Monday, December 31, 2007

Highlights of 2007 - Events and People

Happy New Year Everyone!

I now present to you my favourite moments of 2007. If you find yourself in one of the many photos and videos, thanks for making the memories so great! And I hope we get to share similar moments in 2008!!

((...and my football highlight of 2007? - there could only be one choice!))

HAVE A SUPER COOL 2008!





Saturday, December 29, 2007

Blogging Highlights of 2007

It's time again to review my blogging year. I always love trawling back through the archives of 'Walk On', looking for the blogging moments that make me smile the most.

My blog posts normally take one of two forms. Today I bring together my favourite posts that tried to express thoughts going round in my head - probably formed whilst I'm half-asleep!

And then after that I'll collate the real highlights of 2007: the people and events. But for now grab yourself a coffee and get your grey matter whirring! Enjoy:




Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Delirious? Xmas Gig Highlights

video

An assortment of clips from my view at Shepherds Bush last night. Watch out for the new material in amongst the old faves!

...And yes, cos it's xmas Delirious are in fancy dress on stage. Can you spot the Pope and Batman??!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Delirious Challenge to the Kingdom of Comfort

I'm off to see Delirious tonight and I know I'm guaranteed to witness an incredible performance.
But I also know there's more in store tonight than just a performance. Having read the following interview with the band I'm most excited about hearing brand new material off the not-yet-released new album:

SG: What do we think about our culture and how much we've got, and how right is it that some people have to live on a rubbish dump in Cambodia? All that kind of stuff is in there, and I think we're wrestling with it, and I don't think we've got many answers, and so on a lot of these songs, we're putting the challenge out there for us as much as anyone else.

MS: I know for myself that I've never been so emotional singing them, lines like "I thought I believed, but I just turned away from these souls living in this hell today". They're different lyrics from singing "now is the time for us to shine"; you know, it's a different emotion, a different headspace, and I think that there's definitely been some tears shed over this record.

I'm excited to hear what music has emerged from an incredible attitude like that. If you've never heard any Delirious stuff go to their website, where you can now hear all their previous albums from the last 15 years! Quite a back catalogue!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Watch the Gutsy Actions of an Archbishop

I probably have a very prejudiced and stereotyped attitude towards vicars or even archbishops. Any perceptions of them being boring or soft were completely blown out the water last sunday: when I watched this clip happen live on the tele.
I now have so much respect for the guts of this man and I pray his actions catch attention and make an impact.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God/Boxes/Don't Put

Having made it into the prophetic books, my systematic plod through the Old Testament has entered the final straight. So far the journey has exclusively centred around one nation, Israel. The rest of the world will have to wait for Jesus and the dramatic events recorded in the New Testament.

Or so I thought. My eyebrows were raised when I read Jeremiah 35:18-19. Here it briefly describes another group of people, the Recabites, being accepted by God because of their good behaviour. It's a groundbreaking glimpse of the future - going against the current norm.

It's a reminder for me that even though I'm beginning to form a framework for understanding God and how he interacts with us, God does not become restricted by this framework. I shouldn't be surprised - but I probably will be - if God soon does something unexpected that breaks the mould I've put him in.





(Apology: Where I wrote 'mould' and 'framework' I should have put 'box'.)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Home for Christmas

Back Home!
As I woke up this morning, in my dream state I thought I was still in my uni room. So there was a bit of shock when someone entered my room. Oh no, I thought, not the cleaner again wanting to change the towels.
I looked up ... to find mum bringing a cup of tea!!
Yes it's nice to be home!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Varsity at Twickenham

Yesterday, the moment came for Cambridge to take on the 'old enemy' Oxford rugby style. I love visiting big famous stadiums. So witnessing a truly unique day at Twickenham was something else.

The day started with a cosy affair as a few thousand watched Oxford take victory in the Under 21 match featuring a couple of guys I know from Homerton. What an amazing - moment of a lifetime - feeling it must have been to actually play at Twickenham infront of your mates!!

And then 34,000 people turned up to watch the big one. The atmosphere grew and the banter between rival student fans got going. After trailing 16-8 in the second half, Cambridge powered back to take a 22-16 lead with just over 10 mins left. We were in for a nervous final 10, as Oxford pushed forward in search of the try and conversion that would see them victory. But Cambridge fought hard and held out. Great stuff to cap an enjoyable day.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Contemplating the Blank Space

Another couple of months have sped by and I now find myself having completed 7 out of 9 of my univerisity terms. And now things start to get serious. Not only are there major final exams on the horizon but following them there's a massive blank space full of what happens next questions.
How do I know what I want to do? There's so much to weigh up.
Where's the balance between a job that's too easy and a job that's too stressful?
What would suit my character?
How much money do I actually need to earn?
Where should I live?
Am I ready for a full-time job to take over all my time?
What people should I be around?

Which of these different aspects of life should I prioritise the most??

Monday, December 03, 2007

Is Santa Dangerous?

Christmas has been and gone in Cambridge Uni. Being in such a bizarre scenario makes it hard not to ask questions about the nature of the festive period. So here goes:

Why do we lie to the children of this country about a bearded man who visits every house in the night dropping off presents? It's a fun but also freeky idea.

What I'm concerned by is the time in every child's life where they discover Santa doesn't exist. It's all a con. The man who they've put so much hope and excitement into is a big fat lie. And most devastatingly (this is the biggy for me!) it's the adults closest to them, the ones they trust the most, that have been spinning the web of lies.

No wonder we're so sceptical as a nation; unable to believe in anything more than what we see or touch. Early experiences are so important to the formation of our personalities and just maybe...(?) having our trust and beliefs in Santa shattered, is enough to stop us putting our trust in anything or anyone else.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Homertones

video

Last night Homerton was treated to (what felt like) the biggest production this side of Broadway. It takes a lot to get me excited about variety shows, but this had me captivated from start to finish. Above is just one of the many massive highlights of the night - a moment of musical comic genius!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

God Is Not A Rapist

I was down the prayer room in Cam one night last week ... as you do. And I was telling God what he should do. I told him how I wanted my friends to experience his tranforming love. In a real way. Come on God, the prayer went. You can do anything. Do it now. Just force people to love you.

I CAN'T and I WON'T force love, came the 'reply'. It must be a choice.

But even though it breaks my heart to be ignored and rejected, I'll always be waiting for you ... with wide open arms ... cos the real thing is worth waiting for.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Elephants are not God

'I am the One who forgives all your sins,
for my sake,
I will not remember your sins.' (Isaiah 43:25)

I will not remember, eh? What a statement! So no matter how often I say to God, 'oops I did it again,' the big boss of the universe will dig deep into his memory bank ... and find no recolection of any past slip-ups.

Forgiven AND forgotten. It's dealt with. Love keeps no record of wrongs. End of. Kapow.

Now that's a fresh start. A proper releasing fresh start. And that enables me to smile today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mum's Graduation

video

A few weeks ago my mum graduated from her MA course. The big presentation moment was made even more special as it happened so soon after her operation. So well done Mum!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Possibly my greatest ever footballing moment

'Brilliant. 3-2 victory over Downing III(from two goals down).
Goals:Eduardo (rebound off Pete A's crossbar shot)
Pete C (in box volley)
Greg S(long distance acute angle winner in last 5 mins)'

Above is an extract from the captains match report of the newly formed Homerton 4th team's first ever victory!

And I can hear you demanding, 'Pete, tell me more about your crossbar shot,' ... so if you insist it'd be rude not to really: I picked the ball up outside the box. Took a touch out of the feet. The defence backed off. Swung my right foot like I swing a golf club and off the ball went. It hovered in the air for a while before dipping onto the crossbar. With the keeper left helpless on the ground, the ball fell to Ed a yard out to tap into the empty goal. 2-1. Back in the game. Cue loud roars of c'mon!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thinking Cap Time - How can you be loving and just?

'If any nation comes to fight you, it is not because I sent
them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.' (Isaiah 54:15)

The above text is included in a prophecy written before Jesus, about a time of paradise after him where unconditional love is experienced. It caught my eye cos I'm often puzzled by how much pain in the Old Testament is actually caused by God. Think Moses and the plagues. He seems to be in control so much that he even sends countries in to battle. This doesn't match-up with the promise above. Hmmm.

Yep, OK God is 100% just but in my head all this punishment seems a far cry from the 100% loving God I encounter in the New Testament and find promised in the verses above. There it says God won't cause harm. How does that fit together???

The verses in Isaiah seem to signify a shift. To be 100% love requires 100% justice. Whilst this nature of God never changes, the nature of how justice is satisfied does. It changes with Jesus on the cross, making the amazing promises of peace and forgiveness in Isaiah possible.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Anonymous poem left by cross

Them nails it was yeah it was
through your flesh and
well that whipping didn't help
they took delight it must
have been that
crown of thorns sharp painful
the final straw maybe or
the insults could have been that

ME?

Me no I would have run
hid lied I would have done
anything but face that

ME?

