Friday, December 30, 2005

Farmyard News

Did some work at a derilict farm this morning. I was just adding my pair of hands to several others who have been working for a long time now to turn the old farm into a home for young people with disabilities. Today, it was pouring with rain so we hid inside and helped scrape down the walls. The place is a complete dump but they've finished a couple of rooms already and they look great. By complete coincedence, today the project hit the front page of the County Times. So, cos I forgot to take my new camera, here's the online report as evidence.

Watched Collateral last night, which gets my thumbs up. For the anonomous person who wanted more pressie pics I'm happy to oblige. Any other requests? Hmm, that's dangerous.

Finally, I'm 99.5% sure to be travelling to the Bay for New Years tomorrow - weather permitting of course.

May you have a good new years to welcome in the wonder of 2006.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Mission Bell - Fragile, Handle With Care

I've finally had the chance to savour the latest album from one of my fave bands, Delirious?. And I have to say I was quite concerned after a couple of listens that 'The Mission Bell' really was a non-event. Nothing stood out. I'd also heard many others offer rather negative views.

But I didn't give up on it, and a couple of weeks on I think I've discovered a thing of beauty. The album really needs time and space before it begins to shine. It's gentle and tender. I would label it - 'Fragile, Handle With Care.' The album does not make great background music because it just vanishes. But when given your full attention, preferably through headphones, it gradually stands up tall holding it's head held high.

I do still reckon the album lacks a couple of big guns, and it is not their best. But my advice would be to give it time to mature and I reckon you'll reap the rewards.

Lyrics always play a big part in any album for me, and The Mission Bell has many real and honest moments. Here's an example from what's probably my favourite track, 'All This Time'.
I’m a father and a son; I’ve been a lover with just one,
But this world can get me all undone,And I’m frightened I’m the only one.
I wrestle with the thoughts I keep,
If I sow the seed of arrogance then it’s loneliness I’ll reap,
Please don’t leave me stranded here,
With a head of lies and a heart of fear.
My life’s a show on Gods TV,
The world an audience, watching me.

So wake me, shake me, keep me sharp,
As I touch the power of Gods great harp.
And this world can fill your head with praise,
That steals me from eternal grace.
So how can I serve God and wealth?
I can captivate an army, but I can’t control myself.

Ghostly figure out at sea, I hear a voice that’s calling me,
To walk upon the waves of faith.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

LIVE 8 - More than songs in a park

For the last couple of nights I've been watching the BBC's review of Live 8. As I've watched I've felt great frustration and joy, and I've realised just how much that week in July meant to me. So if you don't mind I'm going to try and offload some of my thoughts in the next few minutes. Please bare with me.

2005 on a world level has been an incredibly eventful year, with a lot of incredibly painful catastrophes. It started with the Tsunami, then there have been hurricanes, earthquakes, famine, bombings and much more. And yet throughout this year there has been a continuing heartbeat for justice and good lead by the Make Poverty History campaign. And then for one day in July the world united to get the message home. Tony Blair said it himself that the best response to the London bombings was sealing the deals for Africa at the G8 summit.

The summer’s promises kept could mean:
290 million people freed from debt slavery
malaria deaths halved - that's over half a million people each year
9 million people who need them with AIDS treatment drugs by 2010
12 million orphans with proper support
every child with access to free primary education
Africa with $25 billion more aid every year


How can we be sure that a rock concert influenced these promises? I don't know. But why do we always need proof for everything? This isn't a Maths equation! Only in England did the Live8 organisers experience so much hassle from petty arguements. When the purpose for the concert was so important who really cares who's playing, or whether there was swearing in the afternoon, or whether they overran and people couldn't get the train home, or whether the BBC wishes to remain impartial? Surely, we only worry about this in England! Don't we??

A comment about Bob Geldof stands out for me from the programmes. It said that in every little petty argument and conversation Bob never lost sight of the big picture of why they were doing it. He was so stubborn and uncompromising in the face of the English saying, 'But what about damage to the grass?' He would not let it bring him down because the cause meant SO much to him. That for me, makes him an inspiration. If we don't dream big, very little will happen.
When the next generation looks back at Live8 in History textbooks they won't read about the squabbles and the scepticism, but they will being reading about whether the promises to change lives were kept.

For me, God was right at the heart of Live8 and the Make Poverty History campaign, whether the people involved knew it or not. Why? Because God is justice. How else do people organise 10 concerts around the world in less than 10 weeks without some divine intervention? In Russia the politicians asked whether Live8 wanted them to put some pressure on bands to get them to play! The bands were supposed to be putting pressure on the politicians.

Do songs in a park really make a difference? Not without the movement for action before and after the event. But in 2005 Live8 was just a part of a much larger thing that was happening. It was the part that caught the world's attention. 'Away with your hymns of praise! They are only noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry.'( Amos 5:23-24) Live8 HAD to be more than songs in the park and I think it was was.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Free as a Bird

I've been feeling like I'm trudging through treacle recently, to be honest with you. As you can probably tell from the blog, the exciting daily events have dried up and I keep reaching the end of a day feeling like, 'There goes another one.' I guess it's partly to do with missing Uni, but I think it's more to do with not knowing how to rest. I keep persuading myself that I need to rest but then I end up watching T.V or playing Championship Manager. After several hours of these I really do not feel rested.
So last night I did what most people do when they're generally feeling sorry for themselves and looked back through happy memories. And I was struck by the following pictures.


















