Month: February 2006

a.m.: Isaiah 6:1-8 p.m.: Joshua 5:1-12

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Is 6:3

The bible tells us God is holy. He is holy in that he is pure and set apart from his creation. He cannot look upon sin. Even the sinless seraphim cover their faces and cry out “Holy, holy, holy”. How much more as sinful beings should God’s holiness be apparent to us?

If we are Christians, we should also be holy.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Pe 1:15-16

Whilst we may not be perfect in this life, we should strive to be. Not that we could in any way justify ourselves, but because God’s Holy Spirit lives in us and works in us, making us holy.

Two two’s

I am extremely tired! After a nice long lie-in, a few of us from HWEC sauntered along to Cranford to meet up with Robin and his lot from Cranford Baptist Church for a kick-around (a game of football, rather than anything else which pops into your mind!). Despite my regular footballing antics on a Monday night, I’m definitely unfit! Manged to stop loads of goals, but by the end of it all, I was shattered!

Despite this, I wandered along to Sarah’s for the evening, for pancakes, perudo and poker. I think I possibly ate too many, as I was feeling slightly bloated come mid-evening! Anyway, after losing perudo to Ally and Beth, we had a go at “Texas Hold ’em”. The result clearly showing why you should never play for money – Sam H came out top after going all in, and spawning a win with nothing.

A good evening. 🙂 Time for bed I think!

One of those…

Courtesy of Esther…

Mary Poppins was on her way to her next family (to be their nanny) and she had to stop in a hotel overnight.
They asked her what she’d like for dinner, so she asked for some cauliflower cheese, which she had and she thought it was really nice.
The next morning she had some eggs for breakfast, but she really didnt like them, she thought they were a bit off.
Anyway, as she was checking out the hotel manager asked her if she had any comments to make… and she said… supercauliflowercheesebuteggswerequiteatrocious!

You can blame Esther for that one. 🙂

All a bit of a blur?

I do wonder sometimes if my violin lessons are all going a little bit too fast. Now, I don’t mean this as a bad thing, but I do wonder if my brain needs more time to allow things to sink in. Usually, most people would be learning how to read music and have to cope with that as well as learning the practicalities of the instrument. Seeing as I play the piano fairly competently, I don’t need to learn the rudiments of music theory, so half of what I would’ve learnt in my lessons is not required. Saying that, I guess seeing as I don’t need to learn the theory again, I might as well learn more about the practical aspects. More time to practice my three octave arpeggios I guess. 🙂


What a very interesting film! I went to see Munich with some friends, not really knowing what to expect. I’d got the odd comment from one or two people, but nothing substantial enough on which to form an opinion.

I must admit, my knowledge of the subject matter extended as far as knowing 11 Israeli athletes were killed in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games by Palestinian terrorists, and that Mossad had undertaken to seek retribution through “Operation Wrath of God”. As such I guess, as an event, the terrorists had succeeded in their goal – to highlight their cause.

The film itself dealt not so much with the rights and wrongs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but with the human beings involved. From the humanity of the terrorists, the hierarchy of their network, through to the humanity of the (non)Mossad agents and the chain of command through to the Israeli Prime Minister, we had people who had friends, children, mothers and fathers.

It was interesting to see how these events, carried out by these people, affected these people and those connected with them. How these events were seen from various angles was presented, along with the drive behind these men and women, from a belief in justice, through to a desire to make money and feed ones family. As we followed the Mossad agents, we saw them fighting with the morality instilled in their minds, with the consequences of their actions and the politics of it all.

I walked away none the wiser as to the answer to the conflict, but possibly came away with a little more understanding into the motivation behind these events. My thoughts on the complexity of the matter were crystallised that tiny bit more, with plenty of “what if?”‘s bubbling around my head.

A great film to get the mind thinking, from its opening scenes of seeming innocence, to its closing scene with the inevitability of the events to come sitting centre stage. Whilst I realised the story was based on real events and so contained artistic licence, the story was believable such that it wouldn’t surprise me if it really was a blow-by-blow account. The characters were real and the acting gave a very concrete sense of reality. Whilst not a piece of light entertainment, the film is definitely well worth seeing.

a.m.: Mark 1:21-28 p.m.: Joshua 4:1-9, 21-24

While Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, a man with an evil spirit shrieks out, “What do you want with us?”, or in a more literal sense, “What have we in common?”

Even with the evil spirit, the man knew the truth. He readily admitted Jesus to be of God, and to have power over him. Yet, he by his spirit did not submit readily to Jesus, but challenged him.

