Saturday, May 30, 2009

Synod 3

I think I quite enjoyed synod. Maybe this is a sign that I have finally lost contact with reality. But, actually, it wasn't so bad.
I didn't agree with everything that happened. I didn't like every attitude that I saw. But, on the whole, I think that the spirit that prevailed was healthy and Christian. I can start to believe that the 'system' does work.
I enjoyed the balance between worship, Bible study, social (food) and business. I enjoyed the people. I felt that we engaged with the business and that, in general, it was worth engaging with.
Something in me hit a new level of maturity as I wrestled with the grey areas of life. Do I dislike people with whom I disagree? Sometimes I seem to. What happens if I agree with them in some areas and not in others? I need to listen even more carefully to people, to really understand what they are saying or thinking.
Of course, the beach and the sea were also pretty good - although there was not much time and the weather became wintry!

Friday, May 29, 2009

More Synod Comments

I feel a lot more positive about synod today than yesterday. Some of it was a bit slow and I admit to typing song words into powerpoint during some of the sessions. Keeps me busy but I can still listen.
I am interested by the emphasis on race in some of the discussions. I know I am a bit afraid of being sidelined because I am white, but I don't think I am oversensitive. The race issues need to be dealt with - and perhaps they are. But the reality is that the Methodist Church has two distinct ways of doing church and the two don't mix. It seems like we're always pretending that we do things the same way and that we have the same issues. It isn't really a matter of race, but rather a preference of tradition. There are black people involved in both ways of doing church, but white people in only one of the ways.
Still, the atmosphere of synod was friendly, which I appreciate.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Synod Comments

I wonder if anyone has romantic or idealised notions of synod? Or does the title of the post just turn you off? I don't find synod as bad as many people do - although it certainly has its moments.
We broke into groups with each group taking a number of resolutions or documents to discuss in order to make suggestions to the resolution committee who will then bring their considerations to the floor of synod. Our discussions were very negative and unconstructive. People are cynical and unwilling to listen to others and many don't understand the issues, but think that they do. They seem to have their own hidden agendas and assume that everyone else does too. I must admit that I find it difficult to discuss something which comes to us with very little background information - such as who submitted or researched the proposal.
But on the other hand, the worship was good, meals were good, timekeeping was good and I didn't feel that time was wasted. And I enjoy meeting people that I see very rarely. I'm starting to recognise more faces from the district.
At some stage they will be reporting and voting on the probationers. I don't know if that will be stressful for us or what. I don't think that there are any unpleasant surprises lurking for me, so I'm not worried. I must just wait and see!

Vulnerability 2

Following on from yesterday's post about vulnerability and preaching (and it also applies to blogging!). There are two difficulties in being vulnerable.
The one is that people tend to feel sorry for you. That can be a bad thing if it clouds the message. And we are told not to create an environment where people feel sorry for you. I am realising that this is not necessarily a bad thing. Let people feel. I don't like to be pitied, but I do like to be understood. If you are in a relationship with the people to whom you are preaching, they will soon stop feeling sorry for you. Also, they might share your struggles and hopefully be encouraged in their own journeys.
The other difficulty is the potential for glorying in our own weakness. If we dwell on the wrong that we have done in the past it becomes something that puts us in the centre instead of Jesus. Admit it, but never stop feeling the disgrace of letting Jesus down. That is different to guilt - we are forgiven from whatever we have done - but that doesn't mean that it was ok. Forgiveness should lead to humility and love for Jesus and not arrogance!
There is quite a fine line to tread here, but I think it is worth treading, even if I make mistakes sometimes.

A New Thing

I've spent the last months preaching in run down church buildings in the Grahamstown township and surrounds. Yesterday I picked up a colleague in Jeffreys Bay for synod. I thought God was good to send me to Grahamstown! J Bay is an idyllic location. Our next stop was Plettenberg Bay, where I am now for synod. There are some pretty good looking places in our universe! Being called to the ministry looks very different from these places compared to where I am coming from!
But for now I am happy to be where I am. I am enjoying the challenges. I could wish for many things to be different, but I am so enriched by what I am learning.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I have believed for a number of years that one of the keys to effective preaching is vulnerability. By that I mean being 'real' in front of a congregation. I don't pretend to be perfect or to 'have it all together'. When I started preaching, back in the dark ages, the thing was to speak with 'authority'. I don't think that they are mutually exclusive.
But I am finding that a section of the black African population sees vulnerability as weakness. At least I think that is what it is. They want more authority - the man (or woman) with the dog collar is seriously God's representative. I suppose for them, God doesn't feel.
In my thinking, which tends not to have shades of gray, I see congregations as uniform or homogeneous entities (especially in my cross-cultural context). I'm learning that this is not so. Some people respond well to Jesus, to calls to service and to vulnerability. Others come across as being just plain difficult. They need the authoritative voice more - and may reject it more. They speak more loudly. But I think that they are in the minority.
I need to consciously recognise both and know that I cannot reach them both without speaking to both.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Convincing the Boss

