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Archive for October, 2013

Of course, this IS NOT what we do in the Vicarage. But, let’s be honest, Fry and Laurie sum up what many of us secretly think…

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I enjoyed my book signing at CLC in Birmingham very much last weekend. I met some lovely people in the shop – both staff and customers, and some of them even bought a copy of The Ministry of a Messy House. On Saturday I also appeared in the local paper after they’d sent a photographer round to take a pic. He spent a good while rearranging the mess in my kitchen to perfect his shot. Sadly, he didn’t rearrange any of it so that it was tidier…

MMH EandS

Our diocese also published online the article that appeared in the diocesan newspaper this month. The online version has a short video of me in my messy kitchen talking about the book and why we need to know God’s grace. The mess is slightly differently arranged – the icecream tub has moved a bit.

And this week, the first proper review of my book was published online. Eddie Arthur of Wycliffe BIble Translators liked my book and thought that men should read it too (he also blogged a bit of the book that had struck him earlier in the week). This made me happy. I am finding this bit of being an author slightly rollercoastery. Still fun and interesting and occasionally exhilerating. When I’m not feeling slightly nauseous, that is…

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Jackie and Hannah’s were the names picked out by the Queen from the scrunched up pieces of paper I held in my hand this evening. Last two names in the competition were the first two chosen. I shall email you a code for you to collect your free e-book of The Ministry of a Messy House! Thanks to everyone for the excellent descriptions of messy areas in their houses.

The messiest part of the Vicarage is currently the space around and underneath the table in the hall passage leading to the Baltic downstairs loo. It’s a dumping ground for craft stuff we’re not sure what to do with and beneath it is a basket which contains stuff that previous MTs have not known what to do with when they moved out. I really must get round to sorting it out. Just as soon as I’ve finished the washing up. And the laundry. And writing this blogpost…

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I have some wifi and am now desperately posting and scheduling all the things I’ve been thinking about whilst our lines have been down this last week. First off some links to some of the Halloween ideas I’ve blogged previously:

I noticed  this weekend that CLC in Birmingham had a whole heap of Halloween tracts – and a pumpkin prayer, in a display this weekend. So if you’ve not had time to grab any resources, a quick trip to a local Christian bookshop should sort you out in time for any trick or treaters likely to descend. Our church are holding a light party for the first time this year – we’ve just rescheduled our October Messy Church to coincide. My kids are looking forward to it, and I’ve promised the Joker he can do some ‘guising’ at the party by encouraging everyone to tell cheesy Halloween jokes.

Ryan Cartwright aka Crimperman has published a great new cartoon for Halloween this year.  I can’t seem to find a seraphim costume anywhere, though…

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If you follow my tweets or Facebook page, you’ll know that the Vicarage has been without phones or internet since Sunday. I was told by BT (eventually, after I badgered them for about three days on Twitter) that ‘2000 pairs in a cabinet in the local exchange’ have broken. No, I have no idea what that means either. I do know that some (but not all) of my neighbours, including vulnerable elderly housebound people and shopekeepers who rely on a phoneline to offer card payment options for customers, have also been without telephone or broadband since then too.

offlineI can still access my emails, Twitter and Facebook on my mobile phone, but it’s quite a pain to use so I’ve not been very active online. Thankfully, the church office still has phones and internet, so the Vicar has been able to work and I’ve been able to sneak in a couple of times to use them, although today I’m writing this in Tesco’s caff in the tow-un. It has upset my mode of writing, which is very bitsy – I tend to write a bit, do a spot of washing up, pick up some mess, prep some soup and then come back to finish a blog post. So hence my general disconnectedness. The washing up and soup prep need to be done more than blogging and social media so I’ve stayed home and been offline.

It also means I’ve not yet closed the competition for the e-book. But I will do that next week, when the kids are off school and everything is a bit less all over the place. Shall we say last thing Sunday evening for entries?

And don’t forget I’m going to be at CLC Birmingham tomorrow with a big stash of copies of The Ministry of a Messy House. I’d love to meet any blog readers who are in the city. Come and say ‘Hi’!

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MMH IVP marketing tweetThe Ministry of a Messy House is officially published today. And some people have even started reading it. A few have said they have enjoyed it, which is lovely. I have been praying that the book will be a blessing to readers. But I also want to say that’s it’s okay if you don’t love it with your whole heart.

It’s a bit weird writing a book and realising that it might not be for everyone. And that some people might even hate it or think it heretical or boring. But since I wrote about God’s grace and providence in the book, I can remind myself that his grace is sufficient for me and although I’d love everyone to think my book is the greatest thing evah, it’s okay if they don’t. So don’t be embarrassed if you read it and find it’s not for you. We can still be friends.

You can buy it in lots of places – including here on this blog. And today I’m linking to my special magic author discounts at my publisher’s: 40% off the print copy and 50% off the e-book.

I have been given a few author copies too. I’m afraid that I’ve already allocated the print ones, but I have a couple of e-books to give away. Tell me about the messiest part of your house in the comments and I’ll pick two at random to send you the link to the book. Sadly this isn’t available if you’re in North America – although IVP will be providing an alternative in the near future for anyone in the US or Canada who would like to read it.

I am also doing a proper author-type book signing on Saturday 26th October. I shall be at CLC Bookshop in Birmingham from 11am-2pm, under the Pallisades, just next to the entrance to New Street Station. I shall bring some Can Do Cookies (the recipe is in the book) and my best pen. Do come and say hello if you’re in the city.

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A sweet wee dog called at the Vicarage again today. With his owner, of course. We see them from time to time – always polite, good to chat to, usually asking for a little food. And homeless. His man is beginning to think it’s too cold to keep on camping out. But his man hates staying around other people. He likes his tent in the woods. We invited him to come back tomorrow to think about housing options. It really is getting too cold for camping. We sent them both on their way with a packed supper and a torch. Praying their night isn’t too uncomfortable as I listen to the wind whistling outside.

The dog had a coat on too. Needed it.

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