Jesus being the Truth incarnate, knew the truth and spoke the truth of God in the synagogue. He submitted to his Father’s will.

Whilst this man is more than just a man – he is a man with an evil spirit, and Jesus is more than just a man – he is man and God. The effect of having two spirits is markedly different on each person.

The man has to contend with the evil spirit within him. He is made in the image of God, and so this evil spirit is not compatible with him. Even though the man has original sin, this evil is not working with him. It causes him to do things he would not want to do, it crushes him, it works against him. The evil spirit causes the man to shriek and convulse, it causes him to lack control of himself.

Jesus’ humanity and deity however work in perfect harmony. As with all humanity, his manhood is in the image of God. As he is perfect, he shows how it is possible for a man to live in accordance with God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit doesn’t crush the man, but rather enhances it and works with it. The Spirit of God works in such harmony, that Jesus is calm and collected. He has complete self-control.

The major difference was that Jesus had power over the evil spirit, and was able to command the spirit to leave the man. This was the Son of God showing his authority and power over all things.

Most of us will not have an evil spirit in us, but we all have original sin. As we are made in the image of God, we also find this sinful nature contends with us. This sinful nature causes us to do things we wouldn’t necessarily want to do, although sometimes it causes us to want to do things which are not good for us – We don’t have self-control.

Jesus is not only able to change us, but he will put his Holy Spirit in us. For this to happen, we must put aside our sinful nature, we must die to self and submit to him. We must trust him with our lives and worship him as our saviour and king. With the Holy Spirit working in us, there will be a growth in self-control, a growth in joy and a gradual death of sin.

To trust Jesus is not just to believe the truth, but to believe in the truth. To believe in Jesus Christ, to put our faith in him, to trust him to forgive our sins through what he has done on the cross.

Only through losing our lives will we save it.

Deepest darkest…Ickenham

Not a bad Saturday, as far as Saturdays go. 🙂 The day started well, with a successful install of Fedora Core 4 on an old 400MHz Intel Celeron machine, and yum happily burbling along in the background updating everything. The machine should be ready for giving away in a usable state soon.

A further few hours were spent on the green baize, with a 5-0 frame outcome. Whilst the last four frames were fairly close, the first frame was very strange with a rather decisive win.

The rest of the day was spent at Heidi’s, with some of the usual suspects, for an evening of food and games. I had initially gone expecting pizza, but the host had decided to cook a full blown meal of spaghetti bolognese and chocolate dessert – very impressive! After dinner, we chilled, chatted, took turns playing the piano and finished off with a game of Scattergories! A few curious attempts at related words, including trying to define ‘kit’ as cosmetics/toiletries! A fun evening!

Survival of the fittest

Seeing as it’s half-term, I didn’t have any youth club to run this evening. So the usual suspects gathered at Ally’s and out came the Diplomacy board! I was hoping I’d get to play a country away from the Balkans, as that area is a nightmare. Alas, I drew Austria-Hungary out of the bag! So much for avoiding the Balkans. Anyway, I made tentative alliances with Italy, Turkey and Russia, and a pact of mutual interest with Germany. I watched to see how each country developed its policies, and strengthened and broke alliances as was necessary. Before I knew it, I’d carved up Turkey between Italy and myself, and shared Russia with England and Germany. I’m not sure who was the more crafty of the players, but Germany and England made an interesting alliance for the others to contend with! As with all games of Diplomacy I’ve ever played, we never actually finished it, but there was ample interest in the mechanics of the game, and in the interactions of the players, that this didn’t matter. The state of play at the close of play left three main powers, England, Germany and Austria-Hungary vying for domination. There’s more to some people than meets the eye!

A futile pursuit?

Played Trivial Pursuit with the usual suspects this evening. It started well when we realised the box only contained a board and questions – no counters/wedges! A quick improvisation with Risk pieces and a piece of paper to keep track of wedges averted a crisis. Given our numbers, we decided to go in four teams of three (well, I decided and no one argued :)) with some interesting teams.

There were a few rather amusing moments! When Dave, Steve and Nige were asked what a group of bears was known as….a train..a pride…a family…(it’s a sleuth for those who don’t know).

Or when asked what a ‘meat wagon’ was the Karens and Sarah, after much deliberation, came up with a ‘mobile butcher'(!)

