Monday, August 28, 2006

Next trip

This afternoon I took my brother to the airport, where he flew to Hong Kong. He's going to be in China for a month, visiting the south - and Tibet - with two friends, one of whom is Chinese.

I'm not at all jealous.

OK, I am. But to compensate, I'm off to southern France tomorrow for five days. My parents drove down there on Friday/Saturday, but I stayed to do the festival evangelism. I'm not really sure what to do when I'm there, but in any case on Saturday morning we set off for the drive back home. My Dad wisely decided not to do all the driving himself, so put me on the insurance for a week. In his new Golf GTI...

Back on Sunday night! (hopefully)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Festivities

I've spent most of the last three days in Reading handing out tracts or speaking to people about God.

On Thursday a group of 5 of us went to the train station at 10am armed with 2000 maps to hand out, which told people how to get to the festival, and also had a Gospel message on them. We got rid of 2000 in 2 hours! - and another 2000 over the rest of the day. So there were 4000 people walking around with the Gospel in their pockets.

On Friday and Saturday we spent about 6 hours down by the festival site, next to the River Thames. We had a display board (pictured) and went out from there in pairs with more tracts and surveys to talk to people. Over the 2 days we had conversations with something like 100 people, and handed tracts to thousands more.

So that was our work. Pray that the Holy Spirit can now do His work in the hearts, minds and souls of everyone at the festival. Some of them are up to their eyes in drugs, drink and immorality - but none of them are beyond salvation. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New look

This template seems to be quite popular these days - and I was a bit tired of the bodged blue-and-yellow thing that was going on before.

Festival evangelism

Reading

This weekend an estimated 250,000 people will come to our town to hear some of these bands play. I, as part of a team of people from churches in Reading and further afield, will be seeking to share the Gospel with as many of them as we can! In the past it's been a very fruitful ministry - the festival attracts mostly young, disillusioned, postmodern people so we don't get people running up to us asking "what must we do to be saved?" Nevertheless we can give out a lot of gospels, do questionnaires and just talk with many people, which sows a seed for the future.


If you are a Christian, please pray for us this weekend, that we would be faithful to the Gospel and that many might find their visit to Reading of eternal significance...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Google Earth with added Bible

Some enterprising soul has made a plug-in for Google Earth that shows the locations of about 200 Biblical places, with brief commentary on each. See some information here, or click here to open Google Earth with it.

If you don't have Google Earth... you should be ashamed of yourself.

URZ! (2)

It's good to be back. Reading's first match in the Premiership - ever - was on Saturday and my Dad and I managed to get tickets for the game! The match started pretty badly - within 20 minutes Middlesbrough were 2-0 up and Reading looked shellshocked. But they started playing as if they had nothing to lose, and then just before the end of the first half scored 2 goals in 2 minutes.

After the break the teams came back out and it was clear that Boro were on the back foot. Sure enough, after 10 minutes Leroy Lita scored our third goal :)

Business as usual - Saturday afternoon at the Madejski and we score 3 goals and win the match! I'm not sure how long this run will last, especially as in September we play Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal...

Match report here. More newspaper reports on the fans' forum here.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sign up

Southampton

This week I've actually had a job - gasp - working for the university on their Clearing Hotline. The deal is that 18 year olds get their exam results this week (they had them on Thursday) and those who are going to university check what they got against their offer. If they got the grades they needed, great! They're off to uni in October. If they didn't then they enter a process called Clearing, which all universities use to fill up spaces in their programs. All I'm doing is answering the phone and either transferring calls to various faculties' admissions tutors, or telling students that they need to look elsewhere...

The most over-subscribed course by far is Medicine - it's completely full and didn't even enter Clearing this year. That hasn't stopped hundreds of people ringing to ask for a place. I personally have turned down three students with AAAA grades and four or five others with AAA grades. On the other end of the scale, there have been people ringing up with one E, or DD and asking for a place on various courses. Unfortunately there the answer is always no!

Thursday was rather busy - I took 101 calls during the day but still had quite a lot of time off the phone. Today, though, was practically dead in comparison - I took only 25 calls in 7 hours of working! The boss started to ask us to leave from about 1pm because it was so quiet (there are nearly 30 of us working there) but I figured that I'd rather get paid to surf the internet than go home and do it for free. Goodness knows what it will be like on Sunday...!

Tonight my housemate Brian and I went to see SNAKES ON A PLANE which is a simply awesome film. Samuel L Jackson kicks butt, which is always fun to see.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Flights of fancy

Well, following my somewhat trite summary of the terrorist arrests the other day, it turns out it's all a bit closer to home than I'd thought:

- an internet café in Reading had its computers seized;

- my friend and housemate, Simon, was quite shocked on reading the names of those arrested to see that one of them was a good friend of his from school.

Once again, this is very much home-grown terrorism - like the 7/7 attacks last year, most of the suspects are British citizens. How can people live in a society like ours and turn their backs on it to the extent that they are willing to kill their fellow countrymen?

Ironically, the evangelical Christian community shares some of its conservative values with the conservative Muslim community. The only difference, of course, is that the evangelical Christian community doesn't generate terrorists.

I watched "V for Vendetta" this week, which is a very good film set in England in a fascist future. It postulates that a fundamentalist Christian movement ("Strength through Unity - Unity through Faith") takes power of the country following a breakdown of society and spate of terrorist activity. The film was very Orwellian and there are definite hints of 1984 to it, but it's still impossible to happen - I hope.

Fun and games...

Friday, August 11, 2006

WWJD

I've resumed watching 24 which I'd previously seen up to the end of the 4th season. Some friends and I spent most of yesterday watching 6 (!) episodes at the start of season 5. I've also got my brother hooked, although he has to start from season 1. The irony was not lost on us, therefore, when we stopped watching TV and put on the news to see RED ALERT everywhere. The hand of Jack Bauer was definitely on the police yesterday. In fact, I bet he's in the police station now, torturing the suspects until they tell him what he wants to hear.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tree killing

All over the place

Crumbs. I used some of my copious free time this afternoon to tot up every commercial flight I've ever taken...



It all adds up to a carbon-tastic 80,000 miles and 53 flights (including the rest of this summer). On a more positive note, had I known that my flight home from Poland 2 weeks ago was my 50th, I would have celebrated my half-century! Champagne all round, except that I don't think Ryanair have any.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bargain

I try and keep my ear to the ground with regards to cheap travel: megabus, megatrain, easyJet and so on. If I didn't then I wouldn't be able to travel nearly so much!

I've become a bit of a regular on Ryanair recently. They're so ridiculously cheap, and fly to lots of places that I need to... as such I'm making four trips with them this summer alone. I was pretty excited to see on their website that they're starting to fly to Morocco this autumn! I've never been to Africa, and flights over there are traditionally pretty expensive. Next year I might head over there for a week or two, and hopefully persuade the lads to come along too.

Or - I might make it back to Canada! Both Canadian Affair and Zoom offer temptingly cheap deals to the big T.O. so watch this space...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Reading list

Reading, UK

I've been back for a week. What have I been up to? Well... not a lot, to be perfectly honest. I spent an hour or so sorting photos from Poland, I spent another few hours uploading more photos from the US and Italy, I spent an hour or so reassembling and cleaning my bike (unused since mid-December), I've rejoiced that Southampton made it to Facebook...

And so on. I have a dissertation (thesis) to be getting on with - it's not due until March next year but I need to research it this summer, and unfortunately that means contacting strangers and going to interview them. Bleugh. Still, I'm sure it'll be fine once I get started.

I've got a job too - for 7 days at least, later in August. So you can be glad that this summer won't be a total disaster financially.

There have been a few books sitting next to my bed for the last few weeks, and last night I couldn't get to sleep so started reading one - "Willing to Believe" by R.C. Sproul [what does R.C. stand for?]. I got through the first chapter and a half, which were about the precepts of Pelagianism: no original sin, man is capable of perfection, etc. etc. It's moved on to Augustine now, which seems a lot more reasonable...