Monday, April 28, 2008

So what exactly was DNA?

If you've heard me constantly referring to my gap year course, but never quite figured out what it involved ... then this video's for you. It's the new promo vid for DNA, featuring many guys I know well:
video
As I watch the video I nod my head in agreement with every comment made. I'm so grateful to DNA for helping me grow in confidence; teaching me to appreciate my strengths and weaknesses. And the exciting breaking news today on this blog is that I'm going back for more. Next year I'm doing the part-time follow-up course to DNA ... and I'm so looking forward to it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Painful Worship

This has been a tough week for City Life Church in Cambridge. Many this morning found themselves coming to worship God, from a position of much sadness and pain. How could they possibly sing of God's power and goodness?

In between songs, one lady stood up to try and explain her emotions. She said that today, as she lifted her hands up to God, she wasn't surrendering to some higher power - the usual explanation for the action.

Instead, today, she was reaching out to her Heavenly Daddy, seeking to receive a comforting hug.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Student Home Internationals 2008 - End of winning frame

Here's the moment Rich Wharton of England secured victory.

oh, and regarding a certain own goal last night, I still can't believe it. I sat motionless, head in hands, for what felt like several minutes after the final whistle - knowing the difference that moment of madness could make.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Champions of the UK



This weekend in April 2008 will go down as my proudest sporting achievement; quite possibly the pinnacle of my pool career. I played my part in the victorious England University team, at the Home Nations tournament in Glasgow. Full of drama and excitement, roaring, cheering and good humour, the weekend had everything - including a memorable final to cap it off. Going into the final as favourites England quickly found themselves 6-0 down to Wales, in a race to 11. We seriously needed to dig deep and pull ourselves together. Regrouping with fighting bulldog spirit, we turned the final on it's head to win 11-9. Cue jubilant celebrations. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mandela on Being Human

At long last I've finished the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. It hardly seems right to try and encapsulate how the book challenged me, cos I cannot claim to understand his experiences. Instead allow me to directly quote from the great man himself. As we read let us remember Mandela's remarkable worldview was formed through, and as a result of, his 'story of hardship, resillience and ultimate triumph.'

'The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. I never lost hope that this great transformation would occur ... I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there was mercy and generocity. No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally than its opposite. Even in the grimmest times in prison, I would see a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards ... Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.'

Monday, April 14, 2008

Deliriously Praiseworthy

I got the my copy of the new Delirious? album, 'Kingdom of Comfort' on Saturday and have been playing it non-stop.

Here's my review: Every song is so strong allowing the whole album to take you on a journey, smoothly transitioning from bold rocky anthems to beautiful gentler moments. Similarly the lyrics also manage to uplift, challenge and provoke further thought - all at the same time.

I actually mean that. I haven't just copied it from their website!

In a nutshell: I'm a fan! So much so I've already booked my ticket to see the new tunes performed live in Brighton on 10th October. If you're keen to join me get on purashop.com, where you can also get your copy of 'Kingdom of Comfort'. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Africa

What with reading Nelson Mandela's autobiography and the confirmation I'm going to Kenya later this year, news stories about Africa are grabbing my attention.

First there's the constant need at the mo to pray for clarity over Zimbabwe's future. Then this morning there was the very random news story that Gordon Brown appeared on American Idol ... to explain Britain's donating 20 million mosquito nets to 'malaria hit countries.' Here's a link to the video.

What really grabbed me in the emotions department was an article on the 24-7prayer website by an ordinary guy (ie. not a celebrity) on his visit to Zambia with his two sons. Here's the bit that hit me:

I wish you could have seen those forty, smiling children dancing around my two blonde boys singing ... I watched as Hudson and Danny’s innate Western suspicion (where did that come from?) began to evaporate in the Zambian sun and before long they too were dancing, singing along and laughing without worrying about looking cool (they didn’t!) It was a beautiful sight for a father to see, and it dawned on me that my children were being given permission by these children simply to be children again. ‘Who needs who?’ I wondered.

It’s hard to feel sorry for people who don’t feel sorry for themselves. These Zambian children find themselves alive without parents, living from day-to-day in a compound called Koloko, where there is no water and no electricity and precious little hope. But they are joyful!