Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

So anyone put any thought into resolutions?

I'm thinking I'm going to try to READ more. I have a habit of buying books and stacking them up in waiting for me but I LOVE reading and don't do it often enough as I get distracted by things that NEED doing.

I don't really have too many obvious vices (drinking, smoking...) to give up but I guess there must be habits of being kind I could take more seriously.

But before resolutions begin we have the fun of some friends over to ours for a murder mystery party for New Year's Eve. I'm an eccentric Archaeologist and Michael is a Sigmund Freud wannabe! Sounds perfect!

What are you gonna do for New Year's Eve or for resolutions?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas feelings

Just found a really good Christmas reflective page at rejesus.

How are you feeling in this Christmas season?

Now as the commercialism kicks in to the max and all the SALES start, I lose a little faith in people's appreciation of the significance of it all, as I see people desperate to spend MORE money and get lots of good deals. If you're happy and thankful or down and feeling a bit of a failure they've got some Bible passages appropriate to your mood.

So if you'd rather look at something somewhat better than half price kitchens, prices slashed on sofas and herds of people piling into the Metrocentre at 5am pop over there and have a look. They have other Christmas activities too.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas meaning...

Just had a great time with the children from our local CofE School at their end of term assembly in churhc. Lots of Angel Dance and looking at God as the Light of the World (guess which song we used!?) and the stillness of these energetic and lively children when we played the Tim Hughes track was awe inspiring.

We had great fun dancing about to bouncing songs too.

I think with Christmas it is always difficult to balance the MERRY with the MEANING and sometimes we might look rather like sourpuss grumpy face if we try and over do the Easter in amongst the Christmas. I find the words of this song particularly poignant. I think it can sometimes be a bit heavy for Christmas but it says it for me. You probably all use it a lot and have heard it all before but we tend to stick with traditional at this time of year rather than worship songs so it was a new one on me last year.

Since the day the angel came
It seemed that everything had changed
The only certain thing
Was the child that moved within
On the road that would not end
Winding down to Bethlehem
So far away from home

Just a blanket on the floor
Of a vacant cattle-stall
But there the child was born
She held him in her arms
And as she laid him down to sleep
She wondered - will it always be
So bitter and so sweet

And did she see there
In the straw by his head a thorn
And did she smell myrrh
In the air on that starry night
And did she hear angels sing
Not so far away
Till at last the sun rose blood-red
In the morning sky

Then the words of ancient seers
Tumbled down the centuries ...
A virgin shall conceive...
God with us... Prince of Peace
Man of Sorrows - strangest name
Oh Joseph there it comes again
So bitter yet so sweet

And as she watched him through the years
Her joy was mingled with her tears
And she'd feel it all again
The glory, and the shame
And when the miracles began
She wondered, who is this man
And where will this all end

'Til against a darkening sky
The son she loved was lifted high
And with his dying breath
She heard him say 'Father forgive'
And to the criminal beside
"Today-with me in Paradise"
So bitter yet so sweet.
Graham Kendrick

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Spirit

Jolly Christmas elves band available here! Just in case you needed perking up into the Christmas mood. There might be an annoying pop up bu Firefox blocked it for me so I'm not certain!


Less than reluctant

Ok I know this is YET ANOTHER short and sweet blog after an uncredibly long break but I've been pretty busy. Just to let you all know that Reluctant Souls has decided to close.

Thanks to all members:It was a good way to express our community but the time has passed. I'm sure we'll all continue to meet out there in the big wide blogosphere.

God bless

Christmas Presents

Just solving some christmas present problems... I've downloded and printed a copy of Dave Walker's 2007 calendar. Why don't you try the same!?

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Flannelgraph for Christmas

We've discovered our flannelgraph at church TWO WHOLE BOXES (including a VERY unnerving representaiton of the second coming!) and so we're putting together an interactive nativity scene in our north chapel. Off now to find some SKY from our local scrap store!

VERY exciting!

My Space giggles

Sorry - Just had to share this one with you...

I logged in this morning to find the messaeg;

"Jason Donovan wants to be your friend"

Bless him! He must be desperate!

I took only a little pleasure in saying No.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Time, Much to do.... and wine?

I've been hectic busy with

BCUC carol service - which went really well
Decroating our Christmas tree at church
Film Night watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Sunday School Nativity and the service sheet for our crib service
Running a funky advent game with our young people's Sunday group
Preparing for our Christmas Eve party
Getting readers for and rehearsing with choir for our Nine lessons and carols service tonight (which is being broadcast on BBC 3 Counties Radio on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning)

Christmas is definitley coming because:
I've had my first glass of mulled wine
I made (and tasted) Cranberry relish today
I watched children sing Away in a manger
The Fairground organ played outside church yesterday

and today... I'm about to watch Muppet Christmas Carol. The best EVER!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Youthblog's new boss!

The new bishop of Oxford has been announced. He is John Pritchard, who has been Bishop of Jarrow, a suffragan of Durham.

Bishop John said: “Coming to the Diocese of Oxford is an unexpected honour and privilege. Through the years I have looked at the Diocese from afar and much admired what I’ve seen. Little did I think I would have the opportunity to make a contribution to the life and vitality of the Diocese and the wider community. I shall give it everything I’ve got but will need to start with a great deal of listening and learning. Please be patient!”

He has authored various books worthy of note through SPCK which include works on prayer and sharing faith.

He's doing a tour around the diocese today concluding with tea at our place which we've known about but not known about. We knew we had to be around but not why - it was all very exciting!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Reluctant blogs

Having switched over to the new blogger, I now can't access those blogs which haven't switched which includes reluctant souls. Anybody still on the old beta who's a member will need to do it. It'll involve something slightly complicated as it relies on the person who created the blog to sort it and Ben M left a while ago but it doesn't seem to understand that!

Ok so that's the first glitch of the new system!


Ok so this is my first blog through the beta version. Seems fine so far!

Had a good session with the young people at Pulse yesterday; Some looney balloon games to start and then the talk slot based on a version of the game one of the young people ran on the youth holiday. I popped a slip of paper (with something we do at Christmas written on it) and a prize into an uninflated balloon then got the young leaders to blow them up. We passed them round in a pass the parcel kind of way and as we opened each one we discussed how important each thing was to Christmas (Eating turkey, Giving things, Jesus being born, crackers etc.) It worked pretty well and there was a good buzz about the place.

We also did some Christmas craft that I remembered doing myself as a brownie. I found instructions here. Even some of the boys thought it was "pretty cool" as it's rather clever. You turn old Christmas cards into twenty circles which you then turn into a icosahedron. They look pretty good too.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Over a WEEEK?

Were did that time go?

Sorry readers I've been distracted by
FABULOUS confirmation course and service last Sunday
FUNKY Staff Christmas do on Friday - BLOC 3 you rock!
FLOATY Advent Carol service on Sunday
FEBRILE cold - hubby's not mine
FRANTIC Christmas shopping
FANCY flier designing partially aided by the great site vistaprint which no doubt some people discovered ages ago!
FULSOME envelope stuffing with all the fliers!