Thursday, October 27, 2005

Busy weekend ahead....


I've got some more on the subject of pilgrims in the pipeline. It will be done soon, it's taking up head space so I need to get it out and free my mind from it.

Off to London for the day for media training with work, that should be interesting.

Tomorrow I fly back to Dublin to play at Anois which I'm really looking forward to that as Greg has asked me to lead worship DJ-style.

At the moment I am sitting in my studio trying to get prepared and finishing up some tracks for a DVD project. It's only just gone 7 am, but hey the early bird and all that....

Catch you on the flip side.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Pioneers & Pilgrims - Personal Edition

Again it's been a while......

...... I've been processing.

I have been trying to figure out what's going on!

The big job in London fell through, for now, it's been put on hold, but I was also told that even though I got further than anyone else in the interview process, I wasn't being recommended to continue forward, at least not right now.

It leaves me wondering why we had the bright lights of London dangled before our eyes. I have to be honest and say that we were really excited by the prospect of leaving provincial Swansea and heading to the big smoke. It has been a little earthquake that has rocked our world and left us checking our foundations. Paula and I have had to go back and examine our motives to want to move: growth, significance, ambition, more money. It was all coming together for a while and then BANG it all started to unravel, we were left chasing the ends trying to pick it back up and put it back together. Eventually we had to decide to drop our dream of moving to London when the weight of wisdom started to show us that it wasn't what God had in store for us at least right now.

Paula and myself were ready to move on but I do not just think that is a function of us being here in Swansea. I think that I am wired to be a pilgrim, a traveller, a pioneer on a journey of adventure and discovery and I am thankful to God that I am married to a fellow adventurer so when we see a new direction on our horizon I think we instinctively start to look and move in that direction. I guess that sometimes we jerk towards new directions out of reaction of being stuck in a rut of going in one direction for too long not always stopping and waiting for divine confirmation of a new direction. I love Jeremiah 6:16

This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Here we have 2 problems right in front of us:

1. Discerning the ancient paths
2. Being obedient to walking in them

I would like to think that I'm great at discerning & amazing at being obedient, but I'm terrible at waiting for the answer and anxious to get going & keep going, no matter which direction, even if it's the wrong one & especially if it's a new direction.

Is it any wonder that I have been down so many one way streets only to butt my head against God's plan for my life, only to have to face up to my wrong turns, my disobedience and u-turn back to the same sign post I failed to spot, discern or willfully disobeyed last time.

I think I may be addicted to movement or change as I often quote but I don't know who said it, 'Change, it's the only constant we know". Perhaps we've become so comfortable with change, as a constant, that it has become the post-modern version of settled. So here's a free slogan from "CHANGE IS THE NEW SETTLED" (I'm not sure how many of those shirts I'll sell).

Always wanting the new car~job~ipod~friend~house~clothes~tattoo~church~laptop~phone~piercing as the one I have has just been made obsolete by the newer~slicker~faster~smaller~smarter~better~cheaper model that just came out on Tuesday. This is part of how we have been wired in the current culture, conditioned by marketing, advertising and the media. How else can we have a consumer society? If we stop consuming, if we decided that enough is enough and stop purchasing, stop giving in to our material desires, the western world would pretty quickly grind to a halt.

Is that the answer? Rebellion against the culture, isn't that part of the call of Christ to be counter culture when cultures values collide with God's values? That is not exactly what I am driving at here. The heart of the pilgrim is God given and blessed (Psalm 84) so it's the advertising agencies that are subverting our desire to pioneer and using it for the benefit of their clients profit margins.

So what do we do? Well for a start we have to be discerning, back to that word again and walk in the good way. We have to realise that the desire for the new doesn't always equate to you getting the latest, greatest ............ (fill in the blanks yourself with your own favorite consumer passion).

Journeying isn't all about physically moving. I think this may have been the trap that P & myself fell into about London, we feel more and more like we are ready for the next move and we were prepared to 'move' in the physical when perhaps God was unsettling us so that we were prepared to 'move' in the spiritual or perhaps God wants to move on our mindset, to break the boxes that we put about every different compartment in our lives. After some discernment I think the little earthquakes were sent to shake us up and move us on both the mental and spiritual levels.

As ever I'm interested in seeing where this journey will lead us to? Mentally, physically & spiritually, of course.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Full of Beans

Occasionally I get a chance to do some media stuff in work. There have been 3 times I've been asked to represent Starbucks to the media & host a coffee tasting to help expand people perceptions about coffee.

I am a Coffee Master for my store and for our district and part of my role is to help educate my partners & our customers about coffee, from the origins, to processing & all the range of tastes of high quality coffee. It's not totally about Starbucks & more about helping others on a coffee journey to discover more about the highly prized black beans.

Here is a link to the latest article: Birmingham Sunday Mercury

Thanks to Andrea & Rachel from Cohn & Wolfe, Claire Barry from marketing in Starbucks, Andrew Reynolds, Coffee Education Manager and of course Zoe Chamberlain for writing such a cool article.

My job rocks.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Another shot at it...

Oh Yeah, I did hear about that interview I went for.....

I'm going to London in the morning for the second round interview. It's getting serious now.

Tons of stuff is going on at the moment. We are starting to see some interesting prospects here in Swansea for the first time in the year since we have been here. From church planting to youth work, I guess it will be interesting even if we stay.

On the back on Teenstreet I have been getting asked to help out with some music on 2 DVD projects, one for the Teenstreet DVD and another for my friend Greg over at 3Rock. So I guess I'll be busy in the evenings! But I'm all about that.

I've also gotten some invites to DJ, 2 in Dublin and a tentative invite to Brazil (which I really doubt I can make). So there's plenty on the horizon before Christmas.

What's God saying through all this, well, I'm getting tons out of Hebrews 11. Eoghan and I were chatting and he launched into it the other day (thanks mate) and I have been reading 'The Barbarian Way' by Erwin Raphael McManus & just got t0 the bit about faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (v1+2)


How can anything that we do compare to the list of the lives and actions of those faith giants. Or put it another way.... how can we attempt to live a comfortable, settled, civilized life and still call ourselves followers of Christ in the midst of the challenges from the lives of the giants of faith? Isn't Christ's call 'GO' meant to call us to live on the edge of the world between here and now and the eternal? Mentally, physically, emotionally, geographically, spiritually on the cusp of the biggest wave of our lives?

I have been watching loads of surf videos and been finding out more about big wave surfing. It looks terrifying but I know that if i was to start surfing, I wouldn't be satisfied until I tried big wave surfing, even if the consequences were drowning & being dashed on the rocks?

Would you aspire to being towed into a 65 foot wave at 35 miles per hour?

When I read Hebrews 11 I feel the same challenge as seeing some crazy surfer doing the seemingly impossible feet of surfing a massive wave that would destroy whole buildings.
I want my life to have significance beyond comfort & mediocrity, risking all I have for one ride on the biggest wave that God has in store for us.

I'm off surfing........

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Waiting to hear

I was invited to an interview of which I'm waiting to hear back from. It was only the first of a possible 3 interview and I'm trying to to get excited but it would be a good thing on many levels.

It would mean us relocating to London, which would rock. Even in the current uncertain climate, London seems like a good place to be.

Where ever is the centre of God's will is a good place to be so if that's London then I guess that's where we will be.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Still waiting.....

...... Patience is a virtue.

I know why, 'cause waiting wrecks your head.

But sometimes we have no choice, we are just placed on the waiting list and it is an opportunity to develop ourselves or allow ourselves to be developed, whether we like it or not.

If you are still waiting, chill, kick back, open your self up to the what ever it is God wants to do with you, in you and through you in the waiting room.

Be still & know....

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Psalm 46:10 (The Message)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Catalyst for Change

That's has been the words that God has been speaking to me over the past little while and I saw it in full effect at Teenstreet. Check out the Face2Face interview with me the picture is sweet (Thanks Ruth for making time for the interview).

Like I said in my last entry we got to change some of the culture of Teenstreet and push some new boundaries which was amazing, but it wasn't done just out of a desire or a need to be radical but out of a place of prayer discernment waiting to see how God has been planning to use Paula & me.

It has been a hard year here in Swansea because we have had to be patient and wait on God. There has been no rushing into things, we've been having a tough time finding church. (But we found 7:22 online and it has helped recently.)

If it's not happening for you right away it might be that you have to be patient and wait a little longer. I know that's hard to hear when you are passionate and itching to change the world, but sometimes the biggest changes in the world have to happen inside you before you can have any chance of making them happen outside of you.


The road goes ever on and on.....

It's been way too long.

Summer has been great. Busy too.

I am just back from DJing at OM's Teen street in Munster in Germany, you can check out some amazing photos at the website. It was an amazing time hanging with Josh & Debbie (and everyone else). God was powerfully using us all in the lives of everyone there.

I got to lead worship on the last day which was amazingly gracious of the leadership since this was the first time they had a DJ at all & then they let him loose leading worship. God was in it & touching all invoolved. (Special thanks to Christian for translating & watching my back & the dance team for praying & reading in their own languages.) There are pics in the live section for day 6 afternoon, if you are interested.

I ended up playing 17 times in 1 week & gave 2 DJ workshops too. It was busy.

It's also been really busy since I've been back. I was in London on Wednesday for an interview in Starbucks HQ & raced back to close our store. Then on Friday I had more madness as I had to go to Birmingham to meet some press and do coffee tastings & then rush back to close our store again. (Thanks Helen!) So I was wiped by the time Sunday came and I had a day off.

More news on the interview as it arrives.

Bye 4 now, going to make coffee.

R xox

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Catalyst of hope

It started to snow last night just when Paula and I were pulling up at home after she had collected me from work. Stepping out of the car there was a visual treat of the puffed up flakes of the first fall hanging in the air deadening all the normal sounds. Some kids were poking their heads out windows and one girls was standing just outside her front door holding her hand up trying to catch a snow flake.

First thing this morning I pulled back the curtain to see if the snow had stuck, there was a small dusting on the roofs of the houses and enough to freeze up the car windscreens all the way up the street but there was no signs of any left on the ground. As my hope of enough snow to make at least 1 snowball faded I realised that it was a glorious morning. The sun was up strong in an ultra-clear, pale blue sky. It's warmth was melting the remaining ice on the cars and paths making it safe for our neighborhood to get on with our morning without deicer.

The white of the snow did not last long but in that tiny moment when Paula and I stood at our front door with a little hope that it would snow all night, it reminded me that sometimes all we need is the smallest glimmer of hope, the tiniest light in the dark will do to kill the darkness and lift our spirits.

I am going to go to work and try to be a catalyst of hope for my colleagues, our customers and anyone else who is close enough to interact with.

If you want more on the subject of hope check out the mp3 of Erwin Raphael McManus' talk over at

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Me little head is lifted out of it.

My head is now being fried by Brian Mc Laren's book 'A new kind of Christian', powerful stuff (thanks Mum). It describes a discussion between two friends about the state of the Church (& Christianity in general) and the move including associated difficulties from being modern to being post-modern or pre-something. It's quite personal in it's scope but I do think that we have to start with each one of us changing before we can effectively affect change in church or society. If you can get your hands on it have a read of it.

I'm trying to read the bible through my post-modern eyes and I'll let you know about that over time (it's all change that has been affected by McLaren's books).

I have just passed my Core 2 assessment in Starbucks and I unofficially got my hands on the Store Coffee Master's black apron! I never thought the green one went with my hair. In fact I've just worked the last 7 days straight (I've turned into such a fader since I have retired from IT). Today I am making the most of it and I am sitting in front of my Powerbook, coffee in hand and as soon as I post this I will get on with making some music.

Hopefully I will get some links to some of my own produced music for yis all to have a listen to.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The New Year a great time to......

I haven't been busy blogging recently but I have been writing quite a bit.

It is my hope for 2005 to use my blog as a place to publish my writing, to help me in the process of developing my style and to give me a place to have others read it and comment.

I'll get back real soon when I've nailed my thoughts on my new years resolutions.