Friday, September 30, 2005

Travels across the Emerald Isle


Hello to anyone who may be reading this! I thought it might be 'schwing' to put Ireland up on the blog show you where my travels take me.

Here's the key: Green house - where we currently live in N. Ireland / Red house - where we hope to move to in Co. Tipperary in January '06 / Yellow asterix - places I'll be making stops for work or play / Red line - my route on the way (note: houses not shown to scale).

This weekend (in fact, in 30 minutes!) I'm heading to the town of Portlaoise in Co. Laois (1st asterix) for a get-together with the area Youth Council tonight. Tomorrow morning CIYD is hosting a training session for all those who wish to attend Anois as a youth leader. Later tomorrow night I'll be delivering a training session in Fermoy, Co. Cork (2nd asterix) for a group of leaders who are planning on running the Quest course to reach teens in the diocese. I'll leave the Cork area on Sunday morning and make my way home to my wonderful family by Sunday evening. Your prayers are ALWAYS appreciated as I travel, listen and speak to young people, youth leaders and clergy. Time for the road . . .

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Friend to Artists



For the last two years I have had the privilege of getting to know a man called Michael Guido. 'Guido' as he's better known, has been a friend to those in the Arts & Entertainment industry for over 20+ years. He's a pastor of sorts and a spiritual companion. Guido is a pioneer in the 'road pastor' tradition - supporting groups like Jars of Clay, dc Talk, POD, Michael W. Smith, Switchfoot and others. He, his wife Celeste and indeed his entire family have given so much for the calling on their lives to support, challenge and encourage artists and their families in their relationship with Christ. Please pray for the Guidos if you're the praying type. Pray for protection, financial support, joy and an overriding sense of God's clear calling on their ministry - PR Ministries. The PR stands for 'Persuing Relationships'.
Every time we speak, Guido challenges me with his intense love for God and his knowledge of the Scriptures. He is a good friend and a great role model in so many ways. I can see that Dreamers of the Day, in many ways, has a similar purpose and vision to PR Ministries. It is part of our calling as an organisation to support those in the Arts & Entertainment industry. I think I can see God slowly directing us along this path. Time will tell! The pictures are from last February when he visited Ireland with his friend Dave Mustaine. We had a number of hours together and I look forward to more in the near future!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Make shift Drive-In Theatre



I had it on my mind for months. I wanted to fully take advantage of the summer months here in Ireland and do something the local young people would enjoy . . a make shift drive-in theatre. I had to wait until the timing was right for weather, holidays (vacations), work schedule and family schedule before I could proceed. I thought I had planned it on a good night (although Christy says otherwise!). The weather had been perfect - sunny, very warm and no gale-force winds.
So in my back garden (yard), I used a bed sheet, some dynamic hiking cord, my laptop, projector and a borrowed portable stereo - it was amazing. The night was clear and starry, the wind was minimal and more importantly - it was dry. I had so much fun! From the printing of the invitations to the set-up . . how great! We showed The Incredibles (for free of course!) and it was well worth it. I'll defintely do it again, although next time it'll have to be in County Tipperary.

Rewarding Discovery


Since starting my job with the Church of Ireland Youth Department just over a year ago, I have made a most rewarding discovery - Erdinger beer. I have never been overly excited about beer itself (it is an acquired taste), but since I've happened upon Erdinger I now have a preferred beer. It's brilliant! If you have the occasional drink (and are of age and responsible!) . . try it. If you are a non-drinker, you may avoid it altogether or they now brew Erdinger non-alcoholic (most things are worth trying once!).

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Let Mercy Lead


A man that I met and had the opportunity to work with briefly wrote this wonderful song (he's written many) entitled Let Mercy Lead. I've listened to the song for many years and little did I know that it would one day play a small part in influencing the naming of my son (see 'A Son is Born' below). Rich Mullins has been a shaping influence in my life, through his songs, yes - but more through the life he led. He has challenged me to pursue God with passion and intensity while perservering in the struggle against my inbred rebellion toward God. Rich also really loved Ireland and the people here - which is something we have in common. I have also had the privilege of working with his brother David Mullins at our first ever Dreamers of the Day retreat in November 2003. I honour the life of Rich in how God has, and is, using him (even in death), while honouring my son with a name that has a depth of meaning and the strength of Irish/Celtic tradition. Here's the song - a sort of prayer and blessing over the new life of Aidan Scott Tucker.

LET MERCY LEAD
Rich Mullins and Beaker
Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Psalm 78:3-8

Aidan you're young
But Aidan you're growing fast
Me and your mom
And all the love we have
We can only take you so far
As far as we can
But you'll need something more to guide your heart
As you grow into a man


Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Those who believe
Although their foolish hearts may break
They will find peace
And I'll meet you in that place
Where mercy leads


Aidan the day
Aidan the day will come
You'll run the race
That takes us way beyond
All our trials and all our failures
And all the good we dream of
But you can't see yet where it is you're heading
But one day you'll see the face of love

Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Those who believe
Although their foolish hearts may break
They will find peace
Where mercy leads

Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Those who believe
Although their foolish hearts may break
They will find peace
And I'll meet you in that place
Let mercy lead
Let mercy lead

Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Let mercy lead

Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Let mercy lead


Copyright 1995 - Edward Grant, Inc. and Kid Brothers of St. Frank Publishing


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Great Night Out





About a week and a half ago I got together with a small group of the young people I used to serve during the five years I was youth pastor at Waringstown Presbyterian Church. It was an informal gathering. We met at my house so Christy and Neve could catch up a bit and looked at old pictures of years gone by. They all looked soooo young when we first arrived in '99 (that's because they were!). We then headed out to the Odyssey in Belfast for some pizza at the Hut. The night ended at one of the young peoples'' homes where we all played a heated game of Monopoly! What a wonderful time to reconnect with some of the young people I invested my life in and I love so much. Thank you for enduring friendships Lord!