Me I don't understand

WHY?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Windo Wedding

My final wedding of the summer, and what a great way to cap it off. It was a deservedly superb big day for a DNA buddy I have much respect for.


Me and Tim love a good pun at Paul's expense and proudly amused ourselves all day after working out that the Windo is now 'Double-glazed.' hee hee. The best men were on our wavelength as well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tour of 24/7 Room

Calling all fans of Facebook and fans of prayer. It's 3:30am. Let's go and pray. Click here to join me on an exploration of the 24/7 prayer room open this week in my home village.
As you explore the room why not pause the video at any zones that catch your eye, stop and pray yourself.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mum

Mum's got an internet connection by her hospital bed, so Mum, this one's for you. Hello! You're now cleared of cancer!!! We're all very proud of you.

It was a few weeks ago now when Mum checked out a small growth in her tongue. I haven't blogged about it partly because it was so surreal. Everything seemed normal. It was only when we saw Mum soon after she'd been operated on, that the severity of the situation finally hit home for me. That time was a real mixture of emotions. Cos while Mum was at her weakest and most vulnerable came the incredible realisation that she was healed. The biggest joy came with the discovery that Mum can still speak well ... and soon get back to singing. And she is already back to her usual friendly self.

Can't wait til you get home Mum. Looking forward to watching LOST with you.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

24-7

On Sunday my home church will start to pray non-stop for a whole week. For the week we'll be uniting in prayer with about 18 other groups across 10 other countries, joining in with a movement that has been praying without ceasing now for 8 years. It's a challenge that will not work without corporate co-operation and yet the heart of it is individual intimacy with Jesus.
I have set myself the challenge of being there most nights because I want to pray for my mum who is currently having an operation. If any friends reading this fancy a last minute trip to a village in West Sussex next week, to join me in prayer, let me know.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is there Hope for Change?

Having driven through Croxteth just last Sunday, the recent tragic headlines have particularly saddened me. Politicians have reacted by highlighting deep rooted problems in societies across the UK. People are asking, is there hope for change?

Yesterday the Bishop of Liverpool is quoted as saying, '...people have got to come together in their community groups ... where people can voice together their determination that they will not tolerate this sort of behaviour. The tide of lawlessness can turn only when people come forward.'

In 2005 I got involved with Merseyfest which brought young people together to display hope through practical community action. As I manned a free bouncy castle, I was given a small small glimpse into the needs of the area and the difference that communities coming together could make. However two years on I find myself asking, 'Did one week in the summer really have a lasting impact?' It just feels like a drop in the ocean.

Confronted with that thought, Mother Teresa told a reporter, 'But the ocean is made of many drops.'

In 2008 people all over the UK are getting together for a massive initiative aptly named, 'HOPE 08.' It's going to be a year full of local projects to put a smile on the face of communities everywhere. The cry is, 'Do more. Do it together. Do it in word and action.'

Recent events have highlighted just how important it is to switch off our TVs and get involved. There is hope.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Questions of Life

Should I wear a different tie to this weekend's wedding?
I would have to buy one that isn't navy.
Hmm, what colour would suit me?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome to Anfield



Brilliant. What a day. 12 hours of driving were so worth it. Had a superb view of the mouthwatering Torres goal. Liverpool looked strong.

So nearly the result to match the occasion......but a certain referee had other ideas. So frustrating. Welcome to the world of the football fan. At least it gave us something to talk about on the long journey home!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bono - Hypocrite??

I've just got hold of a bargain autobiography of U2, and as it's been a while since Bono made a guest appearance on this blog, I thought I'd share a short extract from it. Bono is one of the few celebrities out there that I want to aspire to. It makes me laugh that so many accuse him of being a hypocrite, because in my mind it's his openness about his inabilities that makes him such a worthy role model. And in these words we are given privileged access to the core of what makes him tick:
Your nature is a very hard thing to change; it takes times. One of the extraordinary transferences that happens in your spiritual life is not that your character flaws go away but they start to work for you. A negative becomes a positive: you've a big mouth: you end up a singer ...
I have heard of people having life changing, miraculous turn-arounds, people set free from addiction after a single prayer...But it was not like that for me. For all that 'I was lost, I am found' it is probably more accurate to say, 'I was really lost, I'm a little less so at the moment.' And then a little less and a little less again. That to me is the spiritual life. The slow reworking and rebooting of a computer, reading the small print of the service manual. It has taken years, though, and it's not over yet.'

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If Carlsberg did posh weddings...

I've reached the age where friends have started getting married. While my first wedding of the summer took place in a barn, the second was in probably the poshest building I've ever been in. It was even owned by the National Trust.Despite the different practicalities the weddings had a lot in common, with the main thing being the stand out characteristics of those getting married. Amongst all the ones you'd expect the couples display so much peace, discipline and commitment. That just seems so alien from the kind of relationships that television has been telling me about for all these years.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

World News With A Difference

Somewhere in this classic Kenyan Safari pic is pal and soon to be uni corridor neighbour, Andrew Jackson:
Andy's currently spending a whopping 3 months helping with Education in Kenya, so I just thought I'd take this moment to say all the sentimental stuff like 'we still miss you mate' and all that!

On Sunday I heard of some experiences that friends from my home church have also just had in Kenya. My local community have been raising money to build a school in a village called Pokot, and a team went out recently to open the school officially.
Other aspects of the trip included painting a mural on the school that a child in England had designed and connecting up water tanks which will collect rain water. This will enable easier access to cleaner drinking water. A farmer from home also lead a packed seminar where he gave tips to improve farming production in the village.

I'm amazed by how these simple things will make such a lasting difference to the area. But on the teams return, the thing that struck me most is how much the peeps had brought back from the Kenyans. And I don't just mean the generous gifts! The team had been moved to discover a joy - rare to this country - inside people that struggle to find enough food to eat. On Sunday we saw a video of when the team first arrived, and the welcome they got was quite simply overwhelming - for over 2 miles the dusty tracks into the village were full of people dancing and singing!

wow. Now that is world news that puts a smile on your face!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The World Wide Web

As I sit at home in my comfy sofa tapping away at a keyboard, I'm amazed by how many of my friends are currently off round the world doing so many good things. These friends inspire me, and I hope to blog about what some of them have been up to over the next couple of days. In this post I want to offer some encouragement to those of you who are currently abroad, without your comfy home sofa.

All this reminds me of a meeting at City Life Church in Cambridge at the beginning of Summer. We had a time where we prayed for everyone travelling abroad this summer on some form of project. And there were more people receiving prayer than people praying!
Now that has to be a very different situation from just 10 years ago surely??? Has the internet had an impact on this, cos it obviously makes the world a smaller place? And the ultimate question to ask is what impact does this have Jesus' words of 'Go and make disciples of all nations...'?

Surely this is more possible now than at any other point in history. Now that's encouraging!

Friday, August 03, 2007

How to make a bloke emotional and in need of Mum.

I never thought I’d ever go to a game as big as Liverpool v. Chelsea. I’d just assumed it’d be too hard to get tickets. Pictured here are tickets from the last 2 reds games I got to: Bradford and West Ham 6 and 7 years ago! But as I phoned up the ticket office at the very time that tickets went on sale I knew I had as good a chance as anyone. After 20 minutes of dialling and redialling I got through to the queuing system. As my queuing position counted down from 96 I began to get very excited and nervous; I was on the brink of going to this massive match!
After 40 mins queuing, I actually made it through to a real person! I asked for 4 tickets and started to give them my details. And then the lady on the end of the phone went quiet. ‘Is that OK?’ I said. No answer. I was no where near completing the transaction yet. And then I heard the sound of the phone line getting disconnected!
Ahh! I started panting heavily in disbelief. No. No. No. No. No. This can’t be happening. I felt sick, no exaggeration.
I would have to wait at least another hour before I got to the front of the queue again and surely they’d be sold out by then. I gave up and began to tell myself that I’d been stupid to have dreamed of going to such a big game.
Half an hour later my Mum decided to give it one last go. Instead of phoning the ticket office she phoned customer services to complain that her devastated son had been cut off. She didn’t tell them her son was 21!
And they put her through to buy tickets! We’re going to Liverpool v. Chelsea!!!!! I’m so happy. All because Mum came to the rescue!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The One With Outrageous Blasphemy

Do you ever have that sensation were you look at something really, really familiar to you but this time you stop in your tracks and go, 'Wow.'?

I had that experience recently when looking at a passage that gets read out in churches every Christmas. It’s the one that goes, 'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'

Written in about 750BC, I've always known this is used as a prophecy about Jesus, but it didn't seem too spectacular. But the other day I realised this classic carol service text says something revolutionary. It says a child, yes a human child, will be called God! When this was written, it would have been outrageous blasphemy. Very few could have taken it seriously.
I’ve often wondered who first worked out the mind-bending concept that Jesus was 100% Human and 100% God? Well, I guess the origins go back to well before he was born in Bethlehem!

