Looking back, that was the year that was!

In what could be seen as an overly self referential exercise, but what I see as an ironic tribute to New Years eve’s TV scheduling, here’s the best of YOUTHBLOG 2004!
The Heretical nature of Baseball Caps! Maybe I should of called this the “her-hat-ical nature of caps” but hey ho! As a post it not only created some amusement and debate around baseball caps in Church but made it onto the wibsite and you can see it (if you look hard) on a page in Decembers Youthwork magazine!
In at the deep end was a chance to comment on Health and Safety as well as reminisce about the time I had to life-guard a paddling pool. Serious issues but in this case, serious fun!
I have a cunning plan was perhaps a little too audacious but in terms of getting Church involved in young people it was certainly AN idea!
School of Rock was a film that got me thinking, the bit that I was really chuffed about though was there was an actual seminar run this year (in France) that actually took and used my blog idea! weird but cool, but weird!
Caught in posession of a hoody was a good insight into how young people get labelled, tagged and written off. When you’re wound up about something being able to blog is good therapy! The fact that some people read it as well is fantastic.
That was looking back, but on New Years day I plan to blog some universally adaptable New Years resolutions for youth workers! I’d love some suggestions in advance!

Youthblog proposes a toast

My lords, ladies & Gentlemen. Unaccustomed, as I am, to public speaking I shall constrain this New Year’s eve ramble to expressing my Gratitude to those who make Youthblog what it is, what it was and what it shall be (as it were).
Thanks to special agent K in Berkshire and to Tessa & Sarah who are the official Grammar & spelling advisors to Youthblog. Respect to blog commentators & readers (here’s some of you that I know about) Ben, Sudders, Betty, Dave, Si, Roy, Pete B, Richard, Kt, Stu, Barrie & the Rev Doc D. Web Master P and Comms officer Nat, you rock!
Special mention for Pete who is the Scooby Doo consultant and to kevin, my agent in Canada eh! If you’ve never commented then I have no idea who you are but APPRECITE you all the same. Mr Baker, the spiritual father of blogdom gave me some helpful advice in the early days of youthblog for which I am profoundly grateful. Dave the Wibsite, I raise a glass to you for promoting the Blog and for making me laugh.
Lastly, to everyone who works with young people, I salute you and am so glad that you drop in here from time to time! Here’s to youthwork in 2005!

Christian snowball fights?

Browsing through the google searches that had lured browsers into Youthblogs gravitational pull I came across this one:
“Snowball fight Christian Song”
How Bizarre is that? Anyone want to write one? Gave me a good laugh though and reminded me of some Calvin n Hobbes. In one of the cartoons Calvin states he only thows consecrated snowballs, I rather liked the accompanying liturgy:
calvin snowball.gif
Oh lovely snowball, packed with care
Smack a head that’s unaware.
Then with freezing ice to spare
Melt and soak through underwear.
Fly straight and true, hit hard and square,
This, oh snowball, is my prayer.

The Disaster

I wanted to write something about the disaster that’s resulted from Sundays earthquake but am struggling to find the words. The extrodinary (and rising) scale of the tragedy plus the heart breaking stories from survivors who have lost loved ones is beyond my ability to write. I’m going to point instead to “Deep Thought” and what Sarah’s written AND for the links to organisations that are working out there and can handle donations.
I’d also recomend reading Messy Christian who writes from Malaysia, as ever she writes with great insight and honesty.

Boxing Day Musings

Cool Boxing day! In Church this morning teenagers were mentioned in the sermon AND in a positive light with empathy and understanding! Very encouraged by that, so so so few sermons ever seem to include illustrations or applications that relate at all to teens. This afternoon I sat in a Simpsons inflatable Chair (don’t ask!) with a glass of Glenmorangie and listened to The Streets CD “Original Pirate Material” very very cool. This will definitely crop up in future blogs as its class in terms of music, communication, honesty and vibe!
Other Christmassy stuff: Finally made it down the skate board ramp on my skateboard (You have to bear in mind that I didn’t get a skateboard until I was 34!). Accelerating rapidly down a concrete slope balanced on a small board and careering towards lots more concrete while attempting to do small controlled corrections turns out to be quite an aid to focus! (If anyone from St Nix wondered why I was hobbling on Christmas day? It was from the time I lost focus!)
Utterly defeated the Snowball game by completing the bonus round after level 9, YES!

Merry Christmas dear Blog-buddies

christmas_tree_presents_lg_clr.gif Having managed in excess of a “post” a day since August I think I’ll chill a bit over the next few days. There may be a new post but most likely not. On New Years eve though I’m going to take a leaf out of TV’s book (there’s a weird metaphor for the medium I’m describing) and posting “The Best of Youthblog 2004!” Yes I’m serious, or at least vaguely so. I also plan to post the Youthblog awards … kind of a thank you to some of the youthblog contrubutors.
whisky glass.gif And after that? I’ve got loads more stuff I want to write about youth work, youth leadership and youth ministry in 2005!
In the meantime Blog-buddies, I raise a glass of single malt to you. Here’s wishing you all the best of Christmas; love, joy, laughter, peace and hope!
“How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in”

Level 7 aint pretty!

snowball 7.JPG
Made it to level 7 but then (as you can see) got TOTALLY annihilated!
Giving up now and going to do something more useful!
Can it count as a core skill of youthwork being able to play computer games? I hope so because I’m better at virtual games than actual ones (I got trounced at Pool by a teenager last week!)

World on Fire

If like me you’re struggling with the consumeristic orgy that is “Christmas”, this may be a little bit of an antidote! It’s a song by Sarah McLachlan and the accompanying video. The cool thing is though that rather than spending the usual $150,000 on the video they gave it away instead. Watch the video and see where the money would have normally been spent and what it achieved instead! Cool, very cool!
World on Fire.JPG

Youthwork Anorakness!

Youthwork Magazine File.jpg What do you do with an ever increasing mountain of Youthwork magazines? This evolving mass of youthwork wisdom has been keeping me company in my various roles since 1992. Well today is a grand day! Valerie the wonder secretary has sorted them all into box files AND produced a spreadsheet so I can find the articles I’m looking for. Result or what?