Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just Be Like Everyone Else???

There's something about the latest Carling adverts that irritates me. I'm sure you've seen them. The tag is 'Belong' which yeah, is probably an ok message in itself. But the thing that irritates me is that to belong it seems that you must be like everyone else.
All this reminds me of the current Reverends and the Makers single, that I find myself singing all day. The lyrics talk of a battle between a desire and dream to stand out against the demands of everyday life. After much struggle it seems that the 'Reverends' conclude, 'just be like everyone else.'

He's compromising
At least he's got a job for life
Get born, get school, get job, get car
Pay tax and find a wife
And on that note
The end can't come too soon
If you're not living on the edge
You take up too much room

At school he used to dream about
Being Bruce Lee
But the need for chops in the Manor top
Aint all that great you see
And so he gave up
On his black belt and first Dan
As near as he got to China
Was a week in Camber sands

I could've been a contender
Could've been a someone
Caught up in the rat race
And feeling like a no-one
Appearing in the papers
With the money and the girls
I could've been The Heavyweight Champion of the World

It might be boring so boring
It might put you to sleep
The same old routine repeats week after week
And you work harder, work harder
Cos you're told that you must
And you must earn a living
And you must earn a crust

...like everybody else
Just be like everybody else
Just be like everybody else
Be like everybody else
Be like everybody else
Just be like everybody else

As I sing the song the repeated conclusion saddens me. With God, we know that we must stand out. 'Do not conform ... but be transformed...' and all that. God even promises to help us do it. That doesn't mean we won't still struggle with the everyday stuff that the Reverend and the Makers sing about. But at least we do not have to reach the same conclusion of 'just be like everyone else.'

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Homerton May Ball 2007

Here are my highlights: 1. Loads of friends.

2. Meeting a chinese dog/dragon thing.

3. Being up close and moshing away to soon-to-be-big band 'Ghosts'. Contrary to some reports they were very good. And when they do become household names I can say I've heard them play the Neighbours theme tune!

4. Eating a whole ice cream while on the dodgems.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The secret diary of Pete - aged 17 1/4.

As promised it's time for a story. I'd like to share a very personal experience with you. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

I want to share with you something I kept a secret until the age of 17. None of my friends in my school year knew this secret. This secret was that on a Sunday morning I went to church with my parents. It was just so embarrassing. I was just too shy and couldn't have handled the teasing if my friends knew. Surely.

However gradually around the age of 16 God really started to introduce himself to me and a relationship with him became something I wanted to take much more seriously. As a result I wanted somehow to tell my friends about this. So I needed to break my secret.

But I wanted a cool way to tell my friends. It now sounds cheesy and I cringe at the thought but I came up with a 'cool' plan. As you worked in the library it was trendy to listen to your minidisc player - the forerunner to the ipod - and very often the question would be asked, 'What are you listening to?' And I thought - are you ready for this! - I'd reply, 'I'm listening to Christian music.'

Right now we need to jump forward to early on in year 12, lower sixth. I'm sitting in the library on a Friday afternoon, so as you'll expect it's very quiet. There's only 2 other people about, both sitting on my table. One of the guys I hardly knew at all and the other guy I was only just beginning to get to know cos he was in my A Level maths class. He was called Ollie and had a cheeky mischievous streak to him.

And now we come to the moment. The guy I hardly knew asked me, 'What are you listening to?' This was it. I shuffled my feet and then chickened out, replying with the lie, 'Coldplay.' Oh well, maybe I'd be braver another day.
Then the same question was asked to Ollie and he replied, 'I'm listening to Christian music.'

I couldn't believe it. As I passed Ollie my headphone he knew exactly what number track off the album I was listening to. Over the next few months Ollie, with his crazy rebellious attitude, really helped me become more confident in what I believed. And I'm so grateful for that.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Good Day

Today is a good day for our nation - David Beckham will once again put on an England shirt.

I really didn't think it would happen again and I'm so so pleased that it is. That's because, and I'm being dead serious now, I have tremendous respect for the guy.
It's the way he's taken so much abuse and criticism over the years and just taken it all in his stride, and made himself into a thoroughly decent chap, as a footballer, father and husband. In my mind he's a great man to have as a role model to millions.
Take this season as an example - you could see he was upset about being dropped for England but he always maintained that he'd love to play again and never once said a bad word about McClaren.

Yes, this is something I feel strongly about and have done for several years. And that's why today is a good day.