Sunday, December 24, 2006


Is it me or is the whole concept of Santa a tad strange. Most babies and small kids I know are scared of him. And rightly so.

Who is Santa?

  • A fat old man with a beard who breaks into your house and eats your food.

  • Us teachers teach kids about 'stranger danger', yet at Christmas little ones are forced by their parents to go into a dark room and sit on this fat strangers knee!

  • Santa is the only concept whereby it is universally accepted for mummies and daddies to lie to their kids.

  • SANTA is an anagram of SATAN. Could he be the devil's way of getting parents to lie to their kids and helping everybody to forget about Jesus?

Anyway, Merry Christmas! Forget Santa, remember the reason. Tell someone the truth.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas music anyone?

If you thought that all music released at Christmas time is crap then think again. Here are two recommendations:

Your first buy should be Foy Vance's single 'Gabrial and the Vagabond' released today.
'Songs For Christmas' by Sufjan Stevens
I purchased Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens a few months ago and was blown away. He has had critics drooling at his genius (he plays all the instruments in his recordings) and Christians poring over his lyrics (yes he is).

On hearing he has released a Christmas album I promptly headed down to HMV and snapped it up. It is a box-set of 5 cds. Great value for money. A mixture of old carols and his own Christmas songs. Classy stuff throughout. I especially love his version of 'Come thou fount of every blessing'. a beautiful words perfectly re-composed for 2006.

O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I hope my last post didn't come across as me being cynical towards the church. This is something I have been fighting. For as long as I can remember I have had a deep-seated cynicism that rises up inside me for much of what I see in Christianity and Christians around the world.

This may have come initially from from reading non-christian books, travelling to non-christian places, listening to non-christian music, having non-Christian friends, tv evangelists etc... I dont know but I know it has been a part of me that I have battled with.

I think to a certain extent this attitude was of benefit in working out my salvation for myself. However I am convinced that a cynical spirit in itself is destructive and a downward spiral. Oscar Wilde wrote:

"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing"

I don't want to end up as an old man with a chip on my shoulder slagging everything around me and grumbling about people's intentions. I pray the soul will overcome the cynic.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I was speaking to the young people at RIOT last week about Africa. I was encouraging them simply to think 'what can we give?' rather than 'what can we get?'. This is how the Kingdom of God differs from the world.

Ironically I am becoming even more aware of how often in churchlife we are focused on what we can get. I've never been a great fan of contemporary Christian 'worship' music for this very reason. I love the stuff that echoes the saints of the ages...singing 'How great is our God' or 'Holy. Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty'. When we focus on God it takes our eyes off ourselves.
So why then are so many worship songs focused on us.....'I'm hungry', 'I'm thirsty', 'Here I am waiting' etc etc. Take the song 'True Intimacy' (A modern favourite that has always grated with me):

'Here I stand, Waiting Lord,
Touch me now like never before'.......

Come on! How can we truly give worship when we're so focused on trying to get something??
Anyway I'm trying to defeat my cynical side so I'll stop now...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jacobs Ladder

I have been too busy buying and moving house recently to blog. I didn't get a chance to review of the Bruce Springsteen gig last week. It was an amazing, up-lifting, life-afirming show (note: I didn't say 'transcendent'!).

Instead here is the first 'top ten' of my blog. I've been to many concerts in my 26 years so here is a record of some of the best bits.

Top 10 spine-tingling concert moments:
1. U2 : Slane Castle 2001- The end of the concert when 'Walk On' has finished and choruses of 'Hallelujah' ring out around the 80,000 people.
2. U2 : Croke Park 2005- With my mates around me, an Irish flag on my shoulders, singing 'Miracle Drug'
3. Bruce Springsteen : Odyssey 2006: 18-piece band blasting out 'Jacob's Ladder for about 15 minutes through five key changes.
4. Damien Rice: Ulster Hall 2002- Singing 'Delicate' on a candlelit stage with his amazing backing vocalist.
5. Coldplay: Odyssey 2005- 'Fix you' encore.
6. Reef: Ulster Hall 1995- One of my first ever gigs. When they played 'Consideration' I knew I would attend many more gigs in my life!
7. Incubus: The Point 2001- For pure musical genius the drum solo takes some beating.
8. Foy Vance: The Spirit Club 2006- The first time I had heard 'Gabriel and the Vagabond'. It still warms the cockles of my heart when I listen to it.
9. The Frames: Ulster Hall 2003- I love their annual Christmas show. 'Fitzcarraldo' in 2003 stands out.
10. Foo Fighters- Birmingham NEC 2002- Expected slightly more from the Foos but 'My Hero' alone was worth the ticket price.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Birthday blues (and greens)

I'm not sure I enjoy birthdays anymore. I tend to look back too much and wallow in nostalgia, thinking of different turns I could have taken in life, different choices I could have made. I'll be over it in the morning. I prefer New Year as a time to look forward.

