This morning in my news feeds I read a post on Trying to Follow about church and why go to church and it made me think briefly what church is to me.
It should be obvious that it’s not the buildings or theseats or the furniture and only a small part of it is the music/worship, preaching/sermons, and all that stuff. What it really is, is People.
People are the church but to have good church you need relationship. In our church i have some really good ffriends. These are the people i have come to know really well and have come to rely on. You hear people talking about church being like a family and that is true.
Family is about being comfortable with people. It’s about forgiving people, trusting people, relying on people, loving people, caring for people, working through things with people, getting used to people, growing through annoying habits with people…. you get the idea. It’s intimate. And while some are not so lucky to have families that are so co-operative and loving the churhc is the one place where they can get this.
For those who have ha good family lives – then it becomes an extension of this and your family gets bigger.
If you find yourself in a church where you don’t have many really good friends you would aspire to call family then I would urge you to make those friendships stronger.
Now you know when there ae imes when you really souldn’t laughn at the misfortunes of others. Well strictly speaking that is most of the time. It really isn’t right to take entertainment from the bad times of others.
JUST DONT LAUGH…
By far the best and most dynamic website i have built and i am really happy with it. It’s still got a long way to go with some big glitches but nothing i cant sort. (clicky piccie)
Check it out and lemme know what ya think
Working backwards this has been the last 2 weeks.
- Feeling sick with a cold
- missed out on live nativity
- went to Oaktree Christmas staff party – yummy food
- worked last day of work for Christmas
- came back from Ireland started to feel ill
- generally did lots of driving in Ireland and got to show Wifey my home
- did the funeral thing for granny
- tried to look after Wifey while she felt uber ill
- did the removal service
- travelled to Ireland
- choreographed all the family getting to ireland
- found out we needed to get to ireland by the next day
- Had a call from Mom with the sad news that granny had died.
- working like a maniac trying to finish a film for work
- sang in choir for oaktree carol service
- did the oaktree carol service
- returned from Norwich
- did a wedding in Norwich
- travelled to Norwich
- Made a video for oaktree carol service
- recorded a voice over for oaktree carol service
- working like a maniac to finish off a film using lots of friends
On Saturday night, Wifey and i went down to Thornbury in Bristol for Our Niece Catherine’s 18th Birthday party. It was a really great part but i do have to say I was shocked in to the reality of my age in a big way.
The party itself was good fun. We drank quite a bit and danced alot. It was the music that was the kicker. There was this bunch of Young ladies all dancing to utter rubbish! Now I have never and willn never claim to have the
best taste in music but i know i do have at least some standards and te music the pervy DJ was playing was really dire BUT – they loved it! It was confusing as I wanted to dance but every other tune was dreadful. At one point the DJ started to play some decent house and hard house in a vintage way so i requested some “Faithless“. Now remember the point that Faithless are one of the best house acts ever but did these kids ge it?
The dance-floor emptied…….
tumbleweed tumbled….. ok it didnt but it felt like it should have! I felt OLD!
I realised that in the same breath i had called a bunch of 18 year olds kids, wondered why these “kids” didnt appreciate some “real” music and i thought that there was far too much flesh on display for the age range present…..
OH MY WORD! Have I passed it? In reality I realise that maybe i’ve finally arrived fully in adulthood and I can take this two ways. I can consider it the beginning of the end and tha life is all own hill from here, or I can look back an appreciate the great times I had as a “Youff” but also look froward to the amazing times that are to come.
On a more hilarious note: Classic prankage:
WordPress is the DADDY! I’ve been using it now since Jan 07 and it has been brilliant. For someone like me who is not chiefly a web developer it has taught me how to think with regards to developing sites. The infrastructure of how it works is quite brilliant really.
Here’s the low down: Wordpress is an open source free bit of software that is very much like a Content management system. Because it’s open source this means that anyone who uses it gets access to the code.This in turn means that anyone can edit/adapt the code for their needs. It was originally designed to run peoples weblog sites but has now become so much more:
It can be broken down to 3 main areas: The main code, Themes & Plugins
- The main code are the basic set of files that make the site run, communicate with the database, give the user interface and so on. It’s the backbone if you like.
- Themes are the look / visual design of the site and its layout.
- Plugins- This is where the real genius happens. These are add-ons. They effectively add on extra functionality to your website.
The use of plugins is encouraged by the developer so much so that on the website they give yo all the tools you need to create your own plugins. When you create a plugin you can then upload it to their site and it becomes available t anyone. That’s not to say that you HAVE to do so – i appreciate some will work hard on these and wouldn’t want to just give it away. Effectively this means that io stead of having one developer working on your site, you have the knowledge of thousands.
I just think it rocks!
I have to admit here to being one to Listen to BBC Radio 1. I like the music selection but over the past 10 months i have been finding myself tuning into other stations like Radio2/4, Virgin even Heart and Magic! I realise that i am not part of their ‘people aged 16-24’ demographic. I guess I’m getting older and things are starting to pass me by.
Last night was another occassion whee i was quite disturbed by the stance the NewsBeat team were taking on a particular story. The outline was that certain councils are now providing the Contraceptive Jab to girls as young as 13. While this in itself is a quesgionable thing to do it was the attitude the reporting tea took on it was one of sheer apathy.
