Month: June 2006

The tenth commandment

Q: Which is the tenth commandment?
A: The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Q: What is required in the tenth commandment?
A: The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbour, and all that is his.

Q: What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A: The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.

(Questions LXXIX, LXXX and LXXXI from the Westminster Shorter Catechism.)

Bridge vs Poker

I’ve always been a fan of card games, my two most played being bridge and poker (mostly Texas hold ’em). I prefer bridge as it has a significant amount of strategy and thought involved in order to successfully play, whereas I play poker mostly because most of the people around me don’t know how to play bridge, but know how to play poker. Imagine my surprise when I heard that Bill Gates prefers bridge. For once I will agree with Bill.

All hail my ego

Beat David P 2-0 and Ed 1-0 at snooker this evening. Admittedly, I think I had some of the most fortunate shots I had for a while! 🙂

a.m.: 2 Corinthians 5:12-21 p.m.: 1 Corinthians 1:17-31

If we know the love of Christ, we are compelled to share that knowledge of the love of God with all. We were not redeemed by the precious blood of God the Son to keep this knowledge to ourselves, either out of selfishness or inactivity.

We are not to continue seeing the world as men do, but as God does. We are to see the bigger picture through the lens of eternity.

For, as the apostle Paul says,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Co 5:17

We are no longer our own, but bought at a price.

If we are in Christ, we are his ambassadors. When the world sees us, they should get a glimpse of Christ’s kingdom. We are called to bring his good news of reconciliation with God to all. To tell people that God loves them and has done everything required for the forgiveness of their sins that they might be righteous. To tell people that this righteousness is available through Jesus Christ, completely by the grace of God.

End of exams

I think my snooker might be back on track after a 4-1 frame win over David. I’ll have to see how I go against Ed now.

OK, it’s been a while since I’ve done any exams – possibly ten years…however, I spent the evening, with some of the usual suspects, at a celebratory end of exam barbeque at Sam and Susanna’s. The evening was pleasantly warm and dry, and the company was jovial and chatty. We seemed to spend most of the time recounting stories from summer camps we’d been on, mostly related to the toilets for some reason, and generally building up a sense of anticipation of the next month’s camp. The food wasn’t bad either, with Sam duly committing the burgers and sausages to the barbeque, with salad and other bits supplied by his dad and Susanna. A good evening spent with friends.

High brow…

A football free day, with a nice relaxing evening listening to Eugene Alcalay on the piano in Egham. The concert was organised by Egham and District Music Club, although I knew of the performer through friends. Myrtle, the two Daves and myself had the pleasure of listening to some piano sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven, a Liszt etude and fantasia and Mussorgsky’s Picture at an Exhibition, all played very energetically with a Bach prelude tagged on the end. It was great just to be able to sit and listen to some live music from across the classical spectrum. Admittedly, I preferred the earlier era music to some of the later stuff, but the quality of the playing couldn’t be faulted. Of all the pieces, I thought The Great Gate of Kiev at the end of the recital was magnificent and finished off with a very grand majestic flourish.

What’s happened….

Another evening of defeat – lost 6-1 frames to Ed. Not sure what happened there!

a.m.: Mark 4:1-20 p.m.: Joshua 11

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.
As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.
Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mk 4:1-9

Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
The farmer sows the word.
Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;
but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Mk 4:13-20

Another day in the park

Another fine Saturday evening spent wandering around Richmond Park, although with more of the usual suspects than last week. The park itself is huge, so this time we walked around a completely different part to last time – Spanker’s Hill wood – a rather unfortunate name! It was nice just to be able to sit and chat over an al fresco dinner and to go for a walk afterwards. I even managed to get some photos. 🙂

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save the Queen.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.

X-Men: The Last Stand

Saw X-Men 3 on Wednesday with Dave. I went in with the odd expectation, as Sarah had been all hyped about it before she went to see it. As far as sequels in general are concerned, they usually deteriorate with increasing ordinals. I must admit, I thought the first X-Men film was better than the second, so there were a few parameters to consider.

I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. There were plenty of special effects, with lots of action and yet there was still an appreciable storyline. They weren’t afraid to present you with the unexpected, whilst the story was true to the good vs evil formula, with the odd interesting twist.

On a par with the first of the trilogy, with a good conclusion. Worth seeing.

Humble pie

Well, after beating Ed consistently for a while, I lost 5-3 frames this evening. Admittedly, the last frame turned into a frame of endurance to see who might pass out first from the heat, but I snatched it!

a.m.: Ecclesiastes 10 p.m.: Joshua 10:1-28

Words can be a powerful thing. They can take imagination to all sorts of places, from the mundane to the exotic and back again. Nations have relied on them in times of peace as well as war. Creation itself began with the words of God.

Words can be constructive and/or destructive, depending what is said and when it is said. They can be most destructive when one is least thoughtful about their use. They can also be some of the most comforting things to another human being.

With such power, comes great responsibility. (I’m sure that’s must’ve been said in something more ancient than Spiderman!) We must be careful how we use our words, that they may comfort and edify those around us. Even the slighest wrong word can be the fly in the ointment. The writer of Ecclesiastes points out it is not just our words which need to change. Our thoughts must also be under control, for as Jesus points out later on, the mouth is the overflow of the heart. We need to tackle the cause and not just the effect.

We must be wise in our thinking, and for that to happen we need a change of heart. This is not something we can achieve alone, but only through trusting in the Word incarnate and what he achieved on the cross. Once we are trusting in Jesus Christ, his Spirit will dwell within our hearts, slowly changing us to be like Christ, slowly becoming wiser.

Then, when are hearts are being dealt with, the nature of our speech will change accordingly.

Too nice to spend indoors

A rather busy Saturday. Started off with a morning at the church stripping paint and generally tidying up in a rather warm 31°C sun!

Took a short breather to have a full English breakfast at the local greasy spoon, and then watched the England vs Paraguay football world cup match on the telly. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a great football fan, but there’s something different about the world cup and your country. In true English style, the England team made it a bit of a nail-biter with their play distinctly worse in the second-half from the first. Far too many opportunities given to Paraguay to score a goal.

The evening was spent wandering around Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park with Ally – alas, no one else wanted/could come out with us. Was cool though, with a very pleasant leisurely walk chatting and taking photos of flora and fauna. Much better than spending the whole evening indoors watching the telly.

Finished the day watching Lost in Translation, which was a fairly good film about a man and a woman who form a close friendship, but for various reasons cannot go any further. It was interesting to watch their circumstances and how their circumstances brought them together. It was also an interesting take on Japanese society as viewed from a very Western pair of eyes. Slightly longer than necessary, but worth watching.


I might be slipping – drew 2-2 frames this afternoon against Ed.