These people do not look like they're trudging through treacle...they're as free as a bird. You can see it in the faces. What happy memories.

So today I'm making a fresh start again in an attempt to not completely waste the next few weeks. And I start by putting some healthy disciplines in place. So I got up at half 7 this morning and I've been for a short jog. I've cleared a space from my desk and I'm going to do some reading. Oh, and I've put the Championship Manager CD firmly out of reach for a while.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Aslan is on the move

I went to see the fantastic Narnia movie last night. It's quite simply brilliantly made and there really is something for everyone in there. There's the quaint English fairytale; there's the battlescenes; there's the comedy; there's the computer graphics; there's the scenary; ... and it might get kids reading?
But most of all there's a lot to learn from the film. And I think most of you know that I do like a film where you can draw out some parallels and learn a few things.
Well, Narnia has enough in there to keep church youth groups entertained for months.

Whilst I was listening to Radio 1 last week I heard the following report on Newsbeat. They were reporting from the premiere of the film and said, 'Narnia's not without it's controversy because it does have a religious side. Infact some see Aslan as representing Jesus.'
Before the film was made many were worried that a comercialised Narnia film might gloss over this important central message. Well, it certainly doesn't and for me it came through loud and clear. Aslan sacrifices himself in place of Edmond. Watching this almost moved me as much as when I watched the 'Passion of the Christ'.
Infact, I dare any adult to watch both films and not notice the similarities.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sob sob. Wahoo.

Watched 'The Passion of the Christ' yesterday with a group of R.E students. I always said I'd only ever watch that film once, cos I thought it might loose it's impact. But that was now the third time I'd seen it. And I have to say it's still as hard to watch as it was the first time.
Then yesterday night was Homerton's infamous xmas bop, so I was able to dance the night away. (I'll try and get hold of some pics for you.)
Every day this week some crazy prayer warriors have been getting together at midnight for a prayer walk round Homerton. Yesterday was a record attendance of 9. After the walk I was feeling so refreshed and full of energy that I decided to return to the bop for some more nodding of my head and moving of my arms and legs.
oh, the crazy life of a student, eh?
That decision did make my 9 o'clock lecture this morning quite hard. And in 5 minutes I'm off to my final lecture of the term. Only 3 days til I go home.
sob sob. wahoo.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A thought that could change the world


I seem to be being bombarded by this incredible concept of grace today. The talk this morning was about it, and then I've just been on Rich (from Herne Bay)'s blog and found the following link to an interview with Bono.

Is Bono, the lead singer and songwriter for the rock group U2, a Christian? He says he is and writes about Christianity in his lyrics. Yet many people question whether Bono is "really" a Christian, due to his notoriously bad language, liberal politics, and rock star antics (though he has been faithfully married for 23 years) .... (Click here to keep reading)

What follows is one of the best and simplest explanations of grace I've probably ever read. It's a thought that could change the world.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Cambridge Experience

Went to a Fusion training day today for leading small groups. It was held in King's college, which is a really, really old, impressive looking college right in the middle of town. Very popular with the tourists. Recently, I've found myself venturing into more and more of the colleges, and I guess that means I'm broadening my Cambridge experience. Popped into Gonville and Keis (not correct spelling) for lunch. That was right next to Kings. As Homerton is out of the centre on it's own, it was a weird experience to leave one college and 2 minutes later enter another one.
But I do like Homerton being away from the centre because
a) there are no tourists
b) greater sense of community within the college

It was a long but good day, which included an hours walking, so I'm very tired now. zzzzzz.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Love Actually


After cell last night where we spent some quality time in prayer, I trotted back to my corridor to find some friends watching Love Actually. Now I'm not a big fan of girly romantic comedies but Love Actually I can cope with. I love the way the film looks at how love is viewed in society from nearly every angle. Whilst sitting there I realised I was wearing my black 'love' t-shirt shown above, which I thought was really appropriate. And when the girl in the film has to give up her relationship to look after her mentally ill brother, a debate started about whether that was a happy or a sad end to that story line. I don't know about happy or sad, but it did give a little chance to talk about sacrificial love.
Someone once asked me why my t-shirt just doesn't have a heart on it. The love the t-shirt talks about is so much more than just a luvvy-duvvy heart.

Which brings us to this morning, and I'm sitting here typing this cos my lecturer is away today so I've got a completely blank day. We've now got a week left and only 4 hours of lectures left. Which is silly, but I'm not complaining. Just got to think of something productive to do today though ... or go back to bed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Warning - contains overthinking

I'm afraid the need for thinking continues today because I've just had a lecture on the Enlightenment. I guess that period of time can be summed up by 'overthinking.' It was kinda breaking from tradition and all past beliefs and starting from scratch with theories which we have evidence for. This has many lasting effects in our culture today, such as encouraging children to think for themselves and not just accept the old ways of doing things.
It was really interesting to look at the lecture from a point of view of believing in God, cos once the scientists had worked out all the rules for nature there was kinda no room for God anymore. But then humans just become like any other animal - just part of a system. But where do our own personal decisions fit in?
I guess I often have this problem of over thinking everything and sometimes I just have to accept that there are some things that I don't need to know. Even in Maths, we don't know what happens when you divide by zero.
Off to Sainsbury's now to give my brain a rest.