Anyway I had a great birthday weekend with the lads in Dublin capped off by an awesome win by Ireland. I don't think it is pushing it to say that Ireland are the second best team in the world right now. I've been down to Lansdowne Road many times but this match was more significant as it was the last time I will be there. It's being flattened for a super new stadium which is great for Irish rugby but sad at the same time. There aren't too many international stadiums left with a wee cottage in the corner and trains driving past one side. I'll miss standing silently listening to the 'Fields of Athenry' reverberating all around me.

my blog has reached 5,000 hits.
As Apu would say....Thankyou, come again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thursday's show

Nebo are playing a fundraiser gig for the Rape and Sexual Crisis Centre in Lavery's this Thursday night. Doors open at 8, we're on at 10. £3 entry. Come along sand shake your stuff to the sound of the big bass drum.......

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Common Road

I have observed a common road for many young Christians :

They spend many young years in fear of God and of upsetting other people by not appearing Godly. They believe everything they are told in black and white...becoming what they are told to be.
As their conciousness deepens they see that there is a lot of grey. Things begin to crumble around them. Deconstruction begins. The 'rock' they are standing on is artificial and is crumbling...

They find relief in the 'nothingness'....there is no they implode.
They fall into (or back into) the relief of numbness provided by drink, drugs, parties.
When this stage is reached they realise that all that was built up surrounds a void.
The void needs to be re-filled.
And so after the deconstruction, construction begins.
They start to work out their salvation for themselves.... starting with questions like:
'Do I believe there's a God?',
'Am I a believer?'
Their doubt makes way for faith.
They are born again (again!). This is second life!
The world becomes new and they experience life to the FULL.
The fullness of joy and pain, of love and loss, of clarity and frustration.
Feeling returns to a soul that was numb, and they begin to live.

This was my road...a common road that I want to help others to travel.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Got a sweet fairtrade t-shirt from GAP. I know of GAP's reputation but any change should be applauded. If you aren't aware of the (RED) campaign check out Using commerce to eliminate AIDS in Africa.

My inspiration this weekend came from a couple of mates.
Not while having a pint together as usual but when they were on stage.
My two uganda muckers Dumb (Al) and Dumber (Grant) were on top form on sunday morning speaking in church.

3 points I took away:
  • That evangelism should be incarnate...something that we become, that we live and breath, rather than just turning it on at an opportune moment (Al you have to get a few blogs out of this!).
  • The church fathers interpretation of the trinity ('Perichoresis') as an eternal dance between Father, Son and Spirit that we are invited to be part of... beautiful.
  • Grant's admission he was 'creaming them'. We may have smiled at Grant's poetic grasp of the English language, but anyone who was willing to take hold of what they were saying would have felt exactly the same.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Need a night out?

Upcoming NEBO shows:
  • 3rd November- SevenLive (Opening of a new music bar in the Odyssey, Belfast).
  • 16th November- The Bunker @ Lavery's, Belfast.
  • Also in the pipeline is our first ever Lurgan gig! (U2 would say it's a sort of homecoming).
On a different note I have put some more of my favourite photos on my flickr site. More to come, it takes an age to upload them.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

When God-talk is nonsense

I love the Message. I can get immersed in it.

I've been reading James recently. I love this bit from chapter 2:
Dear friends, do you think you'll ever get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything?....For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morining friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup-where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense.
Some frustrations of mine:
-I'm sick of listening to people who are full of 'holy' chat and cliches but little in the way of action.
-I'm sick of hearing people say they have a heart for Lurgan while sitting on their arses.
-I'm sick of hearing people pray for the 'young people' then walking right past them at the back of the room.
-I'm sorry for the times when I have been one of these people.

-I want to hear less talk of how to get to heaven and more about bringing heaven to earth.
-I want to hear less talk of avoiding hell and more about what we can do to resist hell coming to earth (through poverty, injustice, suffering).



Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Well for better or worse he played out his show with a couple of our tunes, describing us as:
"left of the mainstream, in fact left of the underground...but fantastic"
Not sure I agree with this but I kinda like it.
Anyways check out the new website- (still in it's infancy).
It comes from the multi-talented fingers of our bassist Mark. What a guy!

Monday, October 23, 2006

J. Hero

Johnny Hero is playing NEBO on his Downtown Radio show tonight.
Is this is a positive or negative indicator of the band's future?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

October Musical Review

Travelled to Dundalk on Tuesday night to renew my aquaintance with Foy Vance. Twas an intimate little gig but spellbinding none-the-less. Perfect in every way (except for Harrison singing in my ear). I have been to many acoustic gigs- Damien Rice, Bob Dylan, Robbie Freeburn(!) but I'm not sure Foy can be topped. It's like all the soul from the American deep south and the negro spirituals has been packaged together into this little bald white guy for Belfast. Top notch.

Speaking of soul... The new Killers album has it in abundance. With it's Las Vegas concept it is trashy in a U2 Zoo tv kind of way but the undercurrent is soul. Sam's Town sounds huge but the lyrics are still rooted in the real world. Much has been written about the influence of Bruce Springsteen on this record and I can feel that, though in a very glam kind of way.

There are so many layers to the album. It's full of soaring guitars and pumping basslines but there is so much extra entertainment to every track. Standout moments for me are the 'higher and higher' outro to BLING and every second of BONES.

Finally you must buy NEBO's debut EP's good and it only costs £5.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Critical Opinion

You may be aware that I am moderating comments on this blog so it doesn’t descend into the farce that I had before. Since I made the change I’ve had all sorts of anonymous ‘friends’ keen to show the right way to live. Below are some of their comments (shown so I can't be accused of censorship). These are just a select few…I especially like the first one by some dude pretending to be me! I won’t be allowing any comments on this post so another debate doesn’t start.
Make your own mind up………

U2's Bono urges Bush to boost world Aid. Got this on CNN website. U2 front man Bono, Citing the Koran the Bible and Dire Sraits in his speech to wipe out world poverety. Hey guys it's great to see Bono using all religions to fight world poverty. I think Bono is the man to unite world religions, what you think? The man is a prophet pushing the bonderies. I think Islam, Catholisim, protestantism is all the same and Bono has forseen this, he could be the man to bring our brothers from the catholic and Islamic world together with the charasmatic churches, surely there is room in heaven for all men who believe in God no matter what way they get there, what do you think guys. Take care John

I see you are back to stoping blogs being posted. See posting a scripture and getting mixed up with sanctifcation over justifcation as you do is not a problem. The problem is you are not open to freedom of speech, and are unwilling to post most of my comments , why is this? I think it is because again the negative side of things like U2's Bono who openly quoted the Koran are seen as something that divides. Division is very much of God but you don't really seem to accept that. You seem to prefer having your ears tickled see Peter's epistle.

I hope Philippians Ch 3 V 18 to 20 amuses you. For many walk, of whom i often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is THIER APPETITE, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on EARTHLY THINGS. Matthew 10 v 34 " Jesus speaking" Do not think i came to bring peace on the earth, i did not come to bring peace but a sword. Anyone who is saved has without doubt found what they where looking for JESUS. The scipture you refer to is for those who are saved and pressing on Paul never used lanugage like I havent found what i'm looking for Paul new exactly what he had and he wanted more praise God. I expect this wont be shown on the blog

I still havent found what i am looking for. Sounds great we should sing it to the Lord i still havent found what i am looking for WHAT AN INSULT to Jesus if bono is saved, then his song lyrics should read I HAVE FOUND JESUS FULL STOP. What absoulute rubish. I guess this wont be printed on the blog as difference of opion may offend someone. I think you ought to have a blog called HAPPY blog where everyone can thibk happy thoughts and nothing REAL has to be dealt with

Thursday, October 12, 2006


We're playing in the Errigle this saturday night and using the opportunity to finally start selling our EP. Put on your dancing shoes and head down if you're in the vicinity. Purchase an EP for £5....sure you couldn't get a pint in Dublin for that!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shooting Dogs

I watched 'Shooting Dogs' the other night. This shook me to my core in the same way three other films I have watched recently did:
-Hotel Rwanda
-Lord of War
-The Constant Gardener.

The world is so screwed up from top to bottom and often it feels that in the big picture there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

Genocide, MNC's, pharmacutical companies, gun runners, bent western politicians, evil african dictators and their suppliers of money and war........... Poverty, AIDS, drought, death, GREED, power, suicide....... the value of an african life compared to an american/british/irish.

