Month: July 2015 (page 1 of 2)

The Light of the World

It’s probably in the top 5 most famous Bible verses of all time.

John 8:12 – Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

On Sunday at church, one of our elders Matt unpacked this verse for us and what we learned really hit home with me.

I think I’d always associated the light of the world with people holding candles and saying prayers in darkened church buildings. But Jesus being “light” is WAY bigger than that – and not getting this right carries real dangers for us.

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The Gammy Knees – A History Part 6

When Emmanuel Church, Bramcote decided to run a football tournament at Powerleague, it seemed tailormade for the Gammies. However, when it was stripped back to 4 aside, it looked a little trickier. Having to ask players to miss games was frustrating.

How can you drop any of these guys?

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Summer Camps

Schools out for summer.

The children in my class have left for pastures new, probably via some fabulous holiday destinations. The sun is (kinda) shining and the long vacation stretches ahead of me.

Sort of.

On Saturday I’m heading down to Sibford for the annual CYFA camp for 11-14 year olds with some guys from my church. It’s wacky, intense and busy.

But I can’t wait.

And with that in mind I thought it worth reflecting on camps I’ve been on  in previous years.

Some real highlights in there!

Maidwell 2007

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Bite is worse than their bark

A few weeks ago, my wife picked up Sophie from nursery only to discover three defined teeth marks in her forehead and just above her eyebrow.

It was horrible. And we had no warning about it.

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Part 2: Ten Years Ago – You are NOT allowed to leave the country…

So, my chances of leaving on the motorhome with the others were in ruins.

But we did have a backup plan up our sleeve.

I went to bed on the 20th July worrying about it, but also desperately hoping we could make it work.

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Ten Years Ago – You are NOT allowed to leave the country…

For the last ten years, I have always known when my passport was going to expire.

21 July 2015 has been etched indelibly on my mind ever since I last renewed it – the pain and relief I associate with the last time I renewed it a permanent reminder of when my occasionally haphazard organisation caused me (and various very gracious others!) a whole lot of grief!

Here’s what happened ten years ago…

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Sophie’s 1st Parents Evening!

In my time as a teacher, I’ve done my fair share of Parents Evenings. Lots of talk about (hopefully) achieving children who are well behaved and making good progress.

A few pointers about how parents can help at home and that’s usually the end of the meeting.

When it came to Sophie’s first Parents Evening at nursery, I was suddenly catapulted onto the other side of the desk…and it felt rather different!

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Loving French!

Sophie experienced a touch of Gallic flair this afternoon – and she loved it.

Inspired by our friend Becs’s organisation of a local French festival, we went along to check it out. It’s fair to say Sophie was pretty enthralled by what she saw, smelt and heard.

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The Gammy Knees – A History Part 5

The summer of 2009 brought hefty changes to the Gammy Knees. Would it work out for them? 


Despite basically building a new team the previous summer, the end of university for a number of players meant that the Gammies had to undergo a radical rehaul once again. Gone: Danny L, Danny J, Ste, Chris. Soon to go: Westhead. We needed some new faces otherwise the Gammy Knees were done. Another heavy recruitment drive followed. In: Mike, Dave and Pete. With only six, we did often find ourselves needing to draft in other people to play on a number of occasions. People like Nik (with his excellent left foot) and Cogsy did do a decent job when called upon.

This recruitment certainly had a more long term feel with only one student left in the squad, that of our new German midfielder Pete, and he a PhD student. Strong, skilful and determined, he led the charge for us, almost as influential as Rick in many games. He did take a shot more often than he passed…but his finishing ability was usually good enough to compensate.

Adding to the international flavour was Mike, a ballroom dancing IT expert, whose long, flowing hair, tights and vest tops certainly marked him out. A highly useful utility man who could play anywhere and be effective, Mike still remains a key part of the Gammy Knees team and would go on to be captain. (More on that later).

As Westhead bade us a sorrowful farewell and headed for Munich, we needed a new defender. Step forward, Dave, Royston’s answer to Jamie Carragher. He read the game well, wasn’t fussed about nipping forward (although he could certainly hit a terrific shot) and he kept us compact. His long-standing friendship with goalkeeper Matt helped their understanding too.

Powerleague Nottingham - not exactly a place where dreams come true!

Powerleague Nottingham – not exactly a place where dreams come true!

Again, our team was solid and dependable in the league. We weren’t the types to dominate possession, more about pressurising the opposition into mistakes, sharp counter-attacks involving one-twos and precise finishing. We won Division 3 in the first half of the season and got promoted, a cause of great celebration. Unfortunately, as the next season kicked off, Pete was ruled out through injury, wanting to protect himself before a stint at the London Marathon.

Consequently, our league form tailed off, particularly as we were now up against tougher opposition. We didn’t get relegated but never looked like getting promoted. If we were going to be successful, it was going to have to come in a different kind of competition…

Read back next week to find out what happened in the first Emmanuel KickAbout Cup.

These shoes were made for walking

If you saw Friday’s post about Sophie’s new movements, you’d be aware that our little girl is very much on the move – and fast!

So, it was vital we embarked on another very important rite of passage and visited a shoe shop with her for the first time!

It was very exciting!

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