Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
I'll write some updates about the XXX events after this weekend. But check out http://www.xxxchurch.com/ and click on the Irish tour bit. You also got to see Pete Comfort and Paul McLean on youtube talking to Craig - brilliant!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
- If we want to reach the young people of Norn Iron, why are we ignoring half, if not more of them?
- Is the main problem, we don't want Catholics going back into the Catholic Church to grow as Christians?
- Do we think that there are Catholic Christians and Protestant Christians?
The other challenge was to be extremist of love and you got to read Jill Boyd's blog on this!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
#2 Tues 20 November from 730pm in Bangor Elim, tickets £6
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
attributed - sir francis drake -1577
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I think I'll get a lot out of the book - he was a great preacher, a great man of God, he had great faith...
Some things I have been challenged about already:
- He preached about the Lord's return - have I ever mentioned that? Do we live in the light of his return?
- He prayed that people would respond to his message/he prayed for converts - do I pray for the hearers of the word before I speak/preach/teach
- He offended people and said that if people weren't offended then he probably wasn't preaching the true gospel - he liked offending people, not for the sake of offending people tho
- he said that,
"the important feature of your life is not so much what you do but the formation of your own strong Christian character"
4 things I was told:
- To trust (in God)
- To have no guile (or agenda)
- To have fun
- To keep it simple
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never can tell what you are going to get!"
Monday, September 17, 2007
"We are called to be prophets to this nation" - Brian Houston.
- The parable of the Good Samaritan. You got to love your neighbour and your enemy. You got to help those in need like the guy who was robbed and beat up, but it gets to the stage where you have to start addressing the road itself, and the people who are in charge of the road. This is something Martin Luther King said, I believe....
- There is a fire. You see a hose. You grab the hose. You have a choice. You can fight the fire yourself or you can use it to wake up the firefighters. I believe this is a real call to support, encourage, challenge, resource the local church. No matter what grievances or complaints we, I, have with the local church, the church is the bride of Christ. This is something I have been discussing with Steve Mac, concerning the role of YFCNI.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Anyway, this was Tuesday 14 August at Chris and Kiera's wedding. It was a great day. Weather wasn't the best but a really relaxed and friendly atmoshpere at the Boucher/Rainey wedding. It was a full on Methodist bash, with 12 Methodist ministers there. But don't worry, I stood strong as a Baptist!
So Harry Bruce from PAIS had organised this day for all Year 8 pupils in Ballymoney High school. Workshops were taken by Crown Jesus Ministries, Youthlink and YFC. The were also some cool brake dancers and rappers from Dublin. Harry Bruce is very impressive on the beat box, for a ginger!
This kinda felt like the end of an era for me anyway. Gav and myself have been working together for 4 years in the schools department. We have come a long way and now it feels like the end. I think it would be great for some new blood to come in with fresh and innovative ideas. I will still be involved in schools work but it will be more focussed round Mannafest
Friday, June 22, 2007
The theme tune from M*A*S*H comes to mind this week. Not cause its true. In a way it's such a tranquil song, and I can remember listening to the tune while in the background there is chaos and havoc.
This week has highlighted a great need in our country, something which has been going on for too long. On the news we have heard of 3 young people commit suicide in Craigavon. The reality is that this has been happening a lot all over Northern Ireland. Years ago I was made aware of how Ballynahinch had the highest rate of suicide in Europe pro capita and that’s why ‘The Edge’ started. Check out their website and pray for Jamie and Claire who work there.
Apparently, in Kilkeel one person a week has committed suicide from Easter.
In Tyrone there were 2 guys who had made a suicide pack.
John 10 says 'the devil is out to steal and destroy' young peoples lives and young peoples minds. We know and say that Jesus came to bring life, but what is going on?