I don't have a stage or a voice on the big picture. It seems the old 'star-fish' story of changing the world for one is the only way (and an extremely worthy way) but I want more!

Also these films have revealed my own self-righteousness in the fact that I do the exactly same thing as I berate other people for- I bury my head in the sand. I have experienced Africa. I see poverty, AIDS and death on tv, in emails and in my post everyday.

.... but to dwell on these brings me into serious darkness.... so I stop thinking and wrestling...I bury my head...until I watch movies like these which keep me awake at night in the dark.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Shine like a burning star

Found out today that U2 plan to release another 'best of' album on 20th November. This also happens to be my birthday. I don't believe this to be a coincidence.

Anyway to mark the occasion of this announcement you can find below my favourite U2 lyrics of their 30 year journey. I'm willing to accept that someone somewhere has written better lyrics than Bono...I just haven't found them yet. Any suggestions?

From 'The Fly'-

It's no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest,

It's no secret that ambition bites the nails of success,

Every artist is a cannibal

Every poet is a thief,

All kill their inspiration,

Then sing about their grief.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Keep praying for Lindsay Emerson. Updates on Al's blog.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Beautiful Lurgan

Was down at the shores of the Lough with my camera the other day. It's the outskirts of Lurgan yet it is still beautiful!

More at my flickr site.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The End

My pastor's words are the conclusion to the discussion that has been going round in circles for days. Thankyou to all the people with differing views who wrote with humilty and grace. To those who seek to divide, it will never happen because love conquers all.

I will be moderating all comments from now on because I don't want it all kicking off again.

The verse Philip quoted is my prayer.

"Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action" (1 John 3:18)

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Self-righteous

I don't know if it is past experience or just a hobby horse but if there is one thing that riles me it is self-righteousness...people who think they have it all sorted...who love to cast the first stone.

My Acrobat and Summer's End posts have both gone in a direction I hadn't intended. I have no problem entering into a conversation with people whose views differ from mine provided there is an open mind on both sides. I appreciate the comments that were written in this tone. I have to say though that it amazes me how describing a Radiohead concert as I saw it can provoke personal attacks from people who don't know me.

I don't like navel gazing so I'll get it all out now...
-I don't pretend to have it all (or any of it) figured out.
-I get it wrong all the time.
-I try to understand God but realise I'm not even close.
-I am a sinner who is constantly screwing up.
-I wish I was a better.
-I try to be like Jesus.
-I owe a huge debt to grace.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


My mates always slag me about this but I sometimes wonder if my life would have drifted in a different direction were it not for the music of U2. I really believe God has used their influence to bring me closer to Him in a way that feels real.

I remember when I was in my mid-teens and was totally disillusioned with church, other Christians, and the fire in my belly was having water thrown over it. For the first of many times I gained strength from a U2 song. Not because they contained answers but because they reflected my own questions. This was a greater comfort. From the song 'Acrobat':
I'd join the movement,
If there was one I could believe in,
I'd break bread and wine,
If there was a church I could receive in,
Cos I need it now,
To take the cup,
To fill it up,
To drink it slow,
I can't let you go.
I've had so many of these moments I could write a book on U2. Unfortunately Steve Stockman got there first! By the way, I'm grateful to God that in Emmanuel I now have found a church that I can believe, receive and give in.
P.S. There is an interesting conversation developing below in the comments section of my Summers End post. Feel free to add your voice!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Summer's End

Last week of holiday's this week and it was a hectic one. GLO Lurgan had it's fourth outing this week. 150 young people blasted the 4 corners of the town cleaning, gardening, painting, kid's clubbing, bbqing etc.
It was much more difficult for the leadership team this time around but the highlights shine brighter. For me this was watching the young people cross the religious divide and immerse themselves into working in the 'other' side of town. Relationships were built and community leaders expressed surprise with how successful the venture was. The future is exciting.

It is great to see young people realise that, if the rangers shirt is swapped for an armagh one, people are all the same.

On Thursday I took a break from GLO and headed down to Dublin to watch Radiohead at Marlay Park. They were supported by Beck and his awesome band of entertainers. You could watch them for a week and never be bored. Check out a video on Zico's blog. Radiohead didn't disappoint either. I thought they had their self-indulgent moments (including Thom Yorke playing drums for no apparent reason) but there were also many of those beautiful concert moments that can only be felt not described. Those spine-tingling moments that are felt when a congregation of people are together and the music seems almost trancendent. When you feel you are caught in something bigger than yourself and the world feels safe.

