Sunday, January 29, 2006


Today, I think, has been a good day. The last few weeks have been kinda stressful. My head has been a bit all over the place, but I think I'm ok now (relatively speaking).

Sometimes I'm amazed by the little things that happen (ok, things that happen when God knows you're feeling down). Things like encouraging conversations, people actually verbalising the fact that they thing what you do is important, emails arriving meaning you don't have to ring people up when you're really not in the mood to speak to people.

Things like that cheer me up, and make me think that perhaps there is something/someone/whatever in existence.

and then things settled into least for now

So I was doing a reading in church this evening, and as I was stood at the front of church, reading it out, things in my head settled into least for now.....

1 Cor 1:18-31

18The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work. 19As God says in the Scriptures,

"I will destroy the wisdom
of all who claim
to be wise.
I will confuse those
who think they know
so much."

20What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish? 21God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.

Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.

26My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.

28What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. 29God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him. 30You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. 31So if you want to brag, do what the Scriptures say and brag about the Lord.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

rather excitingly....

....the Archbishop of York is gonna be speaking at a youth event I help run in March. Am (trying to be) excited about this. It should be pretty cool methinks

Update 30/01/06The publicity arrived for the event arrived today. Am excited now :o) If you find yourself anywhere near Sheffield on the 11th March, come check it out. Tis gonna be cool


So some of what I've been thinking about (both on my own and with other people) can be found here.

I'm wondering if I'm feeling slightly disillusioned with church, youth work etc. I wonder if being an employed youth worker makes it more difficult to do some of the things I really believe I'm called to do - build honest, agenda-less relationships with people, love people unconditionally etc.

At our PCC meeting the other night, as well as discussing possible new colours for the ceiling of the chancel (dark red or dark green), and as well as talking about the new youth club we're starting (am enthusiastic about it somewhere within my being - just that place is struggling to show itself right now) somebody gave a rather empassioned speech about church, the way the Church (of England at least) does mission, or has done mission and evangelism type stuff over the last 20/30 years. In my mind I was comparing this expressed desire to see the Church, and the church, continue, grow, thrive etc, with the notion that in reality, the churches in the UK are dying.

In a way this is making me wonder about my future. I know that in some way I want to work actively for the Church, do facilitate people's search for meaning etc., but I just wonder how much of a future churches as we know them have.

I dunno. It's getting late. I should go to bed. I'm going to Stoke tomorrow to watch some football. Chesterfield have been knocked out of the FA Cup, and because I can't be bothered to go all the way to Bournemouth, we're gonna watch Stoke vs Walsall in teh FA Cup fourth round.....


I guess I could apologise for not having blogged in a while, but I'm not really sorry. I think I've just needed some space from it, and from various things. My head has been a bit all over the place these last couple of weeks. If I'm honest, I think it still is.

In part I think I'm just still plodding along in Fowlers Stage 4. I just seem to have so many thoughts, and questions and wonderings. I get how they link in my head, but trying to articulate that to other human beings is a little more tricky.

I can't help but wonder that if I've started asking questions about life, the world, God etc., will it ever come to an end. The more I hear, the more I think there aren't any answers out there...does this mean I'll keep w(o/a)ndering for ever, or will I come to rest in one place at some point???

Monday, January 16, 2006

i'm also reading...

I'm also reading Believing in the Future: Toward a Missiology of Western Culture by David Bosch. It was one of the last things he wrote before he tragically died in 1992.

I got hold of this book ages ago, and started reading it back then. I found it languishing on the bookshelf and thought it would be worth looking at again. It's really thin (which is good) but quite meaty (also good).

stuff you should check out....

There was a fascinating article in the Observer yesterday about the ongoing situation in New Orleans. I found this article through Jordan Cooper's blog.

In Saturday's Guardian there was an interesting article entitled In Praise of Teenagers. In the midst of all the teenager-bashing that seems to be going on of late, I can understand why a paper (esp. such as the Guardian) might run an article like this, but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless.

You also should take a look at the new Protest 4 website - raising awareness of, and campainging against people traffic-ing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

the root of all evil?

No, no, I'm not talking about the man himself, that was the title of his programme. (Sorry, that was a terribly cheap shot, but I just couldn't resist - I mean really, it was asking for it)

I've just watched (on video) the first part of Richard Dawkins' The Root of All Evil, in which he explores whether religion, is indeed, the root of all evil.

Maggi Dawn points to an interesting response to his programmes on the Guardian website. But I had some reflections of my own.

