December 2007 Archives

Hail the incarnate Deity

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Merry Christmas to everyone who has been in some way part of the Youthblog collective in 2007, your company, comments, interest and shared laughter have been a great blessing. I wish you a mellow Christmas that's alive with all the magic, mystery, depth, fun and love that God amongst us in Christ means. I'm now off the air until Jan 2nd and the unfolding adventure of 2008, whatever that turns out to be.

Shalom :-)


"Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Barenaked for the holidays

bhfth.jpgI am listening to SUCH a great Christmas Album at the moment. Having been a fan of The Barenaked Ladies for a few years, I'd really really wanted a copy of Barenaked for the Holidays but had not been able to find a copy in the UK. Yesterday though I downloaded it ($9.99) and am loving the live, musically brilliant party that combines the sublime and the ridiculous. VERY VERY COOL (and great fun) especially their version of "God rest ye ...." with sarah mclachlan as a guest vocalist. (You can listen to some previews on this site)

For a wonderfully eclectic art slideshow to accompany the music, check out Christianity today, a series of pieces that happily draws together artists as diverse (but equally talented) as Giotto di Bondone and Dave Walker, fab!

Christmas Countdown


I do like a bit of silliness and cheesiness at Christmas, anyone remember Frank Kelly's descent into anarchy via 12 days of presents:

Oi, Tea and Toast with the Archbishop

This is a press release relating to some young people from Oi magazine interviewing Rowan Williams. Issue 6 (which the interview is in) is available as a pdf here.

Jesus Junk

I had an e-mail from Dean who reckon'd I'd not properly done justice to Christmas Jesus Junk since 2005. As Marko is doing such a great job of collating the REALLY bad nativity scenes that I thought I'd stay out of it this year. However I am enjoying Dean's 12 day's of Christmas Junk so I'll flag that up!

I think the other reason that I've stayed out of it is having dicovered this pic in 2005, I'm frightened to look in case worse is out there. *shudder*

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Sing-along Christmas card list


Amy Dreemin
Arthur White
Chris Moss.
Jess Lykedee
Juan Swee
Hugh Sterno
Wendy Treetops-Glisten
Ann Deach
Hilda wren
Liz Tenn
‘Two-Ears’ Laybelle
Cindy Snow

christmas_tree_presents_lg_clr.gifEmma Drieming
Uffa Wyte
Chris Muss-witt
Eva Ree
Kris Mascar
Dai Wright.
Mayor Daseby
Mary-Ann Bright
Anna-May Hall
Yorky Riss
Mrs B White

Youthwork starts at home

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My eldest boy is now a teenager, The fact that I can now be a youthworker at home probably earns me the prefix, "Veteran!" Very proud of him though and he got the coolest Hoody for his birthday I have ever seen!

Christmas Quotes

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"There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries"
W.J. Cameron

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree"

Roy L. Smith

The Episode where Ian witters on a bit

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A week until Christmas eve, I just thought I'd mention it! I'm afraid this is one of those posts where I am just wittering, but for the hard-core Youthblog reader(s) you'll know that the boring stuff is really important as it means than when/(if) something interesting comes along it feels even more significant.

lightjar.jpgThanks for the concern for my health, I was/am genuinely touched by the concern, prayers and thoughts. I hopefully get the hospital results this week (although I am never good at passing examinations*) but am actually in work today after feeling lousy all weekend and reluctantly missing Vertigo (which I'm told went well). I still have little energy.

But IT'S CHRISTMAS! We put the decorations up as a family last night and our lounge looks wonderful. There were a couple of creative touches to the whole thing that I loved so I'm going to tell you about:

1. Trawled the internet for loads of large Chrismassy pictures, a mixture of arty crib scenes, cheesy santa pictures, snow scenes and anything else that was Christmas-esque and put them in a folder. Then used Windows 'Picture and Fax viewer' to run them as a slide show so our computer shows a series of seasonal snapshots. (At the same time I have windows media player playing randomly from the Christmas music file which ranges in style from the sublime to the ridiculous having a HUGE range of yuletide music**)

2. Filled up a jar with a chain of christmas lights and some baubles, it looks really ace IMHO.

* See vague entry on CV to 'A' levels 'taken' rather than 'A' levels 'passed'
** Apart from, obviously, Chris de Burgh's 'A Spaceman came travelling' *shudder*

VERTIGO Ball this Saturday

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Anyone want to try being a complete bar steward and helping at the Cocktail bar? You'll need some Glam/Glitz clothes and the ability to smile and serve drinks!

