Here we go…

Well, I’m off to Belfast to get a couple of things before I go and meet Becky this evening at the airport and we start trying to save the relationship. It’ll include the last bits of her Christmas present 🙂

Before I start talking hopes and fears, I’ll tell you what happened over Christmas…

Last Friday at work, we had done our Secret Santa present giving – I got a new bell for my bike, a puncture repair kit and a book about cycling the Tour De France route. Looks interesting 🙂

Having sung tenor to help out in Ballyholme for their Carol Service on the 18th (the only other one was my mum, and I know more tenor lines than she does!) I helped out again on Christmas Eve by singing bass (far easier on the old voice!) at the Christmas Eve Midnight Communion. Because Ian Bell is away in America (first time away over Christmas in 19 years) he asked me to play piano the next morning for the 10am family service.

After the midnight service, I opened my present from Becky. It was a rucksack containing Wallace & Gromit shower gel and a radio-controlled van (woohoo!). It was good 🙂

We open our Christmas stockings in the morning, but our real presents come after lunch at Grandma’s. My main present was a PalmOne Tungsten E2 palmtop, which I am getting my head round… it’s now synchronised with my phone through my computer, and I can use the internet through it. Does anyone know of a free IM program for PalmOS? Other presents included chocolate and a mini telescope.

That’s pretty much been it, and I’ve spent the past few days doing as little as possible. Because my palmtop was ex-demonstration, the stylus had got lost, so my parents got three yesterday – one spare for my dad (who has the older model E I think) and two for me.

So tonight Becky touches down at the City Airport at 8.10pm. I have her itinerary here in front of me… Once she’s through baggage reclaim, we’re heading off to the pub (presumably the Point in Ballyhackamore, she didn’t say) to chat and then head round to decentbloke‘s house where she’s staying until Monday. Tomorrow will be a day for chatting in a coffee shop somewhere, Friday afternoon we’re going to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, perhaps with Grandma, Friday evening is a games night with decentbloke, Saturday afternoon we’re stopping by in Bangor to get music off each other (it’s an album I used to have, honest!), Saturday night is new year’s party at Peter and Kate’s, Sunday is church then lunch with decentbloke and maybe others, and Monday morning Becky’s off on a ridiculously early flight – but I intend to see her off anyway.

I may look in on Saturday afternoon, but otherwise I’ll see you sometime after clay pigeon shooting on Monday (annual trip to Phil Maxwell’s field. Always great craic, even though I managed to gain a wee scar on my nose two years ago… did I ever post about that here? If not, I’ll post it next week)

Keep praying for me and Becky. God’s got to be involved in our decisions, and particularly we need to make the right decision for God. I know what I want it to be, I know what Becky wants it to be, but we need to follow what God wants, and if it’s for us to be together, we have things to work on and, as I said the other day, things that either need to be fixed or Becky needs to learn to live with. And doubtless, although I don’t know what they are yet, there’ll be things about Becky that either need to be fixed or I need to learn to live with.

I definitely don’t want to lose her. Noone has ever loved me the way she does.

A year in the life of an AndyB… my 2005 prayer letter

Ok, I’ve joined the bandwagon and started doing roundrobin letters. Thankfully (you might say, although others might disagree) there’s only me to talk about, so I’ll stick in the first person.

2005 has been an interesting year, to say the least. I’m going to pick up on a couple of highlights…

January was a surprisingly busy month. I spent the early part planning the logistics for an evening the Church of the Resurrection planned with Adrian and Bridget Plass in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church. Armed with the friends who make up the XtremeEvents team, we arranged tickets, posters (courtesy of Ruth Strong), a bookstall, sound, and I also did a bit of photography. This was before I learnt that you get best results without a flash… Anyway, pictures are on the website ( Such as they are.

January also saw me join the team for Lifespring, a weekly event in Lurgan Town Hall with which I remained involved until July. Each week it featured one or two Christian bands and a speaker with an evangelistic message or testimony – my turn to give my testimony finally came in July at my last Lifespring. Inbetween times, I designed and ran their website, designing the above (very basic) logo. A competition was run to replace it. Sadly, they did not survive October, and Claire Preston and Caroline Sloan are now waiting for God to steer them to wherever’s next.

In March, we converted into a Limited Company, but not without problems. Having arranged to incorporate it via a reputable company, we discovered problems with the legal documentation that would have left the company unadministerable – so my money was refunded and the issues sorted out. Something to do with being responsible to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, which has a very specific meaning in Northern Ireland, even if neither person currently exists. The company has largely lain dormant since, possibly to the relief of those involved, as Ruth Strong, Sarah Reid, Dave Lowry, Jemz Kirkpatrick, Rob Elkin and Mark Railton have all had a very busy year, but I will be looking at advertising and getting our name out there in the New Year. I hope. If your church or Christian group needs help to run something… that’s what we’re there for. Plug over.

