Saturday, 29 August 2009

A summation of my feelings at the moment

Oh, my good Lord, I'm moving on Tuesday and starting work and going to be in a strange place and I don't know what to take and I don't know what I need and I don't want to go and I want to be comfortable and be with my friends and drink cider and take photographs and snuggle and love and cry and be Well Within My Comfort Zone, Thank You Very Much.

Urgh. God help me.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Moving on

I desperately want to move on from that post being the first thing I see when I open my blog. So, a few things:

I'm soon going to a barbecue to celebrate the birthday of a Mr. David Hallissy. He is such a delight, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing him, and other wonderful people from college. Today has been a downer, but I'm hoping that remembering my community, just a taste of where I belonged best will remind me of my hope of things yet to come.

Tomorrow morning I journey north with some of my best friends to witness the wedding ceremony of Dan and Jenn. It will be a couple of days of frolics and fun, lots of beautiful photographs, and another reminder of the good things that God has provided for us. I hope I come back refreshed.

And then, cue dramatic music, I start work next week. Exhilarating, exciting, apprehensive, and hopefully, trusting. It's thrilling, but also quite nerve-wracking to be a part of something so big and responsiblity-laden as the church. I'm glad God is bigger than any of my fears.

This is all, for now. Please keep me in your prayers. You are greatly appreciated.

A Public Apology

I have previously written some things, now deleted, about the summer camp that I am a part of that need to be rectified.

a) There was information about the children at the camp that probably have never been on such a public forum.

b) There was phrasing about incidents at camp that didn't reflect the true nature of what happened.

I had thought that I had skated over the issues enough for this not to be a problem. Turns out I didn't skate enough for a), and too much for b). I am genuinely sorry to those I have hurt by this. The last thing this blog is meant to do is cause divisions, nor misrepresent people. I feel stupid for doing so. Forgive me.


A quick edit later: I'm also equally sorry to those that have read anything I have written about camp, and come away with a bad impression. It's an astonishing place, where lives are changed and God is glorified. I've never meant to put the good name of the camp down, and I will defend it to the hilt. It's a place I love, and cherish, since going there as a camper - and receiving my call to theology and churchwork - and more recently being part of the leadership team. I cannot stress highly enough that I would never intend to besmirch the name of the children, the leaders, or the camp.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

On a completely jovial and unrelated note to... well, anything, I have been introduced to this fantastic website by the darling Miriam: please enjoy me.

Monday, 24 August 2009

One of the toughest questions

Something I have been toiling with over the last year and a bit is the subject of homosexuality, and how it works within the church. The common stance on homosexuality is taken by my friend Sam, here. The less common, but equally valid side is expounded here, written by an anonymous lady, but posted by my friend Phil.

I struggle. I agree with Sam to an extent, but am utterly ashamed of how he deals with the issue. But upon reading the heartfelt words of Phil's friend, I find it difficult to find a leg to stand on.

I want to love. That's what I want to do. And I think, I think, that if I'm to do that, I need to change my ideas. All I feel I can do is to pray and ask the good Lord above to love like he loves. I hope that if I love like Him, I will be closer to the right answer than to the wrong one.

I do hope that anything I have said hasn't opened any wounds, nor burnt any bridges. I know there are people that will read this who will be hurt by Sam's words, or offended by what was posted on Phil's blog. I pray that as a church communal, we praise God for each others' differences, and learn how to live with each other.

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Spending a week at Soul Survivor has made me dislike this song (for which I can't find the music, but here are the lyrics). The verses, as you will see, despite the first one being slightly pantheistic, are generally sound. However, the chorus trails off into ''re Beautiful'. Which, I cannot deny being true. There is no doubting the beautiful nature of God, Psalm 27 proclaims it. But aside from that one reference, I'm a little unsure of how much modern worship songs should be focusing on it.

Interestingly, Jesus' physical appearance is described as, well... average. He was nothing to look at. And while what has been done for us inspires us to all sorts of praise, I'm a little overwhelmed by the plethora of lovey-dovey, Jesus-is-my-girlfriend (to steal a phrase from an angry Scottish man) type songs. There's a time and a place for adoration, don't get me wrong - but we can't seriously be wondering why there are a lack of men in the church if we consistently churn out this bile.