Breakthrough

Made a breakthrough on a Maths problem today which I've been stuck on for about a week. Went back to the beginning and started afresh, logically putting down everything I knew already. There's a moral in there somewhere.

Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is out soon. Isn't it funny how as a kid they're just fun stories and then as you get older the parallels and meanings are really obvious. I've just finished reading 'The Screwtape letters' by C.S.Lewis himself. (Yep, my first trip to Homerton libreary wasn't for a Maths book) It's a collection of letters written from the point of view of evil as they go about tempting humans. The truth is bent SO much! It's 60 or so years old now and yet as close to home today as it probably was when it was written. Not an easy read and I found I needed to take my time with it, or else I'd have got totally depressed. But I learnt a lot and would recommend it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A weekend of adventures

Fun weekend with serious worship and serious prayer. Inspiring stuff which reignited some passions which had been bubbling under the surface for a while.
It was great to travel up to Sheffield for the National Fusion weekend with the others from Cambridge. It was my first experience of answering the question, 'Where are you from?' and having to say, 'I'm from Cambridge.' What goes through people's heads when you say that? I think I really react against being considered posh. A basketballer from Manchester was fascinated by the poshness of many from Cambridge - So much so, that I tried to be cool and show off my basketball skills. I can't play basketball.
A proper adventure, with possibly the coldest night ever whilst sleeping on the floor. The radiators switched off half way through the night! The next night we changed to a church with underfloor heating. Yes!
Serious note to finish - a big theme of the weekend was justice and it reminded me of a recent blog entry (17th Nov) by Paul Windo. He looked at our attitudes to Make Poverty History now that all the hype has died down...and I agree that my personal excitement had been placed on the back burner, and my daily routines haven't really changed much. But the need for change hasn't gone away and I'd like to finish with a quote that was quoted during a talk from the weekend.
During live8 Andrew Marr made the following statement; 'People today want to be part of a moment rather than a movement.' (probably a paraphrase) Let's be excited by long term visions.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Expect the Unexpected

I'm learning to expect the unexpected at City Life Church. On a Sunday morning it's been SO different every week. Take this morning for example. For worship we had no words!! unbelievable. yep, we just had a band playing and strumming for about 15-20 minutes. Quite a studenty thing to do I hear you say? Well, then it was time for the talk. And infront of a room full of 95% 20somethings, up stepped a 78 year old man to talk about his passion for the Bible. Absolutely superb and inspiring! And, you just wouldn't have seen it coming.
In other news, I went to an absolutley awesome firsworks display last night. Apparently there were 25000 people there and it was mind blowing. It's also one of the few times the students and the town get together which is nice.
I've also just signed up for what feels like a school trip cos we're going up by coach and will be sleeping on floors. I'm going to Sheffield for the National Fusion weekend. Perhaps you should come too? Let me know if you are.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Making a difference

Phew, these weeks are flying by. It's Friday already and we're more than halfway through term!!
Went to cell last night and then out to pub. Cell was quality, honest and real. We got into some hard core prayer and afterwards I felt so fresh, and felt like a difference had been made. After pub I returned to my corridor to find a hard core 'debate' going on about the rights and wrongs of going to war. It made me sad really that they just went round and round in circles. But it also made me more excited about prayer and what a priveledge it is. And that we can actually pray for peace and believe that a difference has been made.
Fireworks display tonight at Homerton. Looking forward to that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The World According To Pythagorean Triples

Yep, I've been set the task to find 10 primitive Pythagorean triples. You remember, like 3,4,5 triangles. But 6,8,10 doesn't count cos it's the same as 3,4,5. Why don't you have a go yourself. Here's a couple to get you started 5,12,13 or 65,72,97. Prize of a pat on the back for whoever can find the biggest. It's something to contemplate with your mates down the pub during half time. Don't cheat by searching on google! ....don't!

Past - Went out to a bar last night and did a bit of moving my arms and legs (dancing).
Present - Got some washing in a tumble dryer.
Future -Will watch Liverpool v. Anderlecht tonight. Come on you Reds.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

I'VE DONE IT!!!
This one's for all the DNAers and Herne Bayers out there. I have completed God's Story, in under 13 months. I'm pretty happy with that.

Hmm, what shall I read now just before I go to bed? I'll have to wait for them to bring out the BibleII ........Joke.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Help needed with my homework

Exciting morning today. Had a whole 2 hours of work on prime numbers, which included a proof that there are an infinite amount of primes. Then had a hard worksheet on primes. Got stuck on one question so here's something for you to ponder (This is for you Dad) :

1. Prove that every integer of the form 4k+3 has a prime factor of that form.

Correct answers are very much appreciated!

Quite excited at the moment cos I've just copied someones copy of Switchfoot's new album to my computer. Am looking forward to turning it up loud later. Feeling a bit guilty though cos it had been on my xmas list, so I probably don't need it anymore. (Hope mum and dad haven't bought it yet!!!)

