Right, Mountain, out of the way!

A friend of mine will shortly set out on an amazing adventure – to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – to help raise funds for the charity Scottish Spina Bifida. I really admire him for that. It will take courage, strength and endurance. You can sponsor him if you would like to give him a wee bit more encouragement.
But I ask myself why he doesn’t just walk round it. After all, when we face problems in our lives, some of them look like mountains, and that’s often the easiest thing to do, isn’t it – walk round them? Sometimes we don’t even do that – we just stand there and look at them. They are huge! I’ll never get over it! Scientists say that Mount Everest is getting higher all the time. As we just stand and look at our problems, they get bigger too. Sometimes we can’t even see the top.

Making the best of the worst

Can you remember the worst thing you have ever done? What category does it fall into – embarrassing, dodgy, illegal, evil? Is it worse than anything anyone you know has ever done? Does it scream at you, or merely give you a nudge? Was it a long time ago, or fairly recent? Maybe it was a one-off, or perhaps a serial occurrence? Does it lie in wait for you, or is it in your mind all the time?
Answers on a postcard to…..

Jealousy is good!

Can you name the seven deadly sins?
I suppose it is something that isn’t on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days, and there will be a number of reasons for that. Firstly, people don’t hear about them any more. Secondly, a lot of people wouldn’t know what some of them even meant if they did hear them. Thirdly, there are so many more sins out there – the world has come a long way since the early days of the church. Technology has moved on and you can sin faster, with more people and more often than you ever could back then!
I don’t know why the church came up with the idea of limiting the “deadly” sins to any number. As far as I can see, unless the sin is forgiven by God, even the smallest, most insignificant sin is deadly.

Possessed

In this period of economic downturn there is much tightening of belts going on. There is the fear of losing a job, and the depression that comes from having lost one. People aren’t going out as much, aren’t buying as much. At a time of low interest rates, credit is very hard to get, and mortgages are only available if you have a substantial deposit and a secure salary.
Today in the UK, not having a television is one of the official measures of poverty. When I was very young, it was a mark of affluence – black and white affluence, but still affluence! Our standard of living has increased immensely in a relatively short period. We have more possessions than we ever had, and we throw them away faster than we ever did. Once they are out of fashion, they are out of the door. Once they are old tech, we are looking at the new.

Follow the instructions

I once bought a new kitchen for my house. It was a self assembly kitchen. I was never very good at woodwork and stuff like that in school, so I was really pushing out the boundary of my ability, to say the least! I asked the guy at the store if it was easy to build the units. “Oh yes!” he said, “once you’ve done the first unit, the rest is easy.”
He wasn’t joking! I think it took me three or four days to assemble the first one successfully. I did it lots of times, a different way each time – but I was always left with an extra bit at the end, and the extra bit wasn’t always the same extra bit! Finally, I understood what the instructions were trying to tell me – it wasn’t my fault, you see – they just weren’t speaking to me clearly enough. I hate instructions that mumble, don’t you?