Shaken not stirred

Well, I just went to see Die Another Day, the latest in the James Bond series and NOT Pierce Brosnan’s last. It is top class, and at first sight may well be the best of the more recent Bond movies, but I shall have to see it a few more times to see!

Anyway, I’ve not written properly in ages, so I’m sure you’re itching for some news on my packed celebrity life. However, this will be a whistle-stop tour, since I have to be up for a career’s appointment around 9, sorry!

OK, so I’ll start about 10 days ago I think…

Monday (11th) I just had Alpha according to my diary (I have no memory of my own now – I just ask my diary). I seem to remember it was a good week, with only one of my discussion group not there. We were talking about prayer and the usual how/why/when questions – we even prayed a bit, which was nice.

Tuesday was a busy day – I had a Connect Bible Study to finish for the following day, a meeting and a dinner to go to. It all worked out nicely in the end – I worked a bit in the morning, went to see Andre for (very late) lunch, then came home and slept for about 30 mins before going out to have a meal with the people we affectionately call “the American German Lutherans”… because they are from America and live above a German-speaking Lutheran church, as well as being from Luther School in Iowa…

Meeting with Andre was great – talked lots about what he’s thinking about to do with faith and religion at the moment – I think he is listening to what I say (which is scary) and taking some of it on board.

The meal was cool too – although eating at a table with about 15 Americans and just me was slightly daunting – I think I kept quite quiet, for a change.

Tuesday evening was small group with Navs, which went very well again! I love my job! Anyway, we talked a bit about the New Testament from God’s perspective and stuff (it’s not that fresh in my mind now). Had to leave early since I was getting up EEEEAAARLY on Wednesday.

Wednesday – my alarm went off at 4.45am!!! DID YOU EVEN KNOW THAT TIME EXISTED? Well, I do. But only as a bed time, not a getting up time! Oh well, that’s when I got up. Headed off to the airport with Jon-man about 5.30am (many thanks Jon-man). Arrived and checked-in and then tried to entertain myself in a half-zombified state, which was hard, but I survived. Plane was only a few minutes delayed setting off, and I was soon in Glasgow International Airport waiting for another guy (Simon) to land (well, his plane) to travel into Glasgow together – his was about 30 mins late, so I was being half-conscious on my own for a while.

Once Simon (who is one of the supervisors or Connect) arrived, we headed into Glasgow and met Kevin (who is a Connect worker in Glasgow) and went back to his flat briefly. Then we headed off to Glasgow Museum of Modern Art – how cultured am I?! We spent ages there, not because the art was great, but they had a nice coffee shop at the bottom and free magazines to read.

In the evening we did some Connect “stuff”, chatting about how the year is going. Everyone else seems more stressed out than me by their job, but isn’t necessarily doing more, just finding it more draining I think. I love my job!

The next day I overslept – only cos Kevin’s alarm was meant to wake me and didn’t! So he left me to sleep! Oh well, we made it there not to late to start going through the Bible Study, which most of us had done. It’s great to hear what everyone gets out of it, and talking about it helps me clarify what I think about it. Had a seminar in the afternoon on doing a review day… yes a whole day… all alone! So scary! But we’ll see.

Flew home that evening (flight delayed about 40 mins) and Debbie very kindly gave me a lift home (thanks Debbie!), had dinner and went to the pub… mmm The Grove is officially great.

So Friday… I thought this was going to be brief, oh well… in the morning I got up early (but not THAT early) to see Fred and Shiela Horrox for breakfast at Josh’s. They help run the student Navs stuff in the UK and like seeing people when they’re in town, so I got a couple of hours with them, just chatting about what I’m doing and letting them advise and listen.

Then it was off to Crossfire Plus at Bonsall in the Peak District. Got lost horribly in Derby whilst trying to find the station, although I was sure I knew where it was form last year. Found it eventually just as Nicola arrived for me to pick her up – sorted.

It was a top weekend – really nice to see Rachel and to get to spend some time talking to her without having to run off and organise the next thing (like it was at Crossfire), although there’s only so much you can talk about when you’re in a room full of people, but is was still lovely. Great to catch up with others too and committee meeting was encouraging too, if a little long. The disorganisation of the weekend went well, with most people contributing at some point with something funny or serious. Class weekend and not too tiring.

Back on Sunday in time to give a couple of the AGLs (American German Lutherans) a lift to church. Church was very good, and it was cool hanging around after because a load of people were there that I hadn’t seen for a bit.

Monday… we’re getting there… I met up with Nick Sharp, a guy who’s setting up an NFI (New Frontiers International) church in Nottingham, to talk about Navs, NFI and also predestination… boy did that get heavy! Anyway, I’m looking into that lots at the moment, so I might report back to you on my findings… but I may not.

Then it was Alpha again in the evening on “Does God guide us?”. Again more good discussion and felt like we were really getting into some deep issues, especially when John joined in and shared some experiences.

Tuesday… let’s go faster… met James Rankin in the morning to talk about Vinyard serring Fusion up and how links with Navs can be good. Evening was Navs small group again at Josh’s. Lots of people to pick up and also lots of people in my group! 11 people! So we decided to split into 2 groups so that everyone got a chance to talk. Talking about doubts, which was really constructive to see how they can be a good thing if they lead you to investigate more and look for answers. Denial is not a good way to deal with them we decided. We talked some specific doubts, but also in more general terms. I really enjoy my group, they’re lovely! I’ll say it again – I love my job!

OK, finally today! Had a meeting with Josh to see where I’m up to with Connect stuff, admin and all sorts. Was good, and have a few deadlines set now that will mean stuff gets done. So those of you signed up to get my newsletter, look out – it should be with you within a couple of weeks if all goes to plan!

Football this arvo was great – I like my new astro boots – they help me grip and not look so stoopid. Doesn’t really make me play better, but I think I’m getting marginally better as I play more. Had 10 there, which was good, but tiring cos we had no breaks. Also was cold and couldn’t feel the tips of my fingers when we finished!

And then this evening we went to see Bond.

Now it’s time for bed, up in 7 hours.

Hope you enjoy my mammoth entry!

Author: Alex

I am X3JA