Bekah and I have decided to take this song to town, and perhaps re-record it. If we can, it'll still contain the encouraging and uplifting lyrics. However, the chorus might be changed to acknowledge some of the different aspects of the Godhead, such as: ''re masculine.'

Here's hoping. Thoughts and opinions welcomed. I just might not agree with you.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Thursday Evening

The evening meeting was fun. The guy who did the talk was from New Zealand, and he gave a very heartfelt talk about how we should, as Christians, love everyone. It was largely based upon his experience with a junkie who he had taken in, and how one goes about loving the unloveable.

A few things he mentioned really struck home. In talking about loving, he touched upon the servant nature that should inhabit Christendom. Everyone wants to be a somebody, he said, but Jesus would much rather use a tentful of nobodies. I'd quite like to be a nobody if it lets Jesus become somebody to others.

Just as he was closing, he mentioned the oft-quoted defence of those who don't want to anything about the last, the lost, the least: 'Jesus said: the poor will always be amongst you.' He pointed out that because of our comfortable, rich, Western churches, the poor are often not with us. In fact, to say they are always with us is a complete untruth.

I pray that we do something about changing the state of play. But there's no point praying it if I don't do anything. So, if you and I are in the street together, and we see a homeless person, remind me to help them out.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Just taken advantage of this wonderful little toy, and I'm now aware who is reading my blog, and where from. As such, I feel obligated to blog, because I know have the awareness of people actually reading this little corner of the internet.


I'm in the finals for the Christian Blog Awards, which amuses me, for my lack of Christian output. But I'll take the compliment, and I shan't get my hopes up too much, so as not to be disappointed when I don't win. And I promise if I do win, I won't get above my station. Which is quite hard considering how low down the pecking order I am in the general state of things.


Secondly, an interesting phenomenon occurred: I regretted not going to the evening meeting, because of what I might have missed. If I was there, I would probably simply be analytical about the whole affair. But as I wasn't, it became the most interesting thing that I didn't do. Instead, Bekah (the greatest ever), Scott and I sat outside our tent discussing Soul Survivor/LST/pranks played over the last few years. Good to be community, how briefly, however negative, however cold. It was the greatest, yes it was! Tampon galore!!!*

*I would like the take the opportunity to mention that Bekah commandeered my computer ever so briefly to write the slightly bizarre comments above. I take no responsibility for any distress caused, I have merely left the information in for realistic purposes.

My view

For the whole week. It's fun. It really is.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Second Evening Meeting

Oh dear. A little hype, a little clapping, a little conga. A lesson in group manipulation.

That God works through? Yes, yes, definitely.

Forgive my cynicism, Lord.

Soul Survivor II

So, day two of Soul Survivor. I have experienced the first evening meeting (fun), first Toolshed experience (funner), and food bought for us by LST (funnest).

The meeting last night was good – thousands of people worshiping together in a big tent, experiencing a little bit of heaven. It’s easy to be cynical about Soul Survivor (me), and it’s just as easy to get caught up in the wave of emotion and excitement and, dare I say it, hype (everyone under 18). Somewhere in the middle there needs to be a balance of enjoying the experience of Soul Survivor, and acknowledging it’s bad points.

For instance – it’s fantastic that hundreds of kids make a commitment to follow Jesus. However, where do these kids go? It’s easy for Soul Survivor to provide someone to pray with them, but is the assumption that the youth groups automatically take on these kids that have ‘become Christians’?

Despite that, and a few other quibbles, there’s a genuine sense of worship here – this is church, just as camp was church, just as Scott and I sitting outside our tent wondering if the Temple cultus can be compared to somewhere like Soul Survivor, and asking if it would make a good PhD, is church.

God’s not limited by numbers, nor is he limited by me. And thankfully, nor is he limited by Soul Survivor

Monday, 17 August 2009

Soul Survivor

Arrived in Shepton Mallet, set up tent, weather is gorgeous, using free wifi in the Toolshed, the exhibition space. I'm fairly sure this week is going to be amazing, as Scott and I are going to have a wonderful time together, we're going to eating like kings, courtesy of LST, and generally enjoy ourselves.

I will toddle along to a few meetings, and hopefully blog any thoughts, feelings, or notions.

But first things first - how do I convince young people to go to Bible college? Hmm, hmm, hmm.

Answers on a postcard.

