Yearly Archives: 2009

Winter is upon us – clothes shopping

well what can i say the clocks have gone back, its now dark when i leave work πŸ™

the gale force winds and lots of rain is back, the big warm coat is firmly attached to my body whenever i step foot outside, topping it all off i got another cold grrr.

next step will be snow, but i dont expect that until about may 2010 based on the previous 2 years experience in london. this sudden cold snap though has meant i have had to evauate my wardrobe somewhat, i need some more jumpers and a proper coat (i didnt have a new one until last week)

this meant i had to do the unthinkable… go clothes shopping! i have to admit as a guy i dont really find much joy in going clothes shopping, i find it too much of a faff to go round lots of shops just finding something thats the right shape, right colour, and at the right price, i like to be efficient and not pay a fortune at the same time.

so last week i find myself wandering down oxford street on my own, getting annoyed at all the tourists that insist on walking at 0.5 mph when all i want to do is get to a few shops take a quick look around and get what i need. i am pleased to say i am still alive, my bank balance is still just about in check, i managed to get a decent winter jacket at a reasonable price, 2 more jumpers and a new pair of trainers as i had worn holes into my old pair.

i think i need a pat on the back for braving oxford street on a busy day in the run up to christmas and coming out alive, this is no mean feat for a guy without the assistance of a female partner! so i am now nice and warm when i go to and from work/uni/anywhere else and i still look reasonably smart at work (it still surprises some!) next time i will take backup!




Google Wave – First Glance

well i finally got my wave invite, got in, found that for 100,000 first wave of invites there must be a lot of Anthony Somerset’s because i couldnt get a preferred username πŸ™

first looks. looks much like my mail client just a bit more shined up

bit underwhelming as no one is online at the moment, i should post a more full review in a few days/weeks




Worship and Praise, CU Style

Odd title IΒ know!

This totally caught me unawares last week while at my universities Christian Union (CU) meeting, I may have to go into a little background here so please bear with me πŸ™‚

At City University, we have a somewhat unique challenge that I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few other universities in London with the same challenge, that is that the student population is majority asian and international student (at least that is my personal view and assessment) and that Christians are in the distinct minority compared to Islam (again this is my personal opinion and I don’t know why this seems to be the case) so we have always struggled with getting reasonable numbers to attend.

Until this year (been at uni in some form or another for 3 years already – long story for another day!) attendance generally dropped off after the first week of term to a dedicated core of about 8 (often less) also I personally found worship and prayer to be a bit “lifeless” and lacking the presence of God almost bordering on the edge of mute sometimes. Now I want to be clear here I do not want to discredit the musicians that led us, their skill is amazing and God given and I can’t do it, at least not play an instrument anyway. I think the biggest challenge a CU faces is pleasing everyone as everyone will come from a slightly different denominational background from Non-Charismatic (such as most Anglican churches) to Charismatic (such as Pentecostal or Newfrontiers) – I think I need to dig out a reference to charismatic and non charismatic here and post it. Each different church background do things in different ways although there tends to be some cross over, from traditional old hymns to more modern contemporary christian music (CCM – and I hate that term), the challenge is striking the balance that meets everyones needs, allows everyone to connect with God on there own level, something which I have found to be a problem previously, not because the musicians we had couldn’t do it, but because our previous leadership had either:

