Tuesday, May 31, 2011

up from downe

Over the bank holiday weekend I was away with the 75th Lambeth scouts/cubs. It different a little from normal camp as we took the scouts/cubs families too... it was a great chance to get to know parents better and the younger brothers and sister everyone joined in with chores and the activities that were available... bouncy castles.. grass sledging... circus skills.. crafts a talent show silent disco yep you read that right a silent disco which was fun everyone has headphones on and can chose between tracks was very funny to watch....  and of course you can't have a scout camp without a campfire. It was tinged with a little sadness as it will be my last camp with the 75th though I do have a invite to come back and help i hope I get the chance.. what I really love about the scouts is the opening up of activities that many of the youngsters would not normally get to do.. like the wood, craft pioneering skills learning to cook on open fires.. its the things that often I've taken for granted we had a coal fire at home and would help to light it collect sticks for kindling and chopping the wood to smaller sizes. its the seeing the expressions that come when they get the fire lit or cook the meal get the bridge built getting cold wet and sleep deprived is worth it just for that... 

theres more photos over on my photo blog...

one of the cubs learns to stilt walk

 One of the mums in deep concentration
 The district commissioner try's a unicycle( with much encouragement from a group of onlookers - ok so we were all in fits of laughter)
 Sparky goes grass sledging
The DC gets covered in food (akela in the making ) at the talent show 

all in all though a little cold at night good fun was had by all and the best bit the cubs feel asleep in the car on the way up from downe 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Down to Downe

I'm off to Downe today for the weekend it's family camp for the scouts.. This is what they have to say about the place


Downe Activity Centre
"A beautiful, wooded 86-acre site situated close to Biggin Hill in rural Kent, only 16 miles from the centre of London. Downe Scout Activity Centre has welcomed young people from all walks of life and corners of the world for almost 80 years."

I was there last year for a weekend too and it rained and er rained and rained a bit more.. I was wondering if the pioneering skills should have been building arks from rope and logs.... and this time well after yesterday and the thunder and rain we had here  so bad that heathrow had to stop planes landing and taking off for three hours...I'm hopeing that the tents that were put up earlier in the week are all still standing.

Family camp is a bit different from normal as the cubs and scouts mums,dads, granny's granddads brothers and sister can come along and join in too..

all can come even those few who will come and not have anyone with them and be in tents with their friends

I've not done a camp like this before so and looking forward to seeing how you run this type of camp...

Post again after hopefuly a not too wet and windy weekend

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Comment response

Recently (see Here) I posted about going on retreat I wrote this "I do struggle with them and more often found them a waste of time" a comment left under the post asked this 
I would be interested in
 a) why and b) what kind of retreats you've actually been on.

So let me try to answer these I probably wont answer in full so I guess that is what the comment tab is for

I've been on a few retreats mostly either day retreats/ quiet days  or over a weekend that were part of work/college and were compulsory attendance. The have all been organised ones and led by people who have led many and have a particular way of leading. Quiet days, some with teaching most of them though find me sat at a table or in a group listening to a speaker talk for most of the day and then we have a few moments of reflection. I find myself daydreaming and finding more and more elaborate ways of escaping the day or weekend. 

I've also been on a couple that I have found good, but these where more of team away day and we walked the seven sisters and had a picnic and then stopped off for a pub supper that day we just hung out together work talk was banned another was getting together for a morning and each taking a song that meant something then having lunch together. both of these I really enjoyed they were loosely organised we knew where we had to be and what to bring but apart from that it was just time away from work. 

