Monday, February 23, 2009
It’s a huge rarity for my home town to make it to the national papers, and a cursory blog search rarely throws up anything of much interest, so I need to give a shout out to @crossy of Rural Phlogging for bringing my attention to this front page article from this Weekend’s Torygraph.
It’s worth a read if you want to get a little peep into Oxted life!
HT to Phil Aylen for the wonderful picture of the quite beautiful Stoneyfield in Oxted
Let me point you in the direction of this excellent & fascinating post from Chris Goan at This Fragile Tent, where he wrestles with the concept of friendship and the internet.
I found Chris’ great piece hot on the heels of spending a wonderful day with another Chris on Saturday.
Chris & Dana Byers and their fantastic kids spent a good part of the day with us…feasting on a sumptuous breakfast at Casa Laird, walking around our pretty little home town in the sunshine (yes! It’s back…or at least it was…periodically), fizzing around ideas & sharing our stories together. We had a really great time.
I mention this because our relationship is one that started entirely online, and has quite quickly moved to being an actual face-to-face flesh & blood friendship.
In his blog post, Chris Goan says this, drawing his conclusions about a study he references in the post:
“So, what can we make of all of this? The study clearly takes the view that on-line contact is not enough, and indeed may be problematic.
I still hope however, that when used well and purposefully, on-line connections might facilitate community building. This is where I still place my energy……..
…..It is almost as if we humans were made to find our highest expression in community. As if we were wired and plumbed for this.”
I was so glad to move from online to real community with Dana & Chris Byers, but am glad I can stay so closely and regularly connected with them via the internet.
Here’s to the next big breakfast, guys!
Friday, February 20, 2009
A good friend of mine, Andy, who I’ve know since I was about 13, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his right femur in early last year. Since then he has had the primary tumour removed by replacing his right knee with a Titanium one and had six months of chemotherapy.
In November 2008 Andy had secondary tumours removed from both lungs, and is now finishing a course of radiotherapy to his leg. He’s not free from Cancer yet so will be closely observed over the coming months.
Andy’s blog gives a full and frank account of this stage of his life.
One of my other friends, Stuart – who I blogged about previously here - from the same time has stepped up to the plate and responded.
In a recent e-mail Stuart said this:
I have been profoundly impacted by my friends fight, having already lost my uncle Roger at the age of 47 to this horrific disease. So, I have decided to use something that I enjoy doing in order to raise as much money and profile as I can for Andy's chosen charities. So, throughout 2009, I will be running a series of races, varying in distance from 10k (6 miles) to Half-marathon (13 miles). Having done two marathons in the past both my knees and the rest of me will enjoy, and be able to achieve far more mileage, by avoiding a third!!
The race series starts THIS Saturday with the National Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath, London.
Andy's wife Sara and sister Lyndsay also run and so we have all come together under the banner of 'Andy's Angels' and you can follow our progress by visiting
'Andy's Angels' already have 5 races in the diary with more to follow!
There are two ways that you can support these efforts:
You can become an 'Active Angel' and join the AA team of runners (and have your very own AA running vest!) and help raise money for the charities.
If this interests you I’d be happy to hook you up.
Or, secondly, please consider becoming an 'Angelic Sponsor' through donation.
A site has been set up where donating is made as simple as possible - we can even claim the tax back from Gordon B via the click of a Gift Aid button. So please visit here
Any donations will be regarded as a donation to the 'race series' as a whole irrespective of how many races are finally run by the team throughout 2009.
You can follow all the events, get in touch, make suggestions and comments all via Andy's blog:
Follow on Twitter @Andys_Angels
Any help, support and monies, of course, will be gratefully received!
Not only by Andy and his 'Angels' but by the host of charities and other families that will be helped by your generosity as we continue to fight this horrific disease.
I love a good travel show on TV, especially when the guide/host/travel companion is as engaging as the downright hilarious Billy Connolly, so last night’s “Journey to the Edge of the World” on ITV was a blast.
Billy – a clear candidate for greatest living Scotsman - is as much a force of nature as the staggering places he’s visiting on this tour of the northern tip of Canada. He’s someone who appears to be so in love with life and people that he’s almost fit to burst. There’s a richness to the relationships that he quickly builds and it’s just so good to see people laugh – really laugh - in that uncontrollably silly way that is so cathartic.
It’s also fabulous to see Billy’s openness and sheer joy when dealing with others.
Thanks, Big Yin! We can learn a lot.
Catch it if you can
HT to ITV for the great pic
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
There’s an event coming up coming up in April at Mariner’s Church in Irvine CA.
Much as I’d love to, I’m not gonna get to CatalystWest….can’t afford to at this point.
However, that’s by the by.
What I’m really trying to explore is quite how I feel about it emotionally.
On one hand…
• The line up of speakers is exceptional. Each and every one of those who’ve been invited to speak is someone I’d be really keen to hear speak. There are one of two who I would consider friends, or have met in person and been hugely impressed by their sincerity, integrity & passion.
• I have a lot of time for the various groups/ministries behind the project, and have felt huge benefit in being able to draw on the resources they’ve made available online and in print.
• The themes that will be explored are exciting and close to my heart
• You can’t beat a good conference!
On the other hand …
I’ve become nervous of the “bigness” so often displayed in the Western Church that can if we’re not careful seems at odds with the Jesus we read about in Scripture and the poor and disadvantaged who He calls us to serve.
I guess I have the same sense of struggle when I visit grand Cathedrals and marvel at their scale and grandeur.
Am I hyper-sensitive and thinking too much, or is there something in it?
In any case, the site is well worth exploring
Friday, February 13, 2009
OK. This is a basically a Sally Army orientated post, but if you are reading this, and you’re not a Sally, there’s a lot of good stuff to chew over.
Phil Wall writes in his usual powerful and compelling way on the subject of hope, here at The Rubicon.
Challenging as ever - especially for those whose tribe is The Salvation Army – Phil pulls no punches when outlining some of the realities of the state of Western Salvationism. For some readers, it might make them wince a little, but for me, it’s imperative that we stare those realities straight in the face.
As Phil, says: “Yet we are not without hope”
No matter the difficulties that seem to confront us on every side, when we choose Hope over Fear, Spirit over Religion, Idealism over Cynicism, Mission over Tradition, Sacrifice over Comfort, Reliance over Independence, such an Army we become.
Thanks to @primitivesalvo at ArmyRenewal for pointing me in the direction of this great piece.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Many of you will already be familiar with Carlos Whittaker, but if you are not, this piece in Collide Magazine gives the skinny..
Los was amongst the first bloggers I started to read on a regular basis a few years back, and continues to be a favo(u)rite
If you don’t follow Ragamuffin Soul, I recommend that you do, and get yourself hooked up with @loswhit via Twitter
Friday, February 06, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
I'm so glad that Jesus following speaker, writer, broadcaster and marathon runner has a new website at, for some, the curiously named Anvil Ding
Chick and his wife Margaret have been part of the lives of our family for years and years now, and remain inspirational teachers, pastoral mentors and dear friends (as well as the couple who conducted my Wedding to Janet ), so I'm so glad the Chick finally has a profile on the web.
Anvil Ding is definitely worth keeping a close eye on