You gotta be a football hero (1935)

Monday, June 14, 2004

This is my first post in a while. I've been busy for the past couple of weeks so haven't had much time to write.

This week has been a mixture of boring, exciting, interesting and scary! Hmm...lots of different emotions there!

Lets start at the start of the week.
Richard left last weekend, but it was really good having him here, as I've said before.
On Monday we started our house clean up (Camp ended last Friday). Kevin, Greta and I cleaned the whole house and by 4:30pm we wanted to curl up and die! I thought it was bad enough doing the cleaning when there was 15 of us - but 3 of us is just mad and stupid! We had to pick the jobs we wanted to do, and I must've picked the easiest ones - 'clean mirror'...haha! I cleaned the bathroom and it was broken down nicely for me! But because I was then finished about 5 hours before the others, I had to help out!
Kevin left on Tuesday, which was sad because it meant that when Greta left on Wednesday (on holiday for a week), that I would be by myself!!
During the day the Urban Promise staff were here, so I wasn't alone then. I was given the task of cleaning out the supply room in the basement. This room was a complete state. It had boxes and books all over the floor and the table in the middle. The stuff on some of the shelves was relatively organised, but nothing else was! So I started cleaning out the drawers, and sorting things out into neat little piles in there. Everything was going well until I opened the tissue paper drawer and took out all the big pieces. Suddenly an enormous spider, with 10,000 legs, big goggly eyes, fangs and fur ran out at me! I jumped a mile...slammed the drawer shut...and walked away slowly! Ok so it wasn't quite that big, but I was still scared!!
I hate spiders so I refused to be down there by myself! I needed someone to take the stuff off the shelves for me and go through it before I would touch it! This meant that between Tuesday and Friday, I didn't spend too much time in there!
On Wednesday, Jeff and I went shopping for curtains and boring household things like that! It was nice to get out of the house though, and Jeff bought me a latte which made up for everything! We went to IKEA, which was very exciting! I could actually point at things and say "I have that!" or "My brothers got that in his flat in London!" I love IKEA! and it made me think of Emily and Ian who get married tomorrow! I wish I could've gone! I can't wait to see the photos!
Wednesday night was my first night by myself. Jeff was round in the evening with his daughter, Kiara, putting up the curtains in the living room. When he left, I had to be very brave and look after myself! This is a big house, so I was scared...but I got through the night!
On Thursday, again, I didn't venture into the basement much! I spent most of the day looking after Kiara! She spent most of the day screaming after her dad! I took her out for a couple of walks (in the rain!) and she was ok then..but when I got her back to the house, she'd start screaming again!!
Thursday night I went to Convergence, the young adults meeting at Broadway church. Every other week they have a worship and prayer night, and its more spontaneous. This week they opened up the mic to people who had things they wanted to say or things they wanted to pray about. For most of the evening I really felt like God was prompting me to say something, but as soon as I plucked up the courage to say it, someone would beat me to the mic and then we'd sing another song! Finally, at the end, There was a space where they were asking if anyone else had anything to say. I really felt that this was my cue...so I stood up and walked to the front. I was very nervous. I said that I really felt like I should encourage everybody there. I have been going to 8 weeks, and I have another 6 and I've been made to feel very welcome. I've learned a lot from them that I know I can take away with me, and I hope to continue learning more. I felt that God wanted to bless them in different ways, like in numbers, financially, and in their own individual lives. They need to open their doors, then open their mouths and continue to make people feel welcome and God will really bless them for it, as they continue to grow in number. I then prayed for them, thanking God for them and their willingness to follow him, and the way they just worshipped together...then I sat down - shaking!!! Scary!
It was really good though because at the end a couple of people came to me and thanked me for that, saying they had been praying into those things, like financial stuff, growth in numbers, and blessings on people individually, so what I said actually had some meaning to them.
Isn't it great when you know you've said something that means so much to somebody else. It was good to just encourage them.