There have been stories where they have put an incredibly biased slant or spin on a story knowing that thier younh impressionable audience will lap it up and take this “slant” as fact. The pioont being that thier listners takeon board the message they give. So reporting on a strory apethetically sends out that message.
Instead of looking at this problem of under-16’s haveing illegal sex they just say – Dont worry – there is an easy way out! They inteviewd a young girl who said – she doens’t have to remember to take a pill or a patch. Well GOOD FOR HER! She doesnt have to face the consequences of breaking the law neve mind the emotional and moral consequences. Not once did the reporter mention the fact that oung peiople uder he age of 16 shouldn’t be havin sex. This is just irrespossible news casting and this apathetic attitude to underage sex is not the first occurence.
Undrage pregnancy is an issue in this country. Unless they are told by people they look up to that they dont have to jump into bed with people and probably should wait, well, it’s going to continue being a growing problem. We need t remember that these kids are just that – THEY ARE CHILDREN. they don’t have the mental maturity to understand the consequences of sex.
Newsbeat need to get their act together because at the moment they may aswell tell these kids directly yo go ad sleep around and tell then that nothing matters – That’s the basic message they’v been giving….
Maybe they need to look at the position of authority they hold and how much our youth look to them for advice?
This is cute and creepy at the same time:
I dunno how this has happened. Well in some ways I do and I feel terrible in some ways and in others i feel like standing up and saying, “well no its cause of this or that!”. The fact remains that I have been a really crap mate to some of my friends. I’ve let some of my closest friendships really dwindle when all it requires is a little more effort.
I’ve been thinking a lot about where is the balance between the natural distancing with friends one would expect when you get married. Friendships shift a great deal after marriage and while it’s tempting to say its always a negative shift I want to stop myself and say its not a negative shift but its maybe an uncomforatable change. And change is hard.
Bob is probably the best example of this. Bob and I have been friends for the bast part of almost 10 Years. We met at college and while we both thought the other was a bit of a prat initially we soon became very good friends. As clichéd as its sounds I love him like a brother. His loyalty is astounding, his wit incredible and his mind is aspirational. If he is so great, you may ask then why and how have i let our friendship slide so drastically? The answer? A Lot of things ad a lot of unknowns….
One of the harsh truths is that we have naturally grown apart. Our lives have become so different that common ground has become spa**er and spa**er. But it’s not like that should really hold th friendship to ransom. I mean, My own brother Tom is drastically different to me in all aspects and our friendship is fine but comparing one friendship to another is also a mistake and pointless.
So how has it come to this with Bob? The dynamic of our friendship has been based a lot on a shared sense of humour that our circle of friends has always had. Put a bunch of intelligent good looking people together a it’s what you get. (That sounds really superficial – not intended to be so.) Part of that included us taking the mick out of our catholic upbringings which led on to extremely skeptical views of any religious beliefs and the integrity of any religious organisation. I.E. we took the piss out of anyone religious. While my family has always been religious there was a lot of unspoken jibes and references clouded in layers of subtlety that makes it difficult own to place specific examples but it doesn’t affect the result which was a generally skeptical view on religion and God. So when I became a christian all this was turned on it’s head and it bore a new set of complications – at least that’s how i have seen it. Before I say anything more i need t say i bare all this on my own shoulders as it has been my actions and reactions that have got me to where I am.
SO becoming a christian was and is an amazing experience. My life has been transformed in amazing ways. There is a but coming, can you feel it?……. BUT! I couldn’t help thinking what would my friends think, what would Bob think? I was embarrassed that one of the very things that was a common ground and an easy target for ridicule had become the very core of my being. I was embarrassed to tell my closes frinds that I was attending the alpha course in the first place as I had up till the concluded that needing religion was a weakness. I was also embarrassed that i was going back to what my parents had said all along. I was embarrassed and wrried at what my frineds would think of me. Here came my biggest mistake.
This Amazing thing that was happening to me I kept to myself. I didn’t tell them about it. I didn’t want t because i didn’t want to risk them thinking less of me. I started to distance myself from them. Getting involved with church and everything helped with this. It was easy to busy myself with everything that goes on with a church community but i had no sense of balance. The more I gt involved the more excuses i had to not see my frineds and to not talk t them about what i was going through for fear of the ridicule thy might give me. So i started to spen less and less time with them. It was easier to stick my head in the sand rather than to speak proudly of how my life was changing and becoming sooo much better.
Going back to Bob. This was such a stupid attitude to take. I know Bob has loved me like a brother too and I know that while he might have had reservations about it he wouldn’t judge me as much as I thought he would and to make mattes worse i didn’t give him or my other friends the opportunity to do so. I assumed that they would take a particular stance and i didn’t like it so I didn’t give them the chance. This is what started to create a divide.
Friendships, no, relationships are always built on trust. Closer relationships are built on a trust where you share stuff about your life with those people and that they will love you and respect you regardless of what they may think. I didn’t give them a chance. I didn’t trust them. In turn I held back what was going on. When you hold back stuff from people who know you well they can tell something is up. When you refuse to tell them, that causes a divide as they feel like they are not being trusted.
So what does this make me? It makes me a bit spineless actually. How can I stand up with integrity as a Christian but wollow away form my closest friendships a let them grow stale out of my own insecurities? I cant!
I’ve gotta figure out the balance which as you can imagine aint easy but it’s not as complicated as I’m making it. There’s a lot of damage to be repired and while i know my friendships will never be as they were (mainly due to being married), I still want them back.