Posted by: Chris Hoskins | August 12, 2009

A year goes so fast….

So, today should be the 1st birthday of my niece Iona. Those of you who’ve been following this blog for a while will have read everything that our family, especially Jonnie and Susie went through.

It was a hellish time while the medical staff at Yorkhill tried to make Iona better, sadly she died 7 weeks later.

We all still miss her terribly, all the time.

Happy Birthday Iona.

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Posted by: Chris Hoskins | August 6, 2009

Reflecting on my first few days…..

Day 3 as projects director at Blue Horizon. Had a great moment today where I thought to myself ‘I can do this job!’ I’ve had a few moments over the last few months where I’ve been thinking ‘Can I do this? Do I really have what it takes? Am I organised enough? Are the skills there in me to do this?’ Lots of self doubt about my ability to do this job. I still feel slightly overwhelmed, but then there is a lot to take in. And my plan to cope with that seems to be working, breaking it all up into small chunks and focusing on 1 part at a time. If I try and figure it all out in one go in my first week I’m doomed to failure. I’m just taking each section and each day as it comes and taking time every day to reflect on what new stuff has come to light during the day and figuring out how it all fits together! I’m sure some of the staff must think I’m doing nothing at times as I sit with my brow furled trying to fit the jigsaw together in my head!
I’m having a great time though. The staff who I’ve met so far (4/5) are awesome, fun, friendly, hard working and making me feel very welcome and at home! I’ve yet to meet most of the board, but I’m assured they’re great. I know all 3 ministers connected to the charity and they’re all quite sound!
The thing I’m loving most about this job is that I’m in an office with people. So much of my time in my last 2 jobs was spent sitting by myself in an office reading, researching, planning and emailing. I’m very much a people person, I thrive when I’m around others, it gives me so much energy to be with others.
The work being done by Blue Horizon and its staff and volunteers sounds incredible. I’ll be writing about that at somepoint in the future. If you’re ever in Aberdeen and want to swing by the office and find out a bit more about the work, or if you want to meet for a coffee to hear about the work just fire me a message through whatever contact details you have for me, whether its a message hear, facebooking me, a tweet, a text whatever. You’re all more than welcome to pop up and visit!
Peace Out

Chris

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | August 3, 2009

Big change!

I’m very aware that I’ve been quite absent from my blog recently. I’ve been going through a very busy period!
I’ve been wrapping things up in Portlethen, where I’ve been the youthworker for 2 years. I’m leaving there for a new job as projects director at Blue Horizon. I’m quite excited about it!!
If you’re a regular on here, you’ll hear plenty about it over the next few months, amongst many other things that have been rattling around my head the last few weeks!
Anyway, just wanted to check in and be excited about starting my new job with as many people as possible!

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | July 17, 2009

It must be borne in mind

Another piece of literature I’d like to share with you. This time a poem by Benjamin. E. Mays about dreams and ambition. it speaks to me because I’m a dreamer, a very sentimental person.

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life

doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal.

The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.


It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled.

But it is a calamity not to dream.


It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal,

but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture.


It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars.

But it is a disgrace not to have stars to reach for.


Not failure, but low aim, is the sin.

Bemjamin. E. Mays

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | July 15, 2009

He was there

I cam across this piece when I was clearing out my office, not sure if its a prayer/poem or song, could be any of them. I can’t remember where I first heard/ read it, or why I was given a copy. All I know is that it is originally by a guy called Neil Hawkins from Liverpool. I’ll let it talk for itself now:

Jesus heard you when you prayed last night,
He talked with God about you;
Jesus was there when you fought that fight,
He is going to bring you through.

Jesus knew when you shed those tears,
But you did not weep alone,
For the burden you thought was too heavy to bear,
He made his very own.

Jesus himself was touched by that trial,
Which you could not understand;
Jesus stood by as you almost fell,
And lovingly grasped your hand.

Jesus cared when you bore that pain,
Indeed he bore it too;
He felt each pang, each ache in your heart,
Because of his love for you.

Jesus was grieved when you doubted his love,
But he gave you grace to go on,
Jesus rejoiced as you trusted in him,
The only trustworthy one.

His presence shall ever be with you,
No need to be anxious or fret,
Wonderful Lord! He was there all the time,
He has never forsaken you.

Neil Hawkins,
Liverpool

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | July 2, 2009

Canada!

Having missed Canada day yesterday (but thanks to my dodgy computer calendar only realizing that after making ‘Happy Canada Day’ my facebook status I thought this would be a good time to write a post I’ve been meaning to write for ages!.

Those of you who know me, know that I have something of a love affair going on with Canada! I can’t get enough of the country. Before I start rambling, let me start at the beginning of it all!