On Friday, I finally managed to get into the basement, and in less than 2 hours, Jeff and I had the whole room tidy and organised! It looks so much better - if people mess it up, they will know the wrath of me!!!! I also stamped the address of Urban Promise onto 1700 envelopes, and then sorted loads of tshirts into size/colour, and then into piles for each person working in the summer. It was quite a busy day altogether, but good to get some things done and out the way!
On Friday night I went to see an American preacher called John MacArthur. I hope I never have to see him preach again! I really didn't like him!!
He spoke about how people water down the gospel so it loses its meaning. He said we shouldn't culturalise it, but just say it how it is - that people are going to hell. He said this would make them so desperate that they would turn to God.
For starters - Jesus culturalised the gospel! I'm guessing this preacher has never read the parables.
Secondly, I don't agree with scaring people into becomming Christians. "You're going to Hell! Repent!" Wheres the love in that?
He also named the purpose driven life as a book he didn't like, because it says "say this prayer and you'll have salvation". Something tells me he only read the last page. The whole book is about finding your purpose for being here, which all comes back to salvation. You cannot just say that prayer from that book without responding to the whole book and what it says! It made me angry that he actually named the book infront of 1100 people.
Then he said we shouldn't make salvation look easy, but we should tell people that its hard. If you were given a maths task and someone said it was hard, would you want to do it?!
I could write pages about everything I disagreed with, but I won't!!!
At the very end a man stood up and said "John is such a great, humble man!" I didn't see any evidence of humility, especially as he was currently outside getting ready to do a book signing!!! Maybe I'm being a big judgemental, but he left a bad impression in my mind!!!
Anyway, enough of him...I then went home and a few people from Broadway came round. We got some food and talked for a while. I went to bed that night, and for some reason, it was the first night when I actually felt really scared about being on my own. I kept thinking I could hear things and thinking that someone was in my bedroom. I prayed outloud for a good nights sleep, and protection! I had both!
Saturday was quite a boring day. I went to Metrotown (shopping centre) to take back 2 tshirts and got something for my dad for fathers day that I could send in the post. I wondered round for a bit, then came back to a big empty house! I had a message on the phone though, from Sam, an intern I was with 2 years ago. So we met up that night, got some food and some coffee. Then she decided to stay over...so we rented a film (mona lisa smile), talked for a while and went to bed! That was nice because I didn't fancy spending that night by myself.
Sunday morning was terrible...I couldn't watch the England Vs France game because it was on channel 30, and we only have up to 29!! So I didn't go to church, and listened to it on Five live, via the internet.
At half time, I rang Phil because I knew everybody was round at his house...so I spoke to phil, rach H, rach W, anna, leo, sharon, JB...It was really nice to hear them and talk to them!! It was also nice because at the time, england were winning!!
Injury time came and went...and some I was devestated. How could they have let in a goal and given away a penalty. I wanted to cry - but its not over yet! COME ON ENGLAND!!!
I went to church last night..came home, hoovered and clean up in the kitchen, watched some tv, did some work on the project thing I'm doing for my internship - and went to bed! I sat up for ages reading (I'm reading Harry Potter again!!), then went to sleep. It was a good night, I wasn't too scared!
That was my last night alone. Tonight, Phil and Rach H arrive! I'm so excited! Rachael didn't know until Saturday and apparently she thought Phil was going to turn round and say "Only joking we're going to Bognor Regis really!" Hopefully she believes him now though, because they're on the plane as we speak!!

I have just 1 more thing to say - HOW CAN JIMMY LEAVE WALSALL?!
I heard he just took his testimonial money and left though...so Justine's not too pleased with him! We better have an even better replacement! From New Zealand isn't he?! Or did I read that wrong in Justine's email?!


