Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hitting the nail on the head...

Welcome readers old and new...

People seem to be visiting my blog after typing in some key phrases in to Google...I've checked the links and this blog seems to be in the top ten for a fair few searches...Exciting.

So I'm getting between 15 and 20 visits a day - which adds up to a lot of people at the end of the month. (Nick'll tell you that it's not a lot and he gets far more visitors...Check the link in 'Want to read more...' on the right when you've got a couple of years to spare :) )

At least there's a reason for me writing...however this entry seems to be a little lacking in direction, other than to gloat!

Youth work thingies are going well...Mum and Dad are on holiday at the moment, so the house is a little studenty at the moment, I've given up trying to 'run' the house whilst they're away, it causes me far too much stress to clean up after my brothers. So I just tidy up after myself.

Anyway, youth work's getting busy and I'm starting to fill my time effectively. Still no office though...

Looking forward to the new season of Heroes starting on Wednesday, that's something that is definitely going on the Sky+...shame I've got no one to talk to about it as I don't work with anyone who's as obsessed as I am!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

'I'll pray for you'

What do you think of when you hear this? Is it a comfort or annoying to you?

I've been involved recently in a conversation about this phrase, some people think it's great, that they've got a lot of people they say this to and they hope it makes a difference, other people (who have it said to them) find it condescending.

Someone said 'Why don't you go and do something useful...feed starving children in Africa or save an animal'.

My response was a little angry, not all of us are called to feed starving children or look after animals...I believe that I'm called to pray for those who do and don't have faith, that God might help them in their day to day issues, even if they don't see it.

I'll keep praying...what are you going to do?

Child Poverty cont...

Ok so in reply to my Dad's tells us that poverty can be extreme (living on less than US$1 a day) or moderate (less than US$2 a day). You can check out the Wiki site for more information. There's a lot to read and take in...

My gut reaction is to say 'surely this 'cover all' does not do that job?' On the Wiki site the definition of poverty is this

'to be poor is to be deprived of those goods and services and pleasures which others around us take for granted'

Which is better than a monetry value that certainly doesn't mean anything to me when it comes in dollars, therefore each countries cost of basic living should be set by the government, as they have the biggest idea of what the minimum is to live.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Child Poverty

Some time ago I attended Spring Harvest with St Mikes Youth, we decided that we'd do the student stream after the main meeting. We talked about various topics and even got involved in a voxpop moment or two, but there was one statistic that stuck in my mind.

Here it is

1 in 3 children lives in poverty in the UK today.

Spring Harvest was 18 months ago and this hasn't changed. I've had a lot of conversations with various people who refuse to believe that anyone in this country can be poor or in poverty, but the simple fact of the matter is that it is all relative. You would be stupid to deny that there are people who do not have enough money to live on.

So this has been bugging me ever since I heard all about it and in a couple of weekends theres a march happening in London. Sadly, I can't go, but I will be showing my support by writing to my MP. Have a look at and let me know what you think, or just take action, after all things like this don't get solved by people just taking about it!

'Let the children come to me' Jesus said and I think that is just as important today as it always has been...after all it's in the news today...Gordon Brown is repeating what Tony started...They do need to actually put it all in to practice though, the Lib Dems are talking about the educational needs of those who are living in deprived rural areas (the gist of the article in Children and Young People Now was that poverty doesn't just happen in urban areas), so it's on everyones minds...we just need to make sure it doesn't go away, that we keep reminding people about it and not ignoring it, making sure that we find a way of helping these families out.

It's bugged me so much that when I was first looking for a job, I started to look into working with people who are in poverty. I didn't really find anything, I think its something that's just not in the social conciousness, because we believe we're in a stable, wealthy country. Sadly there is a line, its happening all around the world, equality does not exist anywhere...there are poor and rich, no matter where you come from.

Don't ignore it...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A surprise...

Every time I have blogged for the last 6 weeks I have wanted to say 'There's a party that I'm organising and this has happened...' but it was a surprise - my parents celebrate their 25th Wedding anniversary this week and Karen and I have spent a lot of time on the phone organising a party for them.

I hate lying...

