Friday, 27 October 2006

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

History Matters

Can you remember what you did on October 17, 2006? is accepting diary entries until 1 Nov, trying to get a snapshot of life in the UK in the early 21st Century. I don't normally post stuff like this (because in a sense it's a bit boring!) but for posterity, here's my entry...

My wife and I use our mobile phones as alarm clocks. Tuesday has a slightly later start than others, so the phone woke me at 7.30am. I left our home in Aghalee at 9am and drove into the University area of Belfast, parking at Edgehill College (Edgehill is the theological college of the Methodist Church in Ireland, training lay and ordained people).

I walked down to Aldergsate House on University Road and spent an hour in the Methodist Church in Ireland's 24-7 Prayer Room (following the pattern set by the Moravians at Hernhut in Germany many years ago) - I prayed for a friend working in Tonga, thanked God for a couple of good friends from our church (Craigmore Methodist), invited God to anoint the band that will lead worship at Autumn Soul (Methodist Youth Fellowships weekend) at the end of the month, and enjoyed listening to a CD of worship music.

11.10am brought a lecture on Psalm 29 in Union College (Edgehill and Union share in the delivery of theology lectures for The Queen's University, Belfast), after which I walked with classmates back to Edgehill. Colin, Denis and myself met for twenty minutes planning the 5pm College prayer time. Then I went to the informal pre-lunch worship session - I enjoy singing a lot! Lunch was a bit different today, it took the form of a Table Quiz, with four teams participating - our team won!

After lunch and a quick game of table tennis I drove our Hyundai Accent to the DVTA on the Boucher Road for its MOT retest at 2.50pm. The offending article was inspected and MOT certificate duly received. I returned to Edgehill, checked my e-mails, had a cup of coffee with fellow students and set up the College Chapel for the 5pm prayer time. Colin spoke on the power of our stories and we used words, images and music to prompt prayer for the Church, the World and Ireland.

Following brief feedback from Principal Richard Clutterbuck I drove to my in-laws for food and then went with Kathryn, my wife, to our last ante-natal class in Lagan Valley Hospital. We were a bit late for the 7.15pm start due to traffic congestion caused by the closure of the M1 motorway (I think a lorry shed its load closer to Belfast). We were given a tour of the maternity ward, complete with the slightly unsettling sound effects of a new mother in the delivery suite next door!

By 8.45pm the class was over and we headed for home, where we sat on the sofa, stroked our cat (Nala) and watched Pretty Woman on TV before heading to bed at 11.30pm. A very full day - and not much studying done!

[and a little addition, that I forgot to include, was that in the evening we moved our coffee table from one room to another. It has a tray underneath for magazines, etc, including our wedding album. We spent a few minutes looking at photos from that day in June 2001, commenting on how young everyone looked, but also how cute we looked!]

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

From Our Knees

From Our Knees is the name of the 24-7prayer project of the Methodist Church in Ireland. The project includes a two-person Team On Mission (Ruth and Hannah, travelling the island to inspire churches towards non-stop prayer) and the Aldersgate Prayer Room, which I think I've mentioned before.

And so I mention it again. There is very little chance that I would ever spend an hour in prayer/devotions when at home - there's always the lure of the computer, TV, music and food. But I was in the Prayer Room this morning for an hour, and it was just lovely. It's amazing how much better a day can be when I've worshipped and prayed near the start of it.

Allow me to recommend that you (a) sign up for an hour or more this week or next; (b) start gossiping the possibilities of running a 24hr prayer room in your own church setting.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Cloud Appreciation Society

You can tell when I'm avoiding study when I come online to blog for the second time in one day, kindly informing you about the Cloud Appreciation Society.

It got set up by mistake by a journalist guy who liked looking at the sky. Have a look at the Photo Gallery though, and you can see why. There are pictures of some amazing cloud formations. And it's all rather calming.

It's all Greek to me

Ho ho.

Well, it seems like it's been an awful long time since last I blogged, a holiday and the start of term being the main cause. If you're interested in the holiday please comment me (if I know you I'll send you a link to our photos), otherwise you'll get 'it was lovely'.

Back to term. A new year, a new course. Probably. I've applied to move from the BD to MDiv (same content theology degree, but at Masters level). I'm going to MDiv classes. But I'm still not enrolled as an MDivver. Hopefully that'll get sorted soon.

Meanwhile, having dispatched Greek last year - successfully, amazing! - I now come to the joys of Hebrew. Ah the delights of yet another new alphabet to learn! I must confess that I think I'm struggling sooner than with the Greek so here's hoping all will become clear.

>> Mini-rant >> If Queen's has its way I'm going to have to do the same Greek course all over again next year! Grrrr. But then, I probably won't remember much so it'll be reinforced learning. << end rant <<

I'm sure there will be more contemplative ponderings on the Moos at some point, but I thought it was about time I put something here to keep both of you happy. Bye for now!