Monday, December 29, 2008

on the other side

Christmas is over, new years prep begins.
The shops are manic with bargains and things.
Christmas forgotten amongst the piles of clothes
Is this it? Is this how it goes?

I hope not.

We sat in Wagamamas today, sharing our table with some lovely people and chatting to a woman and her grandson. She was from Lebanon. We got to talking about teenagers in the UK and how there is a huge lack of respect, hope and general politeness. She asked how it had come to this? I would say that I hadn't a clue how it got this way. She was impressed by us though. We were polite and engaged (her granson a little less so). Definitely lunch time chatter going on.

I've lots to think about as the new year arrives.

Monday, December 22, 2008

In the run up

We are on the final sprint towards Christmas, in case you hadn't noticed!!

St Mary's had their Christmas Ball on Friday. Was expertly done, by too many people to mention and there was a fantastic atmosphere in the church. It's amazing to think the amount of work which went into it! I hope it continues for many more years. Here's me...

The weekend saw the end of Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC. Many opinions shared about the final result and one interesting one here. It was very good to watch it with friends, I feel that's what it should be about. Reality TV is no fun by yourself!!

Sunday was a little bit random, Church services at different times than normal. Christmas tradition at St Hugh's is great. Carols by Candlelight was amazing. then we watched Scrooged and The Snowman afterwards. It was very christmassy.

All in all it's going well. And I've just agreed to preach on the first Sunday of the new year... Epiphany. Should be very interesting.

A very happy Christmas to everybody out there!

Monday, December 15, 2008


To completely and utterly rip-off Apple... oh well, they might never find out.

Anyway, I spoke at St Mary's Luton yesterday, as part of their Movie@Mary's series. It went really well. If you are interested at all in what I said, the script can be found here.

If you haven't seen Disney's Enchanted, it really won't make much sense. But I hope this will entice you to borrow the film from any 4-11 year old girl you might know. I didn't feel like a princess whilst I was speaking it, that's reserved for the ball I'm going to on Friday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Oh it's all change this year, scary stuff! My mum is about to take over thr role of head chef on Christmas Day, it had previously been my Nan.

For longer than I can remember we've always gone to my Nan's for Christmas Day. It's a long standing tradition to gather around her table after church and hang out with my mum's side of the family. But having 10 of us for dinner for the last few years (my youngest cousin is 4, maybe) has obviously take it's toll! So this year she's going to hide at my auntie's new house in London and mum takes of the mammouth task of cooking christmas dinner (something Liz, the boys and i will fight over in years to come!). Mum does have a new kitchen and a family full of cooks to spoil the broth...

It'll be very strange to be at home all of Christmas day. And God only knows when I'll actually see Nan.

The religious bit of christmas is coming along well. St Hugh's has it's Nativity play on Sunday. All the other christmas seervices are coming along.

I'll share a little bit of Farm joy too... broken back windscreen wiper! Christmas lights are out though, so that's proper joy!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Auf Deutsch

oder auf englisch?

I've just returned from Germany or more specifically Paderborn, which is north west Germany. Just an hour on the plane from Stanstead.

We landed on Tuesday morning and had German breakfast, meat, bread, cheese and coffee (fleisch, brot, käse und kaffee). Before heading to our accommodation in Borchen about 7km from Paderborn. Stephanus-Haus is a youth centre, much like any youth centre in the UK. Lots of room. We headed to Schloss Neuhaus to visit a school and chat to the teachers about exchanges. We went to met Uwe (oo-ver) and all the paid and volunteer youth workers in the region of Paderborn (but Paderborn is a town as well, following me?) in the evening.

Our hosts, Volker and Konni head up the team and were leading the meeting. A long day and the meeting was long too, but everywhere we went we received a warm welcome and food.

On Wednesday we had breakfast in Wewelsburg, a village with a castle which was taken over by Himmler in WWII. There was also a Concentration Camp just outside the village. It was a very tough day, to face the past and to know that I have learnt nothing much from the history books. When it is in your face, it's hard. If you ever have the opportunity to go, do it. It's very educational.

In the evening we went to a youth service and visited a Youth House, an actual house with lots of space for young people to hang out. More coffee and stollen, so much cake. On to Uwe's for dinner and more chatting. Pictures are on the website. He lives miles away in the east of the region, up in the hills. Oh and it snowed!

On Thursday we spent the day in Paderborn, meeting the Superintendant of the KirchenKreis for breakfast. To the Town Hall (Rathaus) for a meeting with the head of the Youth Service in Paderborn. Two very important ladies in leadership. Then back to Wewelsburg for observing an afterschool project, where some very brave 6-8year olds spoke English to us.

We had 2.5 hours in Paderborn for the Weihnachtsmarkt. I really enjoyed the feel of the Market. We ended our trip back in Wewelsburg with dinner in Ottens Hof. Lovely dinner, great company and it's so lovely to be family across the world.

My love for Germany, for the language and the people has got stronger throughout this trip and I was sad to say goodbye this morning at 5am british time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Deepen - Youthwork The Conference

Youthwork the Conference is always a good thing to go to, it is great if you go with friends or have people to meet up with when you are there.

I'd have to say I felt incredibly well connected with the network this year. It does help that I'm now very established and quite comfortable in large crowds.

We started this year with a retreat day, no main speaker as in previous years, but some how that's much better. People who are on the retreat day are very much geared to valuing retreats and making the most of the time given. We had 2 and 1/4 hours to 'be' with God. I managed 10 mins alone time, my God speaks to me through interesting and deep conversation. Retreat day was definitely not a waste of time. My only problem was that if it takes us 15 minutes to get into a proper attitude of prayer (Richard Bromley said it at the start of the weekend) then why only spend 15 minutes in worship?