St Christophers fellowship


I had an e-mail from a charity called SCF pointing me to some animated video's they'd made to tell the story of young people and the difference that they'd been able to make. You'll find them here and I'm really impressed with them as well as finding one's such as Toby's story very moving!

Mike Yaconelli

I was looking for a particular Bruce Cockburn quote that I wanted to use

"From the lying mirror to the movement of stars,
everybody's looking for who they are.
Those who know don't have the words to tell.
And the ones with the words don't know too well"

I found the quote OK but in doing so I found an old interview with Mike Yaconelli in which he quotes the Cockburn lines I was looking for. I was please to find the quote BUT really loved the resultant additional discovery, have a read

Oh Fooey


fooey.jpgMy post about not being well and being generally and irrationally tired seems to have struck a chord. My silly suggestion of a new network named 'FOOEY' (Fatigued order of ordinarily energetic youthworkers) has proved more resonant than I would have imagined. So, welcome to FOOEY (the network that starts working when you stop) and here's it's logo (well at least until Hanna Barbara decide to sue me for half-inching one of their characters).

Shalom my friends, prayers and thoughts are with you

(BTW I'm at work but definitely not firing on all cylinders)

Youth group in the Crypt


Can anyone put me in touch with youth groups/projects that use the crypt as their meeting place? Thank you :-)

Little Miss Sunshine

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Loads of people have been telling me that I REALLY ought to watch Little Miss Sunshine so in a very giving-into-peer-pressure sort of a way I watched the DVD at the weekend. In this case the peer pressure turned out to be positive and I found it a very moving film that included moments where I laughed out loud (very loud). This should have been a depressing film given the dysfunctionality of the family and the claustrophobic nature of the long road trip in a V dub van but somehow it wasn't. As a family and as individuals there was some growth and healing, not resolution but something important. I also felt it was a critique, using the beauty pageant and the 9 step success programme, of the disparity between what things are dressed up to be and what they really are.

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As a youth worker though it was Paul Dano's portrayal of teenager Dwayne Hoover that stole the show, the character was well written and ably acted, exploring brilliantly an adolescent experience and viewpoint. The fact that he didn't speak at all for the first two thirds of the film was a very creative device. Fab!

Be warned though that the language is 'colourful' and some of the attitudes could offend, so probably not one for the youth residential OR the church weekend).

Not the full shilling at the moment


I'm tired of feeling tired! For the last couple of months I have been running well below parr and waking up tired in the morning, being tired all day and going to sleep as early as is possible after sorting out the rest of the herd. It's not over-work, it's not lack of sleep and it's not a lack of time off, it's just a thing; feeling like I'm running on not very good budget batteries from a market stall when I'm normally Duarcell* equipped. To further compound the situation, being tired all the time is so, ..... well .......... er, tiring!
I hauled myself off to the Docs yesterday though and was then sent onto see the photographer and the vampire at the local hospital. I am now waiting for these chest X-ray and blood test results.

Oh, yep: There was a point to this! If you are waiting for work and information from me it may be slightly delayed, sorry! 'Normal' service will be renewed as soon as I find some energy.

CAPTAIN'S LOG SUPPLEMENTAL: Hospital results back and nothing bad showed up (at least that they were looking for). I am therefore in the encouraging position of being ill but with nothing actually wrong with me, huzzah


*Other brands are available, Youthblog does not earn any revenue from brand placement within the text and re-chargables would be a greener alternative.

Under the wrapping paper

The prophet ASBO has spoken sagely:

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Christmas Quiz


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I was helping to run a Christmas Party on Friday night and so I put some quizzes together to pin around the walls as a 'sparking-up-conversation-something-to-do-ice-breaker' type thing. One of them was based on guessing which language, 'Happy Christmas' was being rendered in. As a Youthbloggy present you can appropriate it from here: Download file
I also put together a Christmas movie one using stills from the films but it's too big to upload. Many thanks to this web site where you'll find loads more info that can be quiz-ified!

Kitchmass presents anyone?

