Month: March 2015

Sand Tree

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We had our first go at doing some beach art on King Edwards Bay in Tynemouth the other day. It was a really great experience. The sea was out and on its way back in, the sky was clear and bright inland and then moving off the sea the fog was thinking about rolling in. Which is what it did as we finished up. There was only a few of us, but it was enough. We started by just playing about with rakes and making patterns in the sand, and then we felt brave enough to create something.

One of the ladies had been on the net and found a picture of a tree that had been drawn into the sand (see picture bottom left) so we thought we would give that a shot. It was a moving experience, knowing and watching the tide take it away, cleaning the canvas for the next time. But there was something else that caught me by surprise, it was the sense of connection with the elements and in the act of making and marking the sands it felt good. It didn’t matter what it looked like, there was something about connecting with your imagination and letting yourself go and being free.


I think that it is in the imagination that sometimes God makes a connection with us, his creativity speaks to the creativity in us. I have come to the conclusion that we should nurture the imagination, rather than stunt it. I felt like a little child on the beach as I was making and creating. I wonder in the complexities of life have we forgotten how to have fun and use our imagination. Even children these days are given toys that ‘do it all’. I remember as a kid playing in the lounge with my little toy cars. I had lots of different grand prix cars. I would make race tracks using match sticks. I would create a drivers championship and make several courses over an afternoon until I had my winner… normally Niki Lauda!IMG_3531

As some of you will be aware I have started writing poetry/spoken word pieces again after many years and this has given me lots of joy. Trying to craft out words and phrases, and so with the beach art, I was able to connect again with that creative divine spirit that made us and this wonderful world.

It was lovely to watch people from the cliff top looking down at what we were doing, some taking photos,some just taking in the sight and the sea air. We had the odd conversation with people walking with their dogs on the beach asking what we were doing. We will certainly be back again over the next few months doing it again… Watch this space too as we will be creating an Easter morning beach labyrinth, this will be the first one of the year.

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Discussion and debate…

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Debate-300x336Hi folks, this week we are meeting at the Sportsman in Preston Village at 8.00 pm, if you are able why not join us!

This weeks reflection come from a guest… it’s from Rob Bee the link takes you to his twitter account. Rob is one of my best mates from Harrogate, we go back along way… Enjoy!

A couple of weeks ago I came to Sunday at the Pub, and I’m joining you again this week and bringing my wife with me this time too.  Rob has asked me to write this week’s reflection as part-payment for the board and lodgings that he and Karen are giving us.

I’ve known Rob for more years than I care to admit to (he’s like ones of those lingering colds that you just can’t quite get rid of), and we’ve seen each other through quite a number of good times and bad. Despite the fact that we now live about 150 miles apart he remains one of my closest friends. And yet… And yet it’s still a surprise seeing him when he’s working: it’s Rob, but it’s not quite Rob. The context that I usually see him in is different to his work environment and so my picture of who he is differs from the facet of his personality most on display while he’s working. I know that he would say the same as I’m very organized and efficient when I’m working, and certainly neither of those things any other time.

I really enjoyed Sunday at the pub and am glad to be able to come again. I used to regularly attend small groups and discuss faith, but I don’t get the opportunity to do so any more. I’ve also given up on online Faith forums because after reading them for a while you get the same arguments going round and round and getting personal as the debaters forget that they’re supposed to love each other and they make their disagreements personal. They forget that when we discuss our faith with other believers we meet people who have also met God. But just as when we meet people we meet them in differing circumstances, we meet God with our different backstories and needs, and therefore it’s to be expected that we will see different facets of God’s love and form opinions which are unique to us. Where our picture of God differs wildly from another person’s this can lead to disagreement and distrust (this is true not only of those within in the Christian community, but also of those of different faiths – whether God has a capital ‘G’ or not in those cases is down to your picture of God).  The thing is though, that none of us have come to our position of faith lightly and there is always a reason why we have come to the conclusion about God that we have. Our faith is hard-won and an essential part of our being; it won’t be easily shaken by name-calling and heated argument. We all have a picture of God and a duty to Love each other. So when you’re faced with someone who holds a position you abhor, instead of quoting scripture and telling them why they’re wrong (not that I think you would do that), take a deep breath and ask them why they believe what they believe. You may learn something.


1. 1 Corinthians 1:10 says “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”  And Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Doesn’t that mean we should all think the same way? Is there such a thing as Absolute Truth?

2.How valuable do you find discussion and disagreement?

3.What if Westboro Baptist Church are right?

4.Is there one particular event in your life that’s particularly shaped your picture of God?

5. Whose round is it?

Beach Art

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Hi folks, I’m thinking ahead to Thursday 19th March and the lent walk… as i indictated on the lent walks page i was thinking about doing something different for Thursday. I would love to go to the beach and do some beach art… the weather seems ok, which is great, so if we meet on Tynemough King Edwards Bay at 10.00 am to have a bit of fun… Not sure how many of us can be around but if you are and want to have a play let me know. You wll need to bring a rake of some description!

Into Spring and Beyond

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I read this lovely blog as i sit in a comfy chair after just compleating our latest 6 mile lent walk, it was a joy to walk today, we pondered on the wonder of creation and contemplated the stream that feeds the sea… and so today i’m thankful for so much!

Living Contemplatively

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef

Pulling in to the monastery, the snow was piled high on the abbey grounds. The walkways were cleared, as the monks had fastidiously kept the paths open for themselves and any guests who would take advantage of their hospitality. I arrived on a chilly day that began less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit—one of several guests seeking a quiet retreat. It had been a long snowy season, and this cold morning was perhaps one last, serious squeeze from old man winter.

I checked into my dormitory-style room in the abbey guesthouse, a very spartan layout, with a simple bed, a desk, and a small rug on the wood floor. Looking out the window, I was greeted with a winter view of a large snow-covered field bordered by leafless branchy trees. A few large icicles hung from the roofline. There was a small walkout balcony accessible…

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