Anyway, trees are very good for reflection. Roots, trunk, branches and fruit. I'll look at trees very differently from now on. I made some new friends on the retreat day too.

On to the main event. Opening with Mike P talking about David. He was very good. I've heard a lot about David this summer, I'm understanding more and more about him as I grow up.
The following morning was opened with an hour of worship, led by the Soul Survivor band (thank God they didn't sing the woooooah song). Great way to start the day, and the weather wasn't bad at all.

The rest of the morning was split into 3 streams (first time ever) Soul, Society and Service. I went to Society. Gerard Kelly and Russ Rook discuss the importance of engaging in culture, looking at Acts and how others can teach us to be better Christians.

The afternoon was taken up with just one seminar on Healthy Living. Good illustrations, definitely some thinking points from that one.

Saturday evening Chris Curtis spoke on David's dark side and allowing God to go deeper with us.
And the after hours Soul Party, dancing the night away! (also going to the beach at midnight)
Sunday morning more seminars, one about 15-18's work, and I didn't go to the second one because it was raining, and I'd left my waterproof shoes at home.
Final session was Nancy Goudie. She, unfortunately, ended on a bum note. I know following God isn't all easy, but in the Christian bubble we like to be assured that it is. I left Nancy's talk feeling depressed and disappointed.

Journey home was very fun, Gill and I discussing the sky and how it's really beautiful this time of year.

So to summarise: Good things: retreat day, food, friends, smiles and sky. Things to improve: Final session, weather, and memory (for shoes).

In other news, Christmas approaches, you can have the whole world in your hands with a PSP and I'm going to Germany in a week! Hopefully the joy will be everlasting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

'Tis the Season

Except I've not been very jolly recently. And there's been no fla la la-ing of late.

Probably because it's dark, wet and cold most of the time, probably because I haven't quite brought into Christmas yet, but I have brought some presents.

Maybe it's because there is a very large amount of things swimming around my brain.

Anyway, the season has come, and the glory of God is shining around (through the grim wetness of Britain) and we're taling about Glory this evening, along with many other things.

If you pray, keep praying. I'm expecting it to get better soon, not the weather, the less jolly feeling. I'm still searching for answers.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Well done America for choosing a good man to lead your country for the next 4 years...

Not so brilliant is Brown and Cameron arguing about it in Parliment this afternoon. Boys, get a grip! It's a good thing.

On another note, saw the new Bond film this evening, and will definitely watch Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace back to back, just to actually understand Bond and M talking in code for far too much of their dialogue.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

401st post

I had to distract myself whilst writing the last post, there was too much pressure to perform! So God and Dad do come as a welcome distraction.

I'm not one to write about anything remotely political, but we stand on the brink of change for America. Well the American's do. Can't say I'm too fussed myself. Will have the radio on tomorrow morning on the way to work, just so I have something to talk about.

Luton is relatively quiet at the moment. It's really strange to be out in the dark, where it's really quiet. I know I've spoken about it being quiet before. It comes and goes, I think the cold snap put off all the revellers.

Anyway, 1 month till the Germany trip! Yeay!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Father Listens

It's great to know that there are people listening to me when I talk.

I moaned a lot that we didn't get a summer, nothing quite near it! So today, it was cold. I didn't quite realise how cold until one of the girls came in this evening and said it was snowing! We've got winter, proper. It hasn't snowed in October for ages... we might evenr get snowed in as it gets colder. Germany won't be the only place I see snow this winter!

God listens...

My housemate and I had made a pact that we wouldn't turn the heating on til the end of October... I was chatting to Dad about being cold and he suggested it might be a good idea to switch the heating on last night as it would be freezing. Better a heating bill than a plumbers! We did, got too warm, but it seems that had I not spoken to my Dad I wouldn't have even guessed it'd snow tonight.

Dad listens... and not just to me, but also to the weather (when I'm watching Home and Away).

I'm incredibly blessed to have many, many people who do listen to what I say. But I'm especially blessed to know that God listens and so does my Dad.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Questions without answers

Lots of 'what ifs' and 'whys'... I can't answer them, or if I do I say, I haven't been there, or I don't know.

This last weekend I've been away with my old church (or sending church, or parents church, or family church)... any way I grew up in this church. I got to hang out with the 'next' generation. My parent's friends children were the young people and they had a great idea of what we were talking about.

Two of my passions worked on this weekend, young people and eradicating the word 'stuff' from my vocabulary. So we eventually got to the tangible about Christianity with two different groups.

The funny thing about youth work is the way that as soon as you introduce someone new to a group, leaders-wise, suddenly the young people wake up and start to answer the questions you've been trying to get them to answer for months! Liz said "you are so much better than me" I responded "I'm so much different from you". As we both grow in ministry, we'll find the things we are good at, and things we need to work on. Sometimes I love growing up other times i dislike it intensely.

In other news, I pedloed for the first time ever this weekend, and am watching The Day After Tomorrow, which is making me feel freezing!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've always thought of you as...

My sister said something to me a few days ago which has been wanderng around my head ever since.

She said to me "I've always thought of you as a chunky ring person". We were having a discussion about the ring I'd just brought, a beautiful thick mother of pearl ring. She's right, she knows me quite well it would seem.

It kind of tags on to something I've been thinking about when it comes to God.

I think I'll be pleasently surprised when I meet God (which isn't any time soon... this isn't morbid). I have pictures of God in my head, but they are limited by what I've experienced, what I can see around me and what I've read of the Bible. I know that God is bigger than all that, but my mind can only handle it in very small bites.

The season we are coming in to has become famous for ignoring God, my hope is that I'll see God and all my "I've always thought of you as..." statements will be smashed and redifined, from heaven's perspective, not my own.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Relaity programmes are rife at the moment and I just caught the end of last nights X Factor, helpfully replayed on ITV (you know, instead of putting on sport at a sesnible time). It makes me very glad that I have absolutely no desire to be on Television at all.

