Archive for the CU Category

an interesting week…

Posted in CU, friends on September 18, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

I wonder if the title has given away the subject of this post…?

A LOT has happened in the past week, from welcoming international students to Queens, to trying to sort out T-shirts to print and wear to freshers events, to my granny’s 80th birthday… smallgroup leaders training day, giving a tour of campus, having a bad back, designing fliers, buying 500 tins of beans from Tesco… its been a varied, and very busy week…

But every so often in life, something different happens… I’ve been told it’s quite rare too… Something different happens, something to make the business and mess of events more bearable… something that will not only lift your week, but also, I am certain, lift the long foreseeable future…
I, too, am thankful for new friends in my life… But I also wonder about God’s decisions, or maybe even sense of humour… putting an ocean in the way…

But it’s ok… I’ll say ‘hello’ someday, I promise…

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calling out… or being called…

Posted in christianity, CU, taking action on September 7, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

So, the thing that stuck out the most to me at preterm I think (talking personally now, not corporately) was, I believe, foundational to my faith… And not only that, it is something that has been building in me for a while now (funny how thats been happening lately…)

One of the seminars I went to at preterm was Social Action by Steve Stockman. Now, before I go any further, I should say what had been happening for the past while… Any time anyone spoke about social action, making a stand, year of jubilee, standing against injustice etc, I would get a chill up my spine. Even my post and Connor’s post about hospitality really got me worked up. I got excited at the very prospect of justice… GOD’S justice…

Therefore, I decided to go to Stocky’s seminar. And he completely blew me out of the water… he put the passage on sheep and goats in a way I’d never really looked at it before – which in itself amazed me, how I could have missed the simple truth of this passage all along, during all the times I’d read it… It’s so clear now…
He talked about how the defining difference between the sheep and the goats was not denomination, style of worship, doctrine… but love. How much they loved their fellow man, how much they TRUELY LOVED – for true love is not content to sit by and watch the world ‘go to hell’ (in a metaphorical and indeed literal sense), but will rise up and take action. The defining difference was love – love that stood with the marginalised and the oppressed in their affliction, love that was SHOWN, not preached.

It all comes back to that verse God has been pulling me to, and indeed has been pulling our committee to… the greatest commandments… To love God first and foremost… To care for Him deeper and greater than anything… To mourn over His pains, to love what He loves, to seek His greatest good in all things… To seek to do everything we can in this world to please Him. To have our hearts break over that which breaks His heart… to be His voice and His hands in this world, to stand for the poor, the marginalised, the oppressed…
Throughout the Bible, from start to finish, God has been concerned with the oppressed, the weak, the marginalised, the outcasts… Jacob and Esau, the older served the younger, totally against the custom of the time… Gideon was the weakest member of the least important family of his nation, but God chose him to lead the Israelites to victory… David was a shepherd boy, not a mighty warrior, but God used him to defeat Goliath, level armies, and become king of God’s people… There are countless other examples… Rahab the prostitute, Joseph son of Jacob, Daniel was used though he was a captive and an outsider in the king’s court… Jeremiah, Moses… Jesus himself was homeless, treated as an outcast by many, and hung around with the ‘wrong crowd’ – tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, fishermen, lepers, as well as dining with the highest religious leaders of the time… Many many times, Jesus did not even tell the people He helped and healed who He was, but instead simply told them to go and sin no more… He GENUINELY loved people…

I have been told there are around 4 or 5 verses in the bible that deal with swearing… and around 2100 that deal with justice, poverty and social action… The sheep and the goats… The greatest commandments… Seems to me that God’s heart lies with how much we LOVE…

What this means for me? Quite simply, at the moment, it means to love. What God intends for me along this road is for me yet to see… but I made Him a promise, to follow the road He sets out for me as best I can, and to help those I meet along the way… I don’t know what His plan is for me yet in regards to all this… but I’m excited!!

darn… and yay…

Posted in CU, friends, personality on September 6, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

I thought I was being uber nerdy the other day by making a post from my phone… but seemingly it didn’t work!! Darn…

Anyways, I was trying to say that I was going to be away for a few days… but as it didn’t work I’ve now just appeared like a lazy unposting kinda fool… ah well…
So, anyway, I was away at the CU preterm in Castlewellan castle – it was AWESOME! Made great new friends (including the faders and the stroking guys…), and learned a lot… Really got me thinking too…

I know now that I’m actually ok the way I am… I don’t need to worry about things I don’t like about myself… I know that I am being changed and renewed daily by God, and the things I feel I need or that I am missing will come with His timing. I don’t need to feel like I need to change myself to make people like me, all I need is to be myself… and perhaps I’m not such a bad guy after all…

I was also reassured that we’re headed in the right direction with the CU… All the speakers at preterm, whether they knew of our plans or not, spoke about the greatest commandments in their talks. This was also the theme pretty much of our plans for the year at CU. It came up numerous times in our planning, and we based our thinking around it in choosing topics and passages to deal with. God really reassured me with that, I believe we’re setting off in the right direction!!

Thirdly, I leared a bit about where my heart lies… but that deserves a post in itself. Be expecting one soon…

tired…

Posted in CU, friends, harry potter, Queens on July 20, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

Was ‘visioning’ tonight. Or to explain that better, I was at a meeting tonight to try and formulate the vision for the coming year of CU. We have done this already of course, at summer planning (when the committee all went to the north coast together to plan the year). The only thing was, although we formulated the vision, we never actually got it into a coherent statement!! So we met tonight (5 of us) to do so, the five of us we had agreed on at summer planning.

It was a long process, as I had kinda expected. But I didn’t mind in the least. It seems that most things we do or decide as a committee involve a long process, but I find that kinda encouraging. To me, it shows we’re really trying hard to do the best job we can… hilariously enough, we (the 5 of us) are actually meeting again next tuesday because we didnt quite get finished…

We also had a rather interesting chat about the next Harry Potter book, due out on Friday night (midnight, so technically Saturday morning…) – I have quite a few theories of my own, but the beyond hogwarts site has some very interesting theories of its own… I wonder if they’ll turn out to be true…

I’m fairly tired now…