And in other Chrstn rock news, Delirious reached no. 56 in the charts on Sunday. Bit disappointing.
Hey, you can always rely on me to satisfy your Chrstn music and maths needs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Exercise

Been playing a lot of table tennis recently. In fact it's become a daily feature. I'm not sure if I can justify it as exercise but I do occasionally work up a sweat. I'm improving a bit but still a long way to go.

So basically, it's been a non-eventful day!!! Bye.

Monday, October 17, 2005

And then...

Went to City Life again yesterday and met up with Shaz from the Bay. Great to see another familiar friendly face.
Then I watched Homerton F.C. play Churchill, and then I went with a West Ham fan to watch West Ham v. Man. City. And then for the evening, I started watching the film called 'Pay it forward,' which looks really good so far.
And then I went to sleep. And then I woke up and went to a Maths class today on how to use Microsoft Excel. Fun, and I actually learnt quite a lot.
And then I went to a really good Psychology of Education lecture. Why was it good, I hear you ask? Firstly, an OHP was used, a summary was included and the lecturer spoke with more than one tone of voice. Also, the subject was about behaviour and character traits, and focussed especially on friendship groups in Primary schools. Which was really interesting as everyone could relate to it. I also found it rather amusing to think about how friendship groups had formed at Uni, since a random bunch of strangers started term 2 weeks ago.
And then I had lunch and then found this computer that I'm sitting at now.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

POOL TOURNAMENT

Played in the Cambridge Uni Freshers Pool tournament today. Phew, it was tense!! Eventually lost in the semi-finals and guess what, there were cash prizes for the runner up and winner. My overall record was 12 wins out of 17 frames. First time I've ever played pool properly so I learnt a lot, and I was pleased that I did as well as I did, but it was certainly frustrating to loose so near to end.
Back in Homerton now watching X-Factor (how embarrassing).

Friday, October 14, 2005

I'm a bit worried about myself...no.2

No lectures today which gave me a chance to have a good proper lie-in. (til 11). Did some Maths questions, then went into the city centre to look for some books, and that was pretty much the day gone. I had another, 'I'm a bit worried about myself' moment during my shopping trip today. When I couldn't find the Maths books I needed I treated myself to another one!!! It's about the history of zero. So, I'm looking forward to many enjoyable nights with a mug of tea and a book quite literally about nothing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Students Nightmare

Aahhh! First experience today of something I expect most students up and down the country go to bed having nightmares about. Today I had an hour long history of education lecture and the guy at the front just talked and talked in one tone of voice as he read from his notes. There we sat desperately scribbling down the odd phrase until we reached a long word which we couldn't spell - and that's if it was clear what was said. And then after 50 minutes the guy said, 'So that's just about a brief introduction.'
So I'm quite pleased now that my Maths class is more like a class and not a lecture - although I'm sure my note taking technique for lectures will improve. But it doesn't help that today I went from 2 hours of head scratching group theory straight into the 'try to stay awake' Education lecture.
On a lighter note i watched Finding Nemo and played Table Tennis last night. Will be watching England tonight.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Church - made of 98.5% students


Isn't Uni life so friendly!! Yesterday, 10 mins before the England game I didn't really have anyone to watch the match with. And yet 10 mins later I was heading down the pub with about 10 other people. How did Beckham get sent off??? Outrageous, but I've just noticed something even more outrageous - if you look at the picture above, what's Beckham got on round his wrist???


And then this morning I checked out City Life Church in Cambridge for the first time. Cambridge has a rediculously huge number of churches and it's hard to know where to start, but for me personally City Life stood out a mile due to it's DNA, Fusion and 24-7prayer affiliations. And after this morning my hunch that it was the right place for me seems confirmed. Today they were talking about God being our daddy and how he loves us so much as we are, even before we've done anything, which is simply a message which you need to hear over and over again.
I even quite unexpectedly bumped into a couple of people that I'd completely forgotten were in Cambridge. For the Herne Bayers out there, Colin was there and we had a little chat, even reminiscing life in the Bay. Isn't the Chrstn world so small!!
And then they gave all freshers a free lunch - definitely the right place for me then!

Friday, October 07, 2005

DNA memories

Just had a quick phonecall to Nick, who found out his DNA placement yesterday and travels today. Check out his blog now. After the phonecall I was so excited and had a beaming smile on my face. It also brought back memories from my travel day to Herne Bay - the fear of the unknown, being grateful for being picked up by Jo, discussing favourite bands, being shown a passport photo of Steve (heehee), Beth in the back probably wanted to know what my favourite colour was, then Beth fell asleep. Then we went to Wetherspoons in Herne Bay (ham and eggs), Beth took half an hour to choose dessert, then met Don (Mary was working) and we watched a golfing film. Then I went to bed. Phew. What a day! There were only another 300+ days like that throughout the year!!!!!! Happy days. And that's kinda what Nick's going through right now I spose, hence my beaming smile.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

First lectures today

I had the first lectures today and so now the work starts. Well, actually when I say lectures the one's today were more like school lessons cos my maths classes only have 13 people on them (10 of whom are girls btw). The first question of the day that appeared on the board was give 2 numbers which add up to 10. Nice gentle start I thought. But then of course, being Mathematicians we had to find how many possibilities there were, then find a formula and then find a proof. If you would like to do some further reading on this subject look up natural numbers, integers, rationals, and real numbers.
Hey, who said you don't learn anything by reading blogs. You do here.
Formal dinner tonight. Oh, yippee.