And finally, thought you’d also like to know there’s only 145 shopping days left til Christmas! Chuckle. See yers soon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Yet More Nostalgia From 04/05

It was too long for You Tube but Facebook can handle it! I'm talking about the review video me and Beth made to look back on our DNA 04/05 year in Herne Bay. If you know what I'm talking about, and you're my friend on the wonder of Facebook, you may want to take a spare 13 minutes in your day to find out what we got up to. Watch it by clicking here.

But be warned though, it can get a bit boring at times, despite our desperate attempts to be funny. And it contains some moments of honesty and some moments which make me big headed that I can no longer edit out. Oh well. Besides all that - ENJOY!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

MOMENTUM 07 - Trying to do it justice

I've been trying to work out how to sum up Momentum in a few words. I could tell you about the weather, I could tell you about the food, the friends, or the showers, or the coffees I drunk, or what I learnt, or the bands I saw, or how high I jumped.

But that wouldn't do it justice. What will really stay with me after my time in Shepton Mallett is witnessing, yet again, God at work. It's witnessing healings and forgiveness before my very eyes, that will really stick with me.

And even then I can't really explain it. I can't really explain what happens to people when they let go of pains that they've buried inside for years. But it does remind me once again of the how God's healing transformations have impacted me. And a few years on from those massively releasing experiences, it reminds me of how utterly convinced I am in God's ability to totally change lives for good.

They're the kind of - there is more than this material world - experiences that a character in Heroes might have.
There we go - I've slipped in a topical TV reference in a desperate attempt to show I'm still down wid da kids!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's Summer Festival Time - UK Style

I'm off to Momentum for a few days and if the weather reports are to be trusted, it looks like I'm going to need my wellies!

In recognition of the 5 eagerly anticipated days ahead of me, I've got a Soul Survivor CD recommendation for you:
If you're the kind of person that has two or three 'Christian' CDs tucked away in your music collection then I reckon the new one from Tim Hughes should be allowed to muscle its way in there. I know you might need further convincing but I promise you it's a top notch listen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Gospel According to Travis

The new album from Travis hasn't made much of an impact on the album charts but as a fan of their previous stuff I thought it'd be worth a try. Travis' previous album had, for me, been disappointingly anger filled for the normally optimistic group, but when I read about what the band had been through before making that record, it was a more than understandable outpouring of pain. This time around I'm pleased to report Travis seem to have found a renewed hope out of their pain. One album track puts it like this:
'One night. Can change everything in your life.
One night. Can make everything alright.
One night. Can turn all your colours to white.
One night. It's easier said than done.'

Or is this not renewed hope? The last line here made me stop and think. Have Travis just undermined what they've just stated? Do they now actually think the above 3 lines are just empty promises; unattainable cravings??

But as I thought about it I realised that the very core of what I believe about the Boss of the Universe - the one we've tagged 'God' - is that He promises to 'change everything in your life' and, are you ready for this ... it is 'easier said than done.'
That's because, I believe, you no longer have to do a long list of actions correctly before the transforming promise becomes a reality.
Instead, your Creator, simply longs to hear you utter some meaningful heartfelt words, that go something like, 'THANK YOU. SORRY. PLEASE.'

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer Blast 2007 - The Highlights

Freedom was the key to this years Summer Blast in North Cambridge after the masterstroke decision was made to scrap all previous timetables and organised activities.
Which freed us up for what ever we felt inspired to do on each day. Some went to visit people, others offered to tidy gardens, others played music and the rest handed out free food.
Gone this year was the massive marquet which meant stressful stewarding was off the agenda! But some great minds had the hilarious idea of bringing back a (slightly smaller) tent for one last time. The young guys were then challenged to get past mock stewards and break into it...as they loved to do in previous years!
From the same brains that brought us the mini tent game then came the absolute highlight of the week. Having purchased a caravan for £50 the young peeps were then given the chance of a life time to go spray painting crazy! They loved it ... The caravan has since been destroyed into a small cube of metal.
And when the fun was over we still found ways to entertain ourselves!
Oh, and during the week it rained a lot! Didn't spoil a great week though. Mike is reppin. Arbury Soldier. YEAH!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer Blast 07 - Kings Hedges Got Talent!

Whilst the weekdays carried much excitement and stories to tell, my role for the Summer Blast 2007 was to help sort out the weekend activities. On the Sunday we put on a big free fun day, and it felt so rewarding to see the weeks work come together successfully. The fun included an ice cream van, candy floss, bouncy castles, cheesy costumes, bbq, and the variety show, 'Kings Hedges Got Talent.'
And here's a few pics from the day that would have even made Simon Cowell happy: