10 years after…the Blue Moon is still in the ascendancy.

To me it was the day the worm turned. An FA cup semi final against the old enemy and though none of that team is around today, they and their manager Roberto Mancini will always have a place in the hearts of every City fan.

The Stretford Enders at Old Trafford were finally made to eat their words and their wretched banner, the door was finally closed on 35 trophy less years. That was 10 years ago and apart from one blip City have finished above United in every season since.

Right now it’s almost one full year since crowds have been allowed into the nations football stadia. Locked out and locked down, socially distanced and subjected to all kinds of other draconian measures supposed to fight a global pandemic. Enough said.

City went to Goodison Park to play a very against a well organised parked bus and took until the 84th minute before Ilkay Gundogan scored the breakthrough goal. Six minutes later as they entered time added on Kevin DeBruyne made it 2 and killed off Everton’s hopes. It meant another semi-final, this time again Chelsea in April. City were already booked to go to Wembley in April to meet the Spurs in the Carabou Cup Final and it looks like the Premier League is all but sewn up with them being 14 points clear with 8 games to go. A Champions League Quarter Final Borussia Dortmund is the next step on the road to a possible(almost impossible) quadruple but see of us are beginning to dream.


It was 17th April 2011 when I first posted the following.

Henry’s Wine Bar on Piccadilly was a great place to gather our strength for the big match.  We had taken Shanks’s Pony round the Streets of London. Grace had never been to the big, big city before so we had to see the Eye, a Captain Jack Sparrow look-a-like and some guy stood up a ladder escaping from chains and padlocks. Then we crossed the bridge to get a closer look at the seat of government, and the big clock and we were thinking about going into Westminster Abbey but the queue was too long and they wanted 16 quid a head. Clearly no-one has told them that my Fathers House is not to be made a place of merchandise?

The beer may have been cloudy but there were no clouds on the horizon

So what was left but to sit outside Henry’s, enjoy a very pleasant steak club sandwich and down the Blue Moon.  It was cloudy to look at but tasted like nectar. To be fair it would not have mattered what it tasted like. It just seemed to be the right thing to do on the day the other blue moon was due to rise over Wembley Stadium.

The best team in the land, and the only football team to come from Manchester were about to end the treble hopes of the London Reds. “This city is yours, this city is yours, we’re going home now, this city is yours”, rang round that half of the national stadium that was dressed in sky blue as the defeated red army scurried hastily away.  Someone pointed out the fact that they are not good losers but that’s probably because they have not had as much practice at it as us.

Rob with Grace and Esther before another big match

I think that victory marks the point in history where we will look back and say the worm turned.  For twenty minutes it looked like the trophyless misery might continue for another year but when the Silva Spaniard picked up the game by the scruff of its neck hope began to rise in the hearts of the blue clad tribe. The half ended all square and a different team came out after the tea break. They took their time. I thought they weren’t coming but when they did appear all those good things we expect and hope for were more apparent. Like commitment, drive, passion, precision passing and the vital ingredient from Toure Yaya.  The GOAL.

The girls were so excited. “I hate this game” one of them said as she hoped we would desperately hang on to the end, and then the extra 5 minutes that’s customary when Fergie is in attendance, even if he is banned from the touchline and conducting his orchestra electronically from the stands.  Unusually for me there were no nerves at all at that point. I could see they were a spent force. Scholes had left in disgrace after trying to emulate former Kung Fu heroes. All they had left to do was spit their dummies out because Super Mario flashed his badge toward the stand long vacated by the now distraught red army. Calm down Mr Anderson. Never mind Rio, go home and tweet, it’ll make you feel better. But get used to this. The Blue Moon is rising.


The Things You Can Do at 62. (Or Thereabouts)

Well at last I have decided to get on with writing the book and what you see above is the title, (at least the working title)  I wrote the first chapter a year ago but floundered as life got in the way. That’s just the way things happen isn’t it, we must fight back against the difficulties and, press on towards the goal. Most of the content will be found in previous posts on this blog because after all it is only my thinking written down, I cant change my beliefs and ideas just to write a book or we would have to call it a novel. I will be rewriting every word though. No copy and pasting. New thoughts applied to existing ideas.  Things have happened recently to make me feel so inspired to organise my most important thoughts and publish them in printed book form.  Most of those things I would never have dreamed I could do at 62.  Now though, I don’t care if you are 82, I believe there is still an adventure waiting for you.

I have never written a book before and the idea was daunting at first, although I write sermons regularly and have preached them around the world, and I have been writing this blog for a few years;  so what’s to stop me writing a full blown book. Even if no-one else reads it I will enjoy counting my blessings and recording some of the things I have learned. 

I never believed I could write well enough or have something to write that would be of interest to the public and yet I have had loads of people telling me how they enjoyed and have benefited from some of my written thoughts.  I guess we all have an audience somewhere. But until now writing has been something that happens in the secret place of my home office.  I write it, I publish it online and if the odd person reads it well thats OK and if people want to debate me on it, well I guess I can handle that too. Its all on line, it is easy to be brave from behind a keyboard: you only have to read some of the comments on social media to work that out. That’s not for me, I will never pull anyone down online and I am not going to fight for long with those that do either, although I did sometimes try to reason with them for a while. I gave up eventually, deciding that they actually want to hate, they want to criticise and they are not going to learn anything from me no matter how hard I try.

