Sunday, July 30, 2006

This week's mental!

This week is Youth Week in church which i have planned and organised. It starts tomorrow morning at 9am. We start each day with some worship and a short devotion, then there are activities planned for each day. Tomorrow we are going to Craigavon Watersports centre which should be fun. I was starting to panic yesterday when i only had about 15 names of young people down (i was hoping for 40) but God obviously heard my prayers and i got a few phone calls tonight from people who want to come so i'm not gonna worry anymore cos God has obviosly got things in control! So given that God does answer prayer, here's some of my hopes for this week and i'll report back here on saturday to let you know when they have been answered! I hope that many young people have a really enjoyable week. I hope the weather stays good especially for Tuesday - Friday. I hope that some of the young people from the village that don't go to church will come along. I hope that our church young people will make an effort to get to know these young people. I hope that some of my volunteers will really get excited and want to commit more of their time to investing in young people in or out of church. I hope we get to repaint the playpark on Thursday.

Thats all i can think of right now! If you pray then please pray for these things! It's gonna be a fantastic (if a little exhausting!) week!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The window of movies...

I'm reading a great book at the moment - Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire. Here is a couple of extracts from his chapter on movies:
'In an interview with The Door, Garrison Keillor said, "If you can't go to church and, for at least a moment, be given transcendence; if you can't go to church and pass briefly from this life into the next; then I can't see why anyone should go. Just a brief moment of transcendence causes you to come out of church a changed person."

I have experienced what Garrison Keillor described more in movie theatres than I have in churches.

But movies don't always tell the truth, don't always enlighten, don't always inspire. What they do on a fairly consistent basis is give you an experience of transcendence. They let you lose yourself in somebody else's story. And sometimes in losing yourself you find yourself, or at least, a part of yourself. It may be a part of yourself you didn't even know needed finding. It may be a wounded part or a calloused part that you find. It may be a very beautiful part or a very ugly part. A part that needed to grow up or maybe a part that needed to go back and become a child again. A part that needed to understand, maybe, or to forgive. Or maybe it was a part that needed to die, or maybe one that instead needed to be born.'
The chapter goes on to highlight a few movies that have windows of the soul for Gire. I love movies and can't fail to be affected by them in some way. A few key movies for me would have to be Shawshank Redemption, To End all Wars, The Thin Red Line, Good Will Hunting, Braveheart, Gladiator, Dead Poets Society to name but a few. Just realising I haven't watched a movie in ages - need to get along to the cinema soon!

I'd be interested to hear what movies have really impacted/inspired you so
please leave a comment! I'm always looking for somethin good to watch!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fun in the sun...

What a beautiful day! We don't often get days like this in our wee country but in the last few days we have been truely spoiled! Today i had the pleasure of scrambling up Bloody Bridge river with a few of the young lads from church (pic right) - it was a great days craic jumping off rocks into big pools of water and climbing up mini waterfalls! Sometimes you forget how beautiful this country really is but days like today are definitely a reminder! Anyways i had a great day so thanx for the invite lads!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Walking on the twelfth...

Hello there anyone who may read this - is there anyone out there?! So today is the apparent highlight of the Protestant social calendar in this wee country of Norn Iron! So i got up early this morning and got myself ready for a good days walking...up the Mournes that is! I think some people outside of this country really think the 12th is just a days rioting but it really isn't. In fact i drove to the Mournes and back today and managed to avoid all evidence of cultural celebrations apart from a couple of very small early morning parades.

Had a great day up the mountains though. I went with Niall and Jamie (pictured left). The weather was very overcast (no good scenic views pics this time!) and we got soaked in the mist up the mountain but it was still a good days craic. We ended up back at Niall's for a bit of a Settlers marathon - 4 games of which i won zero - raging!!! Also had a bit of a chinese takeaway thrown in there too which was all good!

Last night i joined the bonfire celebrations in Waringstown. I grew up in this village and i don't think i ever went to the bonfire here before! I had a good night just hanging out with the young people i have met round the village and i managed to meet a few new ones too.

This week is definitely all about taking it easy for me! I'm still recovering from 9 days in a tent - I'm starting to feel not as young as i used to!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Madness & Streetreach...

Ok folks, sorry for the distinct lack of bloggage in the last week but between Summer Madness and Streetreach, life has been kinda hectic!!! I really only made it back home at lunchtime today and now that I've had a bath I feel much better (I've only had 2 showers in the last 9 days!!!) So I'll fill you in on the happenings. SM was amazing! We had 37 there from WPC and on the whole i think most of them had a ball. For many it was their first SM experience and i think they seemed to enjoy it. Personally i thought the festival was fantastic, the worship times were amazing, especially with Tim Hughes. On the whole the craic was really good and the young people really were no trouble which made life easier for us as leaders! Other highlights for me definitely have to be the Saturday night intimate gig with Foy Vance - it was unbelievable! Also late night chat and banter with Chris on Sat nite until 5am and the birds were singing! It was definitely a good time for me generally to spend a bit more time getting to know the young people.

So SM finished on Tuesday and SR started on Wednesday and i was placed in Sandy Row. I had a great 4 days doing things like litter picking, sweeping streets, doing gardens, playing with kids, hanging out with teenagers at the bonfire site etc. Out of the 1000 people signed up for Streetreach there was about 35 of us in Sandy Row and it really was a great experience. The pic on the left is my team! Showing God's love to people through practical acts of service and kindness really works - people take notice and ask questions which is great. The plan for Streetreach for next year is even bigger and better and i definitely think i'll get involved again.