I tend to overflow with ideas. Especially after a holiday! Now I am asking myself why I don't put my ideas into practice in 'my church'. Just one. My boss is not negative or obstructive.
Part of the reason is that my schemes tend to be complex and I don't willingly want to share the whole thing with someone else. If I am the boss, I have no trouble communicating the vision and leading the thing along. But if I have to convince the boss first I tend to give up. Why? From experience, it is difficult to make him/her understand. Years ago, I used to be too unassertive and I know that this wasn't helpful. Now I am more self-confident, which at least removes that element of confusion, but I am still afraid to try.
I guess that if I can't communicate my vision to my boss it is my fault. This is something I need to work on - and have tried very hard to get right over the last few years! So, I'll take up the challenge again now.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Feeling at Home

This trip home has been different from my last trip in an unexpected way. Last time I felt very connected to Grahamstown and very much a visitor on this side. This time, after a couple of days, I feel like I have never been away from home, and Grahamstown is very distant. Whetever else it means, I have managed to relax quite thoroughly. I go back tomorrow - and I am ready to go.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of call and vision. The negativity I have been feeling is still there in the shadows, but I think I have enough strength to fight it off for a bit longer. God is good.
There's a whole lot of things that have contributed to my feeling better, but I think the one that counts the most is the 'decision' that our family will be together next year, regardless of where I am sent. My daughters will have to choose whether they come with us or if they will make another plan, but they are old enough to do that.
I don't know how we will survive. We have money to eat for a few months if I have no stipend and Grant has no job, but beyond that we will rely on God. I think this is the right thing to do. But we will stay open to God leading in another direction.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Baby Fish

'My' fish pond has been somewhat neglected by the family while I have been away. That's ok, fishponds don't need much. I spent some time yesterday and today cleaning it out (putting in fresh water) and found that the fish had managed to breed. Hooray. That's only the second time in the last four years or so. But some of the big fish have gone awol. I have actually seen a grey heron in our totally suburban garden -about a year ago. The pond is now quite hidden under trees, but obviously something is still finding the fish.

A Break is Good

I am really appreciating the total break from Grahamstown and ministry. And of course time with family. And it was good to have lunch with a friend who has managed to persuade me to approach things with a better attitude. He has a knack of getting me to take a different perspective on things - probably not any text book perspective, but it works for me. Thanks JohnB.

Friday, May 22, 2009


We read from Ezekiel 34 at college on Wednesday. It talks about God's anger with the shepherds of Israel who ruled over the sheep harshly. It's a good challenge to a bunch of new ministers. But at the moment I am too afraid that I am going to be a sheep that can't handle the uncaring shepherds!
Not the people immediately around me - they are great. It's the people I don't know, who somehow rule my destiny, that are stressing me.
When is perseverance a virtue and when is it sheer stupidity?
I need to ask these questions - there are glimmers of light. I want to believe. I want it to work out.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I have counted my kids and they are all here. My husband seems ok - but very tired. This, of course, might be nothing to do with my being away and more to do with his normal ability to take on too much!
It is good to take a break. To not think of church or studies or any of the usual things. To sleep in my own bed. To look at life from a different angle.
I may take my ten year old back to Grahamstown with me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I can't think about much else other than that I am going home this afternoon or tonight. I've held the feeling at bay. Counted the days. But from yesterday I just couldn't focus on anything else. I want to say that all else is overshadowed - but it's not a shadow that is cast by any means. So may I say that all else is overlit by the thought of going home?

Yesterday and today are college days. We, as students, have started praying together on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. I think these will be the times that we all remember when we leave phase 1. I can start to say it is all about Jesus at those times.

