Friday, May 30, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Americano Art @ Cafe Greco

The latest in a series of low-res camerafone pics.

Monday, May 19, 2008

How to resurface an Egyptian road

If there is a big pile of rubble on the road, just put the new tarmac around it - no-one's ever going to be bothered to remove the rubble.

Freaky glowing cake dolls

What can I say?

Found these in a cake shop.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Party tomorrow - my house

Just packed away 15 kilos of rib eye steak - that's about 30lbs - into the fridge as we're expecting 50-60 people for a bbq after church tomorrow.

Good weather forecast, lots of food and drink and great company - the summer is here!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Team Day

My worship department team are coming to my house for the day. We'll pray together, have lunch, watch a movie and just hang out.

In a church, it's really important to spend time with the people you work with to build relationships and get to know each other outside of the office rooms you may work in.

Yesterday in our Senior Leadership Meeting, Our new pastor, Steve, shared three areas that describe how motivation works for many people. The theory is that we are either motivated by tasks, relationships, or the impact we can have. Of course, most of us have a combination of these in various ratios as our driving motivators. Those of us who are task orientated need to work on relationships, and those of us who are more relational need to actually get some work done!

In church we take it for granted that the reason we are doing all this is for the impact that we might have for the Kingdom of God in the lives of individuals and therefore the greater community around us all. Sometimes though it's really good just to have a check up on this too. That's today's relational task project at my house :-)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dreaming up Metaphors

So, as you might have gathered, we were in metaphor mode yesterday. Our new Pastor, Steve, is preaching this weekend on "what does it take to be a fully devoted follower?", and we needed some way to represent that in a visual metaphor.

So today's post as part of Creative Chaos is a small insight into how we came up with the idea of famous heroes and their sidekicks as a way of pictorially representing the message.

We started with thinking about the word "follower", and brainstorming about that.

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Ants follow tracks to food, gulls follow sailing ships or fishing trawlers, pilgrims follow the road to a shrine, marathon runners follow the course to the finish. All good images. But how do we bring in the idea of "devotion" or "loyalty"?

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What could be a more devoted follower than our shadows?
How about something that is connected such as a motorbike and sidecar, car and trailer? No question of loyalty there.

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Dogs are loyal and devoted to their owners - and this is where we got to the idea of sidekicks. Who is the most devoted dog? Gromit. Not only does he play the role of faithful friend, he actually is the brains behind the whole operation, but no-one realises. He saves the day most of the time and is the unsung hero.

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So that thought led us on to the whole idea of hero and sidekick as a visual metaphor for the message, and we decided to change the actual title of the message from "Fully Devoted Follower" to "Fully Devoted Sidekick" just to get away from that churchy language and use a word that will hopefully make people do a double-take.

This post is part of Creative Chaos over at my blogfather's place - Ragamuffin Soul.

iphone coming to Egypt

According to Vodafone's latest press release, they will be selling the iphone in ten countries around the world, including Egypt. Hooray - the iphone is coming to Egypt!

However, there are absolutely no details about cost, exclusivity, data plans, contracts etc, so who knows whether this is going to be a good thing?

Maybe I'll just go ahead and buy one this summer anyway and bring it back to Egypt after our break in the UK.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Famous sidekicks

This week in church Steve, our new Senior Pastor, is preaching about being a devoted follower, and that got us thinking about how we could represent this visually.

So we came up with the idea of famous sidekicks, and I could do with some help.

We need a list of great Hero + Sidekick partnerships. Here are a few we thought of:

Batman & Robin
Lone Ranger & Tonto
Wallace & Gromit
Sherlock Holmes & Dr Watson
Fred Flinstone & Barney Rubble
Bond & Moneypenny
Dr Evil & Mini Me
Tubbs & Crockett
Calvin & Hobbes
Montgomery Burns & Mr Smithers
Shrek & Donkey

Who are we missing?

This post is a part of Watercooler Wednesday over at Randy's blog, Ethos.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Khamsin

A Khamsin is a hot desert wind that blows in this region at this time of year. "Khamsin" is the Arabic word for fifty, denoting the fifty day window during which these winds usually blow. Well, one came through about an hour ago. The wind kicked up, the sky darkened, the temperature rose to over 40 degrees C and everything went crazy. As I watched out of the living room window, a large branch came crashing down from a tree over the road, and not long afterwards I heard an equally loud crash from further down the street.

I went out after the wind dropped to find the garden covered in leaves and twigs, and a small tree uprooted along the wall behind the house. I then wandered out into the street to find this:

And this:

This one had grazed our neighbour's car as it came down, which will need some minor surgery.

Let's hope it's the last Khamsin for this year - we've had three or four already and I'm ready for them to stop.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

New favourite blog

Seriously, you need to go and check this out.

Stuff Christians Like

It will make you laugh (if you've ever spent any time around Christians or the church)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Poem

There are so many unwanted children in Egypt. The orphanages are bursting at the seams and yet adoption is not possible in this part of the world.

Yet God's heart beats and longs to know every one of them...

John Lewis is a boy*

Before the sea was water
God imagined this child;
eyes to sift the subtle haze
of Abissaya air,
ears to catch the nuances
of street sounds,
a beautiful nose, straight yet soft,
to nuzzle a dusty cat
or to encode the scent
of okra, frying,
a voice at times
like a trumpeting taxi,
then velvety
as a donkey's ear,
strong little legs
to dodge traffic,
a heart that beats
with the complex polyrhythm of Cairo,
and yet,
has the capacity
to comprehend
and capture
and is compelled by
Christ's love,

© Mark Jaffrey, 2008.

This post is part of Creative Chaos over at my blogfather's place, Ragamuffin Soul.

*The title is taken from the idea that it would be just so amazing to go down to the orphanage and pick out your child, just as if you were shopping at John Lewis, choosing the perfect gift for someone you love.