  1. Been closed to seeing that everyones needs were met in this way
  2. The previous members were all generally from the same background
  3. That it had just been the way that it was done before them
Now I don’t know how long the CU at City has been going, but i know that this problem must go back more than 4 or 5 years, until this year this is! With attendance staying above average (currently averaging about 15-20) and, I don’t know whether this is a bad thing or a good thing or what but that we dont actually have a proper musician to currently play for us and the person that leads us is what I can only describe as a bit “radical” in a good christian way!
Because we don’t have a proper musician we have to rely on things like YouTube and CD’s which means that the more traditional stuff is not as readily available, most of the stuff freely and easily accessible tends to be more uplifting/upbeat/CCM in style, because we have a slightly “radical” person leading us in worship we get an “interesting” choice of song occasionally, this week it wasnt so much an interesting choice of song, it was a great song choice, just a totally different style to what I expected (I am a friend of God – but very very gospel’y)
This whole style and is seeming to be the key to worship for us as a CU, I don’t want to discount musicians here because I think we need someone more than ever, but it seems to me that more current songs and more alternative styles seem to meet people more and people are not afraid of trying a new style as long as it’s singable.
While singing the last song this week (I am a friend of God – the gospel version) I got totally hit by the fact that I was probably singing louder than anyone else, normally this happens and I very quickly “quieten down” in embarressment slightly, this week I didn’t at all, I just stuck with it totally unashamed (or normally cringing)Β that I was probably going flat on all the higher notes or just plain out of tune for the most part, I couldn’t hear properly so I didn’t care. It totally struck me again that worship is not about singing the perfect notes in perfect harmony with the music and others and not just belting it out, it’s about the heart and just going to God and giving it all to Him it’s about forgetting where you are and what your doing (within reason – sound engineers and words projection!) and saying to God,
“I am here Lord, meet with me and show me Your Glory.”

It doesn’t matter if your singing is embarrassingly bad, it’s about the heart and wanting to show God how much you adore Him, I am all for doing things with excellence but sometimes it takes little events like these to humble us that getting the sound mix pitch perfect and words displayed in perfect time is not the be all and end all of worship they are only accessories to worship that aid people to worship, for me I love to worship God by doing sound engineering well or other technical things well at church it’s my skill and my passion, where playing an instrument definaltely isn’t!
It totally summed it all up, when Jeff our speaker for the evening at CU started by saying,
“I have never felt the presence of God in a CU meeting like that”

In my heart I was crying out “YES YES YES” I have never personally felt the presence of God like that in a CU meeting before or any Student sort of meeting outside of my church circle before. I pray only that it’s not a one off, I pray that it grows. I pray that it only gets larger and pulls more people in, I pray that people walking along the corridor will hear and feel it and be challenged to enter the room, I pray that those who dont know Jesus will experience it will want more and feel convicted of their sin and want to know Him. I am expecting great things of God this year at uni!
Will you pray with me for these things?
P.S. Woohooo first non geek article in a while, I promise for an update soon! (honest!)



Forget being Dugg

as the title says forget being dugg by the site digg.com! its been noticed that traffic on digg.com’s front page is down, this would immediately suggest that the digg effect is no longer as bad as it once could be (taking sites offline just because it hit the front page of digg.com)

i want to suggest the new alternative to being dugg… being twugg πŸ™‚

i say this as a new website i am administrating the backend for went live a few days ago on the 1st October, in the 1st 4 days of this month, we experienced average site traffic, nothing special but still reasonable considering the old site was 10 years old before the redevelop. it was tweeted by 1 person this afternoon that happens to be followed by a fair number of the twitter community, within 5 hours we had consumed the same amount of bandwidth alone as we had consumed since launch date 5 days ago. now by all comparisons this is nowhere near the digg effect, however, what would happen if 100+ people were tweeting your website address for some reason? knowing how much the current site slowed down with that amount of traffic after one tweet means i have my work cut out to tune stuff to make sure we dont go offline if we were to experience such extreme traffic.

so lets get twigging πŸ˜€

in other news this blog is technically 2 years old today, although my first actual post wasnt until the end of the month due to other technical issues and i haven’t really regularly blogged until august this year πŸ™‚




now hosted on VPS.net

WOOHOOO

this site is now hosted on my nodes at VPS.net, personally i noticed a big speed improvement, hopefully using Aegir Drupal Hosting software helps make my drupal site management easier and more pain free along with getting more resources available to do more here πŸ™‚

i hope the readership (i think its just me!) enjoys the improvement, hopefully this means real content will start adorning these pages soon, need to talk about my studies at some point!

if you are thinking of getting VPS.net, i can wholeheartedly recommend it, in fact if you do decide to get it, help a student out by using my referral link:

http://www.vps.net/?r=lUOA