotics and told I may need a further washout. that night I became aware, and I don't think I was hallucinating of an angelic visitor in my side room.  This was not visible, but I was aware that I was not alone, and that I was being held. I have never felt so safe.  I eventually had a further washout with to date good results.  I am still having problems but i am getting better and I am certain that I will finally get back to nearly normal.  The real point of the journey is that I have learnt what so many patients have to go through.  The discomfort of IV cannulas, especially when they fail - mine did twice.  The boredom of being in hospital, the need for books and friends and above all the need for God.  I have been lucky.  I had a warning, and somehow these days i seem to be listening better.  God didn't spare me from any of the pain or discomfort, or any of the ongoing physical problems, but it is all about relationship.  In the end, I feel blessed.  I am due to preach this weekend at my home church, such an honour.  The theme - Radical Love and Extreme Trust.  I feel that I have been lucky and honoured to live part of the latter recently.