Month: January 2006

a.m.: John 21:18-23 p.m.: Joshua 2

After entrusting Peter to look after his sheep, Jesus tells Peter how he will die. Not in a blaze of glory, but as an old man taken against his will.

Jesus then tells Peter to follow him. Rather than obey his Lord and Saviour, Peter is preoccupied with what John is up to and queries Jesus about him. Jesus sees Peter has missed the whole point and asks Peter “What is that to you? Follow me.”

Even after that response, there were those who missed the point, thinking the crux of the message was about John’s fate, rather than what Jesus was really saying – follow me.

So often instead of concentrating that we’re following Jesus, we can spend time looking around at others and judging their walk. Before we can successfully help others, we need to make sure we’re following Jesus, otherwise instead of shepherding, we’re just interfering busy bodies.

So often we can hear teaching and instead of applying it to ourselves, we think of someone else it could apply to. Now it’s possible that person might need to hear it also, but we must first check to see if it applies to us.

Only by looking first to Jesus can we then look around and help others.

Schlittschuhe mit Geburtstag!

A nice relaxing Saturday! Woke up after a nice lie in at around noon. πŸ™‚ Had a shower, cooked some bacon and eggs for breakfast and headed off to Slough to celebrate David’s birthday with some ice-skating to start.

Unlike the last foray on the ice, the boots fitted snugly so I spent almost the whole two hours skating around the rink in blissful comfort, occassionally terrorising Dave A.

We then pootled down to Nandos for a meal of chicken and something, and the occassional diversion from eating into conversation. (I think Nandos only serve chicken!) The group was slightly smaller than usual, for various reasons, and it was just nice to be able to have a conversation with everyone on the table.

We finally convened at Dave’s for an evening of Monopoly. I think I’ve seen it all now, with some of the strangest deals going! It’s a good job the game is all down to the roll of the dice, otherwise I’d think I was useless at it. πŸ™‚

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag David!

The fifth commandment

Q: Which is the fifth commandment?
A: The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Q: What is required in the fifth commandment?
A: The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honour, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.

Q: What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A: The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honour and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.

Q: What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A: The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.

(Questions LXIII, LXIV, LXV and LXVI from theΒ  Westminster Shorter Catechism.)

G major…three octaves!

Things are starting to get a little trickier now! The scale of G major requires shifting in two places and I forget when to shift! A little practice required. The Imperial March from the Empire Strikes Back is proving a little tricky as well… Far too many chromatic sequences in it! Saying that, I guess for someone who’s only been learning for a little under a year, I guess I’m not doing so badly.

a.m.: Mark 1:9-13 p.m.: Joshua 1:10-18

Here was Jesus approaching John the Baptist for baptism.

Once complete, the eternal trinity was revealed. The Spirit descended on the Son and the voice of the Father was heard from heaven. All three persons were present at the same time, acting distinctly but as one. All three confirmed pleasure in this mission.

Now the baptism of John was one of repentance, but Jesus had nothing to repent from. This was God the Son identifying with sinful man. He had taken on flesh, he became fully human. He was without sin though, for the Father was pleased with him.

He felt everything any other human felt – he needed water, food and sleep – he felt thirst, hunger and weariness. He suffered – he was betrayed, mocked, unjustly tried, abandoned by his friends and crucified, eventually being abandoned by the Father. Yet, he didn’t just become a man to identify with us, for through his crucifixion and separation from the Father, he took on sin. He is our substitute, he is our sacrifice, he is our saviour. He was willing to take away our sin that we might be restored to fellowship with God.

This baptism signified the eventual taking on of sin by Jesus, and having to deal with it.

Da da da… der de der… der de der

Woke up this morning relatively early to do some shopping in Kingston. The choice of town to shop in is important, as most places don’t seem have music shops which stock sheet music anymore. ‘Hands’ still trade in Kingston though. I managed to find a compilation of John Williams film tunes arranged for violin, including the Star Wars theme and the Imperial March. Also managed to spend some of my Christmas money on footwear waterproofing spray and some DVDs – The Incredibles, E.T. and Bend it Like Beckham – all highly amusing films which I’d imagine I’d watch more than once (I have a fairly good idea as I only buy DVDs of films I’ve seen already :)).

I think the disastrous game of snooker last Saturday was a strange anomaly as I stormed to a 5.5-0.5 victory over David. Heigh ho.

Finished the day round Sarah’s, watching David on DVD. I must admit to being slightly apprehensive as it had loads of mainstream actors in it, so feared a hatchet job with the story, with a high probability of the story departing wildly from the Biblical narrative. I was pleasantly surprised as the film was quite faithful to the Biblical account and brought the story of David to life with some good acting and settings. It seemed to portray David’s good and bad points much as the Bible does, not hiding them nor overemphasising them. Worth seeing, if only to make you look at your Bible and be reminded of bits you’d forgotten!

Catchy tune…gah!

