Thursday, March 30, 2006

Girl is back in town...

Kathryn is back in Blogville. Just in case she's slipped off your blog radar, I thought I'd flag up to you that she has posted again (mentioning no names... *coughs*Bosley*coughs*) ...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

From student to student

I went into BCUC today to chat to the chaplaincy team there about joining them in their work nex term. Aside from the fact that the last time I was there was for my Open University Youth Work exam (so I was bizarrely experiencing the memory of terror!) it was really interesting to have a look around.

Any great inspirations or wise advice for University chaplaincy work (to students or staff) let me know!

After that I went along to the CofE primary school where I'm a governor to have a look at the mural we started last year as a joint project between our teens and the children of years 5 & 6 at the school.

So far the mural looks like this

but I hope that we'll have painted in Jesus and the children as well as adding some flowers and some pictures depicting either stories from the life of Jesus or some parables based on the pics by the children.

Putting the NO in techNOlogy

Not been a great week for me and technology.

Mobile phone went flying into a sink full of water on Sunday...
Got broadband for the office and it wouldn't install... THEN it managed to make my PC lose System.ini and refuse to start.

I am not a happy bunny!

But at least it's not as bad as it was for google!!!

cartoon from

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

However non-technical things have been going much better - we had a bit of inspiration for our wedding table decorations! :oD

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blogo, Blogas, Blogat

The super talented cartoonist Dave Walker has set up a fantastic new site whereby you can blog his cartoons to spruce up your webpages!

In view of my last post this seemed the only POSSIBLE cartoon to include!!

cartoon from

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

Six days and seven nights...

Seems less than that since I blogged but apparently not!

Ian featured my office in his Youth Worker's offices series - only right and proper seeing as he uses the so called HAMILTON scale to judge their tidiness! Mosey on over there and see the other rather more respectable youth worker offices from the likes of Tim, Miz, Phil and Simo.

Interesting thing is... I was tempted to tidy up a bit first but decided agains it. This is me. This is my office. Sometimes it's worse. Sometimes it's better. When it's REALLY tidy (it has been once) and there's this vast SPACE extending across the floor and the desk and along the shelves I actually feel rather unnerved. I like the feeling of things around me. When it's messy I can FIND things but when it's tidy I can't. Yes that sounds illogical but it's true.

We had Michael's best man over this weekend from Belfast and I have to admit I DID tidy the house a little (well we needed sofa space for three !!) but there was still and IS still plenty of clutter about. I don't find it STRESSFUL (well not until it reaches collossal levels) to have a cluttered house but I know people who do. It's fascinating. What makes us tick so differently?

So are you a clutter lover or a space lover? How does your house or office rate on the Hamilton scale??

Monday, March 20, 2006

V for Vendetta

We went to see V for Vendetta on Friday. I was worried that I might get scared (yes I AM a wuss!) but in fact it wasn't the kind of scared that I was expecting. Yes there was violence and blood but it was the possible future that was most terrifying.

The story follows a Great Britain that has elected a storngly nationalist party in response to some terrible terrorist attacks. The descriptions of the little creeping things in the early stages that led to the world in which the film was set was far too unnervingly familiar - imprisonement without trial of those "suspected" of terrorism or political activism, increased control and reduced personal freedoms through CCTV and even curfews.

However in the world that was lacking in freedom (and black people, homosexuals, muslims, any objectors etc) there were some incredible acts of defiance through sheer guts, through humour, through the seemingly small act of graffiti on government posters by a young girl. It was awesome.

I found it hard to think that the UK could have ended up in this situation after witnessing Nazi Germany and thought it plausible after we had sided with Germany instead of siding against them. Some reviews believe, wrongly apparently, that it was after we "lost" the war. My issue is that I don't think we would BE that intolerant post Second World War as our society was far more cosmopolitan even then. It was fascinating to watch a film that had no black faces because it really did seem TOTALLY strange. So much has changed since the 1950s. In our present day, I think it unlikely (which is a reassurance) yet still possible in a country that has elected BNP members of councils and allowed human rights to be compromised through near martial law special measures for terrorist suspects.

If you can cope with some violence (spurting blood and implied torture) and more crucially if you can cope with some psychological discomfort through the shaking of your surety in the solidity of our society and freedoms.

For a more phiosophical review (and with knowledge of the original text), have a look at Michael's site.


Ok more boring wedding stuff (actually it was lots of fun!!). Our Debenhams wedding gift list is now up and running. Annoyingly we thought they had games but they don't so Cranium and a chess set are not on there! Maybe it's for the best - helping us to be more sensible.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It would have been funny if...

Ian is complaining that THIS would have been funny if it wasn't FOR REAL so I just had to check it out. Unfortunately it needs THIS KIND of NOT FOR REAL antidote! These two guys are scarily funny!

Oh and there should be some notes here on the Bishop of Oxford's great talk at our church this evening in response to Richard Dawkins but it got late...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Enter the Lists...

This won't apply to all my readers but it may be useful for some so apologies if it's not you...

Half of our wedding invitations have gone out and a few people tell me they have been having trouble with the wedding lists. Our Debenhams list doesn't go live until after Saturday18th March at the earliest but our Oxfam list which had a strange glitch is now working. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Panda on a slide!

I'm sorry but this was SO CUUUUUUTE. I saw it on the news last night. There's a panda kindergarten and they have a slide to play on.

I can't get the link to work so you have to click HERE and then click on the link for the bit at the right which says Playtime at Panda Kindergarten

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Biiblical treasure Hunt

Here is the scavenger hunt based on the Bible that we used at our weekend away. There's a spoiler at the bottom of the post if you want to know how to work it out!

Holy Treasure Hunt

You will need a NIV Bible to decipher these codes which will then lead you to a list of items you must find and things you must do.

You will gain a point for each item you decipher correctly and an extra 2 points for each object you also find
You will get a bonus 1 point if the other team doesn’t decipher it correctly and a bonus 2 points if the other team does not find the object


Bring us










something 1-27-5-29-9



1- 10-14-26-5



something 2-20-3-5-6

Make up ONE of these



1-1-24-11-24 these



When you have all of these go to 2-21-3-6-2

Spoiler below...


The first number refers to Old or New Testament 1 or 2
The second number is the number of the book in that Testament so 1-1 is Genesis & 2-1 is Matthew
The Third number is the chapter
The Fourth number is the verse
The fifth number is the number of the word within that sentence

I have used the NIV version it won't work if you use a different bible. You may have to edit according to your needs.

You should then find:
Make up a
DRAW these
When you have all of these go to SARAH (You might need to change this!!)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Stars chillout worship

This is the worship session we had at the Weekend Away this weekend.

We set up a space in darkness and at a point which is pretty obvious the central camping light was switched on and sent a star shaped soft light through the dark space.

I used those glow in the dark stars you can get in massive packs and wrote people's name on them in OHP indelible pen.

It was lso really great for the first time at Xp not to rely on cd music but actually to have one of our young people playing some songs on the guitar.


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty, a formless mass, cloaked in darkness. And the spirit of God was hovering over its surface.

In our lives there is darkness, things we keep hidden.

God can bring light to those things of which we’re ashamed. Think of them now and offer them to God while we listen to Ben playing his guitar.

Then God said, let there be light and there was light And God saw that it was good
Genesis 1.
Ben plays

Lord God you have brought light into our lives
God, You light up our darkness

(paraphrase of Psalm 18)

God’s light came not only at creation but in the coming of God’s Son into the world

For God who said, “Let there be light in the darkness, has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4-6

He is the light to reveal God to the nations

Luke 2.32

The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone.

John 1

Pure Light Matt Redman:

O, to see You as You are
To glimpse the wonderst yet unseen
Assist my sight, unveil my eyes
To see You
Lord, to know You as You are
To even dare to speak or stand
Though marked beloved, to fall as dead
When I see You

And through grace untold, to see You
With this heart unveiled, to know You
Lord, in Your pure light

How great the glory of Your name
How small the voice I humbly bring
Yet with my all I raise a song
When I see You
It is the song of love's pure light
The grace reflected in these eyes
The overflow of those who know
They have seen You

We are disgraced, but You graced us
With the warmth of Your forgiveness
Now You lead us ever closer
To the pure light of Your holiness

And I'll sing of the wonders of Your grace
Sing of the wonders of Your grace
Sing of the wonders of Your grace, O Lord
And I'll tell of the glory of Your name
Tell of the glory of Your name
Tell of the glory of Your name, O Lord

With God’s light to light up our darkness we are empowered and strengthened

As the psalm says:

The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger – so why should I be afraid?
Psalm 27

The light shines through the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish.

