Month: October 2007


a.m.: Exodus 20:4-6 p.m.: Romans 8:33,34

I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God Ex 20:5

When we think of jealousy, we usually think of small-minded individuals. Thoughts along the lines of “I like what you’ve got, and I want it” spring to mind. So how is it that God can be jealous? Is it possible that human jealousy and godly jealousy are similar, or very different?

Looking at the commandment, it seems quite clear that God does not want us to have a knock-off copy of himself. The whole reason for forbidding the construction of idols is that we’d get to know the real God, and not some small, finite fantasy idea of him.

As such, God’s jealousy is a strong desire that we know the truth. He is zealous for us to know him and not some figment of our imagination. For God alone is worthy of all glory, and so his jealousy is righteous. If we were to seek to worship anything else, we would be neglecting not only God, but ourselves, for our chief end is his glory, and in so doing having joy. Any synthetic idea of God will ultimately lead to our destruction.

I appear to ache all over

After my usual Saturday start of a full English breakfast, I headed down to Lampton Park for a good run around with a football. I hadn’t quite figured I’d be running around as much as I did! Since there were only five of us, we split the teams as evenly as we could and had tiny goals. After half an hour had passed, I was being to feel like there was lead in my legs! I really should stop playing this game!

Afterwards, I had a bath and then headed down to to Feltham to meet up with Daniella and her friend at Nandos. We shared a chicken and a half between us, and I was feeling distinctly stuffed by the end of the meal! A leisurely walk along the Thames in Richmond burnt off the chicken.

A good day! 🙂

A peasant’s dish

Went to the Slough Empire this evening to watch Rataouille with some of the usual suspects. Whilst Cars was a good film in its own right, I thought it wasn’t as good as what we’d come to expect from Pixar, so I had a sense of both excitement and apprehension when I wandered into the cinema.

In true Pixar tradition, there was a very amusing short film prior to the main feature. I shan’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the film yet, but needless to say, it set the mood brilliantly.

Every time I watch a Pixar film, I’m amazed by what they’ve managed to achieve technically.This was no exception, I spent a good amount of time watching the fur on the rats, the water effects and all manner of other computer generated wonders.

The story itself is great, with plenty of twists and turns, with the characters having all manner of difficult choices to make. The characters are very much alive, with some great voices and animation. There is plenty of humour, both of the slapstick kind, and of the more subtle variety.

Even though this film has a U certificate, it has plenty to keep both adults and children entertained. Pixar have done it again and produced a film which is well worth seeing.

Déjà Vu

Saw Déjà Vu this evening. I must admit, I was a little sceptical about seeing this film, as the blurb on the back cover sounded cheesey. It all looked like a serious version of Back to the Future, except I couldn’t see how that would work! Saying that, Denzel Washington doesn’t usually appear in bad films, although Val Kilmer has contributed to some shockers in the past! Denzel was the lead though, so there was hope.

It starts off with an investigation into an apparent terrorist bombing, with ATF agent Doug Carlin (played by Denzel) who is investigating. The story seems fairly predictable to start with, but takes a slight turn when Carlin is invited to use a device which can see past events. The device is used to see the steps of the bomber and others involved in order to aide evidence gathering. There isn’t any real explanation of how the device works, suffice to say, Carlin is a little suspicious.

I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the end of the film. The story had been executed skilfully, with expert direction, and good acting. Philosophical questions on the nature of time, predestination and causality were raised, with more than a passing nod to God.

For a film of this nature, the portrayal of events was balanced and necessary, instead of needless gratuitousness.

All in all, a good film.


I saw Classical Star on BBC2 and was pleasantly surprised with its execution. Instead of the in your face approach of shows like the X-Factor, this show was a little more down to earth. It started off with a handful of teenage musicians who were evidently talented, but also had worked hard to master their instruments.

The first major challenge was for the musicians was a trip to a shopping mall to busk. There was no glamour, no glitz, but the musicians selected their own repertoire, given a few tips and then left to it. This was an exercise in engaging an audience. I must admit to being slightly surprised at the outcome, with the more talented musicians not necessarily being the more talented entertainers. Just goes to show, performance is more than musical talent.

The second, and final, major task of the week was to perform before their peers. This wasn’t well-groomed, public school teenagers, but everyday common or garden teenagers. Again, the musicians chose their own repertoire, and again, I was slightly surprised at the outcome. Bearing in mind the audience, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was the more complex, both emotionally and technically, pieces which provoked the most reaction from the audience. Those musicians who had shied away from presenting ‘heavy’ classical, instead going for light classics, were respected and got a polite applause. Those who had gone for harder pieces had their efforts rewarded, with some of the audience visibly moved by the performances. (To the point of tears in some cases). Who says teenagers can’t be interested in classical music?

Finally when it came to elimination, unlike other contemporary shows, this wasn’t some form of public humiliation being passed off as entertainment. It was all fairly private, polite and low-key. I’ll try and keep a reminder in my diary to keep watching. 🙂

a.m.: Exodus 32:1-6 p.m.: Romans 8:32

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Ex 20:4-6

Whilst the first commandment deals with having other gods besides the one true God, the second commandment deals with attempts to represent the one true God.

