Month: September 2005

God is love

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

William R. Featherston


Going, going…..gone…

Well, sold my first item on eBay this evening. I must admit to being fascinated by the whole process. The initial act of putting the item up for auction had a little spark of excitement, and then it all went quiet until a few minutes before the end of the auction! About five minutes before the auction drew to a close, there was a sudden flurry of activity and my item which had stood almost neglected at £1 suddenly shot up in value reaching the final sale price of £2.40. Hopefully, the transaction will proceed smoothly and I’ll have my first eBay rating.


Work, rest and play

Had a weird rash over the weekend. At first I thought it was an allergy to something I’d eaten and thought nothing of it. However, it kept reappearing over the course of the weekend. Looking back, I’m guessing it was probably a combination of a rather busy week last week and coming into contact with Miriam who had a viral infection of some sort. (The joys of working with children eh?) However, due to it’s wearied state, rather than my body fighting off the infection normally, it turned into a rash instead. After putting up with it for two days, I looked up possible cures on NHS Direct – rest. Finally I decided wanted to shake this, rather irritating, thing off and spend the day resting, so took the day off work. In the process I came across the following passage.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord�s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don�t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Lk 10:38-42

Maybe I should spend more resting and listening at the feet of Jesus instead of rushing to and fro?


a.m.: Genesis 22:1-14 p.m.: Daniel 5:

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heav’n above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all his love. Matthias Claudius

Another year, another harvest. Despite the regularity, if anything, because of the regularity, God deserves all thanks and praise for providing us with everything we need.

Our very position in the universe, with the extraordinary conditions suitable for life. The configuration of the sun, the earth’s position in orbit, the earth’s atmospheric composition, the list is endless.

God didn’t create the universe and leave it running like a clockwork toy though. God the Son sustains it moment by moment graciously providing us with everything we need. This in itself would seem amazing until we realise we have disobeyed God’s laws which are for our good. This disobedience would justify God’s withdrawal of his grace leaving us only with his wrath, yet he continues to sustain us for a season.

More amazingly, just as God provided a sacrifice for Abraham, he provides a saviour who can deal with our sin. God the Son became a man to die on a cross, to take on the sins of his people, of all who believe in him. The creator and sustainer became our saviour, our substitute, that we might be put right with God.


All good gifts

A rather busy Saturday to end a rather busy week! Woke up fairly early and wandered down to the local sorting office to pick up a parcel – a new Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 II lens. Hopefully this lens will give me the added flexibility of taking indoor photos without flash, albeit it all at 50mm focal length. Should be good for weddings and other indoor places where light may be low, but flash photography is undesirable.
I then set about cooking myself some lunch and a chilli at the same time. The lunch was for immediate consumption, whereas the chilli was for the evening.
After lunch, I left the chilli simmering and started to sort out Colin’s hard disks. Basically he had data on various hard disks but couldn’t work out how to access them on his own compouter, so I plugged them into mine and slurped the data onto CD-Rs. Somewhere along the line, Sarah picked up the chilli and took it to Hayes Town Chapel.
It was soon time to head up to Hayes Town Chapel myself to join them in their Harvest supper, remembering that all good gifts come from God. There was a very good spread, some interesting conversations and I didn’t have to take any chilli home. Result. 🙂
Spent the remainder of the evening round Sarah’s just chilling and chatting.
Phew!


The first commandment

Q: What is the preface to the ten commandments?
A: The preface to the ten commandments is in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Q: What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us?
A: The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us, That because God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.

Q: Which is the first commandment?
A: The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Q: What is required in the first commandment?
A: The first commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God, and to worship and glorify him accordingly.

Q: What is forbidden in the first commandment?
A: The first commandment forbiddeth the denying, or not worshipping and glorifying the true God as God, and our God; and the giving of that worship and glory to any other, which is due to him alone.

Q: What are specially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?
A: These words before me in the first commandment teach us, That God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other god.

(Questions XLIII, XLIV, XLV, XLVI, XLVII and XLVIII from the Westminster Shorter Catechism)


Abstinence makes the heart grow stronger

Well, if this article at The Register is anything to go by.

Boys who only experimented with vice did not increase their likelihood of depression. But girls only had to have sex to bring on a threefold increase in their chances of becoming depressed compared to the abstainers. A two-fold increase was experienced by those girls who experimented with drugs and alcohol.

Maybe it’s time we realised that educating teenagers purely about the physical aspects of sex is not the way forward. We owe it to them to educate them about the emotional, relationship, aspects of sex. They might then be able to understand why in the bible, God tells us that the full potential of sex can only truly be fulfilled in marriage, a life-long committed relationship.


The nature of repentance

When I heard this story on the radio this morning, I thought it was faintly ridiculous. Some of the bishops in the Church of England say this would be a “public act of institutional repentance”, as if such a thing were possible.

How can anyone apologise on behalf of someone else? It’s as silly as me hitting someone and someone else apologising on my behalf – even though I might not be sorry.

In addition, who has been wronged? To apologise to Muslim leaders would make out the war was perpetrated specifically against Muslims. Even the most critical opponents to the war, if they know what they’re talking about, knows it was not a war against Muslims for being Muslim.

So we’re having people apologise on behalf of others, to people who quite possibly have not been wronged. Does this appear even slightly silly to these bishops?

