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Showing posts from December, 2004

Disconnected- finished

Again I must say- read this book. It is a little weird, and more than a little anti-Christian but raises some really mind blowing thoughts.

A few weeks ago I had a phone conversation with a friend where from nowhere I realised just how weird it can be that we talk to kids so much about changing the world. As Christian youth leaders we talk about 'history makers', and we want our kids to be that. The point Barham makes is that our society sees young people disconnecting when they see the world. They look out onto the drabness of life and rather than change it per se, they create disconnected spaces that mean they can 'be' independent of it. From gaming, to feitsh, to cyber clubbing, young people create zones where they can do what they want and live- albeit temporarily in their own values and passion. There is no apathy here. There is creative, passionate, energetic disengagement from mainstream culture.

My question is in this culture how do we live and encourag…

The past week- pt 1

I will blog later on the South Asia tsunami. I can't quite get my head round it yet, and wouldn't do justice to the millions affected by writing just now (imay not later either so don't hold your breath).

So for now- something a little more frivolous!

Lets talk panto! Yesterday a battered assortment of survivors from family Christmasses gathered to make a once in a lifetime trip. Nine of us got in a minibus (thanks YFC!), to go see our friend Kate, in Aladdin in Chesterfield. All a bit of a risk as she didn't know we were coming! Good trip up (despite nearly getting stuck in the mud outside my house), bit of a wander round Bakewell (indulged in some pudding too!). Then into panto land itself.

What can I say? Panto is introvert hell. I'm just not sure I get it.. and it does pain me slightly that it is the thing that keeps British theatre economically viable. Why the girls dressed as boys? (watching your friend doing a love duet (Words by Natahsa Bedingfie…

Read This Now...

I saw an article by tehis guy a few weeks agp and decided to buy the book. I would encourage any and all youthworkers, emergent church groupies and general socialites to get hold of a copy. OK so I'm only about fifty pages in but so far SO good.

Basically Barham spent a year hanging out with non average young people and talking to them. His start point was the shooting of two African Caribbean girls in Birmingham and the ensuing media debate. For those who don't remember their deaths formed the catalyst for the 'guns don't kill people rappers do', school of thought.
Thus far he's not making any judgements, just telling the stories of a bunch of young people who will be familiar to many of you. Would be interested to know if you feel that these stories are typical of the young people you are working with?

Beautiful Christmas..

As some of you know this is the time of year where I struggle most living in an estate. The vast amounts of house bling that vomit itself onto the front, rear and any other aspect of local properties, betrays a deeper struggle.

Everyday I see people getting off the bus with burgeoning bags. In school, students are exchanging cards and gifts at an alarming rate. The man in the red suit riding on a sleigh has a busy night in Marsh Farm. The reality is, that in February many gifts will be taken away again: this time by men in black suits driving BMWs. The loan sharks often are the real beneficiaries of an estate Christmas.

Sadly the reality is also that Christmas, with all its excesses, will bring violenece and strife. More than just the office party fights- Christmas here means a rise in domestic violence levels, in child abuse and who knows what else.

I struggle with the whole thing on most occasions, asking how could the celebration of the coming of Christ have become this. Sh…

New Toy

I was most blessed last night when I received just the coolest gift. Michael and Jo just got back from their trip round Europe and brought me (drum rollllllll), A playmobil nun!

This is exciting on a number of levels. Firstly, I never had playmobil as a kid and so have always wanted some. Secondly she is a nun, thirdly she has a cape and a Bible and everything. And finally, she is quite shapely which gives me hope for my nun career!

So, you may ponder, why am I telling you all this. Well, firstly we need to name her, all suggestions below.. secondly, in true Maria Von Trapp styley she needs to break out of the Abbey and do a bit of travelling. Watch this space for her travels, and if any of you would like to take her to somewhere exotic then just shout...

Bless you my children..

