Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Shopping

Found some wonderful stuff whilst out shopping for Christmas presents for my two daughters. Here's the slogan from the side of a box containing a doll:

What??? And why would that sell a doll to me? Here's another one...

This is how you teach your two year old to poke people in the eyes. Fantastic.

There is a third picture of a real product taken in a real supermarket (in the hair & beauty section) but I don't know if I should post it. It's a bit naughty. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pageant Report

Well, we made it. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

And as we had hoped, it was absolutely the best pageant ever. Nothing went wrong, nothing got missed or forgotten! The choir were outstanding, the band were tight, the soloists sang beautifully, the cast were great - they delivered all their lines perfectly and hit all their cues on the nail. They were funny, tender, over-the-top when needed and very moving at just the right moments. The animals behaved and unlike a very memorable previous year, the sheep did not start mating as the Pastor reached the climax of his gospel message.

Thank you again to everyone who made it possible.

The part that made me stop and think was in the first performance. Nick (King Herod) was delivering his lines: "A new King? So, he’s finally here – all of the predictions, all of the prophecies – ha! I will show them. I will show the world – my power is far greater than some prophesy! I will destroy this so-called King of the Jews! There will never be another King in Judea so long as I am alive!" and all the time the little kids crouched down on the carpet in the front rows were booing and hissing just like in a pantomime.

And then Nick said "And who will come to bring him gifts?" and they all shouted "I will!", and again after the next line "Who will come to worship him?" all the kids shouted out "I will!" Wow! It was so moving - totally spontaneous and heartfelt.

Of course, the relief that it is all over and that it went so well is now tempered with the worrying thought "What on earth are we going to do next year?"

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The camels are here

Well, I'm going downstairs to check them out. They've walked about ten miles from near the Sakkara pyramids. From my office window I can just see a camel head weaving around above the bushes outside.

The pageant is going to be great - funny and moving and thoughtful and with really great music. The tent looks AMAZING!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What is the value of a blog?

You must have heard that old semon illustration where we are told if you break the human body down into it's constituent elements, you know, water, carbon etc, our net worth on the open market is about $4 or something like that.

My blog is worth $3,951.78.
How much is your blog worth?

Well, you might have seen this piece of fun down there at the bottom right of the blog. It's just to make you think, because this blog's purpose is not to make me money, but in the last month or six weeks since I first posted this, the value has gone up from around $500 to nearly $4,000. That's a 700% increase. Interesting.

This is calculated by analysing the amount of links a blog has registered on Technorati, and then cross referencing that against the capital value that AOL put on WeblogsInc when they bought it last year. And because more people are reading this blog and linking to this blog, the notional value has gone up.

Of course this is ridiculous, because no-one is really going to pay me $4,000 for this blog are they?


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

There's no PETA in Egypt!

Just discovered this article on the web about fear of mistreatment of animals in Christmas Pageants. I'm glad they're not sending us nasty letters.

PETA Mistakenly Targets Alaska Church

Anyway, our camels, donkey and sheep are the sole livelihood for the guy we rent them from - there's no way he would allow us to mistreat them. And there's no way that they would get hurt - he's looking after them all the time they are here.

Does anyone else think this article is ridiculous?

Oh yeah, we have a live baby Jesus too. Maybe we should notify the relevant authorities and get a certificate of permission.

Disclaimer: No animals were harmed during the posting of this blog entry.

Christmas Pageant

(Hooray - blogger let me post the picture :-)

On Sunday night we have our annual Christmas Pageant here under the tent. It's going to be amazing! It's a dramatic presentation of the traditional nativity story, with a few twists here and there, but because this is Egypt, we have resources that most other churches don't. For instance, have you ever seen the nativity story performed where the shepherds have real sheep? Or where Mary comes in actually riding on a donkey? Or where the wise men make their entrance on three camels? Down the church aisles?

You need to be there. Especially if you've never been to one before.

6:00pm or 7:30pm Sunday 10th December.

Except the 6:00pm is already sold out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wedding Drums

We had a fantastic wedding yesterday. Wale, my "Africa Live Service" worship leader married Emma who is also on our church staff as an Assistant Cells Director. The wedding was at 10:30am in the church, and then we had a great reception at the local playing fields / ball park. Wale is Nigerian, and came to Egypt as a football player (there are many African football players here in Cairo) so all his teammates sang for them at the reception and welcomed Emma in to the team. Check out this video: