Category: rambling

Sinless perfection

A number of times, when talking about sinless perfection, preachers, commentators and others will reference the life of C. H. Spurgeon and his encounters with those claiming sinless perfection. Unfortunately, a lot of the recollections are a little hazy, so I thought I would rummage through Spurgeon’s autobiography to see what actually happened. After a short while I found this:

In striking contrast to those apologists for sin; I met in my first pastorate, as I have often done since, a number of persons who professed to be perfect, and who said that they had lived so many months or years without sinning against God. One man, who told me that he was perfect, was hump-backed, and when I remarked that I thought, if he were a perfect man, he ought to have a perfect body, he became so angry that I said to him, “Tell, my friend , if you are perfect, there are a great many more as near perfection as you are,” “Oh!” he exclaimed, “I shall feel it for having been betrayed into anger.” He said that he had not been angry for many years; I had brought him back to his old state of infirmity, and painful as it might be for him, I have no doubt that it did him good to see himself as he really was.

C.H. Spurgeon, C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography: 1. The Early Years (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1962), 228

and this:

Our Wesleyan brethren have a notion that they are going to be perfect here on earth. I should be very glad to see them when they are perfect, and if any of them happen to be in the position of servants, wanting situations, I would be happy to give them any amount of wages I could spare, for I should feel myself highly honoured and greatly blessed in having perfect servants; and what is more, if any of them are masters, and need servants, I would undertake to come and serve them without wages at all if I could but find a perfect master. I have had one perfect Master ever since I first knew the Lord, and if I could be sure that there is another perfect master, I should be greatly pleased to have him as an under-master, while the great Supreme must ever be chief of all. One man, who said he was perfect, called upon me once, and asked me to go and see him, for I should receive valuable instruction from him if I did. I said, “I have no doubt it would be so, but I should not like to go to your house, I think I should hardly be able to get into one of your rooms.” “How is that ?” he enquired. “‘Well,” I replied, “I suppose that your house would be so full of angels that there would be no room for me.” He did not like that remark; and when I made one or two other playful observations, he went into a towering rage. “‘Well, friend,” I said to him, “I think, after all, I am as perfect as you are; but do perfect men ever get angry?” He denied that he was angry, although there was a peculiar redness about his cheeks, and a fiery flash in his eyes, that is very common to persons when they are in a passion. At any rate, I think I rather spoiled his perfection, for he evidently went home much less satisfied with himself than when he came out.

C.H. Spurgeon, C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography: 1. The Early Years (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1962), 229

So there you have it, I suspect much less exciting than most recollections of Spurgeon’s encounters with “sinless perfection”, but still apt reminders than no one will be without sin in this life.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:8 (NIV)

It’s been a while

Looking at the last entry, it would’ve seemed safe to assume that this blog was inactive, and until recently, that assumption would’ve been correct.

Until recently, if I found any interesting articles around the web, I’d share that on my Google+ feed.

However, Google’s announcement to shut down Google+ has caused me to rethink the role of social networking in my online presence.

Twitter has become more prominent in how I share interesting links, but it is quite a limited facility.

Facebook is a weird walled-garden which seems to go against everything the web was intended to be.

Of course, any social networking site is ultimately there to make money for its owners, and when that income dries up, the future of the site is called in to question. Additionally, any site has to be funded in some way to function, and if the users are not paying for it, then the user, well the user’s data, is the product.

So… maybe this blog will have a purpose once more… only time will tell.


Hypocrisy

The Christian church is one of the few organizations in the world that requires a public acknowledgement of sin as a condition for membership. In one sense the church has fewer hypocrites than any institution because by definition the church is a haven for sinners. If the church claimed to be an organization of perfect people then her claim would be hypocritical. But no such claim is made by the church. There is no slander in the charge that the church is full of sinners. Such a statement would only compliment the church for fulfilling her divinely appointed task

R. C. Sproul


8 years ago!

I was listening to some mp3 files on my phone recently and this popped up. I can’t believe 8 years has passed since I did this!

Dvorak Sonatina IV


MDCXI – MMXI

Almost four-hundred years ago on May 2nd, 1611, one of the greatest influences on the English language, the Authorised Version (AV) of the bible, was published. It wasn’t the first translation of the bible into English, and it certainly isn’t the last. However, along with the works of Shakespeare and the Oxford English Dictionary, it has been instrumental in forming the English language into what we use today. To celebrate the quadricentennial of the AV, every week this year, I plan to tweet a bible verse which has become a well-known phrase.


