Sunday, November 30, 2003

One line from the many words spoken at the concert in South Africa
............ so powerful ..........

Bono said his song with Beyonce was about asking "churches to open their doors, to give sanctuary that breaks the stigma that goes with being HIV positive."

He added: "If God loves you, what's the problem?"

A Sheila in New York
A Sheila in London town decked with borrowed jewelry
A Sheila still love me after 39 years
A stereo playing Amy Winehouse
A beautiful Zig

The only thing wrong is my ipod being full

How can I say that when there is a world crisis with the Aids virus. It is so easy, stinking easy, to be so locked into your own family, or circle, that we stinking rot in our own joys and not consider 'loving the world' ......... the recommendation proposed for followers.

I want to make love.

If love is vital.
If love is real.
If love is God
How do we make it?

Been shuffling my imac itunes around to form a long list of fav tracks 2003.
I will burn a cd between Christmas and new year. Bought so many this year and confronting me is the job to decide which 12 / 13 tracks are really my lasting ones. Bit difficult because my latest Joseph/Willis/Winehouse/Pavaroti artistes are up there in my soul at the moment.

"I just want to love you baby" must be in there as my mate Justin featured heavily in my life during the ymca Praha festival.

This year I will have no fresh U2 stuff but much more Urban.
I will have to slip in the 'white stripes' which was the only rock album I bought in 2003.

Guess which 'snoop dog' track is in there?

....... and will end with a song title which will be in there and also a truth about you .........

"you are so beautiful"

Well I squinted at a 2 inch screen from the bbc website to watch a major music and world issue event. ........ 46664 ....................
Why was it not on the mainstream tv ...... we are world in crisis and these here pop people can make some impact on dull minds ........ but communication needs a communicator and a listener.

Then we went out to dine with a top dinner at friends who ouse hospitality and quality food. love it love it ......
I love this and because it has been so long since we did-depth together.
Fine fine it was ...... hope we can do the same when we have guests tomorrow to taste real Lancashire hot-pot at the Wilsons.

In the cab on the way home the driver from Canning Town my old east end patch who was filling me in with details of all the villains who have moved out to live in Romford. We swopped stories of east end pubs and gangs and life in the streets, schools, clubs, pubs and did I say pubs? ......... including the wonderful community vibe in that area.

I have not read my usual paragraph from my (now four) books which are hovering close to my mactop as I click da keys. Hmmm will catch up with my brain exercise tomorrow.

good zzzzzzzzzzzz to you

"work like you don't need the money
dance like no-one is watching
sing like no-one is listening
love like you have never been hurt"

Saturday, November 29, 2003

I am trying to get my head around when I can see the world aids day concert.
MTV it seems will be broadcasting the 46664 concert in recognition of World AIDS Day. The usa will get it on MTV on Mon 12/01 at 6:00 PM CNN will be providing live coverage of the concert as well, on November 30 !!
Any ideas for us UK peeps?

"healing is waking up to your own life.
no matter what your life look likes, it's yours and it's all you've got!
healing is making a decision to care for it."
kathryn robyn

Seems a busy day today and yet feel I have done nowt
(Lancashire accent = nothing)
Do you have days like this sometimes?

Because I now work at home sometimes, these times seem to be strange because I am so used to being with people and planning for all this sorta stuff. That feels like work and I have to do it because I cannot enter into a training session or a group work session unless I have prepared. The delivery is very informal but always takes at least twice as long to prepare.

I am also thinking about the new year because there are decisions I need to make about my life. I need to earn some dosh to live and yet my new life is now focused on playing to my strengths. I don't hear of many people doing the sort of things I do. Maybe people don't know I am available for this stuff because if people came at me ...... it would change my priorities. So ... the thinking is a good thing to do eh?

Also I have not read today.I usually read at least one paragraph from the three books I have going at the mo'.
they are:-
1 group process, group decision,group action
2 awareness
3 creative advances in group work

I, somehow, cannot put my mind to reading fiction other than on my once a year 2 weeks holiday. I feel that could be a weakness.
Now I am thinking ..... and that is about my own wholeness.
I yearn to learn.
.......... and yet I feel the steps are only short ones.

still two shot of happy and one shot of sad !!

Friday, November 28, 2003

Gilles Peterson
wonderfully good this week
some are better than others
don't like the too jazzi jazzi stuff
most of the programmes send me dizzy with excitement
this week hmmmm

you can direct link to the streaming programme from a tab on my website labeled 'music' .... I love it love it


paste this in your browser

full of wonder .... you will see


ps thanx JB

just got my new camera for christmas
the cheapest the web can deliver
the smallest to fit my daily hourly pocket
trouble is
it is from france
the manual is only in french
can I read french?

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Stand up right now and do a mexican wave.
Then, as you imagine there will be another blogger reader who will follow.
And here we are ..... the first known 'mexi-can blog-can world wave'


If anyone asks why are you doing this in the middle of your office/home/cyber cafe ......... just suggest the join in.


nicked this off the Greenbelt website and they had permission from The Church Times ....... thanx to you all ...... it is reflection on the life of Mike Yaconelli by the great man Martin Wroe.
It is my 'Mighty Martin/Martyn Day'!!

Mike Yaconelli used to say that 'You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.' Yaconelli knew the truth and his generous take on Christian spirituality made anyone who felt odd, feel right at home.

A popular speaker and writer for thousands of American youth workers, his influence in the UK was largely through the Greenbelt Arts Festival, to which he has returned regularly since the mid-1980’s. We invited him after coming across his satirical magazine, The Wittenberg Door, a kind of evangelical Private Eye, tearing into hypocrisy, pomposity and assorted church scams. Below the satire, was a Chestertonian innocence and a warm-hearted evangelical theology. Yaconelli interviewed big hitters from across the ecclesiastical spectrum and - playfully editing the encounters afterwards - made them twice as funny for the reader. Steve Martin and Woody Allen both made ‘Theologian of the Year’ as did Tammy Faye Bakker, wife of the disgraced televangelist. The Door was a breath of fresh air, and not just in the claustrophic environs of the American church.

I had managed to blag his home number on the US West Coast from somewhere, and, getting my time zones wrong, rang him in the middle of the night. Gradually coming to, he said, 'Yeah, sounds like a great festival, love to come, who are you again ?'
After that, he was always waking Greenbelt up. The Festival has long had a semi-detached relationship with the institutional church and we found a kindred spirit in Mike – a real-life minister (looking after a small ‘church for people who don’t go to church’) but deeply sceptical about what the church often turned into. Honesty and humour were at the heart of his appeal. His was ‘the slowest growing church in America. We started twelve years ago with ninety members and have ungrown to thirty.’ He could have been an Anglican.

If he embraced oddness, this may be because he had long felt a little odd in the Church himself. Born to Italian Americans in 1942, the family were ‘ethnic Catholics’, until evangelical revival surprised them. ‘One day my parents came home saying they were born again and they started this home church thing in our living room. Here were 18-25 people coming over every Friday night to read the Bible, sing and yell theological arguments in my living room. It was the best show in town. I started cancelling my Friday night plans so I could sit in the other room and listen.’

His parents encouraged him to enrol at the conservative Bob Jones University - he was thrown out within weeks, for which he was always grateful. After training as a youth worker, he co-wrote ‘Idea Book’ - off the wall activities for young people - but no one would publish it. With partner Wayne Rice, he founded Youth Specialties in 1969, to do it themselves. Today the organisation resources tens of thousands of youth workers, publishes scores of books and hosts the National Youth Workers Convention.

