If you click on the link above you can hear a worship service in the Bootle Chapel. You will need an hour for the whole thing, or you can skip over the sermon by the American. Listen to the accents and the laughter and the joy in the singing. The service begins with Mike sharing the importance of Easter. The big voice you can hear singing is Robin. He has an impressive voice with a Scottish accent. Brian is playing the keyboard. He is from South Africa. You would enjoy it more in person, but this will give you some notion of the services here.
As surely you know London was subject to a terrorist on Wednesday. The British people seem to take these things in stride. They have dealt with terror attacks for most of their history. The older folks recall the terror of Nazi Germany. Also in the memory of many are the attacks of the IRA (Irish Republican Army). I have learned that the British are a determined bunch. They will continue to live their lives and will not give into bullies.
A thought of my own about the radical Islamic terrorist, whether the one who struck here, or any in the past or future. At some point they have been convinced that their victims are worth less than they are themselves. Usually this occurs through the brain washing of religious zealots. It is my thinking that God would not have us think that anyone is worth less than we are. Jesus' example to us was one of servanthood to all people. He touched the lepers when none of the religious would. He protected the prostitute from those who would have stoned her. He promised the thief paradise. Jesus doesn't teach that anyone is worth less than anyone else. Jesus does teach that His followers are to be about touching lives and not be making judgments about who is worth touching. Just a thought.
Here, in case you were wondering, is our weekly calendar ("Diary" to our British friends).
Sunday: Church service at 10:45 and 6:00. Communion on 2nd morning and 4th evening. Abbeyfield Assisted Living on 3rd Sunday.
Monday: Kid's Club at Captain Shaw's Primary School at 3:15. Light Lunch on 1st Monday.
Tuesday: Coffee Morning at 10:00. Moms and Toddlers at 1:00.
Wednesday: Computer Drop-in at 10:00. Quilting at 1:30. Bible Study 7:00.
Thursday: Day to explore.
Friday: Lunch at Captain Shaw's at 1:00. Lead discussion about America with older students at 1:00. Railway Club 6:30.
Saturday: Prayer at 8:15. Teen Drop-in at 7:00.
In between all those times is the normal happenings of pastoring a church. Add in grocery shopping and life happening and we stay pretty busy. It's all good.
We got a call yesterday about 3:00 from one of the church attenders. She needed to get to Barrow to take care of something that had come up and needed immediate attention. Barrow in Furness (full name) is a fairly good sized city about 30 miles from home. Back home 30 miles usually means it will take about 30 minutes to get there. Here, because of curvy and narrow roads, it means about 60 minutes. Even more considering the American driving on the left side of the road and still getting use to the steering wheel being on the right side. To make it worse it was dark before we headed home. There is nothing quite like headlights blinding you as you constantly remind yourself that those cars are suppose to be on that side of the road.
If you didn't notice I put a few photos on the Home page of this site. I think VBS had been there long enough. If you have pictures of church events send them to me and I'll put them on.
Wednesday we went to Silecroft for Lent Lunch. It was the first of six Lent lunches leading up to Easter. Donations are accepted and are given to a local charity. I had Leek and Potato Soup and Carolyn had Tomato soup. Good stuff. That afternoon I visited with an elderly gentleman whose name is Geoff (Jeff). He taught me about football (soccer), rugby, and cricket. I think I could be a cricket fan given enough time. I know I'm not tough enough to play rugby. It's rougher than American football, but they don't wear pads or helmets.
Friday was my day to speak to the kids at the school. They wanted to talk about movies and movie stars. They are fascinated with American pop culture. Not necessarily a good thing. I love visiting with them. Friday evenings are for the Railway Club at the Manse. They are building a model railway in the attic of our house. It really is fascinating to see it come together.
Oh yeah. Thursday we drove over to a little village called Sawrey. There we visited the home of the creator of the Peter Rabbit stories, Beatrix Potter. She bought the Hilltop house in 1905. The house was built in 1600 something. Miss Potter was responsible for conserving much of what is now the Lakes District National Park. Our grand daughters love her stories. There are some pictures on this sight.
Monday started with the monthly Light Lunch. This lunch is soup and bread during the winter months. Carolyn made beef stew. There was also ham and leek, and something else I can't pronounce. This is one more opportunity to meet people and to listen to those wonderful accents. It seems to me that everyone of them has an individual accent. Of course, they remind me that I am the one with the accent. At 3:15 we met at the school for Kid's Club. Thirteen children gathered to learn about Daniel and the lions. They played games, heard a story, and created a lion mask. It is really a lot of fun.
Tuesday, for Carolyn, was a day in her element. She spent the day sewing with a group of ladies that make quilts for a charity called Linus. They met in a converted barn. I dropped her off about 10 and returned to Bootle for Coffee Morning. On my way back to pick her up I stopped at Ravenglass and walked a trail that lead to ruins of a Roman Bath. The ruins are close to 2,000 years old. Amazing. After collecting Carolyn (not picking up like I would at home) we went on to Whitehaven to buy groceries. While there we filled the car with diesel. Gas here is about a pound and 20 pence per litre. That's over $7 per gallon. Makes the prices at home seem very cheap. Groceries are a bit more expensive here. I have heard about 20-30 percent higher.
We walked a local trail Saturday in search of lambs. After trudging through considerable mud we noticed a set of twins at a distance. I'm sure I have already told you we live in perhaps the most beautiful part of England. A great view from where ever you stand. I put a some pictures on this sight.
Today was a good day at church. This morning I spoke about Noah and how God called him to come into the Ark. God wouldn't have said come in if He weren't already there. The folks in the church, just like at home, bless me with the way they sing out. After the service tonight we set around the table, taught each other about our homes, and laughed. They love to laugh.
Friday, as I do each week, I spoke to the older kids at Captain Shaw's School. This week we did a crash course on American history. I skipped very quickly over the part where we won independence from England. I always end by asking if they have questions, and they always ask the same thing. Do you like Donald Trump? I always give the same answer which is that I prefer not to talk about politics. It is a strange view from here of the current political situation at home. Most of the news programs we watch are on the BBC. The President probably doesn't like the media here any more than he does at home. He, to say the least, is not popular here. The British people are not shy about giving their opinions on politics, or most anything else. I just make light of it with them. but as I said, it is a strange view from here. Don't forget to love each other.
I spoke at a meeting of churches in Millom last Monday evening. It is a gathering of folks from Catholic, Anglican, and Non Orthodox groups like Salvation Army, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Baptist. It is known as the 3M meeting since it held in Millom Monthly. Go figure. We had a delicious dinner, including some BBQ chicken wrapped in bacon. I shared with them about our family, our home, our church, and had some fun talking about some differences between our use of the English language and driving. I finished up with a sermonette on the difference between religion (going to church) and being a follower of Jesus. I used Matthew 15:8-9 (God cares less about our religion), Romans 8:14-17 (We can have a relationship with God through Jesus), and Hebrews 13:16 (God is only pleased with our sacrifice of touching lives.)
Yesterday we explored the village of Ulverston. It is about an hour away from Bootle. We visited the shop where Ulverston Crystal is made. Very beautiful glassware and quite expensive. Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame was born in Ulverston. There is a museum, but we decided to wait and go through it when Russell and Kerri and boys come over. We found an old fashioned sweet shoppe (English spelling). Jars and jars and jars of sweets. I'm sure there will be one just like it in Heaven. From there we drove to Barrow and ate at McDonalds. Carolyn was craving some american french fries. They were very tasty. To top it off we brought home some KFC for supper. Hmmm.