Friday, September 23, 2011

World's Most Dangerous Road

Whilst I have been preparing pathfinders for Sunday, I have also been watching World's Most Dangerous Roads.

I am not the adventuring type - armchair adventure is as close as I get to getting on a plane and flying to the middle of nowhere! It's a good series though - good mix of 'celebrities' taking part in doing stupid things, so that I don't have to!

I'm still carrying on with Bible in One Year - we're just a week away from being one month in - it seems like I have been reading for a lot longer than that!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

for the long term

Whilst I'm here, I may as well tell you about Sunday.

For me, the weekend went passed in a bit of a blur... up early on both days, with my head full of things that I needed to do!

Sunday was a 6.30am start! Eek, but it  was all for a very good cause. On the third Sunday of the month, Christ Church celebrates Communion at 8am, if you're looking for a spoken, reflective service, this one is definitely for you. It is really is a very sedate liturgy strong service. it's good for me to go to a service where I really don't have to do anything other than just participate.

This Sunday, however, we had a very special visitor. My long-standing friend (and mentor of sorts) Shirley Gowland joined us for both services and as Warner is away for Walk West Dorset, I was in charge of hospitality for Shirley - which meant being around for the whole morning. I was also leading the 10am service ans co-ordinating the Uniform Groups.

To say there was a buzz about church, would be a bit of an understatement. Shirley and I were both excited about what she was going to say to the congregation, teaching them about a resource that she has developed, called Bible In Literacy. The response from church was amazing, the children got involved and were singing their hearts out at the start too.

We are really starting to develop proper links with the community we live in, through the uniform organisations that use Christ Church as a meeting place. I love parade services and on a number of occasions I have been a bit overwhelmed by the joy that I get from working with them and seeing young boys and girls in the church. pray for them though, they really struggle with getting leaders and we're looking at how we can support them as a church.

I am really excited about Bible In Literacy, partly because it is an awesome resource and because it is ready to use for a lot of teachers. if you want more information about training or just to find out what I am on about, please leave a comment and I will get in touch with you.

I am really excited about schools work this term and how we are working as a team to bring the message to schools, as well as the relationships we have with teachers and young people. After three full years of being in school every week, it is starting to become easy! The challenge is still there though - how do we get the message of the gospel across to so many who don't yet know it.

Longevity is the key here, it is something that I can not stress enough, but I am still learning how to deal with longevity - I have never had a job that has lasted more than 2 years and even those weren't 'career' jobs. This is a calling, it is a career, it is something I know I am called to for now, and something I know I don't always have to do either.

I have said since the end of my 'year out' of youth work at the council that I am wholly grateful for the team that I worked for that year - they gave me such a great sense of what working in the 'world' was and it gives me a better idea of what working in the 'bubble' is!

Inner Geek

I love a bit of geekery and for the most part I am 'up' on stats for this blog and apps for the phone.

So this bit of geek-ness has made me super happy today, you can see my Twitter stats here.

If you are a tweeter, have a go, you might be surprised. I am pleasantly pleased that I have never tweeted at 4am!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rally Day

Sat in the car after my second go round!

The rally car

The logo of the Christian Motorsport Team

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Raw Video: Burning Car Lifted Off Trapped Man - YouTube

It is quite amazing what the human race will do to save one of their own. :)

A change of pace

Someone recently told me 'If you're enjoying your job, you're in the wrong job!' I quickly realised I have far too much fun sometimes as a youth worker and this morning was no exception to that, however it was very extraordinary.

I have finished a very, very good week at school and a wonderful night at youth group as well (we were talking about the good bits of the OT compared to the NT).

Today has been mad because I was awake ridiculously early for a weekend... I'm talking before 9am and before 7am! Rarely in this house do I show my face before 10.30am on my day off, mostly because there's Saturday kitchen to be watched! This week however, I got an email from a contact that I had made at the CRE. I was so impressed with the work of the Christian Motorsport Team, that I wanted to give them something AND get them to Billericay at some point, so may young people could meet the guys and see the car.The fruits of my excitement at seeing a rally car close up was an email inviting me for a track day.

