thanks to so many people who have encouraged me, given me advice or prayed for me following my mention that i was speaking at a funeral of a friend today. inevitably it was sad, but the church was packed and the funeral went well. and the talk i prepared seemed to be about right. in a strange way there's nothing like death to focus your mind on christian hope in the midst of hurt.
in particular thanks to paul thaxter and doug gay - the talk was a combination of their shared insights with a few of mine thrown in the mix and indeed i quoted directly things they had shared with me. i also read stewart henderson's incredible poem this day in paradise that he scribed on my dad's death. thanks too david for your suggestion to write the whole talk out - that was really practical and helpful.
upcoming day organised by NET on shaping the values of business on the HMS president again. johnny and mike from groundworks are really good...
A NET event in association with the Blah... network
Mike Morris and Jonny Sertin from Groundworks facilitate a day on
The Values of Business
Who are you? What are you doing and why?
Saturday 9 February 10:30 - 4:30
A great event wherever you are in your process (an existing business, a startup, or even if you are just thinking about getting started)
The aim of Groundworks is to give a forum to encourage people in their journey, to inspire global collaboration, and connect them with something bigger than the stage that they are currently operating on, and to create space for friendship and mutual learning. This certainly fits with the aims of NET and we are ecxcited to host this day and have them with us.
£15 including lunch
NET is a network of entrepreneurs engaged in social enterprise. Using business as a platform for change.
NET meetings are now held on the fourth Monday of each month.
happy fifth birthday to moot!
beyond the wilderness: lenten journeys - events and art gallery space that is mentioned looks good for lent. lent starts early this year (feb 6). so i will blog about grace and proost lent stuff before long...
so after a gentle ease back into catching up on e-mails and so on last week, this week feels like there won't be much room to breathe as everything gets going...
i start teaching a module on mission for the centre for youth ministry degree course in oxford monday and am then back for a grace planning meeting in the evening
into the office tuesday to catch up and play my first game of sqaush for years (exercise to get fit after christmas!) followed by the first meeting of the year in the evening of the ealing LIP group
down to bath on the wednesday to plot the year ahead for proost
meet 20 students from calvin college on thursday followed by coffee/lunch with pete rollins who is in town and then preparation for fri and sat
then friday i am speaking at jane foster smith's funeral, a friend who died over christmas. i have never spoken at a funeral so this is both a privilege and highly scary. and advice or prayer welcome.
and saturday i teach on the mission shaped ministry course at chelmsford and get back in time for the first grace of the year visits .
so there may not be a lot of blogging or photos this week!
speaking of the first grace of the year come and join us if you are around. cathy ross, a friend from cms who runs the mission education centre will be out guest speaker as we draw our thoughts on hospitality to a close and explore the visit of the magi and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. here's the flyer
two things from BT (british telecom - ignore if you are not a UK reader) have pleasantly surprised me recently.
the first is that i thought it was about time to renew my flickr pro subscription. if you use flickr you can get a small number of photos shared for free but if you want to share a lot then you need to get the pro subscription which costs about $25 a year. anyway i checked when it was due but found that i now get a pro account free because flickr was bought by yahoo last year and bt have a tie in with yahoo. so i get flickr pro free. so if you are a BT broadband customer you might want to go and sign in with flickr. all i need now is for yahoo to buy typepad so i can get my blog account free!!! i know a lot of flickrites were very unhappy about yahoo taking over so it may not all be rosy but it was a nice surprise for me...
the second is that because we are on the top broadband usage we could get a BT vision box for free which i did. and it has transformed our television viewing. with bt vision you get the freeview channels which we had already but bt vision has a hard disc which enables you to select up to 80 hours of viewing to record at the click of a button. with video i very rarely recorded anything because it was such a hassle but now it is so easy that we have recorded loads and ben watching more tv as a result. admittedly it's been christmas which kind of goes with dossing and viewing tv. with recorded programmes you can rewind or fast forward so skip the adverts. and you can rewind tv on the channel you are watching. in practice this means that say it's grace on a saturday night and i get in half an hour after match of the day has started, then i can just rewind and watch the whole thing. and that makes me happy :-) . the video recorder is now unplugged and redundant technology. i suspect it won't be long before dvd goes the same way.
i realise that there are several other digital tv solutions out there that are like this. but what i loved about this is that it came free for us as we are on the total broadband option. everyone loves something that is free (ok i know we pay plenty for our broadband).
so there you go - good old BT!
received this sad news via e-mail today. john was at greenbelt last year.
