Body Image and Photoshop

A piece in the Daily Mail that includes some really interesting ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures showing that magazine photo complexions and bodies are often not just unattainable but also untrue!
selfimage photoshop edit vs reality.jpg
I thought it could be useful for a discussion session, so here it is
(The article in the Independent has a useful look at what has actually been done to the photos)

Youthworkers and Mission

StreetSpace with Frontier Youth Trust and Church Urban Fund, are seeking ways to help local churches respond to the growing marginalisation of the most deprived young people in the country. In the light of growing youth unemployment and civil unrest over the summer, many churches would like to do more to support young people in their community. Partnering with YOUTHWORK they are gathering evidence from church-based youth workers, with a view to helping churches develop a cost effective and manageable youth work response.
The short, 10 question survey, can be found online here

Is nothing sacred?

is nothing sacred.jpg
Chuckling at the above headline from an article in the Daily Mail.
The cause of such outrage is that the ‘Littlewoods’ TV advert runs dangerously close to suggesting that it is in fact mum and not Santa Claus who buys, wraps and delivers the presents at Christmas.
Ergo: Christmas does have an important sacred centre but it is in fact the commercialized Father Christmas figure that is the numinous heart of this celebration.
kneeling prayerforsanta.jpg

CYM Oxford evenings

CYM Oxford are running monthly evenings for those who minister to children and/or teenagers. It’s a great chance for volunteers to eat together, worship and engage with some learning and support. I think the idea is first rate!
The next one is next week on the 1st December, I commend the idea to you
“Refresh Review Receive” … a programme to support and enable volunteer ministry can be found here

The Ice inside your soul

When I was a teenager I had a great, I mean truly great, collection of heartbreak records, tunes that oozed the pain of unrequited love and delivered the feel bad factor.

“If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then it’s easier to have those songs around
The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
and it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues”

I invested a goodly chunk of my adolescence on sitting on my bedroom window-sill staring out at the grey sky above the poplar trees, whilst the record player dished out pathos at 45 rpm. The adolescent tortured romantic soul exemplified. Happy days! (no really)
I think this melancholic nostalgia was triggered by just hearing the song ‘Jar of Hearts’ which is a fine fine newer contribution to the heartbreak genre. Just got me musing idly on the intensity of life, feeling and longing as a teenager. I forget who said that ‘adolescence was the human condition on steroids’ … but it’s a really great descriptor of the intensity and heightened sense of being alive; the highs and lows.
Another bi-product of this muse though is that tonights’ play list will be full of the angst ridden likes of:
Waren Zevon: Reconsider Me
Andy Kim: Rock me Gently
Richard Thompson: Waltzing for Dreamers
Culture Club: Do you really want to hurt me
Tears for Fears: Mad World
Other suggestions welcome!
“Songs are never quite the answer just the soundtrack to a life” Badly drawn Boy