Girls in absolute hysterics at being kicked off the show, yet they all had perfectly reasonable jobs else where. In fact they were the better band, with an imaginative name, left in the competition is "Girl Band"... seriously? Before X Factor the 4 girls were hairdressers and will probably be hairdressers again eventually.

The hype is all too much, I think we're only in the second week of live shows and we already have crying? We never quite get 'hype' right do we?

NB - I stand corrected we're only on the
first week and the girls weren't hairdressers, they look like hairdressers. Thanks L

There wasn't enough hype about the Singapore GP the other week... floodlit driving? What were they thinking? 5-10 years ago they would have got away with it. But now, in the age of ecological enlightenment Formula One decides to race at night? Not a clever move, I wonder why some didn't boycott. And today in Japan Bridgestone are running 'green' tyres. Enough to make any sane person scream. I hope they don't do any night races soon.

"I'm not hyping it up" - some thing I've heard recently, but then there was some significant hyping... Church haven't got it right either. We try.

Autumn has arrived in Luton, SLR out and taking some pictures of the red leaves covering the back wall of my garden. SLR isn't digital though, so we have to wait very patiently for the film to be developed. If the photo's are any good I'll post them It's been a long time since I used a film camera. I also have made pumpkin based food stuffs. Pumpkin pie is quickly becoming my own little tradition.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Going the extra mile

Being in Leicester is always really interesting... As a class we are very small, so our discussions tend to be deep and meaningful (ususally over food).

This last day or so has been intense discussion-wise. It's the last proper time we see everyone who has started at the same time as us, some crazy people will graduate in a year or so. Others will take their time and maybe never graduate... I think I fall some where inbetween.

I'm dissatisfied with my performance so far, I could do better. I'm starting to realise that (unsurprisingly) I really need help on this one. I really need guidance and most of all I really need someone to spell check my work before I hand it in.

It's great to see people who are really passionate about their own young people while they are here. Stories of lads who've drastically changed whilst in a youth workers care, youth workers who go the extra mile to make sure that the young person they are dealing with achieves as best they can.

I just wish I could write well, even if it was only for a day a week. Then at least I'd pass essays the first time round!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I talked last time about trying to get more passion for something.

Since then I've had some interesting conversations about different things I could get passionate about.

One is glory – of course I want to see the glory of GOD. But I've never understood it, nor have desperately wanted it. I want to see the kingdom of GOD, though hadn't fully grasped how this might change me. That was until I had a long discussion about GOD's glory this week. I want to see GOD's glory in Lewsey, and I want to seek GOD's face first.

Secondly is youth – getting passionate, not angry. People talk about an 18 month barrier in youth work, but I think it's more like two years.

Lastly is 'stuff' – I'm fed up of the word 'stuff' being used to describe things which we are uncomfortable with, or using 'stuff' to make assumptions. My 'stuff' is different from your 'stuff'. Speak in actual words.

I'm hoping that the first one will lead to the other two.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Here we all are, including an imposter (but it's Mum's best friend so we don't mind), and missing one person too (a cousin). How the family has grown and changed over the last 25 years.

On Saturday we headed to church to celebrate Mum and Dad's 25th Wedding Anniversary, 'cept M&D didin't know that is what we were doing. We had all afternoon with some lovely church people and friends.

L-R Me, Liz, Andy, Gray, Mike and Adam
Doing wht comes naturally, big posers! Much fun was had by all and it's amazing how we can all pull together to get the best out of each other.

I'm glad it's over, and I'm glad that at the end of the day Mum and Dad were surprised, though Dad says he knew something was going on!

Here's to the next 25 years!!

Matthew Macaulay - As For Me

There is something about this album that sounds very familiar. It might just be because Matt's led worship at youth camp several times, or that those songs echo some of what I feel right at this moment. It's interesting to listen to a singer/song writer and, especially with Christian music, you see so much of the person's heart with each word and phrase.

I find that some of the arrangements on the album feel a little bit out of place, epic in some places, then suddenly drops off to nothing. The backing vocals are massive on some songs, and you definitely couldn't expect any one with a 'normal' singing voice to reach that height. Though I often do try in my car.

“With all my heart” is the opening track which sets the mood for the rest of the tracks, all with catchy tunes, which resound some of what Christian life should look like. A few of the songs try to fit too much in, but it is good to reflect on how much we are called to do, alongside all God has done for us already.

Matt's website has all the bits and pieces for trying out these songs in church, some of which I will try to get into worship. “The Beauty of the Cross” has a very simple message, and could be amazingly powerful. We'll see. A great first album and I'm very much looking forward to hearing more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When life works out

I have, by no means got it all sorted, I cry at silly things, I often open my mouth without prior thought, I gossip and sometimes I'm not a very good friend. However I know God, and I know he definitely has it all sorted. How long did He ponder about making the Earth and all the intrinsic things that we don't see, and won't because we take them for granted. I still take time to marvel at rainbows, and their fleeting beauty.

This makes a massive difference in how I approach some tasks... I know that God will sort out things I can't and will bless the things I try to do.

Anyway the point is, I asked the young people to share how their summer had been, what it sounded like for them. For some it sounded like new music, melodies and words which touch hearts and get stuck there. For others summer made Jesus sound a whole lot bigger than they originally understood. For others there was a loud, clear call to be something more, to become the person they are.

For me the summer was a repetitive sound, in a good way. Not the drip of a tap when you can't sleep, but better than that. I talked a bit on Sunday about Psalm 139, and Doug (who is 'granddad') repeated the verse we'd learnt at camp, with no prompting. Every week as we pray, I go back to the Psalms and search out the verse we learnt at camp, I don't know why but it's comforting.

I'm really proud of what the young people taught church this weekend, and mostly because it fitted right in with the theme of the summer for church - the story of David.

