Monday, December 29, 2003

All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you deal
All you count on two fingers
And all that you steal
Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind
Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind

You look so beautiful
So beautiful
The spirit is in the house

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

the final lines from the U2 Concert at Slane castle filmed and released on DVD ...... the last song called, and suitable for a new year thought, ...... Walk On

"God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form...The perfect surrender and humiliation was undergone by Christ: perfect because He was God, surrender and humiliation because He was man."

cs lewis

this christmas story ...... it makes me think about 'why?'

God who made man, made man.
God who made time, stepped into time.

He made a step into the physical, stepping out of the wonder we have yet experience. It seems he did it to show the way.

When I did my rubber necking at the age of 21 and looked at this here Jesus, all because I met a human who was really different because the total life was 'given', I discovered through some deep inner disturbance that I wanted to be a follower. That was a big step for me. It was then. Now I realize it was even bigger. I am glad.

I find myself saying to Joan "I am happy". I have said this more times in the last six months than ever.
I am still driven and mission led.
Mission driven.
Uncomfortable and want to be.
Incomplete and want to be.
Journeying towards wholeness and want to be.

When Jesus was little there were bad things happening. There was that slaughter of all baby boys aged two and below. And then that little family became asylum seekers in another country. Displaced persons.
Part of this new way for this 21 year old some few years ago, was a deep disturbance inside about those people who are at the bottom of societies around the globe ...... often crushed under male jackboots. It seems that it is impossible to be a follower and not see humans with different eyes.

............. disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.......

Sunday, December 28, 2003

"I love that moment. I always take it seriously. We always make prayers at that moment. The kids are around and we have fireworks, we tie our prayers to the rockets and send them off."

-- Bono, on celebrating New Year's

The roads and church all quiet today.
It is a day of chill today. No shrill from the telephone, no tinks from the g4 inbox, no visitors yet ............ so relaxed ...... so much space and I like it all.

I know we can be self contained when things are ok inside our own unit while at the same time there are families with someone riddled with cancer. There are families suffering separation and then there is the earth quake in Iran. What a massive massive disaster that is.
I live in a London Borough with the same population as the Bam area (250k) and I shudder to think what it would do to suffer deaths of 20000, and it might be more in Iran ........ and the injury total will be ....... let wait and see and pray while skilled and unskilled labour to search and rescue.

Hope you and yours are feeling ok in the human beauty which is yours?

Saturday, December 27, 2003

I thought about you yesterday-I went to see the ugly sisters!
Just a feeble joke from the recovery position.
I feel today is the first day with a bit of space.
I have just been sleeping on the settee with madame butterfly on my ipod. My favorite opera yet to see in the flesh. I sleep well with headphones and good music.

Yes we did the ballet at the Royal Opera House yesterday and wish it had been an Opera. I dozed off in the first act, may have been due to the glass of fizz enjoyed in the Champagne bar. My favorite drink bar one. The next two acts kept me awake as I resisted the Champagne
It was an experience but a bit boring and not as good as matthew Bournes 'Nutcracker' we saw same time last year at the Sadlers. The music did not kick and the ugly sisters do not really fit well into a ballet.
and ............. think how difficult it was to fit a glass slipper on the ugly sisters or indeed anyone with ballet shoes! It would have been fun to see them dancing in glass slippers!
It was great being with the Sheilas for the second day and friends of beauty too. We hung out at Joys after eating turkey butties and the others having a cocktail while the driver suffered with mince pies only.

I did not blog on Christmas day really, and yesterday too. As you know I don't love so much the bloggers that don't touch those precious finger tips on them keys daily. Sorry for my bad attendance miss. I wont do it again .......... until I go to Brugges for the new year hey hey.

It was great to see friends over the two days ...... great and beautiful to see Charlie and Molly ........ Willie and David ....... Malcolm and Val ...... Shags and Nic..... and Gill and Steve ............ Jess and Billie ....... and not forgetting ..... the ugly sisters!

Stay beautiful

Thursday, December 25, 2003

It is Christmas Day here at the Wilsons ..... does not sound a bit like 'The Osbournes'
It is night so the other three have retired to leave me and Zig to conduct the Christmas Day blog.

We have had a good evening out at friends and beautiful because of the people. Having watched the Beckhams on tape and toasted the day, we are ready for the Christmas day. It was people watching for me but business for the Sheilas.

Missing my wednesday night Gilles radio programme. It will be a 4 hour special at midnight and early morning of 31st before I can catch him. And could I do with my audio hijack working? ....... Yes I do!

Tomorrow we will arise to a light breakfast with tea. Then we will open the presents - play with my toys and then prepare for the dinner which is traditional here as elsewhere.

There will be family time and also friends time too.

I want to say thank you to so many blog readers and many others who have contributed to my life in 2003. If Christmas is about 'Love Actually' ..... you have contributed that to my life in many ways. A smile, a word, those eyes, that glance, that encouragement, that direct affirmation. Thank you for your unique way of communicating and being love ........ actually.
I am the sort of human who needs humans around. I want to give. I want, I need to, ...... to receive.
I have received already from the day some considerable blessings ..... it is true ...... in giving you receive.

Today I have been touched by a young woman who has just slipped back to hardline drugs. A Christmas Eve slip.
A youngster being kicked out of the only place he could call home.
People shaking with influencing chemicals or liquid- who have given to me from their material nothingness.
People who are 'emotionally unavailable' who still have given out to me today.
To you I thank you.

made by God
used by God
to bless me
Thank you.

May your Christmas be a deep journey inward.
May you jingle all the way.
May you tingle all the way.
may you receive love actually.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003


mild he laid his glory by

hmmm ....... if he did that ..... I believe he did ....... and we are followers ..... how do we do that?

