Month: December 2005

Do I look like a steak to you?

Saw Madagascar on DVD this evening round Karen’s. I hadn’t actually seen it before, but had experienced a little taster when I went to see Wallace & Gromit. The film is quite light-hearted, with plenty of gags, a nice simple story and a short running time. This combination makes it a great piece of light entertainment, with the added bonus of a slightly unusual underlying message. Throughout the film, the lion fights his natural carnivorous instinct to maintain his friendship with the zebra. Despite trying all forms of vegetation and fruit, he still has a craving for meat. Whilst the metaphorical leopard can’t change his spots, he can change something. 🙂


I spent a whole afternoon playing a game I haven’t played in ages! I’d managed to find Diplomacy going for £20 at Amazon and couldn’t resist. A number of us had become hard-core Risk players, so it seemed logical to introduce them to Diplomacy. After spending a short while explaining the rules, we proceeded to re-enact early 20th century Europe. I must admit, I didn’t get much chance to form strong alliances as I spent most of the time coaching, but Russia and Austria-Hungary both seemed willing passive partners allowing me to fend of a pernicious Anglo-French alliance, allowing Russia and Austria-Hungary to deal with the Balkans and Italy. Whilst we spent quite a number of hours playing without coming to a definitive conclusion, I think we may be playing it again in the near future. 🙂

Happy Birthday David!

Spent yesterday evening celebrating an 80th birthday! It’s not often you get to celebrate such an anniversary, even someone elses, so this was certainly different. This one was slightly different in that it was a complete surprise for the birthday boy. Being around Christmas, the church usually has its Christmas party around now, inviting all and sundry to enjoy fellowship with us and see the Gospel in action. What better way to celebrate a birthday of one of its longest standing members. As such, his neighbours and friends were also present. There was fun, games, food and the obligatory cake. A very good evening.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see

Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!�
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem!�

Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!�

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Charles Wesley

All wrapped up….almost!

Am I the only person in the world who thinks wrapping presents is painful? I appear to have spent most of today, with a short break to visit an old friend, wrapping presents! This is not because I’m a particularly generous person, but because the whole thing appears to drag….Maybe I should’ve invested in lots of little paper bags instead? Much less hassle than wrapping paper! Ah well, must avoid further distractions and finish this task before Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Box shoes

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner forty niner,
And his daughter Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Herring boxes, without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.

Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev’ry morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.

Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.

How I missed her! How I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine,
But I kissed her little sister,
I forgot my Clementine.

The fourth commandment

Q: Which is the fourth commandment?
A: The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, they man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day and hallowed it.

Q: What is required in the fourth commandment?
A: The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself.

Q: Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?
A: From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.

Q: How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
A: The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

Q: What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A: The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.

Q: What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A: The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the Sabbath-day.

(Questions LVII, LVIII, LIX, LX, LXI and LXII from the Westminster Shorter Catechism).


While you’ve seen many countries and learned many languages, most people remember one thing about you. You crossed an area that most thought was uncrossable. While this used to make you a celebrity amongst friends and neighbors, it seems many have already forgotten the amazement they once felt in your presence. You have a bad habit of confusing the letter T with the letters CH. Your favorite book is A Tale of Two Cities.

Take the Trains and Railroads Quiz
at RMI Miniature Railroads.

a.m.: 2 Corinthians 9:15 p.m.: John 1

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

When we consider the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ, his full deity, the almighty, omniscient, omnipresent God and his infinite love and grace, words fail us. This gift, given for us, is more than we can grasp.

It is even more beyond comprehension that God should give his own Son, the second person of the Trinity. For we who are completely unworthy of his attention. We have rebelled against him and not put him first in our lives. Through faith in this amazing gift, we can be made right with God. We can have peace with God, and not just peace, but unmerited favour and justification with God, and all the benefits which Christ bought with his blood.

If we have received this gift, then we should be thankful. If we are not thankful, it is quite possible we have not experienced this great gift. For who can experience the grace of God without being thankful? If we have not experienced it, it is quite possible we have never received it. For who can receive the Holy Spirit, bought by the blood of Christ, without having him change their lives?