My summer started with John Mayer and two months later its over with an event this weekend which I will not be able to talk about until it's over. And i will post pictures, I promise. i feel I have been a little bit middle of the road about life. It's time to start getting passionate again!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

A victim

The Luton On Sunday's front page was about the Muslim community complaining about the new HPV vaccine starting when Ramadan is. I learnt something new about the rules of ramadan, if you have an injection it breaks the fast.

The Primary Care Trust responded with the fact that the vaccine will run throughout the year for all the girls who's parent's consent to it. So even if the girls miss out this month, they can get the vaccine from their GP. Though the PCT were called "insensitive" I think that they dealt really well with the claims.

I just think it's just a case of realising the bigger picture. I can have the HPV vaccine if I wish, but I won't. I have to have enough vaccines to go to Uganda in the summer. I don't think I can hack 5 needles in 6 months!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Searching for Inspiration

The old has gone and the new has come... bye bye old small kitchen with no dishwasher, hello huge new kitchen with dishwasher! Yeay! Also there is a new office space for me! Woop! Time to measure, paint and furnish. Which might mean that I actually manage my time between work and home better.

Am watching Veggie Tales, as with the kitchen refurbishment we don't have a lot of room, so we'll do some colouring and watch the story. The funniest thing about some of the Veggie Tales stuff is focussed on adults.

So the new term begins, parents are desperately waiting for their children to go back to school, and I'm waiting for school to start too so that I can begin to have a schedule again.

Monday, August 25, 2008

To Resonate:

"To vibrate or sound, especially in response to another vibration; To have an effect or impact; to influence; to engender support"

I think this is what was happening in the last week. The leadership team responded to God's vibrations, and their vibrations lead to our vibrations and our vibrations helped the young people respond to God's vibrations which they may or may not have been hearing throughout the previous year. By the end of the first night, the young people were shining.

We had a lot of fun, some crazy days and some quieter days. But it was really lovely all the same. I made some new friends, and was really stretched by what God is doing with/for the young people. We have lots and lots to follow up.

We also had the weather on tap, the days where we wanted sun, we got sun. This was especially true of the obligatory water fight on the final afternoon. Lovely BBQ and some chucking water at each other. Good fun really.

An awesome week had by all and we raised some money for the persecuted church in China (to fit with the Olympic theme) by running 45 miles between the 150 of us.

Can't wait for the reunion in October/November time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good Morning Boys!

The M1 north of Luton is a funny place to be on a Monday morning, but that's where Chris and i found ourselves heading towards Alton Towers.

Was a very fun day, lots of rides and a walk around the towers withs it's dark scary rooms and lots of history. We went up to the roof to have a look around Staffordshire, it was windy and a bit cold.

Tuesday ended in the cinema watching Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (or Full-frontal snogging, for the purists). Wasn't brilliant, much of the story had been changed to fit in with the movie style of doing things. Being 14 was never that fun, and I'm pretty sure Eastbourne's old people are glad to be rid of snogging teenagers. A bit of fun for an afternoon, but nothing more.

Wednesday we went to Chessington World of Adventure. It now has a Sea Life Centre, along with the theme park and the mini zoo. All good fun, especially when it torrentially pours on you when you are getting on your second ride of the day.

Today was Mamma Mia, not as good as the stage show, but again quite fun. Laughed mostly at the end credits and Julie Walters in general. Maybe that tells you something about the movie if you haven't slready seen it. So in two weeks I'm caught up on most of the summer blockbusters.

Dark Knight was pretty stunning last week. Quite brilliantly filmed and delivered. The only thing that's a real bug about it is Christian Bale's Batman accent, why, why, why? Some of the things he said needed subtitling, to have such a deep voice with a bit of a lisp doesn't really help.

Mini film reviews over with, I'll just carry one with life, it's the summer, so we have the complusory camping trip coming up. Yeay!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Went to see Wall-e last night, I am not a film reviewer, but I really liked it. It was lovely and well animated. Scary to think about what state we might be in as a planet in 800 years or so. Did notice the lack of dialogue for the first 30 mintues or so, especially since there were some delightful children in the cinema.

You know your children watch too much telly when they can recall the lines in an advert, before the advert has even begun! "Last one in the sea is a great big loser"

Next week is the week of fun, I hope it's really sunny. Mostly so I won't sit inside and be addicted to the Olympics! I will be going to the sea, I will be going to theme parks. I will book a proper holiday later in the year when all the children go back to school...

So off we go, blogging only upon return.

Monday, August 04, 2008

La la la

I feel a little bit like I'm twiddling my thumbs until camp comes 'round.

Next week is a week off, so hopefully I will feel very recharged by the time I reach camp.

We walked along the Thames at Richmond at the weekend, at high tide, I nearly waded in the Thames, but no one else wanted to join me. It's been beautifully sunny here, and the rain has only come to clear the air.

Also watched/sang along to/drooled at John Mayer's new music DVD called "Where the light is". Mayer overload the last few weeks, but that's not a bad thing. He especially does a very good acoustic version of "Free Fallin' " by Tom Petty, and some old classics. There are some good distractions.

Pictures of the week off will be up once we've had some fun.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I've taken to sitting in the garden with books and laptop, to enjoy the summer and finish an essay.

Couldn't have done this last year, mostly cos my last laptop wouldn't have lasted 5 mins with out the power cord and it was raining a lot.

So here I sit, watching the sun set behind the back wall of the garden. Marsh Farm is surprisingly quiet at times, though wherever you go in Luton you can hear the planes, trains and motorway.

There was a bit of comotion last night, with a helicopter hovering overhead for a good 30 minutes and it disrupted us neighbours enough to all come out into our gardens to see what was really going on. Dodgy!!

Now the focus is on camp, and september.

