I thought I would tell you a bit about our dear friends, Phil and Sue Parsons. First off, isn't it just delightful that they are pastors in England and their last name is Parsons?! That could have only been topped if their name had been Vicars. Smile. At any rate, we met them over twenty years ago when they preached for our home church in Asheville, NC. But we didn't really come to know them until eleven years ago.
God used Phil to help push us toward a path He had ordered for our feet. Frank had literally just finished a resignation letter for the church we were pastoring. And had no idea what the next step would be for us. (This is typically NOT a good idea in pastoral work; you first secure your next pastorate, then you resign. Smile.) Frank just simply prayed, "Lead us, Lord. Whatever You have, we'll do!"
Within the hour the phone rang and it was Phil Parsons calling to say the Lord had laid us on his heart and he felt impressed to "ring us up". (Phil didn't even have our number, he had to contact a mutual friend then call us but the timing was impeccable.) Frank shared that we were leaving our church; Phil said, "Come to England and minister!"; we started actively praying about it; miracles began to happen (too many for right now - another post); and four months later our entire family was traveling in England singing and preaching.
That's the short version of how Family to Family was born. When we returned to the states, we continued to travel for six years! It was an amazing season of our lives that was launched by that timely phone call. God truly does "order our footsteps" if we will listen.
Since that time, we've visited back and forth consistently about every two years and stay in touch with phone calls, email and now facebook! They are gentle, sincere people who love God, their family and others. It's always fun to be around them. I thought you might enjoy some of their unique English-isms today. (You should read these with a rather refined English accent echoing in your head; something like Hugh Grant or Dame Judy Dench.)
- "Ah, there's lovely!" (Used for delightful or tender moments. Sunsets, end of the movie kisses, baby smiles, etc.)
- "She crunched the bonnet." (The hood of her car is crushed.)
- "Where's the bin?" (Do you have a trash can?)
- "Toe-mah-toes, Oar-ah-gah-no, sault" (Recipe ingredients: tomato, oregano, salt)
- "What!" (Used as an exclamation point expressing surprise or great emotion. "He turned rather quickly. What!" "I say, that's an exorbitant cost. What!" "Ah, there's lovely. What!")
- "Shall I put on the kettle?" (Would you care for a cup of hot tea? With milk, of course! This phrase will be used five or six times per day.)
- "Right." (Anything from: let's get started to I suppose you were correct.)
- "Isn't it mah-velous?!" (This is the equivalent of "Oh, good grief!")
- "Brilliant!" (This has nothing to do with intelligence. It is used for indicating appreciation/admiration of someone or something. "This pizza is brilliant!" "That presentation was most moving. He is a brilliant musician.")