Monday, October 03, 2005

First Day

here I am. Homerton College. just catching a quick few minutes from a busy opening schedule which has got my brain frazzled and I keep dropping my piles of paperwork. AAH! Other than that though it's going well, with everyone being really friendly and the rooms are top notch!!! Still waiting to catch a spare 5 mins to sit in peace in my room though, without seeming unsociable. Oh well, back we go.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

SURPRISE

Fun night last night as my home church youth club threw a surprise party for Andy. Andy has been helping with the youth groups for over 20 years and is now stepping down. He was completely surprised!!! Good chance to say thanks as a youth group, but I was also able to personally thank him for the big role he played in my teenage years. Thankyou. As well as receiving the thanks, unfortunately for Andy he also found himself being decorated in flour during a cruel game. My competitive edge also came to the fore last night, as I was runner-up in the 2005 'Spoons' contest. Finally, it was a great to chance to see many friends before heading off for 9 weeks.
So here we are, my last blog entry before starting at Uni. The nerves seem to have all gone now and I think I'm pretty much prepared for going. Who knows what the next 9 weeks (and then the next 3 years) have in store??

Friday, September 30, 2005

As Murray Walker would say it's 'GO GO GO'


Hey. Just seen the pics from the Herne Bay masses trip to France. Good to see you all again even if it was in internet land. Looks like you all had a splendid time. This is my little 'wishing you well' message to all of you heading off on new adventures at the mo, esp. Nick, Katy and Jon. GO GO GO HERNE BAY LEGENDS!
Went with my Dad yesterday to visit Nanny and Grandad. Those of you who were with me around xmas time, know that that was a difficult time with Grandad seriously ill in hospital. Well, it was absolutely fantastic to see him yesterday looking so chirpy! He's got this super battery powered scooter thing which just looks like great fun. We went for a walk with him and were struggling to keep up!! Fantastic. GO GO GO Grandad!
2 days to go then and my packing levels have just moved into a higher gear. GO GO GO Me!

Monday, September 26, 2005

6 days to go

Less than a week now til I start my next big adventure. It's come round so quickly. So popped into Worthing today for some last minute student essentials, including a frying pan, paracetamol and a bow tie. (they were part of a special student selection pack!! ... no, not really) And I'm heading off with my Dad's 1971 Mathematical formula's book in one hand, my culturally relevant Maths text books in the other (with witty comments and cartoons), and my Coldplay posters lodged between my teeth, ready hit the world of Cambridge. 6 days to go.

p.s. my eBay items finish tonight. I'm so excited.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A fun day and an intersesting day

Isn't it funny how everything seems to fall on the same day?!! Yesterday I managed to fit in a round of golf, 2 hours of snooker and a night in the pub. Great to meet with so many people who I haven't seen for ages and find out what they're all up to. Infact, yesterday was a much needed day of socialising, cos after a week of mostly being by myself I've realised how used to having other people around I have become.
Today was actually quite an interesting and worthwhile time, although I'm sure you'll all have puzzled brows at that statement when I explain what I did. I went with my Mum to her Maths Education MA Course, which seeing as I'm starting Maths with Education next week it seemed appropriate that I'd join her. And we sat through 14 15-20 mins presentations on research in the maths classroom. It was a long day and my brain is frazzled now, but it's certainly given me food for thought. Highlight (as well as my Mum's project!) was a research project into the use of Sudokus in a maths lesson!! heehee.
Also, quite an interesting day of people watching but that's another story!!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Schoolboy Error

Hmm, not actually doing a lot at the moment. Did some reading yesterday about the positives and negatives of exams and other ways of monitoring pupils progress. Then started the DeVinci code. Then settled in for the standard night of football in front of the TV. There was a mixture of Milan, Barcelona and Doncaster to choose from and all was going well until I made the schoolboy error of turning off the TV with 5 minutes left of Doncaster's match. They were 1-0 down and I assumed it was all over.
Well, I woke up this morning to find that in those 5 minutes Doncaster had equalised and that they'd gone on to win on penalties causing a big cup upset. Oh, unpredictable football! That's why we love you.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Quite an epic

Phew, what a week! Quite overwhelming. The overall headline is that since 6am on Monday morning there has been someone praying in the 24/7 prayer room!! and we're still going on our unbroken relay. That's the main headliner grabber, but it's the numerous sub-plots which have hit me the most. Like the lady who'd never prayed for more than 10 minutes before, and found her hour fly by. God has done so much ... and then I think about the stories that we don't even know about!
Personally, the week has felt like a month - quite an epic! I really have been learning to spend time in quiet and stillness, without the need to always be doing something. I'm getting there. It's been a lot of effort and yet a real rest and recooperation period. I really have done nothing apart from sleep in the day, (a bit of TV) and pray at night. As the week has gone on, my focus has been turning more to starting Uni and I'm now in a better frame of mind for going. And practically, things seem to be falling into place with the churches in Cambridge and building a new support network - which isn't a coincedence!!
Core dear, there's so much exciting stuff that I could talk about but i've probably said enough. If you want to know more, why not give me a ring? The one thing you need to know is that it's been an awesome week and God has blown this beyond all my (already quite high) expectations. Oh yeah! Photos to come soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sleeping arrangements