Here is a question: If Jesus had a church in your town, would your church be bigger? I haven't followed the link but that is a leader to here.

I need to cut the word 'really' out of my writing. I've deleted it three times from this post!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Update on Midget

I've had my new Acer Aspire One 3G for a couple of weeks now. And so far - pretty good. It works very well for my basic needs. And the portability is awesome. The battery life is 6 to 7 hours and so I just pick it up, without its power cable and go.
Occasionally I am irritated because I would like to see more on the screen, but so far it is generally ok.
The next step is to try powerpoint and the multimedia stuff.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Total Church and Sticky Church

I bought these two books at the beginning of the year, hoping to use them for my Master's dissertation. Total Church is by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis and came highly recommended. Sticky Church is by Larry Osborne and although I did read a review on it, I actually bought it because I like the name. I was a bit disappointed by Sticky Church at first, because dipping into it it seemed like 'just another book about small groups'. However, looking at it more carefully, I like it because it deals with real world of western society. So many books have an idealised vision for small groups or community that may work here and there, but in general is just not practical. So Osborne is bold to say - splitting groups to grow more groups just doesn't work. In fact, having had an enthusiam for small groups for some years, I am pleased to see that he has come to many of the same conclusions that I have.
Total Church is much more idealistic. And that is a good thing. It presents the concept of communal living, rather than 'small groups'. It's the sort of thing I used to dream about when I was younger and more idealistic myself. And now I feel old and stodgy saying 'it will never work'! But it can work, in the right circumstances. However, I think that the problem with this sort of community is that joint decision-making tends to lead to mediocrity. They encourage people to only make decisions in the context of the community. That means that if one person has a radical vision and the rest don't catch it, the vision dies. It also means that young Freddy is less likely to marry on a whim. So there is safety. But little excitement.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I achieved something today. In my mind, at least. I arrived at the church to pick up the communion glasses and wafers and grape juice to take to Rhodes for the morning service. There was no one else in the kitchen, so I took the opportunity and washed the glasses! The layer of black gunge at the bottom of some of the glasses has been bothering me for ages. It obviously doesn't bother anyone else - although when the circuit steward arrived she very willingly helped me wash them.
Sometimes I don't know what is culture and what is something else. One doesn't want to offend, but . . .

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Trusting God

I need to remember that trusting God does not mean trusting that he will lead me on a path without pain. Rather that he will lead me on the path that is right.
There's an understanding of faith that also goes along those lines, but I can't quite remember how it is worded!

There is a cool picture of the space shuttle silhouetted against the sun here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Still Looking Good

I think I am really starting to find my feet. I got through a busy day yesterday without ending with a major headache. I'm starting to feel that I might make a contribution to the circuit. Although as certain things come right, other interesting aspects appear. Today also looks moderately busy. There is a meeting planned for tonight that I am looking forward to - because from an admin and finance side it could really lead us forward. But we've stop-started a bit on this and I don't know if the people will come.
Maybe I feel good because I'm seeing my family in less than a week. Or because I had a double dose of multi-vitamins yesterday (Modern). Or I feel better because God has decided that he will bless me today (Pre-Modern). Or I feel good because I have taken control of my life and started to believe in myself again (Existentialist). Not sure how to put a post-modern slant on it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life is Looking Good

Today is Thursday, which in my work routine is equivalent to everyone else's Monday. It is the first day back at the church, after my day off and college. So, I feel Mondayish. But I also have quite a long list of things to do and this makes me happy. I should spend the next two days productively - although I will probably have little time off, except to sleep! As I get more productive I am sure that I will feel better and maybe the strain of the first few months will be forgotten!
Next week I go home for a few days and after that it is synod. I'm actually quite looking forward to seeing what synod is like.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I need a camera!

This morning the view out the door of the church where we stay for college was just awesome. It was misty in PE. In Jhb, weather like that would have been freezing cold, but here it was just fresh. The tree across the road was just a silhouette. The block of flats looked much better than it looks in the bright sunshine.
I feel like I moan so much on my blog. I need to get a camera, so I can post pictures, because I can't adequately describe what I see when I find something that makes me feel good.