We are worth much ... that was why he came as a babe into straw poverty (He who was rich became poor) ..... all because of my worth.
And yet we are not any more valuable than ....... look around you and the next person you see ......... we are not more valuable as he/she ...... we have no status but we are special with a special function.
love actually

so have a special christmas seasonal time and




Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

Oren Arnold

This is my friend Adolfus and he has given me permission to share this with you:-

Hello all, Warm X'mas wishes from Adolfus the Dolfin... I would like
Share with you all as how we Celebrate X'mas in India.. well unlike
in England, in India
Christmas is purely a Christian Festival I mean, there is not Santa
Clause, no Snow man or no gifts it is purely welcoming baby Jesus in
our homes! We make 'Cribs' in our house with minatures of Joseph,
Mary, three kings, sheprerds, sheeps and Angel Gabriel.. after the
Midnight mass we put 'infant Jesus' in the the crib! the only
unatural christmas pratice that we have may be is the Christmas tree
decorated as similar in a European way... Ofcourse it is a festival
and we celebrate it in a big way in our home town Cochin, each and
every house no matter if they are Christian, Muslim or Hindu will
hang a lighted Star infront of the house, which according to the
bible the Kings followed to get to Jesus Christ! it is amazing to
see the whole town with a star infront of all the houses!!! Please
do share any unique tradition that you may have for X'mas in your
home town.. well on more thing to note.. for X'mas we do send card
to dear one,but it is very rude to give it by hand, no matter if
he/she is infront of you, you have to post it to them ! (Crazy!
isn't it? but that's the way it works there..) - Adolfus

Monday, December 22, 2003

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.

Bernard Manning

love actually

I can't afford a play-station
I can't afford an ipod
This Christmas I can't watch 'World Idol'
or the extended East Enders or Coronation Street
I won't be wearing the fashionable perfume
Or drinking the TV promoted drinks

I live in Iraq, Bulgaria, Afghanistan, Africa, a YMCA Hostel

It all seems on shut down.
People seem to be on a last rush-shop-till-you-drop.
Many finished their work for a couple of weeks.
me? ......... still on the way to a 24th finish

we are almost ready for the day and the holidays.

big church gig tonight with 50 in the choir and really good vibe. It was a service of depth and not just traditional carols. We had Tavener and Rutter compositions too. It was traditional. It was formal. But I loved the depth. It allowed me to journey inward and not be distracted by trivia. I loved the new stuff .... it took me deep.Moving.

The carol service was a good ad for an amazing story you know.
A baby born in straw poverty.
Empty hands.
The story I have been re-reading from the "Book of God" by Walter Wangerin, another excellent Greenbelt speaker, is heart wrenching. It is written with a sense of reality because he knows of the first century Palestinian scene so well. The Christmas story turns me to tears in that book.

Seeing how he started, at the bottom of a straw heap, he did pretty well.
He changed my life.
Of all the life changing experiences I have had in my life, this 'becoming a follower' at the age of 21 still is the number one.
I still get my inspiration and direction from the babe who became the 'shalom maker' ...... the prince of shalom.
How can we make sense Christmas amongst all the other stuff?

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Christmas in Bethlehem.
The ancient dream:
a cold,
clear night made brilliant by a glorious star,
the smell of incense,
shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby,
the incarnation of perfect love.

Lucinda Franks

Saturday, December 20, 2003

In the United States Christmas has become the rape of an idea. Richard Bach

They say that the average person uses 30000 words a day

(I say that the average person is not average!!)

Good job blogs are not that long. In my case it is true.

Hope you are ok in the build up to Christmas ..... then what happens ..... one day and we feel tired during and after and go to sleep. Seems a big build up ...... like planning a space mission, the launch goes ok and then there is no mission,!

Maybe that is the answer. Make Christmas day a 'mission day'. Decide on a new life and new direction ....... that would make the build up a bit more strategic eh?

"Tony Blair is to me a great politician. He is sincere in his convictions about Iraq but, in my opinion, he is sincerely wrong."

-- Bono, February 2003

I asked Judeh my friend in Jerusalem YMCA about the current hassle there ........ about a particular struggle at the moment ......
Judeh: The most difficult we are encountering now is communication, and transportation. It is very hard for us to meet as a Management Team. We have around 170 staff members and it is very difficult to meet regularly and discuss things. This is in addition to the repercussions of the violence that is practiced by the Israeli occupation authorities. We are part of the Palestinian people and that affects and influences us. We have to push very hard in order to provide the necessary work with Palestinian people. This should be a continuous thing. When we are cut off from our young brothers and sisters it becomes very hard and we really go into suffering moments, days and nights it is very hard for them too.

refresh the irritation
This weeks Gilles Peterson Radio Programme is excellent. The first half hour is a bit too Gillzzy/Gazzy for me but the rest is pure pip music.
It has also a first play track from the new years new album from Zero 7.
I have seen them in concert and I am am already being pleasantly harassed to get the 2004 tour tickets asap.
New album is called 'when it falls'

Now a problem is how to record the four hour Gilles programme in the early morning of 31st December ...... it will be the best tracks of the whole of the last year and I must not miss the recording.
I still have not got my audio hijack recording system working ............. grrrrrr

Friday, December 19, 2003

Last Christmas I phoned Judeh at Jerusalem ymca to see how things were in that land called holy.
I will seek out the text of that and clip it for you here.
today I received this ...... and would like you to read and let it in because it is reality......

They destroyed my house
Jamal Khader, a Palestinian lawyer living in Ramallah, lost his apartment and all his belongings on the night of Sunday, 30 November 2003. The whole night, from9p.m. until 12a.m. on Monday, the Israeli Army, allegedly searching for Hamas militants, forced all the inhabitants of Khader's building to undergo a collective punishment: the destroying of their house and their belongings.

 Jalal Khader lived in a residential area in a South-West neighborhood of Ramallah. In the mid-evening around 9 p.m., he and his neighbors were woken by the Israeli Army during an incursion in the main Palestinian city of the West Bank. Jalal remembers vividly those terrifying hours: 

 "The IDF first entered the opposite building; I was watching from the window.  I thought I would be safe there and that it wouldn't affect me this time. In March 2001, when the IDF entered into Ramallah for a two months incursion, they destroyed my office, which is located in the Natsheh Commercial Center of Ramallah. It was terrible. The doors, the walls, the windows were broken. This weekend's attack reopened my wounds.

