Wow – how rubbish have I been at blogging.
Lots to catch up on. I have had a section of time off today. Because I am having to work every Saturday (my normal day off) throughout November I am taking Monday’s off. Today I had a great lie in, following a late night last night. I got up and have spent most of the day trying to clean the house and get all those little jobs done that never get done. There is still a lot left to do – all the floors need a good clean and the filing needs doing but I managed to get a lot tidied up.
Yesterday was a great day. In the morning we had a confirmation service for two of our young people (big up to Laura and Anthony!). I always love those type of services. My church is slightly strange in that because it is a Union Church it practices both infant baptism and confirmation but also adult baptism by full immersion. While it can be quite funny as to how people understand those practices it doesn’t seem to cause any issues. Hannah and I had a great lunch at Anthony’s afterwards – big thanks to Ray and Julie.
In the evening we had Doubt your Doubts, the monthly town-wide youth service, organised by Junction 28, the inter-church, inter-denominational town-wide group of youth workers. This month and last month I have been preaching on the importance of not letting our excuses get in the way of God’s work in our lives. Last month we looked at what happens when our excuse gets in the way, and then specifically the excuse of being too young to do anything. This month we looked at the parable of talents and how we shouldn’t use the excuses of being afraid or saying we can’t do anything.
Junction 28 also had our team meeting at the weekend – we spent most of the time looking at stuff for the YFriday gig on Saturday November 25th. If you want to come, but haven’t got tickets, get on and download a booking form, fill it in, and send it back to us with some money.
At the end of the last week David, the minister of the church where I work, and my father-in-law sent me an email to tell me he had started blogging. Go check it out .
Anyhow better go – tonight we are taking two of our youth groups to Rayleigh Megazone for a night of laser quest – always a good night!
In 100 years time nobody will care how much you earned, but the world may be a different place because you were important in the life of a child!Pedalling My Thoughts, Ian’s other’s little project seems to have died. Where has the great cycle blog gone?
Since then I have spent most of the time trying to catch up with work. Key things include:
The YFriday concert happening in a few weeks time
Activities and material for youth groups this week
My RE lessons for tomorrow afternoon
Dealing with some admin and background issues
Preparing for a preach at Doubt your Doubts, a town-wide monthly youth service
Dsicovering that a mouse seems to be living in my office!
Hopefully as life settles down again into a more normal pattern I can get back into the blogging.
In the evening we went to an ice hockey match at Madison Square Gardens. Here is a cool photo:
Unfortunately the home team – New York Rangers lost 4-2 to the Florida Panthers. But at least it made Sam feel at home given he supports, the football team, Crystal Palace and they aren’t particularly doing well – 17th in the Championship at the moment! It was amazing to see how much other stuff they put in to their sports games. The game contains three periods of 20 minutes. The first period took over 50 minutes to play with all the player rotation, fouls, and adverts. It is so different to how sport is played in the UK. A really good night though.
On our last day Sam had to go back to work so Sarah, Hannah and I went in search of one of the Christian bookshop. We found quite an impressive shop where I bought a book and Hannah managed to get some groovy little presents for a couple of our young people!
We then travelled out to Newark airport to take our flight to Chicago only to be told that due to bad weather we would not be able to fly and would have to put ourselves up in a hotel for the night and fly the next day. After a bit of discussion they managed to find us another flight but it left JFK airport in less than four hours. We had the craziest taxi journey across the city driving at 60mph with the driver not wearing his seat belt, mobile phone in one hand, and eating with the other, using his elbows to steer us in and out of these huge big lorries. In the end we made it to the airport, sat in another huge queue, but did make it on the flight. In many ways it was better than our original flights as it was direct to Heathrow with no changes and we had a nicer plane to travel in. We also arrived in the UK just before 6:30am instead of the 10:00am we should have originally arrived at.
Sam and Sarah have some very funky hippos – Hippo and Bill who are a big part of Hannah and my holiday here so I thought I would post a picture of them:
Hannah’s favourite animals were the chipmunks, which were just wild in the zoo not an actual exhibit, but we didn’t get a good photo of them because they are too fast so here are some other random animal ones.
We saw this funny thing and thought it could just be a huge bottle opener!
After the zoo we went shopping. Surprisingly Sam did the best out of us all getting several shirts and jumpers – yet he doesn’t even like shopping! Anyhow while doing on that we walked by the Rockefeller Centre:
This was followed by a great trip to Central Park. As the sun had come out we thought we would take a horse drawn carriage trip around the park. It was really good and led by a random Irish tour guide. Well worth the money. Here are some photos of Sam and Sarah, and Hannah and I on the tour:
The park has some great views – I am sure my photos don’t do it justice but it is a great place which combines both views of the city but also of nature. And whilst the park is big the most striking thing in comparison with many UK city parks is that it is not flat. Anyhow here are a couple of photos.
In the morning we went up the Empire State Building. The views were amazing. I especially liked this ‘arty’ photo with the light cutting across the image and the way the gold on the bottom right reflects on to the building behind it: Here is a picture of Hannah and I up the Empire State building:
New York has loads of skyscrapers but there are a few around the city that look like the one below – they look 2D or flat. They are actually parallelograms but they look really bizarre.
These are some pictures we took when on Brooklyn Bridge. The view was awesome but the photos aren’t great so I blame the camera! First a picture of the view from the bridge and then pictures of Hannah and I, and Sam and Sarah on the bridge.
Here are some photos from our first day – most of which was spent travelling.
First up here is Phil, Hannah’s brother who drove us to the airport:
This is the sunrise we saw as we drove:
And this is our view from the plane. We had seats by the window and because we were by an emergency exit we got loads of legroom which was great!
We did hear some great news today. My brother in law, Phil, got married in the summer to Liz, after they graduated from uni. They have both been on the lookout for jobs and then a place to live and Liz, has today been given a job working in a special baby care unit in Southend which is great as it means her and Phil will stay fairly close by so we can still go and see them regularly.
With it being half-term I won’t be posting for the next week!