God's here again, and he's nudgng me. I kinda like being nudged, it's better than a big fat shove. Though I've had a few of those too.

I hope the rest of the summer is this sunny...

Sunday, July 20, 2008


... forget where you've come here from!

Birthday on Friday, so headed in to London to see the musical based on the Take That songs.

It was very funny. Can't believe that the last time I saw Take That was when I was 11 or so, at Earls Court, minus Robbie. But now they are back, and doing well.

Then we went to Farringdon for drinks, pictures on Facebook!

Cake on Saturday, with family and friends, and then preaching this morning. Notes on the other site. Was a very fun lovely weekend.

Preaching was a good laugh, better than before, little bit of audience interaction and laughing. Now it's on summer programme, and I'll be calming down alot. Going to enjoy Summer this year I think.

Monday, July 14, 2008


At the moment it feels like every thing around is changing, and here I am just plodding along with life.

Though I guess I should be grateful, with nothing huge happening at the moment I can focus on delivering a great preach this Sunday, and now that I've finished most of the uni work for this year, I'll tidy the house (ha ha).

It's actually quite lovely to be busy, but for things not to be changing. I have a slow summer too, but I have just been asked to do an evening talk for the camp I'm on. Pretty excited about that. Will be a first time and some of my young people will be there. I obviously have to be quite prepared before I go, so prayer is much needed for those of you still out there.

I will of course post both talks on the web.

But for now life plods on, and I get to run around in a dark room this evening, Laser Quest here I come!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Is it a bird... is it a plane...

Nope... it's nothing as eventful as that.

It feels as though there is not much to blog at the moment.

I could always start a discussion along the lines of "So, women bishops, eh? What's that then?" But I won't for fear of the Vatican never talking to me again... seriously who left grown men in charge of the church?

I can say that cos no one is reading at the moment, readership seems to have slowed. Maybe it's because it is wedding season and the pictures weren't that great, or everyone is jealous of me being so close to John. Who knows.

Maybe all the readers are on a summer break... back soon!

Monday, June 30, 2008

What a weekend!

Here for your delight is a choronological photo blog:

This is John Mayer singing Wheel. He is beautiful and played so amazingly at Brixton Academy on Friday. I'm so glad I have seen him, and most definitely am in Love! If you haven't heard of him, I urge you to check him out.
He played Daughters, Good Love and Say during the encore. I have never had a better night, and I shared it with my best friend!

When we got back, I finished making the truffles for the wedding! They disappeared quickly on the day, mostly down Chrisitine's neck.

So on to the wedding...
Here is my car all made up for driving the bridesmaids around.

Here is the bridal party. Don't they look beautiful?!?
L-R Pete and Becky Clemison, Matt and Mareike Shields, Chrisitne Macfie and Mary (don't know your last name, sorry!!)

We headed to the Oval for the reception and were kept busy with the M&M's on the table.

Here is me at the end of the night after Mareike put the tiara on me. No I didn't catch the bouquet, I was decorating the going away car!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


A few years a go this post would have been known as Ignition... but that changed last year and a new type of summer camp was born.

Resonate is in it's second year, it's run in the 3rd week of August, leaders and young people camp in a place called Latimer Park, just outside Chorleywood.

It's a beautiful place, very very green and lots of space for the young people to run around (and leaders get worn out).

This week end was training, a very quick 22hours spent brainstorming and catching up with friends I haven't seen since Ignite. Lots of fun for us.

So begins the preparation for Resonate, 2 months and counting.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Customer Reviews

So far my experience with the Sony Ericsson K850i has been a tempremental one.

Within the first week I noticed the delay (and some times no) flash whilst taking pictures on the CyberShot branded phone. If you brought a camera like that you'd be annoyed and take it right back.

I didn't (wish I had).

And with this phone you can multi-task, writing a text message with your ear whilst talking on the phone!

Then about 4 months in the touch pad feature froze on me, no idea why, but probably something to do with the lack of memory on the phone itself. so having cleared the cache (i'm addicted to FB, it's hard to go without it some days), I didn't expect the phone to switch itself off mid-task. But it did... boo!

Now seven months on the touch feature has migrated to the rest of the key pad, rendering the entire phone useless. This is mostly because the buttons are so small that even my skinny fingers can't write a text/dial a number without touching the base of the phone (do you understan dwhere I'm going?).

So I took the phone to the O2 shop this morning. And they will send it off having. At no point did the sales man suggest there might be a replacement phone service I might use. I desperately pleaded with them and for the price I depoisted for it, I could have brought 2 PAYG phones!

The replacement was a dud phone, so I had another trip to the shop where I asked them to check it before they gave it to me, as they should have done the first time.

I'm back on the network and in the mean time I'm using a tiny samsung phone, I hope I don't lose it!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


There is a building just down the road from me which is being torn down and rebuilt by the council for cheap housing (so it'll probably be occupied again in 6 months).

As with all works, the council have put up hoarding around the building. They did that yesterday morning. This morning there is some obscene graffiti covering the sides. Can't fault the young people who had found a bit of chalk and put up their mark on the beech coloured board, so quickly after it had been put up.

Went to prayers this morning and was muchly encouraged.

Also didn't believe my brother the other week when he said it was as light as day when they were waiting for a cab at 5am, but having got up yesterday to do breakfast club I now believe him.

We are having summer in small chunks this year, but it's better than having no summer at all!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seeing the sights

I'm not about to make a habit of this, but recently I've found myself driving into and around Central London.
I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, a photographer, but when I see a well framed picture I can't ignore it.

Here from left to right is a Red Double Decker Bus, the London Eye and Big Ben, if I'd have been stopped in traffic a little further back it would have been perfect!

