Famously Free n Almost Always Radically Ridiculous

The blog of a 20 year old Christ-Follower from Glasgow, Scotland!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mark Driscoll

Tomorrow I will be giving a short (8min) presentation as part of a class. The class is particularly aimed at students who don't speak English natively to give them an opportunity to improve their communication skills, which suits me perfect as no-one understands me when I speak Scots!! The title I've chosen is: "What do Christians Believe", a subject which I should know well, allowing me to focus on my presentation skills, especially how quickly I speak and most importantly allows me to share with them the gospel.

For the past few months I've been watching a well known preacher called Mark Driscoll. He is a great communicator and has a great love for God and the bible. I would really recommend watching some of his sermons at www.marshillchurch.org. When I was preparing I came across some of his stuff on the Gospel and others. Here are two Clips one is "The Gospel" and the second is "Why I hate Religion" (There is one thing he says in the second which I don't agree with, just one comment, see if you can spot it)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Over the past months I've resisted deleting my blog, mainly because I have every intention to write a little about what I've been doing and my thoughts, even if it's just a log of what I've been doing to remind myself! I am sure, though, that the big events of the last 2 months won't be forgotten because since I last blogged things have been rather busy. The biggest change has been moving to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, to study for a year.

I've been for just over 6/7 weeks and so far things have been excellent. The City is very impressive, extremely beautiful! If you have facebook then there are quite alot of photos of my first few weeks here, with loads of pictures of the stunning buildings, some banter and some of my trip to the south of Prague.

There are 15 people from the UK here at the University (ČVUT). Two girls from England who study at Heriot-Watt Edinburgh (Civil Engineering) who are lovely. Also my friend Rachel from Northern Ireland, who I know from Strathclyde CU (Christian Union), is here. She studies Mechanical Engineering as do 5 guys and a girl, who are all from Scotland. And there are 5 of us Civils guys from Strathclyde, 4 boys and 1 girl, who I obviously knew before but its great to get to know them better! Twelve of us live in, the magnificent Strahov Block 8, next to (according to wikipedia) the 2nd largest stadium in the world! I'm sharing a room with the legend that is Keiran, a fellow Civil from Strathclyde, and the other room in my domitory there is (King) Seb, one the Strathclyde Mech Eng guys and (The man himself) Gabriel who is a frenchy and a top guy. He has quickly learned to understand our Scots slang and has prefected some typical scottish chat up lines ;) All in all the flat and the flat mates are great! A special mention must go out to our shower, I would be lying if I said it was anything less than an immense showering device!!! The only issue is sometimes you have to wait for the water to be heated before jumping in, but this only add to the excitement and anticipation of the event..... I love you shower.

We live one floor above the gym, 3mins from the swimming pool and across from us are 4/5 5-a-side pitches, a basketball pitch and some tennis courts! It is excellent and so far I've been able to get fitter and a little stronger :) Also, by playing fotsal against Spanish, Portugies and Italians 2-3 times a week I can feel some improvement in my play, but I've still got my scottish style. I.E. Get the ball and try to put it in the net ASAP. Cheesy as it is, sport, especially football, is a universal language, sometimes I play with Czech's who can't understand me and I can't understand them, but we all know what we are doing when we get on the pitch. I'm hoping to get into a routine, and come back to the UK a better player, we will see how it goes!

The University work has been ok, trying to sort out the classes to fit with the ones we should be doing at Strath has been difficult but we think we have got it under control. At one point I was doing nearly 2x what a Czech student would do, thankfully it has calmed down. The work is a little more applied and I'm already really seeing the benifit of working over summer at a Civil Engineering Company (Mott MacDonald), maybe more on my summer in another blog post..... The course's this year are a more applied to realistic engineering problems and solutions as we begin use the theory which we have been learning up until now. It's interesting because next year I will be doing my disertation and could possibley graduate, so I feel this year I need to be working out which feild of Civil Engineering I would prefer to specialise in. Thus far, in my short career, I've been trying to keep my mind open and become a broad and well-rounded engineer. My aim is very much to take advantage of university and leave as equiped as I possibley can (everyone's aim I guess). I really enjoy doing this but acutally learning a subject, rather than learning to pass the exam requires a lot more work and I worry this year that I could just go down the road of trying to get the grade rather than doing the work and taking as much of the knowledge as I could. I am though very much enjoying Water Engineering, at the moment it seems the field I would most likely want to go to into.

