Worship in the church, the street and the field…

What a fun weekend has just passed, at first glance it looked like being a pretty daunting one:

Saturday working with Outside Light in Woking ballooning. Sunday church in the morning, as well as the Strawberry Fair to setup, balloon at, and break down. While in the background the summerhouse at home needs to be up by the end of the weekend as storms are forecast, the dog needs walking, my wife is working in the pharmacy most of Sunday and the usual help from the older daughter with the youngest has been lost while she camps with the scouts…

To many a secular friend this weekend would seem mad, how they would ask is making balloon dogs an act of Worship? Why would you even want to spend a weekend like that when you could be in the pub, or just crashed out watching TV? However worship is about using the gifts you have, showing the grace of God. For me this weekend it was to be a balloon modeller and First Aider. For my wife it was to be a Chemist, for others cook, evangelist, face painter, driver, washer upper, craft supervisor, preacher, organist, and teacher.

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Its hard to explain if you have not experienced faith and the love of God, but once you do you can’t keep it in. I can only speak of the blessing I received this weekend, but the for me the smile on one childs face at the free gift of a balloon is worth everything. So working with Outside Light is a pleasure, if tiring and this weekend worked out a little different. Unknown to me it was the Armed Services Day, complete with an open air worship in the town square. As the army broke into hymns a quick search on the iPhone for the words gave us the chance to form an impromptu male trio, I doubt they heard our singing from the back but we tried. We burned through a good 150 balloons, lots of leaflets explaining the good news of Jesus, painted a lot of faces, had many conversations and I pray melted a few stony hearts as well as bringing a little happiness to Woking’s children.

Sunday was a very different day, getting to church with the kids is a challenge in itself, something ironically I had found myself discussing with a young christian family on the street Saturday. Add in losing the oldest, who normally can be relied on to help out with the 3 year old, Susan being at work and with the need to be in early to load the car, it should have all ended in tears. Still we made it to my car with a good 20 seconds to spare, if no balloons as Sue had taken them to work after I left them in her car – ‘Doh’.

Loading the car at church went smoothly, this is our 5th Fete with our new kit we brought last year and we are getting better at organisation. Then it was into the first half of the service, before being prayed out with a Sohan and Graham to head over and set up. Putting everything together without Eric was interesting… but we managed to get it all working without bending anything, then a surprise as lunch was brought in. The heat was really beating down and it was great to hide in the shade of the gazebo and tuck into ice cold drinks and sarnies.

The fair started to kick off and the crowds built up as the rest of the church who could get over after the service came to join us. Richard is getting better at balloons and did most of the early running, while Ruth handed out info on our upcoming holiday club and everyone else chatted to those who stopped to look at the posters or discuss the fair.  I lost track of the people we spoke to, but it was a wonderful day.

So after a weekend on my feet, either working with the church, Outside light, or just being a dad to my 3 kids I am pretty tired but it’s a good tired. I can only speak personally of the blessings I get working with such wonderful people and having the chance to serve. There is an old saying, if you want something done, give it to someone who is already busy. Sometimes we get called to do a lot, but luckily for us through faith we get given the tools we need to do what is asked of us.


Our Theme for 2024

There is but one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things came and through whom we live.

1 Corinthians 8:6