This time I had Tim to keep me company, and give directions. Yes, Tomtom (sat nav) is most certainly my best friend at the moment. So apart from the traffic and a really bad sandwich on the way home, I've had a really good morning!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I bet you wish you were having dinner with me tomorrow evening!! This is one of the many dishes I will be serving; Strawberry Crumble.

Strawberry Crumble will be making many appearances this summer as it is very very easy to make and should taste delicious!

Will be taking all extra strawberries home with me, because i figure I can make mini versions for the ones who are on diets!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Half term

I'm kinda having two weeks for half term this time round. I didn't have to go into school at all this week due to trips and changes of timetable.

It's been nice, nice to not have to be any where, and good to get through essays and plan for the long weekend. Having to take matters into my own hands and hope to get s decent essay in on time for next week.

God is definitely by my side, with me in all I do, even essay writing. Funnily enough I am really enjoying compiling a history of youth work and informal education. It's about time though.

So there won't be much going on in the next week, back in Essex for a bit, and then back to Luton for a nice quiet half term, one hopes!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Where Have All The Good Girls Gone?

20.1% of crime in England and Wales is committed by girls aged 10-17. That's 59,000 crimes during 2006-07.

An interesting set of figures, but as always there are lots of factors that the Youth Justice Board have to take into account when measuring these stats against the previous year/s.

The biggest question is, are girls becoming more violent? Or is crime just reported in such a way the girls are coming out worse off? Or have Child Protection Laws gone so AWOL that we (youth workers, PCSO's, teachers and the like) are no longer allowed to discipline without being arrested themselves? Has gender equality caused girls to think that being violent is an easy solution?

Are there also issues of mis-diagnosed ADD and ADHD? I strongly believe that we too quickly place a label on our children, and do not help the parents to cope.

Apparently the Youth Justice Board are on it, targeting 'high-risk girls'. But what about supporting single parents, or early intervention at school? I don't think that targeting is key, I think that we too often target individuals, when group and gang mentality is clearly a lot stronger in this country.

We also called 999 for no apparent reason, are scared of gangs of kids hanging out together, with no rational reason.

20.1% is too much... prevention programmes aren't reaching enough, but they are doing a brilliant job with those who they are reaching. There are lots of factors pertaining to the rise in crime in girls, but it is rising...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

God Is With Us

You have looked deep
into my heart, LORD,
and you know all about me.
Psalm 139 v 1

After all is said an done, God knows me inside and out, He knows exactly how to comfort me, when to inspire me, when to push me to my limits. He knows me better than anyone else ever will.

It's not been a great week, news and events wise. I've attended the funeral of one of the men who used to come to church. Sadly it took six weeks for the funeral to happen because there were no next of kin and only one breavement officer in the L&D. Strikes me as a silly thing to do, everyone dies, quite a few of them in hospital. So why only one breavement officer?

Following some bad news on Tuesday night, my bible reading was about David being chosen because of how his heart looked, rather than his outward appearance. God's unknown way of bringing comfort to me. I am in awe of how he has helped me, each time I take stock of my life.

On Sunday we headed to the prayer room at Kestin House to be part of the ten days of prayer for Luton. Here's an arty picture to keep you intrigued about the prayer room!

God knows you, He knows your heart
God is here, his spirit is with you.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

On the Move

What happens when 30 churches across Luton get together and have a passion to serve the people in the town centre?

What happens is over 2000 people are fed and happy. We hung out with the people who were drinking in the afternoon sun, and those who were heading off to watch Luton play the final home match of the season.

It was an enjoyable day. Picture is of one of the worship bands playing throughout the day.

I hope and pray that the atmosphere in Luton is changed, but it's a long process.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"When you let boys in your room" Part 2

A boy came back to sort out the single bed frame, so now at least my room is back in order and a bit tidy.

Now to sort out a bit of bedding for it...

Monday, April 28, 2008

"When you let boys in your room" Part 1

There's a lot to be said for boys, they are helpful, strong and will generally rise to a challenge.

So when Jude's parent's dropped off a double bed for me, we realised we'd need a few boys to help set it up at leaset.

Challenge set, and the result was this:

So I have two beds in my room, and I slept pretty well last night. That's one double bed and a single bed frame on it's end.

I'm waiting for part two, which needs an alan key and an electric drill, neither of which the house currently has.

Weekend away was good. Here is some of the countryside behind the house we were staying in.

I got to teach, hang out with friends and be part of my larger Luton family in a more concrete way. It was very enjoyable and the sun came out. It's amazing how the sun can recharge batteries. I sat in the sun all afternoon, didn't get burnt, but felt like I'd slept an entire day!

Wonderful people, wonderful surroundings and a competitive Vicar's quiz, which made for a great weekend!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekend Away

I'm about to go away for the weekend with St Mary's. Another family weekend and I'm very very excited about it. It's really lovely to be asked to go.

I'm leading the youthwork and getting to hang out with some good friends, what more could you want from a weekend away! The amazing thing is I'm all prepared and ready to go, I just have to go to School first.

This week has been an interesting one, quite busy. I went to Brownies for the first time ever on Wednesday - only to be asked if I had a husband (girls are so nosy!). Thursday night was chatting to some older girlies about boys. It's been a bit of a week for some home truths.

Hopefully there will be a new bed for me when I get back, but God only knows when I'll have the time to slightly rearrange my room so the bed fits.

I'll post pictures when I get back.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Trips and fixes

I was in Essex yesterday to celebrate Mum's birthday and to catch up with other family and a few friends. So we sang happy birthday, twice, and bowled until we hurt. My cousin showed himself up to be a bit of a star. I think there will be much more bowling now, at least as Dad and brothers try to beat the cousin!

While I was in Essex I put my car into the Honda garage, and it got fixed before lunch time! Did I use the replaced mirror on my way back? I think about once or twice, turns out you probably don't need that mirror unless you live in a town where there are lots of cyclists.

