Showing posts from February, 2011

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5 - Chapters 10-11

Chapter 10 – Tea, biscuits & a man hug.

Minutes later, nose blown, eyes red, Dave finds himself in the foyer at the Integration point. Melinda has been reunited with Abi & they are talking excitedly. Ian & Sam are on their way over with a tray of tea & biscuits.

Jenny & Graham complete the circle, & Jenny holds out the guest slip which Melinda had completed earlier. The same lady who had handed out the pen takes it from her & introduces herself properly. She gives Melinda a booklet which tells her all about the church & some of the key things that are going on. Another friendly conversation begins.

Ian & Graham have agreed that they will meet up with Dave this coming Wednesday for an hour or so, & Ian gives Dave a book also. ‘This will help to explain some of the things that you’ve prayed today. We’ll talk about it some more on Wednesday.’ Another warm smile.

Before Dave knows what is happening, Ian grabs him by the shoulder & pulls him into a h…

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5 - Chapter 9 - The Prayer That Changed Everything

As soon as Dave put his hand down he began to feel stupid, berating himself for getting drawn into a crazy emotional experience. Maybe he could blame it on tiredness or some of the pressure at work at the moment?

The problem was, the preacher had seen his hand. Smiling broadly, he had just said, ‘Thank you’ – that word again. ‘We’re going to finish with a simple song but please come to speak with me if you put your hand up, I’ve got some help for you.’

With the music starting up, Ian caught Dave’s eye. Dave noticed that Ian’s eyes were wet too. ‘Do you want me to come with you mate?’ Ian asked. He had seen too – there was no way out!

Down at the front, the preacher introduced himself & explained the prayer that he had just prayed. He showed Dave a written down copy & asked if he wanted to pray it again together. ‘Sure’ Dave mumbled, his heart thumping again.

This time the preacher & Dave prayed a simple prayer with Dave repeating the words that the preacher said. ‘Thank you Je…

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5 - Chapters 6, 7 & 8

Chapter 6 – The Pen

They were welcomed again by a lady from the front. Mel put up her hand immediately when the lady asked if there were any guests here today. Dave was squirming. He wanted to stay under the radar, he had resolved the day before not to put his hand up for anything. But Mel’s eagerness brought the lady over. She simply said ‘Hi’, gave them a pen & another smile – their 1000th of the morning.

Ian leaned over to Dave with a grin & sniggered, ‘This is the moment where we ask you to write down your bank details!’ Dave tensed again until he saw Ian & Graham nudge each other & point at him. Realising that they were winding him up, Dave wondered again, ‘Don’t these guys know that they’re in church?’

Meanwhile, Mel had taken the sheet which Dave had been handed at the doors. As instructed by the lady, she was using the pen to fill in their names & email & ticking a box which asked for more information about the church. Jenny took it from her when she was d…

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5 - Chapter 5 - Guitar Guy, Chinese lady from Sainsbury’s &.……….God?

When Dave lifts his head up a few moments later, the seats around him have all filled up, & with a ‘Hello & Welcome to Jubilee’ over the mic, all eyes are on the front.

He can’t see a Vicar anywhere, but everyone else seems to know this guy with a guitar around his neck who is speaking. There is a palpable sense of anticipation in the room. The closest thing Dave can compare it to is that moment before kick off on the football pitch…..but this is church?

Suddenly they’re off. Everyone is on their feet, Dave & Mel stand too not wanting to look odd. The music is really ok. Even though he’d heard some on the website, he had still secretly believed it would just be organs & old ladies, or even worse, country & western. But this was good, Dave even clapped his hands & tried to sing along with some of the words on the big screen in front of them.

‘Here comes the hard sell bit where they take our money’ Dave whispered to Melinda & tensed up as baskets were passed alo…

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5 - Chapter 4- Unsaved Dave's Long Walk of Fear

Taking the sheet given to him at the door, Dave moved inside, still holding Mel’s hand tightly. From the videos, they knew that the church gathered in the big netball hall. That felt like safe ground, so they headed straight there.