Now, I have only ever been to one track day, where I was thrown around in a Radical for 15 mins, and that only came about because Chris was asked if he wanted to have a go after writing about another opportunity... so I was hoping that I might be allowed to sit in the car, whilst it was stationary, and to be honest, that was enough. However, Paul Harvey, who emailed me to invite me, wanted to get me in the car! I didn't hesitate to say yes and he kindly paid for my passenger fee.

Paul is a very very good rally driver, being strapped in a proper seat, with my helmet on, and Paul talking me through some of the things that they can and can't do with the car, I felt really safe and being able to see where we were going made such a difference to how I felt as I got out of the car after a couple of laps around a very bumpy circuit (Woodbridge is an MOD site, so it's not really made for rally cars!), that however, did not stop me from feeling sick! We got up to 109 kph on the longer straight, there were some nice chicanes and a couple of really sharp turns.

Track days are a good opportunity for drivers and their friends to see how a car handles, how fast it can go and what it is likely to do when pushed. We had a couple of sliding moments, rear tyres screeching as we slid round some of the faster corners. Paul allowed Levi, who had done the website for the company, a go behind the wheel. I wouldn't want to push myself, I really don't have enough experience for driving such a powerful car! 

I really enjoyed my opportunity to sit in a car that was once driven by a world class rally driver... Chris puts it quite succinctly (pinched from his twitter account)

"I'm feeling somewhat jealous of my gf. She's been out in an ex Carlos Sainz Ford Escort Cosworth rally car this morning!"

Paul and his team will hopefully make an appearance in Billeircay, maybe not for a year, but the question is there and the work needs to be done to ask all the right people!  If you see a blue and yellow Ford Escort Cosworth behind a blue van, those are the guys that are working hard to bring the message of God to the track, by simply racing!

On other sport related things... Arsenal are just making it hard for themselves and Ireland have enjoyed a WIN over Australia.

There are some good stories being written at the moment, but none greater than the story in Genesis that I am currently reading. I really can't get my head around how odd this book is, though it is a lot of fun and very intriguing to know that Jacob and co had several issues - it wasn't all dreams and favour from Pharaoh!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh the madness


Have a look at this super cool youtube advert for the new shopping centre in Stratford, London.

A colleague and I were talking about the madness surrounding this place as it opened this week. There were pictures of the front doors as people rushed in to the shopping centre, screaming.

Screaming... it is just shopping. I love shopping, but it is just shopping. You will come away with tired feet, hands and an empty purse/wallet, with things you possibly don't need, you might even come away empty handed - if you are as picky as I am!

The good news is that it has created plenty of jobs for the area, though apparently only 2,000 local people got jobs. Some are saying that it's not enough, but with the economy the way it is at the moment, if a large place is creating a great deal of jobs, that can only help??

Monday, September 12, 2011

Never Forget

Some really lovely pictures from yesterday.

9/11 memorial service Photos | 9/11 memorial service Pictures - Yahoo!

Blooming Christianity

it's always exciting when a new family walk into church on a Sunday.

I can't imagine church that is overflowing, because I have never experienced it. Still the article below is good news for the world of Christianity.

BBC News - Christians in China: Is the country in spiritual crisis?

Something Awesome

9/11 Memorial Sculpture by Heath Satow | Colossal

Just to see what a particular artist is doing in tribute to those who lost their lives in 2001.

Look at what God can do

Yesterday we remembered the lives lost in 2001 in the attacks on America. Ten years ago, I came in from school and found my mum and sister glued to the tv. There was nothing else on. We didn't have sky or even a freeview box (I don't think) to distract from what was going on. And that is all it was, for a very long time, just a long shot of the devastated New York skyline. As the reports of other hijackings came into the newsrooms, it became ever more important to keep watch and try to understand what had been taking place for longer than any civilian ever knew.