 "Around 9.30pm, with a loud speaker, they ordered all inhabitants to switch their apartments' lights on, to open all windows and doors, and to get down on the street. There were approximately 10-15 jeeps, armed cars and snipers all around us. Children cried, everybody was stressed and scared.

Once in the street, one by one, we had to step ahead and listen to their orders, "go right!", "go left!", "stay!", "move!" These are the words they shouted in Arabic at the one who stood in front of them, sometimes in his or her pajamas, in the cold. Men had to take their cloths off. While I was doing so, one of my neighbors told me she saw a red dot on my breast. I understood later that they were ready to shot at me if I wasn't doing what they wanted."

After their collective humiliation, everyone was asked to enter one apartment and to stay there until the soldiers would ask them to enter another room, individually, where interrogations were held.

 "They were looking for information about a man I maybe saw once entering my neighbor's apartment. I don't know his name or anything else about him. They were not violent with me, but I heard my neighbors screaming and saw fear in the owner of the building's eyes. The IDF asked the latter to look for the suspect in his building. He refused twice, saying he didn't want to be shot at by the hidden man. If ever, there was a hidden man. He then accepted under pressure."

 Khader does not know what they found at that time, but a dead body was discovered later in the destroyed house. Jalal fell asleep in what he called the "detention apartment." At 1
0.30 the next day, a boy woke him up. "Get up! They are about to blow the building" he said.

 "I got up. The IDF were outside giving instructions. They were going to explode it all. And we had just 15 minutes to take out our belongings."

 I didn't know what was worth taking with me It was a large four-floor building with 7 apartments and approximately 40 people living there. Today they are all homeless.

They lost everything.

The pix with this are powerful ..... I can send you if you wish.
I have no more words......................................................

In the news
that policeman
that mail
that racist
that homophobic
I rejoice in the payout for intrusion

I dislike little
I am distaste -full
about all things

There is a man called 'Paul Angel Bennett' and he just gave me a 30gig iPod for Christmas ........ I had it but it was just a hunk of white plastic making squeling noises. Now it sings out 7500 tunes at the press of a touch sensitive button. hmmmmm
happy day.
When you see people walking around during the post Christmas Day period with white 'in ear' headphones, they are listening to their new iPod.
Me ...... I got black ones which sony make with nice soft pads that are hammered deep into the ear...... as far as the soul. They are great for london underground/tube travel and it also stops me getting mugged for my iPod!
happy day

Someone said to me today that Christianity is against Jesus!

very strange thought!

Well ..... how are you? ..... I am always giving you the pip lowdown. I try to be open. As much as I can. Just thought I would ask.

I am feeling pretty cool. Good. Happy. Incomplete. Restless. Positive. Stretching. passionate. ....... and more.

I am looking forward to certain things over Christmas but feel beyond myself and have deep sensitivity with many who are going into the next few days with real felt dread. More than uncertainty. I want to feel these and not be wrapped up in selfish self.

I still have a frozen iPod at a time when the newspapers are saying that it is the number one present for Christmas grrrrrrr.
I take mine to bed and can easily go to sleep with the beautifulness of dance music jacked into my eardrums and soul.
My mactop will still not connect to a normal BT line due to the setting being eaten by a Panther.

How do I travel by three trains on Wednesday/Christmas eve when there is a Tube strike grrrrrrrr

Tomorrow I will do some x files ...... my Christmas thoughts and the questions wether we will be a big 'frosty' or we will we rather 'jingle all the way'.

So ...... as I watch MTV late night
I love that song;
shut up just shut up shut up
shut up just shut up shut up

a black eyed pea to you too!!

If Coke is a mystery / Michael Jackson...History / If beauty is truth / And surgery the fountain of youth / What am I to do / Have I got the gift to get me through / The gates of that mansion

One little bit from a U2 song ...........
Michael the man from thriller is charged today with Huntley near charges ..... all the people I mix with are saying 'he did it' ............ will it be all down to a leather glove and a good legal team?


Thursday, December 18, 2003

On this journey through life, we need – we all need companions. Support. Friends. Givers and takers all around us.
The best companion is knowing that "I am loved - 100% - all of the time. I am valuable, precious – even when I cock up – especially when I fail, stumble, crumble………"
That’s what Christmas is about – firstly. That wholeness of God, joining us on our life journey, holding hands with us (it is always there – that Godly hand – even when we pull it away like we are just about eleven years old and think we are all grown up now) God with us, sometimes carrying us. Sometimes walking in front of us to shelter us from the storm. Sometimes brushing away the hair from our eyes, sometimes……. absorbing the moisture of a tear with his finger tips.
God with us the best Christmas present – presence.
Go on……..reach out that hand – he is there.
It seems that when I blog on a stinking PC, things that they are, ........ there seems to be duplicate postings ....... I am sorry 'bout that.

I can only say ........ stink!



Wednesday, December 17, 2003

“In everyone’s life, at sometime, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirit.”

(Albert Schweitzer)

Oh what a night it was

ho ho ho to be seasonal.

Regular clickers to my blog will know I reflect on life.
The professionals call it 'reflective practice'
I am just me.
but 'becoming' me at the same time!

If you have read the pipblog churning of the preparation thoughts ........ you will know I have been wrestling with Christmas and the impact of all the 'things' going on this seasonal time. And how they impact on 'the least'.

As I listen to some Hungarian dance music, 'amorf ordogok' to be exact, I will share the journey of a small group looking at Christmas. We looked how we felt about Christmas when we were 1 very young, 2 mid life (and that could be 10 if you are 20 - or 20 if your age is 40! ... getit?) Thirdly we looked at the feelings 'now'.
The subjects covered were;
1 toys/presents., most people felt it was big in their lives as kids but little significance since.
2 friends, little significance as a child but big ever since seeking independence.
3 God, little significance as a child and teenage but now marked 10 out of 10 by all the group. hmmmm. fascinating
4 Father Christmas, as a child, and 'mystery' at midlife and as an adult. Again facinating and so spiritual. hmmm

As with all these things ...... the bones are in the questions but the meat is in the sharing and revealing to others AND very vital it seems to me, revealing those inner things TO OURSELVES!
These revelations from our individual souls are stories of growth and change. That is why I like this quote;

“Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity . . . that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.”
Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets , 1991)

love it love it


From: pipwilson
Subject: blog 1
Date: 17 December 2003 00:51:27 GMT
To: Pip Wilson

Oh what a night it was
ho ho ho to be seasonal.

