Went to the London Hong Kong Restaurant near Heathrow, just off the Bath Road, as some of the family were visiting. After staring at the varied menu, we settled on the seafood set meal for four. The two starters were well proportioned, the second of which I’m not sure I’d experienced served in lettuce leaves before! The main courses of oysters, (huge) king prawns, scallops and turbot were in a good variation of sauces and were all delicious. A good way to catch up with family. I think we might have confused the waiter slightly, as although he asked his questions in Cantonese, we always replied in English.
Attended the funeral of Jerry this afternoon. Something struck me during the singing of the second hymn, a verse of ‘And Can It Be?’ which is not usually sung:
Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Saviour in my heart.
Took me slightly by surprise, but thinking about it, I think Jerry probably chose it to be like that.
I saw The Bourne Ultimatum, the latest of the Bourne series of films, this evening. I’d enjoyed the previous two films, and I’d also been tipped off about the plot when I read a pseudo-review of the film by David Wayne, so I entered the cinema with a small amount of expectation of this third film.
I exited the cinema with a grin. The film had lived up to my expectations.
The biblical themes of redemption were there, with a man trying to find his origins, who he really is, seeking to atone for his wrong-doing, finding both what he is and why he is, and ultimately being set free from what he is, to be restored to what he was and being set free from his former life.
The action moved along at a swift pace. The use of technology was mostly reasonable, as far as spy-films go, with only a few sillies in the use of technology marring the story (this was not Bond!) The effects were seamless, believable and superb. All the main characters were portrayed by actors who were not out of their depth, but who could add more to the film than the script alone would tell us.
Only one thought lingered in my mind. Early on, a journalist from a well-known left-wing English broadsheet, panicked, thought he knew better and ended up dead. Was this a veiled comment about left-wing politics?
All in all, well-worth seeing, and if you enjoyed the first two then pretty much essential viewing!
Woke up this morning, picked up a sausage and egg McMuffin and trundled down to the church to help set up the building for the forthcoming Holiday Bible Club. Once we’d decked out the hall in balloons, bunting and all manner of other brightly coloured objects and materials, we had some lunch at the manse and headed down to Richmond Park.
Even though there only a few of us, we enjoyed the sunshine, kicking a football around and playing frisbee.
Afterwards, we met up with some others at Ask, on Kew Green to celebrate Alex and Deanna’s birthdays. The setting was very nice, with nice food and good company.
All in all a good, if slightly tiring, day!
We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. 2 Kings 7:9
As Christians, we so easily forget the greatness of the good news we have, and neglect to tell others. Much like the lepers who discovered the Arameans had fled their siege of Samaria, and could tell the city they were now safe, we have discovered the salvation from sin, its power and consequences. The siege of Samaria had caused great suffering to its people, even leading some to cannibalism. Sin causes great misery and suffering to men and women throughout time.
If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, we would not be doing right if we kept this news to ourselves. For we are merely like beggars who have found bread, telling other beggars where we have found that bread. Would be rather eat bread and tell no one else where to obtain it?
Or course, there’s no point in telling others the good news, if we haven’t believed it ourselves. That’s almost as silly as taking bread, telling others about it, but never eating it ourselves! The sacrifice of God for man, so that man might live is such an amazing demonstration of God’s love and grace. Any effort of our own cannot achieve the forgiveness of sin, for it took that amazing sacrifice to achieve forgiveness!
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor 6:2
I’ve had a fairly productive day today! I awoke to a warm summer’s day with chores lined up ahead. I did my laundry, including the odd rug and bath mat, tidied the house, polished the furniture, cleaned the toilet and changed the inner tube on my bike all in one afternoon!
Afterwards, I headed down to Dave’s for a barbecue and Monopoly. I must confess to having a mild dislike for Monopoly, but the prospect of lots of meat products drew me in. Whilst we cooked and ate in the cool of the evening, Dave seemed confident he was going to win at Monopoly and so set himself up. The game started as usual, with everyone buying everything and anything, but as it progressed, it became evident that Dave was not going to win. Before we knew it, Susanna owned everything on the board and Dave was eating humble pie.
A good day. 🙂
Went to the Toby carvery in Old Windsor this evening to celebrate Sam’s birthday. I hadn’t been ot a carvery in ages, so it was a nice change. The meat was delicious and succulent, with my only gripe being that there wasn’t much of it! Ah well, limitless veg, Yorkshire’s and gravy, so nothing to grumble about really. The evening finished with a walk from Windsor to the statue of George III in Windsor Great Park, enabling us to survey the surroundings at 11.30pm. Happy birthday Sam!