Great night down at the prayer room last night. DNAer Mark came down from Bognor which was really great to meet up again after a whole 10 days apart. Then I had a fantastically pleasant surprise with Nai, Bethan, James, Jonny and Steven arriving at half 11 and staying til half 2. We had a good time of painting, singing, chatting and praying for each other. Then James joined me for the hard core sleep over. We were in the room til 5 though before someone took over, so there wasn't much sleeping over at all!! We nearly had an embarrassing moment this morning when we overslept, but thankfully awoke just before the daily toddler group arrived (who were using the room we were sleeping in)
So I had a 4 hour sleep in the daytime today, and I'm just preparing myself to go again tonight. C'mon!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hole in the wall

My quiet sedate village of Steyning hit the headlines today. At 4 in the morning, a cash machine in Steyning highstreet was hit by a JCB! As you can see, not much was left of it and I expect a lot of money was taken. It's been quite a talking point. My Mum even works at the school where the JCB was stolen from. Steyning made the headlines of South Today and here's a link to a BBC news website on all the comossion.
As I walked down the highstreet this evening I saw the following amusing sign on the door of HSBC - 'We will be closed til further notice due to unforeseen circumstances.'

Friday, September 09, 2005

Prayer, prayer and bike rides

Wallpaper lining, masking tape and my hands. Not the best combination. Actually, it was a fairly successful day setting up the prayer room, although I did have to laugh at my practical skills on occasions! We did manage to put up some wire on the ceiling which we will be hanging drapes from, but our attempt to put a gazebo up indoors didn't work cos the ceiling was too low. On the whole though we're nearly ready to go. COME ON!!
I'm well looking forward to Nick and Jon coming down on Monday night, and they are in the priviliged position of being able to get to both the Canterbury prayer room and Upper Beeding's. As the 2 somehow seem linked that is really cool!

Well as you can see the prayer week is really the only thing on my mind at the mo. Oh, Nick, Katy and Rachel deserve a mention for their 80 mile sponsored bike ride today and tomorrow. You go guys! Check out their blogs for all the news.

More rabbles of DNAers

Cricket's going well at the moment. Been preparing the prayer room today and will do more tomorrow.
Hmm, let's have some more photos from last week. I found these on Windo's blog so if you want 125 pics of us you can do the same.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Is cricket the new football?


Some time ago I wrote an entry with the same heading and I think it had a record number of comments on it.
I could go into my opinions on the formation and the manager but it just makes me unhappy. Let's just mention the words :

Belief and Passion

2 things are wonderful cricketers are displaying in abundance at the moment. Come on England. Bring home the Ashes!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

...but the story carries on

So lets look ahead then.
This week I am getting things ready for a week of 24-7 prayer at Upper Beeding Baptist Church (my home) from 11th-18th September. This was an idea which came to me back in November and got planned in January so it's really exciting that now the week is here. If you could pray for us that would be fantastic.
Some of you would also know that I was involved in trying to set up a prayer week in Herne Bay during April this year. Well, that never really got off the ground but since then the vision has been changed and the progress has just snowballed! I can confirm that there will be a week of prayer in a shop in Canterbury from 10th-17th September.
Having been out of the planning of that for a while now, the nearly identical dates just blow me away!!!!

And after that I have 2 weeks to get myself together and I'm off to Uni on October 2nd.

The end of a chapter ...

So there we are. I'm no longer a DNAer. You'll have to call me just 'Pete' from now on.
It's been a great last week, with a residential in Burton til Friday and then a camping weekend in the Peak District til Sunday. What fun!
Highlights of the residential included the posh meal, crazy dancing, DNA top trumps and just being with everyone. I'm going to miss so many people. The end still hasn't really sunk in - maybe i feel more like on a weeks holiday and I'll be going back soon. But really that is it. I'm really going to have to try hard to stay in touch with so many people.
Anyway, back to my travels. And the weekend was so much fun!! 13 of us pitched up our tents in Edale, and we kicked back and relaxed. It was great to spend time the DNAers in a relaxed setting where we didn't actually have to do anything!! The Saturday included a 6 hour 6 mile walk, which I completed with only mild grumblings, and then the highlight had to be the saturday night where we all packed into a 3 man tent for games of Uno and Mafia. Let's just say there was lots of relaxed silliness.
Fantastic way to end a life changing chapter. The chapter is now officially ended, but the story must carry on.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tears stream down your face...

'Tears stream down your face ...
... when you leave some good friends.'
Well that's what Chris Martin should have written

Bye Bye Herne Bay

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'd like to thank my Mum...

