Sunday, August 31, 2008

We won - Joan and me loved it .............. it was strange and beautiful to be on a crowded London Tube train full of northerners. All talking or singing - dressed as pirates or clowns. There was banter about very local regional boundaries and even highways which separated on team from another. And the Pie eaters (a local team from Wigan who always fail to beat us) they were present as good rugby league supporters and giving the the Saints spekies some stick.

When it was all over we went back into central London and experienced a culture shock. Being with a northern crowd for half a day had taken us back to our cultural roots and London seemed so diverse and colourfully cosmopolitan. The travellers from afar would be even more touched by the experience.
Good day and great to meet with Marina - 10 years since she has been in London ........ beautiful human ............

The game was not that good. I had the same feel last year at Wembley when we won. We can play so much better and we will need to when we play the Pie-eaters on Friday.
Now life is moving on - got stuff to do this week which will churn my soul - I will feel the pain of those I will work with - and I want to .............

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In response to my blog about International Volunteers and the great Pipturesques - Alolfus clicked me from Australia -
I found this interesting so maybe you will.

He came as an International Volunteer from the YMCA in India and I love the connection and all the friends I have made over the years - but I have never been.

Hi Pip,
Reading your blog about the tall Bulgarian Volunteer at ...... YMCA and their photo behind the YMCA house brings lost of nostalgic memories..... Imagine if that house wrote a book about BHPs who lived there.

Not sure how profitable is the international volunteer program at YMCA is, but it was definitely a very attractive incentive for promising young leaders of my Cochin YMCA and has help a lot to improve quality of camping and children’s work not just at the Y, but the whole community around it.... to be honest, ..... it also seems to affect our YMCA in terms of young leadership...the attractive 'Life changing international Experience' and the expertise and enthusiasm these young people injected back to the Y is not happening anymore.

Unlike ten years ago when I came ........, prices, life standard etc are not much different to back home. I mean when I came in, i had never seen an automatic door (front door of the Y), card keys, White people who cannot speak English etc.... the change in money value is also notable, coz I remember the weekly pocket money i received ..... was more that what I got monthly back home! but that is not the case now, wages are more or less the same.
I also remember Marion (German lady) asking me where do Indians go on holiday when I told her it is rather impossible for us to get visas, well that story is not much different even now, but there is also notable changes there as well....most of of my friends work for Multi national companies and do regularly travel abroad for business and I also hear that holidays to Thailand, Malaysia etc are becoming popular these days.

One side we hate Britain for colonising us and exploiting us and our resources and turning us into a underdeveloped underskilled country, but on the contrasting side we are thankful for brining us together as a country, teaching us Democracy, Westminster parliament system, Judiciary, Our railways and of course for teaching us English...maybe one question that i ask Ahmeer is, all these applies same to Pakistan as well, but why both our countries still fight.


And after the Wembley excitement today - we are meeting Marina in London town for a meal at Da Mario. She too was an International Volunteer here and met her many times in Bulgaria.
More news on the game and Mariana tomorrow - hey hey

Friday, August 29, 2008

Have been washing the dishes this morning singing "Wem - ber - lee" - on repeat
Tomorrow me and Joan go to Wembley - the National Stadium (in Wembley London) to watch our team The Saints play in the Challenge Cup final against Hull FC.
We were there last year and we won against the French Team 'Catalans'.
Please watch BBC TV tomorrow - Kick off 2.30 - I will wave and shout and scream but I guess you won't see me amongst the 90k humans.

Feel every tackle. Hear the crown grunt and groan as the players get the big hits. Watch the speed of the wingers - the kicking game which turns the teams around into defence. Watch the short passes between the the Saints runners which split the Hull team. Watch the dummy runners who attack the opposition line yet, they only do it to distract the main attack. And watch for the blood flowing as both sides collide.

Most of all, watch my long term hero of the team. I have never met him. Don't know his soul. Respect him from a distance. Love his solid consistent play. His distribution at the heart of the team.
Here is a link to a fantastic article about him. It is currently stuck on the front of our fridge.

I am excited but a bit of a split personality because I have still got injections in my bloodstream and still high.
Not 'H' but 'G'
The power drug has been The Greenbelt Festival and I have so much to unpack and here is where I do it.
I must reflect more because that scratching of my soul helps me learn and learn much more.
Read a four page article about Greenbelt in the Church Times today. Great stuff and yet I never saw that festival. Missed most of that. I saw and met and kissed a different one. Will try to get a link to that item for you.

Must go - I am in prep mode today in preparation for the week and especially three new groups I am entering into for the first time. Groups in Hostels around the country. Groups of unmotivated 'going through tough times beautiful humans' and I want to contribute to their lives .........

you are beautiful
my message to them
my message to you .................

