About Me

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Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Broadcaster, musician, song writer, tea drinker and curry lover.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My first U.S. Christmas

So my first Christmas in America turned out to be better than I could have possible imagined, and that's entirely down to the wonderful friends that God has blessed me with.

This morning I went to breakfast with Auntie Linda and her posse (Dan, Angie, their girls, Keri, Jesse and their family) and we hung out, watched some cool tv - including "A Christmas Story", and generally had a lovely Christmas morning.

I'm just back from seeing National Treasure 2 with another extended family; the Bowen's and the Holtz's and their inner circle. Great movie and great company.
I want to thank all the people who fall into the groupI've just mentioned for letting me into their families, and I also want to thank all those who have helped me feel at home these 8 months (to the day) I've been over here, including my Dove family.

Thank you all so much. I love you all, and God bless you.
Here's to 2008...!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


If there's one thing I've discovered over and over again that characterizes many people I know - some of them extremely well - it is that they are disappointed. They are living their life in a perpetual state of disappointment, with no end in sight.
It's mainly one of two things. Disappointment with the way their life pattern or career has turned out (or not turned out, as the case may be), or disappointment with themselves - perhaps the way they are, the way they look, or possibly with what they have done or failed to do.
If we were all honest we could probably point to at least one of these and identify closely with them, but how do we avoid dragging ourselves into a life in which the sense of "if only" is a dominating factor?
In the Bible, Jesus says that he has come that we may enjoy life to it's fullest extent (John 10 verse 10) and we have to somehow acknowledge that we will never live up to our own exacting expectations, let alone God's perfection, whilst still maintaining a positive outlook on life.
I may not know much, but I do know that disappointment sucks the life out of you until you are just a hollow shell, constantly looking back to the past and wondering what might have happened if....
Is that really the way you want to live?

Monday, December 17, 2007


After some time, I've just watched Shadowlands again. It's the true story of how CS Lewis met an American divorcee, married her for convenience, and then realized he loved her, only to see her die of cancer some months later.
It's such a sad and touching story, but so beautifully acted by Antony Hopkins and Debra Winger.
Having just been a part of a Narnia experience, the things of Lewis are being brought back to me, and I don't think that the timing is any coincidence, as I've been struggling with a whole raft of issues; things about me I want to change: doubts, fears even, but Lewis' writings provide a firm foundation to perfectly complement Biblical truths and revelations.
It has always amazed me how Lewis was able to articulate some of the true mysteries of God in ways I could totally relate to, and I guess I've realized that alongside what I read in the Bible each day, I need more of a conduit between me and that sort of profundity, and that's what Lewis provides.
No earth-shattering conclusions here, just a resolve. Another starting point perhaps. On the journey that leads...somewhere.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jacksonville Christmas Parade

The annual Christmas parade in Jacksonville is pretty much legendary, and this year the theme was A Victorian Christmas, so of course, I had to go!

It was a cold cold night, but 4 layers made sure I survived - plus they were giving out free apple cider, which never does any harm!!

The parade went all the way down the main street in J'ville, and included local choirs, dignitaries, organizations, school marching bands and other locally themed participants.

The whole thing was rounded off with Santa, who led the ceremonial tree lighting, but just before Santa came 2 of the more surreal parts of the parade. First a group of six victorian-dressed characters on segways - weird! - and then 8 llamas from the local farm. The Christmas llamas; who would have thunk it!

Switchfoot in Medford

They are one of the biggest bands around and yet they were in Medford last weekend, amazing though it may seem. Switchfoot were in town along with Reliant K and Northwestern band Ruth on the "Appetite For Construction" tour which is raising money for Habitat For Humanity. What's so cool about this tour though is that each show benefits the LOCAL Habitat organization, so Saturday's show's proceedings all went to the Rogue Valley Habitat.

Ruth are pretty much a young Switchfoot with perhaps more of an Americana edge to them. Reliant K were more poppy than I was expecting - but not in a bad way. Switchfoot played a mix of songs mainly from the last three records, and were quite awesome.

Habitat got a very good level of publicity from the stage in all three sets, and the kids had fun, so all in all, an excellent evening!