We can put suicide down to so many reasons but more than ever I am aware that we are in a spiritual battle. We need to pray for our young people. We need to stand in the gap.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This is Ronaldo, the boy I sponsor with Compassion UK. He is from Haiti. He has a great name! I didn't chose him just for his name. I felt really bad looking at all the profiles and choosing one. And I guess we have no idea where our money is going, it might just ease our guilt. I suppose I just wanted to let people know about the work of Comapssion UK. I have actually been doing some lessons in schools based around the work of Compassion. We call them MAD lessons -Making A Difference. The lessons address issues of giving thanks and sharing, the problem with money in the world and how to make a difference by sponsoring a child. Let me know if you'd like more info about the lessons and check out www.compassionuk.org
Everyone knows John 3 v16 but how many people know 1 John 3 v16?? Thats the real gospel message!!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
It is 7 July 2037 and I am celebrating my 60th birthday. All my family are with me - Katrina at my side, looking as beautiful as ever. She leans over to kiss me in her caring nature and i notice our grandchildren laughing and sniggering at the 'two old love birds'. I hear wee Stephen give out an "uugghhh!!"
I feel content. I feel at peace but we both have itchy feet and want to do more. There are more children to help, more young people to invest in and more people to pull together. I have led by example in working in partnership with as many people and organisations as possible.
If I could go back and do it all again....what would I advise my younger self?
1 - Have more fun
2 - Treasure time with family and friends
3 - Get up earlier
4 - Read more books
5 - Sing more songs
6 - Enjoy the mountains
7 - Jump into more rock pools
It is 1 July 2010 and I've just crossed the finishein line. I feel the tape break thru my chest. I'm wrecked! I've given it my all. The sweat is dripping of me. My mouth is dry. The adrenaline is flowing thru my veins.
Im ecstatic at how young people at MANNAFEST have developed into DISCIPLES. Yes I have heard how some have tripped on hurdles and fell and made mistakes but they have learnt o depend on God and one another - even when they mess up and especially when things are going well.
I have seen 100's of young people realise their potential within them and discover 'Who God is'.
I feel a sense of pride which is burning bright inside me at how different people have started working togther - churches, charities, young and old.
I am pumped that I invested in other people. I have learnt a lot from others - older men, fellow speakers. I have trained and develpoed my muscles. In one sense, there is regret as I pass the baton on, but I also feel a sense of accomplishment at a job well done.
A lap of honour to cool down but not to rest on my morals - a new team needs me. Another eveent to run in....
This was one interesting exercise I did with Kelly. Poor Kelly tho, it was like getting blood out of a stone. But made a good list - then I had to make my top 8 - I think they will change and they maybe aren't what i actually value but they were to do with what I value in work....
finish well; make a difference; to be liked; integrity; humility; confidence; honesty; accountability; fun; enjoyment; friendship; satisfaction; purpose; inspiration; trust; freedom; structure; challenged; truth; relaxed; appreciated; technique; communication; delivery; professionalism; inspiration; motivation; variety; freedom; making a difference; helping people; break from the norm; against status quo; different; creativity; partnership; making the most of something; respect; honesty; accountable; working together; team before self; sacrifice; organisation; doing my best; being professional; tasks over people; results; fun; have a laugh; God; exploring spirituality; make meaning to life; being different; going against the flow; realising potential; hope; change; role model; example; not messing up; no regrets; integrity; reality
TOP 8 in no particular order
1 - HAVING FUN
2 - BEING PROFESSIONAL
3 - FREEDOM
4 - HONESTY
5 - INTEGRITY
6 - BEING INSPIRED
7 - CHALLENGING THE NORM
8 - FINISHING WELL
So last week I was at a leadership conference for 3 days in the lovely setting of the Culloden Hotel. We didn't get to stay or use the spa or anything, but it was still good! Johnny Parks was taking the course so it was interesting to see him in a different light and without a guitar. Wasn't it??!!
It's always good to write down what you learnt after such an intense time, and it normally takes a while to reflect and digest everything, but honestly, my head is still fried. If anything I got to understand myself a bit better, why I react the way I do or behave the way I do. I'll say this tho - "I did NOT find myself" - never understood that statement. So there is no such thing as a problem....
