the baby and the bathwater


Indian Food
April 13, 2008, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This week I’m taking some time out with the family. We’re staying in a lovely cottage in the town of Beer in Devon. The cottage is owned by some friends of ours and we’ve been here a number of times. We love the tranquility, the open fire, the views of this charming fishing villiage, the deli and the beech. And joy upon joy, this year an Indian restaurant has opened just 100 yards from the cottage – just opposite the Italian and the fish and chip shop. And another great addition is a coffee shop that sells great take away coffees. Everything you could dream of all so close by. I am in heaven. I told my wife that I would like to buy a house here. She wasn’t overly impressed, but my negotiation skills are legendary, so watch this space.

Anyway, as I have has a little time to reflect on life so far, there are a number of things that have come into my thoughts again and again.

The first is that I need to get fitter. I have put a few pounds on over the last few months and I can tell. I am huffing and puffing too much, and my trousers are feeling slightly too tight around the waist. As I look at my diary over the next six months, I don’t think I will be able to do what I have to do well if I’m not in better shape. The usual stuff at Trinity, which still gets the vast amount of my energies, is challenging enough: but on top of that over the coming months I have: a couple of trips abroad – New Wine in Sweden and a Mission camp in India; leading worship at a couple of conferences; half a dozen talks; a couple of worship team training days; a women’s conference (!!); another racecourse celebration; and of course New Wine in Shepton Mallet. The thing is that I know I need to be physically up to it, as well as spiritually up to it. It means when I get back from this holiday I will need to be on strict food rations, and down the gym at least three times a week. My aim is losing half a stone. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Another thing that I have had to learn recently is that I need far more time on my own, preparing for all that I do. The office is no good, because it’s too busy. Home is no good because it’s too noisy. I have now found the perfect spot in Cheltenham where I can run off to most mornings. It’s a great coffee shop. And it’s not Starbucks! It’s very quiet until around 10.30 in the morning so I head off there for the first couple of hours of my day. I know that I need to keep that commitment up for my own sanity. The old saying that Linkyou can’t give out unless you first take in is true. And actually I am an activist (workaholic, some people call it) so find this sort of discipline hard. OK so the coffee helps, but I have resolved to more regular preparation time.

Another thing I have been reflecting on is the whole area of legacy. I had a great hour with a friend of mine from the States – Andy Booth. He was passing through on his way to lead worship at Spring Harvest in Skegness. He is someone who I have a lot of time for – he is a great worship leader, and leads regularly at Spring Harvest, but you never feel anything goes to his head. He is humble and thoughtful and God-centered. He even manages to report on his travels on his blog without giving you the feeling that he’s bigging himself up. Check out his blog – it’s http://www.gadjesty.blogspot.com. Anyway, he said a number of things that I found personally very encouraging. One of those was about legacy: what our own legacy in the kingdom is. He was encouraging about some of the worship leaders that have emerged from Cheltenham and gone on to be people who raised up others themselves. We talked about how one of the great tests of legacy is how those you invest in go on to invest in others. It’s as though the greatest fruit is in the generation after the next! I guess in the same way is that one of the ways that my parenting skills will be judged is not just about how my children turn out, but how they in turn raise their own children.

So there you are. Three thoughts for the week.

Must go now. The smell of Indian Food is wafting up the street and I have 6 days to go before I have to start my diet.

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2 Comments so far
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Susie on Neils blog. Dont worry about negotiating honey, I’m holding out for my static caravan in the south of france! Enjoy the diet, love Susie.

Comment by Neil Bennetts

@ Susie’s comments: ROFL….

Comment by Andy




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