Recently St Hugh's has been taking its time with God and being family on a Sunday morning, something different happened today, the young people were the ones taking their time. We were sitting and chatting about God's faithfulness and had far too much to talk about it would seem. When we got back to church everybody had left apart from the parents of the young people!

God is with us, His faithfulness extends to a thousand generations. His love endures forever, my help comes from the Maker of Heaven and Earth.

I learnt a lot today about the small group of young people, and it confirms to me why Jesus had a smaller group around him. It's so much easier to manage and to hear what every one is saying. It was a bit intense, but we learnt.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Birthdays Galore

It's seems to be one of those times of year where lots of people have birthdays.
So of course we celebrate, with Cake, cards and presents (even the ones who are reluctant).
It's fun to have everyone sitting around catching up and eating, one of the best parts of being family.
A Demolished Chequerboard cake.

We had an interview for another youth worker, but chose not to empoly this time round. Keep praying for that.

It's also the time of year when APCM's happen and money decisions are made. Fun sunday coming up.

More fund raising events too, we're all dressing up tomorrow night for a Ball.
Watch out for pictures.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Introducing Nick and Ruth Heavyside! Lovely people who got married yesterday and met here.
Scary stuff really, Gap Year is a memory now, mostly a very happy memory. Can't believe we played a part in these two getting together. Nick did a brilliant speech and we had lots of fun dancing and eating chocolate covered delights (woohoo, chocolate fountain).

Also saw this lovely lady, she is brilliant and working so hard at the moment! Doesn't she look beautiful? We were in a really pretty church and had a great time of worship. It's a joy to see two friends get married. I hope there will be lots more.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Something Missing

The joys of living in the Farm mean that you arrive at you car in the afternoon to find something missing...

So bye-bye nearside wing mirror, hello hours in the Honda Dealership up the road. And it's not a simple 'plonk it on job done in 15mins', it seems they will have to remove the door panel and take their time rewiring the whole thing.

Lets hope that they are quicker than the Essex Honda Dealer.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Friday was a great day, lots of hard work on the teams part, but pulled off fantastically in the end.

We handed out the bits of ribbon to carry as we walked from St Martins, to St Hugh's then up to Lewsey Christian Centre (all in to the wind!).

Grey - the moments in Gethsemane, dark moments of pain and tiredness
Purple - mocked and dressed as a king, a very humble king
Red - bleeding and sacrifice

Yellow - rejoicing in the morning (a little prematurely)

Sabbath began at sun down, a time of fasting and trying to catch the feelings of the disciples, they didn't know the importance of Sunday.

Praying for no snow, dawn service will be freezing otherwise!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fighting Impatience

It's always quite interesting driving around Luton at random times of the day.

At 5.50am there was a rather impatient person who decided to cut me up at a roundabout, I spent the rest of my journey thinking, "what could possibly make you impatient pre-6am on any day?".

Then at 10pm some lovely immature boys followed 1/2 the way home, and sped off at the first opportunity in a measley 1.0 engine, which sounded like a toy car. I'm not quite sure what point they were trying to prove seeing as at took them about 1.5miles to get the guts to over take my very pink car.

Easter holidays are about to start here in Luton and it feels like we've crammed a whole term into half a term. Tensions were running high and exploded in childish fisty cuffs during breakfast this morning.

As a consequence grapes have been removed from the breakfast menu...

Friday, March 14, 2008

4 years

Well, I've been blogging for 4 years just about. Scary stuff really, when you think about the amount of stuff that has happened with me and where I've been.

It's a long time, but I feel like I've come such a long way. From studentdom, to full time work, from Luton, to Cardiff and back again.

Mostly good experiences, I've learnt so much.

Just something from the prayer room to insipre you...
here's to another 4 years.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Nancy Beach - Vineyard, St Albans

Willow Creek Association kindly lent Nancy Beach to the ladies of the UK last weekend and this.

So today I headed to St Albans, with others from church in tow. Eventually arrived at Vineyard Church on the Ashley Industrial Estate, and wandered into a slightly refurbished building from the last time.

Was good to hear what Nancy had to say about Women in Leadership, titles like "God did not make a mistake" and "Managing Your Life". I have never felt like I work in a 'boys club' but there are always challenges when it comes to working with any one who isn't you, and especially if they are a man.

Nancy did really well for talking for a whole day, but she also gave some time for us to talk to the different people around us. We had Ladies from Chelmsford in front of us and ladies from Cockfosters behind us. A few interesting conversations with the ladies from St Hugh's.

Back to normal tomorrow, with a weekend full of friends and enjoying talents.

Friday, February 29, 2008

While I Can...

Blogging on leap year, just before St Davids Day.

Had a good day today, been in to Harrow and Watford. It's been ok, I'm glad that the babies are away for the weekend and eventually I'll get them back (but they can stay away for now).

I'm praying that they we have a good weekend.

Life goes on in Luton, with an invitation to be more involved in prayer for our town. Excited! Will put up pictures of the prayer room in it's current state.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

23rd Feb - Prayer day/concert

Being stuck inside all day isn't a bad thing when you get to hear some one like Dr Jonathan Oloyede speak for a few hours.

A man who is led by God as to what to challenge the churches in Luton.

Pray more.
Pray with authority (which is different from power)
Pray with each other
Pray in conversation with God
Pray the prayers of others

Young people came to St Hugh's tonight, and I was astounded by them. We pray for each other, we pray for the adults, we pray for our leaders. Mostly we pray.

I don't believe that God only works in mysterious ways, He works in the everyday, in the ordinary.

It's been said before coincidences happen when we pray and it's funny that they stop when we stop!

We will keep prayng. Hallelujah!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Soul Sista, half term and essays

I got the feedback from my first essay for my masters today, a narrow pass and I know that I had a harsh marker, so it's ok, and I've taken it on board for the next one, which is due in two weeks.

