I'm preaching tomorrow morning in the church I grew up in. It's about an hour and a half away but it's where my parents still go so we'll get to spend the day with them too.
I'm using the parable of the Wedding banquet which is about how everyone is welcome in the kingdom of God and I'm using this song by Mike Scott (of The Waterboys) to finish off the message:


Soul Survivor

I sent another photo to lj but sometimes they don't arrive?!|]<¥, so if a random picture gets posted by me, it goes with this post.

On Tuesday me and Zac (my 8 year old) drove up to Soul Survivor - the Christian festival that my wife was at with our other 3 kids, 7 other teenagers from our church, and 3 other youth leaders. It was a great way to spend a few days of the summer. I love camping and with the food stalls and the lights everywhere and a bonfire and all that kind of stuff it was just what I needed before I have to go back to work and spend my days between four walls of a classroom.
It was also quite emotional seeing all these teenagers (there were 6,000) jumping up and down in unison worshipping God. The band was very lively.
I don't tend to like big crowds being stirred up but if it's to celebrate the love of God, and it's going to have a positive impact on their lives, then it's a great thing in my book.
Zac was in his element and loved joining in with things like water fights. It was an awesome couple of days for my family and the others too. You tend to bond well with people in that kind of experience.

I'm going to another Christian festival on Saturday called Greenbelt which is aimed more at adults. Greenbelt has always prided itself on getting cutting edge acts and speakers and this year Pussy Riot are playing. I don't know how they're portrayed in Russia (if my Russian friends are still active)? Over here they're seen as a protest band who are highlighting negative aspects of the government and also negative aspects of the Russian Orthodox Church. There's also an American band called Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires who are from Birmingham, Alabama but protest about negative aspects of Trump. Should be an interesting day.

It was good enough for Robin Hood

I took my eldest son to an open day at Nottingham University on Saturday. We stopped off at a McDonald's for breakfast and there was a homeless guy sitting by the entrance. I made eye-contact with him and asked him if he wanted some breakfast. I wasn't sure what reaction I'd get because I've heard that some homeless guys are so obsessed with their next fix that they don't want food and they can be abusive but this guy was very grateful. I asked him if he wanted to sit with us but he declined and took his food outside. It's the first time I've bought food for a homeless person. I think I'm getting a better understanding of them from my interactions as a street pastor, which can only be a good thing.

The uni itself was really impressive. Everything is on the campus, from fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, sports facilities, accommodation, a big lake, lots of big open green spaces, everything you could want. It was very pretty. I'd love to have been in those kind of surroundings when i was at uni. When I went, it was free, but rough, and I didn't really value it.

Sunday we had a big soccer match with a load of families from church in a park. I absolutely loved it. Zac was in goal and there was a whole range of ages.

The sunny spell that I mentioned a couple of months ago seems to have carried on ever since. I don't remember a spring/summer like this since I was a kid.

Yes we Kane! : )

It's days like these that I play down my Scottish roots and fully embrace my English identity.
; )
6 - 1 against Panama!

I've also finished my exam marking.
: )

And the sun is shining.

I just need to get through the next 4 weeks of school.

That's the way you do it

I've been thinking about the best way to get through these exam papers this weekend and it's worked well today.
I got up when I felt like it (which was still pretty early - 7:30); had some breakfast and then got marking straight away. My reward was the 10:00 match (France v Australia). I had a workout, had some food in the garden, did some more marking, shaved my head (like you do), had a shower, and now - it's Peru v Denmark.
Same sort of routine tomorrow.

Football crazy

Managed to organize another game of staff soccer after school today. Absolutely loved it. I played much better than last week and even scored a goal which is rare for me. One of our players is an English teacher who used to be a sports journalist. He said he'd write up our game and send it to all the staff at school on email so if he does it I'll post it on here.
: )

I'm currently watching the Spain Portugal game.
Sorry my American friends, I didn't realize that you're not in this one.
Next match is tomorrow morning.
I'm going to have to watch it in between my exam marking which will give me some ideal breaks.
(Apologies if you don't like soccer. : /)

I watched Old Boy on Netflix last night. The American re-make. I watched the original years ago. Was it Korean? Great film.


I've been working through these exam scripts but I'm doing it at a sensible rate so it's not been too bad.
I set my myself small goals and then feel good when I achieve them, and I've been loving this sunny weather that we're having at the moment too.
Every opportunity I get, I strip down to just shorts; walk outside into my garden and lye on the grass soaking it all in.
Every opportunity I'm out there - sitting, listening to the birds singing, eating, I'm even enjoying hanging the laundry out. Feels like a little bit of Eden.