John 1

We receive that light from God and it is not just for us to keep but to share:

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another calling each by it’s name.

Isaiah 40.
In the middle of the floor in a moment you will find a star with your name on it. Come and collect it while the next song plays

Brian Doerksen, You Shine

Why should I feel mad,
When You made the heavens?
Why should I be afraid,
When You put the stars in place?
Why should I lose heart,
When I know how great you are?
Why should I give up,
When Your plans are full of love?

In this world we will have trouble,
But You have overcome the world!
You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

Why should I feel mad,
When You made the heavens?
Why should I be afraid,
When You put the stars in place?
Why should I lose heart,
When I know how great You are?
Why should I give up,
When Your plans are full of love?

You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

In this world we will have trouble,
But You have overcome the world!
You have overcome the world...!

You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!
You Shine,
Brighter than the brightest star!
Your Love,
Purer than the purest heart!
You Shine,
Filling us with courage and strength
To follow You!

You---- Shine----,(oh Lord! oh Lord give us courage,
give us courage and strength, to follow you!)
You---- Shine----! (to the ends of the earth! oh Lord! oh Lord!
We're gonna follow, we're gonna follow You!)

These stars are to remind you that God's light is for you to share:

You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead put it on a stand and let it shine for all.

Matthew 5.14

For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord , and your behaviour should show it.

Ephesians 5.8

Let your lives shine as points of light in the darkness.
Philippians 2.15

I hope you will keep these stars to remind you to shine out with your lives and also to remind you that even in darkness God's light is with you.

The service is now over but if you would like to stay here in the quiet space some music will be playing.

Violet Burning, Faith and Devotions of a Satellite Heart

Weekend Away

Back yesterday from our youth weekend away at Standlake Ranch. Absolutely FABULOUS FUN!

I have a nasty sore throat and cold but nevertheless it was really good. The place was a bit cold but we had anotherafternoon of fun at the local park (including rides on the roundabout!), a round of Ready, Steady Cook! with some fantastic dishes cooked by the young people from a pre-ordained basket of ingredients. We also had a chillout worship service (details in next post) which seemed to go down really well (to my surprise, in some ways I supose) as when the service finished and we offered them some more reflection time in the quiet space most of them stayed there for another 15 minutes at least. Then later we watched Wallace and Gromit; the Curse of the Were Rabbit which even the girl who said "I don't like Wallace and Gromit" really enjoyed because of the bunnies! On Sunday we had a great treasure hunt with a Biblical twist inspired by the Ideas Library CD which Simo passed on to me (I'll upload this when I've corrected it and when I'm back at the office).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Ok life is seeming EXTREMELY busy at the moment... wedding to organise, weekend away to oragnise, informal worship space for LENT (yes that DOES start today) to organise... aaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaagh!

However it is all still fun - just busy!

I am currently planning the menu for the weekend away and TRYING to keep in mind all that stuff we said LAST year about healthy food. I also find it is a really great opportunity to explore cooking with the young people. Saturday evening is devoted to READY STEADY COOK where I give each group a box of food and they have to feed themselves and half of each leader. They really love it and it is a brilliant time for the leaders to chill out with a book calling out the ocassional bit of advice about the chopping of carrots and the cooking of potatoes!

We're also making mosaic tiles this year AND a fabulous idea from one of the young people we're getting the two teams to put a Computer together from parts!

Today I am just finishing off the worship space (needs a few more posters, a pair of cheap I-don't-mond-them-getting-nicked pair of headphones, some non perishing bread and a handout for people using it!)

The wedding preparations are going well too after some false starts on envelope printing yesterday! and my best beloved is currently being all creative with some silver paint and some celtic knotwork to make them all look pretty!

So does that leave me time for Lent?

Well one of the young peopel challenged me to give up dairy products. An adult challenged me to give up the internet - really CAN'T do it; so much of my work relies upon it!

In the end I am TAKING on Evening Prayer in addition to Morning Prayer each day and I am once again not eating between meals which is UNBELIEVABLY difficult in a youth office which I happen to know contains two jumbo bags of crisps, some miniature herroes AND a galaxy bar!