Thursday, 29 March 2007

Eleven Years In This Flat

Eleven years to the day when I moved in to this flat. What a change from the London place. It took me a while to get used to this, although the couple downstairs with loud music for the first few days made it difficult. However they moved out, and as Easter Monday came upon us immediately, and I had to use those wee cards to pay for electricity which I did not have, I soon felt at home , cold, hungry and penny scraping. It was lonely, boring and I was not too happy. However, one day a few weeks later, I walked down 'The Avenue' and noticed the blue sky, birds singing and decided it was better than London after all.

Times of unemployment, which went on and on, temp work, packing work and later the Royal Mail job followed. Now the circle is complete as I am broke and unemployed again. Good things did occur. Nina being the best. What a wonderful woman she is. I thought she was ideal for me in every way, except regarding God. Her opinions were different. However she made me feel like a man, taught me about loving someone, and being loved, and I miss her still. No woman can replace her, and let's face it, none have wanted to.

So, eleven years on I find myself broke, unemployed, with no chance baby. Lonely for a woman, without a church to be involved in, no friends, no jobs, and staring bankruptcy in the face, if I can afford it. Are you depressed yet? Neither am I! I believe God still loves me. I just wish he would show me the way out of this mess. Happy anniversary........

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

I Told You it Couldn't get Worse!

I lied of course. This morning my delightful niece sent me a little note, black paper, silver pen, great for the postman's eyes that! She enclosed a pic of her two dogs, excellent photo it as at that.
Along with that came the 'Scots Magazine', and a brown envelope. As expected it meant my JSA has stopped. As I then went on to look up the money paid into the bank, so did my heart. Instead of £114 I got £49. Oooer, I thought. As I had calculated I had only £12 left to live on throughout April, this came as a surprise. I forgot I may not get the whole amount.

So I have done the only thing possible. Asked Jesus what to do? I am looking for the reply that brings a quick and pleasing answer. None has come. I am beginning to think that maybe he will not answer this one. I may have to take a job that puts pressure on my knee (and wallet) again. It is at times like this I wish I had been better educated,less lazy, and had some specific skill other than humping things (not people, that is not very skillful where I'm concerned). But if I cannot get one, or one quick enough, then what?

Is God behind this? If so, what is he saying to me? I wish I could hear, and knew what to do?
Interestingly I did a joke test this morning and discovered I was 73% Stupid.
Doh, I knew that already mate!

The test.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

The Darkness Deepens

So as I sat here yesterday typing out the collapse of all things around me, the washing machine, stereo etc, I did not think it could get worse. It did! Last night I sat at the calculator and discovered that when I have paid of the direct debits and posted the cheque to the Visa card I would have £12 to last me a month. Not only does nothing work, not only can I not find work that my sore knee and dumb brain can cope with, but I am broke! For the first time in a long time I was anxious about cash. That has not happened for a long time. What to do? Find work. Great! Where? Doing what? Suitable work does not either exist or want me. This mean unsuitable work, bad for my knee and the very thing the doctor said 'NO!' to.


Friday, 23 March 2007

The World Crumbles Around Me

As I was setting the stereo to tape a radio programme I once again found the machine playing up. Instead of changing the time, it changed to the programme. All too often it does things it ought not! If I switch it off, it comes on again! If I turn down the volume the sound goes on down to zero, if I turn it up it reaches 90 decibels. It will not be long before this one reaches the end.
This is worrying me. Already I have a broken washing machine, the P.C. is broken, this laptop is not working properly and the video played perfectly, until yesterday! Now all tapes show up as 'snow' while the picture appears when fast forwarded! Great! The microwave is falling apart and will need renewing, and the kettle is leaking.

This would not be a problem but for a misfortune with money. That is, there is none! Here am I, unloved, unwanted, and no wonder, with no job and with a sore knee! Being fifty five means no one wants to employ me, my memory is going and I keep forgetting things, even peoples names when I am talking to them. I checked the money tonight and came to a startling find, I am broke! It seems that the benefit cash and the dole money is not covering as much as I thought. In short, my new 'o' level in maths has not helped my calculations. I am still a dunce. When I pay all the debts at the end of the month I will have £12 to last a month! I may lose more weight than I thought........

What to do? I cannot think as I am dumb, I cannot do the jobs I am used to because of the knee, I can't even drive and now cannot get the lessons I have been looking for. Employers don't want me, I have nothing to offer.......Hmmmmmmm looking good eh?

A short prayer. "Jesus, Heeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllllp! Thank you"

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Dry, Sunny Essex

When I came here eleven years ago, I was delighted to discover Essex was the driest county in England! Fantastic! I was also under the impression it was one of the flattest. Combining this 'little Holland' with Global Warming I thought I was on to a good thing here. How wrong I was!

