Fizzy Drinks

There is growing evidence of just how bad fizzy drinks are for you and the serious contribution they make to the development of Obesity and to Diabetes. (Not only regular but also the ‘diet’ or ‘light’ versions). All calories are not the same, the way that they impact the body and get metabolized varies enormously.
I am pretty much persuaded that we should not be selling them in youth group tuck shops!
(Lights little blue touch paper and steps back)

Vidi Vici Pisti

The Ski trip was somewhere beyond EPIC and I’ve had such an amazing time out in Switzerland serving as resident (lay) minister on a Gold Hill Trip. I love GH trips for the community, faith and adventure they embody, I also love the fact that you get a full seven days skiing and great ‘home’ cooked food … in fact it would be possible to go and not have to spend any extra at all (were it not for the lure of hot chocolate on the mountain) as equipment hire, lessons, meals (and sandwiches for lunchtime), ski pass are all included.
Lauterbrunnen was beautiful with snow right down to the Valley and in fact it pretty much snowed for nearly four days whilst we were there giving in a rather magical quality ( Tolkein thought so even in summer, in fact). Given the abundance of snow, the skiing was an absolute joy with runs right down to the valley possible, whilst high up above the clouds tiny ice particles in the air reflected the sun producing an intoxicatingly-beautiful ‘fairy dust’ effect.
The talks seemed well received and I’ll post separately some of my reflections on how the talks worked as an all-age approach. The tack I was taking was exploring what growing as a Christian might involve and look like; starting from things people were experiencing on the trip, looking at the Jesus principle therein and then exploring what it might look like to embrace this in our everyday lives. The talks were:
Sunday: Steeper and Narrower, taking risks
Monday: Community, warts n’ all
Tuesday: Silence and the senses
Wednesday: Reconnecting with ecology
Thursday: Living in Rhythm and being in the now
Friday: Embracing the Physical

Have been feeling ill today with a cold and I guess some fatigue from the coach trip home, but feeling refreshed in spirit. The Eigernordwand and the surrounding snowy mountains still dominate my thoughts and memories.

Clothing protocol

I need some fashion/protocol advice for the ski trip. As the resident minister on the trip (I’m not ordained though) what do I wear? On previous occasions it’s been assumed I am a ski instructor (this is before they’ve seen me ski I should add) so I need to look vaguely like the speaker might. Looking for a compromise that avoids sandals, socks, stay press trousers, shirt and tie under a V kneck jumper BUT is still reassuringly:
“ah … that must be the Speaker!”

Lent: reading, being and doing

Lent in our household is being framed by the daily challenge and Bible Verse from the Love Life, Live Lent booklet, which is a great focus.
In terms of Lent reading, I’d highly recommend “The Book of Sparks” by Shaun Lambert.
Mindfulness and the contemplative practically explored over 40 days. Below is the Amazon review I posted:
book of sparks.jpg
“Shaun Lambert writes clearly and helpfully about a journeying faith, the way we might encounter the Christ at the heart of christianity and explore what ‘mindfulness’ could mean… or more simply, being more fully human and alive. Too often Christianity has been kept safe (boring, unable to help order self) rather than really tried. Shaun offers a study in the book of Mark alongside reflections from his own journey and a framework to engage with that is challenging but accessible and earthed.
I found it really helpful and would recommend it for Lent Study, for House Groups or for anyone who feels that there is a bigger challenge and reality to Christianity spirituality”