2010

Curate’s Corner: November 2010 – January 2011

Curate’s Corner: November 2010 – January 2011

A few days ago I was talking to a parishioner who had just suffered a major trauma. We both agreed that it is good we cannot tell the future, because we couldn’t bear the bad times and we would lose the excitement of the good times. And we all have many good times as well as some almost unbearable bad times. Over the past couple of months my mum-in-law has been ill and I have seen too many people hurt from illness and death. Friends have witnessed ones they love doing silly things and none of us is immune from the perilous state of the economy. In other countries we hear of wars and natural disasters, with much suffering. On the other hand I have been to weddings, enjoyed having the family together before Gareth goes off to South America for six months and witnessed an amazing change in Sarah’s life following a small operation. And there have been many other special moments. (even Notts Forest have won a few football matches!) So while we cannot tell the future, we do know someone who can. And of course that is our God and creator. The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. This includes being born and dying, weeping and laughing, and at war or at peace.. W e also worship a God who literally knows absolutely everything about us. He created my inmost being and he knows my lifespan. He even knows the number of hairs on my head! So as we move through autumn, into Advent, Christmas and the New Year, so we can look forward to celebrating the birth of the Christ child. Because with Jesus as our Saviour our ultimate future is full of hope, joy and peace. May your good times outweigh the bad times, but may all of your journey through life be accompanied by the Spirit of God. Allow him to laugh with you, cry with you, comfort and support you and be surrounded by his love. God bless....

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Curate’s Corner: September 2010 – October 2010

Curate’s Corner: September 2010 – October 2010

Much has happened since the last bulletin came out at the end of May. One football season has ended and another has started. Spain are World Champions and Northern Ireland still cannot score a goal. Our summer has been fairly forgettable but we have not suffered any major disasters like Pakistan or China. We have a temperate climate with no very warm summers or very cold winters so we have much to be thankful for. But yet we still get the odd surprise. At Summer Madness on the Sunday a lot of tents were destroyed in the gale force winds. We had some very heavy rain over the summer and yet on the day of the Summer Fayre the weather was lovely. Marlyn and I have spent quite a few hours on the wee golf course at Benone and it is surprising how often the weather has been fine. Maybe we only notice the bad weather, not the good! And life is a bit like that. When things are good we carry on and never consider what might go wrong. Then we get sick or a family member is ill, and we realise how important our health is to us. And if any sort of disaster happens we blame God! But God really does know what is best for us (he made us after all) and when we submit to him we can face anything. So as we move into autumn and leave the summer behind, we perhaps need to reconsider our relationship with God. Will we serve him and those around us, or will we only look to ourselves? I believe it is time for us as individuals and as the body of Christ to recognise our own faults and weaknesses and allow God’s Spirit to work through us for the good of all. A lot has changed in our parish over the past few weeks and months but there is still much to do. But together with God’s help we really can transform this Community and see a real change in the lives of our neighbours. And the biggest change may well be in our own lives as we allow God to transform us! So look forward to the future with hope and confidence. Jesus is alive and with his Spirit in our hearts and the love of Christ surrounding us we can together accomplish things way beyond what we imagine. God bless...

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Curate’s Corner: June 2010 – August 2010

Curate’s Corner: June 2010 – August 2010

Over the past few weeks we have all been swamped over the past few weeks we have all been swamped with talks of elections, then talks about coalitions and finally we have a new government. No-one is totally satisfied but at least we have a government elected by the people and hopefully working on our behalf for the good of us all. I am a democrat. I may disagree with election results but I will always accept the result – at least I think so! It is a bit like a football match. We may not like the score at the final whistle but if we don’t accept it then we only make life difficult for ourselves. But some things are not up for election or for a vote. As Christians we worship the God who made this world and it is his. We have a responsibility to take care of it and to use the resources of the world for our good and the good of all, but it is not ours. We are merely stewards and God is the owner, ruler and ultimate authority. Some people choose to ignore this fact and lead a life without even considering God. But what a mistake. Life without someone perfect in charge is bound to be more difficult than following God and going where he leads us. We can ignore his rules and do our own thing, but what we cannot do is change God’s rules. We also cannot avoid the consequences!!! So this summer, how about we accept the election result, we accept all the sports results (including the World Cup) and most importantly we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. With him we always win and eternity in heaven awaits. Happy holidays...

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Curate’s Corner: April 2010 – May 2010

Curate’s Corner: April 2010 – May 2010

At the beginning of March Marlyn and I went over to Glasgow for the weekend to see Gareth our eldest son. He is working there as a dentist and enjoying the beginning of a working life. What the future holds for him or our other children only God knows. And I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. While in Glasgow we got a phone call from Andrew, our other son, to tell us he was at the Royal Victoria Hospital having broken his leg playing rugby. If we had known, would we have gone to Glasgow? If we could see the future, there would be no more surprises and no more unexpected treats. But imagine knowing something bad was about to happen. How would we cope? One of the joys of life for me is watching live sport on TV, especially the rugby internationals. But what if I knew the score every time before I watched the match? Or missing the excitement of Christmas day, holidays and so on. I am quite glad not to know what the future holds and instead I can look forward with hope, sometimes fear, often uncertainty but always knowing that while the near future is unclear, my eternal future is secure. So this lent, as we approach the Easter season, never forget that while our time here on earth is uncertain and can change in an instant, our hope rests not on the world, but on an empty tomb in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. I am looking forward to the future and watching our children’s future unfold. I don’t know what will happen, but our God knows and that is good enough for me. May you feel blessed and loved this Easter. God bless...

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Curate’s Corner: February 2010 – March 2010

Curate’s Corner: February 2010 – March 2010

Christmas is over and a new decade has begun. Did you enjoy it? For me, my memory of Christmas day is a good one. Our three children were home and came to St. Paul’s for our communion service and then we had 9 for dinner. But the fun really began at around 6 o’clock when the snow came and we had an impromptu snowball fight with some of the neighbours. Nothing beats a good friendly snowball fight! As for the last decade, it seems like a long time ago when we brought in a new millennium with Marlyn’s mum. In the last ten years I have been ordained and come to Castlerock and Dunboe. Our children are now adults and Marlyn is in full time employment again. Mum has died and like many of you a void has appeared which cannot be fully filled. Many other things haven’t changed much. We still live in the same house, I still work for Roads Service and life carries on. But one thing has changed and will continue to change. We are all ten years older than a decade ago! Nothing can stop time and I for one am glad. Because every day brings something different and a new challenge. Sometimes it is good, like going on holidays or watching Notts Forest win again. Sometimes we wake up to tragedy like the earthquake in Haiti. The future is uncertain and can be frightening if our hope is on the banks, our possessions, our homes or our jobs. But if our future is secure, what a difference it makes. For me, I know my future is safe. Some time in the future I will be taken from this world and end up in paradise. What a future! There may be many difficulties and problems over the next while, but time will pass and so will the problems. But nothing can keep me from our God who loves me and has prepared an unbelievable home for me for eternity. So what does the next ten years hold for you and for me? God knows – and I will find out as I live through it, with God’s Spirit to guide, direct, encourage and correct me. I can’t wait. Happy New Year....

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