Our friend John O'Donohue has died. John was on holiday in France.
Poet, priest and philosopher, John was a one-off, the warmest, funniest, wisest person you could hope to meet.
His most recent book, 'Benedictus', was published just before Christmas. It's a book of blessings and this is an extract from one.
'May there be some beautiful surprise
Waiting for you inside death
Something you never knew or felt,
Which with one simple touch
Absolves you of all loneliness and loss,
As you quicken within the embrace
For which your soul was eternally made.
'May your heart be speechless
At the sight of the truth
Of all your belief had hoped,
Your heart breathless
In the light and lightness
Where each and every thing
Is at last its true self
Within that serene belonging
That dwells beside us
On the other side
Of what we see.'
[update: tribute to john by gareth higgins on the greenbelt site]
joel has done an end of year mix of his favourite dance tunes of 2007
[i'm hoping he doesn't crash my bandwidth on typepad as i have no idea how much i get!]
we made our annual visit to the wildlife photographer of the year exhibition over the new year. i always find it an uplifting experience, a dose of wonder to start the year. it is an amazing (broken) world we live in. when the competition started out there were about a 1000 entries. this year there were 32000 which shows how it and photography has grown.
the photos are in light boxes lit from behind which makes them look fabulous. the small images on the web site really don't do justice to them. we always have a discussion on our favourites and they are often ones that didn't win a category but were runners up or highly commended.
i tend to notice the cameras and lenses and so on for the photos these days which shows i have become a geek or have a new area of interest! at least 90% of the photos are taken with canon or nikon cameras as they were last year. they are so dominant - i haven't had the luxury of trying many makes out but on the basis of this showing if you're starting out pick one of these two...
in february 1998 i visited palestine/israel. what i saw and heard shocked me and when i returned i recorded an angry sad album backbone telling the stories of those encounters. backbone is still one of the albums i am most proud of (and has sold the least copies!!!!).
the track is sung in two halves. the first is sung by me as a zionist jew returning to the promised land, seeing the palestinians as the equivalemnt to the canaanites to be driven out in the name of god. the second half is sung by jon as muhanna arab, a palestinian i met who had seen his house and land destroyed and then lived in a beaten up caravan which was regularly stoned by the settlers. he also sings of ibrahim who we met - i have a stone from his house that had been bulldozed by israeli soldiers after spending 5 years building it. he asked us to take a stone to remember and tell the story. the chorus is 'there's no place like home'.
sadly it seems very little has changed in nearly 10 years. this video brought it all back to me...
i have made a few changes to the blog for the new year.
i have been through the posts for the year and made sure i have added them to the right categories. categories are a really good way of organising information with typepad. if i ever want to find something i usually just click the relevant category in the left hand column.
i have rearranged a few bits in the sidebars - most significantly, i have lost the articles by me and articles by others lists. instead if you click on the category articles on the left hand side you will find links to any articles. and i have then added a new page my writings that is linked to on the right hand side so i (or you) can easily access stuff i have written. typepad's pages is a great feature that helps make blogs an easy way to build a web site as i have blogged about before.
and then i fancied a bit of a change of look. it began with a new header and then that didn't work with the blue background so that blue that i have used even on my old blogger blog has gone for the first time in 5 and a half years and i am going with more of a black and white and vibe. if you can't see it or the new header just refresh a few times and it will appear.
let me know what you think...
and to sit with the new colours here's another of the fog photos. it looks like this is done with time lapse taking 4 shots of one bird but it's not. it's 4 different gulls taking flight at the same time i.e. what you see was there at the same time (kind of goes with the iffley and brighton flights).
i hope your dreams fly in 08.