This February I am loving the opportunity to keep on learning, in what is still a very different season. Our church has not re-opened yet and there are still restrictions on non-essential retail and travel. But this means I have had the time to read and explore different Christian traditions and practices. I have appreciated the technology that has transformed isolation for so many and I love the fact that we have so many resources for knowledge at our finger-tips.
The church denomination that I belong to has never practised ‘Lent’ or followed closely the traditions of the Christian calendar. But this year I am engaging in Lent, and I am enjoying the more reflective aspect and the challenge to commit for forty days to a set discipline.
At the beginning of February I received a free digital copy of “Lent and The Pilgrim: 12 Bible Studies for Lent and Easter” by Rev Rosalie Weller. The book provides all that you need to journey through scripture, from the start of Lent through to Easter week. Each study provides the readings, a reflection, and some questions. It then concludes with a prayer or suggestions for further research. There is clear teaching on core Christian principles and the thought-provoking questions will provide plenty of discussion points, making it ideal for small groups.
I have also read, “From a Mile Behind: Learning to outrun comparison and live your authentic life.” by Breonna Rostic. This book is targeted towards millennial women, who often struggle with comparison, but the issue is not limited to any one generation. It is written in a conversational style, with an openness about the problems that we all can face.
The book explores those emotions that follow comparison such as self-doubt, fear of rejection, self-pity and isolation. There are clear Scripture references, showing that comparison is as old as time. Each chapter ends with a declaration to affirm the teaching, a thought to take away and meditate on, a prayer to partner with God, and further reflection. This all encourages participation and practical application to move on and be who God created you to be!
I love living on an island. I love walking on the beach with the sound of the sea, even in February, and in the middle of a storm. There is a new trend here, of leaving painted pebbles for people to find on their walks. You can keep them if you wish or move the pebble to another location for someone else to find. Of course you take a picture and post it on Facebook – there is a group for doing that! There are a lot of talented people on this island, some of the pebbles are mini works of art, and others are done by children who just want to see how far their pebble will travel. I have found a few, moved some, and kept some as beach-combing ‘treasures.’ I keep meaning to find the time to paint some myself, but haven’t done any yet…..
I am looking forward to some online training sessions in March. The first one is a Zoom session for bloggers on ‘How to set up a Mailing List.’ This has been organised by Lucy Rycroft who has created a Facebook group for her new venture. The technical side of blogging is still an area that I am very slowly getting to grips with. Having a Zoom training event, with the opportunity to ask questions will be so useful.
Then also in March, via Zoom, there are a number of ACW training days. I have only booked into one, due to time constraints, it was difficult to choose because they all look interesting. The full list of events is on their website. I am working 5-10am on the morning of the session I have booked into, so I will rush home, make a strong coffee, and log on with anticipation of an informative day. I apologise, in advance, if anyone sees the occasional yawn!
Some of the other linkups I may join can be found here.