Sunday, August 31, 2008

Circle Line Challenge

Saturday night saw some of us head into London to take part in the 'Circle Line Challenge'.

Let me explain... The idea is to go to a pub and have a drink at every stop on the circle line, from London's underground system. Simple! I hear you cry...

Well... if you know where all the nearest pubs are... I'm surprised that Mayor Boris Johnson hasn't cottoned on to this idea and put a bar in every station... he'd make a load of money to pay for 2012!

As always, picture included...12 of us, all dressed as service men and women, getting some strange looks (you'd think that London would know what's going on by now...), trying not to get lost or beaten up... Us in the Weatherspoons at the top of Liverpool Street Station...didn't mind that pub.

Next we skipped a few stops and headed to the O'Neills nearest Kings Cross...I think we may have made/disrupted some peoples quiet Saturday evening drinks.

We decided to abandon going all the way round (you need a lot longer if you're going to get all pubs at all stations - and a sensible choice of shoe is a good idea.) and headed to Covent Garden instead.

The Punch and Judy which over looks the performers square is a lovely pub, so is Henry's Bar...which is just off the square. Not a hugely expensive night (a kitty is a brilliant idea) and there's no pressure to drink huge amounts plus there's quite a lot of time between drinks if there's a large group of you.

Shame the last train to Billericay is 00:50 and we didn't get into London until 20:15.

Still...maybe next time...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Watching the cricket...

Taking a small amount of time out to watch the cricket and catch up on all the necessary sport/celebrities doing sport things... (Strictly Come Dancing is back!!)

All the publicity is done...up and ready for everyone to peruse on Sunday, and I will post them on here, I promise...I will also post them on Facebook.

I've had a look at my resources and done some more planning. I've got to get all set up for 9 days time, when my Sundays will become the one day in the week that I have to put my all into. No more sleepy afternoons.

I've been listening to another new CD over the last day or so, and I'm already hooked. Hillsong have released 'This is Our God' and already i can hear songs that I going to be hugely helpful to me, and for my ministry. The last album I purchased was titled 'Mighty to Save' - I still reel from the lyrics from the song of the same name

'Saviour, He can move the mountains,
my God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save,
Forever, author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave'

and this album is similar, with mind blowing, heart felt, scripture lead lyrics. 'Healer', 'Your name high' and 'you are here' as songs that will probably make it into song books across the country. Apparently one of the songs was an anthem at Soul Survivor! I also love 'where we belong' because its based on one of my favourite pieces of scripture. I will be listening to this album a lot, and hopefully introducing it into church...

Makes me want to go to Australia (where Hillsong are based), or big congregational meetings...I'm part of the modern church...

We're doing well in the cricket...ODI against SA, winning convincingly so far...

New laptop is kinda behaving itself. I need to get set up at church, so that I can work happily at my desk (though I don't actually have a desk right now!).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kicking into gear seems the summer is over...not that it actually felt like it had begun at all, but there we go.

I did want to blog pictures of some of the things I've been doing today, but as ever, with different systems, you end up opening something on a different computer (namely new Vista on new system to new laptop with XP), and it doesn't quite match what you've spent hours doing, so you have to go back to the original system and create .jpg's of everything.

Basically I've blogged about it, but I can't actually be bothered to go upstairs and carry out the process that I've just described...maybe tomorrow, definitely before the term begins, you will be able to see all of my wonderful publicity on the web in various places - here I come church website!!

I also spent some time doing the visuals for those who don't have internet access - so the board in church is half complete with notes tagged to it for all the additional things i need to create for me to be happy with it.

Now that I've done all of this I've just got to pray that I get some young people along...

The rest of the day has been spent listening to the new Hillsong album and recovering from being in Bristol!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Laptop mark 2

So the laptop arrived at church, and my mum had to text me to let me know it had arrived...what do you do with a big box that's got someones name on phone them to let them know that whatever they ordered had arrived...argh!

So the screen works, the internet works, the touchpad is a little too sensitive, the right click key is a little funny, and the USB's are plagued by a simple design fault - the casing is in the wrong place...

Still a 13 inch screen is not bad - no glare so far. The program install was easy, thanks to the emergency setup my Dad has done recently, we'll just see if the internet connects tomorrow morning, so far I've done one reboot and it still works fine.

Back in Billericay now, meetings with young people start tomorrow, so hopefully I can sort out some publicity for them beforehand.

School is almost back on my radar...I'll tell you how I feel after my first week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blogging from Bristol!

In Kay's kitchen, relishing good food and good company...On retrat for a couple of days, before term starts and things get hetic...