…bacon tastes good. Pork chops taste good…

After a lunchtime conversation with my work colleagues about the price of meat, I thought I’d have a look to see how much different meats actually cost per kg. The prices are a snapshot of the prices at Tesco on 24-Nov-2011.

Beef Mince £3.28/kg
Burgers £4.39/kg
Stewing steak £5.19/kg
Casserole steak £7.50/kg
Shoulder joint £7.50/kg
Rump Steak £8.61/kg
Rib roast £9.88/kg
Sir loin £15.47/kg
Fillet steak £22.98/kg
Chicken Whole chicken £2.43/kg
Legs £2.96/kg
Thighs £3.62/kg
Breast quarter £4.16/kg
Breast fillet £9.63/kg
Fish Mussel meat £4.45/kg
Seafood sticks £5.00/kg
River Cobbler £6.46/kg
Whole trout £6.99/kg
Haddock fillets £7.96/kg
Cod fillets £8.70/kg
Plaice fillets £9.17/kg
Cooked and peeled prawns £9.53/kg
Raw king prawns £13.96/kg
Salmon fillets £16.89/kg
Trout fillets £18.19/kg
Scallops £18.75/kg
Tuna steak £19.98/kg
Lamb Mutton mince £3.18/kg
Shoulder £5.00/kg
Mince £6.73/kg
Leg £8.99/kg
Shanks £8.99/kg
Steak £11.34/kg
Shoulder fillets £12.50/kg
Chops £14.15/kg
Pork Shoulder joint £2.19/kg
Leg joint £2.99/kg
Pork mince £3.00/kg
Ribs £3.36/kg
Belly slices £3.78/kg
Shoulder steaks £3.89/kg
Boneless Streaky slices £4.78/kg
Trimmed rib rack £4.99/kg
Pork chops £5.97/kg
Smoked back bacon £6.88/kg
Loin Steaks £7.71/kg
Fillet £7.99/kg
Escalopes £11.67/kg
Medallions £11.67/kg

Psalm 84

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Selah

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
Selah

Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.


For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Poppy Appeal


‘Spanish Chicken’

1kg Chicken thighs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 peppers
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Squeeze of lemon juice


Long time, no blog[2]…

It seems like a long time since I rambled about inane trivia. Midsummers Day 2009 has gone already, and the nights are starting to draw in.

It’s been so long, that my mobile contract had expired and my trusty W910i was up for replacement. Fortunately, I didn’t have to give much thought to its replacement as the HTC Magic had just been released, and it looked like the perfect geek phone to me. For those of you who still have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s the second phone to be released with Google Android as its operating system.

My contract was modified slightly to accommodate unlimited internet access, which also meant a lot more free minutes and texts, and I can see why. Without constant and unlimited internet access, the features of this phone would be quite noticeably curtailed! When you first switch it on, it asks for your Google account details and then proceeds to sync with your Google contacts, calendar and Gmail. From then on, when you make any modifications to any of the above, either through the web, or via the phone, the two are almost always in sync.

Is it a good phone? Let’s just say that, I’m still very happy with it and I’m still downloading apps for it. The only phone I’ve come across which could possibly be better would be Apple’s iPhone, but even then, it’s a close call thing. The user interface of the Magic is very straightforward, making very good use of the touch screen. I’m still not over the novelty of being able to access my email, Gmail, and calendar wherever I am. The ability to download lots of apps, both from Google and from third-parties is brilliant compared to the paltry offerings available to the W910i. (I guess the hardware difference might contribute somewhat to that – The Magic is pretty much a computer in your palm!)

It’s been quite cool to watch Wimbledon live using beebplayer, whilst sitting in Kwik-Fit waiting for them to recharge the aircon in the car, or see the fuel usage per week with Mileage. Its GPS and Andnav2 have been quite handy when I’m in the middle of nowhere and the old paper map doesn’t seem to make much sense. The GPS and Sportypal also comes into its own as a way to record my walks and calculate how far I’ve walked and see how many calories I’ve burned. Occassionally I’ve gone to a church service without a paper bible, and used CadreBible. The most used app is probably twidroid, which allows me to Twitter from almost anywhere I care to be!

