Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cars of Cairo: Spoiler Alert!

Carefully designed to keep the rear end planted at speeds above 150kmh :-)

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cars of Cairo: Ford Cortina Mk IV

Where else would you find such a piece of automotive awesomeness than
on the top deck of the Carrefoure carpark in Maadi? And it's a
two-door! Very rare in its British birthplace, the two door Cortina
provides some extreme style on the highway.

My mum had a 1.6L estate in dark blue through my teen years and traded
up to a Mk V (which was almost identical) just before I learned to
drive, so my first couple of years behind the wheel were spent looking
down a bonnet just like this.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010


These we ate in the desert this afternoon with hotdogs cooked on an open fire in the company of wonderful friends and a tribe of children roaming about the rocks and cliffs exhileratedly free for an afternoon.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Lights

I like Coldplay most of the time, but this video takes my breath away.

Thanks Chad for the HT!

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Friday, December 03, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Advent calendar

24 little cards to go inside 24 little stockings to hang on the mantlepiece for the girls to open every day and discover 24 little messages of love and truth and nonsense.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Still Battered by my Master's Hand

Toby sent this to me by email today. I certainly feel like I'm in the valley being battered in to shape. Let's hope God continues to lead us through the valley and out to the other side to the peaceful streams and the green pastures.

Still Battered by my Master's Hand

3rdcaptive "Captive Slave" by Michelangelo

This is a fair representation of my life these days.

Under the Master's chisel, not yet a completed sculpture, wincing under the blows, inpatient for completion, yet resolved to endure the process.

From Oswald Chambers:

"We always have a vision of something before it actually becomes real to us. When we realize that the vision is real, but is not yet real in us, Satan comes to us with his temptations, and we are inclined to say that there is no point in even trying to continue. Instead of the vision becoming real to us, we have entered into a valley of humiliation.

Life is not as idle ore, but iron dug from central gloom, and battered by the shocks of doom to shape and use.

God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience. Just think of the enormous amount of free time God has! He is never in a hurry. Yet we are always in such frantic hurry. While still in the light of the glory of the vision, we go right out to do things, but the vision is not yet real in us. God has to take us into the valley and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the point where He can trust us with the reality of the vision. Ever since God gave us the vision, He has been at work. He is getting us into the shape of the goal He has for us, and yet over and over again we try to escape from the Sculptor’s hand in an effort to batter ourselves into the shape of our own goal.

The vision that God gives is not some unattainable castle in the sky, but a vision of what God wants you to be down here. Allow the Potter to put you on His wheel and whirl you around as He desires. Then as surely as God is God, and you are you, you will turnout as an exact likeness of the vision. But don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had a vision from God, you may try as you will to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never allow it."

HT: A Boomer In The Pew

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Monday, November 15, 2010

My current favourite breakfast

Courtesy of Caffe Greco of course

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saturday, October 09, 2010

In the garden - part 3

In the garden - part 2

I took all the photos in the garden on my 1st gen iPhone which gives
them a slightly hyper-real quality.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

In the garden - part 1

A good friend of ours took us out to her farm about an hour north of
Maadi. In the middle of the farm her family have created this
beautiful garden. It is simply exquisite, and this is in October when
most of the flowers are over. You should see it in the spring!

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Mango juice so thick...

... You can stand your straw up in it.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Sunday, September 26, 2010


We had dinner with some friends last week and they offered us some of this wonderful loose leaf tea imported from Singapore. Each tin offered a new olfactory delight. And the tea tasted amazing!

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Monday, September 13, 2010

What the girls got up to this weekend.

Note the proper safety equipment is being used. We did a full risk assessment before the Barbies were allowed to climb.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In memory of Rich Hubbard

I don't know how to describe the depth and breadth of influence that Rich had on my life, and these few words cannot even scratch the surface, but I am unusually fortunate enough to be able to do what God created me to do in this life, and I truly believe that I owe much of this to Rich, to his example, his advice, his guidance and his trust in me.

I first met Rich in 1987 when I joined his Powerpoint kids ministry team for the Eurofire 1987 conference held by Reinhard Bonke at the NEC in Birmingham. My best friend Tim and I were introduced to Rich by our youth leader in Worcester, Richard Wood, to play bass and guitar in the worship band and to be part of the ministry team that week. Straight away Rich disarmed me with his confidence, his trust in me and his wicked sense of humour. It was an amazing week where we ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit, seeing miracles take place, seeing kids praying for other kids, and seeing their prayers for healing answered, often dramatically so. And then he told me, a gauche 17 year old, that I was going to lead the children out into the main auditorium on the last day, so that they could sing on the main stage in front of the whole conference. Only this was not your average venue main stage, this was the Birmingham NEC Arena main stage. So there I ended up, dressed as a clown, playing a borrowed 12-string acoustic guitar, fumbling the barre chords and leading our kids singing "Shine Jesus Shine" in front of 6,000 people.

