Sunday, November 29, 2020
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June and June!

The following is an extract from my (hopefully) forthcoming book, which is tales and anecdotes, and brief historical facts gleaned from living most of my 76 years in Norfolk. If you don’t know Norfolk, this might seem a little strange! Jackie was a local lady, and always had been. Narwich, as she pronounced it, had been her home from birth. My wife had met her at a ladies fellowship while we were living in the city, and as a result we were both invited to a social event at the local Methodist church where Jackie was a member. An invitation …

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Dry and empty – when suddenly…

“I’m dry. I’m empty,” has been my response recently when people have asked me if I am currently writing a book. You see, you have to have a book ‘in you’, and writing it is ‘letting it out’. And since my last book was published back in 2018, I’ve been empty. Which has been providential (mustn’t say lucky, mustn’t say fortunate, and not sure about fortuitous), because I’ve been a busy chap. Almost too busy, at times. A few Christmas dinners to speak at towards the end of 2019, and all in the West Country or Wales, and too spaced …

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Farsi?

Farsi? I had heard of the language Farsi, and might have guessed at Iran being the nation primarily to use it. But Wendy and I have not been to Iran, and in some respects, it is something of a blind spot. Some people seem to think that writing books is a lucrative exercise. And it is for some, but most authors cannot make a living from just writing. It was 2 or 3 years ago, when having parked my car at a gathering of dental colleagues, one looked at it and said, “I’m going to start writing books!”. I think …

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THE ACORN TREE!

It was a relation, of sorts. I will name no names, and keep my head down. I was walking around the garden with her (there’s a clue) and we were standing under the large tree towards the top of the garden. “This oak tree is probably hundreds of years old,” I remarked. “That’s not an oak tree,” came the reply. “It’s an acorn tree.” “It’s oak,” I said, without pausing and counting to ten, as would have been prudent. “That’s no oak tree.” There was passion, because she knew she was right. “It’s an acorn tree.” And then she delivered …

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I AM A BARRIER!

“Hey Bud, what is your real name?” asked a heavily armed ‘official’ man at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Wendy and I were travelling to Guadelajara, Mexico’s second city. We had intended going on a holiday to Malaysia, but felt that instead, we should ‘give our holiday to God’ and serve Him elsewhere. A long story, but we went to Guadalajara, volunteering to do whatever was necessary, from cleaning toilets to preaching the gospel. (They were gracious, and did not invite us to the toilets). We flew to Dallas, and then on to Mexico. But in Dallas airport, I was stopped. …

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I’m a wine-bibber???

“He’s a wine-bibber. Be careful.” Somebody was being warned about me! A chap who I’d known for years, had come to a meeting at our home. We sang, worshipped, read the Bible and prayed. And chatted and laughed. A day or two later he saw one of the leaders of his church (a great gospel preaching church, full of lovely people – but also somewhat legalistic), and told him he’d been to a meeting at our home. And the leader advised him to be careful – ‘cos Barrie is a wine-bibber!’ The next time the chap was round at our …

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Our Wonderful NHS!

WHAT A WONDERFUL NHS we have in the U.K. Wendy and I don’t do ‘sick’, and although I am 75, and Wendy a few years younger, an average of 8 miles walking a day does not seem too much of a challenge. But something happened to Wendy’s leg on Tuesday. Pain, and unable to stand or walk. The local doctor prescribed stronger pain killers immediately, but they did not help. Then, the helpful man on 111 said to go to A&E at our local hospital. We were seen within 5 minutes. A really reassuring examination, and out well within 30 …

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Foundations

Wendy and I heard this week that some churches in the area are experiencing difficulties with finance. Our vision of ‘church’ is a little different than that of both the traditional denominations, and of the new church variety. But we are all the same Church, and really love those meeting in other places. Indeed, I am national chairman of an interdenominational international fellowship of Christians from all churches. We are living in ‘unprecedented’ (BBC – so it must be true!) times, and there will be much change. How will the church change? What is our vision of church? I write …

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Healthier, Wealthier, Empowered – after Lockdown!

How would you like to leave lockdown healthier, wealthier, and – empowered? While so many sit and watch lots of television, many of us can use the extra time given us profitably. And maybe learn things we can apply at other times. (And I do appreciate that some, such as parents doing home-teaching, are in a very different category from a grandfather such as myself). I have started by trying to get myself into shape. You see, my shape has not been good. Too rotund. How’s your shape? I have been around 3 stone too heavy, with a large tummy. …

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Golf Humour!

The golf club has re-opened, and I have been chasing that little white ball again. Wonder Woman insists on pulling my cart round for me, which makes it even more fun.  I have been amused at the descriptions of some golf shots over the years. For instance, you can hit – A Saddam Hussein. That’s a shot that goes from bunker to bunker. A Sally Gunnell. Not very pretty, but goes like hell. (Supposed to go through the air, but mis-hit, and tears along the fairway). An Arthur Scargill. A good strike, but achieves nothing. (The ball is hit well, …

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