Sunday, February 19, 2006

the BAFTAs

Just been watching the BAFTA's on tv. Stephen Fry was funny/surreal as ever - I'm not sure how many of the American's in the audience 'got' his humour. Oh well.

Of the five films up for best film I'd seen three of them - Crash, Good Night and Good Luck and the Constant Gardener (never got round to blogging about that one). I've yet to see (the much talked about, and rather successful) 'Brokeback Mountain' or 'Capote'.

But for me, as for a number of people in the audience it seemed, the best/most moving bit of the evening was the acceptance speech by the winner of the BAFTA Fellowship, David Puttnam. He was producer on all number of great films, including 'The Mission' and 'Chariots of Fire'. Amongst the moving things he said during his speech, he spoke of the power of films to heal, to speak into people's lives, into the parts of people's lives they consider secret, hidden from the rest of the world. I think this is so true.

I can hardly remember the number of times I've been in tears watching films. I don't get emotional because of soppy love stories (as beautiful as the may be), rather, on reflection, I think I get emotional when something in a film resonates with what I consider to be important in life. I blogged about some of this a while ago. It still stands.

Basically, I think what I'm saying, is that I like films. I like stories in films. I like stories which resonate with me, and who I am.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

ketchup and camels

Had a really enjoyable day today.

We did a day of drama with some of our young people. We were making a video of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

But why ketchup and camels? Well....the Dramatised Bible states that the Good Samaritan put the beaten up person on his (unspecified) animal, and we just happen to have a camel costume knocking about at church. Admittedly it seems to make regular appearances at any and every opportunity, but one more outing isn't gonna hurt.

And was squirted over the face of the person who'd been beaten up, to oh so realistically represent blood!! Nice.

Its days like today that remind me how much I enjoy working with young people.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

ebay atheist

Don't know if you've seen this yet. It all looks quite intriguing.

An atheist in the USA put himself up for sale on ebay, wanting Christian organisation to 'buy' him and send him to church. An organisation called Off the Map, who describe themselves as "helping Christians be normal", have done just that. So far he has been sent to a Catholic Mass, as well as to Willowcreek. This looks as if it could be a fascinating project, and def. worth keeping an eye on.

Hemant Mehta, the atheist in question, is also running a blog.

Thanks to Ben Askew for sharing this one.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

well it could have been a worse day

Ok, ok. So those are hardly the words of an optimist. But consider my cold and general feeling a bit down, it's not been a bad day.

This morning I was 'interviewed' bu my friend Rich. Rich is another youth worker in Sheffield. He too is doing an MA, but at Durham. He was interviewing me as the 'pilot' for his reseach project - something about why church based youth workers do (or do not) work with other agencies.

As part of the interview process, which as it was being recorded I made sure there were plenty of coughs and splutters aimed at the dictophone, there were a number of questions about my job, and particularly the way in which I am managed or supervised.

This got me thinking about how much I actually like/need/thrive off supervision, and it got me wondering about whether I'm making the most of my current situation. As you can probably guess by what I'm saying, I have a hunch that my current situation could be improved....might have to be all pro-active and see what I can do.

Also, as I was perusing t'interweb this evening I discovered that my friend Anna is blogging. So go and say hello to her. If you want to.


Currently got myself a rather severe bout of man-flu. OR, depending upon your level of sympathy - I've got a slight cold.

But (and here comes the product placement) I am currently loving the smooth to touch nature of these Kleenex Balsam tissues. They're so kind on your nose....

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

bono and bush

A number of people have blogged about Bono's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in the US.

It's pretty's an excerpt

"But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the scriptures call the least of these.

This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith.

'Do to others as you would have them do to you' (Luke 6:30). Jesus says that.

'Righteousness is this: that one should...give away wealth out of love for him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives.' The Koran says that (2.177).

Thus sayeth the Lord: 'Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard.' The Jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.

That is a powerful incentive: 'The Lord will watch your back.' Sounds like a good deal to me, right now.

A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it. I have a family, please look after them. I have this crazy idea...

And this wise man said: stop.

He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing.

Get involved in what God is doing - because it's already blessed.

Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe, is what God is doing.

And that is what he's calling us to do."

You might want to think about checking it out in full.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

the weekend

Has been a fairly good weekend actually.

On Saturday I went to watch Chesterfield. Bless 'em. We drew again. 1-1 against Gillingham. The positive spin on the result is that we're 15 games unbeaten. The negative spin is that we've only won 4 matches in our last 15 games.