It’s a world of laughter
A world of tears
It’s a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means
Friendship to ev’ryone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all

Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

Happy birthday Sam and er…. me! :)

Spent the evening at a restaurant called “La Salle”, under the arches in Windsor, celebrating the birthdays of Sam and myself with the usual suspects, organised by Miriam and her helpers (I suspect Ally and Sarah). They tell me they had originally attempted to book an American Diner they found on the internet, but when they phoned up to book, they got La Salle instead. On reflection, this was probably a good thing. The evening started with gifts and I think I acquired eight pairs of socks, from various people – I think someone is trying to tell me something! Then came the food which was delicious and filling – a very tasty warm duck and mango salad, followed by a mouth-watering swordfish steak and sweet potato. At the end of the evening, we even had two birthday cakes, with a candle each, and small firework between us! It was great to be able to just unwind and relax with friends over a meal. A superb evening! The atmosphere was cool, the company warm and the food and service were excellent. Thank you. πŸ™‚

a.m.: John 21:15-17 p.m.: Joshua 1

When Jesus addresses Peter, rather than by the name given by him, he uses his original name of Simon. He probes Peter, “Do you truly love me?” with Peter getting upset and responding with a weaker “I love you”. It happened three times, mirroring Peter’s denial of Jesus. Both Jesus and Peter knew this questioning was in relation to Peter’s failure. Yet, Jesus is gracious telling Peter, even in his imperfect, sinful state, to “Feed my lambs”, “Take care of my sheep” and “Feed my sheep”. Jesus was willing to place responsibility on Peter, despite his state.

How much are Peter’s responses like our own? How often does Jesus ask us if we put him first, for us to respond in a lukewarm evasive way? If we even attempt to comprehend what he did for us, eventually becoming our sacrifice for sin, he deserves our all.

More amazingly, how much does Jesus place responsibility on us, even though we are imperfect? Jesus doesn’t ask us to beat ourselves up about our failures and our sinful state, but to place our faith in him. He asks us to put him first and to do his will. While we may not all be pastors, we can still look after other in the church, nurture them, take care of them.

For ultimately, this is the way God works. For it by this way that he is glorified.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Co 4:7

Consider it joy…

Sounds about right….

It’s all going horirbly wrong!

It all started with a rather rude awakening by the telephone – well rude for a Saturday morning anyway. (You know who you are!)

The day deteriorated when I played snooker – I lost! 3-2 frames to David! Well done!

Strangely, my mobile phone was unable to either send or receive text messages, so I wondered along to the shop I got it from after the snooker, to be told it was a fault with the network provider and would be resolved soon. We’ll see…

Meanwhile, the parking ticket for my car expired by five minutes and I got a parking fine…£40(!) πŸ™

Ah well, it could be worse – by the grace of God I still have my family, friends (even if they do phone you on a Saturday morning! I love you really :)), health and general well-being.

A tinge of heresy…

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you’re not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with

E major, two octaves!

Well, been learning the violin for almost nine months now I think. I can now play all the major scales from G to D in two octaves, learnt E this evening, with just F to go. πŸ™‚ Saying that, I still need to sort out arpeggios and minor scales, although the arpeggios sound a little scary. The other thing which needs work is speeding up my playing so I play stuff besides adagios! I think it’s getting there, but I occassionally end up with my fingers going faster than my brain and doing their own thing! Heigh ho. πŸ™‚

And collapse…

Played football after work with my colleagues this evening. Haven’t really done any running around since Christmas, so I was expecting myself to collapse on the floor after running for a few minutes. Surprisingly, I managed to run around for most of the game, and still managed short spurts of… faster than plodding… pace towards the end. I guess the whole thing about regular exercise is that the build up is gradual, and any tail off is just as gradual. A slow and continuous process.

a.m.: Acts 10:34-48 p.m.: Joshua 1:1-9

As we are looking at Mark, it is interesting to see what he records and, conversely, what he hasn’t. Unlike a modern biography, Mark’s Gospel doesn’t explain what events, people etc. shaped Jesus Christ as a person. He doesn’t say much about Jesus’ birth, his parents and childhood friends. He concentrates on the final few years of Jesus’ life, specifically on what Jesus did in the last week before his crucifixion, and resurrection, and the these events themselves. Mark spent a lot of time travelling with Peter, and what he recorded was very similar to what Peter preached on.

It is evident Mark considers the crucifixion and resurrection, the sacrifice of God, to be the most important aspects of Jesus’ life. It is these things which form the basis of Christianity. Without the sacrifice, there is no forgiveness of sins. As sinners, without the sacrifice, there is no good news. Mark opens his Gospel with the following words though:

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Mk 1:1

It is because of this sacrifice that Peter can proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ:

All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. Acts 10:43

Of course it is not enough to believe that Mark is true, it is not enough to believe that Jesus Christ lived and died for the forgiveness of sins. Even Satan believes that. God says we must believe in Jesus Christ. We must put our faith in him, and if our faith is in him, we will do what he commands. As sinners, on our own, this would be impossible, but through faith we also receive the Holy Spirit who works in us, changing us from within, slowly conforming us to Christ’s image.

God has done everything to make us right with him. Will we accept it?