Joy to the World

Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a great start to the New Year, thanks for being part of the Youthblog collective during 2006 and I look forward to ‘seeing’ you again in 2007 as I’m going off the air now until Jan 2nd 🙂
Hope you have a Wonder filled Christmas with plenty of friendship, laughter and mince pies, may you know God’s presence and his love. Shalom my friends!
christmas_tree_presents_lg_clr.gif “O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel “


I’m making a list (and checking it twice)

Wooaaaa, it’s Christmas eve eve eve eve already and it’s my last day at work, I’ve got quite a lot of stuff to do but it seems to be a ‘silly’ day in the office due to an impending Christmas coffee and cake break, there’s also our Carol Service and lunch ….. a definite ‘end of term’ feeling.
Sprout game.jpg If you want to virtually join in with that ‘last day’ vibe then I highly recommend this brilliant Sprout Game that GimD flagged up, highly adictive and visually great fun.
Also amusing me is this language translator that Pinklady linked to. It translates the stuff you write into Tween Type. Genius!
I have a new laptop (yay) as our lovely I.T department have agreed that the old one was juddering to a standstill, this is fab stuff but means loadsa transferring files, WEP codes and other such gumpf. One gig of RAM though and a Dual core processor so it really hauls, oh yes!
Here is a picture of MLD in progress (Multiple Laptop disorder)

Soul Survivor on Tour

Just to flag up that Soul Survivor are hitting the road and doing a tour. It should be a good chance to link in with plans for 2008 and to hear more from Roy Crowne and Mike P. More details here BUT Feb 19th is the date for Oxford-ish bods. For the rest of the UK check out the page!
Oh and there is an afternoon reception tea thing for church and youth leaders 😉 Excellent

Ah yes, I can explain

I’m just on the way to meet with my fellow ‘Tweenagers’ author and working out which of these two time honoured excuses to deploy. I’m quite keen on ‘The dog ate it’ for its elegant simplicity but the, ‘I left it on the bus’ approach could be the one to go for. (The complete absense of buses and dogs in my life is a downer for the credibility of both I admit). Anyway it’s time to face the music and admit that although Chapter 1 is in the bag, chapters 2 and 3 lack substance 🙁
Someone once said about Douglas Adams that he was more in love with being a writer than actually writing. I can relate to this. If I ever mention trying to write a book (or part thereof) again PLEASE beat me with discarded copies of Mission Praise 3 until I see sense!

The things of Myth

The list of mythical things that you are unlikely ever to see includes the Loch Ness monster, Sasquatch and my half of the book on Tweenagers. I am however still very busy trying to write it. I was therefore delighted when a procrastinational peek at the newspaper this morning became, by accident, a piece of research. The Independent have flagged up a survey of under 10’s on the best and worst things in the world. Well worth a read!

The Best things in the world according to under 10’s

1. Being a Celebrity
2. Good Looks
3. Being Rich
4. Being Healthy
5. Pop Music
6. Families
7. Friends
8. Nice Food
9. Watching Films

and interestingly

10. Heaven/God

Christmas is all around me

cal snowman.jpg Finally starting to feel a bit Christmassy! The Children and I un-earthed our Christmas decorations and transformed the lounge at home, we also went to a ‘family Carol service’ at out church that involved so many different age groups from the church including an entire teenage percussion collective. Cool!
I’m a bit of an incurable romantic when it comes to Christmas though and I feel all out of sorts if the weather is (as it is) cold and wet, not frosty and crisp. In fact one of the most disconcerting experences I know* is walking out of Midnight Communion on Christmas eve and discovering that there is no snow on the ground (to me this breaks all sorts of laws of the universe). The bookies though are saying the odds of a White Christmas are the longest for 20 years!
Having declared the importance of Christmas being celebrated in a crisp temperature, there is a certain irony in the fact that the heating has broken down here at Church House today! I’ve dug out my hat from my cycling kit and borrowed a left-behind cardigan from a secretary who is not here today! F-e-eeee-l-ing Ch-r-i-stmasssss-y Brrrrrr though!
* For the record the other discorncerting experiences that spring to mind are:
Thinking (incorrectly) there’s still one more stairs step to go and your leg crumpling slightly as it hits the floor.
Coming out of the cinema and discovering that it’s still light.

The World of Youth Ministry again

In a packed programme today we’ll be asking searching questions like,
Are the gifts of youth ministry and Administration mutually exclusive?
Why can you never see the floor in Youth Workers cars because of all the resources, debris and McDonalds wrappers?
Why do Parents buy teachers presents but not buy them for youth workers?

But first a round-up of the news. Perspectives Journal is out, This is the summer 2006 edition (Perspectives does not exegete chronology literally) entitled “Hope from the Margins,” I recommend getting a copy and especially reading the pithy reveiw of Contemplative Youth Ministry 😉 January 2007 edition of Youthwork magazine is out (more accurate chronology altough I feel legalistically bound to not read it until next year) and if you don’t subscribe then you should skateboard down to the ‘Mustard Seed’ (for this is what 87% of Christian book shops are called) and pick up your copy!
Regular readers of Youthblog (Mrs Trellis of North Wales etc) will know about my attempts to buy a Camcorder. I have now purchased a funky little Sony Handycam that is very proud of the fact that is has a Carl Zeiss lens. I’m all set to get to grips with editting, YouTube etc BUT discovered yesterday that the reason that my laptop has started responding only in Geological time is that the hard disk is FULL, this may make using the video files more tricky!
Professional Development: Please send in your MATRIX forms, it’s only 3 months away. Oxford bods please sign up for the Network day on the 30th (well done Simo). Also I hope to see some of you at the Root 66 day in Oxford on January 8th.
(I have a list of all the training days run by the Statutory Youth sector in Oxfordshire if you are looking for some specific ‘issues’ training)
And finally: The remaining candidates for the much sought after “Father Christmas” position are tested on the simulator for their ability to handle stress for when the Reindeer pull off high G aerobatic manouvres
sled trainingweb.jpg

Advent splurging

Welcome to the round up of the useful, the useless, the stuff that amuses me and anything else that needs filing under ‘B’ for blog.
Roy flagged up the contest we had in 2004 to find THE tackiest Nativity scene IN THE WORLD and I hope that if you do find any advent timer.jpgofferings that should be named and shamed (then pushed off the mantlepiece) you’ll post them on your blog or send them to here. My ‘favourite’ so far is the nativity timer I found on the Twelve Days of Kitchmass
On the cooler side of Christmas though, check out Dave’s FREE Calender that you can download over at Cartoon Church. I’d also like to promote Buy nothing Christmas again and there resources for living counter to the commercialised consumptive orgy that Christmas is according to Advertisers!
If you are looking for a graphic that will fit with an Advent talk then I thought this photo by Ben bell was great, there’s a bigger/better copy on his site