Month: November 2007

I am Beowulf…

I finally got to see Beowulf, and I’m not really sure what to make of the whole package. It’s based on an old English epic poem, and so is suitably dark and foreboding.

The techniques used in the production of the film are an unusual mixture of live action and computer graphics. I say unusual, as most films are predominantly live action with computer graphics layered on top, whereas Beowulf is computer graphics with live action layered in. The result is slightly unreal, and I couldn’t help feeling that something wasn’t right.

I also read up on the original story, and the screen play differs in a few significant points. I shan’t explain them for fear of spoiling the film, but have a look a the Wikipedia entry and make your own mind up.

Saying that, the film is still worth watching, although I’m surprised it was only a 12A!! There is much gore and sexual references!


a.m.: 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 p.m.: Matthew 9:9-13

There are times when you think you understand a passage, and then a preacher reveals something you’d never noticed before. This was one of those mornings. Just as a building has a foundation, so do our lives. As Paul writes to the church in Corinth he points out something which every Christian has, Jesus Christ as our foundation.

If we are Christians, what we are building should reflect our foundation. We should be building with that which is precious, costly and permanent, rather than that which is easy to come buy, quick to build, cheap and fleeting. Do we ensure our lives are built with good solid biblical teaching rather than the clever arguments of men, do we work to build the kingdom of God rather than that of men? Are we members of a local church, committed to serving God in our locality, or are we unwilling to commit to one church and merely feeding instead of working?

Our motivation should not be to seek the praise of men, but the reward of God. This reward will not be in this life, being a Christian will not make us materially rich, nor necessarily healthy. The reward will be on the day when we will all stand before God. Will we be able to say that we used the foundation we were given to its fullest potential, or will we have underdeveloped it?


Tastes a bit like coleslaw…

This was one of those rare occasions I drove into central London during the day. The Picadilly line between Acton Town and Hammersmith was out, so I abandoned any thought of public transport and went for the convenient option. I had my first taste of Kim Chee (κΉ€μΉ˜) for lunch! Daniella was a little worried I wouldn’t like it, but I liked it. Being me, it seemed to taste of coleslaw mixed with chilli peppers. The day was spent chatting first over lunch, and then over tea in a coffee shop later. Before I knew it, the afternoon had gone and it was dark!

The evening was spent ten-pin bowling to celebrate Christine’s birthday, which I haven’t done in ages! It showed in the results, although I neither came near the top, nor the bottom, so it wasn’t so bad. The remainder of the evening was spent socialising at Sarah’s – mostly observing a game of Compatibility. I’m shattered!


The heavens declare the glory of God

Q: How does it appear that there is a God?

A: The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but his Word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.

(Question II of the Westminster Larger Catechism.)


Cold and wet!

I must admit, being the slothful type, I wouldn’t have imagined myself playing football on a cold evening, with the rain beating down upon us. This evening just demonstrated how limited my imagination is! I think I must be mad! All I can say is that I was glad of a hot shower afterwards! (I think we might’ve even won as well :))


a.m.: John 14:1-6 p.m.: Matthew 5:17-20

In an age which is very similar to ours today, Jesus makes a bold statement. Much like today, the Roman Empire of the 1st century was a very multi-cultural, pluralistic society, with a very accepting attitude to all manner of religions and philosophies. There were gods and philosophies of all kinds throughout the empire, it was very much a consumer market.

Jesus’ statement went straight against the popular thinking of the day.

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

Here was an absolute statement in a sea of relativism. To those who said that all faiths were equally valid, this was anathema. How could anyone claim to have a monopoly on the truth?

When you look at other aspects of life though, we don’t have such a pluralistic view. When we’re ill, we’d be ill-advised to take the medical advice of anyone who voiced their opinion. We seek out doctors who know what they’re talking about and have the means to help us.

In our daily lives, we rest upon absolutes when we do our shopping. We don’t make up our own arithmetic when calculating our bill, but we still to the absolutes of mathematics. Our thinking isn’t guided by how we feel, but by what we know.

If our lives at a basic level rests on absolutes, why should our Spirituality be any different? In other parts of our lives, we assess the options. In a culture which states all religions are equally valid, Jesus’ claim is either invalid, or invalidates the statement. He cannot be the way, the truth and the life, if all religions are equally valid. All religions cannot all be equal is Jesus claim is true.
A look at his claim can only boil down to three options, famously stated by C. S. Lewis.

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis

Looking at the life of Jesus in the New Testament, Jesus doesn’t come across as either a fool, nor a fiend. Those who listened were amazed at his teaching, those who came to him were healed of their afflictions. His seeming defeat at the hands of men were to lead to his ultimate show of who he is. His crucifixion and resurrection would demonstrate his mission and his power.

