Thursday, 8 March 2012

A happy day

Such a happy day.

 The Jesus Army is a Christian movement with a focus on community.  They have centres in Coventry, London and Northampton, and publish a regular magazine called Jesus LifeThere was an excellent interview with Shane Claiborne in the current issue. If you click the link, you can see James with Shane, both of them wearing the bright red crosses of the Jesus Army. Yesterday Paul from the Northampton Jesus Centre and Julie and James from the Coventry Centre came to spend a few hours in our home to interview me about the books I write and the life of our household, for their magazine.

It turns out that the people of the Jesus Army really like my Hawk and Dove series of novels, because they are about relationships in community – not idealised relationships or perfect human beings, but life with rough edges living through the experience of being transformed by the grace of God, which is what being part of the Jesus Army is all about too.

The interview felt like a right thing to do, but I hadn’t expected to have such a nice time.  I’d met Paul before, because a few years back when I lived in Aylesbury he appeared from somewhere out of the Mists of Life into my computer and made friends with me.  Recently he called by to see me because he has family in Hastings and comes down here sometimes, and we have become friends because Paul's heart is drawn to simplicity. But Julie and James I had never met before.  And they are all three such lovely people – open and kind and full of faith.


365 366 Day 68 Thursday March 8th  
(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here) 


This was a good thing, that’s why I bought it.  An insulated tiffin box, so you can keep your rice and dahl hot to eat later.  Problem: none of us ever used it.  Donated.


Daisyanon said...

The son of a friend is a Jesus Army person here in the Midlands. He has just got married to another JA person. They seem very happy with the life.

Perhaps the JA is a more authentic expression of the so called 'new monasticism' than some of the other things that seem to like to assume this title!

Ember said...

Yes, it looks that way to me :0)

n0rma1 said...

Really enjoyed our time with you, Pen. We all agreed in the car driving home that we could have happily spent several hours more with you. Thanks for your hospitality.

maria said...

Oh there you are :-) You look happy Ember!

What joy to have your work appreciated in this manner. Our Lord has given you a blessed gift indeed :)

I have never heard of the J.A. here in the States. But it looks as it is something that should begin...

Be blessed dear friend,

Ember said...

Hey James, hey Maria!

Yes the Jesus Army would be good news in the US, Maria - they'd fit in with the Sojourners bunch and the Anabaptists and Conservative Quakers, I think.

Interested in your online name, James - I wouldn't really have had you down as a 'Norma' . . .

s0upy said...

Hello! I'm a good friend of James and Julia and they were both really buzzing after meeting you. I know Paul very well too - I wish I'd come...

I've recently finished the fourth book in The Hawk and the Dove series and I found it incredibly moving. It is one of the most painfully inspiring series I've read. Raw human hearts exposed by the love of friends, and of God. They don't come like that very often.

I love your description of the clock above. It reminds me of the kind of thing my friend Thea, who first got me into The Hawk and the Dove, would do. (Here she is: Thea).

Looking forward to further books... :-)

Ember said...

Hey S0upy - good to meet you :0)

I am just about to make my porridge and then zoom off to Yorkshire WITHOUT MY COMPUTER!!! So I must defer reading about Thea until I come back - but I just took a moment to look at her face and say "Hi Thea", and I emailed the link to myself so it's to hand when I come home.

I'm so glad you like the Hawk & Dove stories. That means a lit to me.


s0upy said...


Think I got the link wrong, by the way. Here's the proper link: Thea


Ember said...

Thank you! :0)

s0upy said...

Hey Ember, is there any way to get hold of any audio versions of The Hawk and the Dove?

One of our sisters at my house has had a really bad fall and got a bad neck and concussion, and is too poorly to even read for long. Strikes me that an audio of any part of it might be just what the 'doctor' ordered.

Thought I'd ask.

Ember said...

The way to find out is to contact whoever organises your local branch of talking books for blind people. A couple of years ago my (blind) friend in Bridgewater told me they had the first volume available in the place where she gets books on tape.
As far as I know there is no audio version of it available from a large outlet like Amazon, but the small local talking libraries may have it.
Good hunting!

s0upy said...

Thanks, I'll check it out. :-)