Thursday, November 20, 2008

Violet Gaudion (nee Smith) 1929-2008

Born in Glasgow in November 1929 Violet (Vi) Smith was the oldest daughter of Robert Smith the Butcher in Kelvinside. Throughout the bombings of the city of Glasgow she remained at home in Lugar Drive near Bellahouston Park, where her milkman was a handsome young refugee from Guernsey, Len Gaudion.

Len and Vi were married at the Moss Park Congregational Church on 30th August 1949 and then moved to live in Guernsey. Their first son, Alan, was born in August 1950 and then Eric in 1952. Andrew joined the pack in August 1961. August seemed an important time in our household!

Mum spent the first few years of her married life at Midvale, and then at Bella Cottage in the Rue Mainguy, Vale. Here even I remember the dirt floor and outside tap, not to mention the outside loo which was just a hole in a wooden board over a pit. In 1959 Len and Vi bought the property in St Saviours which they renamed Kelvinside and set up business in the growing industry. Many hardworking years followed for Mum, working in the tomato packing shed and then with freesia and iris crops.

From 1959 on Mum was a member of the United Reformed Church at Grande Rue, St Saviours. She was baptised there in 1972 as a confession of her faith, by the minister at that time, Rev Graham Long. That's where her funeral service will be held on Friday 28th November at 11am.

Mum died this morning, 20th November, at 7.30am. It was the end of a long vigil at her side. At least we were able to pray together with her and remind ourselves of some of the good old days (and not so good!). She was a good lady - a real Scot. Sometimes she could be feisty, and when it came to her many illnesses she was a real fighter.

Good night Mum. We love you. See you in the morning.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stepping Out

Most of life's steps are small ones. Even the big ones are usually just a procession of smaller ones leading up to the big leap. Faith is the final step in a long line of small understandable steps that take you up to a point where you have to make a choice - do I stay here so near and yet so far - or do I leap out over the final gap in faith. All the arguments and discussions in the world can only bring us so far in our knowledge of God and His ways - the last step is the leap of faith.

For me, this week, the final step is to do with restarting my preaching ministry this weekend after a gap of quite a few months. All being well I will be preaching this Sunday and the one after at the Church on the Rock where we are now in fellowship ( What makes it a leap of faith for me is the amount of pain I am still experiencing and the extent of the medication that I currently still require. Even this week my doctor has increased the dose of morphine that I must take and even that does not take the pain away for long. Several small steps of recovery from major surgery have led to this, but now is the big jump! I am learning some facts about faith here:

  • You gotta do it alone - noone else can go there for you
  • It's exciting to obey God and step out where you cannot see how it can be done
  • It's great to exercise faith in a community of folk who love you and are cheering you on
  • Every step of faith - leads on to another one!
  • They don't get any easier as you get older!

Still, since the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus, it has always been the case that if you want to walk on water you have got to get out ofthe boat! So, here we go, and by God's grace, I'll be here again soon to tell you how well things went.

And if you have a moment - a bit of prayer support would be welcome. Thanks!