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Showing posts from July, 2010

Saturday Night with the Bay City Rollators

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Yesterday I may have been looking forward to Sunday, but today it's Saturday... And in honour of that here's a video that I posted on fb last month... I and many others nearly died laughing at it. So its certainly worth another look. This was Saturday night TV in the UK before Simon Cowell and his ilk got the hold of it... But where they got this audience from I do not know... Perhaps they kidnapped some Church Senior's Group and dosed them with hallucinogenic drugs before wheeling the Bay City Rollers on stage. This is rock and roll at its best... Ear trumpets, knitting needles and woolie bunnets!


BAY CITY ROLLERS & ANN MARGERET SATURDAY NIGHT @ Yahoo! Video


Cheers

Sunday's Coming

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In the words of Tony Campolo, "It's Friday but Sunday's coming!" Here's a trailer of what might be on offer at a church near you... It's another of the videos I've previously posted on fb, this one, thanks to Jools... Tho' Alan in Belfast also posted it last month...

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.



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Embrace Life

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For all those who will be doing a wee bit more driving over the holiday period, here's a road safety ad that doesn't use shock horror tactics but get's the message over better than any other I have ever seen. Perhaps it also has something to us who want to communicate the Gospel...




Shalom

Teenage Dirtbag

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Following Friday's highly cultured post, here (for all those who missed it when I previously posted it on fb) is another "orchestral" offering...




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A More Cultured Offering...

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After yesterday's video, which appealled to my baser instincts (ie. laughing at people hurting themselves) here is a slightly more cultured (and longer) offering...




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The Lord's Prayer

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This week the lectionary looks at Luke's version of what we know as the Lord's Prayer, in Luke 11 v 2-4. It is shorter than the Matthean account and has lost some of the characteristic devices of Hebrew poetry that are in the longer version. There have been many theories expressed as to the differences between Luke and Matthew's accounts. Some suggest that Jesus actually taught it in 2 forms, and that it might be a sign that Jesus, as was the case with many of his contemporaries, was bilingual in Aramaic and Greek (or trilingual if you include the formal Hebrew of the synagogue and scriptures). However, personally I tend to the belief that this was the first record that we have of Luke translating not only words but ideas and poetic forms across linguistic and cultural boundaries.
I'm becoming increasingly aware that this once ubiquitous piece of Christian tradition is no-longer so well known in wider society. It is frequently mumbled in funerals and weddings, where onc…

For all My Friends and Felinophiles out There...

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Going to be offline for a bit... So to keep all my faithful readers (all 3 of you) entertained in my absence, I've scheduled a few posts in advance... Some are bits and pieces linked to the lectionary readings for the next few weeks, some are videos that I've previously shared on fb but are worth another look... if only to put a smile on your face... Starting with this one. Last week I posted a couple of videos for dog lovers, of which I am not one... This one however, is for all you cat lovers out there. I'm currently thinking of jacking in my membership of that club as well, for reasons I will not bore you with here, and if I had this cat to deal with I definitely would...




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A Tale of Two Cities...

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"It was the best of times it was the worst of times…" Those words could be a description of Rory McIlroy's first who days at the British Open in St. Andrews, but as every English literature student and trivia buff knows they are the opening words from Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” and are also a good description of Northern Ireland's two cities this past week (OK I know that Armagh, Lisburn and Newry are theoretically cities too... but the first of them is an ecclesiastical anomaly and the other two are best ignored).
As I said earlier in the week, Northern Ireland is back in the headlines again, but while I've looked at the bad news from Belfast, I should also offer my tuppence worth on the good news from Derry/Londonderry.
And for once the double-barrelled appellation isn't an embarrassment, as it was under this awkward moniker that they were told on Thursday that they had been designated the UK City of Culture for 2013, after a great campaign including thi…

The Big Society Gets Squeezed

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Just read this report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in England, which I presume is the same one reported on the BBC, telling of significant pessimism in the charitable sector in the face of public sector spending cuts. For once we in Northern Ireland are ahead of our friends on the other island as that pessimism has been pervading the community and voluntary sector here in Northern Ireland for some time... And perhaps for more reasons...
The squeeze that is hitting English charities will hit us too as the assembly departments and local councils need to find ways of cutting their budgets... and since the recent RPA debacle has shown the reluctance of public sector turkeys to vote for Christmas there is no doubt that in order to retain staff and resources for themselves, they will reduce funding to outside bodies... Even though the community and voluntary sector adds a huge amount of value to any investment (the "voluntary" element obviously allows the dep…

Atomic Retrievers

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A few days ago I published a piece of silliness involving a golden retriever eating a carry-out... But I have since come across a much more mature piece of film-making involving said breed of dogs... Pets Teach Science, in this case sub-atomic physics... It started out as a Christmas Edition project for an editor on New Scientist into how to make and distribute a viral video... He did a good job I think judging fromthe number of hits... It should be said however that if we were being strictly accurate with the scale in this movie, the electrons should be chihuahuas and be circling the nucleus at least a mile away... But that would make the whole thing a little difficult to film. But with that little piece of pedantry out of the way, enjoy and be educated...




