Friday, 29 October 2010

In the midst of the crowd

What a week! I've met so many folk - some for the first time, others I've had the opportunity to get to know a little better. And I LOVE it. This girl, who loves the beach, loves the peace and quiet of walking alone, the space for reflection, is buzzing from being surrounded by people. It's been a different kind of reflection and inspiration this week. Yet again, the sheer privilege of ministry, being allowed to get alongside people in so many ways, the opportunity to constantly experience new things is overwhelming.
I give thanks.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Not very astute

HMS Astute ran aground off Skye today, prompting lots of jokes amid assurances from the Royal Navy that this was not a nuclear incident.
Naval officers also helpfully informed a worried public that submarines were watertight vessels and that Astute (renamed galoot by locals) had run aground on silt and not on rocks. That's alright then - we'll all sleep easier knowing that!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Gossiping the good news
I was transported back to Dibley tonight: Chairing a kirk session meeting in a delightful rural parish, a finance report turned into a discussion on who gets their fuel oil from where and how much they are paying - with receipts being produced from shirt pockets! But we still got through the business in less than an hour.

Monday, 18 October 2010


As this gull struts his stuff
and comes across with attitude
I long to follow suit
As a tonic to all those who doubt
those who disparage
and those who are just too arrogant
to move over
and stop inhibiting progress.
Just some of his courage
and confidence
might make all the difference.
But I wonder.
Would the ground gained
be ground I would want to tread
knowing that I'd gone against the grain
turned myself inside out
changed my nature
just to make a difference?
There are other ways
and the longing to have attitude
can be transformed
into gentle persistence
and the patience required
to effect long term change 
rather than short term gain.
Attitude is great.
Long term strategy is better.
So - I'll continue to admire
even continue to long
but selling out
is not on the cards.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The bustle of worship

Wasn't sure whether to worship at the local church this morning or on the beach. So I did both. The walk along the sand blew away some cobwebs and brought freedom after the busy feel of formal worship. In Scotland, we are creating a climate in which more and more ministers are expected to rush from one service to another on Sunday mornings. I'm wondering if it is inevitable that this leads to the feeling of worship being hurried along that I experienced this morning. Is it a luxury to have some space in worship - a luxury that is sacrificed by the linking of charges and the expectation that worship will be conducted by "the minister" between the hours of 9am and, say 12:30pm?
I'm sure God roars with laughter at the notion that worship can be packaged and condensed.
But what elements are to be sacrificed in order to create space -
the space that we need in worship as a counter to the hustle of daily life?

Friday, 15 October 2010

Dredging life

As the dredger brings up all the silt and debris
allowing the water to flow freely back into the harbour
my thoughts turn to the things hidden away in the depths
clogging up my innards
slowing me down
restricting movement
and spontaneity
the flotsam and jetsam 
that lurks unseen
stifling creativity
pinching exuberance
rendering sluggish
the natural ebb and flow
and I am reminded
that regular maintenance
soul sifting
is a discipline
to follow
with benefits
yet felt
and valued.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Harvest Sharing

I've had lots of fun this week, helping primary schools celebrate harvest. Round these parts, there is still the opportunity to witness the harvest of the land, even if it is only the irritation of being stuck behind a tractor on the road. The young folk I've encountered this week really seem to grasp the idea of giving thanks and of sharing what we have. The essence of our Harvest Celebration.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Unless the Lord builds the house...

Preparing for the Gifts
Evelyn Underhill

The Holy Spirit is called the Giver of Gifts, but the Spirit's cherishing action is only really felt by those who acknowledge their own deep poverty--who realize that we have literally nothing of our own but are totally dependent on God and on that natural world in which God has placed us and which is the sacramental vehicle of God's action. When we grasp this, we are ready to receive God's gifts.
Some souls are so full of pious furniture and ornaments that there is no room for the Holy Spirit. All the correct things have been crammed into the poor little villa, but none of the best quality. They need to pull down the curtains, get rid of the knick-knacks, and throw their premises open to the great simplicity of God.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Harvest for the world

Nuclear sub and support vessels on Clyde
Tomorrow is World Communion Sunday. In Castlehill, we are also celebrating Harvest Festival. The two go well together. Giving thanks for the basics of life - bread and wine - and committing ourselves to sharing with others.
The sight of this nuclear sub on the Clyde last weekend, seeming to dwarf the beautiful landscape around, raises questions, however, of what kind of seed we are sowing and what sort of harvest we shall reap.

Friday, 1 October 2010


One of my colleagues, perusing my ipod exposed a well kept secret this week - My name is liz crumlish and I'm a Bay City Rollers fan.
I've just acquired their newly released greatest hits CD. Pictured is an album I picked up for 50p a few years ago in Oxfam in Largs. Don't still have the tartan trousers or scarf - but do have a tartan duffle coat from that era. Sad or what?
We all relive our youth in different ways - healthy or otherwise.

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