I felt this at GLO as well, in the highs and the lows. I'm reading 'Velvet Elvis' by Rob Bell. He describes it better than me: isn't just concerts and surfing and the high points, and it isn't just those beautiful moments in the midst of the everyday and mundane: it is also in the tragic and the gut-wrenching moments when we cannot escape the simple fact that there is way more going on around us than we realise.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bono quote from interview with Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Leadership Summit last week:
"Second only to personal redemption and salvation the main thrust of the Scriptures is to meet Christ in working with the poor"

You give it to 'em big lad!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Shooting the Band

Had a photoshoot with nebo last week. We are possibly the world's ugliest and most uncomfortable band so the guy had his work cut out! He was good though and managed to get some decent shots out of the 300 odd taken. If you need some amusement the pics are up in a temporary site you can view

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hunger and Thirst

I was up at my caravan at the coast for a couple of days this week, taking long walks and thanking God for wonder. I've also been thinking about Jesus' words:
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled".
Al was showing me this in The Message which reads:
"You're blessed when you get your inside world - your mind and heart - put right. Then you can see God in the outside world."

I'm loving trying to get to grips with this. I think it relates to my post below. Instead of trying to stop the wrong things we're doing we should concentrate on doing right...hunger and thirsting for right. Then we will see change on the outside. Pretty simple in theory. But what is right? loving God, loving our neighbour, fighting for justice, looking after the poor, being righteous but not self-righteous. I haven't figured much of this out yet but answers are overrated anyway.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Since I got back from Africa I've been thinking about how hard it is to difficult it is to improve your self. Psychologists say we can only change 5% of our personality in our lifetime. Obviously that isn't taking into account the power of God to turn a life around. But even now that I've seen the light I still find it a struggle to become a better man.

I put some more pics on flicker...just click on the link below.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Some of my Uganda pics here...more to come hopefully!

Uganda Week 4 and Out

Got home last night to begin the process of re-adjustment and reflection. Every part of me wants to be back in Jandira today, labouring with muzungos and laughing with africans. It's always a downer coming home but more than ever before I feel that these teams have left with a sense of achievment, purpose and hope.

Five teachers now have somewhere they can really call a home. A kitchen will soon be finished so that the 250 children who attended school all day without eating can now have food. Many people were treated in a clinic. The children have learnt new games and have new sports gear. Relationships have been built that are lasting rather than momentary.

This is the reason for my excitment. It was not a 'hit-and-run' team. God brought us to this place 20 minutes down a narrow, dusty road. To the outback of Africa. In this place we have met a man of God and a community shining on a hill. Our task now is to determine how best to support, develop and sustain work within this community all year round.

All the above counts as nothing compared to what they have imparted to us. Africa reveals more of the soul, more of Jesus than we could ever bring to Africa.

The part of our soul that has been exchanged for extravagance is unveiled in Africa.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Uganda Week 3

Team 2 have been with us for a week now. The kids love them and relationships with children and teachers have deepened since their arrival. The teachers (Hamis, Stephen, Joseph, Coach Carter) have given us so much love and it is going to be so hard to leave kids like Sam, Kenny, Emma Jane, Joanne and Dennis come the end of the week. It's amazing how quickly you can adapt to a new place and come to love new people. I wish my time here wasn't drawing to a close.

Yesterday was the hardest day of labouring that I have ever done. All the lads are shattered today! We have the four houses almost up and are now building a kitchen so all the children can be fed at lunch time. There is so much need here it is hard to know which area to target financially. What they have given us is of the soul and is greater than any material offering that we can bring to them. However, we pray that in some way we can raise their standard of living to something closer to that which every person deserves.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Uganda Week 2

The first team left us yesterday. I'm left with the other leaders for two days relaxation and reflection before the second team gets out. We had a fantastic two weeks exceeding all of our expectations. It may be a drop in the ocean but in this little community what they acheived was very evident. A river.

We are working at a little remote school in Jandira an hour outside Kampala. We're building accomadation for the teachers, and have also run a clinic, held a kid's club and 'coached' sport. Already relationships have been built with teachers and kids and it's not going to be easy to leave these wonderful people at the end of the month. In the meantime we are trying to figure out how we can set up something permenant and sustainable between our church and this community. I don't want to be part of another 'hit-and-run' team.