The worst one was going away for 3 days this was the one that truly put me off and confirmed for me what a waste of time they were for me. we arrived on the friday evening and had our rooms allocated we had a few moments to settle in then it was supper after supper all our gadgets were " confiscated" until the sunday evening before we left. everything watches, travel clocks, MP3 players mobile phones, Games, everything had to be given in and then it was prayers and silence. I'd kept back my game so I had something and to use in the night, but I had to hand it in too when the person I was with got cross I hadn't. To make matters worse I was in a room with a much much older women who wanted the lights out so there I was alone in the dark awake for all most all the night I was just about asleep when she woke and the lights went on. The next day we sat inside and listened to talk after talk on different things and discussed them in our groups all I wanted to do was be out in the wonderful gardens and by the river that as near by. By the end of that second day I had truly had enough and turned off and tuned out for the rest of my time. I did manage to escape that evening and on the sunday morning. I felt like a caged animal just giving up. we also had a time when we had to go and spend with the chaplain for the weekend which you were told when to go. It was like being told you have a tutorial and thats that. 

That has been how many retreat days or weekends have been extremely tight on time and trying to pack as much as possible in in a short time. Organised with no room to be really me, to wander off/ find space and time out to think on or bin things. No time for me to actually engage with being there. 

The cadged feeling trapped inside all day and being talked at isn't away for me to engage with being away or with God and others. 

Being in a lecture style environment I go into that style of thinking and being, taking notes and trying to concentrate takes a lot of energy and focus. Another side of many of the retreats has been being told when I was to go and see the chaplain. I do not find it easy to just go and talk to someone because I've been expected to. There are very few people who have that place of being where instantly there is a connection more often relationship and trust has to be built and earned before real sharing can begin. 

One style I did find was Good was being on Iona though it was work and I was in work mode for much of the time it parish pilgrimage where I was Co leader.It would be somewhere I would return to it was a style of retreat I could take to and did take to.... the format for the day was simple space and thought came together. We slept in dorms with people from around the world we ate together 3 times a day. We had chores todo together and morning and evening prayer. During the day there were activities or focused times you could join if you wanted to. There were no demands apart from you be at meals, but most of all there was space...there was space time to wander the island or go sit in one of the churches go for coffee to the beach. Time to meet with God just be 

I'm not sure I fully answer the questions but its a start I'm sure...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

no more heroes any more

This was one of the headlines on the news feed of one of my e-mail accounts today. To be honest seeing that title was really very sad " no more heroes any more'' Heros where there when I was a kid I know I had a few Terry Butcher and Stuart Pearce, Edmond Hillary, Jonathan Edwards (the triple jumper), George Mallory and Andrew Irvine and of course The Doctor ... But really no more heroes any more thats a scary thought. 

There were others too, if you look back in history just a few years the answer would be  the local police officer, fireman or teacher for some it would be a train driver, a capt of a plane or ship. Maybe the likes of, Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King,
 Neil Armstrong or Pele, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, JESUS?

There was a song that speaks of this wanting a hero The world is looking for a hero  the opening verse 


The world is looking for a hero. We know the greatest one of all. The mighty ruler of the nations King of kings and Lord of lords. Who took the nature of a servant. And gave his life to save us all

The news feed was pointing to the fall of yet another fallen hero who it has been claimed had been unfaithful to his family. It's coursed a great deal of interest in the UK in the media and in other places. What has really come to surprise is how the UK has respond to the claims and to the life of a hero. It wasn't all that long ago when the National team coach striped a player of the captains role due to his unfaithfulness.. It seems that though as a country we accept a lot of things there is still something very distasteful in being deemed unfaithful.

Are there really no more heros any more? what does that mean then for the patches we live in? for the young lives that are in those patches. Who are the young lives looking up to if there are no more heros the villains? those who will lead them in the wrong directions?

It is a hard question but one we need to answer and not just in light of the title of the new link. It's a serious question for all of us as potential Heros rolemodles mentors, whether we think we are or not.. what way of life do we by our actions and words show to others does public and private show the same thing.

we all look for heros in some way, a rolemodel, mentor. Not to be like them a carbon copy as it where but a person that inspires us by there life and action. Paul in new testament urges people to follow his example in life as he tried to live a life that reflected Jesus...

Can I can we do the same, if not what needs to change for us to reflect the life of Jesus and point others to him. To a hero that won't fall that is never unfaithful...