Regular clickers to my blog will know I reflect on life.
The professionals call it 'reflective practice'
I am just me.
but 'becoming' me at the same time!

If you have read the pipblog churning of the preparation thoughts ........ you will know I have been wrestling with Christmas and the impact of all the 'things' going on this seasonal time. And how they impact on 'the least'.

As I listen to some Hungarian dance music, 'amorf ordogok' to be exact, I will share the journey of a small group looking at Christmas. We looked how we felt about Christmas when we were 1 very young, 2 mid life (and that could be 10 if you are 20 - or 20 if your age is 40! ... getit?) Thirdly we looked at the feelings 'now'.
The subjects covered were;
1 toys/presents., most people felt it was big in their lives as kids but little significance since.
2 friends, little significance as a child but big ever since seeking independence.
3 God, little significance as a child and teenage but now marked 10 out of 10 by all the group. hmmmm. fascinating
4 Father Christmas, as a child, and 'mystery' at midlife and as an adult. Again facinating and so spiritual. hmmm

As with all these things ...... the bones are in the questions but the meat is in the sharing and revealing to others AND very vital it seems to me, revealing those inner things TO OURSELVES!
These revelations from our individual souls are stories of growth and change. That is why I like this quote;

“Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity . . . that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.”
Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets , 1991)

love it love it


Playing 'amp fiddler' now.

I read this quote in a newspaper and it rings so true;

"During this one hour this Mother changed to three different and distinct personalities; one of a small child dominated by her own feelings, one of a self-righteous parent, and one of a reasoning, logical, grown-up woman and Mother of three children."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Since I started my new work some nearly nine months ago I have noticed two deprivations.
1 I am not as involved Internationally and I believe we all need to have that otherwise our mission is narrow
2 I have not had my weekly bible studies which kept my hands on the study and the cultural transposition of it ........ to the NOW.

so I am trying to work that out ..... what to do
don't touch that dial

Since I started my new work some nearly nine months ago I have noticed two deprivations.
Stinking trains on the blink today and it took three hours and many tubes to get to destination A1.

And no stinking iPod ..... back to the old walkman I was.

I feel happy.

give us this day our daily kiss

-that you should
come to me
with tenderness
and intimacy.

............ and still my ipod is nonfunctiono
and my mactop won't travel proper

it is scarf day today
London is on the list as one degree at the best all day

It is a bit late night-ish for me
I have been busy with things
funny time of year for you?

I see faces in the streets and the shops. Strained faces. Tense faces. Frowning faces. Few smiling faces.

I have toiling with how to run a group or three this week with the Christmas vibe. I work in hostels with people who are homeless and are uncertain if there maybe a chance of being somewhere else on Christmas day. That uncertainty is worse than the certainty of even 'no hope'. The ones there on Christmas day will be the ones without another option

How to do something in a group is a challenge. The context is restless humans. The context is lack of concentration.
I have just prepared something and will develop it in context tomorrow ...... and still I will have to 'busk it' like crazy. Calmly of course!

I still have stirred feelings from the blog I did last night. The stirring of the soul made me conect with my Mother who went through some tough times and yet was wondrous and beautiful to the end. All four sons were around the bed when she died. I have good feelings about the death.

The other feelings in the yesternight 'stir-cry' .............. I will say they were about 'emotional deprivation'.
Mine of course but also the people I recalled. I have more connections in my soul which makes me feel Christmas more deeply. They are a bit below the surface but the next few days could dig them out.


Monday, December 15, 2003

michael franti and spearhead
everyone deserves music

a new album ..... christmas early!!


Yes ...... have been up north for a few days.
Family and friends. Memories and feelings.
Food and non-work conversations.

Because of my work and the Christmas feelings I have confronting me I have been asking others of their childhood memories. Some only good. Some memories removed from the mind ...... and others ........ even among friends .........dread.

Lots of the traditions are continuing. Bigger socks left for santa and expectations of multiple presents not just one.

Special food, clusters of family members and ........

I am working on Christmas Eve
then a late evening drinks outing ...... water as I will drive home
day of delight with daughters and Joan ..... plus visits to friends
Boxing with Cinderella .... at the Opera House hey hey
then a few days of chill before
a few days in Brugge to let the new year in.

I love these things. I also want to love people. It is easy to love the people who love me and like me. The people who don't love themselves or like anything about themselves ........ I love them in a different way. Even if I feel that there is not much love to give me. Or they don't like me, or don't know how to show it.

I remember when I worked in the east-end and my Mother was about to go into hospital to have both her legs amputated. The loud and extrovert youth worker with always something big and in-your-face to say was quiet. The hard guys knew about my situation. The had found out and could tell I had a troubled soul. The air was full of inarticulate nothing. I wasn't communicating and they didn't too.
I was sitting at one side of this big snooker table with my back to the wall. On my own. Still. One of the leaders of one of the gangs was at the other side of the table prowling. Inarticulate prowling. He then walked around the table slowly and, as he passed, he brushed my hair gently from my forehead. ...... and walked on.

It was a powerful moment.
Words he didn't have and yet that very action was the most powerful communication which I will remember all my life. He was saying something non-verbally. He was showing affection. In my vulnerability, he was there for me. It makes me sob inside now as I think about it .... and him.

My Mother survived the operation and lived for another ten years or so.
Danny still didn't talk much. The most he ever said to me was when I went to court with him sometime later. I was just there in support but he did say this, as he removed his rings ..... "If I get put down, can you give these to my Mother?

Why has this clicked out onto the page when I was talking about Christmas? I did not plan this. I think it is because, sometimes you cannot do a damn thing with people .........sometimes. The only thing often is just being there. Maybe not many or any words. Just being. Loving.

