Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's all about Jo

Jo is here. She flew from Australia to see me for my birthday. What I want to know is where are the rest of you? Huh?! Huh?! Ok, so maybe Jo is on a round the world jaunt and made a slight detour to come and visit me, still, great work from her! The weather here turned on a treat yesterday, tipped it down constantly for 24 hours, Oxford was disgusting, for such a beautiful city I've never seen it look so miserable and dead. Welcome to England Jo. (Oh, forgot the explanation of the title, there is one rule with Jo, that must never ever be broken, it's all about Jo. Simple eh?)
I'm now 20. Or, as is becoming popular amongst those forced to leave their teenage years by the unstoppable force we like to call "time": Twenteen. I'm not particularly loving the idea of no longer being a teenager but I will probly get over it sometime soon. I like being the "young one", the youngest in my class, younger than people think I am, young enough to get away with some of the crazy things I do. Oddly, I am the oldest child in my family. Perhaps a contributing factor to my liking of being young and not having responsibility. Whatever the reasons, I enjoy my youth and intend to continue to make use of it, it is a significant number, but ultimately, just a number, and I have no intention of growing up anytime soon =]

Friday, May 25, 2007

How do you like THEM apples?!

The Mac is here! And after some initial "fun" is connected to the net, tho not by my doing or understanding, and is very very very cool! The switch from PC is far from over but I'm getting there, need some coaching and some spare time to work it out, have actually not had a moment to chill since I got it, with the exception of last nite where I was so tired all I managed to do was put a DVD on it and crash out. (The picture and the sound were amazing!)
This weekend see's the start of the busiest week of my life, feels like anyway. Canoeing in Wales, then having a friend from Oz for three days (!) and then have a day of rock climbing, then a pirates day, then a park party with church, then I collapse in a heap and die... fun fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Knights Tale

I found the scroll containing Guybo's marvelous introduction to my talk, it's now hanging on my wall next to the photo of the Queen. Here's the transcript for your reading pleasure, the talk is below.

My Lords, my Ladies, and everyone else to poor to buy a peerage under the present government! It is my pleasure, nay, my privelage, my honour to introduce to you a man of such stature, such eloquence, and such sobriety that we are not worthy of his corpulence. His Father, Marcus of Australia, is renowned throughout the Western shores, a man whose deeds I am not able to recall at this point. I first met him in the backwaters of Tasmania where he laboured long and hard in his knighthood training. Whilst there he did distinguish himself as a friend to man and beast, being the first to jump the rocks of death at Diamond Gorge Launceston - flying through the air like a winged sea bass!

He has spent two long years away from his family, far from familiar shores, in order that he would better understand how to serve the British Empire. A man so devoted to the Queen that he wears a crown and robe behind closed doors, and sleeps with her picture above his bed. A man so pure that his sweat is drinkable; so modest that you will never hear him swear or curse; and a man so brave that dragons fear his name.
Adults want to be him; Children want to be like him; Women want to be near him; Animals want to smell him..... We sit in the aroma of his greatness, smelling the stench of his intrepidation! The one, the only, a man who needs no introduction but has one anyway..... Zachariah Holt!

And then I said...

It’s kind of cool getting an introduction like that eh. We all have stories that we’re proud of, cool stuff we've done that we'd kind of like other people to know. But we can’t tell these stories ourselves coz we'd come across arrogant. But if someone else tells these stories, it might be a little bit embarrassing, but really we kind of enjoy the fact that others know our greatest achievements, the best things that we've done. But what if I said Guy was going to come back up here and introduce you. Only, instead of telling everyone all the best stuff about you, he was going to list your worst moments, all the things you are most ashamed and embarrassed of...? And we’ve all got these stories don’t we, the stuff we hide, our worst secrets that we dread other people finding out, things that can still cause us to feel guilt and shame, even years after the fact.

When I was 12 I was at a BBQ in a park with my family. My sister and I were on the playground and Dad called us from across the field and said it was time to go and so we started to run back. Part way there, for no reason at all, I tripped my sister up. I don’t know what I was thinking and I could never explain why I did this, but one moment my precious little sister was smiling and laughing as she ran, and the next she's in a heap on the ground crying and bleeding and hurt and she's bitten halfway through her tongue.

In one moment I’d caused her a month of pain. I was, I still am, so ashamed of what I did, it was like I was dying inside.

The bible tells us that all have sinned, everyone of us falls short. And there is a consequence; “the wages of sin is death”, both physical death and the internal death we feel inside when we mess up, the guilt and shame and sorrow that we feel because we know that what we've done is wrong.

I want to show you a clip from the film. (watch from 7 minutes to the end of the clip)

When William, or Ulrich, first meets Chaucer he’s walking down the road naked, they presume him to have been robbed. In this clip we see that the real reason Chaucer was naked is that he has a gambling problem and literally lost everything.

Kind of like the consequence of sin, Chaucer faces being beaten by his creditors, probably quite severely, and his only hope lies with the man he lied to, who has no reason to help him.

I want to introduce someone else to you at this point:

He was born to two teenagers, presumed illegitimate by the scandal surrounding his birth, he grew up in Egypt because the king of his own country wanted him dead. He returned to his hometown with his parents some years later where he grew into a strapping young man, wise and respected. He spent three years teaching great crowds, impressing all from the most common of peasants to the rulers of the day. He cared for the sick and the poor, he had time and love for those rejected by all others, he performed many great works and miracles and was hailed by many as the foretold Messiah or saviour. His name is Jesus, the Son of God.