What did I learn? I learnt that I actually exist. Might sound strange but it was an eye opener. I learnt that if someone criticises me or doesn't like me(which is quite often!) that rather than try to change their opinion, I just fuel their opinion of me by throwing the head up and maybe try to annoy them more. Now that was a revelation, cos it don't make sense, but I continue to do it.
So what do I want? I want people to like me. And what is the intention of people liking me? Well i want to be appreciated. And what would that get you? I suppose that would get me purpose and meaning in my life. And what's the purpose of you having purpose?
OK so I'm making a mockery but I use humour as a defense system...
We also looked at neuro linguistic programming model of communication, sensory acuity, rapport, cause and effect, parts integration, timeline, values, creating an achievable outcome and metaphors - all in 3 days! My head is pickled!
What I really enjoyed was meeting other people. When you go through something as intense as this you bond more quickly with people. So I worked with Dave Hines from City Church and Angus form CFC; Kelly and Sean from Woolsworth; Mags and Leeangh; Clare and Louise from YMCA; Christina; and Mims and Steve from YFC. A great bunch and I wish them all well. Just ragin I didn't have my cmaera to get a photo ot them, even tho I did have my camera but didn't know that I had my camera...
One more thing and i know this is a generalisation and that I am deleting and distorting some information.... I found that the Christians on the course were mainly driven by guilt andhad a really bad opinion on themselves - myself included. So we want to be a really good witness but what we say and what we do or don't do, but infact what would really speak to people is if we vlaued ourselves and seen ourselves how God views us -
dearly loved childrenWe are so caught up in selling Christianity and making hte gospel attractive that we have missed the good news that God takes and transforms lives for the better. I wonder do people want to be a Christian because of the way that I am living my life; because of the way I view myself and others or do people want to become a Christian so they can get a ticket for heaven or do people not even think about becoming a Christian....?
So here is me and the boss outside Ballydown Presby, near Banbridge. I look a bit flustered as it was absolutley boliling in the Church. It was a very hot day already and then I made the smart decision of sitting beside a radiator that was one! Presbys must be loaded having the heat on this time of year...
So I spoke at the childrens service, which was actually very good. The Church have a cool wee jazz band, led by a guy called Harry who was a bit of a musical maestro. The Church was packed - obviously cos they heard we were speaking....but it had a mixture of all ages. The atmosphere was brilliant. This weather influences people anyway in a good way and maybe being childrens day everyone is more relaxed. But we both really enjoyed the service. It was over in less than an hour as well, which always makes people in norn iron happy!
Steve spoke at the youth service that night and joined up again with the Dromore crew. They have a band and a drama team that took part and Dinger shared his story. You can't beat Dinger. He just says it as it is, which makes people a bit uncomfortable but needs to be said. Why do we want people to be dramatically transformed then conform to a respectful style of behaviour, where you start to play church or lip service??
Anyway it got us thinking, that this is what YFC should be doing more of - imagine having a YFC Sunday! We could come and take both services, for those holy spiritual churches that still have 2 services on a sunday....We love communicating God's word in a relevant and dynamic way. We believe we are great communicators. It would be great if we could get churches to support our work, get them onboard, so we could actually go and do work in schools and communities were young people have no contact with church. So anyone want to book us??
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
So this is April 10 2007 so its Ruth and Gavin's 3rd anniversary or 4th - I can't remember think its 3. It's also my Mum and Dad's 36th wedding anniversary - think they got married in 1971. Ah well! So here is the latest addition to our family, not officially, but she is lovely. Yes its Katrina. She's the one!
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Read Exodus 13 (focus on verses 17-22)
We were asked to look at our past, present and future. I suppose after wanting to be a truck driver, then a journalist, I always wanted to be a teacher. When a became a teacher it was like, ok, what now? I've always wanted to teach missionary kids abroad and would love to go back to Stran and become a teacher tutor!