Ship of Fools have once again presented a hilarious/depressing round-up of Jesus-Junk if you're looking to 'invest' in some sanctified plastic and saintly trash! My favourite is Christ on a bike, if you can face it you should check out the rest of the range ...... with the dollar so weak against the pound then they are a bargain ;-)
Ladies, Gentlemen: The 12 days of Kitchmass

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Thoroughly post modern


nat port gall.jpg As a family we were at the National Gallery in London last weekend. As well as just looking at the pictures you can hire an 'audio guide' where you can punch in the picture's number on your handset and hear a commentary on the artist and that particular work. The gallery was busy (more so I guess as it was stair-rod like rain outside) and there were processions of people following the map and in some case listening to the audio guides. It was great fun therefore to see how my youngest boy (aged 7) engaged with the gallery. He was very happy looking at the pictures as he zipped randomly from interesting room to interesting room. He was also delighted to have an audio-guide and headphones, but his use of it was a bit more off-the-wall that that intended I suspect. He would contemplate the pictures but rather than dialing in the given number he'd select a random number and enjoy the commentary on an entirely different picture. It was great fun to hear him shouting across to his brother things like, "try 664, it's a great one!" (referring to the audio and not the visual). What was even cooler was that he'd then encounter pictures he'd randomly heard on the audio guide and make the connection, "hey, I know about this one!"

Thoroughly enjoyed watching him engaging in this way as well as thinking this was a fascinating episode to reflect on in terms of how we explore learning with Tweenagers and younger. I loved the way he extracted the maximum fun, used the technology the way he wanted to, engaged with two different mediums independently/disjointedly and potentially joined up some of the learning further on in the process.
(Even more fascinating given how much he struggles at school)

Christmas Talks

Grahame Knox who blogs over at Insight has posted five Christmas talks, have a look, if you are either:

a) Doing some research into a talk for next week (or)
b) Doing some last minute panic about a talk for tonight


The talks are:
Real Christmas
What's in a Name?
Christmas Unwrapped
Christmas around the World
Giving to Others

Grabbing videos

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More useful info/sites for appropriating Youtube (et al) content. Introducing

Big Matt
World TV

ht to the Tech Rector

Falling with style

The Marko posted this vid' last month and I keep re-watching it as it just blows me away. The combination of the majesty of the mountains, the skill and craziness of the base-jumpers and the wild human spirit it exudes (not to mention the cool soundtrack) is FANTASTIC! One of the comments on the Youtube page for this vid' also made me laugh,

"That isn't flying ............ it's falling with style"

(I sometimes watch 'Toy Story' in German where the translation of the above line is "we are faliing ....... 'elegantly'" which I think I like even more)


Parliamentary debate on the marginalization of Christianity within the UK.

One Song to the tune of another


opdiva.jpg On Friday it's our Department Christmas bash. As it's more Advent than Christmas I need to steer a course somewhere between the two. We will have a bit of a sing-along around the piano and I want to do a fun, one song to the tune of another, type affair mixing Christmas Carols and other songs, hymns, ballads, whatever! So if anyone knows switchable tunes/words (that ACTUALLY fit) or if anyone sufficiently understands metre and the funny little black dots all over all those lines, I'd love to hear suggestions.


Buy nothing Christmas


Can I, as ever, recommend the Buy Nothing Christmas Website as I/we reflect on how we as Christians celebrate Christmas with inegrity and in a way that isn't just Culture +Christ.
(If you are in any doubt that consumerism is out of control, may I respectively point you at this toilet roll holder!)

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ht to Shawn

Evan Almighty

OK so I am a big slow off the mark having missed Evan at the cinema, but I've now caught up and we saw the film on DVD on one of our family film nights (Sofa +Laptop + hot chocolate).

I LOVED THIS FILM! Now I know watching it as a family modifies my critical viewpoint (and that hearing my eldest boy laughing like a drain at the visual humour is as much fun as watching the film) but this is a great piece of film making. I won't spoil the plot (largely because the trailer does a good job of that already) but I thought the film was fun, endearing, silly (in a good way), had a great message and best of all ...... great theology! There's some brillant stuff to explore on, how God answers prayer, Calling only making sense looking back and how shallow in fact, consumerism, power and appearance are!
Very clever too, how the 'ARK' becomes an achievable challenge for all of us (you'll have to watch it)

Watachability for a youth weekend:
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Usability for session/discussion:
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Facebook Christmas Card app'

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I mentioned the CofE had put together an application for sending Christmas Cards to Facebook friends, well here it is. For a rundown or commentry, see Cartoon Dave or the Press Release.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2007 is the previous archive.

January 2008 is the next archive.

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