And unlike every one of us, he had never sinned. He never stuffed it up. And so like Will in the film, he was the only one who could clear the debt. And so, he did.

The wages of sin is death, and so the only price that could clear the debt was Jesus’ own death, a price he paid on the cross. The story is not over there though, three days later God raised Jesus from the dead. The price was paid and so God was free to undo the effects of sin, and free us from death.

I want to show you one more clip, right from the end of the film. (Watch the first one minute and twenty seconds of this clip)

And the point is this: You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting… But forgiven. Welcome to the new world.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Because of what he did we can come to the Father and receive the forgiveness that he purchased for us.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Prophetic Warrior Shepard Statesman

One of my teachers once told us that his aim was to turn us into Prophetic Warrior Shepard Statesmen (and women I suppose, there were females in the room as well, altho as a matter of personal preference I'm inclined to sexism in such instances) I'm sure there's meant to be some sort of hyphen slash combination in that mouthful but I for one can't be bothered to work it out. An strange thing to say, and indeed a stranger thing to post on the internet, however the interns came out of class today analysing each other before moving on to Guybo and myself and what they were analyising was which of four categories we "fit". The options were: Agitator- angry little man (ok, not quite that harsh, but close). Prophet/Myth-maker- visionary who is very useful at the beginning of great undertakings and rather less useful towards the end. Statesman- leader who sees not only the vision but also the people he (more sexism) is leading and is capable of caring for them and holding their trust. And Administrator- a highly organised (and likely anal) individual who has the irritating ability to make things happen and more often than not block the things they do not want to happen. (Guess which one I'm not)
Now, I'll grant you that this is my rather skewed interpretation of a brilliant piece of work, and that each character has a vital role to play at different points in leadership, yes, even the administrator (and to be fair two of my favourite people in the world are the past and present parish administrators in Haddenham, so it is possible to do this job in a non-obstructionist manner, it's just that the generally anal temperament of administrators is not conducive to this). Back to the point; as the analysis moved around the room bringing great amusement with it for the most part, I set about reflecting on the impact of each of these roles and especially on how they work in my life and most recently in the organisation of the Breakout on Saturday. The group turned its focus on me last of all (I like going last for some reason, happens quite a bit) and the concensus was that I was a "Prophet-maker Statesman" which I believe was Grets attempt to combine the middle two characters into one. There was a definite agreement that I lacked the capacity to organise anything more complex than a piss-up in a brewery (not entirely accurate and something that unfortunately is the topic of many pieces of "construcive criticism" that come my way) but that I have some sort of capacity for leadership. Having been informed of this I went and grabbed the notes so as to work out what precisely they were talking about and then came the memory of my teachers aim which was the opening line of this here post.
Having unpacked that lunch-box of fun, I can no longer remember whether or not I had a point I intended to make or not. But it was an interesting thought process anyway. Will post my talk from the Breakout as soon as I find a copy of Guybos introduction to my talk, which multiplies the entertainment value many times over. Suffice to say for the moment that it was a good day and that I went to bed at 8 last nite and did not wake until 10 this morning!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Impatiently Waiting

Macbook is still not here. I'm as impatient as a four year old on Christmas morning at 4am... and that was last week! Each day I think "surely it will arrive today" and each day I am surely disappointed. Oddly patience is growing the longer it takes to get here, you think it would be the other way around.
A French market has appeared on the high street in Risboro, a quick jaunt has so far yielded an awesomely spicy Spanish sausage (French market, German looking Spanish sausage.. work that out!) and some gifts for my mother and sister. If I post them now they may get there for Christmas! As I walked away I had the thought that it would be nice to get something for my adopted mother and sister as well so I think I'll head back down there in a bit to pick a couple more things up.
Day trip tomoro. I'm doing the talk. Have been avoiding this for ages and it finally caught up with me. Damnit. The last two day trips have felt v strange, or rather the last two days before-hand have as I now work for the church Thursday-Friday and so miss out on the last minute hall arse to make it all happen. Tis a disconcerting feeling despite its many benefits. The theme is A Knights Tale, which is a fantastic Heath Ledger movie featuring the brilliant Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code, Wimbledon) and lends itself well to a lot of fun. My research for the day involved watching it on YouTube one day at work. Which actually proved a good use of time as I got the idea for the talk from it. Now I just have to finish writing it and start practicing! O how I detest public speaking.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spot the Difference

A mate posted this link to two photos that have three differences, supposedly only 19 people have ever spotted all three. I've got two so far but the third is eluding me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Veja du

is the feeling that you will probably be there again. Generally asociated with exhaustive meetings, church services, certain arguments and general elections involving John Howard. HT to Ian of YouthBlog for this piece of genius that brightened my morning.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Two Dinners, Two Lots of Pudding!

Twas a good nite! Caught up with a good friend who I don't get to see nearly enough, coached Harry to victory in an eating contest against Timbo at Talk and Tucker, watched Liverpool beat Chelsea in the Champions League, twas a good nite! Now have a youth report to write for the church AGM tomoro nite, fun fun! (Oh! also; had a shave, tis the cleanest my face has been for two years but I just can't bring myself to get rid of it all)