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.