I think Christmas is a bit like this. God loving so much. Deciding that the best thing is to be there. God deciding he will be there with us. Then coming to us as a vulnerable human being ............ a babe......... born in straw poverty.

Christmas hmmmm
Greenbelt has sent me a card for Christmas and I guess all the Greenbelt Angels received one........... those hundreds of us who are committed to Greenbelt and want to be part of the community and do it practically too.
Give present to Greenbelt by becoming an Angel. See website for info .....
The card brings beautiful things ...... feelings and inspiration. I reproduce below and mention the friend Martin Wroe who created the words. The little book it came from, I forget the title, I bought a copy for all my team ...... it is that good ..............


underground and overground
everywhere and nowhere
always and never
sometimes and all times



Sunday, December 14, 2003

Two of my favorite men here ........ Bono who appears in these pages often and Karl Hyde a Romford boy who interviews Bono in the magazine UNCUT. He refers to his bad experiences of drink on and off stage. Karl himself has been open in public about his own battles with the liquid. He is a fantastic fella and someone else I have tried to get to Greenbelt.
This item from @U2 which is my favorite U2 website:-
This month's Uncut Magazine contains an interview with Bono and Karl Hyde, the singer and lyricist with the dance group Underworld. Included in the interview is this tidbit from Bono on how NOT to write songs: "Anyone who has abused alcohol, and I certainly have, I will tell you - I mean, once I went on stage with a really bad one. I thought I was taking my old man out in Paris, and he actually put me to bed. I woke up 20 hours later and thought I was Jim Morrison. I brought his grave to the people of Paris because I looked like him - a very dead, fat man. But when great stuff comes from me, it doesn't come out of a bottle. I've slid down the side of a few hangovers the next day, and I've written a couple of things on the microphone like that. But very few is the truth. Luckily I haven't figured out how to do this or I might be doing it a lot more. I think it's sometimes very difficult for people who have got to a place high to get there straight. It's like there's no fig leaf."

Called to see my mate Pea.
Up North news this is
He was:-
best mate
best man
He is:-
buys contreau even though he does not drink it
what a friend
on topathat
he has wi-fi so the mactop opened and even with a pc stinker of a system, I dowwnloaded my emails and did a quick blog below

will be back soon with the quirks of the trip

Saturday, December 13, 2003

'Up north' visiting family for christmas alternative. Swopping presents and eating a local meat and potato pie which has vivid memories of childhood and beyond. I remember these and chip fish and mushy peas because when we worked in the factories these were the junk food of the day. When I visit St Helens I eat memory lane too.

My dad was a miner and I have many memories of childhood christmases. The fire place was left with a plate of mince pies for santa before we went to bed. Yes ..... only a few crumbs were left in the morning. Only good memories. Unlike many who I work with. For them christmas is a dread.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I will be quiet the next few days

is life worth living?

I am a
Youth worker
Rugby leaguer
Group worker
St helensite

These are some
Have I missed any?
The shortfall list will overload the blogger


I am a
Youth worker
Rugby leaguer
Group worker
St helensite

These are some
Have I missed any?
The shortfall list will overload the blogger


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I love this stuff from a favorite click of mine ....... U2 sermons .

Bono was interviewed in the French magazine Paris Match, and @U2 sent a translation around on their mailing list (but haven't posted it on the site). A couple topically-relevant excerpts...

Bono: I can't stand injustice. There's an emergency in the world. It is completely unacceptable that in Europe and America we have drugs that cost almost nothing to make, and there are hundreds of thousands of children and parents who die every day because we aren't sharing those drugs. That says a lot about human nature. It's obscene. History will judge us harshly, and so will our children, and God even more. We're present for a new Holocaust and we don't even budge.
...I'm going to take my daughters Jordan (14) and Eve (12) to Africa very soon. My sons, who are 4 and 2, are still too young. But I want to shape them, gently, to be aware of the world. For the moment, I want my daughters to see how the Devil has done his best work. As my friend Bob Geldof says, AIDS is a medical problem, but people are dying because of a political problem.

and this:

PM: You have faith. How do you know God exists?

Bono. The Bible is my bedside reading. That said, I've always thought the important thing was not to know if I believe in God or not, but to know if God believes in me. I take my kids to Mass, but when it's too boring, I'm embarrassed, because I don't want them to think going to sleep in church is the normal thing. One day, one of the priests talked about football in his sermon and I saw stars in their eyes.

I am wondering if you would rather me reflect on:-
1 my ipod crisis, not worked since pantherization on Saturday
2 our gas cut off 'immediate danger' situation.
3 chewing over the 'understanding humans stuff'
4 the people of the day who I love and work with.
5 the book I am reading
6 website delights
7 my feelings and why they are there.
8 christmas
9 my yearnings and soul aches

Because I don't know who clicks the blog, I don't know your interests so I tend to tell it all. I want to be without a mask but I must have one because that is what I believe about humans. So we all have. We dont tell people who we really are ..... show/exhibit/demonstrate/tell ...................

I am late night and off line (6 above and won't bore you) and this will go out when I am back in reach of my wifi.
I have lots of feelings about people (4 and 7 can't leave em alone can I?) these humans are not oddball and odd like they often describe themselves, they are different and SO unique. But do have in common a dislike for christmas (hate would be a better description!)
When you have no dosh you still see the tantalizing tv adds full of the desirable .......
When you have had/have inadequate parents (often no 's' in there) this family Christmas cultural norm just sticks in the throat and gut and ........
When you cannot return home because of abuse or rejection ........... where is home?
When you find yourself staying in the ymca because you have no other option, it is a blow to the old self esteem
(Once Christmas sits on your knee on the 25th most people love the ymca experience ....... it is just a horrible build up to it)

That is why I have conflicts with Christmas because I do a synergy with 1Cor 9 (19I think)

You will read more of this feel in the next few weeks as it is nearly Christmas you know!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

In the Face of Christmas.

