Temple of Friendship

Today I’d like to ramble a little bit about the subject of “friendship” as it has been on my mind recently. In fact, one of my New Year Resolutions this year was as follows:

Resolution #6. Invest more time in friendships
I have some really good friends. I should spend more time with them.

This was inspired by one of my favourite Bible pages from the Deuterocanon:

Let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant.
When you gain a friend, first test him, and be not too ready to trust him.
For one sort is a friend when it suits him, but he will not be with you in time of distress.

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;
For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.

– Sirach 6:6-17

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Meanwhile in Britain…

I have drunk far too much tea already this morning. Watch out…

Is England in London? (Part 2)

Whenever Americans find out that I’m from England (and not from Australia), the conversation quickly turns to the subject of London.

For example, it’s usually assumed that I was born in London (I wasn’t) and that I’ve lived in London my whole life (I haven’t). When someone is telling me about his experience of London I’m often tempted to ask him what he means by “London” because, like most things in England, things are rarely straight-forward…

Last Year’s Resolutions

Tomorrow I’ll post my new resolutions for 2012, but I thought I’d first do a quick review of those from last year.

1. Spend 30 minutes every day in Scripture: A lot of my time in 2011 was spent reading and studying Scripture, but I didn’t manage to achieve the quiet lectio divina style of reading for which I was aiming.

Final Grade: C

2. More dancing: I did quite a bit here. I taught a good handful of times, went out social dancing a few times, attended Swing Diego and did a couple of months of West Coast Swing classes. However, I didn’t manage to settle into a regular pattern of dancing.

Final Grade: D

3. No more rushing: I think I really nailed this one. I had a busy year, but I didn’t overbook or frantically run about from appointment to appointment.

Final Grade: A

4. No chocolate: Did it. It was horrible. I love chocolate.

Final Grade: A

5. Get into the best shape of my life: At the beginning of the year I began keeping a closer eye on my diet. However, I didn’t really get into the way of regular exercise until towards the end of the year. I began running with John in the mornings but finally signed up for Bootcamp. Within two months of joining Bootcamp I lost 4% body fat and 8lbs. I go four or five times a week.

I’m not yet in the greatest shape of my life, but I’m well on my way to getting there. I’ve signed up for the Warrior Dash in March, by which time I hope this resolution will be achieved…

Final Grade: B

6. At least five minutes of guitar practice every day: I haven’t strictly fulfilled this, but I now to play very regularly and I think I’m much improved.

Final Grade: B

7. Keep proper track of finances: Much improved from the beginning of the year. I now have a financial adviser and I have my American finances in reasonable shape now. For a good while I kept a budget and checked my bank balances, but in the latter part of the year I’ve got out of the habit.

Final Grade: C

8. Get back to England for a couple of weeks: I went and it was wonderful 🙂

Final Grade: A

So, my final report card was:

D x1, C x2, B x2, A x3

Not bad! I’ll write about my new resolutions tomorrow 🙂

Eucharistic Flashmob

Thanks to Jenna for finding this one:

I really like what’s read here. Here’s a transcript:

“Jesus Christ is in every book of the Bible…

In Genesis, Jesus is the Seed of the Woman
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He is the Priest, the Altar, and the Lamb of Sacrifice
In Numbers, He is the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by Night
In Deuteronomy, Jesus is the Prophet, like Moses
Come and kneel before Him now

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Covered By The Cross

I recently told this story to a friend of mine.  As I was driving home afterwards, I thought that it might be worth sharing here too…

When I was living back in England, my parish had a Hospital Visiting Ministry with which I was involved, run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Every Saturday we would hand out free newspapers, identify the patients who would like to receive Holy Communion the following day and spend some time speaking with them. This would be done by two different people every week, each covering half of the hospital.

Out of all the wards we visited, the one I hated visiting the most was the ASU, where stroke victims were treated. I think I disliked visiting this ward more than any other because it was often a very frustrating experience.

I’ve always placed a very high premium on communication, and those in the ASU usually had difficulty with speaking, a common consequence of suffering a stroke. It frustrated them not being able to make themselves easily and fully understood and it frustrated me in not always being able to understand them.

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Friday Frivolity: William & Kate

Apparently some secret footage of the wedding rehearsal has snuck out from Westminster…

Happy 100th post 🙂