Along the way, Yaconelli developed a wonderfully animated and compelling speaking style, happy to come clean about his own failings, with a gift for making the way of faith seem possible for amateurs – the people most of us know ourselves to be most of the time. After becoming friends with Henri Nouwen, his evangelical roots became tangled with those of the mystics and the reverse side of his on-stage pyrotechnics was an off-stage contemplative spirituality. A glance at titles he spoke on at Greenbelt captures his appeal: ‘Un-Spiritual Gifts: The Power of Being Weird’; ‘Messy Spirituality: Christianity For The Rest Of Us’ and ‘What Would Jesus Do? (We Don’t Have a Clue)’

The instutional church, he felt, had forgotten its calling and become a ‘corporation’. It needed to get over itself, stop taking itself so seriously, and focus on loving Jesus. A cultural rather than political radical, he saw individuals not governments changing history and regularly took groups to Mexico to build houses. latterly heading a campaign to persuade young people to fight the African AIDS pandemic.

Yaconelli’s motto was ‘messy spirituality’, which he called the refusal to pretend, to lie, or to allow others to believe we are something we are not.’ Over the years thousands of Greenbelters recognised someone who was more than a mischief making mystic, but rather a kind of prophet of the possible, opening up a generous and liberating view of Christianity for anyone and everyone. ‘Oddness is important,’ he said, ‘Because it adds, texture, variety, and beauty to the human condition. Christ doesn’t make us the same. What He does is affirm our differentness.’

Whoever it was that brought me here will have to take me home.

The new album from Martyn Joseph hit the welcome mat today.
Welcome indeed.
For those apart from such experience, Martyn is a Greenbelt regular artiste who is so central to Greenbelt I do not see how we could ever separate. Even for one year.
There is deep respect for the man, and music. I feel it is because the man is the music and the music is the man. There is integration in a wholistic way which means so much to me. It is a great ideal. A worthy aim, this wholistic thing. Martyn lives it and breathes........

I was keen to grab a listen a a lyric read of a track called 'this being woman' which was sampled for us at Greenbelt. It comes out of a powerful poem by Stewart Henderson another great greenbelter. The song is credited to both of them. It is raw, it is real.
I have yet to absorb into my senses but I will quote you one verse ....... just get the album from

The Christmas shopping on your own
The ecstasy you should have known
The dreams and dust and wedding vows
The silent darkness, funerals, rows

new album today
willis ...... soul jazz fusion
called 'come get some'
not heard it yet ...... proper like

want it to be soul food

in the spin this week has been
Pavaroti ...... Italian pop songs
Underworld ...... Romford dance music
UgarFree ..... Hungarian dance music
U2 joshua tree ........ as such is the Kingdom of God
all in a mix ....... spiritual as it connects with what I am reading at the same time as traveling on three trains through the capital city.
Thats me ...... I am out of here.

Wednesday ...... and waiting for Gilles Peterson to appear on my stereo at midnight. I will be taping it and will listen as I travel tomorrow.
Feel more relaxed than when I first arrived home ..... always drained when I give out in intense group work. I admit that I cannot do the hours I used to do ...... now I need to chill a bit more .... and Joan likes that because I have a history of being out a lot. She still likes me after 39 years of wedlock!

Since I last blogged I have had another group work session and it was, as usual, a tough ride into the real stuff ...... my objectives that is.

Do this with me:-
Two doors.
One instant perfection
One gradual growth
Which one will you go through and why?
If you pause and do it, it is experiential ..... if you don't it is just reading!!

Next one:-
Honestly answer this by picking one option out of four
You are on the beach ..... which is you?
1 stand and look around and pose and thats it
2 dip your toe in the water to test the temperature
3 wade into the water slow to get used to the water, then swim
4 Dive right in the water

Decide or this won't work.

Next bit:-

How much is your swimming habits as chosen above reflect on your general attitude to work, or study, or relationships? Do you dive right in or test the temperature first etc?

Decide ?

Interestingly ............ usually the swimming style matches the life style of most people so ............. there you are an experience in self awareness.
If you did it ...... are you with me in the sorta stuff I try to do?

Communication is the only route to communion.

Such is the Kingdom of God .... seems to little me.

A relationship is only as good as it's communication.

with human.

with God

last bit .......I think it is best not to strive to change. To become deeply aware of ourselves right now. The reality.
When we get in touch with our inner functioning and feelings (Level 5 with ourselves) we experience change taking place by itself.
Sort of let go.
Let go, let God.

Gilles is now beating in the room via the radio ..... so ...... must post this ....... liveinwonder

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"I'm not doubting. I don't doubt God. I have firm faith absolutely in God. It's religion I'm doubting."

-- Bono, 2002

Someone leaving next week and looking good ....... from a hell of a life.
Someone messed up and ugly ..... feelings that is. I think beautiful.
Someone not speaking but involved in everything else.
Someone chocked and saying, gagging on the words, "my mother died".
Someone stumbling to link words together without making any sense.
Someone looking rough but mind still alive and saying real things about life.
Someone with eyes that match the chemicals of the day.
Someone fresh from spliffing plenty.
Someone, no two, hanging around within earshot but walking all the time.
Someone who said I am happier now than ever.
Someone once an addict to heroin, and a street sleeper, last week a drunk and this week looking smart and clean and clear headed..
Someone who has been rejected by parents and determined to get life together.

A group of late night humans sitting around with me and me trying to forge some sense of cohesion. Young uns age sixteen and a few a little older. They have lived a life too vivid for a soap opera. I know so many have never been so close to humans in such a mashed state and I love em.
We talk, I facilitate with all my might to have them settle down and focus, and we do .... eventually. Out comes real stories, life experiences, of a 'down time' in their life. We all have them eh? This was facilitated by a new blob figure drawing sketched today by my own hand. But anyone can read this paper ..... no words you see!
Once the first person opened up and was honest, the rest followed with ever increasing honesty and openness. We ended again with sharing a positive each. Never do I want to re-enforce the negative and hopelessness ...... hope is a vital concept and essential dream even though it maybe only one step, the next step.

I feel good because it was tough going at times but a developmental experience for all of us including me.

I hope all this makes some-sense to you rather than non-sense!
I write this stuff to unpack and trust it will interest you ass you interact with groups in your daily life.
One thing from me now. I found myself sharing with the group that the best peak in my life was packing in my big job to be with them. I feel so accepted by them. I feel so worthwhile and ........... a becoming beautiful human.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I just love

where you can get the best of stuff so much less ........

I just love

Continuing .........
..... following on from my clicking rabbiting words last night .........

Unless my soul and mind are completely shuttered to the experiences of life which I am living day by day, everything about me as a person is ever changing and dynamic. You too ...... seems to me.

So I am a different person today than yesterday and not a solid core or set clump of pipness. The human becoming is more like a kaleidoscope ..... dynamic like.
To see it/me takes some effort to lift me to the eye and see the colours and the change. .... the human becoming. You to.

So I want to look at you and communicate with you in a sense of wonder. To drink in your dynamic specialness.


Feel I have been busy in mind and soul ....... so many things connect in life and a book ..... and one sentence or two from it smacks me to clear a headed state as it directs me to a person I am working with and loving with all I have.

I have this deep feelings of love for people who I see at the other side of the room and when more interactive with them ...... it intensifies ... it is different than the family thing which is as intense ....... the feelings I have that is. Of course, unless we talk at level 5 I will never know if your feelings are anything like mine because they are not easy to wrap around with words are they?