The last week has been half term, and it's been relatively quiet. Only five weeks til Easter... yeay.

We headed to Soul Survivor today, with 600 other girls, we learnt about how amazing we are. Amazing to be me, amazing to be a girl and amazing to belong to God. All good things. We had a very good talk about Hosea.

Came home to some beautiful purple tulips.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Coptic Church, Stevenage. 8.30 am 10/02/08

Sunrise is undoubtedly the best part of the day, so as we travelled into a raising sun this morning I was expecting glorious things.

The Coptic Church is described as the Egyptian Othodox Church, so the service was performed in Arabic, sung and spoken English. It did feel like we were toruists in a foreign land at some points, but like St Hugh's we have our traditions when setting up for church, they did too.

Arriving at the church site you are greeted with a huge mozaic of Jesus and angels (the exact same mozaic is behind the altar table). Walking in through big wooden doors and then some nice glass ones, noticing that the nativity scene was up in the foyer.

In this church the patterns all match, the etched glass, the celing, the lectern, the panneling on the back wall. Was good to see that there was some continuity throughout. This place is a Cathedral, with LCD screens, a balcony, and a side room for baptism. Marble flooring made my shoes a lot louder than they are on the carpet at St Hugh's. Oh and did I mention the icons? No, well it'd be hard to miss them. They are quite huge.

We were welcomed with a very polite smile and a few questions from (what seemed to be) the second in command. Then when the preist had finished, a student read the first reading of the day in garbled English. Then we had the brief history before being lead to the side room.

An hour long ceremony commenced, which was the blessing of the water, and reading of scriptures, then baptism itself and confirmation.

**this bit I didn't understand, I need to find out what confirmation means to the coptic church, in order to understand why they have it done on the same day**

Baptism is by full immersion which the girls didn't like at all. The leader/preist guy wasn't pushy but he had a scary beard and getting your head pushed under water isn't nice even if you have been warned! Oh and only the parents renounce the devil (to the west) and confirm their faith in Christ (to the east).

Ther service for the regular members of the congregation was about to start, so we headed back to St Hugh's. Pleased with the experience and wishing the parents luck as they had another 4 hours or half-english/half-arabic to sit through in order for their children to take first communion. Boy I hope I get to see the parents this week to share with them.

Long winded, yes, but then the church has never been short. Where God guides we go... I'll keep trying to get around to other churches this year, it's an experience!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


To be honest, I have great respect for the law, I try my hardest to stick to it. Then a conversation like this happens and I think 'Is it really worth it?'

Me: erm 'cuse me are you actually going into church?

Man: no

Me: well, there is a service starting in church in a moment and we'll need the space (pointing at the disabled space man had plonked car in)

Man: well it's ok I'm police *smug grin*

Me: still annoyed 3 hours later!

I genuinely wouldn't have minded if there was something ACTUALLY going on, like robbery in progress at church, or attacker at church, or church burning down, you know things that really need the police...

Police man was attending an Audi TT which had been pulled over on LHS, which already had two police officers and a marked car blocking traffic and cycle lane.

I'm done. But I won't be taking 'well I'm Police' as an answer to breaking the law again, there is no need (and also there were about 6 other places he could have parked).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Up and coming

Take what you will from this title, but if you happen to be in Luton on this day make sure you pop in to St Hugh's (Jeff has all the credit for the design)

Cracking on with life, and a bit moany about having to do lots of uni work over Easter, whilst trying to fast for 24hours (yes WorldVision are asking for money).

Saturday, January 26, 2008


The young people of St Hugh's got a chance to share their experience and skills on Friday night, when they launched the fundraising for their trip to Uganda.

I'll put some pictures up soon...

The week has been a very busy one. Starting last Saturday, I had four visitors from Essex. We all sat and had dinner, discussing the finer points of a few things.
Sunday 'Life in all it's fullness' started... Good stuff.
So finally I'm back in to some sort of routine. Easter isn't that far off, and with Pancake day only a week and a half away the routine will be disrupted already.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Unleashing the Philosopher

Everybody has the ability to ask questions... and (according to the lecturers) there is no definitive answer to those questions.

Even the most simple of questions can be subject to extremist realitivism (or not extreme, depending on which realitivist you talk to).

I've been on the MA at Leicester for 3 months and we are already digging deep to find the philosopher within, finding answers that only bring up more questions.

Hard and scary stuff.

Thinking out loud is a must... no internalising here.

Possible dissertation question too, very exciting!

Monday, January 07, 2008

No longer

I think I suffer from 'Monday morning blues' at about 2pm on Sunday afternoon, this is not good.

The first Monday of the year is about to be over and it's been a productive one. I had quite a strange and drawn out weekend which could contribute to the fact that I just didin't want to go in to the office this morning.

Andy turned 21 on Saturday, so I was back in Essex for lunch and catching up with Andy's extended family. Was good to sit around a big table and chat for hours. Had an interesting discussion, involving everyone around the table, about where 'home' is. One of the less fun things about growing up, 'home' has changed for me. 'Home' is no longer Billericay. Andy and his friends are spending a few days in Kent to celebrate (strange boy).

Things are pretty much back to normal now, there have been a few hiccups, but nothing too big.

All I can say is roll on next tuesday, the FA Cup replay between Luton and Liverpool should be an exciting match to see.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back to work

Happy new year! And back to work for nearly everyone. If you are still off, lucky you!

The new year brings change beyond recognition... Christine is leaving Luton to go and do a YWAM DTS. Very sad, but she'll only be in Harpenden and it's her birthday in 3 weeks, so she's not getting away that easily.

Working on a really hard essay atm, but it's only hard because it's the first one and it's not really academic, more reflective. Argh. I guess I should get started.

God bless as 2008 begins...