Here's a couple of photos for you so that you can join in too...

Karen's car before we left home...the ribbon was matching the bridesmaids dresses.

Karen and I mid party ... Mandy got hold of the camera!

A picture of everyone who attended - great idea Dad!

And a family portrait to celebrate...

It was a reallt good day, I really enjoyed it and everyone played their part. There are loads of photos and loads of memories...

I'm tired now though and I'm not doing another surprise party for a long time...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Becoming the 'bad guy'

One thing I really haven't had to get used to in my life is confrontation. It's one of the things that scares me, but I know that in my line of work, I have to sometimes use my authority to make a point, and most of the time, that means confronting someone.

Tonight was the first time in a long time that I've had to tell someone off for their behaviour. I had to ban someone from youth group for a week because he decided to use a fire door. Part of me thinks 'why didn't we use this punishment before?' A one week ban for using a door and setting off an alarm is a good idea. The more we use discipline in the correct manner, the more we're likely to be able to control situations and understand what is going on too.

More news on facebook...people are joining a group that give instructions on how to get the old facebook back, but I've read the instructions at it seems ridiculously complicated, just so that people can feel comfortable about using something that didn't even exist 3 years ago.

How has this social networking site taken over our lives?

I get it, but i don't really see why it's so important for me to be friends with as many people as possible, for me to keep up to date with those friends through their status updates. Yes its a revolution, it's instant, it fits the consumer society and we can laugh at the photos...what would Paul say about it? Is there a problem with letting this social networking site become part of our lives so rapidly and all encompassing?

I have had some brilliant conversations with my friends online, I've spoken to people that I haven't got in touch with for fact the Viz-a-Viz reunion was organised on Facebook, but there's a line that needs to be drawn...don't quite know where that is, but I'm sure I won't step over it. Will society be so conscious of it's decisions? We'll wait and see I guess...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All things new...

It's funny how people react to new things...some love the challenge, but most just complain or make a fuss about it.

Take the new facebook, for a while now I've been getting used to working it and finding out where everything is. So I understand it, I understand how it works, and what bugs still need sorting (like walls disappearing) some poeple have had it forced upon them... kind of cruel, but it's not hard to switch over and if you're advanced enough to be on facebook, you'll pick up the new one easily!

Have just watched the closing cermony too - amazing again...our part was interesting and Boris was a laugh, as always!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Youth Alpha

It's that time again...lots of food, lots of questions and a load of fab memories...

This time we're in Billericay, we're in the high street and we're above Costa. If you're 14-18 and you've got questions, come and join us on a Monday night from 8pm.

If you're a little older, have a look at the Alpha website...

Going out tonight to pray for this, it's an all together event, so lots of different styles and ideas as to how it should work. Pray with us if you're not joining us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Is a wonderful invention, not perfect, but nothing is these days. my main problem with it at the moment is family viewing...there are programmes that we record as a family on it, but don't watch as a family, so I end up seeing two or three of the same programme.

Take Neighbours, Mum watches it just before Mike comes in from work, then what's the first thing that Mike does? 'Can I watch Neighbours please?' Obviously the answer is yes...I'll trot off somewhere else because its the kind of programme where you can only tolerate one episode once a week.

Sleeping during the day is not, I am finding really quickly, a handy thing to do...we joked at uni about being cranky if we hadn't had a nap, but i think it's the other way round for me!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

An answer to a prayer...

Well...not a prayer as such, but a blog, a frustration and a moan...

The delivery man turned up about 20 mins after I blogged, which was great. Testament to God answering cries for help even though it wasn't in the form of a prayer. It meant that i could take some time out before going ovr to Chelmsford for a session on the 'Gospel according to John Lewis'.

A very good evening, I learnt a lot and I hope the church I attend is one of the better churches. We've got all sorts of ideas from a guy who used to be an executive of John Lewis. They built their customer service reputation through their staff...amazing...

There's quite a lot to take in and it's late, so I'm going to sleep on it!

Time Check 2

It's 15:49 and I've been sat in Christ Church Office since 09:00 this morning, waiting for a man in a van (or possibly a lady) to come and collect my old laptop and its box.

