toy chainsaw.jpg
There has been a mixture of delight and concern at my intended purchase of a shiny new Chainsaw to add to my shed construction kit.
Sadly however I have blown all the money on timber and concrete (leaving the toy one above as the only one in my price range) BUT I have now instead settled for this retro pre modern chainsaw, a one stroke fully manual version.
It’s fab …. but my family seem to be more concerned about this than my original plan.

10 Commandments re-visited

Recently visited a really sassy and fun youth group that was part of a church in Buckinghamshire. I noticed that the following week they were to be discussing the 10 commandments and also planned to come up with ’10’ from their perspective. I asked if they’d send me what they came up with, and they did ……
1) Don’t give into peer pressure
2) Take Risk’s – don’t not do things just because you fear them.
3) Be proud of being a Christian
4) Parents should financially support their children if they leave to have another family etc
5) Tell as many people about God, don’t hold back when they are ready to hear it.
6) Respect yourself
7) Live for the moment not in the past
8) You should socialise – don’t be a loner
9) Be honest if it would be good for them
10) Love God with all your heart, soul mind and strength.

I love the list they came up with and there is both wisdom and useful cultural insight here, enjoy! I also note that a number 11 crept in …….. not very theological, but quite practical
11) If you do something bad don’t get caught


the up alpha dog.jpgWatched a few films over my week off. Finally caught up with “Up” with was a perfect family film, managing to combine odd and surreal characters (especially the animals) and a GREAT story to produce a visually spectacular and touching film.
Also saw Michael Clayton which proved to be an intelligent and gripping thriller. Great performances by George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson.
My household though are looking forward to a couple of sequel offerings, Nanny McPhee and OF COURSE Toy Story 3.
I was amused by this Trilogy Meter and look forward to Toy Story 3 taking its place in the rankings shortly.
trilogy meter.jpg

And so your back

Apologies for the lack of Youth Adviser cover* during my week off and for the blog being bereft of either intelligent commentary or my usual scribblings. But I’m back and the ‘Bat desk’** is now manned (as I work through a zillion e-mails).
The week off was awesome and I spent a goodly amount of time landscaping the garden, I now have a nine square metre patch of level grass and a set of steps up to the ‘national shed museum!’ I also spent quality time in the Chainsaw shop but so far have failed to commit to exactly which make/bar-length/engine-size is required.
The pond I built last year was a marsh*** of activity as a variety of of local amphibia turned it into a churning batrachian love nest. I’m pleased to announce the safe arrival of much spawn.
In a kind of ‘most boring blog in the world’ stylee here’s a Show and Tell picture of the new improved section of garden above the decking. I decided a photo of the goings on in the pond were a bit too racy for this blog.
garden step phase 2.jpg
* To the Diocese I’m the 67th emergency service
** If you need me project an image of the Diocesan logo onto the clouds and I can shout, “Quick, to the Bat Estate-Car”
*** I know that the expression is normally ‘hive of activity’ but this somehow didn’t fit within the narrative

Be still and know that I am God

I was part of a great chat yesterday with a bunch of Youth Ministers and Brother Paolo of Taize. We were talking about sustaining our calling and spiritual life and musing thereon.
I was thinking about this again today when some scribblings unexpectedly emerged from the lower mesozoic strata layers of my ‘In’ tray. It was a series of questions we’d arrive at on the Depth Retreat as a kind of sustaining ministry personal Offsted questionnaire
They are:

  • Where have I built in rhythm and ritual to my life?
  • Where am I falling into the trap of doing things that are more about justifying myself/my role?
  • Where am I embracing silence?
  • Where am I ending up adding to an unhealthiness of life?
  • Do I know when I’m next spending time with the friendships and relationship that sustain me?
  • Where is the time where I can question?
  • Where do I rest?

wool view.jpg
It wasn’t a complete of comprehensive piece of work but it was interesting. Feel free to add or subtract from the list.

No time like the pleasant

It’s been quite a year with my dads illness, death and funeral, co-running the department on top of my ‘normal job,’ doing my ‘normal’ job and the additional demands of promoting the Youth Evangelism Fund. Even with the frequent drives to and from Birmingham I am very much in credit with leave and TOIL (and quite tired) so, *drum roll* ….. I am taking a week off. Following on from a Youth group tonight I am moving into a time of being on leave for a week. Yay!
garden update.jpgI’m looking forward to doing quite a lot of not driving, some gardening and some cycling. On the Garden front I plan to fill and turf the next section of terrace I have made (on the left) and use the remaining railway sleepers to build some steps down from the gate. I also plan to spend time dissuading the Pigeons from eating the grass seed on the steep slope (even the wire netting there isn’t reducing their intake at the moment).
Excitingly too I have both the permission and the wherewithall to purchase a Chain Saw, oh yes!*
* Eek, I should add that the chainsaw purchase and tackling the pigeon problem are entirely unrelated.

Women in Youth Ministry

reques.jpgAmy Jacober and Leonard Kageler are doing some research in preparation for a paper on women in youth ministry. The following is their summary of the request ….
“The survey covers a wide range of topics. As you will see, we have focused some questions on issues relating to youth ministry and feminist ideologies and how these have intersected in your experience as a youth worker.
We know your time is valuable. We ask you to invest some of that precious time here. It will take about 10 minutes if you just answer the “click on the appropriate choice” questions. If you want to say more, however (and we hope you will) there is ample opportunity in the survey to narrate to your heart’s content.
We hope you’ll find the questions themselves interesting. Some questions may make you mad. If the later is the case, we want to hear about it.
If you want to see the research paper that will come out of this survey, you can indicate as such at the survey’s end”

Interested? Then click HERE