In the face of the Christmas, let us ask God for a good Christmas:

* …...........…. that no powerful nation
should tax the poor
or uproot them;
* …….......…. that no unmarried mother
should be put away in disgrace;
* ……….........that no door will be shut
on those that need to find it open;

* ……............that shepherds and sheep and all of nature
need not be afraid;
* ...…......……that high walls and angry soldiers
may not be found in Bethlehem;
* .......…….....that wise men and wise women
might appear in Iraq
in Afghanistan, in Chechnya
in Ireland, in the YMCA
* ……............that children may be preserved
from those who would abuse them;
* ..……..........that this Christmas,
worship may become a manger
and the YMCA a stable
and the rumour become a reality
that Christ has come among us.
* And this we pray in Jesus’ name

7 beautiful humans living in a YMCA hostel & HEALTH

This is another guess game for you with a serious twist.
I presented these to the gathered BHP's

Which would you pick and then compare against ?
I asked seven beautiful humans living in a YMCA hostel
Then scroll with me to the answers as I collated them.

 What is the most important to you 
regarding health ?……………………….

A my mental health
B my physical health
C my spiritual health
D my emotional health
E my sexual health
F my relational health
G my wholistic health
H ……………………


A Mental health .............................2
B Physical health ..........................2
C Spiritual health ..........................1
G Wholistic health ........................ 3

what do you think?
Discussion was had
great reflections
life changing 
decision making ..........


The day ended with a Greenbelt Board meeting ...... good gas ...... powered up and on fire ................ then we went to the home of Paul and Rachel and had my favorite drink ....... champagne and some lip smacking cheeses.
I am in love with cheeses!
Do you getit?

I belong here and the verbal meeting was macwonderful with of course the great passionate disagreements. Beautiful.

Now it is a little cold indoors and cannot enjoy my usual slowing of the heart beat and the late night reflection

I will not linger ....... just leave you with another question ...... see above in a minute.


Monday, December 08, 2003

Transco and british gas have been in and we have some small leaks!
That means we are disconnected so no heat, hot water, fires or cooking hob!
And I was about to do some work and put the Christmas tree up!

not the word to use at the moment!

Images of the floorboards coming up all over the house during Christmas!
Whatever will Father Christmas do?

Charlie my webmaster angel has not updated my website he has created \NEW/ pages.

See new stuff under:-

books .... or is it reading?
Level five
.................. and keep your eye out for more

thank you Charlie

you are beautiful all the time, not just this time

I am ok

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Yesh tesh sponyowa ...... Anita
Yesh tesh sponyawee ..... Tomek

Tomek and Anita came around and we hung out and enjoyed. Tomek did his thing with the new software programme called 'panther' which took ages. He sucked my macs empty to a clean state putting all onto his cool and portable hard-drive and then rebooted all the good bits back.
We had a beautiful Joan cooked chicken dish flavoured with coconut and limes. Give all this some veg rice and peshwari naan bread and it was a dribble down the chin time.

Fantastic how Anita relaxed and made our home her home. Pop Idol and sip of wine and a big stare at the 'wroe art' we have around. I love it when people take their shoes off literally.

Tomek and Anita are Polish and my only Polish words are above .......!
He first came to work as a volunteer at the Y some years ago and, as I joke with everyone, he ended up sharing an office with me and I trained him to be the web-master that he is. Now with a degree to back up the natural ability he creates beautiful things. to see him click dem keys puts me to ignorant shame. I just don't know how to do these things!">
He and Anita are great friends of ours and the ymca world.

Tomek is famous for turning down a free ticket to see U2 live because he had promised to spend the evening baby sitting with Anita. What dedication eh? They have a wonderful story of how they started kissing!

Fantastic day ....... bit dazzled by panther like keys clicking and windows sliding around.
Fantastic day ....... thee food and drinks and so much ...................

Missed the blogging today because the blogger dot com has been out of order

I recently created and conducted this exercise with some ymca people and thought you would like to do it as a sensitivity to people who will be homeless this Christmas.(this is just a part)
Suggestion, can you do it before a scroll down and seeing the results of seven people:-

1 If I could change one thing in the ymca it would be ………………

A my underwear
B my feelings
C the YMCA food
D the YMCA staff
E the ‘move on’ flats (some accommodation of their own)
F ……………………

answers were:-

b my feelings ......................................................................................... 4 people
e chance to move on to accommodation of their own ...................... 2 people
f Change the rules regarding friends staying over at the ymca ......1 person

interesting methinks

Like my blogfriend I have got some snow on my desk top and santa slides from left to right as does the polar bear ..... and I love the snow.

This has nothing to do with Christmas so it means I am just a gimmic gadget man. hmmm

Saturday going on Sunday.
Seemed busy today and loved having guests around with a great meal.
The big exercise was to fit a new operating system to my mac portable and the desk bound type.
Now I am fitted with Panther and things a are a little strange. There are some visual changes to email and the way the windows dance around the screen. I am told it is faster and will take me to the cutting edge. Hmm
All that and Christmas coming.

Still could not crack the recording of my radio programme to computer so will truck on and relax and live. The passion for music keeps me on the boil but it is not life itself. I am certain it has inspirational pointers though.


Saturday, December 06, 2003

I have heard that between birth and five years of age, the average child receives 431 negative messages every day.
-get down
-don’t do that
-be quiet
-look at the state of you
-…………….off you little……………
-you have got dirt on our………….
-don’t touch

So………..we repress our feelings because ‘We feel’ they are unacceptable to others and the mask comes in handy in the meetings and the meeting.
We can pretend we have it ‘all together’ behind the mask! The mask helps to protect from the negatives in daily life. Yes – .......... - as you know.

Seeing behind the behaviour, the mask, the army uniform----------------------------------------I see a beautiful human who Jesus was born for and…………………… (fill in yourself bit)

“ We are sick as we are secret”
John Berryman. Poet

As the violence and the loudness, the oppression, the killing at home or abroad – happens I have decided to make my life an act of love.

Let us join the vulnerable babe this Christmas. Maskless vulnerability.

So love can get in.
So love can get out.
A lifesnapshot ..........................
The big guy shouted loud at everyone around. Helping himself to three desserts in the dining room seemed right to him.
As his palms opened, the fingers extended like spikes.
Like his tone of voice – like his loudness, he is big and strong and tall and yet his life skills have developed along a certain behavioural line.