Life away from home thus far as been...uneventful? (in the sense of missing it)..... while I haven't missed home much neither have I gone crazy like many people do when they leave. (I feel bad writing that I don't miss home, but I know the guys at home know how much I love them). Something I've noticed about myself is that I never really seem to be aware too much of how my heart is feeling so maybe I have not noticed? I did though notice in the first few weeks after arriving I missed having people around who I knew well which led to me being a bit lonely and thus not really being myself. Thankfully, this had the effect of bring me closer to God and I'm feeling much better now. My Parents and sister came out to visit me a few weeks ago which was great. I think they had fun! They where here for arguabley the best weekend, weather-wise, of my time here. Their hotel was excellent and I got to stay because they had a free bed, sadly though the shower wasn't as good as our one at our flat. Once they left I was a little scunnered for a day or so. But other than that I've been feeling good. I guess the fact I had so long to get used to leaving (3-9months) has helped a fair bit.

I'm heading back to the UK in a couple of weeks but only flying back to Bradford. There I'll be meeting up with some good friends and going to a large church (The Abundant Life Church) for their annual Men's Conference. For me the best thing will be meeting up with some of my closest Christian friends, who I all are very much my brothers in Christ. Infact my younger, but taller, brother Alan will be meeting me down there. It will be great to see him, sadly due to his immence cleverness and therefore a busy schedule, he was unable to to out with the rest of the family to vist. I very much enough his company and I am very proud of the young man has become, especially over the last year or so. It shall be great to hang out with him.

Back to the conference: The last two years I have gone its been great, opening my eyes, challenging me, making me ask more questions of myself, God and the Church. Infact last year after the conference was when I decided I needed to take a risk and come out of my comfort zone in Glasgow by studying abroad. So it should be good, being around the guys I feel at ease being myself we have a laugh, discuss and sometimes/all the time argue. It is always refreshing and enjoyable hanging out with them. I'm looking forward to learning! More on this in another post I hope.

Since arriving here I've visited a only a couple of churches. This is largely because getting across town for 10-11 starts on a Sunday is difficult, but this is no excuse, sadly there are very few churches which meet in the afternoon/evening. The first one I visited I won't be heading back to as I disagreed on a number of theological issues in the sermon and there didn't seem to be much masuculinity (whatever that mean) which is an issue for me. The other one I've gone to a few times now and I'm still not sure what I think. To be honest I need to get my finger out and get along to things. I think before I arrive I was looking forward to getting involved in a theologically strong, moving church with strong men but never really considered that their might not be such a church in Prague and if there was God might not want me to go to it? Anyway, it's something which needs to be sorted. I'll keep praying. I was reading in the first 8 chapters of 1 Corinthians and found how Paul says when people refuse to turn away from sin but call themselfs Christians (possible over simplification of the passage) they should be left to Satan, which from my reading seems to suggest kicking them out of the church from a time, to let them learn. I am very aware that without a regular fellowship and accountability I am an easy target. With God's grace so far he has kept me close to him, praise be to God.

Finally, (blooming massive post, if you have got this far well done), I have to mention the ISC (International Students Club) here at the University. It is an amazing organisation where Czech speakers volinteer to give International Students the time of their life here. They arrange massive parties and trips, games, languages classes etc. etc. For me the best part of the whole thing is the Buddies. Each International is given a Czech buddy who is their freind when they arrive. Gabriela adopted all the Scots and basically saved us! She sorted our accomidation, transport, food, showed us how to get around, was a friendly face, took us to the zoo and spent days helping us all settle in, thank God for her cos Czech is flipping impossible!! Basically we love her. Then I had the honour of meeting my real buddy Zdeni who was away in Finland when I arrived. She is awesome too and has helped me sort loads of problems out including my classes as she is also a Civil Engineer, one year ahead of me. As well as speaking Czech and fluent Spanish her English is superb and her scots is greatly improving :) To be honest I've been put to shame. Though I have learned how to speak "International English. My family met Zdeni when they came and she took my sister to the Ballet (I went with my mum as well, was rather good!). Obviously we didn't scare her off and she's planning to come to Glasgow after Christmas for a vist! I highly doubt either of them will ever read this post but they are brilliant!

Anyway, I better go, I have too much work to do to spend it writing anymore. I hope to blog again soon, maybe about the amazing Czech beer which costs like 80-90p in a pub and is about 10x better than any beer in the UK. Honestly I have no idea how I'll drink the rubbish we have in the UK when I get back!

(Spelling is bad, sorry, my spell check isn't working, I hope to tidy it up soon)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I took these figures from a BBC article:

Inflation: 100,000%
Unemployment: 80%
Life expectancy: 37 years
Malnutrition: 45% of the population
Sources: Reuters, WHO, World Food Programme

The article was about the state of the economy in the country, you can find it here. What an evil world we live in, a world that allows such things to happen. A world where the west live in luxury and spend more on a pint of beer than people have to live on. Oh how easily we are seduced by the enemy to forget the evil others are exposed to, we spend so much time worried with our self and self indulgence, even in Christianity, blinded to our own selfishness. It's unbelievable. I took this quote from another BBC article.

