Oh Noooooo.......

I was working on my website pages earlier this morning and deleting some things - and appear to have sent rather than deleted! #technophobe

I am very very sorry to have clogged up your email inbox.

Here’s a calming photo taken just now at the Somerset Lavender farm in the next village. My daughter and granddaughters and I waked around there this morning - the lavender is spectacular at the moment.

  • Penelope

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How to Feast and Fast during Lent


Forty days to go deeper.

Apparently it takes 21 days to confirm a new habit and 42 days to make it a lifestyle.

What new, or re-newing, lifestyle would best help your current walk with the Lord?

What might help you to go deeper in a relationship with him?

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LENT.

A few weeks without chocolate.
And maybe alcohol.
A few weeks of abstinence. 
Of giving up things we like.

Or maybe for Lent this year - just giving up.

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Hurry up, Easter. And spring. And chocolate eggs.

But maybe there's another way.
A way of feasting as well as fasting.


A way of drawing near to the Lord in and through it all. 


FASTING & FEASTING
Fast from a gloomy outlook on life
Feast on what is bright and cheerful.
 
Fast from always being right
Feast on seeing another's point of view.
 
Fast from always pointing out differences
Feast on what unites us all.
 
Fast from words that pollute
Feast on those that purify.
 
Fast from complaining
Feast on appreciation.
 
Fast from self-pity
Feast on goodness in others and self.
 
Fast from self-concern
Feast on going out to others.
 
Fast from overdoing
Feast on time for prayer.
 
Fast from worry
Feast on God's love.


(Father Kerry: Our Lady Queen of Angels
bulletin Lenten Reflection: Feb 2010.)


Come swiftly O Lord, to the dark moments when we are lost.
Make us aware of your presence.
Strengthen us to resist the urges and pulls to deeper darkness.
Stir us to move away from the dark moments of sinfulness
towards the light of your forgiveness.
Come quickly O Lord as we call – or forget to call – and
keep close to us and keep us close to you this day and night,
and as far as the days and nights stretch before us.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

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Walking slowly through France - 230km done, 300 to go

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There is a rhythm to our days. We rise. We walk. A cafe is a bonus. The countryside is beautiful. Wild flowers and vineyards give way to rolling hills, sunshine gives way to rain. But it’s the people and the world we live in that fascinate me.

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Dinner one evening with a couple, he Italian, she Flemish, with our French Algerian cuisiniere. We talk about faith, Trump and Brexit in my broken French. Our host at the B&B has one Catalan grandfather and one Basque (as well as a magnificent moustache). The great European experiment! C’est un melange, they say.

The next night we stay with a German couple, another wonderful chef. He is giving up on the French and returning to Germany as the French never turn up as arranged! A marriage made in ...?

And then a young English couple who moved to Carcassonne. He’s now very grateful for an Irish parent and that their 18 month old was born in France. 

Yet as I read a novel set in occupied Nazi France, I reflect. It’s a mess - Europe. It’s not the ideal I believed in when I voted to join as a young man. It’s overladen with bureaucracy and senseless rules. But what is the alternative? Are we really better off on our own?

And then the kindness and the warmth of the hospitality surprise me. What happened to the French disdain for foreigners?

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I’ve lost my addiction to The Times and today’s news; but even here Trump’s attempts to destroy the Western Alliance send a shiver down my spine. Have we forgotten the lessons of history? My father turns in his grave.

It was our generation that voted for Brexit I’m ashamed to say. What world are we leaving for our 6 grandchildren? Isn’t it better that we live with uncomfortable compromises than with a certainty and nationalism that isolates and separates? 

just a few thoughts as we walk slowly across France .....

Kim

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FINDING OURSELVES IN FRANCE

Finally, after nearly 20 years on my bucket list, the big Walk Across France is about to begin! On June 1st, we fly to Beziers, and the next day, June 2nd, we will be on the Mediterranean beach at Portiragnes Plage.  There, we will turn our faces west, and begin the 500km walk to Cap Breton on the Atlantic. (20,157,480 inches, or 318 miles)

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We will be carrying everything we need, in our large backpacks, so living simply and carrying as little as possible! And we will be staying in B&B and similar accommodations. Some of the walk is relatively easy along the Canal du Midi. Some is more challenging, in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

After the ups and downs of married life, especially recently, and to celebrate the end of our gap year of travelling during the first year of retirement , we will be Finding Ourselves in France…..

We are obviously funding the entire trip ourselves, and going anyway; but then we thought it might be lovely if some people could follow our progress, pray for us,  and maybe support a couple of worthwhile causes to sponsor our every step!

There are two Christian charities for whom we would like to raise £2000 each – a total of £4000, which is £1000 for each week of walking. We will actually walk for 6 days and then take a rest day, so it will take nearly 5 weeks all together.

The International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org)

IJM is an international, Christian, organization focused on human rightslaw and law enforcement, and in particular to work towards the end of sex trafficking. It was founded in 1997 by lawyer Gary Haugen and is based in Washington, D.C.. There are field offices in AfricaLatin AmericaSouth Asia and Southeast Asia, and five partner offices in North America, Europe and Australia. 94% of IJM employees are nationals of the countries they work in. Gary was a member of the church in Virginia where we were on staff.

People against Poverty (http://www.peopleagainstpoverty.com)

in Romania

In September, a group of men from our church (Holy Trinity, Combe Down, Bath) will be going to Transylvania to work with a local pastor who has an outreach ministry to Romany people. Kim will be part of the group!  The men are self-supporting for their own travel; but need to raise the money to build a barn, and other buildings, to help provide farms for those who have no other means of livelihood. The church has a strong link with this ministry and teams have been before.

The fund-raising direct links are below - please join us on the adventure of a lifetime and follow the journey. Social Media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin will each have the occasional photo/update. 

We fly back from Bordeaux on July 3rd.  and would love there to be some financial aid for those charities. Thank you so much for all your help, your prayers,  and your support in every way.

      with love,    Kim and Penelope

People Against Poverty:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/kimswithinbank1

IJM:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KimSwithinbank&pageUrl=1

Architect's design for the barn. They discovered the ground is seismic and had to redo the plans - pro bono all the way.

Architect's design for the barn. They discovered the ground is seismic and had to redo the plans - pro bono all the way.

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WALKING THE VIA FRANCIGENA

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- the mediaeval pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, through the heart of Europe.

We walk part of it in Tuscany, from San Gimignano to Montalcino.

It's very special, beautiful in its simplicity and peace, as we retrace the ancient ways.

DATE ALTERATION!

So maybe it will work for you to come after all 

NEW DATES  are September 1 - 8 (Saturday to Saturday)

There are  just a few places still available - full details here: 

http://www.ministriesbydesign.org/italy-pilgrimage/

 

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How much does the perfect Christmas gift cost?

In about half a second, Google will refer you to

388,000,000 ‘free gifts’

But do we trust freebies?

After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Is there?

 

How much does the perfect Christmas gift cost?

£24.4bn

is what we will spend between us all

in the UK this Christmas

according to The Retail Gazette

 

But there is one gift this Christmas

That is both

Priceless and free

 

It can’t be:

bought,

googled,

bartered for,

earned,

found on an app

or delivered by Amazon

 

It’s already been

paid for in full.

 

JESUS

is

GOD’S CHRISTMAS PRESENT TO YOU

 

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

John 3:16 (The Message)

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