“Joy to the World”. Doesn’t this happen between nations, races, cultures, YMCA staff teams, YMCA staff individuals in one-to-one and all of us?
90 years old ...... a story from my colleague in Palestine ......... a ymca worker like me ..................
"xcept for cranky knees, Hanna is in very good shape. He has witnessed 90 years of tumultuous history in his homeland,Palestine, and remembers it clearly – the Ottomans, the British, the Jordanians. He emphasizes how lucky he has been and how much he has been spared compared to other Palestinians. But the history he relates makes it clear that his conclusion is more a matter of attitude than fact. 

 To punish Yasser Arafat for his inability to stop suicide bombings, Israeli forces conducted a particularly punishing incursion on Arafat’s headquarters and the city of Ramallah. For 39 days, the city was under curfew while tanks and planes wreaked havoc. For a full week, much of the city was without electricity, ambulance service, or breaks for purchasing food and removing garbage. Military units moved from house to house in neighborhoods, using them for temporary headquarters and destroying them in the process. When the soldiers ordered Hanna to leave his home, he refused. The commander told Hanna that it was war and that he had no choice but to leave. Hanna asked the soldier where he should go after he left the house. He opened his shirt, pointed to his chest, and asked the soldier to shoot him quickly."

Friday, December 05, 2003

Still not got my iTrip but will have my iPanther tomorrow and I am a bit nervous because I hope it does not disrupt my style with exessive tech demands !

I know a Rasta man who promotes the smoking of spliffs, of course, but also says he does not think!
What's that all about?

Hope I get some good books for Christmas .................

....this is fantastic to me .....
Quote from @U2 website:-

While in South Africa, Bono had what he said was an enlightening conversation with singer Bob Geldof, an old friend from Ireland who was the Svengali behind the Live Aid movement of the 1980s. Faith, at least in its institutional form, he told Geldof, may be the secret weapon to beating back the AIDS offensive.

"He's an atheist. I said to him, 'Bob this is going to annoy you, but I really do feel, looking at this problem so out of control, that synagogues, temples and chapels are really, in the end, my only hope across Africa. As you look at this, if it isn't going to happen through the church, it's going to be so very difficult for government.

"'Just dealing with prevention, giving young girls the courage to say no to male advances, to fight the culture of rape which exists in ghettos all over the world.' And Bob turned around to me and said, 'You know what? I think that may be true. Human beings are so in need of guiding principles right now, I'm not sure they can come out of textbooks. Education has to be at a very deep level to change and deal with this.'"

=it is a great privilege to meet and talk with, and know, and share with a top business man who is a shaking alcoholic.
=It is fantastic to know and love an ex heroin addict who is only an alcoholic now.
=Great to know a heroin user who has returned to methadone.
=A young woman who from a life on the street and lost in a life of chemicals is now moving on in life with emotional and focused stability.
=It hurts like hell to be close to a young woman who is hopelessly lost in inedequacy and unable to make a decision.
=it is joy to meet and share hurts in a group when they have been sleeping on the street, then to a night shelter, then the ymca .......... and to hear determination to be honest with self and step onwards.

sorry if I go on a bit about all this but it is me and I am there and I must share it ........ otherwise it sticks in the gullet and turns into something ugly.

I still have two shots of happy.
These humans don't drive me down.
the drive me on

still have one shot of sad
because midst all this I feel that shortfall in ability to help and facilitate better

I am listening to 'willis', my spin of the moment, and being blessed deep in my soul.

b blessed

Thursday, December 04, 2003


The Sledgehammer weighed 10 kilos and we were planning to use it on the door of a young persons room in our 150 bed YMCA Hostel.

John had barricaded his room and it had all gone quiet for some time. We were worried because of his threatened suicide. “John we are worried about you – just make a noise – turn on the radio – anything to tell us you are O.K.”. We left it for a short while.

read the rest of these words ....... out of a real situation ...... if you wish.
Paste this in your browser

.................... still buzzing about the state of 16 year old young women and how we can facilitate help from a mess and another to the next step in life.*

The ymca is pushing out tv ads for the first time ever. They will be on some cable channels over the next few weeks. The ymca in england provides more beds for young people than any hotel chain provides. Plus there is support for people and a christian mission of 'making love' real ...... in most situations.
I want to make love

-peace lovers are great
-peace makers are better
-shalom makers are .................. making love.

So the ads go out and an appeal for financial support.
We need it.

Running alongside this is the 16 year old who smashes her room screams and shouts and cuts herself and cannot get her head around things at the moment. The only way I can think of is a small unit where these young and precious humans can get close support and hugs until they can cope with more regular housing and life going forward. This is real folks. Not conceptual. I have been involved in recent years with two local authorities about such hostels of a small and intimate nature and both got sunk. The cynical side me would say that they were not a glamorous enough project and other more trendy type of places attracts ...... for image sake!

So the tv ads say we do it. We do....... as an association of autonomous ymcas.
But the problems on the ground are not just get them in a ymca and provide a bed. There is a lot of loving and strategic loving to do.

* On my website and archive blogs there is several items from young people in such situations. There own written work published with permission. I have more to publish soon. Both sides are here ........ the ugly and real . ......... and the ones of people who are on the move stepping out in their human development. That is exciting. Thats what I want to see ....... ............ -shalom- *


"Christ's example is being demeaned by the Church if they ignore the new leprosy, which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here. If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest of the world, it has a role to play. If it doesn't, it will be irrelevant."

Bono (Chicago Sunday Times)

Been a buzzing all day
not now
ready for zzzzzzzzzzz
it is all this buzzing

just viewed my imac and the clock as it struck midnight and my audio hijack flashed up a fault
at least the tape machine is turning
maybe panther will fix on saturday hey hey

inarticulate words of the heart tonight so will blog tomorrow

for yourself and the one who loves you

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Iraq body count

Number of soldiers in crowd President Bush addressed on Thanksgiving: about 600
Number of U.S. soldiers killed so far during the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq: 437
Number of funerals for U.S. soldiers that Bush has personally attended: 0
Number of Iraqi civilians killed so far during the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq: more than 3,240
(or at least 7,918 according to the Iraq Body Count:
I have had this website link from my website since the war began.

there are three married couples
trying to cross a river
there is a boat that only holds three passengers
only the husbands can row
no married man will allow his wife to be with a man unless he is there
how do they cross the river?

answer will come at you but not too soon....... so don't touch that dial.

