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Saturday December 14th
Feel led to keep a diary. A sort of spiritual log for the benefit of others in the future. Each new divine insight and experience will shine like a beacon in the darkness!
Can't think of anything to put in today.
Still, tomorrow's Sunday. Must be something on a Sunday,
Sunday December 15th
Another commercial Christmas! I shall send only ten cards this year. What is Christmas about, after all?
Our church is getting like an auction room. One blink and you get ministered to. Sit still and keep your eyes shining -- that's my motto. This morning was Edwin Burlesford's fault. Forty-five minutes on 'sin'! A record nine-fruit-gum talk. Halfway through,
I was checking supplies when Edwin suddenly shouted 'LUST!',
and made me drop the packet under my chair. Put my head down between my knees to locate it, then couldn't get up because
Doreen Cook pressed her hands down on the back of my head.
She prayed that 'our despairing brother would move from darkness to light'. I was all for that -- I couldn't see a thing. When she let me get up she had one of those roguish Christian smiles on her face. Came very close to really giving her something to forgive me for. Everyone thinks I've got a big lust problem now. At coffee time they all smiled reassuringly at me. Leonard Thynn hugged me. I signed Edwin's carol-singing list for next Saturday to show that I'm not all bad. Gerald's coming too.
Monday December 16th
My son Gerald says James Bond is on next Saturday evening.
Pity it clashes. Still, carol-singing is the Lord's work.
Absent-mindedly bought a box of 50 Christmas cards. Never mind -- that's enough for five years.
Tuesday December 17th
Dreamt last night that I was James Bond.
Wednesday December 18th
Is carol-singing scriptural? Rang Doreen Cook's husband,
Richard, who thinks Christmas trees are wrong. No luck -- apparently it's okay.
Bought another 50 cards.
Thursday December 19th
Could it be that God's trying to say I should watch James
Bond? Opened my Bible at random and put my finger on the page. It said,
'The dogs licked up the blood'.
Went to bed. I don't understand God sometimes. . . .
Friday December 20th
Laid a 'fleece'. If a midget in a Japanese admiral's uniform came to the door at 9.04 precisely, I would know that God wanted me to sing carols.
9.05: A miracle! No-one came. That's that then. Leonard
Thynn came at 10.30 selling charity cards. Bought 50.
Saturday December 21st
What an evening!
7.30: Film started. Surprised to find Gerald settling down to watch. 'What about carol-singing?' I said. 'Oh, no', he replied, 'I
rang old Edwin on Monday and told him there was a good film on, so I wouldn't be going.'
Why don't I do things like that?
8.45: Edwin at the door, concerned as I hadn't gone carolsinging.
Lost my nerve and told him I was still fretting over my lust problem.
11.00: Edwin left after counselling me for 2-1/4 hours. Missed the end of the film. As he left, Edwin said, 'I'm off home to watch that Bond film. The wife's videoed it'.
Gerald said it was the best ending to a film he'd ever seen. He grinned in a rather unchristian manner when he said this. He's a good lad though. Patted my head and said he thought God liked me despite everything.
Next year I am not sending any Christmas cards.
. . . Despite what???
Sunday December 22nd
Guest speaker at church today, dressed in a monk's habit. He said that God is nice and he likes us. Everyone looked at Edwin to see if we agreed. Difficult to tell as he was grinning like a happy little boy. Speaker kept quoting Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who is, of course, a Roman Catholic!!
Afterwards, Richard Cook whispered to us, 'Ah yes, but is she saved?'
Gerald whispered back, 'Ah yes, but how many filthy beggars have you washed this week, Richard?'
Anne said she thought the monk was wonderful, so he probably is.
Had some news today that would be really depressing if we weren't Christians. Anne's Uncle Ralph, who is the most vulgar man I have ever met, will have to spend Christmas with us.
Wouldn't be so bad, only we've already got my Great Aunt Marjorie staying from tomorrow. She condemns wine-gums for their
'intoxicant potential'! Gerald rubbed his hands when he heard the news.
Oh, dear. . . .
Lay awake for a while thinking about what the monk said.
'God is nice and he likes me.' Felt oddly peaceful.
Monday December 23rd
Met Gerald in the hall when I got back from work. He said,
'The Titanic has docked.'
Found Aunt Marjorie looking through the TV magazines in the sitting room. After we had exchanged the customary kiss in which not even the tiniest part of my face touches the tiniest part of hers, she said, 'I am encircling with black ink, those programmes that are unsuitable and which we shall not be watching during the Christmas period!'
Gerald poked his head round the door, and said, 'There's a man at the door with a deliverance ministry.'
Turned out to be the postman doing a late round. A parcel and two cards. Counted the cards we've received so far after everybody had gone to bed tonight. Not as many as last year. Naturally,
I forgive all those who've forgotten us, but you'd think they could make a bit more effort. After all, that's what Christmas is all about, isn't it?
Uncle Ralph arrives tomorrow.
What on earth will Marjorie make of him?
Gerald says he makes Bernard Manning look like the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Talking of Gerald I've decided I must do more with him. He's asked me to go along on Friday to hear the new Christian music group that he's formed with a few friends.
They call themselves 'Bad News For The Devil.'
I shall go.
I like music.
Tuesday December 24th
How is it possible for someone like Anne to have an uncle like
Ralph? He arrived just after lunch, a short, very fat man, on a tiny motor scooter. Life is just one big whoopee cushion to Uncle
Disastrous first encounter with Great Aunt Marjorie. Kissed her full on the lips, and said, 'No-one told me there was going to be some spare talent on the menu this Christmas. Stick around
Marjy-girl. You could be right up little Ralphy's street!'
Aunt Marjorie turned puce, and has refused to look at him, let alone talk to him all evening, even when he flicked through the
Radio Times and said, 'Heh! Good biz! Someone's gone through and marked off all the best progs!'
Anne and I arranged all the presents under the Christmas tree tonight. The ones from Uncle Ralph are all shaped like bottles.
Asked Anne what she thinks God loves about Uncle Ralph. She said, 'His niece.' Kissed.
Wednesday December 25th
Aunt Marjorie went off to a 'proper church' this morning.
Ralph not up by the time Gerald and Anne and I left for the
Enjoyed it all very much except for a point halfway through the prayer-time, when George Farmer, who was sitting behind me,
stood up and began to swing his fist from side to side as he prayed fervently for good will among God's people.
Suddenly felt a heavy blow on the side of my head and slumped forward, momentarily stunned. Shook my head to clear it, and realised to my amazement that Farmer was still ranting on as if nothing had happened!
Didn't feel much good will.
I said to him afterwards, 'I forgive you for punching me in the head, George.'
He said, 'Did I really do that?'
Gerald said, 'Yes you did. It was on your twenty-fifth 'just' --
I was counting.'