img_0093It’s called Snob-logs and it’s to be found on the main Belfast-Larne road close to Bruslee. The Garden Centre is Logwood Mill, and Snoblogs is the coffee shop and restaurant which is part of the garden centre, run by Jim and Amanda, and their business partner, who is also called Amanda.

I was there last Saturday morning for a men’s breakfast with members of First Ballyeaston congregation as well as a few visitors from other congregations in the East Antrim area. It was a great meal. I reckon that, for lots of reasons, one should only eat a full Ulster fry now and again. But it has to be one of the most tasty meals ever invented.

Even though I often travel that road from Belfast to Larne, I have never stopped at Logwood Mill. My experience last weekend has encouraged me to think again about calling in to see Jim and Amanda when I’m in that part of the world.

The gathering at Snoblogs gave me the opportunity to reflect on my days growing up in East Antrim, and especially to recall the influence which my father had on my life. My father, by his life, communicated what he really loved and what was most important to him, and significantly influenced my life. As fathers and grandfathers, we do the same to our sons.

Albert Schweitzer, the famous medical missionary, said, “Example is not the main thing in life — it is the only thing.” He might have overstated it a bit, but it is undoubtedly true that most of us have been influenced most by the actions of others than by their words. So, on reflection, calling in at Snoblogs regularly  for an Ulster fry may not be my best option. I wonder if they serve green tea and a wee salad?

16 Replies to “Snob-logs”

  1. Dear Dr. Carson,

    Why did you tell a ditrect untruth on Good Morning Ulster yesterday? You were asked why the PCI had not financially helped the PMS savers. You stated that it had no funds. However, when the interviewer pointed out that the PCI has considerable assets in property you claimed that it only owns churches and church halls.

    That dishonestly ignores the following:

    Church House
    Union Theological College
    The Bush Cafe
    Derryvolgie Halls
    Guysmere Youth Centre
    and maybe other properties?

    Whilst clearly the PCI needs somewhere to train ministers and indeed an headquarters do they need to be in such grandiose (and valuable) buildings. These could be sold or even simply mortgaged to raise considerbale sums to repay the moral debt which I see you acknowledge the PCI owes to the PMS savers.

    Rather than admit to ownership of these properties you were extremely economical with the truth. Indeed the Catholic concept of Mental reservation springs to mind.

    You may of course not put this comment up on your blog. However, do not worry I have blogged it on slugger o’toole.

  2. Can I ask Turgon a simple question?

    If the Presbyterian Church were to remortgage its premises that it owns -who would have to pay the mortgage repayments?

    The ordinary member in the pew!!

  3. ATA,

    Indeed it would be an example of Christians sticking together and helping those in need. I doubt you need me to provide the biblical references which provide a scriptural mandate for this.

    Alternatively the PCI could consider selling some of its property: either way it would help the PMS savers and it would be difficult to argue that such an approach would be unChristian. That is unless one regards the PMS savers as somehow responsible for the mess the society got into. Tell me ATA do you regard the PMS savers as the innocent parties in all this or not?

  4. It has taken nearly 2 years for PCI to realise it is guilty by association. Its Pastors (Ministers) operated the PMS, it Pastors promoted the PMS and PCI members invested in the PMS. A member of the PMS sits on the Board of Mission in Ireland
    Stafford is a reactive pastor; he is not a proactive pastor. Every time something happens with the PMS he comments. He is either hopeful or disappointed, depending on the announcement.
    Staffords moto – “Compassion for popularity, passion for self preservation”.
    The Church should not have lived by the world’s standards and become a “money lender”.

  5. Quite correct, the above comments have nothing to do with a Ulster Fry at the Snob-logs but an issue that lies extremely close to many of our members hearts at present.

    To answer Turgon’s question, I have no difficulty in agreeing that those who have saved on a personal basis and many of our congregations across the island are all innocent of what has happened.

    With Mr McFall’s report being published this week, many of our members remain stressed out with the whole PMS situation. I find it extremely frustating that it has taken so long for the PMS situation to be sorted out by our local Stormont Assembly and UK Government.

    2009 should have been a great year for our Presbyerian Church as we looked back at the life changing events of the 1859 Revival, instead the Devil used the year to concentrate our minds on material issues as opposed to the spiritual issues of John 3 v 16.

    In closing, I fully acknowledge that we need action for our personal savers and congregations who have saved for various projects across our island, we also need to get back to the basics of our Gospel.

    May I suggest we all read Matthew 6 in the week that lies ahead.

  6. I wonder if I should answer my own question?

    We are all ‘PCI’; the responsibility must be collective; we ought to work together whether members of the PMS or not.

    I fail to see how commenting about Stafford, or the Board of Mission or ministers helps anything.

  7. Two things really strike me……whether the church decided to lend money or not isn’t the issue – instead it should have been managed appropriately and carefully with plenty of safeguards in place to ensure rules etc were in place and upheld.

    Secondly….interesting to observe people thinking of themselves and what they could get – firstly in investing in it in the first place – wanting higher interest etc was the motivation. The quickness of people to withdraw their money, making sure they were okay obviously played a huge part in the quick downfall…not much mutual love there!

  8. Getting back to the first post and the selling of assets(buildings)-
    When you sell such an asset it is gone forever. To replace any such building sometime in the future would involve considerable expenditure. Church properties are usually of great use to congregations for generations if they are maintained properly and have many uses which benefit people greatly and from there such benefit goes to God. I would be slow to advise a firesale !

  9. #13 – Paul, this is my point #5, and in no way am I intending to make light of the PMS siruation. But this was a post about a garden centre, an Ulster Fry and Albert Schweitzer. I can think of any number of directions this thread could go based on these points. Are there no ‘house rules’ that we stick to the point? Turgon and friends should head over to slugger and keep PMS stuff going there – or if a post here is written about it – otherwise every report of a 100 year-old Presbyterian birthday celebration from 1st Ballyherewegoagain will be a legitimate launching pad for PMS woes.

  10. Thank you stafford for coming and speaking to us at snob logs. I hope you enjoyed the mornings fellowship together as well as the food.
    It would have been nice if all these comments had been about your time with us in First Ballyeaston.

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