Not a lot to report really, just thought I'd let you know where I've been!

Kay and I have been into her school, I've been catching up on church news and sitting in the coffee shop. I've also been into Bristol to see the new development, which is opening soon...very exciting stuff, it feels a lot more built up and busy atm.

So back to Billericay on Wednesday, then meetings and a publicity run for the young people.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Another one!!

Another quiet week in the world of Liz. I still have no office, no laptop and no idea of what September holds. I'm just hoping that God will fix it all very shortly.

Karen's doing well at Resonate, proud of her talk and happy to be camping (silly girl).

I'm still astounded by the amount of people visiting my blog through the words 'pink mini cooper'. It's one of the top images in Google now! They are a very rare find it seems, but still the car of my dreams!

I'm going to have to get into gear soon, but I still think being at work 'properly' is going to hit me like a Juggernaut!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I hope you all know by now that I'm into my live music scene, specifically the local talent that can be found in Essex, and that I would love to go to more gigs where quality music is produced.

Yesterday I had a chance to support a good friend of mine and his band as they played at the 'y fest' in Central Park, Chelmsford, which is run by the YMCA.

Above, ladies and gentlemen, is Crimson Cross, in a marquee, while the rain poured down! They played well and pulled in a crowd of at least 30 people! In my (slightly skewed opinion) they were one of the better bands - shame the judges didn't think the same - the band that followed made a racket and won... :(
Still they're up and coming and they've got some good songs under their belt...a few lady fans (check the pictures on facebook of the lead singer signing autographs afterwards!), and a committed following. Bigger and better things to come, definitely...
Today is play with the printer day...trying to figure out how to save something in the right format on the laptop that doesn't work so that I can print it in the office, on a colour printer.
DELL have promised a new laptop, one that connects to the internet, has a screen that works first time and a keypad that works all of the time. For the money that is being spent, I expect quality...currently I'm only getting good music out of it...
10 to 14 working days...we'll see if DELL can finally deliver.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thorpe Park 2008

Yesterday started at 06:30 and ended at 02:00 - a pretty long day...for all the right (though some wrong) reasons.

I went to the 8am service - as it's third Sunday we get a chance to have a spoken communion before the all together service at 10am, with breakfast in between! I love being a church for an extended amount of time...though occasionally its stressful...our family is made up of a great mix of people and seeing them all is good fun.

After the 10am service, the twenty-somethings got into various cars and headed off to Thorpe Park. We had a lot of fun, trying to get people wet, getting wet on purpose and trying to dry off afterwards, queuing and chatting with the Thorpe Park staff when the rides broke down. Sadly Colossus suffered a technical failure, so we couldn't go on it, but some of the small rides made an impact...Rush and Slammer being two of the rides I would go on again. I had Heather next to me screaming like a banshee...and the boys doing superman poses as often as they could!

To the right is a picture of Stealth one of the newer rides (2006 I think) at the park. I'm a thrill seeker (a convert) and this was ok, but it didn't get me screaming like Heather. Thorpe Park is a tame park...their 'dangling legs' ride isn't fast enough in my opinion, I really wanted to go on Colossus but it sounds like it maybe suffering from old age. Overall I liked the rides, but they felt familiar and didn't rattle me enough...I didn't fell pinned to my seat on Stealth, which was over too quickly - Rita: Queen of Speed is a better ride - its longer, and well designed with tight turns and a feeling of danger - but that's 4 hours away in Staffordshire!

Still not much more to complain about...the park is compact and easy to navigate, KFC's menu was a little short, but the queuing wasn't bad, though you don't get the suspense that Alton Towers builds! X No Way Out was better than I remember it, but going backwards in the dark, with starting and stopping is hard on the neck.

I'm going to have to find some bigger, scarier rides to get a kick!

This week I've got planning, reading and creating to do, a Vista system to get used to (I don't like the fact that it 'wiped' the photos from my camera, when I told it to leave them on there), car insurance to sort, mentoring to start and a festival to go to! Exciting stuff...I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NEW LAPTOP! works! I have a screen that is fixed and although its not properly set up yet, I'm happy with my new laptop. The technician didn't turn up until 5pm though...If I'd been on my own all day...boy would I have been angry when he knocked on the door.

Still, all happy now, I have to purchase a laptop bag soon. I have a feeling this one is going to be pink so that I don't leave it somewhere!

Kay's back in Bristol, spending a few days just chilling with her has been good fun!