Ministry as Mission

My supervising minister made a comment on my synod report that suddenly changed my whole perspective on phase 1. What he said, simply enough, was that he thought orientation to the culture beforehand would help with adaptation. I think this was in response to my sharing how inadequate I felt in the situation.
For my theology degree I did three years of mission studies. I've written exams on preparing missionaries and adapting to culture and more. But I never realised that this stuff is absolutely applicable to where I am now.
But the crazy thing is that no credible missionary organisation would send a new worker into a field for a year without significant preparation. Just imagine . . . how different this year would be if I had had a month's focused training on the structures and protocols and accepted practices in the Xhosa-speaking church? If they had taught me what was courteous and what was not. What does Xhosa hospitality look like? What do they expect from a minister? Where should I take a lead and where should I allow them to guide me? It could me done in a month of classes. I could teach it about my own culture, I know it so well.
If I could have had that and gone into this year with the confidence that I was a missionary, going to share my life with another culture and people, and that I had something to share. But rather we are told - don't be arrogant. You have nothing to say to them. God is already there. You are going to learn.
What does the church want from this year? From me? Surely not to destroy? I know that individuals are supportive, but the system . . .
I am on a journey. I ask questions . . .

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not too shabby

Grahamstown is situated in a sort of bowl up in the top of the mountains. It is good to look at at the best of times. This morning, with the sun rising later, it was just catching the western side of the bowl and it looked pretty awesome. It also caught the top of the cathedral tower - the main part of the town sits in the lowestt part of the bowl.
Just a reminder that God is bigger than we are!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Bible

It seems like only yesterday that we were encouraging people to have quiet times and read their Bibles and pray everyday. I know that in some churches it was only yesterday. I know we tend to understand nowadays that not everyone is 'wired' for that sort of discipline. I know that certain (but not all) liberal thinkers challenge the centrality of the Bible to our faith and even whether it is God's word in any sense at all (other than that God speaks in all things!)
And I have come to realise over the last couple of weeks that people in the Methodist Church, in the Grahamstown area, do not generally read their Bibles. I would say that genuine Bible readers have always been in the minority. But a strong minority. No longer.
What is the source of our belief/ doctrine if it is not the Bible? I am afraid that it is platitudes handed down from preacher to preacher. It is what seems good to society and what is seen in soap operas and read in magazines. It is 'common wisdom'. And the hymn book. Thank you God, for the Methodist hymn book.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Today took a church service in my work context for the first time since Easter. I am struggling with lack of preaching and with lack of continuity! But I enjoyed today. I was at Alicedale, which was where I led some Easter services so I am starting to know some of the people. There was a mix up with circuit stewards which meant that I went alone. That was great, because I could talk directly to the Alicedale stewards without feeling I needed to use an intermediary. I felt like a human being not a MINISTER. The congregation was pretty elderly and I did not feel like my sermon really worked. But I think God used it.
Now I have to preach again tonight, using the same sermon. Should I change it? Panic!

By the way, I have been preaching - my trial service for instance, and another service in an English context and funerals - but I'd almost forgotten how to do the communion service, it's been so long.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Ministry as Habit

We had Rev Costa Stathakis speak to us at our phase 1 college this week. Apart from enjoying his lecture, he also said something over lunch that made me think and answered a question that I had. He said that the first year of ministry training should be done in a context and with a mentor that is able to develop good ministry habits.
He didn't expand, but for me they would include the discipline of setting aside time for sermon preparation. Doing admin promptly (because most ministers aren't 'called' to admin!) and so on. I've noticed that I, in adapting to the ministry context that I am in, am in danger of letting go things that I've always felt to be important. It is hard to be serious about preparation for a funeral when one receives very late notice - and also when one is not guaranteed the opportunity to speak or any length of time. So one gives up. But that is not me. I want to do well.
In the broader African context and, I am afraid, in the broader Methodist context, we aim for conformity and we do not aim for excellence. I am, somehow, going to retain and build habits that lead to excellence, regardless of what I see around me.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Cow Hypothesis

Loyal readers and immediate family members will be familiar with the 'Cow Delusion'. This was my theory that after periods of good rain the cows between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth became black and white instead of their usual brown. This was based on observation. There was the suggestion of some that it was my imagination. Others said there must be another explanation of the phenomenon observed.
For this reason, I developed another hypothesis and was able to test it on Wednesday evening (well, late afternoon). I put forward the possibility that it was a trick of the light and I believe that this is so.
When the sun is low in the sky the grass and bushes seem greener than in bright sunlight - something which one usually associates with more rain. And I have now observed that in that same low light the brown cows fade into the background and just seem to be brown patches on the green. On the other hand, the white of the black and white cows reflects the light nicely and one notices these cows much more. So when the light is low, it seems as if there are more black and white cows. It also seems as if there has been rain.
So my initial observations were valid - but my explanation for them was probably not. Alas.
Thank you for reading my nonsense!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Culture Shock

Ha! I've got it. I knew it was there. It's called culture shock. You wouldn't think you could be attacked by this thing when in your own country. And when not totally immersed in the 'foreign' culture. But . . .