So they, them .... that lot ........ are some of mine .......
the beautiful thing about communicating at level 5 is, the very act of digging deep and touching them feelings and structuring, paraphrasing, them into verbal communication is a fantastic way of really finding out what is in here.
(chest thumped as I click da keys)
It is great to get to know who we really are today ..... as we become.
Thats why I love group work because everyone learns about themselves and others= life itself........
But we must be honest. The ones who struggle with this L5 stuff are the people who feel they have some status to lose, some reputation to banana skin on.
Leadership is not status it is function.

The greatest leaders in history are the ones who have shown their humanity.
(Yaconelli........ is in my mind again and rightly so.......)
...........................and I think wide, as you will do, to people you know and .......
......... the greatest of these is love

Monday, November 24, 2003

Sunday church
a coup
In the middle of the service this morning three Curates strode down the isle and one entered the pulpit just minutes before the Vicar was to preach his prepared scheduled sermon. The Curate then preached.
It was the Vicars' tenth anniversary and yes, it was a surprise, but a friendly one by colleagues from the the years of his service .... and all done with good and beautiful tone. Never seen a coup in a Church before.
It is very much a real issue in todays news in Georgia where I visited once.

Sunday memorial service
Yaconelli was there
This was right to happen. I am glad we did this. Our Greenbelt memorial service was pulled together by a small team of Greenbelt friends and a much larger group taking part including an open mike.
I hand picked two video clips of Yaconelli at Greenbelt. One with Willie introducing a one minute seminar by the big Yac on the subject of 'wasps'. At the same time another seminar speaker was speaking about the brits and Australians .... madness you say ..... . Just a bit of creative fun in tune with the man himself. The other clip was the start of a full length video produced by GB some years ago. Again showing him in full humour-full flow. In-between the vids I bumbled some reflection about my memories of Mike ....... his impact on me and others.
Contributions were gentle and powerful. Many photographic images were projected and we all sent a message home to Karla and we connected with each other and the eternal Father of Mike Yaconelli.
The Greenbelt Festival memorial thingy in August will be ........ it will be more!!

Sunday dinner with big she
toad in the hole.
I love our daughters and while one is trying to film in NYC without showing the full Christmas decorative scene and the Thanksgiving Day build up ...... we had dinner with the other bhp daughter. Beautiful after the roller coaster ride with Yaconelli .......... and a good chat with her man and their friends. Yes ..... toad in the hole with other delights to eat and drink. hmmm.

Sunday end ......... now tired and beautiful.
I feel beautiful but not all the time. I believe you are beautiful but I know you don't feel that all the time ...... maybe none of the time? Sometimes it is tough to connect the head with the human feelings. One video I viewed and did not show today was an interview I did with Mike Y in 1988. The first thing I said him before the interview was ........ "you are a beautiful human person" ........
I believe this stuff.
I do not believe there is a fixed solid little model of a beautiful completed person who lives inside us just wanting to come out. I do believe there is a person within us trying to 'become' (for self and others). We do not want to be a hidden person, but a fully human person who is living authentically 'on show' in real life. We are ever changing and becoming. We are persons becoming and that is a process.

If I am anything as a beautiful human, it is what I
my relationships
and loves

These are things that define a human and they are all 'in process'.
Dare I say, it seems to me you are now a bhp but also 'becoming'.

So, the end of a busy day and I reflect.
Mike Yaconelli had an influence on me .... and today too.
I am not the same person I was this morning.
I must think more about this stuff.
I will.
Thanx for all you offer me....... I stumble for words so I will fold the mactop and stoke the cat and prepare for another day ............
you are beautiful.................................

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Sunday church
a coup

Sunday memorial service
yaconelli was there

Sunday dinner with big she
toad in the hole

Sunday end now tired and beautiful

that is the headlines, ..............sounds like a news report.
Just as they do, more details to follow.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Well ......... the rugby union world cup belongs to England ........... and deserved. We played well in a struggle sort of way. We did not deserve to lose. Tough win. Huge effort. They did well. Glad the Australians got beat , it is good to see them lose.

Me old mate Jason Robinson did the only try for us and will deserve the multi-re-plays hey hey.

A win tonight in the rugby league test would be the icing on the glory cake.

Been out for a level five meal in the west end of London town.
Level five group, we have been meeting for 23 years since first meeting in 1980.

Been and met an old work mate doing great new work in a community church setting. Sharing notes and life itself.

Been to IKEA ......... life itself ......... but had no swedish meat balls. It was a dash-in-out due to a forgetful daughter who is now mid pond.

Been in receipt of some good affirmative communication. The word, that word, comes out of the experience of 'having things in common' ..... and the people who offer the best communication to me .... with me, are the ones who share some common ground.

Been ................ lots of things but now to zzzzzzzzzzz

Been out for a level five meal in the west end of London town.
Level five group, we have been meeting for 23 years since first meeting in 1980.

Been and met an old work mate doing great new work in a community church setting. Sharing notes and life itself.

Been to IKEA ......... life itself ......... but had no swedish meat balls. It was a dash-in-out due to a forgetful daughter who is now mid pond.

Been in receipt of some good affirmative communication. The word, that word, comes out of the experience of 'having things in common' ..... and the people who offer the best communication to me .... with me, are the ones who share some common ground.

Been ................ lots of things but now to zzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, November 21, 2003

Istanbul ........what a terrible disaster it was yesterday.
I feel so sad for the shocked and blasted to disfigurement Turkish people .....and British.
I want to share their pain feel it. I do not want it to be yet another news item.
In a ymca yesterday all the talk was about Michael Jackson. The pop world is more significant to tabloid readers than a life wrecking bomb in a distant land. They all believe he is guilty and are disgusted in their terms, that he has got away with it for so long. I am disgusted that there are people who don't talk to us but plant a bomb at our feet.

I believe we need to be closer to people who believe and behave differently than us. Only if we cannot be close and life is being destroyed ..... only then do we have to fight to defend. That applies to the violent person in the street or the terrorist group of humans who secretly plan the destroying of others. I cannot connect with fighting. I have been subject to violence all my life by professionally violent and crime making people. I have had a life of stopping fights. I cannot image being the national leader who has to authorize violence against another, person or nation. But I know it has to be done. I am in conflict with myself. It is not revenge feelings. It is more about justice and right-living. I don't want violence and hurt but do we just lie down when the next Hitler pops up to pour evil over our land and face?
Lord have mercy.

I am tired now as I click ......... done a lot of clicking this week and a lot of direct people work ........... they go together ......I have to express myself when my feelings and digestion of soul food is big.

So just a few words ...........

I have had a heavy but great day ........ great stuff seeing humans open ......I know that my living and breathing deep are so much part of my loving.
I want to love.
I have decided to make my life an act of love.
My head decides.
My body transports that into action.
Then my soul pours .......... and who do you guess grips the handle on that soul?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

You may know that the HIV/AIDS issue is big in my soul
Africa massive
Also I am the Christian Aid Youth Advisor.
Their website has excellent materials to use for a service/reflection/awareness session.
I did two sessions last week on the issue and it makes it so much more real when it is churned up in the soul.
This is a prayer .... just a wee bit, from the Christian Aid website ..... so good.

