2018… A year!

4977C52A-0F85-4976-95D8-E5D3432E5E38.JPGI’m sat in a friend’s lounge in Edinburgh after a couple of ales in a local pub. I’m pondering on the year, it’s filled with joy and sadness. It started out with me trying to finish my dissertation, this in itself was a huge deal for me. I was told many times at school, and even in recent years that I would never be able to achieve anything academically… Can I say if anyone ever says that to you, laugh at them! Because it’s a lie… if you put your mind to it… YOU CAN DO IT! And so I graduated in the summer with an MA… Yesssss I now have letters after my name! lol!

In-between all this, our little hound, Suki dog, died after a short illness… it was tough to say the least, and still today we miss her loads. She was our little pub dog and was particularly my companion when working from home. On the flip side, Molly our little dog has flourished and she is sooo hilarious!

I have also secured another part time job in Newcastle, which I started just a few weeks before Christmas, and it’s been great to start to get to know people, and to feel my way into this new role. Alongside this I’m so thankful to continue my role on the coast, and to work with a whole host of fab people! Our little community is a joy to be a part of, and we count them all as dear friends.

I wish you all a peaceful new year and whatever 2019 brings, may you know that we love you! And thanks for being with us on this journey of life. Love, peace.

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David Byrne – American Utopia Tour

IMG_0753I have waited over twenty five years to see David Byrne, he and Talking Heads are one of the artists I never get bored of listening too. To say I was excited about seeing him would be an understatement, although I was also worried that he wouldn’t live up to my expectations.

David’s new work American Utopia is a brilliant album all on its own, never mind his incredible back catalogue of albums and collaborations. It has light and shade all over it, with lyrics which amuse and encourage in joyful chorus’ whilst tackling darkness in amongst the verses.

He promised something different on this tour… with his iconic Stop Making Sense album in the back of my mind it left me wondering where he could take this.

I would not be disappointed!

This was more than a gig, the twelve piece band were as tight as you could imagine, even as they moved around the stage in carefully choreographed movements it was simple and beautiful. There are no bells and whistles on this tour, the sound, crystal clear, the lighting was clever and creative, the staging, was bare and simple. Put all this together it created an incredible atmosphere and performance, only enhanced by the crowd who were eager to lap it up! This was all about the joy of humanity.

He mixed Talking Heads favourites amongst the new material, it made these classic songs feel like they belonged to the American Utopia concept. This was art at its best, a performance that will live long in my memory for years to come! Thank you David Byrne.

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Authenticity – why I loved Greenbelt so much

A really great blog pondering on Greenbelt.

Justin Thacker

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I’ve attended lots of different Christian festivals over the years, some of them I’ve even spoken at, but for the first time this year I attended Greenbelt, and I just loved it. Since returning, I’ve been reflecting on what it was about this particular festival that made it so great.

It certainly wasn’t the accommodation and food. I love camping, but one shower in 3 days, a sleeping bag so thin I almost froze, portaloos and some quite expensive food vans is not the reason that Greenbelt took hold of my heart. Was it the teaching and theology? No, I’m not sure it was that either. While I loved much of what I heard, I think I also disagreed with more at Greenbelt than at any other festival I’ve been to. It could have been the people, but the truth is that other festivals I’ve attended have been with much…

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Its been a while…

Ok so here it is… me and few others write a weekly blog which you can find here this is linked to a fresh expressions community that i lead along with a few other folks, we are exploring faith and spirituality in pubs! Whats not to like! We meet each week and we discuss the blogs each week. please do follow it if you want to!

But i have been pondering on trying to get back into writing some stuff so i’m going to have a go at trying to at least do one post a month…

The idea behind this is to write something at the end of each month which discusses a few things…

  1. Music i have listened… not all of it will be new music!
  2. Films I have watched, but it won’t be a review as such.
  3. TV I have seen that I thought was worth sharing… I don’t watch much so there may not be many of these.
  4. Something I have read  – I’m a rubbish reader so that may not end well!
  5. Ales or craft beers I have enjoyed
  6. And any other things that I have been up to – places I have visited, etc.

So there you have it… Oh yeh you may see the odd poem going up as well… I’ve been writing but not sharing!

Breaking Bread With Heretics: The Table of God’s Hospitality

A friend introduced me to this blog, i really love it as it speaks into my story!

john pavlovitz

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I live just down the street from a very conservative Southern Baptist seminary.

I often sit at the nearby coffee shop and just observe people, listening as the conversations waft in and out of earshot. (Okay, so technically it’s eavesdropping but I’m currently repenting of it.)

Today as I walked up the sidewalk I could hear a man probably fifteen to twenty years younger than me at an outdoor table, lecturing two other people about God and heresy and “Truth”.

I sat and sort of marveled at him. He was so confident in his youth; so sure of himself, so authoritative, so ready with answers, his theology so fixed and unwavering.

(He reminded me a lot of someone.)

I remember that place well. Sometimes I really miss it.

Life was so much easier then, yet it’s a place I’m glad I no longer live.

I feel more vulnerable here. The lack of certainty is…

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Bible 8Track

Music-CDsOur minister asked us to come up with up to 8 song to unpack a bible passage, so here is my 8 Track song list. I decided to choose one of my favourite passages from Micah. I love the words, phrases and the theme of it. let me know what you think!

Micah 6:6-8
1. Hogni – Bow Down (to no man) – (bow)
2. Talking Heads “Burning Down the House” (burning)
3. The Wonderstuff ”Size of a Cow” (calves)
4. Jerry Reed Crude OIl (oil)
5. John Lennon – “Beautiful Boy” (baby)
6. Bob Marley – Get up, stand up (justice)
7. What The World Needs Now Is Love / Dionne Warwick (Kindness/love)
8. Mary Mary – Walking (walk)