Monday, April 30, 2007

Forget Rowing - Cambridge thump Oxford in the big one!

It was a commanding 52-38 victory to Cambridge in the Varsity pool match over the weekend. Cambridge lead from the start and gradually pulled further away. Strength in depth was the key difference between the 2 opposing 12-man sides.
I was chuffed to come away with winning 8 frames out of 9 and get awarded man-of-the-match! A Varsity debut beyond my wildest expectations.

... Well, what's the point of having a blog if I can't blow my own trumpet every once in a while!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The New Exercise Book Prayer


Last night I asked for a new exercise book.

Recently God has once again been gradually slipping down my list of priorities and the realisation of this reached a head last night at a 24-7prayer launch night. Even the prospect of a University wide prayer week was only registering 'alright I spose I'd better go' on my excitement radar. I sat there going, 'God why are you ignoring me?' and the 'reply' was, 'I'm not. You're just not listening.'

So I prayed for a fresh start. Someone once described this to me as the new exercise book prayer. You know, how when you got a new exercise book at school and the first page you wrote was always incredibly neat. You put so much effort into it. But gradually everything gets rushed, the writing slips off the lines, the letters don't join up and it just looks like a mess.

Thankfully my God doesn't work to a budget. Amazingly my God has an infinite supply of new exercise books in his cupboard. And he loves handing them out.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

EASTER 07 - Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

OVERWHELMING JOY. CELEBRATION. VICTORY. NEW LIFE. LIFE AFTER DEATH.

2 days ago Jesus was killed. Now he's alive!

Christian's believe that this is the most meaningful event of all time. It's an event which makes possible the promise that one day, 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.'.

2 days ago hope had been destroyed. Nietzsche had been justified in his horrific claim. But not any more. Today, hope has been restored and renewed like never before!

The event is mindblowing. It's beyond superlatives. It's beyond comprehension. And yet some of it's aspects are so ordinary. For example, Jesus is initially mistaken for a gardener. He shows his friends his wounds before sitting down for a meal with them. And then later he has a question for one of them......

HOLD UP! Let's pause here cos this seems like a great place to bring our exploration of Easter to a close. After all Jesus has been through, after all he's achieved, there's still one question left which needs to be answered......

......Jesus wants to ask, 'Do you love me?'

Saturday, April 07, 2007

EASTER 07 - The Mourning After

As the dust settled on the tragic events of the day before, the friends of Jesus would have started to mourn. But as tears fell and grief took over, they would also have been asking some deeply profound questions.

Wasn't this supposed to be the long-awaited Messiah? The Rescuer? The one that would overthrow the Romans from their land? This wasn't much of a warrior. Why had he just let it happen? Why hadn't Jesus fought back? If this guy knew God as well as he claimed why hadn't God intervened?

Was Jesus just a wannabe like the cons of the past? Had they all been tricked by some cheap joke? Had they just been taken for a ride for the last few years? And now their safety was in jeopardy because of him.

But what about the miracles they'd witnessed with their own eyes? Surely they meant something? Maybe he was just a prophet who got a bit carried away? A bit deluded perhaps? But not even prophets deserved this injustice. This was our friend who we enjoyed hanging out with. He's been taken from us, despite being innocent. WHY?

...

There are more unanswered questions here than in an episode of LOST. But unlike in LOST, our next episode will provide answers to all these questions. In fact all these profound questions were soon to pale into insignificance.

Friday, April 06, 2007

EASTER 07 - 'God is Dead!'

'Do we hear the noise of grave-diggers who are burying God?
Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? - for even Gods putrefy!
God is dead!
God remains dead!
And we have killed him!
How shall we console ourselves,
the most murderous of all murderers? ...
Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us?
Shall we not ourselves have to become gods,
merely to seem worthy of it?'


I'm pretty sure Philosopher Nietzsche didn't have Good Friday in mind when he wrote these 19th century social observations. But for me, these haunting, depressive words sum up the brutal events that we remember today.



I desperately wanted to use the benefit of hindsight and finish this sad post with an optimistic 'TO BE CONTINUED...'
But then I thought back to the friends of Jesus as they witnessed his death. Their hopes had been destroyed. For them, this was the furthest thing possible from a good Friday!
In their minds there was no 'TO BE CONTINUED.'

Thursday, April 05, 2007

EASTER 07 - The Prayer of Death Row

'TAKE THIS CUP FROM ME.'

The severity of these words has only just hit me.

This is not a whimsy, 'maybe please, if it's not too much bother...' suggestion. This is a serious order. This is the prayer that any man facing the death penalty would think of uttering. Yet Jesus knows 100% that his plea is actually possible!

This is the desperate emotional cry that even makes Jesus sweat blood. Please let there be another way!



...But then come the bravest 9 words of all time. It's these words which singles out the prayer of Jesus from the others on death row. It's these words which would change the course of history.

'YET, NOT WHAT I WILL, BUT WHAT YOU WILL.'

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Rare Book Review

It's time for a rare treat for fans of 'Walk On.' It's time for a book review. I'd like to recommend to you 'God on mute' by Pete Greig, which describes itself as 'engaging the silence of unanswered prayer'. It's not out quite yet in the UK but I cheekily grabbed myself a US copy (where mum is spelt 'mom' and cricket has to be explained) for research purposes.





'God on mute' is such a refreshing book tackling issues which people normally like to push under the carpet, yet everyone has to confront to some extent. It is written with a great mixture of brutally honest emotional experiences alongside a rich deep theology. (Emotion and thinking - what a combination)

Most books about God should increase your understanding of God. Well, the biggest compliment and thanks I can give this book is that I think my understanding of God hasn't just increased, but matured.
Now I hope that this understanding doesn't just stay in my head but becomes involved in my everyday experiences. That's the hope anyway.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Let's waste time chasing cars

Well, I have to say I was a bit unsure about going to watch banger racing for Tim's 22nd birthday. To add to this I was amused by the number of bald-headed middle aged men watching! Surely this is the modern day equivalent of Gladiator battles in the Colosseum? Why would I want to watch that? But once those cars starting hitting each other, smoke flew up and the smell of fuel hit my nose I was surprisingly enthralled. YEAH! SMASH EACH OTHER!

Thanks to fellow ex-DNAers Tim, Windo and Jon for helping me discover this sensation and finding the British manly man in me. It was good hanging out with you again. Enjoy the pics.