Category Archives: life

2013… a year in review

This blog seems to be just a year in review with nothing much said in-between, but then i guess that has been testament to the sort of year it has been! They say that time seems to go quicker the older you get, well if that is the case then this year i feel about 90 years old!  With joining the Army as a Padre and taking up the role with The 4th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment i cannot even begin to articulate the pride I have experienced to be able to serve the men and women who are doing an incredible job for our country

So here are the Best’s from this year of living on Planet Norton…..

Book – Leading from the front – Sir General Richard Dannatt, He was the head of the Army and a committed Christian, I found it really interesting thinking about how these two things stand together, not that i have got my head round it yet but it was good to push some buttons.

Television – Game of Thrones, this has been great fun to watch. Sad thing is I think I know more about the politics of Westeros than I do about the UK!

Album – Bastille – Bad Blood – fell in love with Mr Bastille’s voice, seriously that guy could sing the phone book. Great album hope they bring out more stuff next year.

563921_10153187948455160_525681161_nMost inspiring person – I think it has to be 77, for Father Pip as everyone else knows him. Met this chap on my Army Interview and we shared a room together. We clicked straight away and got each other though it. But his inspiration is his faith and the way in which he goes about his job. Giving so much up for the sake of he Gospel really inspires me.

1235125_10153322005540160_26364630_nJoshua moment – watching Joshua complete his first competitive road race by doing the Junior Great North Run 4k. I was so proud, I guess I felt like my dad did when he encouraged me to run all those years ago. Joshua made a sterling effort and as with everything else in his life just got on with it! Legend !

Caleb moment – I have never seen Caleb so excited and animated about anything as much as he was about his speaking role in his school Christmas play.  He absolutely nailed it by saying in a very load clear voice, “Christmas time, excitement everywhere!” and “Suddenly the snow storm stopped, and the sun came out?” which as you can imagine in a broad Hull accent sounded fantastic! – I would have put a picture up here of him but there are too many rules about posting photos of school plays – but i am sure you can imagine!

Norton-fam-2013-242 (1)Martha moment – Martha started school this year and has taken to it like a duck to water.  But this has meant an end to our Friday morning shenanigans… of baking, swimming, painting, reading in the library, going for juice and massive biscuits and of course eating cheese straws ! and yes that was usually all in one morning!

Becky Moment – Again, really proud of Bex for so much this year, especially getting her new job that she starts at Easter 2014.  I loved taking her to her first Officer’s Mess do, she looked Amazing!!!! But to be honest just journeying though life with her is the best bit, all the small moments that we don’t always remember and more often than not take for grated are actually the times to be treasured and enjoyed as the years pass.Norton-fam-2013-060

Norton-fam-2013-080Welcome to Winston – In May after 12 years of nagging I finally convinced Bex that getting a dog was a great idea, and with the hound we found i don’t think i was wrong.  We got Winston from a charity called stay aid.  We knew nothing about his past other than he was about 18 months old and huge!!! he continues to grow ! But its to have him with us and he has fitted in really well, even with muddy paws and a love for lying in puddles !

My best tweet – Ben Norton @tinymind 3 Jul – We will be changed as we embrace one another.

My Best FB Status – Hey kids, if you are board this summer then take some advice from your wise uncle Ben, Don’t… I repeat Don’t prod a wasp’s nest with a big stick to see how many wasps come out! They will probably sting you.. more than once… and on the bottom! (hangs head in shame!)

Although the year has been busy, we are all feeling really settled in Middlesbrough, I am sure 2014 will again bring many new things, not least lots of travel with the Army!  Thank you to friends and family who have prayed and supported us a family, I know i am a very blessed man to have so many fantastic people i can ring and moan, laugh mock and be mocked by at any time!  I’ll leave you with a few pics from the year that would be too boring to write about

So may the Blessings of the Christ child be with you and all those whom you love, this Christmas time and into the new year!

Grace and Peace

B

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NEW….

So again its been a while since I last blogged. (new years resolution not going so well so far!)

But I thought I would try and get back into it as some folks do give me nice messages when I do ! Thank you!

So recently I got to thinking about what we listen to. By that what I mean is I think it is harder and harder these days to actually listen to very much that has any real meaning. Advertising is a multi billion pound industry that craves your attention every moment of every day. We are targeted so well that we cannot fail to see, hear and inwardly digest tons of info that we don’t really want, (heard any tunes in the adverts from you teenage years recently? BOOM! They want you to feel good and remember their brand)

So as someone who spends his living talking to people about life’s BIG questions how, where and when do I start? I mean stuff has to be new to get peoples attention, the NEW iPhone, that’s cool, people will listen to the rhetoric about that because its brand new, but think about what people who say if Apple started running ads for an iPhone from 2 years ago…. lets say the iPhone 3gs that is just so out of date. no one wants to hear about that!

But the 1st generation iPhone that’s kind of retro, “I remember them, they were so cool at the time…. I remember when I got one of those…”530201361437PM_635_Apple_iPhone_first_gen

So start to speak to someone about faith, about a man who lived over 2,000 years ago…. Retro cool? Not really !

Religion has a bad wrap these days, and TBH it’s understandable, some wierd people are doing some crazy things in the name of faith. It’s enough to put me off. But most of the people I speak to have an opinion about faith one way or another. I haven’t met many people who have never really thought about things, but the forums for debate, for a proper in depth discussion for a safe place for people to ask questions and listen just don’t exist.

I guess what I am saying is… I have a question and the question is this – “How, where and when should faith be engaged?”

There is no possible way the Church can engage at the level that Apple does, neither, in my opinion should it. But there are millions of people out there who do want to engage on one level or another, “What would work for you?”

TBC….

B