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t the Home of Martha and Mary

 

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Losing my voice

It’s been a long week, and I am about to crash on the sofa and watch Strictly, with a gin and tonic! I have done a new training course, had an interview, and last weekend had a big party for my 40th. It’s now 2 days until the end of my 30’s and I am feeling great I have to say, despite the punishing schedule that has been this week!

I saw a good friend last night who says she reads my blogs regularly and it encouraged me to do this tonight. I was asked to speak at church last sunday but really did lose my voice for 3 days after the party and didn’t feel I could stand up at the front, with a hangover, cold and no voice.

For a lot of people, losing their voice is part of their life in a different way, sometimes its to do with not being able to say out loud, something that is really important to you, like “I love you” or “I’m gay” or “I am leaving you” or “I don’t love you anymore”. Sometimes it’s just that they belong to a group in society who’s voice isn’t given much priority. There was some research done which was published this week, which showed the only time women had their photos on the front pages of the newspapers was if they had been abducted as a child (Madeline McCann) or married a prince (Kate Middleton). The rest of the 50% of the population are so busy keeping things afloat, that they don’t have time to stand as mayor, or climb Everest, or jump out of a parachute from x thousand feet!

Does this matter though? Should we care if women are on the front page of the Daily Mail or not? Surely there are more important things to think about? I guess that is true, but in fighting for equality we do this not just for ourselves but for our children, and our husbands and the other men in our lives. It’s not just about women.

Hilary Devey, (Think that’s how you spell her name) did a TV programme recently about “women on top” which showed basically that if you have a team with 50% gender split in a management setting, you are more likely to have a productive workforce. Get a group of women together and they are likely to talk over each other, and bicker and fight. Get a group of men together and they will acquiesce to the “Alpha” male, whether this is right or wrong. Get a group of men and women together and the “right” thing will get done. So by sitting on our hands and letting the men get on with things, we actually do more harm than good.

I have had a tough time at work since having my children, as my voice hasn’t necessarily fitted in, with the dominant culture. My male work colleagues are trying to catch the cricket score and have a conversation about it when we get a few minutes downtime. I am interested more in the children and shopping, Strictly and socialising! I don’t get chance to go to the toddler groups where all of this is more normal parlance.

I hope to be asked to preach again, as it would be a real honour, but if it doesn’t happen then I am really chuffed that people read my blogs, and feel really blessed to be in a position where my voice is heard, not just here about my faith and my life, but at work as a manager  and at home with my lovely husband and kids. I know this is not the case for alot of people, regardless of their gender, spiritual persuasion, or skin colour. 

Just remember folks, that God really loves it when we share our blessings and praises with each other, as well as the difficulties and problems. He loves it when we have a voice, and is an empowering and supportive God, not a judgemental and disciplinarian one. If you can share your views and questions with another Christian or someone important in your life, then please do so, as an unanswered question is an opportunity for spiritual growth…

Isaiah 24:14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west

 

Changes

There has been alot of weather in yorkshire this last few weeks, we’ve not been directly affected but it’s had a big impact on everyone in York. It’s also that time of year when we change from summer into autumn, and the nights start drawing in. I love autumn  because of the dramatic colours, the fact that it’s my birthday in October, and I was always a bit of a geek and enjoyed going back to school after the holidays.

We are all change as our son has started wearing pants at last! Some of this is painful, some just great. Last week it seemed unlikely to ever happen, and now he’s doing great with it. I think that sums up alot of the process of change in general. We watched a programme last night about the NHS and how it started out, and the thing that stuck with me was how quickly major changes can come in and transform everything. They were talking about Dr Lister, and how he played around for years in a lab with bacteria, and then suddenly antibiotics that stopped women dying in childbirth, and how this just revolutionised hospital care. Patients were likely to stay in for years or months, and then after new procedures became available people could come in and be back at work before too long.

As Christians when we pray for change, and ask for help we don’t always seem to get a response, and this can be frustrating to say the least! As one comic put it  “God always answers prayer. Sometimes it is “Yes” and sometimes “No.” Other times it’s “Wait a while.” And sometimes, “You’ve got to be kidding!”

My experience of change with God is that it can be dramatic but often it comes after a long period where not much looks like it’s going on. Like the flood-water, or autumn leaves it can be a seismic shift from summer to autumn when it happens, but it’s because of alot of things going on at the same time that we are not always aware of. 

My favourite bible reading is from Matthew and helps me think about what I need to do, and what I can just hand over to God for him to deal with:

Lets “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:33-34 NIV).

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Harvest Time

Our local Morrisons has had a revamp and I was surprised to see dry-ice (or what looked like it) coming out from behind the vegetables when you walk in, but overall the store seems to be alot better. We go there for our lunch once in a while as they do good kids meals and fry-ups.

It’s harvest time though, and the veg in Morrisons are not necessarily just from local allotments, probabaly alot have been shipped in from Africa, and will end up in some kind of land-fill but we managed to pick some apples from the garden and go hunting for blackberries so it felt more seasonal than normal.

I am thinking about this as I have been asked to speak about harvest to Coffee and Co, the weekly coffee morning at church, and it seems such an alien concept when I don’t go near any fruit and veg growers.

However, this week I am being taken out to lunch for a rare jolly from our team which since the Conservatives got in, has practically been outlawed as the council has banned even any tea/coffee being provided for meetings in a bid to reduce costs. I am also preparing a bid for our annual winter warmth initiative and trying to work out how much we can give to organisations like the Trussell Trust to distribute food parcels to those families, homeless, asylum seekers who are going without sufficient food to survive. This is of course particularly an issue in the winter.