We're heading to Thorpe Park this weekend, which I'm a little bit excited about, going to check out all the new rides and hopefully get in for half's (as always) to follow!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time Check

It's 11:27 and I'm inside waiting for the technician from Dell to show up...currently I'm bored, but there's an air of anticipation that he's going to do something amazing and I'm going to have a laptop to set up by the end of today.

If he doesn't turn up then I'm safe in the knowledge that Kay will definitely not disappoint!

A bit of Bristol is coming to Essex and I'm a little excited about it!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Radio interview

After spending half an hour in church this morning, I zoomed off to Brentwood to take part in a radio interview for Phoenix FM. They've got a very neat set up at the back of the Baytree centre.

I enjoyed my time on air and plugged the church, as well as the work I do, and all of the other activities we have going on. Not as scary as I thought and I would definitely do it again!

Mum and Dad are away this weekend in Norfolk, so the house has been overrun by people in their early 20's. It's been a good chance to spend time with friends and welcome people. Food is always high priority when anyone comes to visit, and this time was no different. I spent Friday night making meringue and Saturday buying and cooking meat and desserts (as well as completing my pass plus - motorway driving - piece of cake - must make sure I check my blind spots though!). The meringue went down a treat (though 6 egg whites is enough to feed ten Jamie Oliver!) and the rest of the food disappeared (apart form the salad - go figure!). Dishwashers make light work of a heavy night and the house is as clean as it was when Mum left on Friday, but only because I tidied up whilst the boys were playing drinking games.

On thing on being super efficient though - you tend to miss out on stuff...though I'm sure there will be photos appearing at some point!

Friday, August 08, 2008

A new arrival

I could talk about the team blog on my dashboard when I log in, but that's really not my kinda thing right, I'm talking about a new laptop (scream!!).

My Dell laptop arrived yesterday (though no one phoned to tell me) at church, and I got rather excited this morning, but only after I had been told by someone else that there was a package for me. I check all of my mail and then got round to opening the big box. Carol thinks I'm crazy...just because I jumped around her...its the second new laptop I've had in as many years (after I left the other (brand new) laptop on the train, without any insurance), so here's hoping I don't do anything stupid with this custom built one!

Once again, though, I'm heading home because my arm is about to drop off from sitting with no support again.

Thankfully I'm going for a hot stone massage on Monday...

And, more exciting news...I'm going to be on the radio on Sunday morning (whilst everyone else is in church d'oh? or good? Can't decide). Phoenix FM (those clever chappies at Brentwood, online and on the radio) have decided to do an article on the churches in the area. I'm the only one who responded positively apparently...more than happy to get the gospel out on a local radio station. I've just got to pray that I don't bottle it and I can give a proper insight into the work of Christ Church. It's just a chat, into a mic, with a guy I've never met before, that people in Brentwood and Billericay are going to be listening to. Eek!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Emerging Church

So back to the Post-modern church...I've read some more of Dan Kimball's book and have started to get a little bit excited about 'vintage Christianity' and 'church'. We always say the church is 'not the building, its the people' and Dan whole-heartedly writes with this belief and mind-set. He speaks of the early church and the church things have changed, but the similarities are more striking than ever.

A post-modern world is one where spirituality is key, but religion is not - so I've answered the question for you, if you were pondering. Further more Christianity is no longer the principle religion in society (both in England and America according to Dan) however studying religion and belief in 'God' is rife.

So Dan has deconstructed and I am now in the midst of reconstructing the idea of church.

It's not a Sunday thing, its not a programme - its a way of community and a mission.

More when I've finished...I promise!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'm still tired...

Ok I have not really recovered properly from yesterday, and, actually, I'm still trying to get used to not having a routine still...It's taking its toll, I'm not doing all 'normal' things I would do - like drinking plenty of water and eating fruit by the bucket load, which means I'm a little under the weather anyway, so it'll take me time to adjust.

Yesterday was good fun, We piled on to the minibus, knowing that it was going to rain all day, but still in high spirits. We arrived in Frinton (which has not changed that much since I was last there some 5 years ago) and set up our stuff on the beach. I'd made the decision, long before we arrived, that I wasn't going to take my shoes off, or go anywhere near the water (for fear of being pushed in) and I succeeded in the two and a half hours that we took over a little bit of golden sand...then it started to rain...and didn't stop until we decided to head for the safety of Walton-on-the-Naze pier.

Walton has arcades, food and we spent an hour or so drinking tea (Ribena for me) and eating cheesey chips. Then we had the walk back and the journey home...

A really good day, it was all organised by the Baptist Youth worker, he's got some good ideas and is keen to get a lot of people involved with what he has planned.