In that time, I have watched people come and go, things have happened that I would never imagine (I went to university and started a BLOG!), not all of it positive, but mostly I feel happy about where the last ten years have gone. I am grateful for the people who have let me find out my strengths and weaknesses and those who have and are still encouraging me to work for God's kingdom in so many ways.

In the next ten years, I hope that god will teach me so many new things, I know I can look forward to an adventure. I hope there will be more friends, more people to encourage, more young people to say 'look at what God can do for you' to and many volunteers to teach, members of churches to talk to and networks to make the most of (and hopefully an extended study leave or two!).

We'll see if I am still blogging or if I have children to look after and a husband to live with!

The good news is that 24 men were rescued yesterday from squalid conditions, released from slavery. I hope the police and social workers that are looking after them will know how best to bring out the truth from them, find the families that are missing them and give them the life and the freedom that they so greatly deserve.

I heard on Wednesday night, as I listened to Canon J.John interview Beth Redman, about the work she is doing with A21 and how there are more slaves in the world than ever before, so seeing the news yesterday at a national level and all over the internet, was hopefully an eye opener for many in our country. I hope that the work the police are involved in continues and the people who are involved in people traffiking and keeping people in slavery are brought to justice.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Asking the Question

Just a quick blog as I finish a day at the 'desk'. Recently I have been asking questions Twitter (find me @lizzie_rascal84) of the youth work variety and I have found that people respond to me! If I asked a similar question on Facebook, I would not get a response at all. So thank you to Chris, who signed me up and to all of the youth workers who answer the important questions and support my thoughts.

Someone recently said 'it will be youth workers who change the way the church works together' and my prayer is that it won't be down to one person, but the support from congregations will be there. Anyway... the question I asked is dissected at Youth Leaders Academy, by one of the tweeters who asks strong questions all the time. I have yet to add my thanks to the comments and my other thoughts, but I am pleased that someone with a different perspective is answering the question!

Another question I have asked recently is 'Should youth workers have a sabbatical?' which all stems from hearing my line manager talk about his very exciting time next year. He's taking three months off to study, work in a different environment and spend time with his family. All of the responses I got were positive and I don't think it is a question that has been asked enough. I think that is because youth workers are renown for having a short-ish shelf life - perhaps only 3 years - which in my opinion is not long enough to even start work!

I have had a 'sabbatical' as it were - I worked for a year with Essex County Council and whilst I was still going to church, I was doing minimum youth work. It was nice to have time off - I'd had time off from formal education before and I took the year to read my bible and pray (though I was still shocked to get a phone call asking me if I wanted to be a youth worker!). God has definitely made the most of those 'time outs' to prepare me for the future!

I hope that my question will have more positive responses from those who are writing my contract at the moment and those who are reading this! If you have an extended thought (more than 140 characters!) then please add it! As a youth worker I love to hear what other people are thinking!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Elmo in the UK

Elmo made an appearance on Radio One this afternoon! I was listening in the car on my way home! It was brilliant and you can watch the well but heavily edited video here!

Term Begins

Today, term started in full force... with a good amount of time talking, thinking and praying! I feel quite set up for term, now into the beginning of my fourth year in post, I am ready to go. Three summers ago, I felt as though the world would fall apart if I didn't plan and now I feel as though there is still a need for it, but it is not as pressing... people know I exist, they mostly know what I am up to, they are willing to hear what I am doing and willing to help me out as well.

The term, particularly for what I am teaching at church, is already laid out before me, so I can spend my quiet days preparing sessions for Pathfinders and working out how best to use material that sometimes is hard to use.

So I have the story of the prophets of Baal and the Angels in the new testament as well as the birth of Jesus to teach to a lovely bunch of year 7 to 9 students. Anyone got any resources that can help me? I'm particularly interested in telling the story of Baal in an imaginative way...

Also, my twitter career is taking off some what. I met another, lovely tweeter today, so I am looking forward to hopefully seeing all of my twitter youth worker friends regularly over the year! I have also started to take a more advisory role... it's only a question or two here and there, but still, I never imagined that my job would lead me to a place where people are asking for my advice on important matters!

