Posted in Inner city, tagged City Dogs Homes, dog, dog warden, garden, rehoming, Sandwell Council, Stoke, stray animals, Vicarage on 24 February, 2013|
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We get a few things chucked over the wall into the Vicarage garden – mostly it’s stray footballs and wrappers from fast food that greet us on the rare occasions we venture into the borders with gloves and trugs. But yesterday I spotted something a little more unexpected as we spent a day with a few friends from theological college. I gazed out of the window as we were chatting and saw A DOG.
Since our garden is fenced in pretty well, this is not something we’ve encountered before. And you’d think someone would have missed the poor thing. So we went out and found a rather smelly, but quite friendly hound, who’d obviously been sleeping under a tree. It may have been there for a day or two, although the Vicar thinks he would have spotted it when chopping wood yesterday. And although the garden gates were open for a while, it seems more likely that someone had sent the poor animal over our wall. He had no collar on.
We called a couple of doggy local friends to see if they recognised it but nobody did. So then we called Sandwell Council’s out of hours dog warden. Who was with us in less than an hour. He told us that our canine visitor was about 4 years old and not microchipped. Then the warden popped him on a lead whilst he wolfed down some dog food that the Queen had run out to buy for him.
He seemed like a very sweet even-tempered dog, and I might have been tempted to keep him if I hadn’t known that the Vicarage cat would object outrageously. So he’s been taken to City Dogs Home in Stoke – they’ve not got his pic up yet, but we’re going to keep an eye on it and give them a call to see how he’s doing. They take 7 days to check them out before starting the rehoming process. It’s sad to think someone abandoned him, and a bit annoying that they were so cheeky as to leave him in our garden, but we were impressed with the warden and the system which enabled him to be taken care of so quickly.
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Posted in Church, Faith, tagged Barnabas Fund, Bible, book, Christianity, church year, CMS, computer, devotions, faith, Family, fasting, internet, John Piper, Journey to the Cross, Lent, Leprosy Mission, Messy MInistry, screens, spiritual discipline, Taste and See, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, tv, writing on 12 February, 2013|
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I’ve been thinking about what to do for Lent this year. Although, theoretically, I could start something new at any time of year, I find that seasons in the church year are good opportunity to review spiritual disciplines. Last year I managed to produce a blogpost every weekday throughout Lent and the Vicar and I had a no-screens-after-8pm fast. We found the screen ban very helpful – and did a lot of talking and reading. We did have Sunday nights off for Dr Who after the Evening Service though. And I enjoyed the more frequent blogging, but I don’t think that is on the cards in 2013.
So here is a little list of what I’m planning to do throughout Lent this year, to draw closer to God and reset my life compass:
- Continue reading my encouraging devotional,Taste and See: Savouring the Supremacy of God in All of Life by John Piper.
- No screens after 8pm again, although I may have to make an exception for writing if I’m to finish Messy Ministry by my deadline just after Easter.
- Write the book – I’m finding the thinking I’m doing quite challenging so far, and the self-discipline involved in setting time aside to write is very good for me. And I have that deadline to meet.
- Increase family devotion frequency to at least 3 times a week. At the moment we’re only managing once a week, although we’re enjoying the format, which includes reading from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ lovely devotional book ‘Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing‘ and praying from prayer diaries from The Leprosy Mission, CMS and the Barnabas Fund, all of whom are supported by our church.
- Did I mention finish the book? And not faff about on the internet being distracted.
sCome nearer Easter, we’ll dig out our Resurrection Eggs too. But other than that I think we’re set. I want to be realistic in the challenges I set but also stretch myself. The screen fast will be the hardest. But I’m also looking forward to the space it will bring into our lives. I’m wondering whether the Vicar and I might use this devotional book together in the time that is freed up. How about you?
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