...in which an explanation of the site's title is offered.

I work for a company which runs a Students Union for Cardiff University in Wales.  My job in the events department is planning, overseeing and orchestrating events which take place in and around our building, including club nights, exhibitions, live music and comedy.

The latter events usually consist of a main act, the 'headliners', but prior to this there are often several 'support' or 'warmup' acts whose job it is to get the audience ready to watch the main act.  These 'warmup acts' are employed so that, by the time the headliners take to the stage, the crowd is comfortable enough in a large group to enjoy the performance of the band or artist, singing along to all their favourite songs.  Sometimes good, on rare occasions abysmal, the life of a warmup act is not necessarily a great one.  There's absolutely no shame in opening for a more popular talent, and sometimes they even exceed the performance of the headliner, but no support act can say they're at the top of their field, yet.

So here we have this performance - it's not what people have come to see, it's not why anybody bought their ticket, it's not why the concert was put on in the first place, but nevertheless the audience usually try to enjoy it as best they can, safe in the knowledge that sometime soon the main act is going to come on and vindicate whatever dross they've had to endure first.

Life, I feel, is much like this.  I have often thought of this world as a warmup act (hey, that's the name of the site!), in which we are all trying to enjoy ourselves, and might even find temporary happiness once in a while, but it's not why we bought the ticket.  All of us, those of us who believe in an afterlife, anyway, are in this waiting room of a world, kicking our heels and looking forward to the 'real life' that will begin with the ending of this one.

Death, the great enlightened say, is just a part of life.  This is true, but it's only really as true as saying that arriving at a destination is just a part of the journey, when surely the whole point should be what happens after you've arrived?  I think they are missing the point - journeys are traversed with a goal in mind, an aim to get from one place to another.  So, too, for those who, like me, believe in life after death, life is merely a journey.  Death is the arrival, but the destination is so much more important than the arrival.

As this site tries to examine where my beliefs meet those of the world, it should be noted that the belief in 'heaven' is probably not the most out-there of the claims of Jesus and of the Bible, less-so than, say, God coming to earth and offering humanity a second chance by dying on a cross.  Sure, lots of people don't believe in any sort of 'afterlife', and they obviously have their reasons.  I often think of the bit on Alan Partridge's Radio Norwich show where they're talking about life after death:

"Frederick emails to say he has four children, is the proud father of a new
baby boy Joshua and his daughter, Susan, five, has just started school and
he thinks that after death, there is nothing." 

That always makes me chuckle; the ensuing laughter on the show highlighting, I feel, the arrogant disbelief of some people.  But if you really think about it, it becomes a lot less funny.  I can't imagine living life without believing there might be something better.  The cynic in me would say that maybe believing in life after death presents choices that some people don't want to deal with if those choices mean them living a life by someone else's rules, but that's another discussion entirely.  But I still believe that, even amongst people who don't necessarily say they have a 'faith', the belief in an afterlife or heaven is probably not all that uncommon.

I've only been to one funeral, and as my Grandfather was a faithful Christian the service was obviously all focused on his new life in Heaven.  But what of other non-faith services?  Do such a thing exist?  I can't imagine anyone going up to give a eulogy and saying 'Terrence lived a wonderful life, fathered seven brilliant children, cured cancer and now is nothing and nowhere.'

Of course, I'm not saying that a belief in the afterlife negates any experience in this life, on the contrary.  I believe that life after death is not something which can be offered free of charge (a discussion for another time perhaps), and so as we have been bought by the blood, we should really try our best to be good faithful servants in this life while we wait for our real life to begin.  I'm not saying we can 'buy' our way into life after death via good deeds, but we should perform good deeds because we have been bought and saved from eternal death.

And so the title of the site stands, basically reminding me that whatever I experience in this life, and I hope to experience an awful lot of good things, it is merely a waiting room, the support act before the headliner, a set which will never end.  Like a Coldplay concert, only better.

Boxing Day Blues

Christmas is many things to me.

On the one hand there's the enjoyment of the holiday season which really encompasses everything; the music, the decorations, the food, the gifts, the chance to take some time off to have festive fun and fellowship with friends and family (fffffffffff).

On the other hand there's the obvious day of celebration of the birth of Christ.  I'm ashamed to say that this is always quite far down on my list of reasons to look forward to December 25th, even as a Christian.  Despite all the 'Jesus is the reason for the season' messages we're bombarded with during each December, the nativity is pretty much the furthest element from my mind when up against the Home Alone movies on TV, the Sufjan Christmas records on the stereo and a red Starbucks cup in my hand.  But this, I think, just goes to highlight the human condition and makes the true Christmas miracle of Grace even harder to grasp.

You see, I believe in the teachings of the Bible; that we as a human race were all created by God (waay waaaay back when) and destined for a good life of peace, but that we rejected that in favour of doing things our way.  I mean, not me personally, but I'm pretty sure if I had been born as Adam I'd have failed in the same way.  I understand that I'm living in a world which would probably call this train of thought hugely irrational, but I just try to focus on how 'rational' it would have seemed even just 50 years ago, so just go with it for a second. 

We humans just love to be in control, and we don't like anyone telling us we're wrong, or that we can't do something.  We HATE it.  So when I'm told that I should spend my Christmas being thankful for the gift of salvation through the death of Christ, my sinful human nature takes over and says 'screw this, I'm going to play with my new video game.'  Don't get me wrong - in my heart of hearts I want to *want* to go with the flow, but more often than not, I choose to do what I want to do...

Thankfully, grace says that even when I make the wrong decision, I get a do-over, basically so long as I genuinely want to make the right decision.  I think... I'm still not 100% learned-up on this kinda stuff, but I'm trying to carve my own path from what I read in the Bible, and I totally 100% believe it all.

Anyway, this post wasn't meant to be some sort of 'Gospel-Shot' but I've just been thinking about how bizarre and fictional all this Nativity stuff must sound to people who don't know or don't believe what the Bible says, so I thought I'd chip in my two pence.

But alas, Boxing Day it is, and the saddest time of year for kids like me who've awaited Christmas with bated breath since mid-October.  I've had a great one so far, though (especially on the presents-front - more on that in my next post...), and now I have a few weeks at home to relax, enjoy not being under the pressures of work, and work on a few projects.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.


Welcome to The Warmup Act.  This is a space for me to write about and discuss my more philosophical/theoretical faith-based musings on life, death and taxes.

As many will know, I consider myself to be of the Christian faith, and one of the things that I'm constantly aware of in my life is how far all the things I therefore believe are removed from society nowadays.  With this in mind, and not wishing to 'impose' my beliefs on others who might enjoy following my other blogging efforts, I thought it might be nice to separate these posts from my other more moronic writings.

I consider myself to be not just a Christian but moreover a normal human being, and so I will say now that while I am as sure of my faith and what I believe as I am of the nose on my (rather beautiful) face, I still have an awful lot to learn about how that faith intersects with the world in which I live.  Therefore, I may, mistakenly, fill this site with theological inaccuracies which may, at times, border on heresy.  Rest assured, the mistakes I make are unintentional; purely a result of my sinful human nature, a fallen nature from which I will hopefully learn as time goes by.

So, without further ado, let the 'trying to make sense of this life' commence!

A Transposition...

From now on I will be web-logging my life from this site here.

From June 2004 to December 2009 I posted with ever-decreasing frequency at this site here:


There were some good times, there were some great times.  And those times shall continue.

Let's go.