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It's (Not so) Good to be Back...

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Well we're back in the headlines again... Three nights of rioting and Belfast is up there vying with Spanish world cup celebrations for top story...
This is uniformly regarded across the media as "not a good thing" (especially when a policewoman is left fighting for her life) and many have been commenting on the cost to the Northern Irish economy. Not only the cost of policing (on top of cleaning up bonfires) but also through the damage done to Northern Ireland's international image which will undoubtedly impact on tourism (terrorism tours are a monority interest), and inward investment.
However, do you really think that those out rioting give a damn about the economic impact on Northern Ireland? A number of years ago whilst driving to observe the contentious Whiterock Parade on the Springfield Road, Reg Empey came on the radio to appeal to both communities in the Springfield/Woodvale/Ardoyne areas to keep calm for the sake of our shared economic future. But most of t…

Wasabi and Ginger

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Two years ago today I was involved with one of the most bizarre services of worship in my entire ministry. I've disparagingly called it the Dr. Doolittle Service, but it was actually a service of blessing for pets in Faith United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan where I was serving on exchange for a summer. It was actually the first time they had ever run such a service (I was very grateful to my exchange partner for letting me be the guinea pig... to use an inappropriate metaphor), but it went so well they decided to have another one last year. Don't know whether it is happening this year or not. It's certainly not going to be happening in Dundonald Methodist any time soon. Given that I am absolutely terrified of dogs, I'm not too sure who was more traumatised by the event, me or the single cat surrounded by over a dozen dogs of all shapes and sizes. Certainly afterwards I had to go and lie down in a darkened room for a while. But the whole event reminded me a…

LOL

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It was a late night last night due to my usual 11th night bonfire perambulations... and that, on top of a hectic week meant that I didn't rush out of bed to go and watch any of the Orange Parades. I would usually take some international volunteers to see one, which usually leaves my head spinning with a combination of flutes, drums and incessant questions, but this year I was spared all that, as someone else said they would take them. I did, however, have to deal with one Orange parade related question.

I flicked on the BBC coverage of the Belfast parade, with its surreal commentary comparing it to various world-famous carnivals like Rio's Mardi Gras, or Notting Hill, without the slightest trace of irony. Whilst watching it, my eldest son emerged from his mini-aestivation and asked why all the Orangemen on parade had LOL on their collarettes and banners? He would, of course only use LOL in its text-speak sense of "Laugh out loud", a usage that I stubbornly refuse to a…

Flaming Zigguarats!

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In response to my post about bonfires last year, my colleague Nick McKnight made the comment that bonfires always reminded him of the Tower of Babel... There's something to be said in that, both in form and symbol... They are one of the clearest markers of community division in Northern Ireland... Not only between Protestant and Catholic, but also between "working class" and middle class Protestants... Indeed my son asked me only last week why we didn't have a bonfire in the area where we live, while there are many in the estate where I work? This year, the chaotic state of the bonfire site closest to our church is also symbolic of the chaotic state of the loyalist community... Over the past few years it has been well marshalled and organised... This year the debris has been scattered across the local green for months, with people from far and wide, many of whom will never go near a bonfire on the 11th night, dumping all kinds of rubbish... much of which would poison …

The Only Good Samaritan...

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This Sunday those who follow the lectionary will travel down that well worn road from Jerusalem to Jericho in the company of the so-called "Good Samaritan". What follows is a short excerpt from a longer show entitled "I Witness" which I wrote a number of years ago for New Irish Arts. It looks at this all too familiar story through the eyes of Simon, the Samaritan who had suffered from leprosy before Jesus healed him and nine others, and Jacob, a Pharisee.

Simon: Jesus healed me of leprosy… But he didn’t heal me easily of my prejudices… I was still suspicious of Jews… Just as Jews are of us…
Jacob: I have nothing against Samaritans… as individuals… But they are heretics… sadly misguided…
Simon: Even his disciples didn’t like us much… Apparently on one occasion, some of my countrymen weren’t very hospitable to them on the way to Jerusalem, and they were all for calling down fire from heaven to wipe the offending village off the map… I never heard they so keen to wipe ou…