Tuesday, 21 May 2013
If you're thinking of coming to next year's youth work summit, tickets will never be cheaper than the current £25 price.
Monday, 13 May 2013
I'm at the Youth Work Summit this Friday and Saturday. If you're within travelling distance of West Brom (and apparently one of the advantages of West Brom is that it's within easy travelling distance of all of the UK) and involved in youth work, it's not too late to come. I'll be there. Say hello.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
So I know a young person, let's call him Steve, and he likes to talk up how big of a man he is. Actually, I know loads of people like that, let alone young people, but I'm picking on him for now because he does it without the subtly that most people do. Steve 'owns the area'. He uses different expressions than that, but that's what he's saying. He's mouthing off about how no-one in this area can touch him because they all fear him or respect him too much. And there's part of him that knows he's over-stating his case but there's another part of him that really believes it.
When this becomes a problem for Steve is when another guy makes a similar claim to him, they claim to own the area, not him. In real life I've seen this happen when Steve makes a comment like 'if anyone wanted to have a go at me, I could get a hundred people down here just like that' and then another guy makes a throw-away comment like 'you reckon you could do that?' to that outlandish boast. Then Steve feels compelled to answer, yes, yes I could do that, even though he was sort of only joking and knows he couldn't. The other guy doubts it, he says 'no way could you do that, maybe I could, but you couldn't'. And now it's a contest to see who can back down first, but no-one's going to back down. The last time this happened –that I observed at least– only the careful intervention of a dozen or so friends could prevent Steve starting an actual fight with the other person.
The problem Steve's got can simply be put as this; he's proud. He's proud, and won't be shown up by anyone over something he values. There's more layers on top of that, why he's proud in that particular way, and what in society and culture and his upbringing led him to defend his pride in that manner, but at the base of it all, is this pride. And what's the solution to that? Well you could go old-school drill-sargent and try and break down his pride by telling him that his pride is stupid and mis-placed and he's got nothing to brag about anyway. But that probably won't work. Or you can teach him to take pride in better things, like his skills at football or his ingenuity, but I'm not sure how helpful that would be. Or you could help him learn how to manage his anger so things don't escalate. But that still leaves his pride.
Or instead you can show him Jesus, you can preach to him the good news. And if by the will of God Steve is saved, then his pride can be dealt with at the heart. Then he can see he has nothing to boast in except Jesus, and no need to prove himself to anyone. The root of his pride will be severed. Sure, it might not seem to be dead immediately, but just as a plant with it's root cut off doesn't loose it's leaves immediately, so will pride one day die. Steve needs Jesus proclaimed to him, so he can see the foolishness of his pride and repent, and boast in someone better than himself.
Monday, 6 May 2013
It's that wonderful time of the year, when the sun is out and I decide it's probably warm enough to wear shorts. This year flaunts itself in the face of global warming, by being one of the latest dates I've first worn shorts for the year. Remember, with a small enough sample size you can prove whatever you want!
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Monday, 29 April 2013
I quit Twitter last week. It's probably a temporary thing. I'll blog about it at some point, but I agree–though not to the extreme– with a lot of what Matt Labash writes about it in the Weekly Standard.
Friday, 12 April 2013
Some links on Paris Brown, the seventeen year-old deputy youth police commissioner who stepped down before she was appointed due to comments she made on Twitter. For those who aren't aware of the story here's the background.
Rather bizarrely both Conservative Home and the Independent agree that the idea was a pretty dumb one in the first place. I don't buy entirely into that, but certainly it doesn't seem the best way of getting young people involved in the crime and policing process.
Then there's the actual Police commissioner who said that, well, y'know, young people say terrible appalling things online, so it's hardly surprising that this one has. Which is true, but only the whole truth if you eliminate the word 'young' from the sentence.
I'm not sure what the grand conclusion of this should be. Thoroughly background check people before you employ them? Teach young people not to express dumb thoughts so publicly? Periodically delete all your online media presence?
Friday, 12 April 2013
I feel I should break silence with some interesting and jovial Youth Work stuff, but this harrowing story about abortion is far more important. It's hideous and at times genuinely hard to read, so be warned going into it.
On February 18, 2010, the FBI raided the "Women's Medical Society," entering its offices about 8:30 p.m. Agents expected to find evidence that it was illegally selling prescription drugs. On entering, they quickly realized something else was amiss. In the grand jury report's telling, "There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets. All the women had been sedated by unlicensed staff." Authorities had also learned about the patient that died at the facility several months prior.