I feel like I need a new challenge at the moment. The past couple of months have been ones of frustration and not very much direction. I'm excited about McCreedy coming to lead us. Things will happen, as he has lots of ideas and he is good at delegation and releasing people into their gifting. I know he is nervous and it will be an interesting dynamic with us as we've been friends and shared each others hearts and frustrations over the past 4 years. But I am excited at the potential of what God could do thru us.
This year I want to focus on making short films for Mannafest and general youth work. I have a couple of ideas and really want to create time to write, direct and act. Its a passion of mine which I've let slip lately. Oh and I also want to learn to play the drums and maybe do a bit of ballroom dancing!
Read Genesis 22 - the story of Abraham and Isaac. Never liked this story. It would never happen today with child protection and all that, so why is it in the Bible? Doesn't seem to fit. Then when you think about it, it does, so its ok....
Is there anything you think God wants you to sacrifice?
Probably the high opinion I have of myself and the low opinion I have of others. That I would stop living life for myself and put others before me. It is a revealing meditation
From Mon 25 Jan to Mon 22 Jan YFC have got the hold of the Methodist prayer room to do 24/7. Its a great location, in Aldersgate House, and even tho it is just a room, there is something holy and sacred about that place. Its easy to understnad how people can get caught up with a place or experience that they make sacred and limit God to moving only there. Here in YFCNI we want to be a people in tune with God's Spirit, doing God's work in God's strength. Its in the manual....
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
This is what Christmas is all about - meeting up with old friends. Reona was a year below Charlie and I in Wellington, but we sang in the choir and performed in schools plays together. How much fun did I have in school! That was a rhetorical question. The choir trips were immense. I only realised I wasnt a bass after like 4 years, during our last gig. I wasnt a tenor either more baritone but I only had the choice of 2, sometimes you just dont fit into neat wee boxes.
Reona was also in the Mannafest drama team with me. I nicknamed her "space cadet" just cos she was. Lots of fun. Very sincere.
So Reona has been living over in Atlanta Georgia for the past couple of years and she has got married to Jesse. They work for a church but it is cool cos they dont work in a church. They are placed in like these appartment blocks to live out their lives eveyday in community with people. I think they are employeed to organise events as well throughout the month for all residents. I hope Ive got this right but its very cool what they are doing. They have also just adopted Zoe, who has a great smile and goes about and does her thing very content and happy.
It was so good to meet up at Reona's parents house and the grandparents were loving the family reunion. Reona's dad is called Steve Martin...brilliant. Her brother, Gavin, also just got engaged to a beautiful mexican girl, which gets me thinking....
Also a name of a beer, but Ross came up with it first. This is my other band that I've been known to dabble in. We got the opportunity to play at PANTS on New Years Eve, well actually we got on stage at 230 in the am, much to Craigs delight, so it was New Years Day. I suppose this band came out of CSSM. Alan and Craig used to play in Native Spirit, but they split up. Ross has always wanted a band from CSSM days and we've played a few gigs. Last year we played at a battle of the bands and thought officially we didnt win, we did, and everyone there knew it and knows it. We rocked that joint, and this stupid girl band got the sympathy vote. Anyway, I love playing with these guys. Craig or Judas as I like to call him, cos he betrayed me once and I wont let him forget it, is a talented beatch, seriously the guy is amazing on the guitar, the best Ive heard or saw/seen. He wont play certain songs, so getting a set list together is quite difficult but its worth it in the end.
This year we played Mr Brightside, Breakfast at Tiffanys, A little respect, Back for Good, Hit me baby one more time (my fav), When September ends (but we changed it to December!) and just for Ross 'Best of you' by the Foos. Rock on wee man!
From l to r - Craig "Judas" Jackson (lead guitar), Alan "funny trousers and strange hats" Currie (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) and Ross "Baby" Jackson (drums). I played Bass sort of and sang a bit...