Archive for December, 2010

Well… at last!! The Christmas build up is finally over and the holiday’s begin. I stayed at the vicarage till Christmas afternoon, after the morning service. The roads around the church were still covered in snow and Ice, and I had to dig myself out in order to get home. Christmas day had an array of events, from stuffing myself with food; opening numerous presents, and meeting family and friends, but was the build up worth only 24 hours? Some one said to me ‘ Is there any point for all this build up for only a day of celebration?’

You can take this view in two ways: 1) Yes 2) No.    Yes: The time and energy that it takes in order to prepare for Christmas is HUGE! It goes from; asking for lists of presents, to getting them, wrapping them  up, and either giving or sending them out! There is also an issue for the food! Christmas Dinner is for some people ‘the highlight of the year’.  It is amazing how much food we fetch in and consume in a period of 24 hours. The most frustrating is putting decorations up, and down!! The hours of fixing bulbs that have blown, or drawing pins that fall out, and blue tac that loses its stick! The rewards are a pretty house that looks festive. The end!!

No: Well the fuss of fetching tonnes of food is unreal!! The turkey that will last for a month! The sprouts that will be thrown down the garden, the crisps that are stale and small sausages that go green!  You could have a Big mac and fries, instead of a 4 course meal, and the hassle of washing up!!! The useless presents! Many people have presents that they can class as being ‘Junk’! It varies from old videos, to china vases, even plastic plates!! You could go to a car boot sale and collect all the rubbish, so why at Christmas?? The final thing is; the hangover!! The amount of work that goes in to it requires a months holiday!! It takes you longer to recover from it than it does for you to prepare for it, so there is no reason for you to get a present in September!!!!!!!! (refer to Tesco)!!

This is not a debate that I’m worried about, but I feel that people are getting a bit tired of preparing for Christmas, and they fancy just to give up!!! If you feel like that then why don’t you cut down from this year? Make next year, a complete refreshment of simple food, and simple presents !

I have two weeks off and they will be different! I have a conference on the 5th January and then I’m back in position! Watch this space! There are a lot of new and exciting events going on in 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a live update of how the MT feels….. rough. It was my round to pick up the vicarage bug, but I don’t feel as bad as the other sufferers. The drugs are working and I’m trying to get enough sleep to recover some strength. What is worrying me at the moment is the weather. It’s getting colder (which is obvious for this time of year), but when you have a cold; you notice it more.  As I returned from my day off, I was shocked. My car was at least a foot deep in snow. Oh dear!! Well I dug it out, and got it going. It was time to face the traffic. On the M6, heading south towards the M5, I hit the traffic quickly.

The radio was very useful. The BBC WM station was the source of knowledge about the roads, and it advised us that the traffic was held up because of accidents and breakdowns. I followed the guidance from the radio, and followed a Kingsmill lorry towards West Brom, and that helped me get through the snow. It took 2 hours, and I was safely home. Thank God for guidance and care!!!! 

As the count down to Christmas is nearly over; the number of services increase, but even though I have a cold, and it’s getting colder, this MT is still going to fight on!!!!! 

If you could pray for the people stuck in traffic over this week, that would be great!  Can you also pray for those who can’t/ or find it hard to get out of the snow, because they need it more than me!!

It’s that time of year again when the nation goes mental!! Christmas to an average person on Oxford Street could be; ‘ A time of Joy’ ‘A time of presents’, ‘ A time of family’, and others it could be ‘ A time of food’!!! They are general stereotypical views of how some people describe what Christmas means to them. What does it mean to you??

The main reason why this blog has gone quiet the last few weeks; is due to the time constraints that an MT has on an average week. The work load is getting heavy, but also challenging and interesting. The other day, someone said to me, ‘Do I have time to pray and have time to myself?’ That question made me think about how much I put in to pray and devotional time. The busyness of Christmas is stressful and noisy, but are we having time for ourselves to think about the time of Christmas. Part of Jesus’ preparation before his death was done in prayer. We who have busy lives need to realise that, we don’t work our socks off to put your feet up on Christmas day. We need to balance our time of reflection and prayer along with the rest of our lives. It is very hard, and you shouldn’t feel rotten, or guilty if you don’t balance it out. It just means that you’re not being disciplined in your relationship with God.

Someone said to me when I was younger that if you put God on hold over Christmas; its like leaving your best friend on hold on a telephone, waiting for you to reply. Do we reply back? Are we making the conversation?

The days go by for me, and there is always time for me to pray, and give time to God.

The highlights for an MT so far are: The enjoyment to be in a parish with so many wonderful people, who do have problems of their own, but have the time to think of others: The love and grace that is found under the roughest of places: the opportunity to see children understand what Christ has done for them: And the vicar’s wife baking!!

I wish that you may all have a wonderful Christmas, and a resourceful New year!!!