I'm annoyed, I'm tired, I'm hungry and there's pretty much nothing I can do about it. I can't really even lock to door to stop people from coming in, for fear that I might miss said collection person.

So I'm sat in a cold office, I've had the heater on all day... I missed the sunshine and the slightly warmer part of the day, it's now raining and I'm getting a little bit upset by it all.

Here's hoping that posting this will encourage said person to hurry up...yawn...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Doing the geek thing...

I'm far too competitive for my own good...Tetris has taken over my life...sad eh? Facebook is addictive too...

I've had problems with it though, Facebook seems to work best on IE, but I use Firefox and there can be problems with social networking sites. So we've had to make sure that the cache clears itself every time I shut down.

I'm watching the paralympic opening ceremony whilst blogging...I'm absolutly amazed and in wonder of it all. I don't know whether we can top this. The use of technology and the stories are brilliant...Visually its incredibly strong. The outfits are amazing too...

My youngest brother turns 19 today...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

On retreat...

(or under a tree as it was once interpreted!)

The SMB/Youth worker contingent in Billericay headed to Bradwell for the afternoon, to find space to pray and listen to God.

This is a picture of the church at Bradwell, its situated in a very open part of the countryside, near the estuary, which makes it very windy... Today didn't disappoint.

Inside the church is wonderful, I really wish I could have taken some more pictures and spent some more time exploring the area.

We met at Costa and did an introductory game (which I may well steal for my young people in a couple of weeks) and travelled to Bradwell for lunch and reflection time. We had lunch with the Othona Community (who make the best colslaw) and walked across the field to the church.

Retreat and reflection are a great way to start the academic year and I feel that God spoke to me through other things that were said during the afternoon. I found it very hard to be still and quiet in a cold and windy place! Though the first of many visits I think!

I know I'm not insignificant to God, even when I feel like it, and if I can't cope, God will shelter me and give me a resting place.

Tiny shells house even tinier creatures...God designed it all...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

All things Advent...

I bet you've had at least one thought about what you're going to do at Christmas...well, if you haven't I reckon by now you've started to think about what you're going to have for dinner in 113 days.

I started thinking about Christmas in mid August, we've got a party to organise for Shaken Up! More recently, today and yesterday, I've been thinking about Advent. Advent is the beginning of the Church's year, and we start the 'new year' by preparing for the coming of Christ. This year's Advent service is based on invitations and gifts.

Between now and Advent we've got Bible Sunday, Back to Church Sunday and Harvest, during Advent there's three Christingle services and then Christmas Day services (including a midnight service), there's a lot of preparation to do and a lot of people to involve.

So have to go any idea who you're going to invite to church over the rest of this year and on into the 'new year'?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A comment on a comment...

If you read the post dated Friday, August 29 2008, you'll see Sarah's comment and the link that she posted regarding the song Healer.

I did go on YouTube before my meeting last night and was greeted with a whole host of angry vidoes and replies. Apparently the guy who wrote the song had been lying about the treatment and illness he'd received.

Australian TV has pretty much ripped Mike Guglielmucci apart for the way he has deceived the church, his parents and his family.

I'm not a medical expert, and I'm not really sure what to say. Obviously it's a shock for everyone who knows Mike and for everyone who has given money or committed to praying for him over the last two years. Soul Survivour have made a statement and pulled the song from this years live album and Hillsong, well, the site seems to be a little quiet about it...

Personally, the song for me is a good one, and I guess I don't really identify with it from Mike's stories, it's difficult to make a decision based on what other people are saying, but I guess that's how it has to be.

All I can do is pray for healing, for Mike, the church and all the relationships where the trust has been broken. The song, strangely still applies to the situation, God is good and He will make right the wrongs that have gone's not up to us. God's love endures forever (Ps 136) and there's nothing we can do to earn His love, He forgives us, and He will heal us when we ask.

Monday, September 01, 2008

That Monday morning feeling...

Seems to have lasted a day for me...first day at line manager back part time and a couple of emails to catch up on...

I must admit that getting up this morning was hard, but I've got to get into a routine, otherwise I won't survive...

Here's hoping the rest of the week gets better!