The problem with man-made attempts to represent God, they are unworthy. After all, how can the handiwork of a finite being, using finite materials, even give a glimpse of the infinite God? The calf which Aaron fashioned in the desert might have given a tiny glimpse of God’s power, but completely left out God’s other attributes, such as holiness and love.

As such, graven images of God are unhelpful at best, and completely misleading at worst! Such images, whether fashioned from wood, metal or any other material, are the product of and will produce a limited mental understanding of God. Since they are the product of a limited being, they project a limited view of God which leads to a limited understanding of God, which ultimately shows itself in the actions of a believer. How many misunderstandings of God are because he has been misrepresented?

Ultimately, such graven images are unnecessary. For God is not remote and distant, leaving us to guess his attributes, but he has revealed himself in his word, and ultimately in his Son. While Aaron was busy fashioning a golden calf, God was revealing himself to Moses on Mount Sinai. Similarly, God revealed himself in his Son, and God speaks to us now in his word.

It was deeper than I thought!

A nice leisurely morning, with a nice soothing bath and a good breakfast of sausages, eggs, bacon and tomatoes, which I managed to grill (apart from the eggs, which were still fried) without setting off the smoke detector!

The afternoon was spent wandering round the Tate Modern with Daniella, trying to fathom out the various works of art. I must admit, I’ve never been very good with contemporary art, and this afternoon was no exception! I stared a little at the great crack in the floor of the turbine hall, puzzled about its creation, but didn’t see the point. Some of the pieces made more sense than others, but I must admit, I’d be happier with something slightly less abstract. I think the piece which I got on most with was Water-Lillies by Claude Monet. Before we headed home we had some noodles at Wagamama, although the Udon noodles weren’t quite as expected. We then embarked on a slightly unpredictable journey on the tube, with closures and delays all over the place.

A good day. 🙂

I am…[7]

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Jn 15:5

This is the whole of man

Q: What is the chief and highest end of man?
A: Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.

(Question I of the Westminster Larger Catechism.)

Losing things

After purchasing a drill in Argos in their clearance sale (£20 off a 700W hammer drill), and purchasing some shelves and fixings from B&Q in their clearance sale (£2 a shelf, 50p a bracket – bargain!), I finally put up some shelves a few days ago! Hopefully the shelves will stay up – the drill makes a huge racket as it hammers through the masonry, so I don’t want to be doing it too often!

I have now organised all my DVDs into order and finally have an idea of what I have. The only thing is, with this new clarity, I’m sure I owned some DVDs which haven’t surfaced. I guess I must’ve loaned them to people. I can only surmise this as I also found a few DVDs which I don’t own, but seem to have borrowed from others for quite a while! I shall endeavour to return them!

a.m.: Exodus 20:3 p.m.: Romans 8:31-39

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Ex 20:2,3

More light than heat

A slightly earlier Saturday morning as there was a working party at the church. Plenty of people turned up, and there were plenty of jobs to do. It was good to see people of all ages working together, working on tasks as mundane as shampooing the carpets, to carrying out maintenance on the noticeboard. By the end of the morning, we’d carried out a lot of jobs, with a distinct feeling of satisfaction.

I then wandered down to Lampton Park to play football, although no one turned up. after sitting around for 30 minutes, I went home and found out why – England were playing Estonia for Euro 2008. I guess I should pay more attention.

After a quick shower, I headed down to Feltham Evangelical Church to listen at their monthly preaching meetings. Ken Morey spoke on the Holy Spirit, and how as Christians we can grieve him. It was an edifying, if somewhat sobering, message. We were reminded that, as Christians, we should remember, repent and return to our first love, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

A quick burger from BK, and rest of the evening was spent chatting and relaxing at Sarah’s

I am…[6]

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me. Jn 14:6

Freely secure

Today was one of those funny days. It started off well, as I used my new shower in anger for the first time, and it performed superbly. The water was nice and hot, with plenty of pressure, turning my little bathroom into a mini sauna! I felt thoroughly clean and, after getting dressed I then set off for work, and the day took a weird turn.

I shut the front door behind me, pushed the door handle up, inserted the key, deadlocked the door and pulled the handle down to confirm the deadlocking… The handle span freely about its axis… This wasn’t good. I tried unlocking the door with the key, but the handle was required to retract the deadbolts! I was effectively locked out of my house, even though I had the key in my hand! After a little messing around with Allen keys and pliers, I decided to call a locksmith.

When I first moved in, I wasn’t entirely sure I had all the keys to the front door, so I searched around for a locksmith to change the lock. I found a little company called Try Security. It looked like a one man operation, but the one man was friendly, reasonably priced, and, more importantly, highly competent. With this in mind, I contacted Try Security again and, within an hour, my front door was open. He also fixed the badly-installed door handle so that I wouldn’t have a repeat occurrence! After all those shenanigans, work was rather dull!