I have tried not to process too much of what I have seen here so far. Africa throws so much at you on every level. I feel that if I go too deep into my thoughts I won't find the way back to the surface. And anyway there is nothing from my own background that I can relate what we see here. There is no reference point.

Two experiences that stand out are:
1. A spontaneous dancing/limbo session as the kids poured out of the kids club on the first day. Grant and I asked the drummers to set up outside and soon we had a hundred odd kids conga dancing behind us and 'limboing' under a skipping rope. This has become a daily occurrence. The rhythm of their drums, joyful laughter, and hope in their eyes was a moment of epiphany. To have the same kids reach out and pray for us was another.

2. The last day of the clinic when Joy (our medic) was informed by one of the teachers that the full row of children she was about to treat (the kids who were dancing above) were HIV+ and have never received the drugs that could save their lives.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Uganda Week 1

Week 1 of the african adventure is over. It has exceeded all expectations. In church this morning I felt so settled, like I would be happy to never leave. Building is ahead of schedule and houses could be up before second team get here! As well as labour I'm enjoying playing the old guitar with the kids and taking sports every afternoon with me mate Grant.

The spirit of the people here is overwhelming. They have nothing yet already they have given us something of their soul that cannot be valued. How can we hope to repay them for this?

Much more to say but I'm getting kicked off this comp...will hopefully get back next week.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

School's Out For Summer

Well my class left me yesterday to start their secondary school adventures. I was unprepared for how emotional a morning it would be. Having spent all day every day with the same 21 kids, trying to invest into their lives, I have developed such an attachment to them that it felt like a real loss. They wrote me some wonderful cards and notes thanking me not just for their education but for making them 'stronger', 'more confident', 'happier'. Was really moving.

In my original plan teaching was a stop-gap to bring me into educational psychology, but if this is what job satisfaction feels like then I'd like some more of it!

Monday, June 26, 2006

First Nations

For the past 10 days we've had a bunch of First Nation Canadians (crazy indians) staying with us. It was a really special time for our family. I loved conversing with them and sitting up late at night listening to their stories. All the man in me felt alive! So thanks to Nicole Yellow Old Woman, Darren Curly Rider, Robyn Weasel Bear and friends!

People who know me know that my two earthly obessions are U2 and 'The Last of The Mohicans movie'. My brother shares this love and last night we were able to fulfill one of our life's goals. We made our own 'Last of the Mohicans' recording with the help of the Natives. Results are hilarious...I'll try to work out how to get movies up here. Here are some pics of us setting the scene!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ghana's Glory!

I'm loving the world cup. I drew Argentina in a sweep stake that could earn me £100 but my heart is with the African teams. Wasn't going so well until Angola got a great draw with Mexico. Not bad for a country that The Lonely Planet describes as being, 'out of bounds to outsiders because of a lack of infrastructure (roads) and communication, combined with landmines'

Then last night was awesome to watch Ghana beat the Czechs....C'mon Africa!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Life With God

As I’ve struggled recently in thinking about how messed up all of us are I’ve been drawn back again to my favourite writer and a paragraph that resonates more powerfully with me than any in any other novel I have read.

I don’t pretend to know where Douglas Coupland stands on Christianity, but he has an ability to explain our postmodern predicament in words. Life After God is a collection of short stories set around a theme of a generation raised without God. This theme is set in the introductary line-

The stories are meant to show how the lack of God affects the characters and how they try to understand concepts such as
death, love and meaning in everyday life from the secular world around them. These characters appear to be stuck with the TV on mute, drifting through relationships and having no insight into what is going on in the world or in themselves.

In the end Coupland comes to this conclusion, one that I have come back to many times:

My secret is that I need God- that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.”

Friday, June 02, 2006

Jacob's Ladder

Got back from an amazing week at Boreatton park with P7s. I ended up having some of the best craic I've had in years. I've been worried all year about getting too friendly with my kids as it makes it much more difficult to have a position of authority when they become too familiar. However this week I could just chill out and have a laugh with the staff and kids. Have such a feeling of fulfillment tonight in the knowledge that I wouldn't want to be doing anything else in the world at this period in time than teaching these kids. I am so thankful to God for a job I love.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

P7 pursuits

Sorry for ranting before but like they say- it's better out than in.

...anyways I'm going to England all this week for the P7 school trip. I will be absailing, canoeing, racing quad bikes, shooting rifles, zip-lining....oh yeah and looking after kids....can't wait!!


