Too many late nights!

Wouldn’t you know it, I packed the next morning!

The weekend was great. I played too much bass yesterday (Sunday), and my fingers will never be the same again. I’m also glad that I don’t have to sing anything before Sunday, I was quite hoarse today after loads of singing and playing piano.

It didn’t start so well though – my bike rear axle broke turning a corner in Newry on Friday afternoon. Left it to get fixed on Saturday morning.

Finally for now… watch when I come back! This blog will continue as my life blog, but Ignite will be my spiritual deep thoughts blog.

Time flies…

Going to do this update and go to bed. Well, I’ll pack first. Reasons below.

I’m still doing fine. God’s still looking after me, and my prayer life is still… okish. Not as good as a few weeks ago, but in terms of random praying, still good. More to work on there. Bible study is still up to date.

I’m still really living in the “wow”ness of what God’s doing for me. I don’t remember feeling this good for so long when I’ve been single. Wow. God is so good.

Work is ok at the moment. It’s been fairly quiet (I’ve a little to do tomorrow), but my biggest recent project, sorting out my boss’s predecessor’s filing system is nearly done. Still has to be tidied up, loads of papers to refile (he had about a dozen folders full of miscellaneous papers that will be better filed differently), loads of duplicate folders to sort out. I’ll tackle that the week after next – next week is NIPSA conference in Newcastle.

Talking of which, I met with the NIPSA president this morning, and the Standing Orders Committee an hour later. We were challenging rulings on two motions – one with a political element submitted by another branch that had been allowed to stay on the agenda (Billy explained it was because his predecessors had been challenged on similar motions and they’d been reinstated to the agenda), and one of our own which had been ruled out of order due to conflicting with the Constitution.

We haven’t quite decided what to do about the second one yet. Its aim is to get NIPSA HQ to leave Assistant Secretaries (read: Headquarters Officials with responsibility for various departments etc) with given portfolios for a period of not less than two years, unless they absolutely have to be moved. Apparently NIPSA’s current practice is to allocate portfolios for three years, if not four, but for one reason or another our department has gone through five in as many years – promotion, retirement, sick leave etc. So we’ll discuss what to do on Tuesday morning – I’ve to let the President know whether that challenge is proceeding by teatime.

Billy’s dead on. He’s one of the Time For Change folks (read: Socialist Party/Militant Tendency), but he’s approachable. Some of his predecessors are rather scarier.

We were talking to the Standing Orders Committee about two other motions. The first one was about making more use of e-mail for distribution, which they say is NIPSA policy and our motion doesn’t seek to change policy or complain about policy not being adhered to. Not much we can do about that.

The other one is about making it possible to apply for employment with NIPSA via the website. At the moment, forms etc are available online, but you still have to print them off to fill them in, whereas many employers are now providing facilities to apply online via CGI scripts – including the Home Civil Service. Their argument is that it’s an administrative matter (with a small a) and would not need a decision as such – correspondence would be entered into after Conference, and the matter would definitely be addressed – as opposed to the scenario where it could get defeated outright, remitted to General Council for them to decide what to do about it, or guillotined (treated as remitted). I’m not sure yet, so I’ve e-mailed the other Branch Committee members and will talk to our branch’s other delegate on Tuesday about it.

Tonight was our first pre-Global Day of PrayerPrayer Walk, just around the City Centre. I missed the start of it, because Mark found a purse at the City Hall which I took off to the police station (just as well – it took half an hour to get the form filled in!), and we cut it short without doing the last mile or so because time was pressing on. It was however good just to walk the City Centre in prayer.

The team are organising another nine, but with this weekend and the NIPSA conference, I’ll be missing them all except for the last two. Oops…

So that brings me to why I need to pack. Tomorrow I’m off to a Worship weekend at the Christian Renewal Centre in Rostrevor. Organised by Gateway, I’ll be leading two two-hour worship times – one on Sunday from 2-4 and Monday from 10-12. I plan to spend a lot of time just talking with God, writing stuff and so on, relaxing, and riding the ubiquitous bike. It’s going to be a great weekend!

Back on Monday night for a while.

Quick update…

Well, not much of an update really – there’s nothing really to tell. Work is as work always is.

I’m simply sitting here after a long week at work chilling out, and as I’ve found myself doing quite a bit recently, just praying about nothing in particular. Just being with God really.

With everything that’s been happening, I’m just pondering what’s next for me. I’ve no real clues yet, except that I’m pretty sure a move to England is on the cards, probably late summer at this stage, but God may decide otherwise. I’m just watching and waiting.

