As regular readers of this blog (if such people exist) will undoubtedly have noticed, posts have become somewhat scarce recently. I won’t try and recap the last few weeks as it would be painfully tedious for me to try and remember what happened and probably equally dull for everyone else to read about.
This was my first Sunday back from university, so I had the joy of seeing the fellowship at Tinshill again for the first time in a few months. I had been delighted to read the papers from the church AGM a few weeks previously, and was really encouraged by the activity of the church and the growth of some of my friends there, so it was good to be back with my home church. The day was also my mum’s birthday and she seemed to enjoy it.
In what was already shaping up to be a week of firsts, this was my first day back at work. I work over the summer holidays in the office of United Beach Missions, a Christian group which (as the name suggests) runs missions on beaches to tell people about Jesus. Adele, my boss, was delighted to see me again because she no longer has to do all the donkey work like putting prayer letters in envelopes and emailing hundreds of people separately to confirm their applications. It was good to be back at work, and have a bit of discipline back in my life, but I’d forgotten how tiring a simple office job can sometimes be!
Tuesday was another day at work. My work is general administration work, and is rarely particularly exciting or noteworthy, but it’s a necessary job and I’m pleased that I can serve God (both by working generally, and also be being involved in an evangelistic organisation) and earn money at the same time. On the bus on my way into work I’ve been re-reading The Busy Christian’s Guide to Busyness (which I cannot recommend highly enough). highlighting lots of bits which I find particularly helpful, and obviously I’ve been trying to live the Biblical lessons from the book which are perhaps easier to apply at work than they usually are. In the evening I got round to watching the Confederation Cup final on iPlayer. At the start of the match I could understand how some people find football a really boring spectator sport, but once the USA scored their first goal the match got going and I loved it.
During the day on Wednesday I received an email from my project supervisor suggesting a book which might be helpful for me to look at, so I was radical and actually visited a library! It was the first time I’d been to a public library for years and of course the system has completely changed. Taking out a book was now self service, and I was particularly impressed that I could look online at work and find out not only which libraries had the book I wanted, but also what code it had on their shelves! I made the mistake of not asking how to return a book, but I assume it will use the same self service machine and probably be quite straight forward.
I popped into a shop on the way home and spent 99p. I gave the shopkeeper a tenner, and he gave me some hideously incorrect maths with my change. He gave me four pound coins and one penny, followed by a five pound note. Nothing wrong with the change, but his explanation of it was along the lines of ‘four plus one is five, and another five makes your ten’. As a (wannabe) mathematician it was painful to hear 4 pounds added to one penny to make five pounds!
In the evening I headed out to Hullabaloo, the Leeds juggling club, which was taking advantage of the good juggling weather in the local park. I hadn’t been since the Easter holidays, of course, and I haven’t been going for long, so when I arrived a few of the regulars were taking bets on my name, which was amusing to say the least. None of them had forgotten it completely, they simply couldn’t decide between Tim and Tom, so my ego didn’t take too much of a battering. The evening was really good fun, including a lot of impromptu games such as juggling races. One juggler got a well-deserved round of applause from a group of girls sat nearby who were majorly impressed by how far he could run while juggling five balls. It was also a good chance to get to know them a bit better, which happened well as the aforementioned juggler is as friendly as he is talented and a few others were also more welcoming than they have previously been. I realise that makes me sound like a friendless loser, but hey.
The way the UBM office routinely works has changed a bit this year, with much more being done by email, a change which is set to save about £500 per month on postage bills. We get a reference for every team member from their church minister, and while this has previously consisted of sending a letter and waiting days for a reply, this year it has been a joy to send the letters by email and receive replies mere hours later. What a shame CRB checks can’t be done so quickly!
In the evening was the church Bible study and prayer meeting, and it was an especial delight to be able to pray with the fellowship I am a formal member of. Sadly I didn’t write down the prayer points (a mistake I must remember to rectify next week!) but it was still good to be up to date with the current prayer needs and answered prayers of the church.
Friday morning in the UBM office means one thing – prayer letters. Team leaders send their reports of the week Thursday night, and they get put into a prayer letter Friday morning for distribution in the lunchtime post. It is a much less intense and stressful time than it has been in the past as more people elect to receive it by email (hoorah!). Afterwards I spent a large part of my time cutting up A6 flyers and removing the white borders left by not printing to the edge of a page. It was a surprisingly fiddly job, but not very taxing mentally or physically and it afforded a good (and well-taken) opportunity for a general chat with Adele. Sadly the day ended less well, as I didn’t leave until 6pm (an hour after I was supposed to) because I finished off with the intensely frustrating task of stapling together some booklets which were far too thick to be stapled and really needed proper binding. My mood wasn’t improved by requests to do housework when I got back, but I hope I remained grateful for my lot in life regardless.
The majority of the day was absorbed with the Yorkshire FIEC joint churches day, at which I was helping supervise primary school aged children. The day consisted of such activities as singing songs, playing a variety of energetic games outside (which finished off most of us helpers!) and obligatory playing on bouncy castles. IT was a good fun day and I trust the talks were useful for the adults able to listen to them. In the evening I caught up on blog reading, watched Total Wipeout (because it was recommended by someone, and it was actually more entertaining than I remembered from the one time I’d seen it before) and generally sorted out things which needed doing on my computer.