Back to the edge

This is another of those postings where I am avoiding doing what I have on my to do list (including going to the gym...). I just caught a news story from the Archbishop of York (second highest churchman in the Church of England, possibly in the Anglican commune). According to the BBC he is saying that we would be hard pressed to call Britain a Christian country any more. To read more click here


The day when we all acknowledge that reality will be a great day for the Kingdom in this country. It will allow the church (including the established church which many of us 'emergents' have taken to knocking), to take its place back on the edge. We will not have to be a bastion of "British society"; which I think means being very nice and not offending anyone. Whether we like it or not being aligned with the state and all its institutions is a huge hindrance to the purposes of the church. With this alignment we have become an institution with all the stuff th…

Back to work..

Well there's nothing like a plunge in at the deep end!
I should have realised when I walked into a classroom and there were only girls there, but it took me a couple of minutes to register. Yes, on my first lesson back it was a double group of year seven girls for the PSHE lesson on puberty! They had had the session with 'the tampax lady' (a new superhero?) and now it was my turn to put them at ease and answer all their questions about growing bits!

I had this odd emotional mix of amusement, and real sense of responsibility. It suddenly hit me that for some of the students, I was their main source of information about all the weird stuff that they were feeling and going through. What I was going to say mattered. It would influence how they felt about themselves. Much more scary and mich more of a privilege than telling them about old dead people.

My friend Christine wrote this amazing piece on influencers.

It came home again to me today that the role of the teacher …

God as Mother...

Have been pondering this one. I know its a bit of a theological minefield, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts? Can God be our heavenly mother? Do we need a heavenly mother? What is the role of the Holy Spirit? (apparently denoted in the feminine gender in the Hebrew... ) talk to me wise people!

The Incredibles

I went to see the Incredibles last night (well thursday night, whenever that was). Loved it, was especially enthused by the sixties kitsch. Came home, had a bath, went to bed and then (in a very cartoon styley) it hit me. God was speaking through this film: first to me, but also in a wider sense to the community of the church.

If you don't want a little glimpse of what the film is about, or you have heard me on the whole Dorothy leadership thing and think its bunk then STOP READING NOW!

To the remnant: the story in the film is essentially about Mr Incredible, a superhero who in his own words "works alone". We see him early in the film fixing things all over the place. When a young boy- his greatest fan- tries to help him he is turned away with the words "you are not a superhero, you have no powers and I work alone" (I paraphrase).

Flick on ten years. Mr Incredible was sued for saving someone who didn't want to be saved, it sparked a tidal wave and s…

Reflection- part 3- father and daughter

Had a really good time of reflection last night. Spent a few hours just reflecting on the Father daughter relationship I have with God. Got a bit creative too. These bits of paper are on opposite sides of the prayer room in my house.

I highly recommend it as an exercise. Having two big banners on either side of the room was fantastic, having to walk betweeen them as each new thought came to mind. I could sit at the foot of each, one in an attitude of praise, one in thanks. It was fantastic. Great way to spend an evening!

Reflection- part 2- devotion

I got a bit challenged yesterday- can't quite quantify it- but its something around the whole thing of devotion. We tend to use the word devotion in terms of an activity that we do- when I was working with the Salvation Army we used it to refer to a thought for the day before a meal. Any challenge to more of that was not the most exciting, in fact I was a bit offended.

Anyway, I was really drawn to the word today and spent a bit of time playing around, finding definitions and stuff.

And that is when I stumbled across this gem! Devotion can be defined as:
"the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal (as to an idea or person)"


Now that is something that I can buy into. If that is the challenge to work on my devotional life then count me in. To be ardently (defined as fiery, hot, shining, glowing or impassioned) dedicated and loyal to God! What a privilege! To be dedicated, single mindedly focused on God, wow! …

Reflection- part 1- Friends

Have had a fragile couple of days. Once again I have been totally blessed by my friends. Its caused me to reflect on what an amazing bunch they are: and how God is just the best at bringing groups of people together. In the last week I've been blessed by people's cooking, washing up, driving, company, DVD's, hilarious texts, tea making (oh the tea making), space giving, singing, laughing, film watching, questioning, line learning, listening, but mainly just by their being.

And in the midst of it all God has drawn alongside and reminded me that He is my best friend; He has very graciously allowed other people to do the tea making but ultimately He.. well he is just he, and I love HIm.