Culture shock is precipitated by the anxiety that results from losing all familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse. . .These cues, which may be words, gestures, facial expressions, customs, or norms are acquired by all of us in the course of growing up and are as much a part of our culture as the language we speak or the beliefs we accept. . . When an individual enters a strange culture, all or most of these familiar cues are removed. He or she is like a fish out of water. No matter how broad-minded or full of good will he may be, a series of props have been knocked from under him. This is followed by a feeling of frustration and anxiety. People react to the frustration in much the same way. First they reject the environment which causes the discomfort: "the ways of the host country are bad because they make us feel bad." (from here).

So, exactly what I said in the previous post. The frustration and negativity is part of the process of adjustment. It's a funny culture that I'm in. It's partly 'Methodist Church' culture, partly Grahamstown Xhosa culture and partly Jhb black African culture - the latter is at college. And so I am trying to adapt to more than one culture. And with my family away, I have no base in my own culture at all.

The article goes on to explain the phases of culture shock and how to get through it. Basically, learn all you can about the culture and be patient. Again, I guess I had that figured out.

But now I do understand my negativity. It is normal and I am not abherrant (is that right?). I mean I'm not weird. But I do not think the Methodist Church has the remotest idea of the amount of strain that it is putting on phase 1 probationers. Yes, there is the cross-cultural stationing. But there is also college culture - determined by the biggest and loudest group - and that is not my cultural group. And also they want to stretch our theological thinking, knocking away some of the props of our faith. Our church worship experience is not what we are used to. And now the trend is that we are separated from our families. For some (not me) there is also uncertainty about stipends every month.

I think that this system grew out of some very good ideas, but I am afraid that something has gone wrong. And the church knows it, because it is changing it.

In the meantime, if it is within my emotional and mental means, I will survive.


Something that I find hard to express is the effect of being dislocated during Phase 1. I'm sure that there must be research and processes and whatever about the psychological effects of 'boot camps'. This isn't supposed to be negative - 'boot camp' sometimes has negative connotations.
However, a lot of what I am experiencing in Phase 1 must be part of this. There must be stages of adaptation - similar to the Kubler-Ross stages of grief. And I'm sure that negative feelings about the system must be part of that. I find myself without my normal supports. What now holds me up? Where now is my sense of self worth? Where is my God? Does anybody REALLY care about me?
And I guess these are questions that must be asked. And I guess everybody does it with the grumpy sense that we are entitled to our personal security.
I don't see how it can be bypassed. I hate the negative attitude that I so often seem to have. But somehow I feel that the only way I can get through it is by . . . getting through it.
And I know that people that have been through this say that now is the time that we build up systems and disciplines that will support us when things get tough later on in 'real ministry'.
In the meantime I have to express and acknowledge the way that I feel - even though it might be part of psychological adaptation and not my preferred way of being.
I know this is badly expressed. But I needed to try.

Exegesis Exam

So we all passed our synod orals, otherwise known as exegesis exam. I was a bit stressed at the start of our discussion group, but it was ok. Actually I enjoyed most of the discussion. I like it when I wake up the next morning and thoughts are still growing out of things that were said. That, for me, is the best way of learning.

I've become quite unsure as to whether my theology isn't actually too conservative for the Methodist Church. This doesn't really relate to the exegesis exam, but rather my thoughts over the last few days. I'm starting to question whether I should look at another denomination. (Questions are good, because they make you look for answers!)

I'm actually discouraged at the lack of theological debate in the Methodist Church. I think that I've been vaguely hoping that suddenly something will open up and I will realise that in this place serious discussion is happening. Not that people don't argue or disagree, but I don't see rigorous theological exploration.