Which brings me full circle… I guess the reason I haven’t blogged much on the inane front is that Twitter allows me to do that and restricts me to only inflicting 140 characters of banality on you!

Now, what shall I do with my old phone?


Grace, from first to last

Q. Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?

A. The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different from those under the New.

Q. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?

A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.

Q. How is the covenant of grace administered under the New Testament?

A. Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.

(Questions XXXIII, XXXVI and XXXV of the Westminster Larger Catechism.)


Long long ago…

I tried upgrading my blog a while ago, and  I kind of borked it!

However, I just tried upgrading the software and it’s all working again. Yay!

The hiatus has meant I’m now out of the habit of blogging, and it probably also means that anyone who read this blog has probably wandered off due to lack of activity.

I’m wondering whether it’s worth continuing, or if blogging really has had its day, and the ubiquitous social networking sites are where all the action’s at…

I’ll ponder the merits of blogging in my head and let you (whoever you are!) know my conclusions.


What you don’t have, you don’t miss

It would seem that, when I look around at my friends, everyone around me has a laptop. Their reasoning for having one varies from it being their main/only computer, to something which is more convenient than a desktop, through to no reasoning at all. My mum recently acquired one, and I said I’d set it up. A quick download of Xubuntu, Gutsy Gibbon, (it’s an old laptop!) and it was up and running. Web surfing is accomplished by Firefox, dial-up access and wireless networking worked out of the box. Whilst it is in my possession, I figured I might as well use it, so Pidgin, Xnest and Gnomesword/ESV were installed which enable me to chat on MSN/GTalk/ICQ, open XDMCP sessions on my Fedora 8 box and read the bible all from the comfort of my bed. (Where I am now :))

Eventually I’ll return the laptop to my mum so she can use it to check her email and browse the web. The question I’m left with now is; Do I get a laptop? Sure, it’s nice for blogging from bed, or instant messaging in front of the telly, but do I really need one? It would be useful when I’m on holiday to copy photos onto so my camera doesn’t get clogged up, to watch DVDs, to make blog posts and email, but do I really need it?

I’m not sure I need it, but it’s sure nice. We’ll see I guess…


Long time, no blog…

To those who regularly read this blog, I do apologise for the lack of original ramblings of late! (I get the feeling I may be apologising to no one!) This is partly due to the madness of the Christmas season, and an inability to decline requests for help. Needless to say, even though Christmas is a long distant memory, January was busy!

Over the past months or so I have learnt a few new things which are possibly worth sharing.

I read somewhere that if your blog is mostly your own ramblings, rather than links to other people’s, you probably need a dose of humility. Fortunately, del.icio.us keeps me on the humble side!

Buying fruit loose is generally cheaper than buying prepacked. Case in point – I was in Sainsbury’s last week and saw a bag of 5 apples, ready packed, going for £1.99. I saw the same kind of apples being sold for £1.39/kg loose. I thought I’d try something, so picked out 5 apples, put them in a bag and went to the checkout. They came to £0.90(!) Over a pound cheaper than the prepacked! As an added bonus, they’re also a lot fresher – crisper and tastier! (Although I guess the latter is a little subjective and might be coloured by my feeling of self-satisfaction!)

Finally, the Sony Ericsson w910i rocks! A few weeks ago, I’d contacted my mobile operator with the intention of changing my tariff to something which would suit my needs better. I’d succeeded in increasing the number of free minutes and texts, whilst paying the same monthly rate, and the operator mentioned I was eligible for a free upgrade of my phone as well. Initially I was offered the Motorola K1 KRZR, but after a week of sending texts to the wrong people, finding the keypad irritating and generally being frustrated by the unresponsiveness of the software, I sent it back and was sent the w910i. Needless to say, because my previous phone was also an SE, I got on with the interface without hitch, the hardware is much higher build quality and it’s a whole lot more responsive than the Motorola! The fact it has a beautiful screen and plays mp3s is an added bonus!


I’m sure my face wasn’t designed for this!

One of those evenings where I was, rather painfully, reminded that I wear contacts for playing football for a reason! After I got the ball in the face a couple of times, I was glad I wasn’t perching a pair of glass lenses on my nose!

It’s really cold as well. (Almost completely unrelated, but it was!!!)