4

Summer thoughts

I finally gave myself two weeks off from posting on this blog. In the past I have made sure to have something to post even if I was going to be away from home.

Unusually hot weather (not as extreme as in much of England this year) made me think twice about switching on my computer. There were days when I didn’t leave the house either.

I am currently reading a very interesting nonfiction book, which I have renewed from the library a few times already. I hope to finish it and review it before I need to show the librarian that I still have it.

The hobby I began earlier this year of researching my family history is time-consuming, but interesting. Making discoveries about people is sometimes exciting. Other times there is frustration when there do not appear to be any relevant records.

In my quiet times this year I have read some of the minor prophets – Amos and Joel, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and I am currently reading Chronicles and John’s gospel. When I reached the point in 2 Chronicles when Rehoboam, son of Solomon, was king of Judah. One verse jumped out at me.

The news is full of reports of people doing evil. People doing good things rarely reach the headlines. Rehoboam did evil because his heart was not set on seeking the Lord. 2 Chronicles 12:14

How many people nowadays have set their hearts on seeking the Lord? Have you? Have I?

The state of the world is depressing. We hear of wars, people fleeing countries where they feel unsafe, weapon tests, pollution, global warming, unprovoked physical attacks on people in public places, unjust governments, people only caring about themselves and their nearest and dearest.

In the Bible we read that there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Over and over again in the Bible the story is told of how people sought God and worshipped Him; then they forgot about Him. He often brought them back into a state of grace by bringing various hardships on them – plagues, wars or famine, for example.

We are living through difficult times. We have had plagues in the form of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. There are wars. Global warming is bringing the threat of famine to many people.

In the Bible God relieved people’s suffering when they began to seek Him again.

Nowadays people ask, ‘How can a loving God allow awful things to happen?’

Another side of God’s character is that he is holy and just. I am not going to attempt to make a theological explanation. We have the example of God’s dealings with people in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

We also have the promises made there. Even if we give up on God, he doesn’t give up on us.

There are other pieces of advice, which do not come from the Bible. One I have been thinking about recently is, ‘Consider what sort of world it would be if everyone did what you do.’

This needs questioning. What you do…
…is how you behave, what you achieve and more.

There are some things which everyone might do, such as looking after themselves and others in their household, being polite and courteous, keeping their homes and gardens in a reasonable state, considering carefully what to buy, how to dispose of rubbish, how to use the world’s resources without negatively impacting others (including other species). There are also beneficial things that we may do, which others will not. They have different skills and interests.

My family history research began because I inherited historical papers and old photographs. I have been able to share some information with a local history society. This is not something that everyone would have the opportunity or time to do.

‘Do what you can, but don’t be too hard on yourself over the things you can’t’, might be good advice.

Perhaps we should make a habit of asking for eyes to see opportunities to help others day by day.

6

Blogging about life

So what have I been doing recently? I wrote about my blogging plans before my blogiversary. Now my blogiversary has passed I decided to write a bit about what else has been happening.

A few days before my blogiversary I received a link to the podcast of a radio interview during which I had read two of my poems. Then on the day of my blogiversary I was excited to learn that two poems, Multifaceted Light and Space and Time, which I had submitted to Agape Review had been published in their digital magazine.

So far this summer the Church choir has been involved in a Choral Evensong and a wedding. The Choral Evensong is an annual event (except when Covid put a stop to choral singing) usually on or about Trinity Sunday.

Trinity Sunday this year was the Sunday after the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. There were lots of events around the UK and no doubt elsewhere in the Commonwealth to mark the event. I went to watch the service from St Paul’s Cathedral broadcast live on a large screen in the church. The congregation joined with those in the cathedral in singing the hymns. There were refreshments afterwards, although I went home to eat lunch instead.

The Choral Evensong included an anthem, In Our Service by Thomas Hewitt Jones, which had been specially written to mark the jubilee. The words were taken from the Queen’s speeches.

Many people decorated their homes with Union Flag bunting or an actual flag in recognition or celebration of the jubilee. There were red white and blue flowers growing in pots and flower beds. Shop windows were decorated with a jubilee theme. My photos of some of these appeared on my photography blog, Sue’s words and pictures.

Wedding decoration on handrail with decorated pebble below

For the wedding I mentioned earlier the ends of the pews had been decorated with artificial flowers arranged with ribbons and net. The following day I was given one by a former church warden, who said, ‘This will look nice on your front door!’

The decorated pebble was a gift early in the pandemic. It has appeared on a blog post before.

Two conversations, one during a chance encounter, the other in the social time after a Sunday service led to an interesting hour or so in a local open space. One of my many friends and acquaintances will be running an event at the Edinburgh Fringe. About a dozen people gathered to learn about her plans. Did you know Charles Darwin was a student of medicine in Edinburgh?

Jane Westhead speaking about ‘Darwin in Edinburgh’

There will be a chance to learn about ‘Darwin in Edinburgh’ from 4-14 August 2022. We heard about the route of the walk through Edinburgh and learned many interesting facts about Darwin and his family. It was fascinating. Find out more and book tickets in the events section of the Edinburgh fringe website. Originally conceived as a one-woman show it now involves more people and sounds exciting.

0

Rethinking my blogging aims

Back in May I was full of hope that I could post twice a week here on Sue’s Trifles.

Well, I managed to write six posts for Saturdays in addition to my regular Thursday posts. Then there were two weeks when the paint chip words and phrases from Giggling Fattie did not inspire me at all.

I began to question my motives for doing poetry challenges. A topic is set for an online poetry group I attend once a month. This requires or encourages me to write a new poem. Sometimes I already have a suitable one.

As if I hadn’t enough part-finished writing projects already, I have set myself the task of writing a series of poems on a local theme. The time and energy I might spend doing Paint chip poems would be better used for that project. Perhaps I am growing up as a writer if I can think of my own prompts!

It will soon be ten years since I began blogging. My blogging and writing milestones appear on my ‘What’s new’ pages here and on Sue’s considered trifles.

I am still learning all sorts of things about writing, blogging and poetry. After deleting 55 comments Akismet had identified as spam I turned off permission to comment on the page concerned. Now why hadn’t I thought of that sooner?

Blogging has widened my horizons and taught me lots of things I’d have missed otherwise.

As I mentioned in my previous post I have plans for the next two weeks on this blog.
That will take me beyond my blogiversary. About this time last year I wrote about coming out of lockdown and which activities I had resumed.

This year I am singing in the Church choir again and another choir I belong to has resumed rehearsals. The Ladies’ Bible study group meets when enough people are free and well. We are currently looking at Spiritual Gifts with a study guide by R. Paul Stevens in the Life Builder Study series from IVP. My voluntary work has taken more time recently.

Apart from travelling to the local writers’ group in May, I haven’t been more than a few miles from home since November. As a result mainly photo challenge posts are appearing on Sue’s words and pictures, which was not my original intention.

On Twitter I have not been consistent in my posts. I haven’t contributed much to #wildflowerhour recently due to illness and other demands on my time. There are other hashtags I like to follow and use occasionally, mainly relating to the countryside. As with my photography blog, travel would give more opportunities for photos to tweet.

As I am now in an environmental group at church, I have become more aware of the issues around posting needlessly on social media. The World Wide Web needs a lot of energy and storage space to keep it running. Posting large photo files or videos adds to environmental damage.

This blog is listed on Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid. Not all my posts are faith-related. The hashtag #bgbg2 is for those which are. Re-evaluating my aims is something I do prayerfully.

Looking to the future I may not blog every week here on Sue’s Trifles. Some of my other projects need to be prioritised over blogging.

Thank you for reading. Watch this space!