That was Dave’s next misjudgement – no netball hall. There were so many chairs. As they looked through the glass doors it seemed more set up for a gig than for church.

Again, they are saved from an attack of butterflies at the door to the hall by a friendly lady who asks if they want help finding somewhere to sit. Dave wants to say ‘yes’. But he doesn’t want to look like the new boy. More than this, Dave is proud of his natural masculine sense of direction. He doesn’t want to look like the kind of weak guy who needs help, especially from a lady who looks like his mum.

His moment of indecision is broken by a slap on the shoulders & a shout of ‘Hi Dave, fancy seeing you guys here!’ Turning around, Dave & Mel are thrilled to see Ian grinning at them. ‘Wow…

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5 - Chapter 3 - Unsaved Dave's Big Day Out

It’s 10.15am, Sunday morning. They’re in the car & Dave is not heading for the golf course. Mel can’t quite believe he is going through with it, but she has to admit she is kind of intrigued too. Abi is happier, now that they have looked at the videos on the website together & seen two of the girls from her netball team in the middle of all the other church teenagers. In fact, she’s been texting them ever since that breakfast conversation yesterday & they have agreed to meet her at the entrance & take care of her.

When Dave comes after work on a Tuesday to pick Abi up it’s all pretty simple – in & out – but now, as he approaches down the road he can see car park stewards before he even gets near the building.

They get waved into a space down the side by a big guy in a bright yellow jacket with a smile to match, then follow the signs back to the entrance… goes!

Although they knew it was church & not netball, Dave & Mel were quite unprepared for this. It w…

Men's & Women's English - A communication lesson for Valentines Day

I promised to post the Men's & Women's English here for Valentines Day that we used in yesterday's Marriage Matters Session.

The truth is, we fellas can't really understand the female of the species. Unless you are blessed with a Mel Gibson 'What Women Want' special sense, then it is pretty much guesswork for us men most of the time. As for the ladies....well, stick around with us guys long enough & you'll work out that our minds are pretty one round again in an endless loop

We've been trying to help couples understand one another, help them to communicate better & listen to what their partner is really saying, not what they think they are saying. The following definitions have been formed from years of extensive research amongst husbands & wives - they are listed below to help you plot a course through the miasma of male/female communication. Observe & learn, maybe even put…

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5 - Chapter 2 - Unsaved Dave's Doorway

Dave & Mel drive home that night really stirred by their evening at Ian & Sam’s. The more they talk about them together, the more they agree – these guys are just so....well....attractive – that is their lives, there’s something about them, about their attitudes, their hope that get’s under Dave’s skin.

He can’t sleep that night thinking about it all. Funnily enough, Dave starts wondering about his own marriage. When was the last time he & Mel held hands & laughed all evening? He recalls gripping her hand during the Champions League penalty shoot out as John Terry ran up to the spot, but that was no laughing matter. Dave sits up in bed now, unable to stop thinking about how his whole life has become about work & how he’d never meant for it to turn out that way. He can’t help wondering if he & Mel could ever be as happy as Ian & Sam seem to be, or cynically, whether they really are all that? It certainly seemed authentic though.

Giving up on sleep, Dave wander…

The Life & Adventures of David Turner - Age 39.5

Full name: David (Dave) Turner.
Occupation: Litigation Team Leader, Insurance.
Home town: Copthorne, near East Grinstead
Wants to be when he grows up: An impact sub off the bench for Chelsea.
Favourite memory: Toss up between looking down the isle on his wedding day to Melinda, the birth of their daughter Abi, or the arrival on these shores of Roman Abramovich.
Best Album & Movie: Level 42 World Machine, Godfather trilogy or High School Musical
Religious affiliation: None, it’s ok for them to believe what they want, just try to be happy, try to be good.

Chapter 1 – Unsaved Dave meets Ian

Looking back, Dave realised that he had not been near to a church since school Harvest Festival, October ’83, where he had got into some considerable trouble for rearranging the fruit & vegetables in an inappropriate display on the table near the altar. It had been worth it for the playground kudos which followed, but kind of put him off religion for a while.

Dave wasn’t unhappy, loved his wife & d…