Mrs DHG, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and I have just returned from a fantastic weekend away with our church family. We hadn’t been away like this with the boys before, so we were a wee bit apprehensive. But we needn’t have been. It was such a lovely time, being with those we love and cherish and who love and cherish us.
This ‘church weekend’ takes place every couple of years, with the past few being held at this beautiful place near Whitby. The weather couldn’t have been better – warm September sunshine from dawn to dusk all weekend.
The food was grand (let’s face it, just not having to prepare, cook, serve and wash-up for 48 hours was a blessing in itself!), and the accomodation was really quite comfy! All five of us were sleeping in the same room (another first!), but in actaul fact the room was almost split into two with the bathroom in the middle – so it felt more like having a small apartment! We all slept extremely well, and thankfully the fire alarm at 5.45 this morning didn’t sound in our building, so we slept through the roll call and visiting fire engine! There is a rumour circulating that the prayer coordinator was trying to boost numbers for the 8am meeting! He strongly denies this!
The teaching was both encouraging and challenging – a timely word from God, brought to us by this man, speaking straight into many of our church situations and things we’re working through as a body. The teaching was from Titus, and focussed on:
- authority in the church (what should we expect from our leaders / what should they expect from us as congregation?);
- believing (have we lost our impact as Christians? / do we really believe that Jesus is Lord, no matter whether others accept that or not)
- belonging (what does church community really look like / how can we nurture and encourage real community, involvement, getting stuck in when people are so busy / how does consumerism impact on how people feel about church);
- transforming (it’s all about people getting to know Jesus / having grace to understand that we’re all a work in progress / not expecting people to conform to our understanding of what a believer looks like, says, acts).
Yesterday afternoon we had time to relax – the DHG clan together with another family (boys aged 7 and 3) headed to nearby Grosmont where we boarded, according to Dibble, ‘Percy’ (this owing to the colour of the engine pulling our carriages!) ‘Percy’ pulled us up what I have been reliably informed is one of the steepest gradients in the world frequented by steam engines (1 in 49 by all accounts!). Dibble was enthralled by the clickety clack, the guard’s whistle and green flag, the smoke and steam. And the ice cream at Goathland (aka Hogsmeade for you Harry Potter fans / aka Aidensfield for you Heartbeat fans!).
So – a really good weekend. Very different (more dipping in an out of things, running after boys, playing at the playpark and wiping noses) than previous church weekends.
But a real blessing none-the-less.
It really is a privilige to spend quality time with family.
I found this last week… lots to think about!
X:Site North East is coming soon…
“X:Site is a fantastic new regional event for children in school years 3-6 run by Scripture Union. The events are packed full of fun and excitement, a great place for young people to bring their friends and learn about Jesus at the same time.
The events take place once every 2 months on a Saturday from 6-8pm at All Saints College Newcastle.
The first event is on 3 October 2009.”
At church this morning, little Dibble was beside himself. He desperately wanted to go up to the front to tell the person leading the service something very important, but he wouldn’t go himself. And Mrs DHG wasn’t for accompanying him!
For 10 minutes he ran up the centre aisle, and then back again to get Mrs DHG’s hand to try to drag her up to the front, but to no avail… but Mrs DHG eventually relented.
So little Dibble dragged Mrs DHG to the front. He then climbed the steps onto the stage (mid children’s talk) and poked the leader’s leg to get her attention, before speaking something into her ear. She then stopped the talk, picked him up and said, ‘OK, you say it into the microphone!’ Which he did, clear as day….
‘Our God is a great big God!’
So, what can you do? Only one thing for it… the worship team struck up a few chords, and we all launched into an impromptu rendition of the chorus of that song – Dibble’s favourite, in case you didn’t know!
Not sure if this now sets a precedent for requests during the service? Perhaps not unless you’re 2!
We’ve had a lovely day today.
It’s been the boys’ dedication at church – where we’ve said thank you to God for bringing the boys into our lives, we’ve asked God to use them for his purposes, and we’ve promised to be the best parents we can be, bringing them up to know Jesus. With the help of a multitude of god-parents!!
We were joined in church by our immediate family (though my lil sis couldn’t make it because of work), good friends, McGrew and Cuthbert’s head teacher and class teachers, our social worker for the past 18 months, and our fantastic church family. It really was a celebration!
The boys had asked if we could sing their favourite song during the service – all five of us were therefore made to stand on the stage to do the actions of ‘Our God is a Great Big God’ – Cuthbert had a fantastic time with the actions, and by all accounts his face was a picture!
We had lunch at home for family and god-parents, and thankfully the sun shone, so boys could play in the garden, expertly looked after by multitude of god-parents, while Mrs DHG and I had some grown-up conversation!!
A great day of thanksgiving and celebration!
After praying with Cuthbert this evening, the conversation went something like this…
Cuthbert: If God can see what we’re doing now, where is he?
Me: Well, God is special because he is everywhere at the same time.
Cuthbert: Is he in my bedroom?
Me: Yes, he is – but you can’t see him.
Cuthbert: Is mummy God?
Me: No, mummy isn’t God.
Cuthbert: Are you God, daddy?
Me: No, I’m not God.
Cuthbert (looking behind the curtains): Is God behind here? I can’t see him. Is he outside the window?
Me: Well, he’s everywhere all at once. And he loves you very much. And so do I. Night Night!
I’m sure there’s a better explanation for a 4 year old…
Would anybody like to suggest one?
Do you know him?