Eurovision baby..!

Am sat watching ‘Eurovision’ – a guilty pleasure in the Critchyboy household once a year. I’d not hear our entry from “The Hump” until this afternoon… And it’s stayed in my mind since then. Perhaps that’s the new UK strategy – have a song that gets so into your psyche that it remains with you so that when it comes to voting all you can think of is, “When you love someone, follow your heart…” And end up voting for the UK!

Still we’re all sat watching and scoring except for Son #2 who is, hopefully, in bed asleep – not to disturb our evening!

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Son #1 has been at a football tournament all day, playing for his local team and having lots of fun following a sleepover at his mates house. Son #2 slept this afternoon in the heat of the day after a fun morning at our adoptive Grandparents house whilst wife and I were in a meeting.

Our meeting was with a wonderful member of our District Team, training me and my wife to be Healthy Church Reviewers – a process to help local congregations recognise what their churches are doing well and what they need to work on.

I think this is a brilliant process having been through it wit one of my own churches – a process that has reinforced what I’ve been banging on about for four years, proving that I do know some useful things(!), and helped us as a ragtag collection of believers to focus our activities more towards serving the community we find ourselves a part of. I mean, the chapel has raised in one week, enough money to supply every (and I mean every) household in the village with a New Testament
as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

I am looking forward to serving other churches in our District in this way as I think part of what Minsters as Church Leaders need to do is to enable everyone (or as many as possible) within the congregation to see and seize Gods vision for where they are and how to serve the community with all that they are. To engage as many as possible with the vision rather than doing it all themselves.

Perhaps, I speak with my experience of working within family size churches of between 20-70 folk rather than anything bigger… Places where walking alongside people has a great impact.

I will have to see where God leads in the future, but my experience of smaller churches is that they are willing, in time, to look forward, make difficult choices and follow what they feel to be Gods lead.

Anyhow, must not neglect Eurovision!! Come on UK, although that Russian Granny song is oddly endearing..!

That Friday Feeling!

Friday is as Friday does!

There is a routine to Fridays in that the morning sees me hosting a Toddler Group at one of the churches I work with. Son #2 and I go along and had our own little routine! We will set something out and, having visited the little shop in the village to get milk, juice and biscuits for the other children, will share a sweet from our 50p bag of mixed penny sweets! The setting up and sharing of sweets continues at a leisurely pace until all is ready and parents and children start to arrive.

I blogged yesterday of the privilege of sharing in the whole of life and this is a part of Toddlers as we share together hopes and dream and fears and concerns about life, family and the universe.

This afternoon Son #2 watched ‘Cars 2’ on the TV whilst I prepared some services I’ve got coming up over the next few weeks, sitting next to him using wife’s laptop. I should really let her have a go of my iPad soon… Preparation combined with spending time with Son #2. I believe that part of what I’m called to do as a Minister is to model family life the best that I can. However, I recognise that not everyone has the opportunity within their employment to work from home and choose to work the hours they do.

Whilst making lunch for Son #2 and I, he feel asleep over the arm of the sofa and was quickly transferred up to bed and I continued working until wife arrived home, cup of teas were drunk and we headed out to pick up Son #1from school.

After entering many competitions over time, I finally had a little success today on Twitter! @virgintrains were running a competition in which you had to tweet a photo of you cuddling a teddy in order to win a teddy wearing a Virgin Trains jumper! I decided that Son #2 is way cuter than I so entered him and he won! So we are looking forward to welcoming another member of the Critchley clan soon via the Royal Mail!!!

Tomorrow brings a training morning and more worrying over services for Sunday, which in turn brings more opportunity for trusting in God and relying on Him for all I need.

I’d do well to remember that more often…

Here goes…!

So here we are…

My first ever blog post. I can’t imagine anyone ever wishing to read whatever meandering codswallop I might ever see fit to write here – but it you find it and feel you need some material to help you sleep at night, feel free to stick along for the journey.

If you read this and find it interesting – which, ultimately, I hope you do – then I hope you enjoy the journey too.

Today has been a good day. Son #1 was, as is usual during the school term, at school. Celebration assembly this morning, during which children are rewarded with ‘Worker of the Week’ certificates is a staple of our Thursday mornings!

Today was different though. Today I went in my work clothes and not in my civvies! Thursday’s are normally my day off – my sabbath day, as it were – but I had a funeral to take today as my work/vocation/calling is to serve as a Methodist Minister wherever the Methodist Church (& God) sees fit to send me…

So following assembly, my wife and Son #2 dropped me off at the crematorium to lead a service remembering the life of a 63 year old man who died suddenly last week. This is one of the amazing things about the role to which I have committed myself. It’s a role that encompasses the whole of life, from beginning at birth right through to celebrating life and the promise of something better in the Father’s house… The old Bible translations use the word ‘mansions’ to describe what is to be found in the ever after… I like that idea.

This life and death and life again encompassing role that I fill is a privilege – frustrating and delighting in equal measure, as I am sure you will see if to stick with this blog over time. Congratulations, by the way, for making it this far..,

Following the funeral, day off really began. Wife, Son #2 and I visited the zoo using our annual passes which have now more than paid for themselves. It has been a gorgeous day out and about today and wonderful to enjoy it in the company of family… Particularly with Son #2 who marvels at everything he sees with a heartfelt “Wowee!” when his excitement can’t be contained!

And I often think that sometimes, I need to rediscover those “Wowee!” moments, to enjoy seeing the world and my Creator as though I’m looking at the world through children’s eyes. We adults, can sometimes get so overawed with all our responsibilities that time for childlike wonder is gone and buried and forgotten.

So that’s blog post number one – we’ll see how this goes! I’ve tried keeping a diary before and that’s never lasted so this maybe me more of those things that gets left to ether of life and experience and time.

But as I said – we’ll see. Thanks for sticking it this far…!