The Lord Almighty is our hero
He breaks the stranglehold of sin
Through Jesus' love we fear no evil
Pow'rs of darkness flee from him
His light will shine in ev'ry nation
A sword of justice he will bring

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meerkat or Opera

Meerkat or Opera 

That was the question at the start of one of the best sermons I’ve heard for a while on Sunday.
I was at Westminster Central Hall (photo here) for the Gathering: ‘Opera and Oratorios’. We heard Haydn, Handle, Mozart and Fauré

It may come as a surprise to some who know me well that actually I love Opera and classical music I’m not one for Boom, Boom, Boom. Though I do like a wide range of Music. It was wonderful evening with Hymns peppered in along side Interviews (testimony) with members of the choir. 

So back to the sermon Rev Martin Turner was doing the concluding words to the evening he went on to talk about how the opera singer ad is for go compare
and the song says about saving money ( which he sung to us.. I use the word sung lightly but the bible does say about joyful noises so I guess God was smiling). The light heart of the opening was brought to a much more meaningful and deeper level and the actual impact that ‘Go Compare’ can have on our lives.
He went on to speak about how if we try to go compare,

With God then you wont save anything with Christ. For following Christ
It will cost you
It cost God

The only way you save is by choosing Jesus and it is his saving grace.
He challenged at the end if you have stepped away from a living relationship with Father Son and Holy Spirit then go, go compare your life now and when you were close to God and choose HIM again.

And the challenge for those if you never had the relationship with God then go compare the life that he is offering and the promises He gives and choose HIM
I Haven’t done Martin justice here… but I hope the challenge and meaning hasn’t been lost 

Friday, May 20, 2011


I had to laugh tonight, the boys were round to watch a movie and a meal.. they've had a rough week it's exam time two doing  their leaving exams and one his A levels.  We had gooey BBQ food and cola. the funniest thing was my bears on top of the sofas I have bears a dog and a mouse I had to go upstairs and get another one these guys fight and then sit and hold them while watching the film.

when we first started to meet 18months ago they would come in and sit still quiet be so polite ask if they could leave the room...

now well they steal the bears walk in and out and treat here as home... they are still so polite :)

I love too that they tell me what they want recently we had tortillas for one of the boys it was their first time and had so much fun trying to make them. I asked before they went what things they would like the next time we meet the answer from this boy those things again :) 

so the next time we meet during the school holidays when they're coming over for a film marathon. where gonna make food together not sure what my kitchen will make of it but I'm sure it will be fun 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I don't care

I don't really I don't No you may not get it but I don't care.... I don't care I'm not trying to be a wind up merchant honest but thats how I really do feel... I DON'T CARE. I don't care what colour the toilet role is, I don't care if there's rubbish in the car park, I don't care who left the lights on, I don't care that something normally done in the morning was done in the afternoon. I don't care that someone sat in "YOUR" seat... I really don't care

I do care that you walked past and din't pick the rubbish up, I do care the lights were left on and you saw and did nothing. I care that there is toilet role. and I care that the job got done. I do care that a stranger came in today I care about how the stranger was made to feel... 

what do we spend out time caring about people about how we look after those in our patches a friend posted this first thing this morning 

URGENT! i have just received a Phone call to tell me that there is a family in Brid who have lost all their possessions in a house fire, they are insured so they will get most of it back but they have a 4 year old little girl who needs clothes and toys..... If you can help please drop anything you have off at Emmanuel church or my house and we will get it to the family ASAP!
thank you

I do care about how we respond to those around us!!!! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Filled with compassion

I'm preaching tomorrow on marks account of the feeding of the four thousand- and was looking for a illustration about compassion. The point being Jesus' being extended to us to be his hands and feet this story stopped me in my tracks. 

a song that really hit me as a young christian was by noal richards 
Filled with compassion

Filled with compassion
For all creation
Jesus came into a world that was lost
There was but one way
That He could save us
Only through suffering death on a cross

God You are waiting,
Your heart is breaking
For all the people who live on the earth
Stir us to action,
Filled with Your passion
For all the people who live on the earth

Great is Your passion
For all the people
Living and dying without knowing You
Having no saviour
They're lost forever
If we don't speak out and lead them to You

From every nation
We shall be gathered
Millions redeemed shall be Jesus' reward
Then He will turn and say to His Father
"Truly my suffering was worth it all"

what really has surprised and in a sad way was the amount of sites that say they have sermon illustrations that have nothing under compassion as a link in fact looking at there sites there isn't even a tag marked compassion. 