As a gathering of youth workers, we said 'see you soon' to Alice (who is actually wonderful!) as she goes on maternity leave next week to prepare for welcoming baby boy into the world! We're super excited for the family and looking forward to meeting him soon. It is really good to have a time with people I consider colleagues and watching them work together!

Next week I shall find out what my Billericay colleagues have been up to and will be starting schools work!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Night Terrors!

I'm not one who normally has nightmares... I had a few reoccurring ones as a child, but soon got over them. I do have very vivid dreams, some I can remember from my teenage years even down to detail as I write. I have a wild imagination and can get lost in a book or my own daydreams sometimes. I have even figured out some of the triggers to my more recent reoccurring dream.

So on to this weeks Doctor Who - I was excited that we were going back to Dalek-esque scariness this weekend, as Doctor Who and Torchwood have been missing this a bit recently. It's been focused heavily on the Doctor's 'departure' and Torchwood is currently working though Miracle day rather than saving Cardiff (just because the site gets blown up, doesn't mean 'intergalactic' traffic stops!)

If you have no clue what I'm talking about - please visit the website for more information - BBC - Doctor Who - The Official Site

I love proper scary - I don't go for gory as such, though I used to love medical drama, but Casualty and Holby City got too much for me after having a week off and not knowing what was going on! So proper scary is where it is at for me. An unknown factor, the thing out of the corner of your eye that you just can't see (yes, that's a torchwood line), the psychological and mosters that you could actually picture in your own life if you didn't know any better. (After coming home from the first installment of 'Saw' we did turn on all the lights!)

Doctor Who regularly gets that right... some of the very child-like scary things have appeared. And now as I'm watching Confidential I realise that alot of thought goes into the things that are scary and bringing them to life. For me it's the child's voice again... I absolutely hated the child who had the gas mask face. The use of the word 'mummy' still frightens me!

Please watch Doctor Who - I'm slowly making my way through the box set of the first 4 series!

Friday, September 02, 2011

In a Year...

I quite like the new layout. It's making me want to write! Also procrastinating...

I am procrastinating because at some point today I will have to read my own work, which I really don't like doing... especially when I know it is for an assessment. For the last two years I have gone back to my uni days a bit, learning more about church history and the presence of the Holy Spirit during Communion. There has been a lot more that I have been taught over two years and the last year has been really important in my own development. I have gathered a better sense of what it means to be a youth leader and an evangelist.

For me, gathering some formal training as an evangelist has boosted my confidence in telling people the Truth. The things that are in my heart, that God wants others to hear. Of course, there is a certain amount of discernment that goes with such a position, and I am learning that as well.

This year, I am going to try to read the Bible in a year... with help from Andy Croft at Soul Survivor and hopefully a colleague or two, those who I see regularly and the 'Twitter' colleagues as well! Last year, when I headed to Soul Survivor for the first time ever, I was very skeptical about it. I didn't want to get carried away with the emotion of being with so many young people and their leaders, so I did distance myself from what was going on a little bit, until the end of the week, when tiredness caught up with me and it became a bit overwhelming for me. This year, when they talked about reading the Bible in a year again, I felt really heavy in myself... which for me, normally means that I have to do something about it, or God is just going to show me that I have missed out on this. So I went to the Soul Survivor shop and got myself a Bible specifically 'chopped up' for reading in a year. I love my Bibles, I have several versions and I don't really have a favourite...though if asked to read from it, I will read from the NIV.

We only started yesterday, but it has already raised some questions and brought to light some interesting things. I might end up posting about it every day! When we read something that we think we have read before it becomes easy to skim-read. Hopefully I won't do that, but I will encourage others to give it a go. It is important that we know the Bible, the easy bits and the harder parts, so that we can have a good view of what God has done and is doing for the world that we live in.

Right best start reading the words that will hopefully help me to understand more about evangelism!