Friday, 29 December 2006

Theology quizzes lead to theological connections.

I noticed Fern both commented here and posted on his blog about this quiz. One of the things I find especially interesting is that despite having different leanings, we so often seem to find ourselves thrown together in online situations. Fern is distinctly Baptist in background, theologically educated, somewhat post-modern in outlook. I tend to be fundamentalist, charismatic, distinctly non-baptist, fairly non post-modern (wonder what a non post-modern is, and don't suggest modern - I'm trying to be a 'holistic' thinker) and was at one time quite strongly opposed to what I perceived as theological teaching. Yet I seem to see far more common ground than problems, and while that's a Good Thing, it's also caused me to think.

What this has yet again shown me is that in each camp there are pieces of God's wisdom and His design for the church in each of these areas, to be sought out like treasures. This may seem slightly heretical, but I'm genuinely wondering if the denominations (on a world scale) don't happen to be God's idea after all. I always pictured them as starting off when some people would follow God's next move while others refused to budge. However I'm now wondering if they aren't storehouses of God's wisdom and pattern for the church, with each containing a little bit of the picture. It may even be that a single 'church' couldn't contain everything in a historical perspective that God had wanted to bring to shape His church when it is finally ready.

I certainly wouldn't be so bold as to suggest that we 'have it all' now, but I do see there is an opportunity for the church to work together like never before, certainly in the UK. America - I'm really not sure. My perception is that the church in the US has fragmented, each to what 'tickles his own ears'. In many cases it's sound doctrine of a particular flavour, but I wonder if the rifts aren't still too fresh and deep for significant unity?

There's one further aspect that I struggle with in all this: the practical reality. I can happily debate online about church practice, theology, women in ministry etc etc. Stick me in the situation of having to sit through an Anglican service (or a Baptist one) and I'll start looking for the door pretty quickly. I can acknowledge that in some circumstances women in church government is OK, but sit me in front of a woman leading a meeting and I really feel very uncomfortable. Guess I suffer the same thing everyone else does: the "I know what's right" syndrome. How will we (the church) deal with that one?

Thursday, 28 December 2006

Thanks Marc

This was my view 12th June 2005:

What's your theological worldview?

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Reformed Evangelical




Neo orthodox






Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


Roman Catholic


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Some quizmasters have badly missed it, I'm afraid. While I'm sure I share some theology with Wesley, the fact that I believe the Gospel has social implications does not make me a methodist. Likewise the fact that speaking in tongues is not central to my theology does not stop me being a charismatic.

Ho hum. At least I'm not an emergent/POMO/liberal. ;-)

And this is my take 28th Dec 2006:

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Neo orthodox


Reformed Evangelical






Classical Liberal


Roman Catholic


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Curious - apparently I'm more catholic and more fundamentalist than I was. Rolls eyes at the value of quizzes.

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Monday, 25 December 2006

This might not be surprising

But we've survived Christmas dinner.

And it was good.


Now I'm wondering whether to break out the desert wine as a digestif. Chris will have to drive her mum home this evening.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

OK - women of the world, help me out here.

I have a 10lb Turkey (free-range, from Hedges in the covered market, Oxford).

I've added a pound of stuffing. How long do you think I should cook it for at around 190 degrees centigrade? I reckon around 3 1/2 to 4 hours, but what do you think?

Especially for Randall and Marc

Johanna hated me taking this, as she didn't want to be a 'tourist'. She took one of us too, but that's probably of less interest to at least 2 readers.

Good morning campers.

The Christmas menu is ready:

Christmas Eve
Breast starter + sautéed shrooms

Free-range Turkey
Carrots a la Tamoisel
Cranberry jelly
Baked potatoes

Tarte au Citron



Christmas day

Roast beef,
Yorkshire pud
Roast Potatoes

Christmas pud



Happy Christmas

Friday, 22 December 2006

Off to get Johanna


Update - now here!

The Uxbridge English dictionary

Humour courtesy of my friends at the UK's second most popular secret forum.

