God's Geek

Reflections and random thoughts of a geeky youth worker in North London...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Well, it is Friday afternoon...

Despite the fact that my day off is Tuesday and this is, in effect half way through my week, I still have that Friday feeling (and Neil is home v soon as he has been away on retreat - he thought he was snowed in this morning)... so, here are some funny things to have a look at... One of the youth groups was looking att he subject of humility last night and we made paper aeroplanes to illustrate the point. Well, now you can make the best one ever - click here - 3 students at Leeds University have been pretty busy finding out how to make the perfect plane.

Cartoon Blog is constantly funny and insightful and definitely worth keeping an eye on. The Church Marketing Cartoon is especially insightful and hilarious. In my opinion. The Dullest Blog in the World is also v amusing.

Finally, YoofWork always makes me giggle. Putting the 'fwor' into yoofwork, indeed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Amanda, stop procrastinating and get on with your essay...

Only a short post as I am trying to convince myself to either go to bed or get on with the reading for my essay rather than, you know, procrastinating, as I currently am!! Anyway, I am feeling fairly good. Bad days have been followed by better days and I am still struggling with staying on an even keel with God regardless of the external commotions of life! I had a flying visit to Oxford yesterday to see Jenny, a friend/ex-youth group member who is studying there. It is a beautiful city and I sampled the infamous (apparently) G & D's icecream... pretty good, although I am currently finding anything to replace the spot that Ben & Jerry's low fat frozen yogurt (Chocolate Brownie) has in my heart. Anyone looking for ideas for a birthday present??? Look no further....

It was great to see Jenny and catch up and pray about some of the stuff happening with her. Neil is away this week, therefore every spare moment is meant to be spent on my essay... hence late night blog entries....

On a more *interesting* note (assuming that many may find my late night drivel about ice cream slightly less than interesting...) I have been surprised about the lack of blogging interest in the court case of Sue Axon v Department of Health. Mrs Axon is challenging the DOH over guidelines that stated that it would be the exception to involve parents when discussing contraception with under 16s. She argues that families should be there to support under 16s considering abortion and parents have a right to know what advice is being given to their child. I believe that this has inplications for confidentiality between youth workers and young people, although this has apprently not been tested by law. I am a couple of weeks late posting about this and can't find out any more info... does anyone know what the outcome was?

I asked some young people what they thought - should parents have a right to know if their children are taking contraception or having abortions. The response was fairly mixed. I personally feel that it sahould be the exception for the parents to not know.... any one else have any thoughts?

On a lighter note, this is quite fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Praying for a good day

I have had a few bad work days on the trot and I am feeling a bit down in the dumps (a phrase which I feel is underused these days). I am really praying that I am not affected by circumstance and good and bad days but instead I focus on God and where he wants me to be. It isn't always easy though... hhhmmm.

A few good things are coming up, though... it is my birthday very soon. Also, we are going to see Ben Elton live. Finally, I have booked to go iceskating a couple of days after Christmas at the outdoor rink at Somerset House. It is always lovely to have fun things in the diary. And I am dead excited about writing my first essay for my course, looking at family and community life in biblical and contemporary times. Just need to write the thing now rather than be excited about it!

Aaaahhh... just writing this is cheering me up. God is good. Amen.

The New Commentariat

There was an interesting article on the Guardian Online today, called the New Commentariat. It looks at the impact of political bloggers, but also discusses the world of blogging, including the origin of the word blog! There's an interesting quote from David T:

'He spends only a brief time writing his own blog entries, he says - but hours reading through readers' comments. "That sort of thing can ruin your marriage. You're never cured - you're only in remission. You're only ever a recovering blogger."'

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Beyond the youth group

Pete has recently written a paper called Beyond the Youth Group which is well worth a read. You can find it on the LBA Youth website - look under downloads.

Youth Mission and Ministry

I had such a great week away at Cliff College and it is so good to be studying again. I can't even begin to explain how great it was to share and learn from like minded people that love God and young people. One of the things that God really left me with over the course of that week was a need for vision - and not just some nice plan of what to do - but a need for guidance from God, a desire to follow God's direction, get his heart for young people and build programmes and relationships through that.

I feel in quite a weird place at the moment, with loads of exciting opportunities opening up in the community and schools, but also finding some of the established groups at church really hard work. Something happened recently that also gave me a huge desire to reach as many young people as possible to show them that God loves them. I spent an evening in tears just thinking about how messed up our society is and frustrated by the role that the church plays (or doesn't play) in demonstrating God's love.

I think God was at the centre of that and I am really determined to work with my church (and other churches) to be clear on what it is we should be doing/being and getting as many people as possible on board with this vision. I really believe God is stirring something up through his spirit and I want to be faithful to him.

I feel excited and scared and tired. Cool.

I have returned - you missed me, right?

Well, I was getting a little too obsessed with all things blog related so I thought I would take a step back for a while and get things in perspective....I am sure that fellow bloggers will agree that sometimes blogs can take over a little... I believe my perspective has been restored and feel that I am in a position to start posting again!

As ever, it has been a busy couple of weeks with lots of fun things thrown in. I went to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang last night, which lives up to the good reviews that it has received. Although it drags in places, it was really very funny and clever. Val Kilmer put in a cracking performance and I was properly laughing out loud in places. This is worth mentioning as I will often I just smile and acknowedge a funny moment in a play/film/Tv programme etc rather than guffawing out loud. Well, there were definite guffaw moments last night.

Last week, me and Neil had a night out in London and went to see A Few Good Men at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. I didn't realise that Aaron Sorkin had written the play/film - he is also the creator of the mighty mighty West Wing. The play was great and Suranne Jones proved there was more to her than just Corrie. I have heard complaints that Rob Lowe is quite wooden and I was disappointed with his delivery at certain points. But it was still great to see the action played out on stage and know that everyone is waiting for those killer couple of lines...

Talking of West Wing, I have finally finished Season 6 although our TV blew up recently, which halted proceedings somewhat. I watched the last few episodes on my computer. Our TV is still in Electronic Hospital although the good people of Philips agreed to fix it for free despite it being out of guarantee. It has actually been great not having a TV. I don't watch loads of programmes and we tend to watch films most of all, but it has been wonderful to remove it completely for a while. We have both read more and talked more and played board games, including Bible Baffle, based on biblical trivia.

Anyway, my brief leisure update has reached its conclusion. It is good to be back.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Seaside Rock!

Last week was fantastic, as we ran a holiday club for primary school children at our church. It was great and we got around 60 children every day. A lot of young people were involved in helping and they all worked really hard. In fact, it was one of the best things that I am involved with during my time at the church, mainly because it was truly all- age. Everyone from the age of 4 to 70- something were a part of things and mucked in together. I decided on Friday to take the young people out for pizza but the adults wanted to come as well! In the end around 35 of us took over Pizza Hut and just enjoyed eating and being together, which was pretty special.

The childern all had a great time and there was a great mix of praise, craft, games, stories, teaching and a giant duck called Quacker. I was involved in a number of things including being Peter and a giant duck, games and aerobics. I love these things, partly as it gives me a chance to work with children. I am currently working on a theory that most youht workers/ministers are children's workers as well. Any thoughts?.... I had a great time and am thanking God as I am pretty sure that lots of children experienced him throughout the week. After all, 'our God is a great big God!'