Monthly Archives: October 2009

Towers, Angels and High Places

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A different sort of tower to Pisa.  This one is on the west coast of Mallorca.  I had a dream way back in May about an angel waiting to partner with us and he stood by a watch tower.  Took a while to locate (we were being a bit blind!) but we visited recently and cool time ensued!

On a side note: Heard an interesting thing about high places from Sue Mitchell…we often look for the old ones (the tower is 500 years old) but what are the new ones?   T.V. ariels/ radio masts…and I don’t know about your city but in many all the tallest buildings are banks…

Anyway, I love the idea of partnering with angels.  We’ve spent many years praying that God would open  heaven, maybe heaven’s much more rendered than we think and maybe we’re really needing better eyesight to see what’s already here?

Ah well.

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Arran

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The island of Arran is 12 miles accross  the water from West Kilbride in Scotland, where I grew up. I used to dream about exploring the island while looking out from my bedroom window as a child, longing to go there, and in my teens we camped there most summers.

I find Arran such an inspiring island. It kindles in me an energy for adventure. I’ve had such fun there over the years, walking in the hills, cycling round it and recently kayaking round it.

The sky above is often beautiful and this photo was taken recently –  a lovely October evening..

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Two small stones..

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Two small stones in an isloated graveyard on Scotland’s North West coast. They mark the grave of a guy called Maelrubha (pronounced Malroova) who set out from his home in Ireland in a scarily small boat and ended up in a tiny coastal village in Wester Ross.

Maelrubha’s not exactly on the ‘A’ list of saints. Unlike Columba, Cuthbert and co very little is known about him. The facts are few. He founded a monastic community in Applecross. His wanderings around the Highlands involved healings and miracles. He died in his 80′s.

That’s pretty much it. And that’s what I love and find challenging in equal measure. A largely hidden life. Simple, free, sacrificial, following the call of the Wild Goose and undoubtedly tough. A life where the supernatural was smack in the middle of the ordinary – which is where it has always belonged.

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La Torre di Religion

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It’s funny how God makes things curly and we make things straight and how one of our favourite sites in Europe is something made straight that went curly.

One million visitors each year take a little delight in something that just won’t conform.   It continues to lean a little bit more each day.

“The Leaning Tower’s ornate and unique exterior balconies were built to enable local dignitaries to be seen by the populace during religious processions in the Middle Ages..”

Well that does make me laugh..

“Begun more than 800 years ago, it developed a tilt almost from the start because it was built on sandy foundations.”

Ah yip. You’ve got to wonder how many other towers built for religious show are leaning and have been leaning for some time now.

It cost the Italian government $25, 000 000 to straighten it up a bit in the 1990′s and they hope it’ll last another 200 years.

Some days I wonder what it’s costing to maintain our religious towers and just how long will they last?

But anyway maybe it’s better to concentrate on growing within a living structure, like this 2000 year old olive tree. Gnarled and knotted, fire, drought and disease resistant, capable of regenerating even when cut down.

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I like curly things.

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Lessons from the olive tree

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I have an olive tree in my garden and the olives are just about ready for picking.

It has brought me much joy to watch the fruit appear and ripen.  I’ve been ready to pick them for months, checking them once a week to see if it’s time.  But I must be patient. The key to good olives is to pick them when they are ripe, not too early and not too late. And so I watch and wait…

The olive is of major importance to the Mediterranean.

The olive tree is hardy, drought-, disease- and fire-resistant, and can live for thousands of years. Its root system is very robust and capable of regenerating the tree even if it is destroyed.

Proper pruning is important. Pruning both regulates production and shapes the tree for easier harvest.  The trees can withstand radical pruning.  The olive never bears fruit in the same place twice, and usually bears on the previous year’s growth.

I feel I have much to learn from this magnificent tree that dominates the landscape I live in.

Oh that I may be like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God.”  Psalms 52:8

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Gone fishing..

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Fishing tackle at Cala Figuera

Trying to be more adventurous with the fish we eat.

So much choice on the island it’s overwhelming, particularly in the fresh fish markets!  So I bought 2 white looking fishy things and Martin set to cooking them.  They got more and more rubbery and after quite some time we finally realised they weren’t fish exactly, they were octupi!

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In the beginning..

Cannich Hall

OK, so I fully appreciate this is never going to rank as an inspiring photograph. But every picture tells a story – and this is ours. This tatty old nissan hut is our village hall. It’s cold, it leaks, has been neglected for ages and was originally only built to last 10 years – and that was 50 years ago.

A group of us have got together to say ‘enough is enough – this community deserves something better’. We’ve formed  a little company – Strathglass and Affric Community Company Limited (and, as of this week, a Scottish charity – we have the paperwork to prove it!). Next up is an application to the Big Lottery and a fund raising event.

It’s early days for this adventure. We’re going to need hundreds of thousands of pounds but we’ve made a start. I absolutely believe the money will come.

There are some who think we’re barking. ‘It’ll never work – not here. You’ll never get people to support you. And what about the current economic climate?’ These things are said not out of malice but, I think, because many people in my glen dare not hope for more.

I listen to their words but, by and large, don’t take them to heart because there is a bigger Word who says:

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the insignificant and despised things of the world – yes, even the things that don’t exist – to abolish the things that do exist….

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