A very memorable day was the Global Day of Prayer in May up at Stormont, after which I infamously wrote to the Belfast Telegraph quoting the Bible to the Evangelical Protestant Society, who had decided that Roman Catholics going to an event would stop the Holy Spirit from turning up. It’s somewhere in my writing livejournal at My main blog is also at livejournal –

Other highlights during the year included my twelfth Summer Madness, something few have been inclined to attempt as staff (still, hardly unknown!). In the New Year, I plan to redesign my website ( and put some photographs from Summer Madness up … I also recorded seminars (including Darrell Scott) and pressed buttons to show movies this year.

My life suddenly lit up in May when I met Becky Squibb for the first time. Becky, who is 26 and a teacher from Woking, Surrey and I had chatted online for a few weeks, and she came over to visit at the end of May. We hit it off, thankfully, and we’ve been exchanging monthly visits ever since, except July.

Things have been quite up and down at times – indeed, at the moment we are kind of in limbo. Becky is flying over again on Wednesday, and while we are both looking forward to it, we have issues to tackle that will either make or break the relationship. Please pray for us, as while we love each other very much, love might not be enough if we can’t live with each other (particularly if we can’t tackle some of my oddities, most of which I can deal with with a bit of thought), and certainly we want to follow God’s will for our lives.

The autumn looked like being quieter, until I heard about the plans for the Belfast Boiler Room (see – we’ve been meeting every Thursday night, not so much to plan, as just to chill out, pray for each other, worship etc, and carry out a couple of prayer walks. I’ve met friends, old and new through it, and it is so exciting to think of what God will do in Northern Ireland – and Ireland in general!

I also did my ninth Autumn Soul in October, once again helping Peter and Kate King do lights – but this time I had a certain young lady friend to keep me company (wonder who she was?!)

Also in October, my health took a bit of a downturn. The doctor revealed that my blood pressure was up to 165/100, which is rather high… a few weeks ago, it was down to less than 140/80, which is all right, but not where we’d like it to be. So I have to lose weight. Yikes. My headaches did decrease, but they are still there, and a recent cold left me very tired and run down. I’m back at work, but by no means fully recovered.

Talking of work… I’m looking for a new job. A few opportunities have come up – I will learn on 9 January – my birthday (of all days) – whether I have been successful in gaining promotion after an interview earlier this month, but I wouldn’t mind a complete change from the Civil Service. The hunt goes on!

At church, I did sound for a while inbetween playing bass guitar. I don’t get to play piano as much as I would like, which can be frustrating, but we shall see what happens. I’ve given up doing sound for now, as it is so far on the periphery of my abilities, and the stress has been getting to me.

I guess prayer subjects for 2006 (and for that matter, the next week as well!) are:
• My relationship with Becky – that if it’s God’s will, we would work out and be able to move forward together as we both hope
• My search for a new job
• What to do re church and music

In all these things, it’s about God’s will and trying to discern what it is, and then actually following it. God is of course unmistakeably in control, but I want to make sure I’m not trying to push him out of the way. He will of course remind me if I do!

Keep praying!


Yes, I do owe you an update, as beckyboo0 reminded me earlier today.

Anyway, to bring everyone up to date, we decided a few days after my last entry to meet up properly when Becky’s over (in TEN DAYS!) and talk through the issues affecting our relationship. We’re taking it easy until then – kind of a few weeks’ limbo.

We know what the issues are, and I reckon that we can deal with them properly – Becky had said there were ones which were so linked to the way that I am she might just have to live with them, as well as ones like conversation (rather than communication – I talk, and I listen, but I am hopeless at carrying on conversations, because of how quiet I tend to be – the introspective side of me!) which will make or break us.

Please keep praying for us. As well as the issues, we need to be sure that what we want (to keep going as long as the issues can be sorted) is what God wants too. We hope so.


Standing in our silence
I hear my heart beating
And if only I could choose
I’d stay here with you
But hold me ’till the train is leaving

Somewhere down the line
After you’re gone from sight
Our love will be the same
And, whispering your name,
I’ll cling to you with all my might

GIRL – Let me dream of you

BOY – But it’s true

GIRL – And wake me up when this is over

BOY – Love will be there when this is over and


Somewhere far beyond today
I will find a way to find you
And somehow thru’ the lonely nights
I will leave a light in the dark
Let it lead you to my heart

There’s a love inside us
That goes without saying
But I’ll tell you just the same
And that love will fan the flame
And the flame will warm the heart that’s waiting

GIRL – You are mine and I’ll wait for you my love

BOY – You are mine it may take some time

GIRL – If I have to wait a lifetime

BOY – Tell me you’ll wait



And somewhere alone
I will be praying you home
I know that somehow our love

Our love will lead me to your arms


It’s over. Maybe sometime… but it’s over. We need prayer, and lots of it, because it’s so tough for both of us.

I still love her