There was always a single voice in one team which always punctuated the air with ‘I know this one….seriously…honestly…’

The crowning achievement was back with Dave’s team. When asked where Amundsen-Scott station was, in deliberation, one of them said, “Isn’t that in the South Pole?” to be put down with “Why would anyone need a train station there!”

Come the end of the evening, my team was only ahead by one wedge, with the others close on our tails – surprisingly equal teams given they were divided up by where people were sitting. A highly amusing evening!

Superman…Star Wars….Superman….

You ever get those times when you confuse the Star Wars and Superman film music themes? Sometimes you think you’re humming Star Wars to yourself and you realise you’re actually humming Superman – or vice versa? Well, I had the same problem this evening in my violin lesson. After learning the Star Wars theme, I was now learning the Superman theme. Even with the sheet music in front of me, somehow I ended up playing the rhythm to Star Wars! Fortunately I was not alone in this blunder, as my violin teacher who was playing along with me made the same mistake!

Little children?

I’ve been helping out at the church youth club for quite a few years now, and looking back there have been some very happy moments, the odd sad moment and maybe one or two hair raising moments! A couple of Fridays ago, while I was running the club for the evening, I was surprised to find some young men standing outside the church. It was even more surprising because these young men were kids once who attended the club many years back and were there to say hello to the leaders, including me! One was now living in Australia and was here visiting friends and relatives and took time out to come and see us!

Looking at them, while they were possibly a little bigger now, most of them hadn’t changed a bit! Some were at university, some at college and some were now working. It’s amazing to think they still remember their time in the club, and we spent a while recounting stories from the past.

Of course, you may be wondering why this is appearing on my blog. Well, some of them were disappointed I hadn’t mentioned their visit! So here’s for you – Azim, Dheeraj, Hareem, Shanil, Tom, and Vinay.

a.m.: Matthew 26:31-56,69-75 p.m.: Joshua 3:14-4:18

After the last supper before the crucifixion, Jesus tells the disciples they will all fall away. Before he even thinks about it, Peter blurts out he will not, but will stay with his Lord. Jesus knows Peter’s heart though and responds with

“I tell you the truth…this very night, before the cock crows, you will disown me three times.”Mt 26:34

. Before Peter has even thought about who he is talking to, he denies Jesus’ words, as though he hasn’t really grasped who he is talking to. How often do we say things without thinking it through, without knowing our true self, without praying about it, without giving it the full attention it deserves. Our mouths are so quick to speak, so quick to defend ourselves without contemplating the truth.

Some credit is due to Peter though, as when Jesus is led away, John and Peter follow. Then Peter loses proximity with Jesus and ends up where he shouldn’t be. He’s a follower of Jesus, he should be following and staying close. He then places himself in harms way by approaching a fire to warm himself, and his speech gives him away. A girl asks if is a follower of Jesus because of his Galilean tones. Jesus’ words find their fulfilment in these successive moments, with Peter denying his Lord three times and then the cock crowed. Peter realises what has happened – Jesus was right. Jesus knew him better than he knew himself.

Yet, Peter wasn’t dealing with a fellow sinner, but with Jesus, his Lord and Saviour. After the resurrection, Jesus tells Peter he is forgiven. Even when we fail him, Jesus can still forgive us and use us.

One of those things that needs sound really

Do you remember those games where you had to guide a dot through a maze without touching the sides? If you do, this is for you. 🙂

More reeds?

The day started off rather lazily, with a nice lie-in until around noon. I then proceeded to cut my ‘to-do’ list down by trying to install Fedora Core 4 on one of the spare PCs I have lying around, which I’d hopefully then be able pass on to someone who needed a computer. Only problem was that the PSU in one of them made a popping sound and then emitted a significant plume of smoke. The other I had was passed onto me because it was causing problems for its original owner. After a little diagnosis, I concluded the processor was overheating and causing random failure. So much for a productive afternoon.

I then went round Beth’s to accompany her on the piano as she played her musical composition on the oboe. I must say I was very impressed with it – much better than anything I’ve ever done. It had a pleasant but distinctive melody and harmony, and was typeset very nicely. Only slight snag was that the reed on her oboe was on its way out but she didn’t have a spare.

The rest of the evening was spent at the church with the usual suspects playing table tennis, pool and other games. A good evening spent with good friends and giving me a good run around, ensuring I will sleep well tonight. 🙂

The sixth commandment

Q: Which is the sixth commandment?
A: The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

Q: What is required in the sixth commandment?
A: The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.

Q: What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A: The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.

(Questions LXVII, LXVIII and LXIX from the Westminster Shorter Catechism.)