Is football coming home this year? Answers on a postcard please. I think not, but that doesn't mean I'm not wishing!!!
C'MON ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

graced by Gemma @ 9:28 pm | |

Ski Lift to Death (1973)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I can't believe I have been here for over 6 weeks now. Its going so quickly, but at the same time I still miss home. I got to see a little bit more of British Columbia over the past couple of days, and there is no way I can describe how amazing this place is so that you can even come close to understanding!
Richard has been here for a week now, and its been really good having somebody here who is actually on holiday rather than just living here but wandering around every so often! This meant I was able to see Vancouver more from a sightseeing point of view and its such a beautiful city.
Unfortunately, however, I only get to spend morning and evenings with him as I still have to go to camp. In the mornings we've wondered around downtown, drank coffee, and looked in shops-different places in Vancouver I rarely get the chance to go to. Our evenings have mainly been spent going out to eat and drink and/or the cinema! We saw 'Troy' last week. I thought it was good, but Richard didn't really like it. I'm not totally familiar with the full story though so I don't know if the film was very accurate. I just liked it because of Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom!
This weekend was good. We went to Whistler, or as Justine called it - Swizzle! Whistler is not a lollypop! Its apparently the best ski resort in North America and probably the world. Before you slip into a state of confusion and shock - no I didn't go skiing! They have slopes open almost all year round and we saw a lot of people with snowboards, etc.
We rented a car and Richard drove (believe it or not - we didn't crash!!!). The view was amazing. It was a coastal road along the mountains. There was a lot of viewing points so we stopped to take some photos. Pray that turn out ok!
We decided to stop for coffee along the way at a cafe in a place called 'Lions Bay'. Richard, however, started to panic because of the steepness of a hill and the car came to a sudden halt as we were on it! The car, of course, was an automatic so there was no clutch to hold the car on a hill so Rich was panicking about putting his foot back on the accelerator! We were just praying nothing came down the hill! We finally got to the cafe safely (without the car flipping over as Richard was so convinced it would!) only to be annoyed by a man in a turban who kept lifting wood up on a big machine thing and dangling it over our heads!
So we kept driving along this amazing road to Shannon Falls. This is a big waterfall coming down the side of a mountain. You can walk right up to it, so we did and took some photos there too.
Our next stop to 'Swizzle' was in a town called Squamish. We were amused because there was a sign for the 'city centre' but the whole town was as big as Bloxwich High street! The most exciting thing was Starbucks and theres one of these on every corner of Vancouver! The backdrop to this town was amazing though.
Eventually we made it to Whistler and found the hostel we were staying in, although we couldn't book in till later. So we drove into Whistler village and looked around the shops there. We went to 'Roots' who make the olympic gear for Canada, USA, Great Britain and someone else! I saw an amazing official GB top and I really want it....so if somebody wants to contribute 45 pounds - I will be your best friend!!!
We managed to find enough to do before we could book into the hostel. So we took our things upstairs, watched The Simpsons, then caught the bus back to Whistler Village where we went to the cinema (again).
I really didn't want to see this film, especially for $12.50! But I went because Richard wanted to - and I have to say it was possibly the most ridiculous, yet funny film ever! We saw 'The Day after Tomorrow'. Its about an ice shelf breaking away in Antarctica and melting into the water so the distribution of water and salt was unequal, causing major changes in the earths climate!!! This meant the start of a new ice age...the changes began with LA being destroyed by multiple tornadoes, snow in India, and huge hail stones that kill people in Tokyo! Finally, huge snowstorms moved south across Siberia, Europe, and North America. Yet again New York City was destroyed, and one man trekked across NYC on foot to save his son, even though it was him who had warned people that if there were outside when the eye of the storm hit - they would instantly freeze to death! Then if this couldn't be any more ridiculous - they threw in some man eating wolves that escaped from New York Zoo! If you get the chance to see this film - go! or don't! It really won't affect your life either way! Good for a laugh though!
So we left the cinema, convinced that it was the end of the world because it was still raining (after 3 or 4 days since it first started!)!!! We went to the Spaghetti Factory to eat, got a drink...then went back to the hostel to bed!