Dawkins came across as rather arrogant. Despite later admitting that science does not (yet) have the answers to all lifes questions, he still acted as though it did. And at times, as though he himself knew all answers as well. I'm not gonna deny that the uber-Evangelical American also came across as a little arrogant, admittedly not as much of a numpty as he might have done, but that doesn't change the fact that Dawkins also seemed a bit of a know-it-all.

Now obviously he's a fairly intelligent bloke, but he did seem to over-simplify the reasons why there is conflict in the world. I mean come on, yes religion is used to mobilise people to commit acts of violence, but there are other issues, to do with power, distribution of resources, identity, that cause peoeple to go to war.

This notion that religion is the sole reason why evil happens, why wars happen, and why there is resultant suffering is utter rubbish. Last term at uni I did a module in 'Religion in Contemporary Global Politics'. In the final session of the module we did a bit of an overview of the various different views about 'religious violence', and there was an overwhelming feeling that those theorists who see religion as the prime cause of said violence, have not really grasped what is going on in the world. (ok ok, thats my opinion, and my interpretation of what happened - but its pretty accurate) The situation is far more complex than to just state that faith is the root of all evil. Personally, and yes you might spot a hint of a Biblical reference here, I kinda think greed has quite a lot to do with evil.

I wait with interest to see what Dawkins has to say for himself next week. Channel 4, Monday at 8pm - in case you missed it.....

i can read

It struck me earlier this week that now I've got my essays done, I can read books that i want to. They don't have to be for my studies. Which is rather nice.

On my list of things to read is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Up until a couple of months ago I'd never read any HP books, nor seen any of the films. Just to make it clear, I don't have any problems with HP, I'd just never really cared to get into it before. But not long ago, I thought to myself, why not. So I borrowed the first couple of books from a friend. Since then, I've kind of enjoyed them. I had to discipline myself not to read them while I was writing my essays. I've found them tough to put down. But since I've finished my essays, I can read them again.

Also on my list of books to read is Practicing Passion by Kendra Creasy Dean. I got this book for Christmas, twas on my wishlist I admit, having remembered people recommending it to me in the past. I'll let you know what I think in due course....

Another book that was on my wishlist was Walter Wink's Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way.

I've read a bit of Walter Wink before, he's got some interesting stuff to say about society, the powers that exist within society, and also non-violence. He's got some interesing reflections on the Sermon on the Mount , and I'm looking forward to see what he has to say in this book.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

oh that feels good

I've just finished my essays. :o)

100065 words in a little over two weeks. That ain't bad going in my book.

Ok so I've still got bibiliographies n all that jazz to do, but basically, I'VE FINISHED.


Now I've just gotta get up for church tomorrow morning, and lauch the idea of an open youth club to the congregation. Hmmmmmm. Will let y'all know how it goes......

Nevertheless, as I predicted this morning, today has been a good day. Not only have I finished my essays, but Chesterfield finally managed to win a game. 1-0 against Bradford. That'll do. Previous to that we'd drawn 8 games on the trot. Admittedly we were unbeaten, but drawing ain't much fun. Not to worry, we're back to winning ways least unti I go to see them against Doncaster next week. My vicar, with whom I'm going, is something of Doncaster Rovers fan.....;o)

what's going on

Well this morning I got three bits of post. And none of them were bills/bank statements/helpful letters from endless car insurance companies trying to convince me they can give me the best deal. (Alas my car insurance is due at the end of the month. grrr).

All my post was on the 'pleasant' scale this morning. Which hardly ever happens. So today has to be a good day.

One of these pleasing items of post was a free CD. Well, there's two good things in one. CD and free. Always (nearly) a good combo.

Some months ago in the Guardian they ran a free CD offer. Collect so many tokens kinda deal. I have to admit that I'd completely forgotten about every ordering it. The CD that week was Marvin Gaye's Whats Going On. I've just stuck it in the CD player, and am loving it all over again.

The last time I heard this album was during the uber-cool alt. worship service at Greenbelt back in the summer.(oooh summer. hurry up again. it's cold n grey n miserable). I can just remember it being such a good service. The use of this album, in a worship setting was really well done. It didn't feel forced at all.

Anyway, that was ages ago. I've got essays to write now. Just 800 words to go. Come on!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

sometimes i feel like this

I found this quote while I was doing some reading for my current essay. I quite like it. I think it sums up how I often feel.

"People who live in exile know that sometimes they need to remain silent because they feel that experiences conveyed in a different language and without their context do not necessarily make sense to others."

Marcella Althaus-Reid, 'From Liberation Theology to Indecent Theology', in Ivan Petrella, Latin American Liberation Theology: The Next Generation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2005) 23

tis a bit late i admit, but...

Happy New Year!!!

I've been trying to crack on with my second essay. It's getting there, slowly. It's gonna have to be there by Monday morning....