Ah well. We're still 7th. Every so often I catch myself thinking that we've got a chance of promotion.

Saturday evening I went out for drinks and a curry with some mates. Was a good night. I do like Indian food - I developed quite a taste for it when I loved in Birmingham.

Sunday (=busy) hasn't been too bad either. It was Family Service at church this morning (we still don't have a website so I can't link to it). Family Service means Parade for the Uniformed Organisation. There was also a baptism going on. Even so, attendance was really good. There must have been over 150 people there, and bearing in mind there are just under 180 chairs, that's not bad going. I know I shouldn't get hung up on numbers, but it was pretty encouraging to stand at the back of church and struggle to find somewhere to sit down.

Youth group this evening also went well (I could get used to this...). We were doing stuff on priorities - what infleunces our decisions etc (Matt 6:25-34 and Col 3:15-17). It went well. This particular group was struggling with numbers at the beginning of term (again - I know numbers aren't the be all and end all - but when no-one turns up you have to reflect). But over the last couple of weeks (nearly) everyone has been attending regularly (6 of them), and it's been really encouraging.

So there are the highlights of my weekend.

OOOOH - I also realised that Harry Collier of Kubb fame used to be in a band I absolutely loved when I was growing up - Rootjoose. He (Harry) was being interviewed on Jonathan Ross on Saturday morning. Am loving what Kubb are putting out. It could never compare with the legendary stuff 'the joose' used to put out, well, maybe it could. Anyway. I should to go bed now....

Friday, February 03, 2006

looking forward...

This morning I was perusing the website for the Winter Olympics in Turin which kick off next weekend. I really like watching the Olympics. Admittedly Britain never do very well at the Winter Olympics, and it's good to see we're continuing the trend of aiming high this year. Even if we don't get any medals I'll still enjoy watching it.

It is one of my ambitions in life to learn to ski. By that I don't just mean the introductory lesson you do each time you take the youth group to the dry ski slope. I mean properly. On snow.

Also looking ahead, I've just booked plane tickets to go and see my brother who lives in Marburg, Germany. He moved out there last August/September time, and I've not been out to see him yet. (I know, I know, but life has just been too busy). Anyway, I've managed to squeeze in a couple of days in March when I can escape from work without really being missed (that can't have been hard I hear you say). But it should be cool. And I get to go on a plane. Which is something I haven't done in a good few years.

signs of stress

I was clearing through some old notes and stuff from back in the days when I used to work for YFC (not something I admit to everyday). Amongst the stuff that went straight into the paper recylcing bin I found a handout entitled "Signs of Stress"....

One of two symptoms of stress for short periods is normal. Several of the symptoms listed below, particularly if they are prolonged, are signs that stress is not being shaken off.

Among the signs of stress are the following:

Unwillingness to support colleagues
Loss of weight
Frustration due to little sense of achievement
Increas in consumption of alcohol
Inability to make decisions
Displaced aggression
Marital of family conflict
Chronic and transferable anxiety
Back pain
Guilt feelings
Withdrawal from people
Continual feeling of exhaustion
An uninterrupted desire to leave
Feverish activity with little purpose
Tension headaches
Frequent anger
Feelings of isolation
Nervous skin rashes
Hyper-sensitivity to criticism
General irritablity
Feelings of fear an an unwillingness to face challenges
Frequent absence from work
Inability to concentrate
Strong feelings of being unable to cope
Frequen inability to sleep
Over eating
Resort to, or large increase in smoking

Familiar to anyone else at all.....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

the last few days

Well I suppose I ought to say something as it has been a couple of days since I last posted here.

The last few days have been a mixed bag really. Not sure if I've done that much, but I still seem to have been keeping myself busy...

We had an encouraging meeting on Wednesday night about the youth club we're looking to set up. At least, I think it was encouraging. The more I dwell on it the more I wonder. But perhaps that's the problem with thinking about things too much.

I was down in Birmingham for uni. on Tuesday, and althougth it confused my little head considerably I did enjoy it. The module I'm doing this term is called "Rethinking Christianity in Western Europe". Over the last couple of weeks we've been looking at some stuff which was published in the sixties, but has so much relevance to today's situation. Some of it, it appears, was kinda squashed by various influential mission agencies, because essentially people were questioning the value of said mission agencies, suggesting the need to widen our view of what is mission, and consider exactly whose mission it is anyway.

I think I'm gonna write my essay on this stuff, considering the way in which current 'pop-theologians' (not my own term, but I do like it) use, or rather don't use, some of this stuff which was published back then.