Playing in the Powerpoint band (or the Elastic Band as Rich liked to call us) was a thorough apprenticeship in musical flexibility and variety. Rich wrote and recorded kid's songs in just about every musical style, and so I had to learn to play in just about every musical style. It was really stretching for a young musician and although I routinely fluffed my parts, it never seemed to matter too much - there was such a sense of fun and freedom worshiping and playing together with Rich at the front doing crazy dances with his Ovation guitar round his neck and pulling silly faces. He had an amazing gift of being able to switch from crazy fun and games straight into a thoughtful holy moment without missing a beat.

Rich was an outstanding communicator - a natural. It's one of the reasons why he was so good at children's ministry. He could sum up complex theology in simple words and illustrations, and he could quickly and efficiently communicate plans, ideas, ministry methods and philosophy to a large team of helpers and get them all working efficiently together. After working hours though, my best memories of working with Rich are the long conversations we would have, where he befriended and pastored this motley band of young Christian students and misfits, helping us make sense of life together with endless sympathy, wisdom and compassion. Of course, if there was any mischief taking place, Rich was often at the centre of it. He could be relied upon to punctuate any serious moments with a one-liner or a witty catchphrase and his outrageously accurate impressions of famous church leaders were carefully designed to puncture any smugness acquired from being in the Spring Harvest limelight.

My six years of ministry with Rich were pivotal, formative experiences. He was my friend, leader, mentor and example. He gave me confidence to trust God in any circumstance and to pursue my calling no matter what. He made us all feel loved and accepted for who we were, and he encouraged me in my musical development and to pursue Jesus with everything, wherever he would take me.

In the end, after years of leading worship, serving in my Liverpool church, Frontline, it was that calling from God (which came into focus one summer night on a showground in Malvern surrounded by Rich and my Powerpoint friends) that brought us to Egypt where I have been serving full time as a Worship Pastor in an international church in Cairo for the last seven years.

The last time I saw Rich was in my living room here in Cairo a few years ago when he was visiting some Arun church friends living and working here. After dinner we sat and talked and told stories about the Powerpoint days, and it was such a privilege to share with him what God had done in my life through Rich and Linda's ministry and friendship, and to thank him properly at last for pouring out his life in serving and loving others.  I don't think he had realised just what a huge impact he had had on me, and it was so special just to sit there and reflect together on how, through God's grace, Rich's influence on me and the many others like me has been multiplied and poured out into the world.

He will be remembered as a wonderful husband and father, a true servant leader and a genuine man of God.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Beautiful bougainvillea at MCC

Mark Jaffrey.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Thursday, April 01, 2010

All the Single Ladies - FAIL!

This family are friends of mine, now notorious!!

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The yellow hound of Mordor

This is the street outside our house. At least, it used to be a street. Of course there are no road signs to announce that this crossroads is now a hole in the ground, so all the cars drive right up to the barrier, look very confused and offended and then reverse all the way back down the street again.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cairo cakes. Wow.

Happy birthday Mum. If you were here I would buy you at least nine of these. But you're not. And it's Lent.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Turkish Airlines

So I took Turkish Airlines for the first time for this trip to the USA. And you know what? I'm impressed.

Although I'm thinking if renaming them Quirkish Airlines. That is a piece of oasis wrapped in silver foil holding a trio of rose buds in the airplane toilet. Definately quirky!

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Flying to New York

Breathtaking glory in the clouds.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Recreate conference

I'm sitting in Istanbul airport sipping some coffee and taking advantage of the free wifi to actually post something of substance on this blog. I'm on my way to Nashville to take part in the Recreate Conference, something I have had the pleasure of attending twice before. More than just another worship conference, it is billed as a cultural thinktank for creative people in church and business and attracts an eclectic lineup of speakers and participants every year.

It is, without doubt, the best event I have ever attended, both for the quality of information and stimulating discussion, and for the fabulous and enduring friendships that I have made with other worship leaders from around the world, forged over gourmet meals and fine wines and the best coffee in Franklin.

The icing on the cake is the number of top worship leaders and artists who take part in the conference, both in leading worship and giving concerts. This year Amy Grant is kicking things off with a concert on the opening night, and we will be in the company of greatness for the rest of the week with Leeland, Gungor, One Sonic Society, Matt Maher, Audrey Assad, Ian Cron and many others. Check out for all the details.

Needless to say I'm very excited. Next stop JFK airport in New York where I am meeting up with an old friend to wander round Manhatten in the snow before I fly on to Nashville for the pre-conference hookups and Randy's legendary Superbowl party.

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Named one of the best science images of 2008 by the National Geographic News, Visualizing the Bible “… brings to light the interconnected nature of one of the world’s most familiar books.” The bar graph that runs along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible. Books alternate in color between white and light gray. The length of each bar denotes the number of verses in the chapter. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is depicted by a single arc – the color corresponds to the distance between the two chapters, creating a rainbow-like effect.

This chart was created by Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with Christoph Römhild, a Lutheran Pastor. Chris won the Honorable Mention in the NSF’s Science & Engineering 2008 Visualization Challenge.

This graphic is a registered trademark of Chris Harrison. All rights reserved.

HT: Greg Atkinson

Posted via email from Jafferblog

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010