I first visited Canada in July 2002 for the 17th Roman Catholic World Youth Day. This was an awesome 2 weeks. On the one hand, it marked the first major trip I’d ever taken outside the UK (apart form a day trip to Paris with my parents), it also marked my first time flying. I was there with a group from the Church of Scotland, 27 (I think) Protestant Pilgrims amongst 800,000 RC pilgrims. The CofS group was fantastic, unfortunately I don’t keep in touch with that many of the folks who were on the trip as often as I’d like to, but at the time of the trip some of the folk there were my closest friends: Yin Lee and Colin Hyslop.
Here’s a picture of the whole (I think) CofS group in RHPC:

CofS Pilgrims in RHPC

CofS Pilgrims in RHPC


Those 2 weeks were spent exploring Toronto and greater Toronto: highlights being Niagara Falls, Canada’s Wonderland, meeting and staying with Vivian, Kevin, Olivia and Ceilea, meeting the Nigra family, the final mass at Downsview and my falling in love with Canada!
Colin, Rachel and I in Downsiew

Colin, Rachel and I in Downsiew


Part of the crowd at Downsview

Part of the crowd at Downsview


I could write for ages about the WYD trip, but I’ll need to come back another time to do that, I want to talk about Canada and my experiences as a whole just now.
After this first trip to Canada, I had an incredible urge to go back, I really wanted to go back and spend more time with the awesome people I met the first time, but there was also something about the country that made me (and still makes me) well up with passion from my gut. I know that probably sounds crazy to a lot of you, but there’s no other way to describe it. When I first felt it, I just assumed it was down to the great time I had when I was there for WYD.
As time went on after the trip, I spent more and more time chatting to my new friends and emailing them. I knew I was going to go back, I just had to figure out arrangements. As it happened, I went back the following April (2003) with my good friend Calum Wilson. Everyone knew I was coming, but only the parents of the families we were staying with knew Calum was coming, which was a nice surprise for them all! I managed to embarrass myself immediately by calling ‘shotgun’ at the same time as forgetting about Canadians driving on the other side of the road and so ran to the drivers seat, whoops! As well as being a trip to visit our friends, we were in Canada to celebrate Olivia Shins 16th birthday with her and Lindsey Nigra’s 19th brthday with her. Both celebrations were great fun (apart from some Scottish idiocy from us!). The first week (the last week in March) was glorious sunshine, whereas the 2nd week was cold and very snowy! Particular highlights of that trip were: getting my tattoo, Olivia’s 16th party, Lindsey’s 19th party, RHPC’s spaghetti dinner.
Again, I could write for ages about that trip, but I’ll revisit it another day.
When I came back from this trip, I had such a strong longing to be back in Canada. Such a strong passion whenever I thought of the country. It was at this point I started thinking that perhaps God was calling me to Canada. For a few weeks this played on my mind daily. Was it God? Was it me imagining things? Was it just that I’d had 4 great weeks in Canada with great people?
A few weeks after getting home I was at Spring Harvest with some friends. During one of the evening sessions the speaker, Tré Sheppard was speaking about calling, specifically where has God called you to minister. He was quite good in that he made the point that not every Christian is called to go on mission in Africa, as he saw many do. He didn’t see this as a bad thing to do, but he also didn’t see it as a bad thing to be called to a ‘developed’ country on missions. As he was speaking, I was prying constantly in my head: ‘God, am I called to Canada? Is that where I’m meant to go? I’m so confused, make it clear for me!’. For 30 minutes I prayed and listened, and heard nothing. i wasn’t that frustrated though, you often hear of people praying for years without answer! How Tré ended his talk truly shocked, scared and excited me though. His last line was this: ‘It doesn’t matter if you are called to Africa, or to….(long pause as he thought) ..Canada, what is important is that you follow Gods call’. What was I supposed to do with that!? What could I assume except that God had given me a timely answer? I approached Tré the next day and asked him why he had chosen to say Canada at that moment? His only answer was that it was the first developed nation that popped into his head as he thought. He wasn’t really sure why, and as he comes from one of the southern states in the US it wasn’t because he was thinking of home!
Ever since then, I’ve been of no doubt that I’m called to, one day, move to Canada and be involved in some form of ministry there. It’s quite exciting! What makes it even more exciting is the fact that Linda, my wife, is open to the idea too!
Since that evening at Spring Harvest, I have returned to Canada only the once, in the August of 2003. There were 2 reasons for originally going, and one bonus reason! The 2 original reason was for my friend Crystals wedding and to attend Canada Youth 2003, the bonus event was going to a Toronto Argonauts Canadian Football game.
Crystals wedding was great, her and Joe looked great and looked so happy! It was a gorgeous, sunny day out in the more ‘rural’ part of Ontario (to the west of Toronto, I think). Everyone seemed to have a great time and were all really happy for them both!
The football game was awesome, Canadian football is slightly different to Amercian Football, if you’re really interested you’ll read up on it yourself! Toronto, who I was supporting, were narrowly beaten by Edmonton. But that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the game!
Canada Youth was an awesome event, I’ll share some highlight, but again I’ll need to return to do it justice! I met so many more awesome people there. The great thing about everyone I’ve ever met in Canada is how welcoming and accepting they have been of me. At CY03, the folks i hung around with most of the time were already a pretty tight group, yet the accepted me straight in and treated me as part of the group. I’ve never felt so welcome in my life! Moments of note from CY03: random girl realizing i was ACTUALLY from Scotland and screaming scarily loud, the thunderstorm (awesome!), the Seiché, mealtimes, there are to many just to blandly list them!!!!!
Here are a couple of videos about Canada Youth, the first is a teaser promo video for this years event (if you watch closely, you’ll spot me, albeit a very young looking me!) the second is a worship version of the proclaimers song ‘500 miles’.


