Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One month in...

Well, we're nearly a month in to 2009 and this year already has held some surprises and some shocks.

Like Karen says its a year of hope, faith and love... hope and faith that the new president will do well in his job and restore a failing America.

Hopes that Andy Murray would win the Australian Open have been dashed in a shocking manner.

Sadly hopes that this year would be better from a London perspective have been put on hold when we found out that another young person had been killed this weekend. Prays of faith and the knowledge of God's love and peace go to the families involved.

I'm surprised and shocked at turn outs for two events that have happened this month. One was SOLID:Remix. 300 plus young people crammed into chelmsford cathedral for the first event of its kind, and answer to the prayers of many of the planning team, who had only catered for 100's hoping that the SOLID Youth Festival is just as much fun and full of new people. The other event was much smaller...a church prayer meeting for the youth and local community only drew two people. Only God can explain why we got the lowest attendance of the week.

But at the same time God can only explain the verse I was given in preparation for the prayer meeting

"Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don't forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I'm locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I'll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.

Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out."

How awesome is that - this is The Message version of Colossians 4:2-6 and has become my prayer for the year, for myself, for the young people who possess faith and for the team of youth workers.

So I wasn't blown away by the attendance, but I was blown away by God!

I live in hope that this year doors will be opened and in faith that I am are clever enough to make the most of the opportunities the open doors create, and that I live in love, building people up wherever I go.

What a year... lets hope I can say that in December.

For an update on the state of my Dad's shoulder you can go here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Annually away

There are various times in a year when I'm not going to be in the local vacinity but away on some sort of training/retreat time.

This week was one of those times. I was up in Audley End, taking time out with other youth works from across Essex to learn about Young people, Sexuality and Spirituality. David and Brandy came all the way from Knoxville to share in a very specialist subject it seems. David is only one of about 80 people in America who provide christian based sex therapy for families and teenagers.

Now be honest... Did you know it existed? I had some sort of idea, but still wasn't 100% sure, so as always I went into the unknown, head on, wanting to learn about this.

I learnt a lot. Things about teenagers that I never knew and had some really interesting discussions with the people that were there. Some of the behaviour I see has been explained, some of it is still a mystery, but I've got a way of finding out why that behaviour occurs.

David's work website is here.

I know I'm going to try and read up on this more and I've got a couple of CD's to listen to that are going to be good. David and Brandy were brilliant, easy to understand and consistently good with all their information. The whole time away was constructive for me, I did some thinking and started to understand my behaviour a little more. Made some good connections with people and I'm looking forward to seeing them all again.

I've also got another link for you to look at, head over to to see the new 'we love our youthworker' charter that has been launched, also check out Dave's brilliant postcards that go with the charter. (I want to retreat to the top of a column!)

Today is a 'do the minimum' day... I like it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Damage Update

Check out the extent of the bruises my Dad has received from falling over on 5th January.
What you really can't see on my camera phone photos is the darkness of the bruises and where they are.

The go from the top of his right shoulder, all the way down his right arm and down the front of his chest. It would have been a lot worse if he wasn't wearing a back pack...

The way he got his injury is still not a full story. He was on his own, ad his memory has not allowed him access as to how it happened, but he's got a graze on his right foot, so starts the story with that and concludes that his arm was flung out behind him and ended up behind his head... you try it now... you arm will not do that willingly, unless you've got very loose muscles.

Still we're now 9 days into recovery and for the second day in a row he has been out of the house, firstly to visit the doctor to get his dressing changed... a full 19 staples in his shoulder to hold his wound together, something tells me this family are going to have a lot of dot dash dot jokes soon! The staples come out in two days time and far from being grossed out by this, he's rather intrigued as to how the work and what they look like.

I'm waiting for an email from our local councillor to find out who's in charge of pavements and salt bin up keep.

Of course, this is a spectator blog, for the patients account you need to go here.

I'm trying to keep my distance from him at the moment as I have been blessed with a virus or infection of some sort. I didn't feel too good yesterday and decided to stay at home today.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

This is what happens....

when you fall over on the ice...

Yes, dad is at home and this is the extent of the damage. He's got a plate in there and some screws too.

The bruise has gone down, it's not as bad as it was, but he's unable to move his arm. The nice blue thing you can see is a sling - it wraps around the bottom of his arm and then around his shoulder and his waist. The yellow thing is a pillow case and that's just a comfort thing.

The white stripe is currently covering the staples and we think his scar will be between 15 and 20cm long in the end.

He's been signed off work for three weeks and will go back to have the dressing changed regularly and get it checked.

The good news is that there is currently not loss of sensation in his hand or the rest of his arm, though he is quite frustrated that he's only got one useful arm!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It's a treacherous world

It may look pretty...

... but I tell you, it's a dangerous place to be!

Yesterday afternoon, I got a text message from my Mum saying that my Dad was in hospital with a possible dislocated shoulder.

He'd fallen over on the way to work on the ice. He went on to his back and got up fairly quickly. He got all the way to work, thinking that he'd not done too much damage but realised that he couldn't move his right arm at all. He came home, went to see the doctor, who sent him to accident and emergency.

He had x-rays and found out that he had done a lot of damage to his right shoulder joint. The hosptial immeadiately took him onto a ward, and told him that he would be needing surgery, to fix the damage and to put a plate in his arm.

He went into surgery this afternoon and sailed through it, so hopefully we'll get to see him tomorrow and Karen comes back on Saturday to say hello.

I don't know how long the recovery takes for this kind of injury, but I'm guessing that its not just going to be a week!

And it was Andy's birthday yesterday, so we're going to know the anniversary of the worst injury in our family (so far) for a very long time!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Ringing in 2009

Happy New Year!

With Christmas well and truly over we started to focus on New Years Eve and the celebrations that have been in the pipe line for a good six months.

This year the theme was 'Hollywood Glamour' and the red carpet welcomed the biggest cast calling of them all. The leading lady and man were presented with Oscars on the night and the supporting actors and actresses were awarded with chocolates. The in-house band provided an award-winning performance and the DJ had everyone on their feet for the post-ceremony celebration.
The star of the night striking a pose with her best friends.

It's fair to say that this celebration was the best one of them all. Jen, party organiser extraordinaire, did a stunning job with her vision and drive, plus incredible selflessness that she possesses every time December 31st comes around. She works incredibly hard, as do the band and the caterers!

A good night, and we're all looking forward to 2009 being a good year!

In our news, I gave blood today, I'm on my 9th donation and I'm really looking forward to my 10th and 11th!! Do something amazing...