One day a woman was walking down the street when she spied a beggar sitting on the corner. The man was elderly, unshaven, and ragged. As he sat there, pedestrians walked by him giving him dirty looks They clearly wanted nothing to do with him because of who he was -- a dirty, homeless man. But when she saw him, the woman was moved to compassion.
It was very cold that day and the man had his tattered coat -- more like an old suit coat rather than a warm coat -- wrapped around him. She stopped and looked down. "Sir?" she asked. "Are you all right?"
The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun ofchim, like so many others had done before. "Leave me alone," he growled.
To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling, her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.
"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."
The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. "What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone."
Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked.
"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"
The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"
"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."
"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."
"This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered. "Don't blow it."
Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by the table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this. Is this man in trouble?"
"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.
"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."
Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."
The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"
"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."
"And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"
"What business is that of yours?"
"I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."
The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"
"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."
"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"
"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."
The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."
The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.
"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this." She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. "Jack, do you remember me?"
Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."
"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."
"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.
"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."
Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."
"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the price of my food in the cash register. I knew then that everything would be all right."
"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.
"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. And if you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."
There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he said.
"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you."

if we are not touching Jesus feeling being moved by his compassion then are we walking with him. Are we willing to be open to be his hands and feet to sit with the unlovable to sit with the teenage alcoholic or the older person who's given up.. to be Jesus with skin on.. to be there to hold back the hair of a person being sick as they have been out all night. To fall into bed shattered and do it all again. 
news flash thats what we are called to do.
it's not about putting money in the pot outs side the station or supporting via direct-debit that helps  but actively getting involved.....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

midlands calling

My patch is off for a few days today- in four mins actually last cuppa and checking last few things ready like wheres my tickets...

I'm off for a retreat not my normal activity and something i'm not really all that fond of. I know that they are good and many people find them useful but I do struggle with them and more often found them a waste of time.

but today I am off to newbuildingsfarm in Derbyshire with the youth team from Leicester who I will be joining in the summer...

ok signing off now

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Yesterday I was out and about in london with the Guides they were taking part in a challenge toward a badge where they got points for different transport used and the things they did or saw around london... we finished up at crystal palace - known in the athletics world for the stadium there. 

It's a park and was the first time i've been there and had a fab time I also got given by the girls a guide name they decided while on the train to Crystal palace that I needed one like the other leaders. the guides use Disney names for the leaders it was a great moment when they decided and a honour in away that they wanted to do it... so my guide name is now  Perry the Platypus, also known as Agent P or simply Perry 

What really got me though was the maze at the end of the day, as part of the centenary the maze at crystal palace was refurbished in the centre is a wonderful message to those who journey through the maze a compass rose design with the guide symbol in the centre 

the words at the centre of the maze celebrating 100 years of guiding 
pause here for a while 
past,present and future
follow in their footsteps
listen for the echos 

Saturday, May 07, 2011


I called a recent post "replanting" I spoke about a time of repotting replanting. Its something that you need to do to a potted plant every once in a while. if you don't it will struggle the roots will grow out of the pot... try wearing shoes too small and you'll get the idea of how the plant feels.. sometimes a plant will stay happy in it's pot for many years others will need to be changed more often. 

In the previous post I mention that the little patch of vauxhall that has been my patch since october 2009 will be left behind.  the patch will become home for someone else. and I have been looking and praying as to where God is looking to replant me. 

Well two weeks ago I went for a interview at St Annes and All Saints in the Parish of Scraptoft and Netherhall in Leicester and this will be my new patch from the summer. 

I will be the Children's and Youth Missioniar