Last night at the Prayer Room, we just had an agendaless time with God. As well as the classic words from 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, I looked down to and paraphrased the following words from the same chapter:

2CH 7:19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, `Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, `Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them–that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’ ”

My thought of course is that’s exactly what we’ve done – we’ve followed the God of nationality and not being something we’re not, rather than just being and following God. Is the state of this country any wonder?

Remind me to wear a short-sleeved shirt tomorrow…

It’s hot and sticky out there, and there’s no air circulating round my office. Never is. Who maintains our AirCon? Who didn’t get it fixed so that if we get it fixed now it’ll blow loads of dust in? Bah.

Anyway. My boss was back from Barbados today – I asked him did he play lots of golf, since he and Alison are great fans. John said “yes, but not very well”… what could I do? I said “Well, if you must go to the nineteenth hole before the first hole instead of after the eighteenth…”

Saturday night I decided to cycle from Bangor to Belfast. Good idea, because I bumped into an old friend in what could only be described as a God-incidence…

Joanna is a good friend of an ex-gf of mine, and has recently broken up with her boyfriend of just under a year. I walked her back to Crawfordsburn and we chatted our way there. It was God-appointed, and I was able just to listen to her and go away praying for her. Wow.

Anyway, so even though I should know better, I cycled on to Holywood. Not because of the rain, but because of all the steps and steep bits and uneven surfaces – bad idea. I should really have joined the main road for an easier route… Mind you, I did learn that the Coastal Path is closed beyond Kinnegar Barracks from Saturday to Monday mornings, so you can’t get into the Harbour Estate due to a rather big gate.

Sunday night was the Agape Meal at church. Took a fair bit of setting up, and we had sound problems because where we were doesn’t lend itself to good sound – too echoey, leading a piano, two guitars, three vocals, bass and drums to be quite muddy. Once we had that sorted, it went well, and we turned everything up for the last song (See what a morning – for the fourth time in as many weeks. Apparently we’re getting a break next week). Hopefully next year’s will be in the church itself – it simplifies things musically as well as having everyone closer together (no piano to move, full PA etc), although everyone’s further away from the food. That can be got round by having a serving table, of course!

My pool skills are not improving. I’m getting beaten by the bad players in the Church of Ireland Centre – oh well…

Going back public again…

As you may have noticed, all my real entries for some time have been private, limited to a fairly broad section of my friends list. Those ones are staying that way, but for now I’m going public again.

I’ve done a great deal of praying in the last three weeks. Through my struggles, God has taught me to rely on him, and I’ve even ended up randomly praying for others too – it feels great to be talking to God regularly about what I see and feel – there’s still plenty more I’m quite capable of doing if I put my mind to it, but it’s still pretty wow.

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that I’m going nowhere for the foreseeable future. The following issues need to be sorted out before I go anywhere:

  1. I need God’s calling to be made clear to me. I’ve been trundling along for years, serving God where I am, getting new jobs in the Civil Service as I need them, and doing musical stuff I love in church.
  2. I need to sort out my finances. On current plans this will take until the end of 2008, but it’s doable.
  3. I’ve to wait for God to lead me to the woman he’s chosen for me. I’ve been referred to Genesis 2:24:For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.. In this context, it looks like God wants me to stay home until it’s time to get married (or something along those lines ) – certainly, to stay here while I’m single as such. I think that once he’s sorted me out with the woman he’s chosen for me to marry, this will all fall into place.

Once God has sorted these out (I’m discussing finances with him to see what he wants to do), I think things will fall into place nicely.

Meantime, I’m coping reasonably well. I’d normally say surprisingly well, but since God filled the void in my heart that goes back about ten years or longer, and since I got my prayer life into a little more order (there’s nothing like a crisis to bring you closer to God), it’s been so much easier. The devil will try and attack me, as is his way, but I feel better able to counter those attacks with the strength God gives me. I know very well what my weakest point is, as does the devil, but right now God’s strengthening even that point.

Mind you, it is back to the old waiting game. And I think everyone knows what I think about that… Never mind, I know God is with me.

PS. Sadly, Rob Lacey died on Monday. Obituary by some obscure bloke at

Are you a Talent, a Lifer or a Mandarin?

I’m a Talent!

You’re a risk-taker, and you follow your passions. You’re determined to take on the world and succeed on your own terms. Whether in the arts, science, engineering, business, or politics, you fearlessly express your own vision of the world. You’re not afraid of a fight, and you’re not afraid to bet your future on your own abilities. If you find a job boring or stifling, you’re already preparing your resume. You believe in doing what you love, and you’re not willing to settle for an ordinary life.

Talent: 56%
Lifer: 46%
Mandarin: 38%

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