Saturday, 18 December 2010

Grab a bargain!

The Caring Christmas Trees team of volunteers, probably 20 people today have battled through the snow and ice to get every tree to the right place. Thank you Thank you!

There are a few trees left due to the bad weather as we didn't have much passing trade as the snow engulfed South East London. Hence there are still 11 trees up for grabs. If you would like a tree and can offer a reasonable amount you can pick up a bargain, we have 4ft, 1 5ft and a few 8ft's left. Must pick up from King's Church Centre ideally during the Carol services tomorrow! Cash only

Grab a bargain!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Waiting Patiently

My operation is now due to be next Monday. Which means that I will be resting over the Christmas period. This year there will be no long walks, runs or bike rides. Waiting for this operation to happen has required patience and could yet require further patience if the weather causes a further delay. I didn't feel cross with the hospital last week, I know it will happen at some point, hopefully next week.

Before next Monday the King's Carol services happen over the weekend. The carols services at King's are simply fabulous. Balancing traditional carols and readings with creative performance, dance and drama, it is a great Christmas event that works for both believers and unbelievers. I'm really looking forward to it!

Caring Christmas Trees requires patience. Customers don't buy trees when I most want them to. Sometimes the tree count ticks over quickly and at other times the count stubbornly refuses to change. Behind the scenes of CCT there are drivers and porters who deliver the trees to the sites and this year direct to customers homes. Last Friday I spent a couple of hours with this team organising the trees, bases and equipment and this requires great patience. But I love those mornings, the drivers and porters are really good guys and we work together to make Caring Christmas Trees a success.

I remember as a child in the days before Christmas being unable to contain my excitement and desperate for the day to arrive. But now I enjoy the days of preparation knowing that Christmas Day will arrive soon enough. This helps when I read the following bit of one of my favourite books in the bible, a section that I have grappled with for many years.
"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently" Romans 8:24-25

For me, waiting for it patiently feels like an unsatisfactory way to wait. Surely it should read eagerly or with anticipation or with great desperation. However I have learnt that patiently communicates the total certainty that, for those who are in Christ, our hope is secure. It is not in doubt, it's not a 50/50 decision, not a will it happen or not type of waiting. It is as sure as Christmas Day will follow the 24th December. Patiently also communicates that God is above all, he is the architect of our lives. But patiently also means that we are constantly looking, eagerly watching and enjoying all of the journey towards the hope that is secure.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Lewisham Life

Lewisham Life is a free magazine that goes to every house in the borough and in the December edition Caring Christmas Trees are included. This article has brought us a lot of sales so far. I know because I have instant feedback on the 'how did you find out about CCT?' question. As yet there have been no references to Mumsnet though! (see 25 November blog)

If you fancy seeing the article click here

I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah

Well the operation didn't happen, but only just. I was in my hospital gown, psyched up for 6 weeks on crutches etc when I was told by the matron that there was no bed available for me after the operation and despite my desperate pleas that was that, no operation. Hence I am still standing, not trying to walk on crutches. I have no idea when the op will be, probably after Christmas. However 2 people were very happy with the operation not happening; my wife and Dave who is administrating the Caring Christmas trees. The Lord works in mysterious ways!

But in the meantime there are trees to sell and we will soon pass last years total (283). We are still aiming for a total of 400 sales. The photos above are from the Centre for Social Justice offices in Westminster where we dropped off a tree last Wednesday.

Well the England cricket team are standing tall after their innings victory. It's a great time to be an English cricket fan. Roll on the 3rd test and wait for more records to fall.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Getting my inner washer fixed!

On Monday I go into hospital for a long awaited knee operation. I am having a reconstruction of my ACL (acruciate ligament) and repairs to my cartilage, apparently I have damage to the inner washer! The ACL damage was a football injury and the inner washer damage in my cartilage was done whilst fielding in a family cricket match. Here are some of my thoughts.

I cycled home yesterday and thought it may be many months before I am cycling again and that is a sad thought.

It is odd not knowing how much I will be able to do after the operation. I know I will be on crutches for at least 6 weeks but I don't know whether I am winding down for the Christmas holidays or if this a pause before the storm of Christmas activities.

I am really glad to be having the operation during the dark winter months and then hopefully I will be running, cycling and swimming in the summer. I would love to be able to go camping and mountain climbing in the Easter holidays.

In the meantime I will adapt to a different pattern of life at home and work. There is always much to learn and I will look forward to what God has for me during the weeks of recovery. There will be less rushing, I will need to invest more time in people and then delegate, I will try to read more and of course I will enjoy England's tour of Australia!