Christianity

Camping in the slow lane

The girls' team winning the tug of warThere's something about young people that fills me with optimism.  Perhaps it's their all-encompassing world view.  Maybe it's their insatiable love for life.  Or possibly even just because I remember being a young person myself and how crucial it was in my development.  Whatever the reason, I've discovered I all to easily agree to help kids in all sorts of ways, keen to teach them something new, point them in the right direction, prod them into thinking about things in a new way, and then shove them off a cliff to see how far they fly.I guess it's partly with that in mind that I and my wife are leaders each year on a Christian youth camp.  I say 'partly' because the other half of the reason I go is that Ellie asked me to, and since we were engaged at the time (the first year we went) I felt I ought to say yes.  Since that first year we've both made ourselves quite indispensible, doing lots of stuff, leading lots of things, running hither and thither to help out wherever we can.This year was slightly different for both of us, for different reasons.  The main difference for me, as you may have read, is that I've had a hernia.  I was under doctor's orders not to lift anything heavier than a kettle, and not to do too much walking around either.  Ellie's time was also eaten into by the attention of our baby Samuel, who had his first experience of exuberant teenagers this year.  Camp this year was tough on all of us - physically and mentally.(more…)

By Matthew, ago
Christianity

Rooted – In the beginning

On sale now - only £5!! Rooted is a band I set up at Orchard Baptist Church a couple of years ago, mostly playing completely original songs written by members of the band.  After almost a year and a half in the making, our debut album is now finished and available for you to buy.  At the moment there are limited copies available, so get your bookings in now to ensure you don't miss out!In the beginning features 7 songs, including one bonus track at the end, and covers a range of musical styles, from rock to reflective, with the aim of stimulating worship in a variety of ways.  From the loud and rocky "Father God you reign" to the softer "I draw near" featuring a cello trio, there is something for everyone in this concise album of original Christian music.(more…)

By Matthew, ago
Christianity

A week with 50 kids, an electric guitar and a great big God

Where to start... there's just so much to say, and squeezing it all into one post is going to be a challenge and a half!  Let's see, how about we start with an introduction...

Introduction

This year Ellie and I were both leaders on a Christian youth camp (a CYFA Ventures camp) for 14-18 year olds, at a boarding school near Southampton called Stanbridge Earls.  We've both been before, but this was the first time we'd been as a married couple, so that was a nice novelty!Our week was actually started off a few days earlier than everyone else, as we went to Southampton University for my brother's graduation.  It was lovely to see him, and all our family, and generally hang out in Soton for a bit.  Photos will be up on a gallery somewhere in due course I expect.  Ellie and I then stayed a couple of nights at a guest house in Soton, visiting the New Forest on the Friday before going off to camp on the Saturday morning.

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By Matthew, ago