Anyway that was the extent of my public communications (apart from the fact that some of my sermons are recorded and have been published on various websites and podcasts) until late last year when I was invited to be a guest on a talk radio show.  I said yes quite gingerly but was wondering what I had done until the big day. What would I say? Why would anyone want to listen to me? But the host was convinced I could add something to his show so along I went to Blackpool and entered a radio studio for the first time in my life.

It was actually quite exciting and an enjoyable experience. Driving home I was just thinking about how glad I was that I had done it and that it would now be confined to my personal history when the phone rang.

“This is Matthew Branson, I am the founder and owner of Cornerstone Christian Radio, the radio station you were just on. I heard your interview and you have a great voice for radio, would you like to talk about having a show of your own? ‘Gobsmacked’  is a common phrase where we live, too common my wife says, but what better way to say it. “It won’t be till the new year, we are building a new studio which will be better equipped and totally dedicated to the purpose but I would like you to do a show, maybe once a week.” I was totally inexperienced, it would take me a while just to grasp the technology let alone get together the music and some idea of what to say for two hours. Four months later after doing a two hour show every week I was asked to do a morning show Monday to Friday to set people up for the day. It started at 7:30 and ended at 9:00AM.   Although our target audience is the North West of England I am amazed to find I have listeners from many parts of the world including India and Pakistan, Uganda, South Africa and lots more. I suppose the facebook live talks I give before my shows has widened the audience but it is still very pleasing. How far will this go? I don’t know. All I know is I am doing something that I never could have imagined, I have a big vision and goals to grow and help others grow at the time of life I thought I would be winding down. Hence the title ‘The Things you can do at 62’.

The kind of success we have in mind cannot be achieved without help so we have partnered with one of the worlds largest online shopping companies who sell a good range of healthy, and environmentally friendly products similar to what we all use in our own homes. Listeners can make a contribution to Cornerstone easily and simply by ordering some of the things they would normally buy from the supermarkets each month from our partner company.  When we introduced them as customers the company pay the station a small commission every time they order. And everyone wins because members get discounts and other benefits when they place their monthly order online. What a great way for our listeners to contribute to the station without spending any more money that they currently do and they should see long term improvements in their families health too because every product contains only natural ingredients.  

You may be asking what’s that got to do with how far this thing can go? 

All the presenters are volunteers and also work at full time jobs and that’s the way it will be for the foreseeable future. Thats’s OK by us, but it means the station struggles to generate cash to meet the studio’s ongoing running costs.  We have ambitions of getting a DAB licence in the near future which will greatly enlarge our reach. Cornerstone Christian Radio is a ministry and already well over 80,000 listeners have enjoyed the great variety of music and particularly the banter of the live shows. This has all been done on a shoestring budget with the generosity of Matthew and his wife Andrea Branson who works full time to make it all possible.  With every new long term customer we introduce to Melaleuca we move a step nearer to meeting those goals. For information of how you can help and for answers to all your questions. email me at mail@robchannings.com   

My own show is called the Personal Growth Program and is not aimed solely at Christians.  As a local pastor I see the whole community as my flock, even if some of them don’t want to know about spiritual things right now there is no reason I can’t help them lead better lives: so we  are doing what we can to help people grow in every way. That includes businesses and personal careers, personal confidence, family, relationships, health, education and obviously the most important thing to us is the spiritual growth of our listeners. 

A good example can be taken from this mornings Personal Growth Show. (Obviously it may not be this morning’s show at the time you are reading it but it was on the day I wrote it.)  I played a recording from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon himself was speaking on one of his own radio broadcasts from more that 50 years ago. He said everyone wants to get rich but most people have no idea of what riches really mean. They have the idea that riches can only be represented by what money will buy. This is very far from the truth and Napoleon then went on to outline the twelve areas of true riches.  Financial security was definitely among them but down at number twelve. The full list is below.  We will be covering all of them in greater depth on forthcoming shows. 

Hopefully the Personal Growth Program from 7:30 – 8:30 on CornerstoneChristianRadio.comis entertaining, and fun and a great way to wake up in the morning and I already know that some people think it’s good company too, which is lovely.  The purpose is to improve the circumstances of as many people as we can, in every way we can.  

Hear is Napoleon Hill’s list. We will be expanding on each heading over the coming weeks.

A Positive Mental Attitude

Sound Physical Health

Harmony in Human Relations

Freedom from Fear

Hope for Future Achievement 

Applied Faith

Willingness to Share Our Blessings with Others

To be Engaged in a Labour of Love

Open Minded on all Subjects with all People.

Complete Self-Discipline 

Financial Security.

For now, please note that everything begins with a Positive Mental Attitude and whilst Financial Security is vital and should be attainable by everyone it comes at the end of the list. A positive mental attitude helps you make the start, keeps you going when things get tough and sees you complete the journey. Virtually every victory in your life started with the courage to face defeat, every ‘YES’ you ever heard in business started with the courage to hear ‘NO’. Let’s grow together.

Have a great day.