Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pete's Fave Film of Feb goes to ...

If you're going to the cinema over the next few weeks I'd like to recommend 'Juno' to you. It's a brilliantly quirky tale of teenage pregnancy.

On leaving the cinema someone asked me why so many blokes like the film, even though it is essentially about teen relationships? The key thing is it's real and believable. I give it the thumbs up because it maintains a fun, light and uplifting edge, whilst thoughtfully and not over-symplistically tackling complex issues.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

2008 BUSA Pool - The Outrageous Farce

Looking back at these events still fills me with outrage and disbelief:

Saturday - British University Pool Team event. Cambridge B team is on course to progress from the group stage. There is one match left. If we win or draw we're through. Lose and we're out.

Needing 5 frames to secure the necessary draw, we found ourselves 3-1 up and looking comfortable when the unthinkable happened. A referee came over to our match and announced he was awarding a 6-0 win to our opponents. Shock? Why? What had we done? Must be serious?

The reason - My stomach knots up as I type - the reason: I was wearing a t-shirt and the rest of the team were in polo shirts. Same colour, same logos. No collar.

What a farce! We argued for ages, pleading for some common sense. I hadn't even played a shot in the match yet so how could I be interfering? No response. We were out. The organisers had sent a team through to the quarter finals who hadn't actually won 1 match yet!!!

So cruel. Unjust even. The punishment did not fit the crime. The refs made a mockery of that National tournament. I was furious, argued but held it together and didn't raise my voice. How should you respond in a situation like that? Do you just have to accept the decision? Or protest and stand up for yourself?

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Pivotal Moment

When you see the word 'Covenant' in the Bible you know it's a big deal. God's promises are guaranteed. So feast your eyes on this:

I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.(Jer 32:40)

Wow. 'I will never stop doing good for them'!!!

Atleast once a week, I'm told about how much God loves us. Comforting, transfroming peace for everyone. No matter what. But sometimes there is a part of me that wonders are we deluding ourselves? Are we just saying this to make us feel better? Does the creator of the universe really run towards me with open arms? Is he really that desperate to spend time in my company?

Having just worked my way through most the Old Testament, I've discovered a God who's character is certainly slow to anger as he experiences repeated rejection ... but he still gets very angry. How can this be the same God of Unconditional Love interested in helping me out every day?

Jeremiah 32:40 provides the answer. The NEW covenant provides the answer. The pivotal moment. Because of Jesus, we now live in a time where God promises, 'I will never stop doing good for them...they will never leave me.' No matter what.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Do you remember ... the 90s?

Studying Sociology is interesting cos you can relate it to your own experiences. Today we were thinking about youth, with the general idea that the period of youth is getting longer because of the greater need to have qualifications from further education.

One legacy our lecturer described standing out from 90s children is a lack of political involvement. I think that's because we don't like to think for ourselves. And partly that's because we were told what to think.

We watched the same tv programmes. Which means we liked the same stuff. We watched the same adverts. So we had the same crazes and fashions. We all clearly knew what was cool.

What's it like for children growing up now? Is it really any different? Does new media have an impact? We now have multi-channeled television so children may not all watch the same thing. We have the choice of millions of webpages to explore. The choice of millions of videos on YouTube. We can shape our own FaceSpace page. Advertising can now become much more individualised.

Or does it? In media terms, have we rejected our option of choice and individuality by deciding to all congregate in the same place of MyBook? After all it is nice to have common ground with people. At Uni we love the never-ending conversations of 'do you remember...pogs, sonic, adidas trousers...?'

Of course - How can you not remember them?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

29 + 11 = 22.

22nd birthday celebrations have been and gone and once again I find myself contemplating the big practical questions of everyday life after Uni. I've never entered a year of my life with so many unknowns as to what's in store. At least in my gap year, where I had no idea where I'd be going until the day before leaving, I could trust the organisation that they knew what they were doing. And they did! In a way that made it easy to trust that God was looking out for me.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer 29:11)

But now I'm in control. It's daunting. Scary even. I can decide what/where/who I'll be in a years time. How do I draw myself into line with what will make God smile? What excites me? As I check out varying opportunities will the 'right doors open?'