" Christ, our God, you too were born a child not free into our world: subject to poverty, harassment by foreign powers, and dangers to your health. In your name let us cry freedom for your children now, at this time, and through all generations. "

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

On my way to work
I travel to work at a ymca
When I get this from a friend who is doing the same it makes me want to be sick. Just a journey to work in the ymca to work with people and this happens.
Read it please.....................................................................
"I now live in Beit Sahour,a Palestinian city bordering Bethlehem to the east in the middle region of the country. It is southeast ofJerusalem(15 minutes drive).I hold a West Bank Identity Card (I.D.) which makes it so hard to get to work inJerusalem. I go through some tough experiences on the way to work and I would like to share with you some of my daily suffering living under Israeli occupation.
 This morning I followed some advice from a lady I work with and tried to come through the "Wadi el Hummus" bypass road in the south of Beit Sahour. This is a rocky road where the “green- and white-plated” Palestinian taxi will drop you off near a small hill of rubble. From there you have to climb the hill and then take a "yellow-plated" (Israeli-plated) cab to thevillageofSilwan, in the southeast of the Old City of Jerusalem and finally a bus toJerusalem.
I took a taxi to the hill and four Israeli soldiers were standing there. There were also many old Palestinian women with some vegetables and goodies to be sold inJerusalem. But the soldiers wouldn't let anyone accessJerusalem.
I decided to try talking to them. I showed my American I.D. and my work I.D., proving that I applied for a permit to enterJerusalema month ago. But nothing worked. They
asked me to go back. "GO HOME," they said in Arabic.
I decided to wait in the shade with some women hoping the soldiers would go, but they didn’t. Then one of the women told me, "let’s try to walk around the farm".
We walked on the field, stepped over a lot of trash and went under trees trying to hide. Then we came out in the back of a small store. We jumped and got inside the store. There were some "yellow-plated" taxis but no one wanted to take us since we had no permits to enterJerusalem. The taxi drivers could be fined over $1,200 if they got caught taking “illegal” passengers!!
They said we should wait until the road cleared.
After waiting for a while, an Israeli military jeep came with another five soldiers, including one female soldier. They stepped out and started yelling at the old women, demanding to see their I.D.s. The female soldier grabbed the old women, yelling loudly and forcing her hands into the openings in their dresses to pull out their I.Ds. When one of the old women, old enough to be her grandmother, resisted, she slammed her on her face… twice!
 My heart just broke at that moment; I wanted to go out and hit that heartless woman. But I was hiding so the soldiers wouldn't notice that I sneaked from the back through the farm. The soldiers started messing up the women's boxes, feeding the fresh spinach to the sheep and jumping over the grapes! It was a horrible scene.
All that time I was hiding inside the store. I was scared and angry for these women. I thought to myself: "What kind of threat does these poor old ladies and their fresh vegetables pose to the State ofIsrael??!!!"
I can't help but admire the strong will of the Palestinian women. Nothing can stand in their way. 
I finally made it to work at11:00 AM... and started one more day of work with an "unusual" but yet "very normal" start.
Please pray that God will get us through this tough time."
................ my friend is Judah.
He loves my games.
He is a big man.
He laughs with me.
He sends me emails like you........................

Renee is a new friend in the US who I bumped into as a result of Mike Yaconelli. His death. Our blogs.
I love this from her beautiful and stumbling words about the recent memorial service in America.

" i was so proud to have known him. so astonished at how real and personal he was to everyone he met--from the insignificant to the famous. he was raw and hilarious and broken and wise and safe and dangerous and wonderful and sometimes scary and it was all beautiful and it was all him."
read her reflection ................


There is now a yaconelli book of remembrance on the Greenbelt website where you can post a reflection .............

Bono quote again ....... but I love him:-
"As I grew up, in my teenage years, I just despised them. A lot of them were corrupt in Dublin and Ireland and a lot of the beauty of the city I grew up in, Dublin, had the eyes gouged out of it by
corrupt politicians and builders. So, I didn't have a very high opinion of politicians growing up."

U2's bittersweet meditation on love, "One," was today named the greatest song ever recorded.

Music experts placed the tune, which had only a brief and unremarkable spell in the charts, above high ranking efforts by Elvis and the Beatles.

It topped the list in a special edition of respected music magazine Q honouring the 1001 Best Songs Ever.

U2 guitarist the Edge said: "When we named it, I always knew it would be number one at something."

It is among eight songs by the band which have made it into the list, although "One" is the only track by the quartet to have entered the top 100.

The song was recorded at the tail end of 1990 roughly halfway through the band's -- so far -- quarter century career, as they tried to reinvent themselves with the Achtung Baby album.
love it love it


why touch?

I found that when I got to grips with my feelings, or started to, I began to grow as a human person. I often say I became an adult at the age (about) forty years old. That was part of my journey inward. The opening and the owning of those vivid things which seem to influence life so powerfully ...... negative or positive.

"The unreflected life is not worth living" Socrates

Using a new blob drawing, other samples of some are in my books, I have led a group into this.
Which one is you right now in terms of feelings? .... was the question and ................. fantastic level of sharing burst forth so, I can tell you, this blob used for the first time, will be in my next book.

What pleased me was the honesty in terms of sharing feelings. Raw and to the bone. Because it is not only which blob describes your feelings ....... but why? Then it came out.
When you work with people who have had massive disasters in their childhoods followed by later crippling blows, it is something special to hear their stories.
We end by picking a future positive blob. What/where they want to be and I join in all the way through.

Beautifully so, I can see people moving and are progressing in their emotional life. Some of them building on that self knowledge and growing in stature. I love it and it means I am reaching out and being touched by a shalom finger tip.

I experience beauty and pain and refuse neither.


Jim appeared.
He was getting on the same train as me but he was the driver.
I remember him in the ymca when one of our workers hugged him tight for a long time on the pavement outside the ymca. Hugged him until he settled down and reversed his desire to fling himself under a passing car.
I remember taking him to Switzerland on a European ymca event. All he ever wanted to talk about and errr do ........ was to drink and get drunk and pull all the women. He discovered new pleasures there.
I remember him in failed relationships and him moving on to a ymca flat and becoming independent. I remember him training for a British Rail qualification as a driver and ...................

We were talking about what comes first, a feeling or a thought
This young beautiful human all messed up in life ad feeling he is going nowhere then talked about if it is possible to love someone who he had never met. (he was talking about his father .... hit and run father if you know what I mean?)
He then slipped from that into questioning me about me and God, how come ..... that I can love God and yet have never met him. We talked about how I met God, when I was 21, and have built a relationship with him ...... and yes, talk with him.

Later on, same evening, he placed himself in the doorway of a church on the blob drawing. Not about God, he said, but about searching for direction.

The person I am today is not the person you may know from yesterday or the last time we met.

Someone said today that I am not my usual self. Yes, I felt that I was not on top form and pumping. There was a wee spark missing and I was not firing on all cylinders.

So approach me with a sense wonder.
Yes it is me.
A different me today.
My journey has influenced me to change.
I will try not to wear a mask when with you.
Your own warmth and acceptance will give me permission to become.
To become more of the authentic me when I am with you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Memorial Service for Mike Yaconelli, order of service from Sunday in the US is below .......... Greenbelt Memorial Service is this Sunday at 3.30pm.

Feel like I have been.............thinking more than doing today.

Have been planning a series of courses I have lined up for the new year.

Trying to decide a digital camera for Christmas
must fit in my pocket on every journey from home-everywhere.
must be snappy like my logitech which is us outside bright light
must have some pixels which logitech forgot
slide dem pix easy into the mac just as easy as the logitech does
Got my eye on a wee Pentax but ...... will it do the tricks?

Tied up one of the best singer-songwriters for a conference I am helping with in February.
Doing the same with some fine in-putters with different skills.
Getting some interesting gig invites in.

Feel I have been busy and the next three days are blocked out with beautiful work.
Can I make the gig of a new band in London town on Wednesday evening?

Looking forward to a 'Level 5' meal out in London on Friday and the Mike Yaconelli memorial get-together on Sunday ....... it is sure to be great but also gut renching.

So making love continues all week

God bless the next few days in London town with the potential real trouble on our hands .... and the safety of all these people about to demonstrate.


Monday, November 17, 2003

I am a spin merchant
this is the spin at the mo
Underworld new album and love the lyrics ............

" There was a little drawing of a heart next to that,
followed by an exclaimation mark.
The back of his was covered in stuff... stuff like:
Brandon is not a very nice guy, but Alex is sooo nice.
And that had the exclaimation thing too.
It was just silly crap that hit the spot. And he let himself be drawn in.

you bring light in...

to a dark place
walking in light
glowing walking in light
gold ring around you
the hues of you
the golden sunlight of you

you bring light in...

cool wind following
following after you
rising for you
your skin beautiful
everything comes natural
fantastic fan
rocking rocking floating"

O God
giver of life
bearer of pain
maker of love


good article about the US Christian music scene and Bono.
you will have to paste it in your browser

see you later

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Sunday ......... how is yours?
missed the rugby today and went to church. So much kicking that I could have used a one hour tape without them. Why don't they change the rules so the crowd can enjoy some running rugby? That's what the rugby league boys did over 100 years ago when the working class miners etc could not afford the injury time off work and went professional and also created a more spectacular game for the fans who actually pay. I believe in crowd participation but to give the crowd the ball so much with all those messy kicks is 'not ok'
rant over

wish wales had won last week.

Chilling today and catching up with the emails and faxes and posting for the monday mailing.

Got a crisis. My ipod is almost full with 30 gigs.
all my albums from now till Christmas will not fit unless I delete some older stuff. grrrrrr

Little she comes home this afternoon and we go a shop 2morrow. Fly to NYC Friday.

Listening to a mix from 7717 tunes on my mac as I type ..... currently something Bulgarian. Love that nation and love those humans.
" te c pracrasin chovek"
guess what that says?

very sad tonight
the british rugby league team lost in the second test and that means the ashes are lost again. So sad about it and has been a mood change indoors.

Went to Peterborough today and met lots of old friends. Many others not there. Sad about that too.

Miseryguts sounds to me.

Tired now. Too tired for da blog.

Only to say ....... I have had some cracker emails in the last 24 hours which lifts my soul.
I have been told, and it sounds true, that we/I communicate less because I blog so much. I will think about this and ................


Saturday, November 15, 2003

Bono quote
"Africa is going down in flames...If we really believed, deep down, that Africans were equal to us, we would not allow this to happen."

He said Canada has begun doing its part by introducing legislation to allow cheap generic AIDS drugs to be shipped to Africa.

But he added that lingering and chronic poverty creates a nesting ground for international terrorism, just like Afghanistan. He said it would be easier to help Africa now than deal with the damage later.

what can I do I say........

"You will have to forgive me if I'm a little shy -- you know, I'm not used to speaking to crowds of less than 25,000!" Bono speaking in Canada

Silver scales flash bright and fade
in reeds along the shore
like a pearl in sea of liquid jade
His ship comes shining
like a crystal swan in a sky of suns
His ship comes shining.

words by Bruce Cockburn

love it
love it

I am doing my normal late night thing, sitting in front of the tv with my G4 mactop on my knee. Delighting, as I always will in the freedom that airport/wi-fi brings. No sitting in a darkened room checking my emails and surfing.
As I click da keys a few late nighter email in and I love it love it. Thanx Ali for the comment in the affirmative re Greenbelt and my blog about coming to an end with my vice chairman role. I love it and like you, gb has been a major contributer to my journey of faith and life. I will continue on the board as a trustee/director as long as they need me and I am not in the way of the renewing membership.

I click about 15 blogs most nights. Some humans I know. Others I read because they connect. I find I don't like the ones who don't blog daily. Moby is good as a daily blogger.

Jules/Later is on tv and the bands not to my taste tonight. Glass in hand and a cafe creme cigar. Zig is sleeping on the chair. Joan gone to zzzzz.
Tomorrow will be going for a pub lunch and then Peterborough Cathedral for the ymca national thanksgiving service which marks the end of the world week of prayer. Then a dash back for the rugby league second test match against the world masters. I like this game which keeps the ball on the pitch unlike the other code who , for some reason, keep kicking it into the crowd.

Sunday it is church and young sheila comes home for a day away from tv directing the holiday programme ....... she flys to new york next week for two weeks filming. You will see on tv sometime in the new year. Watch it and boost the ratings.

Travis are ok. Never bought their stuff.
Must give you my spin merchant list. Have got some good stuff recently.
This week was Pavarotti and Aqualung !
Soon I will be doing my fav tracks album of the year. My own compilation like every year. Usually do this mid 25th/NYE. It will be a big task this year and yes, it will include Justin Timberlake.... "I just want to love you baby"

Feelings wise ...... I feel ok. Not too tired. Feeling good about my new work. Not complete ...... certain things trouble me and stretch me like hell ...... of course. I started on a book last week and that is the first time I have done any work on it. Have over 200 games from other books without the new ones. Must put the 'toilet roll swot' in the book as it is a fantastic tool.
I feel good. I feel on a journey. I feel happy. Think that is more than I have during the last ten years.

Mike Yaconelli thanksgiving service in US this Sunday and ours in London the following week. You must feel free to be there. It will be a special Greenbelt occasion.

Must give you my spin.

Long blog ...... you can tell 'later' tv was not too good!


Friday, November 14, 2003

I am helping to run a conference in Feb 04 an the title is
CAN OPENER ............ these are some of the interesting bits ........... and by the way it will not be about cans BUT will be about opening!!

Fascinating facts about the invention
of the Can Opener by Ezra Warner in 1858 .

The first practical can opener was developed 50 years after the birth of the metal can.  Canned food was invented for the British Navy in 1813.  Made of solid iron, the cans usually weighed more than the food they held!  The inventor, Peter Durand, was guilty of an incredible oversight. Though he figured out how to seal food into cans, he gave little thought to how to get it out again.  Instructions read:  "Cut round the top near the outer edge with a chisel and hammer."  Only when thinner steel cans came into use in the 1860s could the can opener be invented.  The first (patented in 1858), devised by Ezra Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut, looked like a bent bayonet. Its large curved blade was driven into a can’s rim, then forcibly worked around its edge.  Stranger yet, this first type of can opener never left the grocery store.  A clerk had to open each can before it was taken away! 

The modern can opener, with a cutting wheel that rolls around the rim, was invented by William Lyman of the United States in 1870.   The only change from the original patent was the introduction of a serrated rotation wheel by the Star Can Company of San Francisco in 1925. The basic principle continues to be used on the modern can openers, and it was the basis of the first electric can opener, intorduced in December 1931. Pull-open cans, patented by Ermal Fraze of Ohio, debuted in 1966.


"Those songs we sang on tour really helped me through the death of my dad. The problem with grief is bottling it up and that's when it can really floor you. You have to express it and face it and I was doing that every night."

-- Bono, 2001

World Aids day soon.
great to discuss the issue with groups of people who know or have experienced first hand the terrible killer virus.
The time given raises awareness in me and us all as we look and dig. The feelings are not good. The african scene is particularly bad.

The christian aid website is really good and I have used the black and white pix from there to start the discussion. I am Youth Advisor to Christian Aid and have meeting soon. They are major supporters and parttners of Greenbelt and I love what the stand for and DO.
So if we don't know what to do ourselves, we can help resource them ..... who DO know.
Like Xian Aid
I believe in life before death.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Two shots of happy
one shot of sad
Well I am no longer the Vice Chairman of Greenbelt Festivals..
I have been that for 15/16 years, the longest serving and more than half of Greenbelt history.

The new Vice Chairman is Roy Parker, a conservative evangelical worship leader who often appears at Greenbelt. I have heard him speak at Greenbelt many times. He is always talking about cheeses. He has a very small shrinking 1950's knitted jumper which has seen better days. He is always talking about cheeses. He has done many late show appearances at Greenbelt. The last one was in the 30-30 Show this year. You can guess, he talked about cheeses.

The problem is he gets cheeses mixed up because he always wants to talk to strangers about cheeses. He calls it witnessing for cheeses. He gets his cheeses mixed up with jesus ...... that is the way he speaks.

Behind the superficiality of Roy Parker there is a beautiful human called Andy Turner who is the new V Chairman and a great man he is too. He is a trained youth and community professional and works and lives in Hackney one of the toughest and deprived London Boroughs. He leads an active community organization. It is a pleasure to hand over 'all the vice' to Andy but.............. I would have been worried if it had been Roy Parker!

A great link to all the best detail re Mike Yaconelli
paste it in your browser ..... there is much to browse:-

The remembered Johny Cash with a message fro Bono.......

Bono, lead singer for the rock group U2, toasted Cash with a pint of Guinness beer in a recorded message. He said that whenever Cash landed in Ireland, the first thing he did was have a pint of the dark Irish stout.

"He was an oak tree in a garden of weeds," Bono said. "He's not in a garden of weeds now. He's in heaven where all the saints are."

Feelings hmmm.
I believe in them.
I have them.
Will not ignore them.
It is they that make us human.

Read this...........................................

"Cynthia wanted some peace.
She boarded up her windows.
Lined her walls with egg cartons.
She blocked the chimney and ripped the phone off the wall.
It didn't work.
The bass from her neighbour's stereo came through the foundations.
A helicopter chopped her quiet into coleslaw.
Cynthia upped the ante.
She inserted ear plugs and covered them with ear muffs
Then she climbed into her bed and put a pillow over her head.
Only then did she become aware of the noise coming from the inside."

This is a discussion starter for a group. The over-talked each other. They were full of feelings. Full of noise.

If you think about it in reference to yourself, it will make you dig deep. It will bring up stuff from the past and the present.
Can you imagine what it is like when your parents were addicts during all your known life? When the ones who are traditionally known to be consistent loving influences in families, have always been in reverse gear? When you have been brought up with racist venom?

The objective of all this group work is for people to share and find out that ........'I, me!!,...... am not alone with feelings and experiences. I do not need to have this particular mask on with this particular group of people.' It is about self. It is about others. It is about communication. It is about self-worth.

In my terms, my objectives, it is about the kingdom coming. It is about Shalom.

Dear Prince of Shalom, I offer you some special unique beautiful precious valuable humans ..........................................

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

On Sunday afternoon, November 23rd some of Mike Yaconelli’s Greenbelt  friends will host a special tribute to Mike at St Luke’s Church in Holloway, north London (nearest Tube, Caledonian Rd, Picadilly line)
Coming a week after the American memorial to Mike, which takes place in San Diego on November 15th, the service will be  a chance to thank God for Mike’s gifts - and that so many of us were lucky to cross paths with him,  particularly at Greenbelt.
We’ll tell stories, say prayers, sing songs and recall good times.  Our sadness will be mingled with laughter because  our memories of Mike are full of laughter.
If you plan to be there, it would help if you could RSVP to this address (  
And please bring a candle with you - any size or shape or colour.
If you need more information, click here (

I have an Angel.
Called Charlie.
He does my website design and inserts.
He has upgraded several items ..............
- you can listen to Amy Winehouse
- click right through to my favorite dj
- Yaconelli is there too
- poems by some of the bhp's I work with
- new pix of people ....... always people

have a look see

well...................had a fab w/e in a rural scene with bhps special. Came home knackered.

Paste this into your browser
PAB man has much better click-ability on these keys and describes the w/e with panache. Even a picture which was mine from my mini logitech ....... but I am so poor at this stuff....... I don't know how to make the links blue/clickable or post pics on my blog page.Gggggggggggggrrrr

We did look at important structural, missionary and principle issues for the future of greenbelt ..... decisions decided after being well thrashed and spiritually sweated over ............ I will be a great festival. be there.

If you would like to be at the Yaconelli memorial gig in London, please see the Greenbelt website over the next few days as we will be posting the details. the date Sunday is 23rd November
We are also launching an appeal to pay for two Greenbelters to go to the US memorial next w/e. Again, link to the greenbelt website for details/links. We believe that Greenbelt people would want us to be represented.

The interesting thing is .......I have been mixing with people who are talented, accepting of me, gifted, loving, alive, funky, passionate, faith-messy-full and .......... the people I will be working with for the rest of the week will include humans who are mashed from years of drugs ......... and others who struggle with their mental health ...... and self esteem ..... and crime ...... and rejection as children ... and massive negative feelings inside their beautiful persons ...... that they are .......... I love em and they are so good to me even though I gently ease(push a bit) them into exploration of their reality and their future. The contrast is clear.

I will keep you intouch with the journey ............

Monday, November 10, 2003

The ymca world this week have a world wide call to prayer and emphasis on a special theme.
With the help of a booklet available to thousands of ymca's the leaders are encouraged to consder the issue of HIV/AIDS.

My main man Bono has been upfront about this issue and the crisis in Africa. I will print below a extract from his words to the Christian Music scene in USA who have a major influence on US young people but don't seem to lift their eyes behond their shores ..... Bushlike !
if you are not a ymca human ...... world aids day is on december first and this can be the start of the yearning to care and action...............

“Today – in the next twenty four hours – 5,500 Africans will die of AIDS. Today in childbirth 1,400 African mothers will pass on HIV to their newborns.
If this isn’t an emergency, what is? In the Scriptures we are not advised to love our neighbour, we are commanded. The Church needs to lead the way here, not drag its heels. The government needs guidance. We discuss; we debate; we put our hands in our pockets. We are generous even.
But, I tell you God is not looking for alms; God is looking for action. He is not just looking for our loose change – he’s looking for a tighter contract between us and our neighbour.

I should be preaching to the converted here. There are 2,300 verses of Scripture pertaining to the poor. History will judge us on how we deal with this crisis. God will judge us even harder.”
Bono U2

Well ................... been .........away on a week-end with the other members of the greenbelt board ........I just love these people .......... on a farm ......... beautiful place ....... in the country ........ so quiet in a freaky (this is not the city) sort of way. hmmmmm

We have got a theme for the festival 2004 so ............. here it is
two shots of happy one shot of sad

just a joke ........ you will have to wait and see.

The week-end was looking at the issues of structure so we operate legally as a charity and effectively as an organization. We did lots of work and made big decisions.

The main thing is ....... fantastic messy beautiful imperfect Christians who are committed and talented and hungry for a festival to be even more beautiful for god and the world of humans attending or benefiting in someway ...............and another main thing ...... I am tired and going zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, November 09, 2003


~ You can type sixty words a minute...with your feet.
~ Instant coffee takes too long.
~ You chew on other people's fingernails.
~ You answer the door...before people knock.
~ You sleep with your eyes open.
~ You go to sleep, just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
~ You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
~ You're the employee of the month at Starbucks and you don't even work there.
(aaaaaagh to work in a location near one!!)
~ You lick your coffeepot clean.
~ You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
~ You're so wired you pick up FM radio.
~ You have a picture of your coffee mug, on your coffee mug!

"If I'm drinking too much then I know when to stop - perhaps if I hadn't found somebody as special as Ali, or if I didn't have the friends or the faith I have, then maybe I'd be there with Michael Hutchence."
-- Bono, 2001

Friday, November 07, 2003

good to see Amy Winehouse on 'Later' right now ..... love here voice
love her album

She needs Joy to work on her style!!
our father
who art in heaven
how is yaconelli doing?

now taping pete tong my friday dose of dance
zig is still frightened of the fire works
got an away week-end tomorrow with all the Greenbelt Board
chewing big stuff
looking at the theme for 2004
living on a farm
there will be two shots of happy (or more) and one shot of sad as we remember the Yacs. Always, always ..... there are people who will be in the process of carrying a pain or burden ...... thats life. Both the shots are important methinks.

Reflective at the moment and tired from the week


Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad (words and music U2)

Two shots of happy, one shot of sad
You think I'm no good - well I know I've been bad
Took you to a place - now you can't get back
Two shots of happy, one shot of sad

Walked together down a dead end street
We were mixing the bitter with the sweet
Don't try to figure out what we mighta had
Just two shots of happy, one shot of sad

I'm just a singer - some say a sinner
Rolling the dice - not always a winner
You say I've been lucky - well, hell, I've made my own
Not part of the crowd, but not feeling alone

Under pressure, but not bent out of shape
Surrounded, we always found an escape
Drove me to drink but, hey, that's not all bad
Two shots of happy, one shot of sad

Guess I've been greedy all of my life
Greedy with my children, my lovers, my wife
Greedy for the good things as well as the bad
Two shots of happy, one shot of sad

Maybe it's just talk, saloon singing
The chairs are all stacked, the swinging's stopped swinging
You say I hurt you - you put the finger on yourself
Then after you did it, you came crying for my help

Two shots of happy, one shot of sad
I'm not complaining - baby I'm glad
You call it a compromise - well, what's that?
Two shots of happy, one shot of sad
Two shots of happy, one shot of sad

Thursday, November 06, 2003

"Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad"

Love these words.
Reported that this is a title of a song written by Bono and the Edge for Frank Sinartra and never recorded.

What is your two shots of happy?
What is your one shot of sad?

Another question for my 'book of questions'

hey hey

This here is blogged with permission ...... it is so powerful for me to peek into the scenes painted and I want to hold them dear.............

My dear friend Pip

I've been thinking today about the game of baseball - and I've come to the conclusion that I reckon the fast balls that come our way most of us deal with pretty well - they come at you hard and fast - you know what you're getting, but the curve balls...hmm, they're a different proposition all together - in a sense they aren't as predictable. It's funny Pip, Mike the one I want to talk to about all this...I want to tell him how I'm feeling, how I'm once again confused by this painfully beautiful life we live. I want to pick up the phone and hear that gentle but crazy affirming voice...but I can't anymore. None of us can.

I've been reading some of the memories our friends have of a treasured man, and in doing so I am realising just how much I loved him, and I'm wondering, how, in 4 short years a man who I only see a couple of times a year at best has drawn so near. I've lost count of how many cigars we've smoked together. I've lost count of how many bottles of chardonnay we've drunk together...but I haven't lost count of how many times we've cried and laughed together. I haven't lost count of how many times we've vulnerable and transparent together. Maybe that's the mystery...just maybe. I remember when he came to stay with Claire and I in Guernsey. I remember the now legendary 'WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO' when Claire told him he could smoke his cigars, but only in the kitchen. I remember 8 hours later on returning from work, and walking into that same kitchen not being able to see Yac for the smoke (he got through 7 for the record!). I also remember our church around the meal table. I remember his passion for good food and wine, of his excitement of the banquet to come beyond this world. But I also remember us sharing our inner demons and resident Pharisees - the stuff not normally reserved for supper conversation - but I remember most his own tears as he listened to the stories of the broken people sat around our table. And I remember more tears when he took his own turn in confessing.

I remember the excitement when he saw little Samuel this summer - I remember seeing the child in his eyes as I watched Karla cuddle our little one. i remember lots more but it's too raw to go near at present - but I remember it. This though all seems selfish. When I check myself it's Karla my tears and angst is for. I remember Mike and I having too many cigars and too much to drink at Greenbelt 2001. We had been talking 'deep stuff' and Mike was in tears and had to go to his room to phone Karla. He felt he was in a sacred moment and the one he most wanted to share that moment with was missing. That's why my thoughts turn to Karla - from now on she has to live that everyday.

As Stocki said in similar circumstances 6 years ago when we lost Rich, 'Our hearts are feebly attempting to temper it. We lost so much more than skin and are the world as I best remember it.'

You too Pip are a great man, and I'm proud to have you as a friend. Let me know about the 23rd - I'll move heaven and earth to get there.



.....................this has just come in ........ so many have ....... this is special............

Dear Pip,
one can only imagine how, if mike touched the likes of me, from a distance,
so profoundly, the unbearable suffering and pain his wife, Karla, and his
family must be hit with right now.
That night you introduced me to your circle of friends at the hotel at Greenbelt, and the
short time i spent in the company of you good folk, touched me greatly.
That Grace that shepherded me into the fold that weekend - remember the one
He went after, the stray, leaving the rest of the flock, to seek the lost
one out - thats what it felt, and still feels like.
The man gave me one of his big fat cigars
I smoked it like a sacrement.
I Talked to Karla late in to the night one of those dear evenings, everyone
else had gone to bed, she didnt know me from Adam, but we ended up praying
for each other and our loved ones. (something i can only ever remember doing
out loud in front of others twice before)
She said i was on the journey of dangerous wonder, the same road we all
travel, and occasionally we have the providence to meet with other
beautiful travellers along the path.
We talked about losing loved ones, mainly, if i remember correctly, our
dads, and i asked her if she thought someday she thought she would see them
Really poignant now - it started to get real late and i guess we were in
danger of rambling off into philosophical debate about the cosmos and
physical time being different to God time, i remember her saying she
believed sometimes the veil between this world and the next, in places,
special places, becomes very thin, almost transparent, deep awareness you
are in the presence of Bigness - Dangerous Wonder in the flesh I guess.
I know what she meant i think.
Greenbelt lifts many layers of the veil, the people and spirit that are
Greenbelt help lift the layers.
Mike was the very first speaker i ever saw at greenbelt, mid eighties - i
was only there beacause Julie, my wife was working for Traidcraft and had
been the previous year and had come home raving about this that and t'other,
and the fact that Bono had been a visiting, i made sure i was there that
next year.
I wasnt there for any religious reasons, i was in a band and liked
I had never been to a seminar, but julie said this funny guy called
yacconelli was doing a seminar and i should come along, reluctantly (i was
there for the music, man!), i did.
I am so glad i did.
Mike Yaconnelli, pip and the stinking late show Deacon Blue steve apirana
john smith martyn joseph bruce cockburn
Jesus God
Calling me back year after year
Thankyou guys one and all
Thankyou Michael for introducing me to the Kingdom
Thankyou, Pip, for introducing me to Mike.

To Mike - (Pip - do you have a forwarding email adress for Heaven???)
- I am glad i met you I will never forget you.
Your work and words live on in the people you have touched
God loves you for the ears you have opened and the hearts you have troubled
and conspired with Jesus to ruin.
And for your honesty and humility and broken-ness
Big John

Had a long and tiring day today ..... in fact it is tomorrow!

It seems that people do love a facilitated discussion in depth which is deeper than 'normal conversations' will allow. Someone who was sleeping rough in Piccadilly Circus at age 14 and on heroin about the same time ..... made a fantastic contribution. It is so important to talk and therefore learn. Informal education indeed.
To me it is like bringing in the Kingdom.

