Saturday, October 28, 2006

Long time no spake...

Apologies for the lack of bloggage recently. It's been almost 2 weeks since my last blog and i guess the main reason for that is busyness! There's been a couple of things recently that have meant I've had less time to do things:

  1. Setting up my office/spce for young people downstairs in Rigmarole. This has taken a lot of my time (painting & cleaning) in the last 2 weeks. Thanks to everyone who helped with this. All the time consuming stuff is done now so i hope to make full use of it in the next couple of weeks. Please come and visit me!
  2. House-hunting. Doing some serious searching for houses at the minute which takes time. I'm planning to buy with one of my mates cos neither of us can afford to buy on our own. It seems like I've been out looking at properties most evenings this week from about 5-8pm. I'm starting to get frustrated to be honest because we can't seem to find something we both like, in the right location and for the right price. On top of that as the weeks pass buy the prices are rising at an incredible rate. Also getting frustrated with the many stories of friends who have bought houses in the last year at half the price of what they are now - if you have such a story then I really don't want to hear it! As an aside can i just say that it's an interesting experience when we look at a house because you just know most owners/agents reckon we are 'a couple'! As such, John and i have a strategy of casually dropping into the conversation something about girlfriends!
So basically both of these time consuming pursuits have come on top of normal work stuff so that ive been pretty flat out recently. Hopefully though things should settle down a bit now.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Love of being together...

What is it about large gatherings of people, who are united in heart and voice, that is so powerful? This week i attended 3 events with large groups of people and all were very special. Firstly, on Wednesday night i was at Windsor Park to see the mighty N. Ireland take on Latvia. It was a great night shared with around 14,000 people and as we shouted, sang and bounced with joy - it was a powerful experience. Last night i was at Ravenhill with about 12,000 others to see Ulster dance all over the Cardiff Blues and as we celebrated victory there was that similar powerful feeling of shared experience with a large group of people. This morning was the Harvest service at WPC and there was probably about 350 people packed into church for the early service. It was a fantastic harvest celebration, the worship team were amazing and the message was excellent. Sharing this experience with a large group of people was similarly evocative and moving.

All examples of 'fellowship' and i suppose that is why we are called as believers to acts of 'fellowship' because God knows there is power when groups of people meet together for a shared experience. Acts 2:42 tells us the importance of 'fellowship' when it mentions it as a practice of the early believers alongside teaching, breaking of bread and prayer.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Last night at 20:20 (our senior YF) was absolutely amazing! The topic was 'worship' and as i prepared on Friday i got really excited because i knew that if they 'got it' then it would be a special night. Well guess what? They got it! It's hard to say what happened but as i tried to explain what real, true, genuine worship is, which is what God is looking for, i just knew that people were really listening. So as we moved into a time of worship at the end i really hoped that what they had been challenged about would start to be practiced. The worship was fantastic and i know that young people really met with God, spirit connecting with spirit, which is what worship is all about.

As i looked around the room i was really moved and i realised there is no where else in the world i would rather have been at that moment than in that room, with those people, worshiping God. Afterwards i was absolutely buzzing with excitement which meant i hardly slept a wink last night!

Shooting Dogs...

Watched this movie on Thursday night and it is excellent. Like the movie Hotel Rwanda this movie tells the story of the brutal genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994 when 800,000 people of the Tutsi tribe were masacred by the Hutu people. The story is told in the context of a UN base set-up in a Catholic school where thousands of Tutsi's fled to for protection only to face eventual abandonment. The story closely follows two characters caught up in this context both of whom are white and English. One is the catholic priest who runs the school and the other is a young student teacher at the school.

Two moments sin the movie stand out to me. The first is when the young teacher is having a conversation with a BBC reporter who has just witnesed a horrific machete attack on a group of Tutsi's. She compares the experience with the horrifying things she witnessed when in Bosnia and how severely she was affected then. This time it was different, she wasn't so affected and it was not because she had become numb to such things it was because as she looked around all she seen were 'dead Africans'. That really sums up the attitude of the UN and the rest of the world powers during this genocide.

The second moment occurred at the end of the movie when the UN are about to leave and abandon the people and the priest decides to stay and the young teacher in desperation asks him why? The priest has struggled with his role and his faith as the masacre has ensued but at this moment he tells this teacher 'Remember when you asked me where is God in all of this? Well i have realised that He is right here with these people, suffering as they are and His heart is breaking.' What truth about our God.

Fantastic movie - a must see.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

5 for 30...

When i was in Thailand Stefan and i both made a list of 5 things we would like to have done by the time we are 30 (4 years to go!). I thought I'd throw them up here just so i have a record of them! In no particular order:
  1. Further study, probably theology and definitely part-time.
  2. Live in another (non-english speaking) country for a significant time (at least 6-12 months). This would be a fantastic cultural experience and i would be motivated to learn another language.
  3. Invest a bit more time into music, especially playing guitar and singing.
  4. Get fit. I'm doing zero exercise at the minute and its starting to frustrate me. Ive now blocked out time in my week for exercise so the plan is to join a gym this week and then maybe try and get a weekly game of squash too. If anyone fancies a game then let me know, unless you're really good, then im not available! This one is more of a 6 month plan rather than 4 year!
  5. Get married - hehe! This one seems the most unrealistic probably because i have least control over it but sure i'll keep my eyes open!
I like setting a few goals mainly because it gets me thinking about the things i would like to do. They are not set in stone by any stretch but it's always fun to dream!