Sunday was quite a good day as we did a lot of driving. We went back into Whistler Village, but only for breakfast as it was STILL raining so we didn't go on the gondola to the top of the mountain because we wouldn't have been able to see anything! So we left and carried on driving North to the next Town. We stopped at Nairn Falls on the way, another amazing natural waterfall. We had to walk 1.5km to get there, which turned out to be quite a nice walk! We were constantly on the look out for Big Black Bears and Boa Constrictors though, because a sign told us to! I was gutted that I didn't get to see a bear though - even though I don't fancy having my eyes ripped out!
We continued into Pemberton, the next town, which was an amazing drive again! This time we had left the Coast and were driving right through the mountains...most of which still had snow on the top. We arrived in Pemberton and were soon beginning to realise that the only point of this journey was the scenery! This town was like a town from a western film and I expected John Wayne to ask me to attend the local dance! Because if I was there at the time, he would've asked - you know its true!
I was very suprised that there was no starbucks in Pemberton, but there was a McDonalds that almost made up for it! We stayed just long enough to eat a Big Mac, then we left and began the journey back to Vancouver, stopping again in Squamish for coffee.
The most amusing part of the journey home was when we actually arrived in Downtown Vancouver and were trying to find our way to the house. Richard refused to turn left at crossroads, so we kept having to go the wrong way and turn round, then come back. It was also confusing because sometimes they have flashing red or green lights. Don't ask me what this means, but when it was flashing red EVERYBODY was moving from all four directions!!! Man!
So this was our thrilling weekend! It was good...I love driving in the mountains here - they're so amazing!
The other thing from the weekend that I'd like to mention is last night, we were standing outside looking at the stars and suddenly Greta slapped me on the forehead! Her excuse was that there was a mosquito on my head! I did then find one on my arm, but I don't believe it was the same one!!! I think she pretended just to slap me! I told her to be careful because one day she will receive a mozzie slap!
Last Thursday night was also quite exciting.
I was lying in bed reading Treasure Island (I finished all 7 Narnia books now!), and suddenly I heard voices. I thought it was people downstairs, but then realised it was coming from the alley at the back of our house. I looked out the window and saw a man standing there but could hear a womans voice. She was hysterical, screaming and crying and shouting "GET OFF ME! LEAVE ME ALONE!" I honestly thought she was being raped or something. I didn't know what to do. Then she shouted "YOU NEVER HIT A WOMAN AND YOU HIT ME 6 TIMES! GET AWAY FROM ME!" She was hysterical. At this point, he decided he wanted to go home but she refused to go with him, so he dragged her along the floor, and she screamed louder and louder. Eventually he lashed out and I don't know if he actually hit her then but she suddenly went silent. At this point I went downstairs and Greta had been woken up by them. So she rang the police and reported a domestic dispute. Within a few minutes 2 police cars, a police van and an ambulance had arrived and immediately put the handcuffs on the man. They spent 30-40 minutes talking to him and doing paperwork, while the girl was in the ambulance. She then came out and got in the police car, and they put him into a police van, and they drove off. I finally got to sleep about 4am! That was the first thing this has happened that I've witnessed! We don't have this episodes every night - don't worry!

Camp is going well. There are just 4 days left before the end of camp, then theres a break, then the summer camp begins on 5th July. Most of the kids are ok, and the girl who was causing me trouble had been ok with me until today when she decided not to listen to me again and wouldn't do as I asked! Thankfully theres not much time for her to be horrible again now, especially as I have tomorrow off too! 2 of the schools we get kids from have a day off, so theres only going to be around 5 or 6 kids at camp. Jeff gave me the day off and Richard and I are going to Grouse Mountain. I hope its a clear day so that we can see a lot of the city from there and take some good pictures. You go to the top on a cable car, and theres a restaurant and theatre and pub at the top, etc.

The main prayer request is that I have a lot to do over the next 3 weeks or so, between camp programmes. There will be about a 5 day period where I will be alone in the house, and I am really scared about spending nights here. My mom has suggested staying in the hostel for this time, as I can then also get some discount prices for day trips. We'll see though! I haven't decided yet. I get terrified in this house by myself, especially at night!!!

Kaja and Adam leave tomorrow, and kevin leaves next week. The house is getting very quiet!!!

Please keep emailing me regularly!!!

graced by Gemma @ 7:01 am | |