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In 1991 I started to be involved with Eastern European Nations as they stepped away from Communism.
In 1992 I attended a conference in Tisadob in Hungary as an International Trainer. It was the first time that the YMCA of Europe had managed to get leaders and young humans out of their countries - and what an experience that was.
A few years later, following a number of visits to Bulgaria, I was walking down a road in Greece - arm in arm with Velechko and Tony Yankabakova. I was truly linking with Bulgaria and my home YMCA became active partners with the YMCA's there.
I travelled regularly there for 13 years - sometimes several times a year.

Last night I visited Martyn Yankabakova in a little volunteer house next to the local YMCA. The son of Tony, who I last met as a child - now sixteen and six foot+, is in town as a volunteer.

Here you see a progression of their poses for my camera. Martyn on the right.
The others are from all around the world including Mexico, Spain, Bulgaria and .... wonderful experience for them and us ................... wow.

We gather every year. The last week-end in August. Our strange British Bank Holiday week-end can come alive - plan now .......
...... I will see you there ......
~~~~~~~~~ let this be you next year ~~~~~~~

1. There are at least two people in this world
that you would die for.

2. At least 15 people in this world
love you in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you
is because they want to
be just like you.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone,
even if they don't
like you.

5. Every night,
SOMEONE thinks about you
before they go to sleep.

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. You are special and unique.

8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever,
something good comes from it.

10. When you think the world has
turned its back on you, take another look.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here is Ashley who was the first beautiful human on stage for my iPod Show. She is in the red - together with Amanda and Clare on the right who I used to work with in Kingston West London.

The music playing is the song which Martyn Joseph sung for me, and a few thousand others! If it is not playing now - click the piPhone and see the range of songs to play.

more reflections ooooozing out of my soul ..... to come .......
...... and it has been some 30+ plus years that I have been away on this English Bank Holiday week-end.
So many years of Greenbelt Festival.
Always exhilarated
Always excited
Always with new humans
Always connecting with new humans, and others once new.
Always L5 and with tears
Always touching finger tips
Always entwining souls.

And never any regrets.
Yet there is a programme beyond these humans.
These activities and music - hmmmm so much music,
creates a backdrop for thinking, relating, creative conversations and opening like flowers do to the sun.
The Rising Sun.

I dribble down my chin.
Excitement in the mix with wonder.
All because of the feelings which flow to my fumbling stumbling finger tips as I click.
There is something spiritual here.
Everything is spiritual here.
I have sipped at the well and I want to sit around with you next year.
Share a finger tip touch
Share a pint or Cointreau
Share a tear ............

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

go to google
click in the search
'google alerts'
set up an alert
"Greenbelt Festival"
Then, thereafter, you will get daily alerts from google with all mentions of the festival from all the web and blogs like mine.
Inspiring stuff.
I just received this by an American
unknown to me

the festival

so tonight was the last night of the greenbelt festival, and i literally feel like my brain is going to explode.
i have WAY too much thinking and feeling going on but it has been amazing.
i've gotten to walk in the shadows of people like shannon hopkins and andrew jones, and in the process i've met amazing people that are really in the middle of this whole 'emerging-missional church' conversation.
i've had to pinch myself. it's kind of an out of body experience and i'm kind of jealous of myself.
i met brian mclaren (people over here in the UK don't really think he's all that great, but i almost fell over myself)
and pete rollins (who literally changed my life every time he opened his mouth) invited me to come and visit his community in northern ireland.
we walked around in mud and with thousands of people.
i read a blessing over a large group of people and had several folks come up to me throughout the rest of the weekend and tell me how great it was and even bought the book.
i've learned more about why i write blessings and what they mean just by having people mirror back to me who i am.
i've been validated, encouraged and invited more than ever in my life.
i've sung hymns and carols in the organic beer tent with a bunch of christians and wondered why the hell america would never fit with this kind of amazing, intimate community.
i've laughed hard and been totally exhausted.
i've had great conversations with brilliant thinkers and random waitresses that have helped changed my life.
so much of this will have to be processed throughout the next couple months...
i've been invited to stay here until december or the new year.
i think i might just do it.
holy shit. what an amazing weekend.

........ my soul is expanded and undressed from being with you,
or next year eh?
My Greenbelt moments have been touching fingertips with yours -
and wiping away your tears with my finger tip ............
those unseeing eyes as they flooded with tears ..........
and loving you more and more in those tears -
those eyes of your which speak louder than any words -
"I accept you"
I want to be in this space -
I want to dig the soul and open old hidden parts -
and make them new -
the Shalom of God that passes all understanding .........

Monday, August 25, 2008

.... here are some more Pipturesque
Greenbelt Festival
beautiful........ more to come and movies over the next few days.
We leave in the morning .......................

The wondrous Eska singing with the Matthew Herbert Big Band, who has a recoring studio at Whitstable, - all happening at the Greenbelt Festival.

........ and some of the beautiful humans ...................