Sunday, 4 October 2009

Some things to celebrate

On Friday afternoon, we went to the local MNDA branch meeting in the Holiday Inn on the Oxford ringroad. It was good to meet up with other people in the same boat. I was delighted to meet Peter Durkin who keeps a number of us smiling with his seemingly endless stream of jokes. Before MND hit him he used to teach geography. The main item was a talk by Rose Prince who writes about food for the Telegraph and judges the BBC's Food and Farming awards. She was refreshingly down to earth. She didn't have much time for all the latest food fads. 'Super foods' are bunkum! And I was pleased that she debunked the myth about butter being so bad for you. Did you know that in Dijon they have one of the lowest incidences of cardio-vascular disease in Europe - and one of the highest consumptions of butter? Not because of their red wine consumption, which is high, but because of the variety in their diet. I celebrated with a scone, cream and strawberry jam at the end. And I'm back on butter for breakfast. Yippee!

And, hallelujah! 'Songs of Praise' was back to its former best last night. After I posted about it on Facebook, Jules commented, 'I don't usually watch, but felt I should tune in last night, and I am glad I did! Wow! Wish all churches were as amazing at proclaiming the good news about Jesus as that one seems to be.Real life, real people, real testimonies, the reality of Jesus in their lives was great to see!' Couldn't have put it better myself. It came from Peterborough. Full of people enjoying worship 'vertically' as Noel Richards put it, but also 'horizontally' i.e. getting involved in making a difference in their community + a touching account of God transforming someone's self image. I've put the iPlayer link up. Give yourself a tonic and watch it. More, please, auntie Beeb.

I don't know if you caught the item this morning about Rachel Pooley in the Samoan tsunami. A real good news story. If you look at , and then the Breakfast Show chapter 3 you can listen to it. Rachel tells the story of how she and her boy-friend, Tolu Taranaki, got caught in their pick-up as the tidal wave swept over the island. Their car was hit by the water. Tolu smashed the window and caught hold of her hand; he got sucked out but she was left in the car as it filled with pitch black water. "I was trying to breath in the water," she said, mimicking a deep inhale of air, "so I was gulping down water.... Blinded by the wave and inhaling the salty sea, Pooley struggled inside the car to find a way out: "I don't even know how long it was, probably a few minutes, but it just seemed forever."
With no sight and no clear exit she lost hope and resigned herself to the inevitable. "I said to myself, Rachel, if this is it, this is it," she said. "If this is you're time to die, that's it."
Her body relaxed in the spinning car, she said a little prayer for herself and her boyfriend who had been pulled into the wave.
"Please let us get out of this," she said. "Don't let us die like this, we just can't.... Then the next thing I saw was daylight and I was able to get out." Commented Shelagh Fogarty, "Sounds like her prayer was answered!" Too true. I notice the BBC website headlines the story, 'Tsunami survivor recalls lucky escape' - listen to the lady, guys.


  1. It was also the feast day of St Francis yesterday.

    There wasn't much to celebrate in yesterday's football though.

  2. So it was. And Rowan Williams preached about Job.

    I imagine someone's celebrating about the football, even if others aren't.

  3. And talking about prayers being answered, how about this:
    "Someone, somewhere must have said
    a little prayer for me.
    I know not how it happened
    but quietly, secretly,
    the weight was lifted off my heart,
    there came a strange relief, a sudden relaxation from the tyranny of grief.
    The love of life stole in once more
    like sunshine after rain,
    the future beckoned and I followed,
    finding joy again.
    I know not how it happened, it was all a mystery - but someone, somewhere
    must have said a little prayer for me!" I love it.
    Sorry Michael - this is supposed to be YOUR blog!!

  4. You're welcome, Brian. And I like it too. There's more in heaven and earth than this world dreams of.

  5. What a wonderful prayer, thank you, Brian for sharing it.