Argghhh, even though I’m not an Anglican, but a non-conformist, most people I know don’t see the distinction and I get associated with this show of stupidity. More importantly, these bishops claim to represent Christ and his church. Grrr…. 🙁


a.m.: Genesis 17:1-22 p.m.: Nehemiah 2

Unlike British culture today, a person’s name in the bible usually meant something. This is distinctly apparent when God promises Abram a son.

Firstly, God refers to himself as God Almighty, El Shaddai. This title alone conveys the omnipotence of God. This is a God who can do what humanly seems impossible.

Abram’s name is changed to Abraham. From being “exalted father”, he becomes “father of a multitude”. This is to show the covenant which God makes with Abraham. God promises Abraham a son, that through this son, Abraham will become the father of a great nation, a populous nation. A line of kings would be descended, and ultimately the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would be born through this lineage. God was seeing through his plan of salvation.

Sarai is given the name Sarah, from “my princess” to “princess”. Again, this has a similar function to Abraham’s naming. She is to become the princess of a nation, the start of a line of kings, rather than just a matriarch of a family.

Finally, the name of their son is significant. Isaac means “laughter”, and at his announcement there was laughter of incredulity from his parents, yet when he was born, the laughter was that of joy. God had made his promise and kept it.

Whilst our given names today may not say much about us, if we call ourselves Christians do we behave as though we are Christ’s?


That’s horrible

Another Saturday gone. Spent the afternoon playing David at snooker. I think he’s improving, with only one frame in it, ending at 4-3 frames to me.

Went round Sarah’s in the evening to watch Hotel Rwanda on DVD with some of the usual suspects. I’d already seen it in the cinema, so I already knew what to expect, but it’s a great film to watch over and over again just as a reminder of what humanity is capable of. It’s so easy to forget our mistakes, only to repeat them. I’d also since been to Africa and the film brought back memories of my time there. This only served to make the film ever more real. Definitely worth repeat viewing.


The cost of fuel

Well, it’s the third day of a series of fuel price protests and it’s all been a bit of a damp squib. On Wednesday, the media was out in force, presumably to hype up the story into profitable ‘news’ sales, following the protesters around. The hype had already caused a few to panic buy fuel, but when push came to shove, it would appear there were more reporters than protesters.

It would seem that most people have forgotten a significant reason why fuel duty is so high. Yes, it lines the Chancellor’s pockets, but it’s also there to discourage people from using motorised road transport in an attempt to reduce environmental damage.

It would seem the significant noise makers are the road hauliers, with good reason – the cost of diesel affects their profitability. Yet, according to Freight on Rail, they are also a significant contributor to environmental damage.

Long distance heavy freight belongs on the railways which can transport them more efficiently than one the road. Strangely enough, in the United States, where the road haulier is king, it is rail freight which is profitable rather than passenger services.

Whilst I understand people need jobs to survive, I am not convinced we can sacrifice the environment, which God has given us to steward, regardless.


How well do you know me?

Decided to indulge my ego by creating a quiz about myself on Bebo, to see what my friends know about me.

Fortunately my brother came top with the highest number of correct answers about me. I guess it would’ve been weird for a non-family member to beat him.

The trend amongst my friends tended to favour the people who see me most frequently during the week, with the lowest score coming from those who see me only very occassionally and those who’ve only just met me.

The most frequent wrong answers were concerning my favourite foods, which I guess isn’t that surprising as I pretty much eat everything. That and bizarre questions like favourite character from the 100 Acre Wood! 🙂

Saying that, I did have trouble recalling information about my friends as I took their quizzes. I guess this just shows we should always meet together and have meaningful conversations.


I/O Error….

I’ve just fixed the strangest computer problem I’ve come across in a while. (I say ‘I’, but David did most of the work)

Some time ago, I set up Linux on a computer for Mim, who was familiar with computers, but not a ‘haxx0r’. The system had been running quite happily, with yum automatically keeping everything up to date, and Open Office, Firefox and gaim supplying her computing needs.

On Friday evening though, the libc runtime system file became corrupted somehow and the kernel couldn’t access it on boot. It complained of an I/O error and so reported a panic. (I guess I’d panic too if someone had disabled something that crucial to my operation). On inspection, the libc file hadn’t been touched by any software and showed the same file attributes as when it was first put on the computer. The only possible conclusion was that the hard disk had dropped a byte or two and rendered the file unreadable.

Ah well, gave her an opportunity to upgrade her Fedora Core 3 system to Core 4. Everything appears to be working again now. 🙂


a.m.: Ecclesiastes 7:1-6 p.m.: Nehemiah 1:5-2:20

A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
It is better to heed a wise mans rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.
Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless. Ecc 7:1-6

It is so easy to go through life without thinking about the big picture. We can go through life without giving a second thought to what is beyond the immediate. Eat, drink and be merry…without remembering that tomorrow we die. It is more important that we understand our eternal destiny, rather than fill our time with the fleeting pleasures of this life.

With this in mind, are we wise enough to accept the rebuke of those wiser than us, or are we more apt to listening to fools who massage our egos? Do we truly understand wisdom? Are we seeking godliness, through knowing God through his word and applying it to our lives?


Anniversaries

Well, spent the day at my parent’s house, where I grew up, for my mum’s birthday. It was good to be able to spend the day with the family just relaxing and eating. It also gave me an opportunity to finally distribute the gifts I had accumulated on my various excursions around the globe. The evening was spent with everyone sitting down to a rather large meal and then settling down in front of the telly to watch the last night of the proms on the BBC.