Count your blessings

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Christian Aid have produced a Lent resource called Count your blessings, In their words …
‘Giving up something for Lent? Chocolate? Alcohol? Take a radical approach this year with our free Lent resources for adults and children – give up giving up and give instead! There’s something to get you thinking each day, counting your blessings and making a difference for some of the world’s poorest people’

Monday Splurgestuff

Is Monday a terrible way to spend one seventh of your life? Or is it a day full of opportunity and possibility, exisiting as it does, near the start of the week? Well good morning to you whichever of these camps you fall in to. I’m feeling a lot less whelmed than I was and have enjoyed a 24 hour break away with Jo (my wife), our first night without kids in years! (A lie-in until 8am was such bliss)
Anyway here’s the weekly splurge:
I visited a Church on Friday where the youth team have contact with 300 young people a week through the clubs, open groups, football initiatives and detached project! BUT even they have members of the congregation who question what they are doing as it doesn’t translate to bums on seats for the Sunday morning service! (Thought you’d be encouraged that it’s not just you!).
Jam no. 10 is out and is looking good, really great youth friendly mag’ that I’ve plugged before (and am plugging again). VERTIGO is happening next weekend, come along …. it’d be great to see you! If you are going to SOULNET at Centre Parcs then I wish you a FABULOUS time (I may write some stuff about this in the week having been before twice). I’m going to the CONNECT conference tomorrow! It brings together all the key people who are involved in training volunteers involved in Christian Youthwork. If you’ve got rants, questions, suggestions or queries … then punt them this way!
Thought for the week:
Sometimes the way things have always been done is worth challenging and a much better, more useful model emerges!
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And sometimes you find out the old way actually was much better for all sorts of reasons!
………. Finally, a huge thank you to Daniel! Out of the blue he sent me a present, an important text book on the emerging shed movement that I enjoyed hugely 🙂

Party Pooper Warning Light

I was visiting a great youth club last night, awesome bunch of teens and a superb team! I had a lot of fun even if I did get beaten at Table Tennis by Chris and Chris(Bob). Anyway here’s the blogworthy funny story:
There was a bit of a group time and the end of which there was a prayer. As the prayer ended everyone shouted ‘AMEN’ really loud and looked up at the ceiling. As the ‘Amen’ resounded around the hall a light fitted to the rafters came on, lit up then went off. Everyone then went back to chatting, dancing to 80’s music (true), table tennis, making cookies and the like!
What was that?” I asked
Anyway, it turns out the “God Light” as the group call it is intended more as a ‘party pooper’ light! It’s a system fitted by the residents association (from the houses by the hall). If the noise reaches a certain volume the light comes on as a visual warning. If the warning is not heeded and the volume continues then ALL (I mean ALL) the electricity to the hall is cut off!
All credit to the group for redeeming he most officious piece of electronics I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED!

Consistently Whelmed

There’s a lot going on at the moment and I am in a constant state of being whelmed! That is I can’t really claim to be over-whelmed, but the mix of family, work, college and placement currently equates to a constant state of whelm! It’s not a state I function very well in as it squeezes out the creativity and fun. HOWEVER I am going to keep this blog short, stay at my desk through to my meeting this evening and work de-whelmingly hard. Shalom 🙂
“It’s at times like this I wish I’d listened to what my mother said!”
“Why, what did she say?”

“I don’t know ….. I wasn’t listening”

Unfortunate Lines from Chorus & Hymns

Laugh6web.jpg A bunch of us were having a discussion yesterday about lines from Hymns/Choruses that had reduced the youth group to hysterics. One youth worker’s group had totally “lost it” during a chorus that called for “a tongue to be put into our mouths!”
Given the capacity of teenagers (and come to think of it youth workers) to spot innuendo ANYWHERE, there must be some good stories out there? Do share a moment via the comments and know that youth workers on three continents will be howling with laughter shortly too.
My favourite story that is one that I’ve never been able to verify but is worth telling anyway. The narrative broadly is that two of the lads from a Church met up regularly on a Sunday afternoon with others to play football. The game didn’t allow much time for getting home, changed and to the evening service. One of the lads had dashed home and being in a rush to shower had slipped, falling out of the shower and bashed his head on the toilet.
Arriving at Church his friend had asked about the obvious bump/mark on his head and heard the details of the mishap. This is where the story would have ended if the First hymn had not contained the line,
Gone throught the curtain, held onto the throne!
at which point they both errupted into uncontrollable laughter. Nice!

Couple of dates for the diary

10th May 2006 FYT are hosting a day in Birmingham for youth workers to share experience and reflect on working with young people in multi faith settings. Details from Nigel Pimlott.
17th March 2006 World Visions 24 hour famine weekend. For a free fundraising pack call 01908 84 12 12

Evangelism day

Had a really cool discussion day on Evangelism, Bishop Stephen was hosting the discussion and was absolutely top notch. Lots of stuff to digest.
Talking of digestion, dining in the Great Hall at Christ Church was fab AND NOT because of the Harry Potter connection, just ‘cos it was fab!
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Quote of the day was when Bishop Stephen was telling us about him being challenged on, when all this ‘new’ (implication = wishy washy/un-Biblical) talk about ‘our christian journey’ became a feature of evangelism?
His reply,
Well …….. it is difficult to put an exact time on it, but probably … around Tea Time on the FIRST Easter day!”

Contextless splurging

I was on duty at Drop-in at the Youth Club on Friday and it went brilliantly! Some of you know that it’s been quite tough, but this week we had great conversations, real engagement and the teenagers taking some responsibility. HUGELY encouraging AND I’ve got funding for the residential I want to run with this group. Frustratingly though two of the key girls won’t even entertain the idea as they have never/will never stay away from home!
It’s a slow news week in youthworkdom so I have little for the Monday round up so far. Was really impressed with this idea from Andy though, he ran a Church crawl with his group. Well impressed!
I’m at Christ Church Cathedral all day today (or at least somewhere in Tom Quad) as our department are having an away day to consider ‘evangelism’ within our mission, vision and practice!
Weird moment of the weekend was writing to a friend and signing off with the line, “I have to go and Hoover now” but MS Word auto changed in to “I have to go and hover now!” My friend will think I have strange mystical levitational powers ….. And I thought It was nature that abhorred a vacuum, not Microsoft?
Oh and my favourite time waster at the moment is trying to break through the 3000 barrier on Nev’s Jam Buster!
Auf wiederblog and Shalom