I am waiting for midnight.
I doubt I will turn back into Cinderella (who I did play in a Panto once)
oh yes I did
oh ....................................... (fill in bit for you)

I am expecting that my audio hijack system will record Gilles peterson direct on to my hard drive and then to my ipod

hey hey

“Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity . . . that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.”
Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets , 1991)

U2 have inspired since I first heard them at a small gig in London. That was a free gig by courtesy of the BBC. One of their freebee ones for Radio which also included Toyah on the bill and another, then famous, band which I cannot recall just now.
Seeing them perform in several countries and in different UK venues since, has been inspirational.

I felt inspired just now when a 16 year old homeless woman read me her notes she had just written about her feelings. Inspired. Open. Raw. Honest. Really great in terms of her thinking and connecting with her feelings. All for the first time. The glory of God is a person fully alive and she is on the way.

I delight when people step forward with no zimmer frame style leader. All on their own but with human support in view for them if they fall and hurt.. We all need support at times in our lives.

I think this excites me because that is what I aim for.

"I am free to be free" Mandela quote

I used to be Christian who wanted everyone to experience a radical conversion to Jesus like I did. It had to be just like me when the reality of 'turns of the heart to jesus' by most people happens slowly over years.
My radical conversion to a radical faith in Jesus was when I realized that to love someone in Jesus name was the greatest thing ...... and to desire and pray for their wholeness which will include a spiritual dimension.
The word -shalom- helped .
The price of shalom did it. That peace/shalom is about wholeness in every part of our being and every part of the world. That is why the AIDS/Africa crisis matters. It is about -shalom- ....... and the life of this sixteen year old bhp ....... her life is about -shalom-

Bit like a Christmas gig really ........
Peace I bring you
Shalom I bring you

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

All sorts of feelings
people with passion
people with life issues and on the way
people with faith and exploding
people with insults at me
people with triangles of relationships
people without heads on .... chemically removed
just another day of loving
and being
and becoming

Out and about on trains and stuff today and great time to ipod and read too.

The glory of God is a person fully alive and that is a journey along a road less travelled........ stay beautiful


Monday, December 01, 2003

I have taken this from a website called 'U2sermons' which click daily. It is their favorite Bono quote and a good one to end this special day:-

'I think deep down, if we really believed in equality, we would go to the side of our brothers and sisters in Africa. What I would say is we don't really believe in equality. ...You think of these Jewish sheep-herders walking in, in front of Pharaoh, you know, without their shoes, and the pharaoh is going, "You think you're equal to me?" And they look in the Book, and they go, "Yeah... That's what it says here." And it's like "you're mad, you're out of your mind." --Well, it's true. And we accept that now between our own borders. We accept that women and Jews and blacks and Irish are equal and have equal opportunities, but we don't really believe that for the rest of the world -- because if we did, we would not be letting two-and-a-half million Africans die next year. "

Bono and the Edge visited yet another project in their effort to raise awareness about AIDS.

Bono said there was a chance that South Africa could lead the way in HIV/Aids treatment not just in Africa, but in the world.

"I pray you strength for your struggle, and I just want to say that you will prevail. You have history and God on your side."

world aids day
rightly getting the news headlines and isn't bad?
Glad the African crisis has got the spotlight.
Good publicity and education.
Pray it all lasts more than a day and a big concert.

In the news also is this Vicar who has been called a 'Curate' by the media, I guess .... because she is a woman and they cannot hold a top job can they?
I do wonder if she had been a 60 year old man, rather than a blonde young attractive woman, if the issue would have got so much attention by the blonde obsessed media.
Do you think I need to go blonde?
There is real issues of life here. I was fortunate to have on our team at the ymca a head of sport and fitness a person who was also in full use of a wheelchair. Jenny was living education for me and a great laugh. She also contributed a chapter on awareness in at least two of my books to ensure that games leaders were sensitive to the needs of disabled people ...... and what a wide spectrum that is.

I understand that to eat a banana is to be banned when you are driving but answering a call to eat an apple is ok. hmmmm. I am all for road safety but dangerous driving is against the law without having to have any mobile telephone or banana legislation.
Handheld banana eating! hmmmm

Having a visit from PANTHER at the week-end. I guess it can play with zig .......... maybe not because 'panther' is a new mac operating system and my macmaster is coming to dine and wine and panther me!

My only concern is that my mac has been signed up to audio hijack to record my favorite dj every week direct onto my hard drive and therefore into my ipod. All this thanx to Adolphus who did the work for me on Sunday. Some people think I am clever because I have a website. Believe me it is just that I have fantastic friends. Thanx friends.

two shots happy
one shot of sad

The sad for this w/e must be the Aids crisis always here but now bold and brassy 'in your face'.
I might add I am not thrilled with the 'Mandy' as done by Westlife now at number one in the UK. hmmm

Two of happy from the week-end
1 Adolphus and ~Richard came around for Lancashire hot-pot and a dual mac session. They are both from South India and both once on the staff in my last job ......... now they are dear friends and mac helpers. They were also core team for the big gigs in Prague in early August ..... and I love em.
It was great hanging out and just by chance I had problems with my macs and they are so wonder-full.
(I love the new black eyed peas 'shut up' single. Exciting methinks ...... who are they ...... they are rolling funky.)

2 Had a fine week end of food and treats and friends and not getting much work done so ...... fine. Thank you God.
(sneaking another shot of 'happy' in here ....... the stuff I have for my fav compilation for the whole of 2003 is getting very exciting ..... it is still rough and piled too high but wow ..... it will be good.)

Stay beautiful.
Read and don't say good night to the tv.
Say hello to the maker and creator and zzzzzzzzzzzz real good.