Within two years I received anxious phone calls from relatives worried about the money I had borrowed, asking if I had drowned in the floods. Naturally they were delighted, at least the piggy banks were, that flooding only happened at the bottom of the hills, hills which I thought did not exist! Flooding did take place, and has done since several times. A combination of heavy rain and swollen rivers makes for uncomfortable living. This begs the question, why buy a house at the bottom of a hill next to a stream? And the houses bought are not the cheap ones either. What drives folk to seek houses there? Could it be that is where 'the right people' live? You know, the middle class folks, 'our kind' as it were. Certainly a more intelligent, less class conscious type might move to a better place, but I digress.

The hills. Yes, there are hills, and steep ones at that. I did not notice them at first, but once I got on the bike and found myself struggling up slopes I had not noticed before, then I noticed them. Once I began delivering mail by bike, I noticed them even more!
Struggling up a hill with a twenty five kilo bag of mail aint no fun son I can tell you! Naturally, in such a job as that, there is always one who has to claim he cycles up daily with no problem. We all tend to agree with folk like that. The cycling is no problem, it's the lies that irritate! Why is there always a man who has to boast of his prowess when all and sundry know he is lying? Not only that, he knows we know, but he goes on pretending he is fooling folks, and even impressing them. The word 'tosser' is appropriate here.

Essex, county of hills and rain after all. But on the other hand, there is indeed more dry days than wet, more chance of a hosepipe ban than a flood. More chance of my lottery win arriving than daft middle class types buying houses they actually want than just because they are with the 'right kind of people.' Could be worse mind, I could be in some city centre. At least I can always see the sky here, even if it is overcast and light gray at the moment.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Good and Bad Weekend!

When your team puts in a performance like we did against Dundee United you need something to lift the heart, or in deed Hearts I should say. Four nil loss at home to a mediocre team that is rebuilding from a position of nothingness? How come? Vlads bad management structure, poor team relationships, and lack of strong leadership, that's too the fore. What will happen now? There are no top players either fit or available. Far too many of the better players hide, and soon the split will mean we are against those clubs fighting for the EUFA place. Disaster awaits!

Now, when you need something good to happen to you what occurs? A novelty, a blip, a nightmare that's what! Yes indeed, the Wee Team went of and won the third trophy in Scottish football the CIS League Cup! How could they? And how could they do it so emphatically, five goals to one indeed! I am glad I do not live in Edinburgh at these times, I may get done for assassination!

However, not all is bad. God has been good this past few days.Indeed I think folks prayers have meant leading me to a church that can be helpful and certainly indicating Jesus love for me still, in spite of it all! I have never really enjoyed Jesus as I ought. I keep holding back from giving my self too him fully. But I am encouraged this weekend here. Through the hail that has come down in blizzards at times I can see sunshine in Jesus. Lets have more Lord. And if you can do something about Vlad getting a proper manager, well, that would be good also......

Wednesday, 14 March 2007


OK so the weighing machine groaned when I stood on it, and the plastic cover on the dial flew off, but that does NOT make me fat! Anybody who is out of work and spending too much time sitting at a broken computer could easily put weight on. Especially when it rains outside, or the neighbours complain about the noise up above them. This hinders exercise you must understand.
However, when said machine creaked a wee bit and the dial read 16 and a half stone (that's 231 lbs to the uneducated) I decided something must be done.
So it was out on the bike, along the flat streets a couple of days, and up the old railway line yesterday. Would do that more often if those dog walkers waited until I passed. You have no idea how many pooches wait until you cycle up to them then meander in front of you! Today I not only went down the flat road, and the long way round, I also walked for a while in the sunshine.

Now I realise just how unfit I have become. Puffing and panting in a way I did not do four years ago! Working for Royal Mail did my knees no good at all. I used to go long walks but now struggle after half an hour. Losing weight will help, but I wonder if the knees will ever be the same? The arthritis under the right knee won't help, but that also makes me walk at an angle. This is something that is getting worse. I came across Nina a few weeks ago and she was shocked at the change. That was worrying. However, with the cycling and walking, with the weights I lift and the other exercises I reckon I will lose the fat stomach, feel better, think better also, or give up and be a slob! Things must change. getting a job, with the routine etc that goes with it would help, and being healthier might help me get a job. What kind of work needs fat slobs.

And when were are on the subject, why do folks use the word 'obese' in the media when they refer to fat folk? Are they ashamed? Or is 'fat' not educated enough? pretentious misuse of words by the media folk I guess. I am heading for 'fat,' and that in the big belly area at that. Not 'obese,' just 'fat,' and it's disgusting!

