Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The interesting thing...

About spending a lot of time on your own is that you start to understand what it is you're meant to be doing...

I've taken the time today to set up the planning for the Friday evening groups, now all I need to do is pray, gather the leaders and get all of my groups sorted. I'm hoping that we can go until at least Easter '09, with the potential of even sorting out the summer term.

One problem that is increasingly major is the distinct shortage of male leaders. So pray with me that God's plan will be revealed on this one, cos it's not currently very clear...

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Oast Houses

You're gonna have to type the title of this blog into Google to see where I stayed this weekend. I can't figure out how to make it link to another web page! Of course the pictures don't do it justice, and I didn't take any of my own because I forgot my camera and was working all weekend!

I spent my time with 3 other volunteers, who were happy enough to spend the weekend with 14 children, all of whom were well behaved and extremely excited by the thought of jumping on a couple of new faces. It was a fulfilling weekend and not as tiring as most weekends that I've found myself on recently.

I also spent some time in Rye, which is a very steep town, about 20 mins from where we were staying. I found some really nice fudge (which promptly went in the fridge when I got back!) and some good ice cream too...sadly I watched the bowls for a bit and read the paper before going back for dinner and a show of all the talent in the church.

South Green Baptist Church is a brilliant family, a good mix of young and old, all helping each other and welcoming to new faces. I loved the weekend, the right level of relaxing and working for me, time to switch off and time for teaching.

So back to work, and on my own too now, well not entirely, but everyone seems to be away this week or doing intense events (holiday bible club etc) so I have to find something to fill the time! I've got a lot of things that I need to do, like creating spread sheets and documents that will make it easy for me to keep track of time and money spent, looking at the next term and finding outwhats happening, so that I can plan effectively, keeping people in the loop and checking various bits of information to make sure it's correct.

I was given a book by Paul, who is our new team rector, as a 'welcome' present, which I'm going to digest over the summer, so I'll let you know what comes out of that and how my ideas form.

One problem I do have is that I really can't move my youth work 'stuff' (books, bibles, resources etc) until after all the work on the church and my office has been completed, so I am a little less focussed, as well as not having a laptop (shortly to be resolved) to put all of my work on. It'll make for a very interesting start to the academic year...it could feel a little rushed and last minute, but hopefuly not. Here's praying for guidance and focus.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To view or not to view

I decided not to go for the flat that I veiwed last week. It's a little too small and too expensive. So we keep praying...a house share is looking like a better option, but at the moment I'm holding off on that.

This week has been interesting so far. A good friend of mine is back from his job for a couple of months, so having him around will be nice, he's always welcome and up for doing random things.

I am officially a member of the Billericay and Little Bursted Ministry, having signed my contract yesterday evening at Paul's, there's a huge sense of the word 'team' at the moment, at what it means to be in a ministry that covers a wide area. It looks like there's a lot going on that we don't know about as a team and communication is key! It's all exciting though, I'm going to be visiting the youth groups and seeing how we can use our resources effectively...

The rest of the time has been spent in school (going back into Billericay as a staff member is weird) and preparing for the weekend away with South Green Baptist Church. I'm becoming a children's worker for the weekend, along with three other VaV volunteers (some ex, some current) so it should be a lot of fun...If I can get over the illness that I'm feeling right now. I think a lot of sleep needs to be put in my diary for the next couple of days...

I've been told of the importance of taking time out and booking retreat days, before the work starts coming in. I also need to take time out to study and pray. So discipline comes back into my life in a big way and I have to make sure I stick to it!

God what are you doing in this place?

Monday, July 21, 2008

We've come so far...

...and we've reached so high...and we're still so young and we hope for more.

I could go on...and on. If you know the lyric, you'll know the band and you'll have probably heard of the musical. If you're like me, you'll have sung the rest of the song by now and remembered how the musical ends.

I had a brilliant time on Friday night, with Karen in London, seeing Never Forget...it was great to see all the old songs from Take That re-worked but still sing-a-long-able*. I enjoyed almost every part of the night, the only thing I'm suffering for is not wearing comfortable shoes. I have blisters all over my feet...and I'm never walking across London again! It was good to see some friends and family, drinking in a bar near Farringdon.

The photos from the night are on Facebook and if you keep looking you'll also find photos of the main summer event that was held by EVO this weekend.

We had a BBQ, lots of music and a bouncy castle to keep the kids (and adults) entertained. We raised £165 for Little Havens Childrens Hospice (a local charity that looks after children) at the same time. I had so much fun during the day and on into the evening. I thought it would be stressful and really difficult, but God had it all under control and we invited people into the church who were new, which is alway good fun. Enid had spoken at the 8am service about welcoming people into church, and we did just that. It was an ideal event, and we're looking at doing it next year.