Q: What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
A: In the sixth petition, (which is, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,”) we pray, That God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
I learnt a very new scale today – B flat major, in sixths, double stopped. Fortunately, reading more than one note at a time isn’t too difficult! I also did a review all quite a few of the pieces I’ve learnt over the past six months – I’m amazed how much I can play! Now if only I can get them in a presentable state!
I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God. Jean-Paul Sartre
As Paul replied to the letter the church in Corinth had sent him, he addressed the issue of gifts and talents.
Paul starts by pointing out we each have different gifts and talents. Even though we are all baptised in one Spirit, the Spirit gives each of us different gifts. He also points out that gifts and talents are for the edification of the people of God, the common good, and not for the individual’s benefit alone.
Each gift is from God, and is to be used for his glory. Each gift is different, and has been placed by God in an individual, in a church for a purpose. Just as a body need different parts to carry out different tasks effectively, so different gifts are required to carry out different tasks. This not to say the individuals are to work apart from the church, for the body as as one unit, and so must the church.
While individuals have different gifts, each gift is given by God for a purpose in that church. All individuals are equally important, for just as a body cannot function effectively without a big toe, so a church needs all the gifts of its members to function effectively.
Another quiet week on the blog front as I was in Aberystwyth for the annual EMW English speaking conference. This year’s theme was looking at the first and second chapters of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Ted Donnelly led the addresses in the morning, opening up the Scriptures, and showing how they apply so aptly to today’s church. From the opening paragraphs, where Paul veers from his usual commendation for faith, instead pointing out the disunity and lack of faith, through his rubbishing of worldly wisdom and the strength of the foolishness of God, and ultimately to his plea that they build their church not on the popular trends of the day but on the word of God. The issues which the church of God in Corinth faced are not much different from the issues the church of God in the UK faces today.
In addition to the main addresses, there were many other talks and seminars available.
The week was also a holiday, with trips to the beach and general relaxation available. A good week to re-energise!
After much planning, we convened this evening to have a ping pong tournament. Various contestants from HWEC and HTC lined up to represent their respective churches. Despite my cold, I participated, and by the end I was shattered! All was not in vain though, as HWEC came out victorious in both singles and doubles. I imagine a rematch is likely in the near future. A very different, but very fun, evening.
On a complete tangent, the table tennis ball is made of celluloid.
Towards the end of his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul gives instruction to parents and children, using the relationship between Christ and the church as an example. For a strong family, the husband must love his wife. Just as Christ loved the Church so much that he gave up his life for it, so a husband must be willing to put his wife before himself. Within a loving marriage, a wife must respect her husband. It is within this framework that children are to be brought up.
Husbands are instructed not to exasperate their children. They are to encourage the children to do well, to develop their gifts and talents, but they are not to push them excessively. It is important that parents recognise what gifts their children have, that it may be developed, as well as not expending too much effort on pursuing excellence in which the child is not gifted.
Parents are responsible for the training of their children, to ensure they grow physically, through good diet and exercise. Through being good examples in the way they live.
Parents are ultimately responsible before God for the education of their children, whether it is through the school system, or by direct instruction. Both secular and spiritual education are the responsibility of the parents, and should not be left solely to schools, whether state or church.
Children should be instructed in the word of God and to respect their parents.
I had my annual week away from civilisation in sunny Tywyn with CCIW! I was slightly apprehensive about the week, as the previous two months’ weather was slightly damp, to say the least! On Saturday night it was raining, but come Sunday morning, the sun was shining brightly and the weather stayed warm and sunny for the rest of the week.
The week revolved around the Acts of the Apostles, especially looking at the life of the apostle Paul from his conversion, on the road to Damascus, to his incarceration, in Rome. We traced how God used Paul to spread the gospel of Jesus to both Jews and gentiles, to people like Sergius Paulus, Lydia and Timothy. People of different backgrounds, but people who all needed the salvation which was only available through faith in Jesus.
It was good to be able to share the bible with children from all over the country, as well as to join in activities with them. I finally got to climb to the top of Cadair Idris, but spent most of the latter half of the week suffering with a cold!
A great week, none the less!
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