Friday, 30 April 2010

Mango chutney and the love of God....

This week I have been thinking primarily about two things :-

- How to find Mango chutney....
- The love of God.

For the latter I have been reading and re-reading the following passages :-

Eph 3:17b-19...And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the believers, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Rom 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The love of God - it is complete, perfect, imperishable, unending, unconditional, insurpassable, and his love reaches into every corner of my life - it is high, it is deep (reaching into the depths of my discouragement, despair and even reaching into my experience of Karena's death). His love is wide (covering the whole breadth and experience of my life so far and into the future), and I cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ (despite any effort I may make to the contrary!!).

This truth warms my weary heart ;-) That's the good news...

The bad news is that I am spending my life hunting for Mango chutney....why do they hide it at the supermarket ?? - I gave up looking for it at Asda on Tuesday after hunting around for an age in the sauces section, the pickles section and also the 'world foods' section - and also being misdirected by staff (I think). Karena used to say that I don't open my eyes - she was right of course - but this particular pickle still eludes me. So my challenge for today is to do my tax return and go mango chutney hunting once again.......

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I'll sing.....

Today has been a roller coaster....I have been told that grief hits you in waves....whoever originally came up with that analogy deserves a prize ! I keep thinking that I'm on the up-slope and then I seem to hit the floor hard again. Chatting to somebody this morning set me off into a tear-laden day, as I recall my wife, the good times we had, her final months, her faith, her hope, her smile and her tears.
This afternoon I've been singing a Simon Brading song.....through tears and sadness, with a heavy heart, it sums up how I feel today. If you haven't heard the song, check it out here.
For the rest of today and tomorrow too, I'll sing to the Lord confident that I'm held in His hand.....

Lyrics are below.....

You are the rock on which I stand
All that surrounds is sinking sand
Days of darkness may shadow my path
But I know I'm held in Your hand

Seasons will may change but You remain
Even through drought and tears of pain
Safe within Your truth I'll stay
For I'm Yours, I'm held in Your hand

All earthly things will fade away
Your promises Lord remain the same
Trials may come from day to day
Still, I know I'm held in Your hands

I'll sing through tears and the smiles
I'll sing through rain or shine
I'll sing of unending grace
I'll sing just to give You praise, my Lord

A time will come when suffering will end
But until that day
You won't abandon me
Forever I'll stand, held in Your hand

Saturday, 17 April 2010

We made it.....!

Hooray - We made it....we completed our 5km swimathon in a cumulative time of about 1hr 55mins. The children (and me!) felt quite triumphant - It was really great !
We were cheered on by Karena's mum and dad so we had all the support we needed.
If you were able to sponsor us - thank you so much.
And so the school holidays draw to a close. It's been good but I do desperately need to clean the house sometime soon - even the dog is looking disgusted with it - so the kids need to get back to school !
The scripture living with me this week is Ps 25:4-5 :
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.
God is still in control - He always was and always will be.

Haven't cried as much this week.....

Friday, 9 April 2010

Spring has sprung....

Scattering Karena's ashes in Windsor Great Park on Monday went "as well as can be expected"....I read from Luke 24:1-6 (He HAS risen !) and John 11:23-26 :

.....Jesus said [to her], "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

We all gave a resounding "Yes" to this question and it summarises the basis for our firm confidence and hope.

Winter, to me, felt like it was going to go on forever - my winter memories include seemingly endless trips to the hospice in the cold and the time it felt like the season was never going to end...but of course it has - it's now 8 weeks ago today that Karena died, and the winter has passed as well.
And so to a new season....

Today No.1 daughter had a riding competition. She was magnificent (in my opinion). 17 years ago I used to stand and watch Karena I watch my daughter who loves it just as much as her mum did !

After that we all went for a "Team Mackay" training session down at the swimming pool in preparation for next weekends sponsored 5km swim. Yes, the Crazy Mackays are doing a sponsored swim in aid of Marie Curie and also Duchess of Kent House Charity......(can you guess the next bit ??!!)
We've already got a few sponsors for Marie Curie and we are hoping for a few sponsors for DOKH Charity too... so if you'd like to sponsor us, we'd love to take your cash (!) - please email or text us and we will add you to our list ! (this is shameless sponsorship plugging, I know !!)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Resurrection time.....

Well it's Easter weekend...and the children have all broken up from school. They're relieved - not sure if I am or not !?!

On Monday we will be scattering Karena's ashes.....but it's Easter time and that means it's resurrection time......

Of course, we live in the good of Jesus' resurrection every day of the Luke's gospel (24:5-6) I have just read what happened when the women went to Jesus' tomb a couple of days after his crucifixion and burial ...they were asked "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is NOT here; He HAS risen...."

When we scatter Karena's ashes on Monday I will read this passage from the bible and we will scatter them with some tears perhaps, but with the full and clear understanding that Karena is with the Risen King, the Lord of Glory, her Saviour. Wow !

For us as a family, this Easter we will stand in awe once again at the resurrection of Jesus - and this year it will have a whole new freshness and wonder.

The dead come alive in Christ....and Jesus is alive today - it's utterly life changing !
Have a great Easter ! x