Hearing problems!

As some of you know, since my intensive cancer treatment I have had a serious hearing disability.

Harley Street informed me it’s not straight deafness, I suffer from speech indiscrimination. That means unless a person speaks very clearly, I just hear the sounds of their voice but my brain cannot work quickly enough to pick up their words without them having to be repeated.

This is really debilitating as it rules out me going to shows, lectures even sitting at a hospital patients bedside and understanding their words can at times be very difficult.

Thankfully I have no problem preaching or doing concerts….although a good foldback speaker really does help!

Anyway, yesterday i went into a Chemist to buy some treatment for my cold (which thankfully is now all but gone) and the lady serving behind the counter mumbled something that I couldn’t pick up.

When, as I ofter have to do, I asked her to repeat herself,…with great exaggeration she started mouthing each word slowing as if I were stupid.

When i explained to her that I had a hearing difficulties she just said well I couldn’t see your hearing aids and…they can’t be working.

It’s strange but nobody would mock anyone with a sight disability but so many consider it ‘open season’ to make fun of those with hearing problems.

Of course I won’t report the counter lady because we all at times say things we may regret afterwards but I did clearly let her know that she had over stepped the mark and she should never do that again!

Here’s hoping my words did not fall on deaf ears!

Thank you

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for me this morning.

I got through the 2 services in Horsham ok and I felt that both of the large congregations were very generous in their support and encouragement.

I just did not feel very well with my nose running, my voice croaking and my body shivering.. I felt I was not able to quite give of my best but there was no way that I was going to cancel being with them because of a stupid cold!

While I’ve got you, I will be doing a mini-Sting in the Tale concert tour in Norfolk next Jaunuary (2018) and am already booked to be in Aylsham on Saturday January 20th.

Whilst up in the Norwich / Norfolk area if any Church may be interested in me popping in and doing a ‘Sting’ concert on Thursday 18th or Friday 19th please let me know asap and I will send you more details.

Remember it only need cost the Church £50 towards the travel costs.
First come first served I’m afraid.

Friday night and today.

It took quite a few ‘Sing in the Tale’ concerts before I felt that I had the right mix of stories and songs…which now I feel is just right.

However on Friday night brother Timbo and I performed it’s successor ‘Glorie Days’ for the first time since Spring Harvest and I was really pleased with both the mix of stories and songs and thrilled with the audience response!

It was almost like being back in the Glorie Company…but with people more my age rather than 8-11 year olds!

Today I’m driving up to St Mary’s Church in Horsham to take part singing and preaching at 2 services for them which I am really looking forward to.

Value a bit of pray though as I’m suffering from a heavy cold, nothing serious but coughing, sneezing and having to blow my nose all the time is rather annoying when you want to give of your best!

I won’t be hugging anyone that’s for sure!

Ish’s other ministries

Up until a few years ago when I was diagnosed as having Acute Myeloid Leukaemia I felt that the only way that God really wanted to use me to bless people was by standing in front of a large group of all ages and speaking or singing to them.

And of course I did then, and still do now feel God’s anointing when I do this…and just as important…I still so love travelling and doing it!

But since God has brought me back to life again, I have discovered that just sitting encouraging and praying for individuals at their hospital bedsides or in their homes has been just as special although of course at times it can be emotionally challenging and often can have a sad outcome.
But…I am so grateful that through my illness, God has ‘widened’ my ministry.

As most of you know, for the past 47 years I have been self employed.

This means that I get no payment or funding for my hospital chaplaincy work and my ever increasing travels to visit the needy, the aged, and those who are sick and seriously ill.

About once a year I make a request and ask if any of you who may have been blessed financially would like to contribute and invest in this very important (and expanding) part of my ministry either by a one off gift, or by regular giving.

If you feel that you would like to consider contributing some financial support please do contact me either via e mail (ishmael@ishmael.org.uk) or Messenger.

Of course all communications will stay confidential.

Thank you for reading this and of course thank you so much for your continued interest in what I do and I promise you, your prayers and words of encouragement are priceless!

Visiting old friends!

What a day I have had today travelling and visiting dear friends who I have known for years and who are now well into their 80s. They have been major influences on my life and ministry.

I visited Philip & Hilary Vogel.
I grew up in the same Christian community as ‘Uncle’ Philip and ‘Auntie’ Hilary and It was Philip who first nicknamed me Ishmael (Ianstuartsmale…get it?) when I was 11 and as it means ‘God hears’ I’ve happily stuck with it for the past 67 years!

Also Phil as director of youth for Christ was a great help to Andy and I when we first hit the road back in 1970.

I also visited and had lunch with David and Enid Pawson. I’ve known and travelled with David over many years and to my mind he is the best Bible teacher of this generation. It was David who endorsed ‘Land of hope and glories’ back in 1980 and we became instant life long friends at our first meeting.

David was in good spirits but sadly not well enough to travel and teach any longer. However the great news is that with all his teaching available on downloads, future generations will continue to be blessed by his in depth teaching.

So a wonderful day talking and laughing with a couple of my true personal heroes. I really do thank God for them.