For he was God in the flesh. All other attempts to reach God would be a contravention of the first two commandments. If we were to try to worship God apart from Jesus, we would be worshipping a false god. Not only that, but we would be trying to fashion God in our image, trying to approach him on our terms instead of his terms.


Sweet

Went to the Tate Britain this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve been here, and I must confess, I prefer this to the Tate Modern. I just don’t get on with modern art, and even if I don’t understand what the artist is trying to say, at least with traditional art, I can appreciate the beauty.

Afterwards, we had dinner in what I can only describe as a makeshift restaurant in China Town. Despite the surroundings, the food was delicious, with mixed seafood, mixed monks’ vegetables and the ubiquitous plain boiled rice.

A very good day!


And it was supposed to rain

Today was slightly different! Took the day off work and went down to Salisbury. Saw Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. What a cool day! πŸ™‚


Moi…

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I’m sure my face wasn’t designed for this!

One of those evenings where I was, rather painfully, reminded that I wear contacts for playing football for a reason! After I got the ball in the face a couple of times, I was glad I wasn’t perching a pair of glass lenses on my nose!

It’s really cold as well. (Almost completely unrelated, but it was!!!)


a.m.: Romans 5 p.m.: Ephesians 2:11-22

As we remember those who have fallen in war, we are reminded of the great cost at which peace is purchased. A peace which is temporal and fragile.

Yet there is an even greater peace which can be obtained. For, in our sinful state, we are at war with God, our creator and sustainer. We have rebelled against his very being, refusing to give him the glory he is due. While we may have temporal peace (and even this isn’t always the case), our souls long for a deeper peace, a peace with God. Of ourselves, we cannot obtain this peace, and a just God cannot overlook our rebellion. However, God is also merciful, and in his grace has sent his Son to take on the wrath our sin deserved that we might be saved from this punishment, and that we might take on his righteousness through faith in him.

For when we consider the cost of our salvation, the mind boggles. This is the sacrifice of God for man, that we might be right with God, that we might know God, that we might be at peace with God.


There is wonder in most everything I see…

It does appear to be that my blog entries are mostly done at the weekends. It’s not that I don’t do much during the week, but I guess it’s probably not that interesting! (Although a blog would indicate an introvert, I’m not quite so introverted as to tell you mundane details such as what I had for dinner each night!) Needless to say, this Saturday was a usual Saturday, with a fried breakfast, a quick run around the football pitch, a trip to Feltham for their monthly bible rally and finally the chance to wind down with a relaxing dinner with Daniella.

Routine? yes – Dull? I don’t think so. πŸ™‚


Mozart and Telemann

Started learning a Bagatelle by Mozart and a movement from a Sonatina by Telemann this evening. I quickly got the hang of the Mozart without too much trouble, but the Telemann could be a little trickier! It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes me to master these two pieces. (Especially as they’re both on the AB Examination Syllabus at grades 5 and 6 respectively!)


a.m.: Exodus 20:4-6 p.m.: Romans 8:35-39

The third and final part of the second commandment basically breaks down humanity into one of two camps. Those who hate God and those who love God.

In our natural state, we hate God. We want nothing to do with him, this is sin at its most basic. Those who hate God are sinners by nature. This is not to say we are completely evil. We will do good to others, we will seek the good of others, but we will not do this to glorify God. Our whole ethos is on self-preservation, and the denial of God. This culminated in the ultimate sin when God became a man, and allowed himself to be crucified by his creation. The actions of a holy, just, God towards those who rebel against him is his wrath.

This was the not the way it was meant to be though. For we are created in the image of God with the purpose of knowing God, loving God and doing his will. It is by this that we can truly enjoy life. It was through the sin of Adam, that all mankind fell, and are born into a state of sin.

Amazingly, it is through the crucifixion that we can be restored to what we were meant to be. Jesus Christ lived a righteous life, that by his blood, he would take on our sin and the punish it deserves, and his righteousness becomes ours, that we might be in a right relationship before God.

Why did God do this?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jn 3:16

God doesn’t love us because we loved him. He loves us first, and when we are restored to our original intended state, we will love him and will want to do what he commands.


Mobile blues

After many years of trusty service, my Sony Ericsson Z600 is starting to play up. Making calls and texting still works fine, but the external loudspeaker seems to be suffering a dry joint. This means that, sometimes, when someone phones me, or texts me, I have no audible cue – it doesn’t ring! Usually a tap in the right place reconnects the speaker, but obviously this isn’t so great. If I knew when someone was phoning me so I could tap the phone so I could hear it ring, I wouldn’t need it to ring in the first place!

So the question is – What phone should I get?

I quite like phones which cover the keypad when not in use, so I don’t accidentally phone people, so either a sliding phone or a clamshell would be good. Obviously I would want to make phone calls and text people, whilst only having to charge it once a week, anything else on top of that basic functionality is not so important in my mind.