I have to write an article or two as well as preparing for the weekend away that's coming up (I've really not got my head around being away for this weekend yet). So back to work!

*it's the only way to describle it - I know its not a word!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day Two

This youth work malarky is good fun...I spent most of the afternoon drinking OJ and chatting about exciting events in the Bradwell Area, with Mark and a few others in Southend and we also converged on the Christian Bookshop - which is crammed full of resources (minus Nooma)!

I haven't been to Southend for years, so wandering around was exciting for me and trying to concentrate on what was being said was hard.

Mark reckons I'm still getting a bit of culture shock, I tend to mutter under my breath, so I need to adjust and keep my mouth quiet when I'm wandering around!

So Day Two...Would you like a running total? No? Thought not!

Tomorrow I am going for my first viewing of a flat that I could move into...I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One more day...

So the weekend went really quickly and this week seems to have done the same...shortly I will be heading for my bed and hoping for some sleep. SOLID made me ill...well, more likely the cut grass and camping did. Going into work on Tuesday morning was a chore, I only lasted two hours and couldn't even get up Wednesday, apparently even though I've now got a nice tan on my face, there was no colour in my skin, so the mums in my office put me back on the bus and I spent most of the next 48 hours in bed.

Thank goodness for chemists - a couple of paracetamol and benadryl later, I'm about 85% ok. I managed work today...I know I'm going in for my last day tomorrow to be greeted by a decorated desk! But this week has gone too quickly and I've not enjoyed it like I thought I would.

Though having said that, we have some very special people in town this week... Youth Life are currently touring the country, dancing and telling their stories. I've met Ilyos before, he spent new year with us, and it was great to spend sometime with him and Vitalik before they leave Billericay to take part in Soul Survivor and other festivals this summer.

I'm already being called to lead groups, which I would expect, I'm also still unaware of what is going to happen much passed Monday morning. I'm going to prayers and having a meeting straight after...and we'll see where we go from there.

Right now, I have some sleep to catch up on and a list to write of who I want to meet and what I want to do. I also have an article to write...

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Wow...where did the weekend go?

It has gone by in some what of a blur. Friday evening was spent running round like a headless chicken for ten min (so much so that I have mis-placed my phone charger - heres hoping its at work) before Lynn arrived to collect me and my gear for the short trip to Stubbers. We arrived, unloaded the car, put up four tents and ate dinner before the main meeting.

Saturday mornings sleep was interrupted on three occasions - rain, loud teenagers and loud leaders. During the day we sat in the sun and watched the football, listened to some music and avoided getting wet. I've now got a sun burnt face from sitting in the sun all day! I headed back for a catch up sleep and a chance to start the after sun treatment! We had dinner and went to the main meeting, which was intense. I was very proud to see Kate John, my sister's housemate preaching. She's clearly very practiced and a good story teller. It was nice to say hello to her afterwards.

Sunday rolled around after late night drinks and a chance to catch up with some of the girls who had come down for the evening. We packed up in record time, before the rain fell, and despite it only being ten in the morning I now have sun burnt arms to match my face! The final main meeting was a time to celebrate, and share the highs and lows of the weekend. We said goodbye to the young people and got home without any problems.

Overall a good weekend, I've learnt a lot about the young people I was in charge of, about God's grace and his unfailing love for each and everyone of us. I've spent time with some of the people I'm going to be working with for the next couple of years and prayed for healing for many things.

Even when I'm at my most tired, God will bless me in abundance, and give me a glimmer of hope for the future. I'm not a replacement for anyone, I'm creating my own ministry. One thing that keeps hitting me recently is that God hasn't finished yet...this creation thing...its not over by a long way. There's more to be added to the world.

Time to watch Dr Who...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm trying to think of something witty to put at the top of this post, to intrigue you...to make you wait in anticipation for the news I have...but alas, my brain has been left in front of the TV for the day...

Maybe I'll come up with something in the future, and then it'll all seem really weird to a random visitor.

The news, Liz, whats the news?!

Well...I passed my driving test, first time round, so look out for me, I will be coming to a street near you soon...when I've got a car, and when I've completed my pass plus, I'll be on the motorway...

I'm not over it yet, see I have no car to drive across town in, as my parents are away for the week, so no opportunity to get in the car and just drive :( It won't sink in for a while.

I've got Solid to do before I can get in a car on my own! I've read the magazine and understand that I am now in a probation period for two years (my license will be revoked without appeal if I get more than 6 points on it), I've also got to get my name on the insurance, and I've got to carry my passport around for a few weeks...now that I have a shiny blue certificate instead of a green photo card.

My examiner was lovely, my observation was the cause of the minors that crept in, and Jeff was absolutely thrilled that I got it first time out.

So where from here? Buy a car, move out and work my socks off!!