More pics of my lovely Herne Bay mates that I am going to miss so much. These were taken at my last church gathering (not ever!) Thanks so much for all the lovely comments yesterday and I will come back and visit. I suppose I should pubish my little impromptu speech so here goes:

Thanks to Jo for all her time and effort into setting up everything we've done this year. Also, thanks for knowing when to push me out of those comfort zones.

Thanks to Sam for being a good listener, and I've learnt so much from you.

Thanks to Don and Mary for letting me live in their house. Thanks to Mary especially for teaching me to cook and how to do my own washing.

And thanks to everyone who's helped me chill, with games on the Playstation or trips to the pub to watch football. You probably, don't realise how much that has meant to me. You're all absolute legends.

So I've got to make the most of my last full day in the Bay - I'd better say bye to the sea before I leave. And I say, bring on the DNAers for the next 5 days. We are going to have SO much fun!!




Saturday, August 27, 2005

Thankyou Jo and Steve





Thanks to Jo and Steve for the party last night, to say bye to me and Beth. Good fun was had by all.

Hope you all enjoyed the world premiere of our video, and I'll see you all for one final time on Sunday.

Sport Matters


Well, actually it doesn't (does it Sam?) But it is great fun. And I had some great fun yesterday watching neraly all of the cricket. Aren't England amazing!!?? Those Aussies are taking a hammering. Once again Flintoff deserves a special mention.

And then to cap the day of sport off the mighty Liverpool secured yet another European trophy. A Super Cup for a Super team. Did you know that Liverpool have now won more European trophies than any other team this century? Well, now you do; and don't forget it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

A video that 'Media Co-ordinator Windo' would be proud of

So, here we are - this time next week will be my last day as a DNAer. I can't quite believe it.

Spent yesterday with Beth making a video about what we've been up to in Herne Bay. It was a really good laugh to make, with every trick in the book being used for some much needed comedy values. Comedy moments include : pulling faces, bad camera work, sitting on a toilet, the public walking by and doing silly things, beth doing a handstand, an interview with a teddy bear and much much more.
The 13 minute video will probably get it's world premiere at an impromptu gathering tonight, so if you're coming you've got a lot to look forward to.
See you all later.
Pete

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My Final Week in the Bay

My final week in the Bay has started in cracking style. The last 2 days have been absolutely stuffed to the brim with social action. Check this out - PES with Ben, Snooker with Sam, pub with Jon, Nick, Ben, Beth, Chris and Chaz, cinema with Jon, Katy, Beth and Chaz and finally a meal out with Don and Mary. It's great that so much is happening so that I can make the most of my last week. But it's also making me realise just how many friends I'm going to miss. You're all quality. I've already had to say final goodbyes to Ben and Jon but I'm sure we'll meet again some sunny day.
As well as socialising, my mind is now well and truly focussed on 24-7 prayer, specifically 11th-18th September, Upper Beeding in West Sussex. I'm so excited by the week but there's quite a lot of practical things which I'm looking to get together in so little time. I've done myself a Phil Hulks style bullet point list, but at the moment it keeps getting longer than shorter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A picture says a thousand words

If you want a day by day run down of Re:Act then go and visit windo's blog, cos he somehow managed to update it from a tent. That's commitment for you. For now, I'm letting the pictures do the talking.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I Love Liverpool

Me and Beth had the long job yesterday of phoning around everyone going to MerseyFest with Re:act. They need to know that they had to take a plate, bowl, cutlery, cup, teatowel, torch and waterproofs. It's such a basic kitlist and got a bit frustrating at times with mobiles switched off and answerphones etc, but ironically I don't own any of those items in Herne Bay ... well maybe waterproofs.
Anyway, Re:act starts on Friday. I'll do my best to try and explain it although it's a bit of a mission. (heehee) On Friday we all go to Uttoxeter for a residential of training etc. Then on Monday we split into 2 and half the people go to the South West and the other half go to Liverpool to join in with MerseyFest. We'll be putting on family fun days. My role is to co-lead a small group of those on Re:act, aged 14+. That goes on til Sunday. Then an evaluation day, and I'm back in the Bay on Monday 22nd. So as I'll be camping there may be no blog til then. boohoo.
Oh, by the way I'm on the Mersey:Fest team. Oh yes. Come on Liverpool. I LOVE LIVERPOOL!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Back in the Bay ... for a few days

3 hours of train journey flew by as I started reading 'The Curious Incident....' It's a great book about a boy with Aspergus Syndrome. He's an absolute genious at Maths and I was left scratching my head at times. Good to get the grey matter working again, although it does hurt on occasions. There's so much stuff to write about from the book that it may deserve it's own blog entry soon ... maybe, I'll finish it first.
So my first activity back in the Bay was my last ever time at D:caff. Great, fun evening though with loads of really competitive games of table tennis. It's so much fun to play games which are really competitive and close, where you have to play oyur best just to stand a chance. I'm getting better and I find it really hard to let the young people win!!! So competitive.
Off to Re:act on Friday. Paul's explained it all so see the Windo's blog if the word 'Re:act' leaves you scratching your head.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Winning cricket, shopping and The Clack-Attack


Victory. Oh what a victory!

