Air guitar T-shirt – how cool!

The BBC have an article on how Australian scientists have created a T-shirt that allows air guitarists to play real music – without resorting to a real guitar. The T-shirt has motion sensors built into its elbows that pick up movements and relay them wirelessly to a computer which interprets them as guitar riffs. One arm is interpreted as picking chords while the other strums. The “wearable instrument shirt” is adaptable to both right and left-handed would-be rock stars.
Check out the video from the BBC – definitely something for youth groups – you wouldn’t have any storage problems!

Delegating to others

The last couple of days various members of the church have found other funding opportunities that might be available to us. I am really excited that people are beginning to see that there are ways of developing our work by getting alongside other groups in the community. However, I am now looking to see if I can find one or two church members to help do applications etc., and do some policy updates for us. I think this is a great opportunity to involve those who wouldn’t be keen to do face-to-face work with young people but are really keen to use their gifts and talents to support the work.

Mike Newell’s dodgy comments

Mike Newell is certainly courting controversy at the moment. On Saturday he managed to make some pretty stupid comments – criticising Amy Rayner, the assistant referee, and his chairman. He had now been asked to meet the Luton board and it looks like he has some explaining to do.

It is sad that he made these comments – there is no need. You can criticise a match official without having to bring their gender into it – that is completely irrelevant. She has earned the right to officiate at that level by doing all the qualifications.

A couple of years ago Ron Atkinson was forced to resign after making racist comments in the wake of Chelsea’s Champions League game against Monaco in April 2004. While I am not keen on people being sacked I do think that we should treat sexism in a similar way to racism.

A day off

Today was a day off – it started by managing to grab 8 hours sleep – lovely! I then spent the day travelling to and from Southend with furniture helping my brother-in-law and his wife move in, with David and Margie.
They have got a nice little place on the outskirts of Southend, close to all the important things, chip shop, pub etc. Give it a month or two, once they have emptied most of the boxes and it should feel like home for them. And the great thing is they aren’t too far away so we can still go and visit.
Now got youth groups tonight – going to be finalising what we spend our funding money on!

Schools work training

Yesterday morning I went to the BSCWT training session. The session was good, although much of it has been said before. We spent a reasonable chunk of the morning looking at the future of schools work. To do this, however, we spent some time looking at the history of schools work including this quote from Chris Curtis: “the 1945 Education Act led to the church moving from owning education to being its tenant”. We (Christian schools work) are now merely visitors in the education system. It was an interesting point.
The rest of the morning was spent looking at difficult questions that we can be asked by young people. It was slightly disappointing that there were only 3 volunteers, including myself there. It does make me wonder if the trust should provide its training in different ways – maybe a slightly deeper level for those of us who work full time for churches and as part of that are seconded to schools work. Having said that I am not really sure what training I would like so it makes it hard to make constructive suggestions.

Oh dear …

Marko has posted about the following video and it really is worth a look. A re-write of U2’s ‘One’, performed by two Bank of America execs at an event celebrating the coming-together of some of their credit card divisions. I am impressed with the performance and the changing of the words, but at the same time concerned as to what business people get up to in their spare time!

Elton John and organised religion

It was so sad to hear this morning from the BBC that Sir Elton John has attacked organised religion over trying to “turn hatred towards gay people”. It is really important that when Christians make a stand on a topic that they do it compassionately. Definitely some food for thought.

PDA v Filofax

I posted about this a while ago and having spent the last month trying to use a PDA I am still unsure as to which one to choose.

The advatanges of a PDA are that it syncs automatically with Outlook; and there are about a billion other things I could do with it.

The disadvantage is that similar to a mobile phone I really need to spend a whole load of time getting used to how it works, and practicing my inputting of data. Several times I have given up trying to input data in to the PDA and just found a scrap of paper and a pen and scribbled things down. The question is do I persevere or shall I not bother and just use good old pen and paper. I need to think soon as Christmas is a good point to put something on a Christmas list to get me something nice – be it giving David some money for his PDA or buying a filofax.


Time has been on my thougths recently. How often we try to fit in ridiculous amounts into a 24 hour period. I have been struck by two things. Firstly this quote by Roy Lessin:
There is always time enough in a day to do God’s will.

And secondly Psalm 23 – The Antithesis

The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest
It makes me lie down only when exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity’s sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it done,
For my “ideal” is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines;
My in-box overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.
Instead let us truly live out Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

A whirl around the world wide web …

I love this time of year for the thoughts that appear on blogs and that are expressed verbally as so much training happens and youth workers take time to step back for 30 seconds and reflect on their ministry.

So I thought I would give a quick map of some great thoughts and/or discussions that are going on around the youth ministry blog world:

Johnny has posted about some thoughts from the Youth Specialties convention in Anaheim on how we captivate young people, how we always moan that they don’t want to pay attention to the Bible lesson but as soon as you give them a games console or a sports ball they are fine for hours on end.

Kurt has got a great post thinking about how do we do ‘mission trips’. It is a really interesting is mission work becoming too business like – are we actually doing much benefit – “Could we not come up with other ways to expose students to the needs of the world while actually solving some of them at the same time?” Certainly a great question – and as I begin to think how do we encourage our students to be involved in missional work both locally, nationally, and internationally something to chew over.

Josh has a helpful post on how we link with the parents in our ministry. It is always something we can improve on – we often focus on the young people and then the volunteer leaders that the parents get our left overs – but without them we would have no young people to work with – they give up their time and money to get their child to and from the events and pay from them etc. we should ensure we support and minister to them as best as we can. Something we managed to do in our summer holiday club at the church, was one of the older ladies in the congregation stood by the front door and greeted all the parents as they came to pick up their children. As an ex local teacher she had taught many of the parents and formed some great conversations. Not sure how to reproduce that at all the weekly events.

And for something different youthblog has another view on the youth workers office!

I would love to hear if anyone has got any thoughts of the stuff I’ve mentioned.