Thats enough of a wee ramble from me, except for this: I won’t ever try and convince anyone how awesome Canada is (apart from Linda!). I don’t expect everyone to feel what I feel for Canada. It’s hard to describe what I feel for Canada. An intense passion, a strong love. Whenever I’ve been there, including the very first time, I’ve felt at home. Canada is, to some extent, is home for me. I can’t really explain why, or expect people to understand. Thats ok, tey just have to accept that’s how I feel about it!
Peace out
Chris

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | June 25, 2009

RIP Michael?

As I write this, Michal Jackson may have died. I first saw the news on one of my friends status updates on Facebook, since then it seems to be firing round everyone, twitter is repeatedly overloaded, I suspect because many people sharing the news with each other. Those who have shared it on Facebook are seeing many people commenting on it. Everyone seems to be in shock; there’s so much disbelief about the idea. TMZ first reported it, now CNN, Sky and the associated press are trying to confirm it, so far the only ones other than TMZ to confirm it are OK! magazine and the LA times.

If it is true, its a loss to the music world. Sure, he’s had his crazy antics, but his legacy will and should be his music. His music was so popular, who can forget ‘Billy Jean’, ‘Thriller’, ‘Bad’ and countless more hits? His music inspired so many, one of my memories of primary school was performing in a drama class to ‘Thriller’, dressed up as Zombies and all sorts!

It’s quite sad that already, before its even confirmed, there are cruel, sick jokes going around about his death, whats wrong with people? If you didn’t like or respect him as a person or a musician, respect the fact that others do have that love and respect for him, respect the fact that he has a family who are going to be hurting!

I’m watching Sky news as I write this, as well as following various Facebook updates and those I follow on Twitter(when it doesn’t crash!). The big news agencies now seem to be confirming that he has in fact died. I’ll be praying for his family and friends, no death of a close friend/ relative is easy. If you are a person of faith, please pary for his family too, especially his kids…..

Peace Out

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | June 13, 2009

Change of address!

So, for a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of getting my own personalized URL, step 1 in the process of getting my own, personalized website(a project I’m currently looking into). Anyhoo, if you haven’t already realized, my new blog address is http://www.choskins.co.uk I had wanted a chrishoskins domain, but .com and .co.uk were already taken, I did fancy .ca (Canada) but you need to be a resident of Canada to register a .ca domain! Don’t worry, if you type http://www.chrishoskins.wordpress.com it will still direct you here!
I can also be found on twitter and Facebook(my previous post tells you where I am there!)
Peace Out
Chris

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | June 13, 2009

Did you get yours?

I’m sure many of you, if you are facebook users, have heard the hype over the last few days about facebook launching usernames. Apparently half a million people registered usernames in the first 15 minutes! I wonder how many of them stayed up all night o got up early just to do that? Did you get yours? I got mine, they don’t seem to have done it as sensibly as they could have though, or is it jut me?
I registered my username as www.facebook.com/chris.hoskins/ though quickly discovered that, if you type in www.facebook.com/chrishoskins/ it will take you to my homepage anyway! Not much difference? Sure, only the period is missing in the second address, but surely if they made it able to differentiate usernames with the period, more people could get a username that they wanted? It may be small and insignificant, but oh well, I’m bringing it up anyway! A quick search on facebook shows that there are 145 people that share the name Chris Hoskins (most of them live in the US, where the usernames came online at a decentish hour, so I’m not sure how chris.hoskins was still free when I went online this morning!) and without the ability to differentiate usernames with a period, only me out of 145 candidates can ‘have’ a username close to our full name. Although, there is the very real possibility that none of them care about it and I’m the geekiest Chris Hoskins on facebook!?
One funny story I read was that one person registered the username ‘username’, making their facebook URL ‘www.facebook.com/username/’ how that worked I don’t know, with all of the names that were blocked and pre-registered you think they would have made sure that name couldn’t be taken! (This may just be an myth born overnight that I’m falling for, but I’m willing to chance that!)
Anyhoo, if you do have any interest in it, here are some articles about the facebook username deal:
Usernames are live
Username rush imminent
Facebook may crash
Facebook celebrates

Posted by: Chris Hoskins | June 11, 2009

365 Project catch up

It’s been quite a while since my last 365 project update, I’m not left with as much of a huge task as I might have been as I’ve managed to miss quite a few days……oh well, onwards and upwards!!

124-365
127-365
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138-365
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141-365
142-365
143-365
144-365
145-365
146-365
147-365
148-365
149-365
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153-365
158-365

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