Servant hearts

Around the web there have been various stories highlighted where people have taken a risk or made a sacrifice to make a difference for others. Here are a couple I have seen:

On A Place for the God Hungry (a blog I occasionally read) is a story of a family who took in 44 people who were stranded in a snow storm while on the road and just gave them their house to hang out in, food to eat, and a place to sleep until they could get back on the road.

On the BBC News yesterday was this story of Wesley Autrey, a construction worker in New York, who jumped onto the tracks of the New York subway and rolled with 19-year-old Cameron Hollopeter (who had fallen onto the track while having a seizure) into the trough between the rails at 137th Street station.

It is great to see normal things taking risk for others. That is what we should all be prepared to do.

Some things around the web …

Some things from around the web:
Justin Taylor highlights how integrates Google Maps and the ESV text to create an interactive Bible atlas. He refers people to the ESV blog for more information.

Out of Ur, the online side of Leadership Journal, has a series of posts on resolutions and how in several sittings over a one-year period, Jonathan Edwards drafted 70 resolutions by which he governed his life and ministry.

Josh Griffin has posted a series of youth work training videos, each a couple of minutes long, on his blog and you tube. Check them out and pass them onto others – well worth keeping an eye on.

Books I have read

Another book I was given over the Christmas period was 99 Things to Do Between Here and Heaven: Live Extreme! by Peter Graystone. Peter has been involved in the leadership of Emmanuel Church, South Croydon where I grew up. He is a great speaker and writer, someone who is not afraid to say what he thinks and really get to the heart of what a bible passage is about.

This book contains 99 different ideas of things to do between now and heaven. They vary in content, time and cost requirements, suggestions include lighting a candle, doing an extreme sport, taking a sabbath and learning New Testament greek, planting a tree, or becoming a beer or wine buff. The ideas are laid out neatly on double page spreads with some details as to how to do the activity, information on time and financial costs, a couple of bible verses for reflection, some interesting quotes, and space for you to write your own progress.

I had great fun thinking about which of the 99 I had done, but also other people, including Peter, had done. The book is well worth dipping into and every so often going and doing one of the suggestions. Definitely worth getting hold of.

Map-reading postman finds address

Sometimes we forget how good the Royal Mail can be. This story on BBC News highlights the lengths they sometimes go to to get post delivered:

“A map on the envelope had a dot drawn in north Cornwall and an arrow saying “Somewhere Here”. Postal workers in Bude, north Cornwall managed to pinpoint the right address and deliver the letter. The letter to Peter O’Leary, was from a long-lost work colleague who failed to enclose his own address so Mr O’Leary cannot write back. Bude’s delivery office manager Andrew Lake said post workers worked out from the map the intended address was in Bude and then asked each other if anyone recognised the name Peter O’Leary. Postman Eric Seymour realised Mr O’Leary lived on his round and said the customer was astounded when he handed over the letter.”

How silly that the colleague didn’t bother to put his own address in the letter for Mr O’Leary.

More haircut news

This guy certainly had the idea about saving money by not going to the hair dressers. For some bizarre reason his mum didn’t argue with his fear of getting his hair cut and so it was allowed to grow to a massive 68 cm in length. He’s decided to get it cut into a ‘Beckham cut’, oh dear, but at least he is using the hair to raise money for chaity. Here’s a couple of photos:

New Year

In the end I couldn’t post on New Year’s Eve as the internet went down. I hope you all had a good New Year. We played games with all the family, and then watched a bit of telly before wimpishly going to bed at 12:45! I was tempted by an all-nighter on the X-box with Phil but was just too tired in the end.

It has been great reading everyones thoughts on a start for the new year, including little alice getting back to blogging, ysmarko , and simply kurt, have been posting their best bits of 2006, and youthblog has some good thoughts on resolutions.

I went back to work today, but seemed to spend most of the day trying to do complete our mortgage application. We spent over four hours meeting with our mortgage advisor doing all the paper work. I now feel quite behind but I’m sure we will get there in the end.

One hundred posts

In just under 3 months I have made it to 100 posts. I started posting on October 3rd and now on December 31st here I am clocking up my 100th post. For someone who is not self-disciplined I am proud to have got to 100 posts. Not sure what else to say, and I am sure I will be posting before the night is out with it being New Year’s Eve and all but anyhow here’s to 100 more posts!

Books I have read

Over Christmas I have read two books.

The first was Catching Monsters by David Bright. This book isn’t for the faint hearted. David Bright writes well, but this is not a book that gives you a nice happy glow inside. What is does do is reveal some of the things that he was involved in throughout his career. It was a compelling read and certainly showed me the pressures that the police csn be under.

The second book was A Planet for the President by Andrew Beaton. It is a funny satirical fiction book obviously having a go at the actions of the British and the USA in recent years. At several times it had me laughing outloud, yet also had several good twists. Well worth a read, particularly if you enjoy political things, e.g. 24 or the West Wing.

Goal setting, resolutions and the New Year

New Year can be a great time to set goals or aims, or what seemed to be simply known as resolutions. In the summer I had a go at trying to make some goals and aims for my life and work and after reading various different things, including Marko, Little Alice and a random website, I came up with 54 different things in the following areas:

Children and young people
Schools work
External groups
Strategy and study
Wider church

Relationships and Rest/Sabbath

While, as is fairly obvious, I didn’t manage to complete all the goals, I did fairly well, and certainly found it very helpful to have structured aims, and not just to bumble through life going from one ‘emergency’ to the next. It is certainly something I am thinking about doing again in the next few days, although, partly because of my work pattern being so heavily linked so schools, and partly because I seem to be so task and result orientated I am wondering about making them more short-term and doing it three times a year.

How do you set your goals or aims, what questions do you use to help you evaluate where you have gone and where you hope to go?