Lord have mercy.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I cannot tell you the trauma that these young people have been through at such an early age.
I am talking about 16/17 year olds and some a little older.

I feel sad now as I creep to my bed to blog to you, the unknown you......
I will paste this into the blog-box in the asap and you will, I hope, you will sense my feelings.
There has been real violence and threats of violence for about four/five hours. I have been tense all that time. Now I am in recovery.......... Reminds me of the years working in East London with youth gangs, the uncontrolled violence and even the pleasure from it. I hate it.

yes I feel sad. Reflective. I must reflect when I have feelings......

I have used the blob tree* tonight with a group of bhp's**. It is without a doubt, the most known and used tool from any of my books.
This group session processed like this:-
the usual messing about at the front end
which one is your feelings now? was the question
then the most mashed up human spoke, and said.... he was mashed.
then the others now had permission to be honest.... = self revelation.
some were isolated-those feelings, others tumbling out of touch with the tree and life
real honesty flooded, real feelings.

The next was asking which one would they like to be.
The ones hugging were popular
the ones in touch with each other each other.
Climbing the tree, helping others into the tree, fantastic sharing.

The process ended with a message that we need to 'own' the facts/reality of what has happened. We cannot change the past just one little bit BUT, we can plan and aim for the future.
A group of people being beautiful together and I have the joy of being there. Me.......................... a human becoming...........................

Do you know how I feel?
This feeling stuff comes out and then, it does not end there, it then moves on to reflection and into:-
which means thought and action.

* = the blob tree, I will fax you a copy if you want but not put it into cyber space
** = means 'beautiful human person'. I will email you a graphic if you want.

thank you for Mike Yaconelli and bless Karla and the whole family.

hug from me too


Monday, November 03, 2003

When I get there I now know where to find Yaconelli .......... in the cigar shop


Peter Bigg just sent me this from- I don't know who- who expresses himself like I feel:-

I never knew Mike. My only true contact with him was a handshake in a cigar shop in Colorado, but I've lost my pastor and my wife and I have lost the only person who understood us.

He made it ok that we were different and strange. He celebrated the things that others called us to grow out of; he took all the unfairness and hurts of youth ministry and hurled them away.
He was our bold hero, he was someone who I knew would always stand for the right. He was imperfect, he was plain, he was beautiful. He never stood between me and my Saviour but he magnified everything that drew me to God.
Mike never knew my name or my face. I don’t pastor a large youth group or speak well or have fantastic new ideas for youth ministry, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was as important to him as any of those do.

I haven’t lost my Saviour, I haven’t lost my God, I haven’t lost my faith. Don't deluge me with posts telling me not to worship the man or put my eyes on Jesus. I don’t need to be challenged, corrected or encouraged.
I need to sit in the back of a dark auditorium and feel the hot tears run down my face as the hands of God embrace me through the voice of a Monday morning convention speaker who wasn’t trying to fix me or improve me but to just love me

Sunday, November 02, 2003

I have been strangely and deeply touched by the all too early death of Mike Yaconelli and the shock of it.
I took bread at communion for him this morning.
There is a deep well of emotion down inside which must be how a volcano feels. I guess the those tears are for the wondrous community of Greenbelt too because he was so fragile like us. He walked with during those tough years.
The whole service this morning, about the Saints, was all about Yac ......... but I doubt anyone else knew him or have heard of him.

One Bible reading said
"Jesus was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved"

The preacher quoted the Bishop of Capetown who recently said how he remembers his lips being measured, his hair texture being tested and his nose shape examined by the apartheid regime ....... to see if he was acceptable.!
I saw Mike Yaconelli as acceptable to God, like Greenbelt and me, with the flaws and the raw emotion.....................
His greatness and human-full-ness makes this Christian life all the more possible because of this acceptance despite the failure or success. Mike had all the beautiful imperfection and told us about so often in his passionate talks.

Thank you to all who have shared their own sadness with me. It is good to do that together.

Martyn Joseph
click his website
see new album details
a present for someone?
your list?

"Do you know why I wrote this book (Messy Spirituality)? Because there's a whole lot of people who are so freaking busy, they're so cluttered that they're at their wits' end. And if they'd only just stop for a minute, they could hear the God of the universe whisper to them, 'I love you.'"
Mike Yaconelli, from the Dick Staub Interview, Christianity Today
Just ordered the new Gilles Peterson album, not out for a few weeks yet.
Did not even know until I found it deep in
Now back with incoming emails ...............huray
Snail mail strike is still holding up my new Underworld album.
Had Lancashire hotpot today .... wowee
watching the Osbournes at the moment and taping for Sheilas
Going to bed soon.
Church in the morning and I know Mike Yaconelli will be visiting my mind and soul many times during that service.
Lord have mercy

Saturday, November 01, 2003

there is a post strike
my incoming email is non functioning

I am not getting your emails or new cd's


I have nicked this off the great man Martyn Joseph, I do his diary every day before I go to zzzzz.
I am certain he wont mind. His site is always worth a visit. His new album sounds just fab.

"Mike Yaconelli    
So sad today to hear of the death of Mike Yaconelli. Mike died in a trajic car accident yesterday in California. He was a regular speaker at Greenbelt and we first worked together around ten years ago. He was a funny, articulate, and a much needed voice of reason for many young people grapling with life and its challenges. He was a friend. As Stewart Henderson said on the phone to me today `Mike was not one we could afford to lose`.

Thoughts are with his lovely wife Karla and their children. Stewart also said `we are here till we go` which whilst simple and honest is also profound in it`s way. Will miss you Mike though i hardly saw you but once a year..i can picture you smoking one of those big fat cigars you like, hope they taste good mate, I will smile with you again..M "

Well here I am after a rush of Yaconelli thoughts ..... .it has been somewhat like a blanket of emotion over me. I am not depressed but thoughtful to a depth that is scratching below the the surface of day to day normality.

Just been planning the diary for 2004. Trying to get in the dates for breaks and maybe a holiday. In there already are the big ones like Greenbelt, APS conference and meetings, a possible gig in Norway, European events and a ruby week-end. !! Yes a week-end date I have with Joan to celebrate forty years of wedlock!

No matter what we plan, there is a definite need to busk it. Life is not all planned by God or us. I spent some time trying to convince Yaconelli to come again next year to Greenbelt and ............ not to be.......

So I have feelings.
I know I am in a position of uncertainty. I am committed to uncertainty so I am just recognizing the feelings. (I am determined not to be comfortable and being complete is a laughable thought!) Also I am wondering if there is a job to do which I am not listening to the signals. When I left the big job, 31st March 2003, I was determined to do the things I am good at and enjoy. At the moment I am doing three days a week of this stuff. What do I do in the future with the other days?

Also I have three books in me and I am not doing anything about it.
1 a bumper book of 'Games without Frontiers' which was maybe the most popular games book I have done.
2 A book of questions. The fun kind, the thinking kind. The kind 'that makes me feel good' kind-a-thing.
3 A top-up to 'Gutter Feelings', the story of my life which is daily topped up in a partial way on these blogs. I have lots of 'gutter type' feelings to add. Interesting that I wanted to call the book 'Feeling Gutted' but the book editor was not familiar with the term "I am gutted".
4 A group resource handbook. Since April I have led at least 50 groups and and everyone with new stuff about the development of beautiful humans.

....... thats four...............

If I died right this minute, I would be able to say, 'God, what a ride! What a ride!'"
Mike Yaconelli at the YS Convention in Charlotte on 10/24/03