Friday, 14 August 2009


Unsurprisingly, I'm not going to write about being British in exhaustive detail, but something has become painfully obvious to me throughout this whole NHS debate: we don't like other countries demeaning our heritage. Be it our Royal family, the NHS, our government, our food, whatever, the moment another country feels it can poke holes in British institutions, our backs are up. We will defend the above to the hilt, especially if the criticism comes from across the Atlantic, or the Channel.

Why is this? It's because WE'RE the only ones that can criticise our institutions. If there's any good criticising of the Royal family, we'll do it, thank you very much. We're well aware of the excess and the unnecessary nature of them all. We've talked about it many times between ourselves, and have come to the conclusion... oh, we'll sort it out sometime in the future. But don't you be saying anything against the Queen, God bless 'er.

And the NHS. Well, if in the last 12 years of Labour government I have griping and moaning, it's over the NHS. It's a hobbyhorse that those who don't have any other problems can fall back on. But wait - American criticism?! The NHS is the best thing that's ever happened to this country! How dare you?!

Over the last 4 or 5 months we've seen our government take a huge battering from all sides, but I could nearly guarantee that if any Johnny Foreigner takes a dislike to H.R.H's Government, we'll merely point at every other country in the world, and their corrupt authority systems in defence of our quaintly misguided MPs. If you're going to do corruption, think on a scale of sleeping with models and making them MEPs, on a scale of having an election and not counting the results (and then blaming Britain?!), on a scale of quashing pro-democracy marches and arresting leaders who encourage freedom speech. Not on a scale of claiming for bath plugs, duck houses and moat cleaning.

See? The self-righteous among us would point to other countries and perhaps tell them to take the plank out of their own eye first. The more honest among us would just admit that British people don't take to criticism of British things very well.

So, we don't mind arguments over the viability or necessity of our British institutions, but... let's just keep it in-house.

Thursday, 13 August 2009


That is, persistance in letting myself and my good friends down. Last night, after publishing the post about community and church and belonging, I then got into an argument with a friend which culminated in me mocking him for no real reason but that I wanted the upperhand.

Yesterday, I slipped easily into humble, penitent, look-at-me-I-can-write-blogs-that-show-me-to-be-intelligent-yet-willing-to-learn-from-lesser-mortals mode, but when it came to a conversation, and not a one man show of self-importance, I collapsed.

So, to the friend affected - not that you'll ever read this for reasons expounded in our argument - and those who saw it; basically, to those I let down in failing to be that little bit of church, I apologise.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


We've just about recovered from camp. I don't know why I pluralised myself that, but I'll take it.

So, camp was tough. The first few days especially.

And yet, on the Tuesday of camp - incidently, the day my talks became good again, but that's another blog for another day - I talked about church. Quite a lot of the kids we had on camp were unchurched. They had little or no concept of church. Those kids and leaders that do have some idea have probably been let down or hurt by the church. The ideal, the thing that Jesus set out to do in instituting Peter has been somewhat distorted by us religious folk, and those that want to find Jesus sometimes find a church door in their way. Now, I'm not claiming I know the right way to do church - we're all endeavouring to find our own way closer to a God who loves us. But that night, I asked those people, gathered in that hall, if we could be church.

Because when I asked these 8-11 year olds the question 'What is church?' I fully expected answers of 'a building,' perhaps even 'a place where you worship God,' stretching even to 'the people in a church'. Those were not the answers I got. Fellowship. Community. Together. These kids, some with no experience of church whatsoever, have got church down far better than we who suppose to know the answer.

So I asked them if we could be church that week. To be that fellowship, that community, that 'together'. And we managed it. It's not to say it was easy. A lot of the incidents mentioned above happened after this talk. But to give these people, both kids and leaders, somewhere to be, to belong, to become, was a joy to behold.

And I think it's how we got through the week. Because church is what holds us together, in this inexplicable, rather infuriating, wonderful way.


This blog started out about camp, and ended up about church. Easily confused? I think so.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Largely unimpressed with Twitter right now, as it won't update for me. Which, seeing as that's it's sole purpose, it seems to be defeating itself into a self-perpetuating downwards spiral.

In other news, I'm back from camp, and my lower legs are extremely itchy. I suddenly seem to have developed a reaction to my own shower water. Which, as you can imagine, is problematic.