"On Sunday the 53-member African Union urged Zimbabwe to release the election results "without any further delay", and called for restraint from all parties.

Earlier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he would discuss "how to get developments there back to normal" with a number of African leaders on the sidelines of a UN summit in Ghana.

Kofi Annan, his predecessor, has also urged African leaders to do more to address the crisis.

The alarm bells are getting louder but so far they show little sign of making any difference in Zimbabwe, our correspondent says.

Few African heads of state are attending the UN summit in Ghana and it will not be a priority at a conference of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), currently taking place in Mauritius."

I find it unbelievable.... shockingly unbelievable.... how is this not a priority? This world is full of evil, it can be seen anywhere, just talk to anyone and they will talk of a time when they have been at the receiving end of the consequences of sin but here the depravity of humanity and the need to re-align ourselves with God is so apparent. This shows how humans cannot be our own gods, we cannot escape our selfishness.

Someone said to me recently: "Its amazing how just one man can do this, such an evil thing". But it's not just one man, it's a catalog of people. He rose to power of the back of much evil by various sides; without getting into the deep racial issues, which I have not got enough information to make an informed comment on, the evil of men for many years has led to this man in power. The people in his party who have not opposed him, the people who have elected him in the past, those whom have taken bribes and put themselves and their families in front of others. Those who have stolen from others out of selfishness. Those in the countries around Zimbabwe whom have not opposed him. An international community who have not intervened, who talk the talk but never back it up. A press which report on news which we aren't bored of. A culture in the west of excess, enjoyment and self gratification. People wrapped up in their own issues rather than seeing the big picture.... the list goes on and on.

We, I, need to take responsibly for our actions or lack of. We elect a government. We decide what we read and write about, what we argue and discus, how we spend our time and money. How we deserve judgment.

It starts with me changing and that's only possible through God.

Jesus said:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10 (New International Version)

That's what he came to do, that's what I should be here to do. God help us....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Various Musings

(My 20th Birthday, Prague, Job, Football and God thoughts)

Usually when I'm asked "What's the chat Graham" (What is your news) I don't really have a great answer, most my things are small every day things, thoughts or friendships which I probably don't have much to say about. This week though has been very different:

I was involved in a ridiculous football match; 1 sending off, 3 penalties, 5 different players playing in goals (from both sides), 12 goals all in, 2 goals scored by players from their own half, one which went through the keepers legs and the other was scored from just outside his own box (ME!!), an amazing free kick goal (something you would see on TV from Ronaldino), a fantastic goal scored with a volley and to cap it off I wasn't man of the match, Alan got it, well done to him, he was brill! Sadly we lost to KingsPark 7-5 despite leading 3-1 at half time. It was a brilliant match for the neutral and, even though we lost, I had great fun, played well, really honoured God and was kept safe, which was my prayer :)

Also, this week I also got offered a job at a Civil Engineering Company in Glasgow for the summer! It's a rather large company with great prospects. It's real God send, after the interview I was very strangely conviced that God would have sorted it out for me. With me going to Prague and the fact I don't have a job money was a little worrying, praise God he had it sorted.

I also got an e-mail this week saying I had been accepted to the University in Prague for my 3rd year, result! I have a strange feeling at the back of my mind that it might fall through but I suspect that isn't from God.

Finally, I am turning 20 tomorrow, the 31st! No longer a teenager! 6 months ago the idea of being 20 scared me. I guess it's always been the same. I remember being in Primary 1 at the age of 5 and seeing the Primary 7s (11ish) and thinking they were really big, they looked like teenagers, who 'had it sorted'. It was the same at secondary school all the S3-4s (14-15) looked massive, especially those 5th and 6th years (17ish) they MUST have it together! And it seems the same with people who are over 20, I guess, it appears that people when they get to that age have to be adults and, in some way, have it sorted! Yet now I get here I'm not so scared. I think that in part it is because I realized that people who are older haven't really got it more together, it is that they are just better at hiding it! But also I have realized that I am now in fact a man, where as 6 months ago I felt like a boy. My confidence in who I am, what I stand for and live for, what I am aiming for and where I am going have increased just so much. Also a confidence that with God I can do anything has grown.

The next year is going to have to be filled with loads of ups and downs. This last year has been rather difficult but without it I wouldn't be who I am now. I've prayed every year for the last few years that God would grow my faith in him x2 (the first year), x10 (the next year), and x100 last year and every time it's happened.

This year is no different, I am sure that God will grow my faith in him 1000x times over the next year and that will stretch me further than so far. Living abroad seems a good place to do that. I'm sure there will be times of loneliness and desperation but that's often the times when we learn the most. My hope is not only will I change but people I meet will be changed through me and that this year will be a year I can make a difference! With God's all things are possible :) So with that here comes 20! I'm off to enjoy the last 11mins of being a teenager!

