I am linking up again with Heather Gerwing and friends where we share ‘four somethings’. These are my loved, read, and treasured, memories from April and an attempt to look forward to the months ahead!
In April for the first time in months, I drove off the island to meet a friend, for a walk and a picnic. We are still under the covid restrictions of only being able to meet up in an outdoor space, and all restaurants are still closed. It is difficult to make any outdoor arrangements here – regardless of what month of the year it is – because the weather is so changeable. As I drove across the island I could see all the dark clouds and snow on the mountains, and I did wonder what we would do all day if it was cold and wet.
Sometimes we just have to push on through the dark clouds believing there will be sunshine on the other side! By the time we met the sun had come out, which was a real blessing. We had a walk on the beach and on the hillside overlooking the Victorian seaside resort. It was lovely to have a day off and to go somewhere different. But most of all it was so good to have time with a friend, to share faith and encourage each other.
C.S.Lewis said; “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” I would amend that to say; “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a Christian friend and a long walk by the sea?”
I have finished reading, three totally different books in April – quite an eclectic mix!
40 days with the Holy Spirit, R.T.Kendall.
R.T. Kendall is a favourite author of mine, he is a clear teacher on exposition of scripture. I was looking forward to this new book and used it as an extra daily devotional during Lent. Each day revealed a different aspect of the character and role of the Holy Spirit, with Scriptures for further study and a short prayer at the end to reflect on for application. Although some of the teaching was familiar other aspects were insightful and inspiring. Available on Amazon.
The Beloved, Joy Margetts.
A short love story set in Wales in the 13th century. This tale includes a couple of familiar figures from ‘The Healing’ while also introducing some new characters. The book does stand on its own, and is beautifully written, drawing you into this story of love and Christian faith. A clear message develops that we are only truly whole, when we know that we are beloved by God. Available on Amazon kindle.
Letters to the Church, Francis Chan.
The author takes you on his journey of exploration regarding the function of the church today. He started by walking away from being the Pastor of a mega church of 6,000 people, disillusioned by church life. His solution, eventually, was to start a church planting network called ‘We Are Church’. This comprises of small groups of only 10-20 people, to foster a strong sense of community. I found his writing challenging and sometimes harsh. Although I could understand some of his frustrations, I found his experience of church difficult to relate to, and did not agree with all of his conclusions. The book is possibly more relevant for those involved in church leadership, but made an interesting read. Available on Amazon.
Easter is always a highlight and this year although very different was still special! Previously it may have revolved around, going away and ‘doing something’. This year was just being in the moment. I had for the first-time observed Lent and participated in the Lent disciplines of prayer and fasting. I learnt that 40 days is a long time for self-denial. But isn’t that part of the purpose of Lent, to make us more aware of Jesus’ commitment to the Father and to us?
I felt more prepared and ready to celebrate by Easter Sunday. This year it was just logging onto the online service at home, and a Sunday lunch with family – but it was still a memorable day. The way we choose to celebrate may change but the One we are celebrating does not.
Our church re-opened at the beginning of April, and this Sunday I will finally attend in person. I had been waiting to have my first covid vaccine, and for my mother to have her second as I ‘take her’ to church. Now that has happened, we feel ready to meet with a bigger group of people indoors. We are looking forward to it, even with our masks on and no singing….
I have more shifts scheduled for work in May. I am employed at the seaport and have been back at work since December, but it has been quiet. At last, the traffic numbers are increasing, for freight and passengers. I am beginning to allow myself to THINK about the possibility of a trip in September. At the moment I have gone as far as booking the time off work – so that is progress!