Accomodation plus stipend plus SHED!

shedsmallcrop.jpgLong term reader(s) of the blog may remember the rivetting (or at least nailing) account of the Youthblog shed and my 15 minutes of fame as the Google top authority on Creosote substitute*. Well you’ll imagine my delight then when I discover that a Youth work job in Oxford Diocese lists among the benefits, ‘3 bedroom town house with garden and shed!’
Dissapointingly though the job spec’ doesn’t show a picture of the shed, I hope though that during the interview process there’ll be chance to see it.
I’m delighted to see shed’s being listed as a perk and an inducement.
More importantly though, please circulate this job spec’ to as wide as audience as possible. Thank you 🙂
* I’m now only 12th on google for “Creosote Substitute”

Blah day in Oxford

CMS/Jonny baker have set up 3 of their ‘blah’ days with Brian walsh and Sylvia keesmaat next term.
View full image and details
Their book ‘Colossians remixed’ is probably the most remarkable commentary I have ever read! In it they explore how Colossians critiqued and subverted the prevailing Roman Empire, exploring what it has to say into our culture and presenting a call to culture subverting faith. In the book they use ‘Targums’ (a Jewish teaching approach where the text being read is not only translated into the language of the hearers but re-framed for the culture into which it is being spoken) which I think will be a really useful idea to explore as Youth Ministers and Preachers!
Here’s your chance to score some high grade theological professional development, knock four and a half times on this door and say Youthblog sent you
I’m going to the Oxford one (let me know if you are going, need a lift from the station etc)

Photographing some cool chicks

My youngest two children acquired a couple of Easter chicks each (the results of some neo-Eastery craft activity or other) and decided they had enormous play potential. They spent Saturday afternoon creating micro tableaus for the chicks to star in, then photographing them. I was muchly amused by the results, so by way of a blog post, here are three examples …….
It’s quite cool tnat the photo’s came out as well as they did as they were taken on a cheapy point n’ shoot digital. Oh and apologies if you arrived at this entry via a google search and these ‘cool chicks’ were not what you were looking for 🙂

Redeeming past experiences

One of the discoveries I love making is when you find that something you wasted a whole heap of time on in the past, suddenly and unexpectedly actually has a use now. The time previously wasted is partially redeemed by the surprising discovery that it was in fact, albeit unbeknown at the time … useful.
Sometimes this can be very close to the event e.g Newton having a lazy sit down under an apple tree and thus inventing gravity. Sometimes (and more usually) the distance between the time wasting and the redemptive discovery are huge. An example. Most of my time at Sixth form college was ‘wasted’ by avoiding the onerous task of working and instead spending all my time with people in chatting, listening, debating and talking. This had a somewhat detrimental effect on my academic achievements and could be perceived as a classic case of wasting time. However within a few years it turned out that all this time doing nothing but talking paved the way for my jobs in sales, training and youth work where communication is at the heart of what I needed to be able to do. Fab!
Anyway, how did I arrive at this muse you ask? Well, cycling through Oxford yesterday I was cutting through the backstreets and lanes which necessitated, every so often, riding directly across busy pedestrianised shopping streets from an alley on one side over to the road or alley on the other. Crossing these on a bike is a complex business as it involves looking for a small break in the two way perambulating flow, zipping into it then applying the brakes, balancing for a moment until the next break opens up. Sometimes some slight adjustment, peeling sideways in the direction of flow is a good idea to open up access to a more useful gap (while not being swept to far from the exit you are aiming for).
Anyway, while in this precarious game of tactics; balance, zoom and stop, I realised that all that time playing Frogger in the 80’s was no longer time wasted but was now redeemed into tactical cycling skills. Hurrah!
All I have to do know is find some redeeming use for the vast array of information about second world war aircraft gleaned (and have retained) during a particularly nerdy phase of my adolescence.

The Atheist Delusion

Thoroughly enjoyed this article, The atheist delusion in the Guardian at the weekend. John Gray unpicks some of the arguments unleashed by what he calls the “literature of proselytising atheism.” He also points the arguments against “religion” back at credal atheism and shows that it’s a case of throwing stones in glass houses. well worth a read IMHO
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Colin Chapman, the man who founded Lotus, had a great design mantra. His aim was to:
“Simplicate then add lightness”
This has been resonating with me for several days now, not as engineering advice but as a maxim for life and faith. Jesus (quoted in John 10) talks about ‘life to the full’ which to my mind involves a lightness of being and spirit (even in the midst of difficulty). However our culturally driven technological materialism seems to produce the opposite of lightness and of life to the full, more of a, complicate and become busy … with resulting heaviness.
As a minister I want to be living and modelling a counter cultural living faith and I’m liking the description of that model as ‘Simplicate then add lightness’

Space and Time

web woolhope.jpgI am currently away at Woolhope Cockshoot (the best residential centre IN THE WORLD*) and enjoying the stunning view whilst using the space (chronological and geographical) to some useful ends, namely:
1. Have some Space and time.
2. Prove that I can work from literally anywhere (and in fact, the middle of nowhere)
3. Meet with a Structural Engineer to see if we can stop the building next to Woolhope dramatically demonstrating the theory of gravity.
4. Actually getting some work done towards my M.A
5. Do some much needed cleaning of the centre

Although that list looks kind of busy it’s fine as I started the process last night and I have a whole heap of time which I’m loving. Shalom
* No really, it is!