O come let us adore him

I should probably do less on Saturdays – I’m worn out! A whole bunch of us met up in London for a bit of sightseeing/shopping, with a trip to Trafalgar Square in the evening to sing carols with the London City Mission.

The day started with us all meeting up in Picadilly Circus around lunchtime, for a bite to eat. After lunch, we split up pretty much into a group of boys and a group of girls, with the girls off shopping down Regent Street, and the lads wandered down to Tower Bridge to take photos of various London sites. Being a lad, I was well equipped, with my trusty camera under my arm. We even went climbed the monument to the Great Fire of London, build by Christopher Wren – 311 steps to the top! I was glad we did though, as the view was superb, with a good opportunity to get some wide angle shots of London at sunset.

After taking photos of everything and anything, it was time to meet up with the girls again for more food before we wandered down to Trafalgar Square.

As always, the gathering at Trafalgar Square was sizeable, although not massive – it’s a huge square! All the traditional carols were present, along with familiar scripture readings. Many people who were out and about in London joined in and got to hear the gospel in a clear and concise message.

After a short stroll down Oxford Street to see the lights, in a huge group(!), we all headed home in smaller groups. It was good be be able to participate in the sharing of the gospel, and also to be able to mix with others, some of whom are unchurched, in a group setting which was friendly and warm.

A very good, if slightly tiring, day!

He’s not tame, but he’s good

Saw Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe this afternoon. I must admit, I was slightly apprehensive about the film as I heard so much about it – good, bad and all those in between. So I decided I’d go into the cinema with the intention of finding out for myself and coming to my own conclusions.

After sitting through over 2 hours of cinema, I walked out suitably impressed. I thought this was a great film.

As with all film adaptations from books, the main issue was its faithfulness to the original narrative. In this respect, it was almost perfect. The main themes were all there, from the ideas of a world in need of salvation, to sacrifice and redemption. Fortunately, the story in the book is a fine narrative and needs no alteration to become a great narrative in a film.

As a film in and of itself, the pace was good and the special effects were most imperceptible, with only a few minor glitches. (In some cases, the portrayal of certain creatures seemed a little odd to me, but then, most of it portrays a world which is truly fictional. Who’s to say my interpretation is any better or worse than the film directors?)

As a film for use in evangelism, I think its use must be understood to be used effectively. I think the society we live in, certainly in the UK, has very little idea of why Jesus Christ came to earth, and the fallen state of creation and of mankind. The film can be used to illustrate these bibilical truths, but these biblical truths need to be shown to be grounded in reality, in the world around us, rather than just part of a fictional narrative. As such, Christians will still be required to speak of their Lord and Saviour, rather than leaving a film to do all the work.

With all this in mind, I look forward to seeing the next film in the series!


Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

‘Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
O see us on Thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day;
To crown the offering now we pray,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

William Booth

Easy misguided?

Found this at Allthings2all

As Prince Rilian, you are brave, noble and intelligent, but easily misguided! Just make sure you don’t go after any green women.

Not sure I’m entirely happy with the result though!

Christmas Cards

That time of year again when I start writing Christmas cards to people and I wonder where I left my address book! I must be the worst contact maintainer in the world!

Saying that, over recent years, I’ve kept my address book on the computer (currently in Thunderbird), as I figure I wouldn’t be able to lose it. Only problem is that I’m sure some of the entries are out of date. So that’s not foolproof.

So if you were expecting a card from me this year and one doesn’t arrive, please don’t think I’ve forgotten you. It may well be that I’ve lost your address or, if I’ve found it, I’ve posted it to the wrong address.

My arms appear to have stopped working…

Another Monday evening on the football pitch, although slightly different from usual. For some reason, we ended up playing on an outdoor pitch. Now, during the summer, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. However, it is currently December…it was perishing! Not only did this mean it was cold, but when the ball hit you anywhere you felt it quite markedly. By the end of the game, I think my body temperature was lower than it started, as I could no longer move my arms, hands and fingers with much dexterity! One benefit of being in the cold open air was that I didn’t overheat! Not sure that meant anything much though. 🙂