Thursday, March 06, 2008


This last weekend (2-4th) I was up in Aberdeen seeing my friends Olly and Rachel. I had shamefully never been up to the Granite city and was surprised and impressed by the place. Being a Weegie (from Glasgow) I have for years been unkind and dismissive to the City of Aberdeen (can one be unkind to a city?) but I was proved wrong: the Architecture was good, with many good bridges and buildings around, spot the Civil Engineer eh? Also the size of the place was nice, good people, friendly and helpful!

Some guys from Glasgow who I hang about with where also up seeing Rachel and with both Olly and Rache stay in the same halls (Hillhead) it made the thing rather convenient! As always with such things the company makes the weekend and the company was fantastic. We went for some football in the park, walking along the beach, generally hanging about, played the PlayStation, gent to church with Olly and a night out, superb. Personally my highlight was stealing things from Olly's room which he had left unlocked :)

Olly and I went to "Hebron" Church(?!) in the evening! The sermon was from 1 Samuel 20. The spoke passionately and well and I most enjoyed the Worship. We were sadly late :( but it was refreshingly short, only 45-50mins! :D The group went to the "Rave Night" at a club called Tiger Tiger and it was great fun, only £3.50 to get in, people smiling and saying thanks. They gave out free glow sticks and then two ladies put face paints on you if you desired. Music was good and the bar staff where very kool. All in all very impressive and I look forward to going back! Quite a difference from Glasgow: going out here you are at the bouncers mercy, they seem to take pleasure in being rude and obviously enjoy the power!!! If guys don't have a girl with them then you are unlikely to get in and once your in the bar staff and bouncers inside are generally very unfriendly.

A special mention has to be made to all the ladies and men from Hillhead halls who made us all feel extremely welcome, what a pleasure :) Its rare to find people who are so willing to include you into things effortlessly. Thanks much! A few pictures below :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Its been a while since my last post. Just a quick updates on a couple of things with me. The main one is that the plans seem to be in place for me to study at the Czech Technical University in Prague next year, for a full year. The forms are being faxed tomorrow and if its God's will I shall be there next year for 3rd year. I have a few fears and such but that is for another blog post.

Also exams for Uni so far have gone well. With 3 out of 4 results back from semester one I have an average of 90% which is superb :D Praise god! Semester two seems to be tough, with a lot of hand ins, labs and studying to be done. Also I need to get a summer work placement sorted out and am in the process to applying to places. I hate writing CVs/cover letters!

Finally, back at football, we won 3-2. Also was a superb wedding over the weekend. I only got to play the first half as I had to run off to the wedding. Busy few weeks ahead. I hope to blog with some interesting things. I have a superb youtube video, please use your discretion as it has a slightly vulgar moment where someone makes a gesture, its not the joke though. Sorry for those who deem it inappropriate! Enjoy :D

Friday, February 01, 2008

New Fone

I finally have a new mobile fone, with the old number. Please text me as I have lost all my numbers, if you don't have my number email me at gjcuthbert@aol.com.

CU Missions Week

This is taken from an email sent to CU people:

"This February, all the Christian Unions in Glasgow are joining up for a dedicated week of outreach.

It is aimed at students around all of the University campuses in the city. The week will start on Monday 4th and will involve various daytime events in each of the universities, and with evening events on the Tues to Thurs evenings.

Each of these evenings will run with the same format. The early event is called The Lounge: it will be chat-show format and will include elements of music, video, testimony, Q & A’s, and talks from Mr John MacKinnon. Later in the evening we are holding Acoustic Musings: a chance to relax and chat over the talk to a background of music from local Christian songwriters.

The overall theme of this week is Satisfaction. We’re going to be looking at understanding and challenging the ways that people find satisfaction in life, and taking the opportunity to tell people about the true satisfaction that can be found through Jesus Christ."

As far as I am aware the Uni CU's taking part are: Strathclyde (Both Campus'), Glasgow, Caledonian University, University of Stirling, Glasgow Art School and RSAMD. The Website dedicated to it is: www.areyousatisfied.co.uk.

It would be kool if you are the praying type to pray. There will be free lunch given out on main campus at Strathclyde near the halls from 12-1 on Tues-Thurs which people can come and get! So come along, student or not and get free things.

We are having a 24/5 pray thing this week and Wednesday was Strathclyde's day. Was good to go along and spend time in dedicated prayer to one thing with no distractions, thing is I don't like being quiet when I pray so I ended up pacing around the room, must have been rather annoying to the others around!

Anyway, come along, I should be at a few things with friends so if you want a beer and a chill then email me!