We're hoping to sync our diaries soon, so that we get the right mix of events and don't overlap. Watch this space for news of all the events that we'll be doing as a team and what is going on in specific churches.

The other thing I've been up to, today and next Saturday, specifically, is Pass Plus - an additional six hours on the road with my instructor, so that I can feel a little better about driving in unknown places and focus on whats 'out there' whilst I'm driving...I've done three hours so far, and I am's a lot of hard work driving through places you don't know. Three more hours to go...motorway driving on Saturday..eek!

I'm also reviewing 4 new albums...Sara Bareillis, Gabriella Cilmi, Duffy and Alphabeat. So far so good, Gabriella Climi is my least favourite, Sara Bareillis and Alphabeat are at the top and Duffy is Duffy...unique! I'm going to keep listening, all four are on my mp3 player, so if I get to walk somewhere or have to travel anywhere on a train soon, this is where I'll go!

I'm trying to find something for us to do as a peer group for our weekend away in October...anyone got any ideas for the Hertford area?!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Grand Day Out

Walton on the Naze by day...the picture is a little glum, because it rained for a majority of the day and it was taken on my phone!

Still a good day had by all, I'm tired now though, so I'll blog more when I am less exhausted!

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Modern and Post-modern way of doing things.

The Modern - The joys of HTML/Javascript

If you've ever tired to edit a blog you'll know exactly what I'm going to complain about, if you haven't...well, I'll explain as I go along.

Karen has a tracker on her blog, its a nifty one with a lot of information on it about the readers of her blog, it gives her an idea of who's reading, where they are from and how often they visit(nothing that means she can sell their personal details on to other companies you understand!). I was thrown into this a couple of years ago (sat in Karen's room in Cardiff) and added it to my blog. Then one day, for no reason, it just stopped for at least 24 months I've had no idea who's keeping up with me and who's around regularly. Now though, things are different...I've got my tracker back...the little black and blue box lets me be just one click away from finding out all about you dear reader!

It's taken a whole week for me to figure the thing out and get it working though! Blogger decided, in its wisdom, that changing a copy and pasted HTML code (lots of lines and letters, numbers and symbols) is a regular thing to do. Extreme (the company who provide the tracker) assured me that the code was correct, and there was nothing they could help me with...I was to go back to Blogger and ask them what was wrong. As always, whenever I need help, my request becomes rare or unusual, and I can't find anything other than a description of how to get HTML on to a page. GREAT. So I came to my senses and just re-wrote the code, letter for letter into the box. I spotted the problem...Blogger had just 'forgotten' to add some lines in the HTML!

Writing HTML isn't the most exciting thing ever, but when it works, it has some exciting results!

So now I have a tracker...Woop!

I've spent most of today compiling emails and replying to various bits and pieces as well as sorting out my phone and trying to get hold of, the latter has brought me absolutely no joy at all, sometimes when I phone out the person I'm calling can't hear's happened twice, once with Orange and once today...I don't know whether its the call centre or me...still I will not phone an 0845 number if the company can't get their act together about phoning my mobile number!

The Post-modern - The Church and its surroundings

Yesterday was an interesting day...for personal reasons I took a day out, to sit in my room to pray, listen and read.

I guess the main thing that impacted me was my lack of discipline...I haven't been doing what I should recently, so building up my quiet times and prayer times again is going to be interesting, this time last year I was a lot better at it and felt better for it too...recently not so much, but it has been highlighted by a few God-incidences that reading (the Bible) and praying are things we need to be doing, both corporately and individually. So here's my pledge - to read my Bible and pray daily...starting froooommm....NOW!

I came back to my Bible notes at the right moment too...1 Timothy 4: 11-16 says

'Command and teach these things. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.'

What more do you need to hear really when you think the world is against you? These verses are my inspiration, along with the letter to the Ephesians and the Christians in Thessalonica.

I'm currently reading a book by Dan Kimball about the Emerging Church, and Church in a post modern age. I'll review it when I'm done, some questions though, and if you can't answer it, I guess you should read Dan's book... Do you live with a modern or post-modern outlook on life? Are the people around you modern or post-modern in their view? What do you think post-modernism is?

The idea of post-modernism is an intersting subject for me, initially as a sociologist, secondly as a theologian and thirdly as a youth worker (though all are interchangeable) because it can strike fear into people and it can open up a can of worms...but from what I've already read and know, its something that needs to be tackled!

Keep an eye out for further posts!

I have to go home, sitting at this computer has given me a dull shoulder ache that can only be attributed to the lack of support for the wrists whilst typing/using the keyboard...