I've always had a belief that, in their most basic form, people are good. I've always been able to see some good in even the worst, blaming circumstances or various others even when I am wronged or I see another wronged.. I externalise their evil for them. I believed sub-consciously and naively in the inherent goodness and positive intentions of others. Events recently have me considering otherwise, especially when I come to terms with my own inability to become any better. When I do the right thing am I only doing it so I'm seen to do the right thing? If so it's not goodness or obediance, it's just compliance. Small talk, meaningless relationships, little problems manipulated into issues, selfish ambition....all to mask the fact that everyone is screwed up inside. I try to understand people's motives when I see their selfishness. Then I climb down off my highest of horses to find the light of my own soul is flickering. Is anyone truly altruistic? Can anyone survive with such a credo?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Paddy's vitriol

Gig the other night was great...thanks for coming if you were there! Was good to get the new songs aired. Will get some pics up soon.

I disabled the comments by mistake as a result of some vitriol from Paddy but they're workin again now so comment away!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Nebo @The Errigle

Just a quick heads up....we are playing the errigle tomorrow night (22'nd) with excellent support from my good friends neilly g, rob free-to-burn and band. Get your glad rags on and come along for the ride...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Anyone that knows me will, I'm sure, be surprised by the lack of U2/ Bono on this blog so far.
I'm sure it'll come, it's just that once I start I can't stop. The influence of U2 on my life since I was 14 has probably been greater than even I realise...
just to say that you should buy today's (tuesday 16th) Independent newspaper. It is edited by Bono in order to bring the HIV/AIDS epidemic to the front pages and to the attention of the general public. It is also highlighting the CODE RED initiative which hopes to bring social action to the high street.

6,500 Africans died today as a result of AIDS.

More than 15 million people in Africa have died of AIDS....This is more than the Rwandan genocide, Khmer rouge regime, the Iraq War, and the Holocaust of WW2 all combined.

London Calling

Spent last weekend in London with my beautiful girlfriend! (hope she reads this!).
What a man to my left! His feats on Saturday caused me to hug strangers, jump on seats, accidentaly smash a drink and generally behave in a way no grown man should in a pub that he has never visited previously.

For an experience of joy this was run very close by the Lion King show that we went to on saturday night. The singing, dancing, percussion, production was unbelievable...spell-binding at times.

Great weekend
Cheers Tabs!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How It Is

Check out
The site is just temporary but there are a couple of tracks you can listen to and critique back here.

We now set to go with a new manager, decent demo and new songs. The time has come to unleash NEBO on an unsuspecting Belfast.
More details to follow....

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Plato and God

'This alone is to be feared- the closed mind, the sleeping imagination, the death of spirit'

'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you have not known' (J33.3)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Work is crazy at the minute. Too much to do in much too little time. As I sit in my classroom at the end of another day I look around and survey the damage of 21 eleven-year-olds. My first year of teaching been a real surprise to me. I seemed to stumble into it as a preliminary to my career as a child psychologist but it has been more interesting and rewarding than I could ever have expected. It's also damn good craic. It has been exasperating at times but I drive home nearly everyday so thankful for a job that I enjoy.

The pic is from our 'Victorian Day'...the cane is for demonstration purposes only...I promise.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Boss

Bruce Springsteen- 'We Shall Overcome- The Seeger Sessions'.

Been listening to this album non-stop the past few days. I've been a big Springsteen fan since I was a boy when I laid claim to an old cassette tape of my Dad's. 'The Boss' has touched my soul with rock'n roll since then but this is something completly different. Basically Springsteen had been getting inspired by the country/folk legend Pete Seegers, so he got a band together to play some of the stuff that Seeger's played. They blast through a mixture of old folk tales, gospel tunes, negro spirituals and freedom songs.

The band did not reherse or arrange any of the songs before recording, they just tuned up and went for it. It's basically some friends jamming in a living room with Springsteen conducting and playing at the same time. We get to hear music not just being played but being made. The result is some of the most raw and beautiful music I have heard in years. I guess it is music in it's purest form. Well worth a listen!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Beginning

Ok I have been highly critical and somewhat pretentious about the rise of BEBO among young people. I feel that, with my 25 years, I break the age barrier for that craze. I do however crave relevance in the era of technological communication so this is my weak attempt. I remain a big fan of the pencil and paper approach to journaling but we'll see how things progress.