Saturday, 29 December 2007

race of champions

Just before we left London Ant and I went to the Wembley Stadium for the Race of Champions. Wembley had been transformed with the pitch covered over in tarmac and a one kilometer race track constructed.

Motorsport drivers from all different disciplines were there racing against each other. I bought the tickets in the summer for Ant's birthday when I heard that the Formula One ace Michael Schumacher would be racing. He was brilliant, setting track record after track record, but he narrowly missed gaining the Champion of Champions crown.

We also watched stunt drivers and motorbikes. This stunt driver put his car into a doughnut spin, then climbed out the window while it was still spinning and stood on the bonnet while the car whipped round, to much applause. Then he ran over to his other car and put it into a spin around the still rotating original car. He finished by climbing out of the second car and returning to the first to drive it away in a puff of smoke.

When we came out it was night time. We queued with thousands of people to get back onto the tube. It was very well managed by horseback policemen and we made it home incident free.

thought of the day

"Science has radically changed the conditions of human life on Earth. It has expanded our knowledge and our power but not our capacity to use them with wisdom."

- J. William Fulbright

God, may we grow in wisdom this year as we seek to use our knowledge and power more responsibly. Teach us to love each other and our world.

Friday, 21 December 2007


The term is over. It's been the busiest term of my career and I am proud that it is also the first half term that I have gone without a sick day. This may be due in part to getting a flu jab in October, which I now intend to do yearly. I had so many reports and parents' evenings in the last month and a half that it hardly seems possible that there could be any left (although there are both on the first week back in January...).

We spent most of yesterday travelling. We ordered a cab to take us to Heathrow for our morning flight. When were just outside the airport, I checked the tickets to see which terminal we were heading for and discovered we were actually flying from Gatwick airport! The cabbie laughed and sped around the M25 for us. After a massive cab fare we managed to make our plane and even saw Matt and Bree at the gate before they headed home to Texas for Christmas.

Now we are in New Jersey visiting Ant's uncle and family for two nights. Ant has three adorable cousins, Sam, Jessica, and Emily. They are at school for half a day today and while they are out Ant is practicing on their Wii. I have tried the bowling and I made my Mii character. It is really quite fun. I approve of a video game that makes you move; kudos to Nintendo for a good idea. Ant has again displayed that he is an extremely fast learner; he has mastered bowling and tennis and is now learning to golf.

We fly to Halifax on Saturday and we're both so excited to see family and to be home relaxing.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

new year's resolution, early

Last weekend I picked up a couple of second hand books at the library book sale (so now you know how I spend my exciting weekends!). Last weekend also involved some searching questions about my career goals with Ant and Matt and Bree. One of Bree's career values tests revealed that I prize the ability to learn and gain knowledge above other job qualities.

As a result I've started having that resolutions feeling a month early. First on the list is turning away from the TV more and turning to books more. I have so many books that I really want to read at the moment and I know they will improve my mind and my life if I do. One of the books from the library book sale is Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey, subtitled How my Faith Survived the Church. I've read the first two chapters about two people who exemplified faith to Yancey when he was questioning: Martin Luther King Jr. and GK Chesterton. It's been fascinating so far and very inspiring. Also on the list of things to read is Conflict of Visions, a book I was lent recently about the two main ideological views behind politics. At school I've also started spending mroe time reading: at lunch, while I'm chomping on my sandwich. I'm working on a behaviour management book which has been very interesting so far. At bedtime I've turned back to Kenneth Boa's Face to Face prayer book. It's been good to examine my days each evening and talk to God about his grace and plans. As stated by another author who shaped my ideas, Bill Hybels, "an unexamined life is not worth living."

Maybe some of these new ideas will help me figure out what I am doing in my career. I feel more at ease with my mind more engaged and examining in my everyday life.

Sunday, 2 December 2007


Our pastor said something today I had not heard before about oil in the Bible. We were reading the parable of the virgins waiting for the bridegroom in Matthew 25:1-13. They are bridesmaids waiting to escort the groom to collect his bride. Their job is to light the way with their lamps and to dance with the couple as he takes his bride back to his house for a seven day celebration. Five of them don't bring along enough extra oil and so their lamps go out before he arrives. These foolish women miss the celebration because they're not well enough prepared. The other five bridesmaids bring extra oil and so they're ready when the groom arrives. They accompany the couple, dancing, into the wedding banquet. Jesus tells his disciples to be careful and watch because in the same way his second coming will be a surprise and we want to be well prepared.

Since it's the start of Advent, Pastor Hany was saying that we need to be expectant, prepared, and ready for a celebration when Christ comes again. And he said that oil in the Bible often symbolises the Holy Spirit. This is an idea I had not come across before. But he mentioned that when priests or kings were anointed with oil it was a symbol of the Holy Spirit coming on them. (For example, in 1 Samuel 16:13, "So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.") So the five bridesmaids who weren't prepared for the groom and his banquet can tell us that we must have enough of the Holy Spirit to live expectantly.

So, Lord, pour out your Spirit as you say (in Joel 2:28-29, "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.... on my servants, both men and women"). May I be expectant and prepared for you.