In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. What is the two-eyed man? An aberration? A threat? A one-eyed man with delusions of grandeur or an attitude problem?
How should the two-eyed man be treated? He should be chased away? Have an eye put out? Be made king? Worshiped? Crucified?
Where am I in the story?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Synod Orals and Exegesis

Today we have our Synod Oral Exams in the Grahamstown District. We've all written our exegeses (expositions of a passage) and we will have group discussions around them, with an examining committee. I know I couldn't do justice to the passage in the word limit available, so I feel the exegesis is incomplete. But what can I do? Hopefully this morning goes well.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Brown Bomber

I took this book out of the Rhodes Library because it is written by Dr Simon Gqubule who was the convenor of the committee who listened to my trial service on Sunday. The book is a brief life history of Seth Mokitimi (the first black President of Conference in the Methodist Church in Southern Africa) as well as some of his sermons. I have to admit that I did not read the sermons, just the biography parts. It is inspiring. A good reminder of the struggle for racial equality in the Methodist Church. And also a reminder of how committed ministers were in 'those days'. We talk too often about ministers who are lazy, now.
I'm a bit awed at having had Dr Gqubule listen to me, now that I have read his achievements on the back of the book. Amongst many other things he lectured New Testament and Greek at Wesley College in Bristol, England.
And he hardly said anything to me - I'm sure he could have told me so much!

Trial Service

Yesterday was my trial service for the year. It took place in Uitenhage at an Afrikaans-speaking Coloured church. It was great to be in a new context and I enjoyed it. I passed with a B mark, so I am happy about that!
The major criticism was the quality of my Afrikaans reading - which I thoroughly deserved, so I have no reason to complain.
I, of course, have some thoughts about the service of my own, but I need to think them through. They relate to self-confidence, performance (as in acting) and how not to be too influenced by the responsiveness of the congregation!

Midget Makes It

My new Acer Aspire One 3G is up and running! I haven't exactly had the time, but somehow it is working. So far, I am very happy. It took me ages to get the 3G going because I didn't realise that there is an 'Enable 3G' switch. But once found, it went without hassles.
I'm still getting used to the keyboard and do occasionally hit the wrong keys, but it's not too bad. The tiny screen is fine so far. I'm hooked up to an external 15inch monitor, but the display does not fill the screen. When I have time I must look for another driver for it.
I just love the portability. I got up this morning, made a cup of coffee, grabbed my Bible and Midget (the Aspire), and I went back to bed to read and blog!
I still need to install AVG antivirus and the printer and copy on some music, but all in good time!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

New PC

I hope that I am going to buy a new pc today!! There is a funeral this morning. I'm not supposed to be doing it, but I sometimes get very late notice. I hate hanging around 'just in case'. But if I haven't heard by 9.15 I am on my way to PE.
I'm going to buy an Acer Aspire One 3G, as well as an external monitor and an external dvd writer. That is one of those mini laptops (8.9 inch screen) and it has built in internet. I'll use the external monitor at home, but the thing is so small and so portable it will be great for my current situation.
I know that it will have limitations that will frustrate me, so I will have to make sure that I have the cash to buy something a bit more sophisticated later on. But for now, I mostly need internet and office stuff.
Readers will know that my mega-cool Lenovo laptop was stolen. My husband shipped my old Acer down to me, which has been a lifesaver, but there were reasons I replaced it originally. Then on Thursday the power connection just gave up. We fixed it by taking off the battery, but I'm not taking any more chances. New pc, here I come!
Hooray - sms from my supervising minister. He's taking the funeral. I'm on my way . . .

Friday, May 01, 2009

Not so bad!

I called phase 1 'hard and dry', or something like that, in a previous post. Is it really? Did I just have a bad day? People are very, very kind to me. Almost without exception. I could not ask for more. I feel needed by the church where I am serving. I am learning. I have space for my personal interests (some space!). There are almost too many people that I can talk to if I need help. I have enough money. I am not afraid of anything. I get on very well with the people that I work with.
I think there are two things. The one is the absence of my family. The unconditional love that one experiences in a family just feeds something in one's soul.
The other is space to dream. I probably need to be patient. And maybe learn to be less tentative.

I started a book blog. It will be low profile. But if anyone is interested the link is here. It is more for writing about reading than for reading! If anyone wants to record their reading on it, let me know.