Thursday, 8 March 2007


God created women so they could know him and praise him. So that they could experience life in all its fullness. How easy it is for men to forget this and abuse them. We look at pictures of their naked bodies and let our fantasies run free. married or single, old or young we justify it one way or another. Christian men are well aware, not only that it is wrong, but of the harm it does to them, and themselves. yet we still watch a bit of porn, indulge our feelings, and forget that these women, like ourselves, belong to God, not us!

Muslim women tend to be treated very badly indeed. Usually this is because of cultural , rather than religious, motives, but nonetheless the women are rarely free. Afghanistan and Saudi may be amongst the worst, but they are not alone. African women tend to be more independent, but suffer much in many areas. Indian women, especially in the village backwaters, of which there are vast numbers, suffer also.

Women in the 'west' are constantly complaining of their lot. But these women are free, able, and very well off. Rarely do they have genuine deep complaints no matter what they say. The men in the west suffer just as badly, but are expected to just 'get on with it!'

The point is, no matter where we are in this world. No matter what century we lived in, God in Christ Jesus created all women. Each one is precious in his sight. Each and every one cost the life of the saviour, none are left out of the finished work on the cross. They are meant to be free in Christ, meant to have a life of fulfilment, meant to be praising him in all things, and meant to know him and enjoy him for ever.

Can we Christian men stand around ogling them? Are we entitled to sit back and allow women in other religions or cultures to suffer? Is it right for us to forget they belong to God and not us?
Married or single, whatever our area of life, the sex urge does impel us to look at women. We want one, usually 'now!' The way they dress in the west does not help us of course, and their own sexual liberality is a distraction. But it is for the individual male to remind himself that they belong to God. We all know this can be hard when sex rears its head. Single men, especially young ones, find control difficult. So do married men. Their wives are often very unhelpful and a woman who treats her man thoughtlessly and ignores his sexual needs does indeed encourage him to look elsewhere. Consideration for the other is very important here, not all women understand, or indeed care at this point.

Let us then see woman as God sees them. Let us love them in Christ, and that is not always easy! We know that! Let us endeavour to ensure that God can get the best out of the women he has made. That she is aware of him and his love for her. That she is enabled to praise him and enjoy him,whatever the situation. Slave or free, rich or poor, black or white, known unto Jesus or not, let the male love them as Jesus loves his church.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Sunday, A Day For Seeking God

At least that was the idea. It seemed good at the time! So when I woke this morning, for the second time, I noticed there was a mist outside. Not much point in having one inside I suppose, anyway, I decided that fitness was important and climbed on the rusting bike with my rusting body and headed for the old railway line. The intention was that I would stop at places, contemplate God as I looked at the country around, take a photo or two of misty scenes,and plod home to continue the seeking. naturally the place was busy. Not 'High Street' busy, but plenty of folks walking their dogs, jogging or just wandering up to the village for whatever purpose. Not much chance of a meditation here. The one time I stopped, as I puffed up the incline the steam trains of the past never noticed, it took seconds for folk to appear in the distance. Hey ho.

So it was back home in due course, and meditate in the bath. Well, doze was more like it as the exercise had failed to stimulate the mental capacities that once resided in the cranium. It took only a short while to decide that protein was required. Salmon and assorted fruits and veg saw to that, and it helped. The theory that a good breakfast is required to survive the day is clearly correct. if there is time of course....

However, by tuning into Premier Radio,
and listening to the noon worship time life changed. While I was struggling to read the book, and finding my head filled with despair at my unbelief and lack of God there the presenter read a psalm that meant a lot to me. Don't ask which one as I forget, but the words spoke of Gods care and I was lifted suddenly out of the pit! As the bland inconsequential praise so loved of Premier continued, I found myself crying out to God as I had once before in the distant past! Emotion or Spirit? I do not know or care, but this has carried me through the day.

I wandered out later and accidentally came across Sunday football in the park. As the rain slanted sown and the adolescent players struggled with the hill and weather, I found myself just enjoying the rain and the game. I took this as from God and stood happily in the rain for a good while before deciding prayer was what I was supposed to be doing. Back home I read while listening to Premier. Tiring of the blandness of the music I searched out other Internet radio stations and found one in Ottawa playing worship music with a bit more bite. CHRI FM is worth a listen.
It done me a lot of good today. I found one or two others that had good thumping music, but this made reading while listening easier.

I find myself tonight wondering where I am after today. Am I nearer God? Have I given myself through the cross? Am I letting him in? I am loner, I always want to be in control and have always resisted letting go, am I nearer that, and have I done enough? Lord please say.
Whatever, today has had many positives. I am glad for it.