Went shopping in Brighton today with my Mum. It's great going shopping with my Mum cos I don't have to worry if something's too expensive! I probably spent more today than I had in the last few months put together. Purchases included a new pair of jeans, a pair of Reebok trainers (to encourage me to do exercise) and a couple of books - 'Curious incident of the dog in the nightime' and 'the DeVinci code.' Both books bought simply so that I don't have to have a second hand opinion.

Back to the Bay tomorrow. These weeks home just seem to fly by too quickly. Oh, and finally, fellow DNAer Tim Clack deserves a mention for making the first entry on his blog that he's had for over 3 months now. No longer does he have the most popular EMPTY blog. Tim, you are now worthy of a link.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The lull before the storm


Lazy day today with everything being planned for tomorrow. I'm going to attempt to fit in golf, snooker and a bbq at my house all in the same day. Good time management needed I feel.
So my lazy day left me with a great opportunity to sample the deligths of the second test. Oh and how it didn't disappoint! Highly enjoyable. A feast of 4s and 6s. yum yum. Was gonna bore you with a pic from the cricket but here's my cat instead. This is Becky saying, 'Stop watching the cricket and start showing me some attention.'

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

DREAM BIG

4 hours of travelling today left me with little to do but listen to Coldplay.
And the following lyrics jumped out at me and screamed one thing, 'DREAM BIG!!!!'.

'The streets you’re walking on a thousand houses long
Well, that’s where I belong and you belong with me
Ah, what good is it to live with nothing left to give
Forget but not forgive
Not loving all you see
Oh, the streets you’re walking on a thousand houses long
Well, that’s where I belong and you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea
You belong with me, not swallowed in the sea.'

Monday, August 01, 2005

Happy 19 1/2 Birthday!!

I had a very surreal experience yesterday. The wonderful Community Church of Herne Bay threw a surprise birthday party for me ... in July (... my birthday's in January. ) It was actually a surprise party for Beth, who's birthday was a week ago, but they said that they'd missed my birthday so it was for me as well. Talk about fairness and equality!!! Oh, and what a fun afternoon it was. Party food, pass the parcel, musical chairs, musical statues and the YMCA. Oh, yes.
So, thanks Mary for setting up one of my most surreal birthday partys yet. (Also one of the most surreal church meeting I've ever been to!) I think we should celebrate my half birthday every year now!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Family Portrait

Ahh, what a nice pic of my family, taken at xmas. I'm back home on Tuesday, so see you all soon, especially you bro.
Infact, my mind's kind of in 3 different places at the mo. Part of it's doing the business in Herne Bay, another bit is trying to get to grips with all the exciting things that are happening at home and the final part is looking ahead to University.
I sometimes forget where I am.

Crumbs today. Then the return of Beth to the Bay, followed by D:caff.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Morning Runner

For the first day off in weeks I persuaded myself to go for my morning run round the park. All was going well until I persuaded myself to go that little bit further than normal (about 3 minutes further). Bad move. I was so out of breath at the end that my eyes went all blurry, like it was really foggy. Is that normal???? It's taken me about half an hour to recover. Is that normal??

Plans for my day off - meet up for playstation action with Nick and then we'll see what happens.

My pal Sir. Windo has been searching through his video archives recently and he's found some amusing footage of me being stitched up. It's from Spree 2004 and I was filmed being followed by a walking tent. Here's a pic from the amusing clip.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What a plonker

I feel like a dippystick! a right plonker. It's been quite a bizarre day.
Everything started well. I got into the office just before 10am and settled into my pile of Re:Act admin. Worship songs blaring, and I was singing my little heart out, enjoying typing away at a computer. All was going swimmingly. Until at half 11 I made a fatal error which would change my whole day.
I decided to go and get a drink from downstairs. Shutting the office door behind me, I headed off down the stairs. Half way down, I had a terrible thought, 'What if the door has locked its self.' It was one of those dreadful sinking feelings of realisation. I stopped dead for atleast a minute trying to remember whether the door would be locked. Slowly I returned to the door to find my nightmare realised. I was locked out of the room, with the office keys and everything else in the room. All I had was my mobile.
Frantically, I started looking around for a spare key and then started phoning around. Jo was out and Marcus is in London. I was stuffed. I sat outside the office for a couple of hours with Tim Hughes singing away from inside the room on constant loop. Then I decided to try and get home but noone was in and I didnt have a key. At 2 o'clock Jo offered me shelter and a sandwich. I've just got home at half 4.
That's how to completely waste a day.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Tender

oh, poo, they lost the cricket. How did the last four batsmen all manage to get ducks!!?? How did 8 of the 11 score less than 10 runs!!?? How?

Not a lot of excitement happening today. I'm in the office in the morning and afternoon, doing the Re:Act admin (there's loads!) and some work on a 24-7 prayer week in September (watch this space for more info). So with very little to share with the world this morning, I thought I'd share some lyrics from one of my favourite songs of recent months. It's from Feeder's new album called 'Pushing the Senses,' and I love it.
This song is called 'Tender.' May the lyrics put a smile on your face throughout your day.

Ache, can't watch and break and shatter
Saved, new lives to make us better
I'm letting you know, cleansing my soul
Been letting you know, for days...

Turn over everything, time can heal us again
I'm tender in your arms
Reaching inside of me, bringing the love I need
The loneliness has gone.