On the face of it, most of the people at my church have it pretty much together.  We're largely white, straight, middle class professionals.  Typical church folk.  But all of us have some experience of living at the edge, of not quite fitting the white, straight, middle class professional Christian mould.  We are a gathered community, formed around an ideal - that everyone is just a person and that every person is loved by God, equally, unconditionally and passionately.  Anyone is welcome and we are welcoming to everyone.  Newbies often say that that's a reason they come back - because of the loving welcome they received the first time they came.

We look like your typical white, straight, middle class professional Christians but we aren't.  We come to church because we are aware of our brokenness, not because we smugly believe we are 'holy' or 'chosen'.  God doesn't choose who to love.  God is love.  And we are trying to live that out in a small way.

I have been heard to joke that St Bride's is a church formed in my image, and when people say the lovely things they say about the place I hear my ideal self reflected back to me and I am humbled.

Of course, I am only just coming to terms with what 'every person is loved by God, equally, unconditionally and passionately' actually means.  It means Donald Trump is loved by God as much as I am, and that I am loved as much as Theresa May.  All the people whose lives are fuelled by hate and fear are loved as much as those who are driven by love and acceptance.  If everyone could see that, understand that, live as if that were true (and I don't claim to have arrived at that point myself!), how would things be?

Yes, I'm a dreamer.  But I'm not the only one.
 Ever wondered what I sound like?  Well, you can listen to this to get an idea - although the Scouse accent sounds much stronger in recordings than in real life.

I checked the Official FF12 Guide on Friday, which recommended Level 30 for the Stilshrine, so I decided to do some hunts and side-questy stuff.  I'd already completed the first two hunts, so picked up hunts 3 - 11.  I've done all of them except getting the ring for the ghost lady in Giza (because we're still in the dry season) and the wyvern in the Nam-Yensa (which I'm en route for).  I'm going everywhere by foot (except for Bhujerba, obviously) to get those battles in!

I used Belias for the demon/ghost thing in the Henne mines and he actually did a good job.  I really want to make use of the Espers this time.  I think they have been beefed up a bit from what I've read.  And they needed to be - I found them completely useless in the original game.

License-wise, I'm focussing on the lores - battle, magic, potion, etc.  None of the armour or weapons that are available are really much better than what I have, so I'm not in a rush to learn the licenses for them.  And there are SO MANY accessories and you can only wear one at a time.  Surely they could have added an extra accessory slot when they were remastering the game?  I do remember Bubble Belt being a favourite when I played the original game.

I am still mourning the lack of Sky Pirate's Den.  I think I always will.

Oh, and I was very amused to step out of a wet and stormy Ozmone Plain into a dry and sunny Jahara Village!  Is this place under some sort of invisible, weather-proof dome?

Had a lovely day in Crosby with the grandson on Saturday.  We went to the beach, nearly got stuck in some mud (thank goodness we'd taken our shoes off!) and when to see Captain Underpants.  It was a fun film and the grandson was giggling away.  I was a bit frustrated that both of the main characters were boys.  Girls can be pranksters, too!  Not to mention comic-book creators.  Maybe I'm over-thinking.  Anyway, it felt good to support an independent cinema and to have a day in the fresh air.

Only three days in work this week, then I'm off until 14 August.  Next week we go to Cardiff!  Look out Wales...

Well, that's all for now.  Toodles, DW!
 Took the grandson to Crosby on Saturday to see Despicable Me 3 at the Plaza.  The Crosby Plaza is an independent cinema that is run as a charity, so ticks lots of boxes.  But it's tiny and when we got there they had sold out.  I had thought about booking tickets as soon as we got of the train but I didn't.  We had already been around town spending some of his money AND had an hour on the beach making sandcastles, so it wasn't a complete wash out.  I am going to check if it's still on this weekend (if it's THAT popular, I expect it will be) and book online!

Our 'my favourite bible passage' series came to an end on Sunday.  A not-very-inspiring theme that threw up loads of stuff from four very different speakers.  I love how the worship planning 'hive mind' works!  M will be at our next meeting - it's her very first meeting as Rector.  What an introduction.  And I'm actually publicising it for a change.  Go me!

In exactly two weeks it will be our 25th wedding anniversary and we'll be waking up in Cardiff.  I really want this trip to go well.  The husband is full of doom and gloom, but my eternal positivity says it won't be as bad as he fears.  However, I need to remember that some of what he predicts is very likely to come true and to be prepared!

I am greeting Sophie every morning, at the moment.  One of the on-going problems with her is that, now that we've made friends, I still feel she's a separate thing.  We need to be integrated for all this to have any point.  Trying to call on her 'when I need her' isn't integration and makes me feel I'm using her.  So, behaving like a friend, popping round to her tower to say 'good morning' feels like a way forward.  Her tower looks incredibly like Rapunzel's in 'Witcher 3: Blood and Wine' - but they are both inspired by story book illustrations, so it's probably not to be wondered at.

I'm about 19 hours into FFXII:ZA and getting lost in the Henne Mines.  There are now TWO bloody high-level dinosaurs living down there!  It was bad enough tackling one.  Thank goodness for 'fleeing'!  I didn't get to play last night as the son was doing quizzes for the husband and me on Beatles' song titles.  I was a bit irritated at the start but 'the family that plays together stays together' and all that.  AND I ended up laughing until I cried - I have no idea why but it was that kind of night.  I love my boys!

OK, time to get this day started.
 So, my daughter has always been accident prone.  The slightest unevenness in a pavement and she was always the one to trip over it.  She has a scar on her forehead from where she collided with a concrete step whilst running around the school playground on a wet day.  On Friday, she fell face-first into the pavement and chipped off half a tooth, and has a fat lip.  I'm guessing it happened too quickly for her to put out her hands (although apparently she did have time to think 'Oh, fuck!').  She has escaped unscathed, otherwise, though.  A small scrape on her knee but no other damage to her face.

The emergency dental service wouldn't see her because they consider the damage cosmetic, so she's going to have to try to see her local dentist ASAP.  The walk-in centre in town told her there's no infection in her lip, she just has to wait for it to go down.  I suspect the dentist won't be able to do much with her lip the way it is but at least they'll be able to get a plan together for how to deal with the tooth.  And her work have been really nice about it and are letting her book a week's holiday at short notice while the lip goes down.

So, she's a bit frustrated - mostly with herself for falling over whilst sober - but she'll live.

Yesterday was supposed to be all about the grandson going out and spending his birthday money with his mother - who he rarely gets to spend 1-on-1 time with on a Saturday.  Instead, he and I went shopping whilst the daughter sat in the walk-in!  If I'd realised how quick she was going to be, I would have waited for her.  But going through town with the two of them is like the old days when I had two children, both too old to hold my hands and both making their own sweet way through the crowds!

Anyway, the grandson got quite a good haul - full Liverpool kit for 2017/18 (shirt from our son - with name, number and badges - shorts and socks from his own money), Nike t-shirt and shorts, a very small 'man bag' type thing and a bike pump!  And he has more money to come and my parents will no doubt take him into town, too, when they're back from their cruise.

Today, I'm giving a talk in church on my favourite Bible passage.  That'll be fun!



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