Sex - bags used for delivering coal in Knightsbridge
Psycological - makes sense on a bike
Physiological - Makes more sense with Ginger Ale added.
Jocular - scottish vampire
Spatula - vampire phlegm
Sanctity - French woman with five breasts
dumping - sound windows makes to tell you something has happened to stop you doing what you want to
Soaring - the result of too much fibre in one's diet
Bedecked - An insect that's just lost a boxing match
Farting - (Irish Colloquial) it's a long way away
Sickness - a poorly aquatic monster from Scotland
Agitater - shaking a spud
Commentator - any potato other than a King Edward
Crimea - location of an illegal activity
Crimea river - title of jason timberlake song
catastrophe - a prize for the best looking feline backside
Dogma - female canine parent
Glottal Stop - well used tube station near Bow
Full stop - overcrowded station
Oyster - Someone prone to using phrases in Yiddish
Radar - Raymond's Irish father
Extending - paying alimony
Extension - Relaxed
Thinking - skinny monarch
Conference - A meeting for those who wear fake fur
Confluence - A meeting of ill criminals
Pushkin - relatives of a cat belonging to Sean Connery
Scarf - eating in Knightsbridge
Crepe suzette - instruction for daughters potty training
Creche - A car accident in Kensington
Quiche - a snog with Sean Connery
Innuendo - an Italian prophylactic
Radiation - Familiar noun for Raymond, the Chinese gentleman
Polemic - An east-european living in Ireland
Peerage: being immensly angry with ones colleagues/contemporaries
Galling - being French
Bladder - an inflatable snake
Titilate - delayed female puberty
Stagnation - A country full of people chained to lamposts with 'L' plates round their necks and their trousers round their ankles
Shambles - Sean Connery's favourite summer footwear
Fluctuations - swearing at Japanese folk
Blackberrying - the act of negro interment
Contraband - A US funded, counter revolutionary orchestra
Sushi - Take up court proceedings against your wife
Beatitude - an ill tempered insect
Disappear - insult a member of the house of lords
Pianoforte - Shipping and Hotel company
Bogus - fake snot
Capsize - usually about 7 5/8, but a bit smaller just after a haircut
Feckless: An Irishman with a swearing deficiency
Arsenic - Get it slightly wrong when climbing over a barbed wire fence
Distinguish - put out a fire with swearing
Exhale - one who used to be hearty
Rubbish - similar to a small massage
Cap Gemini - to shoot your twin
Judgemental - a normal state of affairs at the high court
Underwhelming - middle class village in Buckinghamshire

If you don't get any of them, please don't ask for an explanation.

Thursday, 21 December 2006

A little bushed this evening

It's been effectively non-stop since I got home. The stove is now fitted (and I'm not happy with the fitting, but hey ho, my own fault there) but it's in. Want to give it a day for the fire cement to harden off first. Pics when it's been lit and looks wonderful, rather than black, lumpen and hidden away in the fireplace.

When fitting and tidying was completed, off to wunnerful Tesco to see what they've run out of this time. Got most of what I need except meat for the main courses over Christmas and also bread, which will be left to the last minute. Still can't decide what to cook, but we're planning to take Johanna to Oxford on Saturday, and we'll visit the covered market, where meat ideas are always available, if a little unaffordable (£45 for a goose I saw there Tuesday!).

Bed soon, just finish my drink.

That game again

I've been tagged by Fern - 5 things you didn't know about me.

1) I enjoy read books from the back sometimes. I can completely enjoy a book while already knowing the plot and ending. This allows me to read and enjoy a book again and again.

2) My feet shrank in my 20s. When I was 15/16 they were flat and large - anything up to a size 11 shoe was required for comfort. By the time I was 25 I would generally wear 7 1/2 to 8s, and had notably small feet. Things have settled down to around 8 to 9 in UK shoe sizes, or 42 in European.

3) There was a time when I'd seriously considered giving up science as a career and becoming a photographer full time.

4) On a family holiday to Austria when Ben was about 15 months old I took pictures. Lots of pictures. 23 rolls of 36 exposure film + another 5 rolls of 15-on medium format roll film. Some of the images are quite good.

5) As a child I wanted to be a gardener when I grew up.

I'll not tag anyone, but feel free to try to find another 5 things no-one else remembers about you.

A good friend of mine

has mostly captured my thoughts well, although I hate the word he uses.


Martin Stead has Posted not once but twice on the subject. Try as I might, there's precious little Jesus in christmas for me, and I have really wanted to find him there. Just doesn't work. I'll enjoy the food, prezzies, time off work, seeing friends, family AND Johanna. Jesus? - if I'm 'lucky' He'll just be the same as He always is, as long as those things don't push Him out.

For all you people that DO see Jesus in Christmas, that's great. Pray for me.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Empathy with our Canadian friends.

The BBC forecast was RIGHT for once.

Despite Chris's urgings I cycled in this morning. Freezing fog is 'interesting' to ride through, with ice forming on my gloves, jacket and leggings. Riding fast downhill caused significant pain in my nose and forehead, due to the windchill factor. The gloves I bought from Aldi, for £1.99 were some of the best I've ever used, with my fingers just chilling a little by the time I got here.

I've eaten so much rubbish in the last few days, with so many gatherings for 'nibbles' that I'm getting fed up with crisps and cookies: the roof on my mouth is sore from being scratched by crisps (which I enjoy eating). I've loved being with people, but really want a good jacket potato and a piece of meat. To coin a double entendre, I'm all nibbled out.

This lunchtime we have a buffet lunch. If I know Lisa (the organiser) it'll be fresh bread, pates, cheeses, fresh fruit and all kinds of good things. She's a little oasis of comestible excellence in the middle of a tortilla desert.

3 days to go.

*edit* Chris just sent me an email full of pictures of polar bears.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Well the weather's going cold here.

Not Canadian-style dry cold of course, but a wet cold that seeps into the bones and pushes pain into foreheads and ears.

Apparently we're due a lot of fog and sub-zero temperatures tonight. Gritting lorries keep driving past our house, and although it wasn't SO cold this evening, if it clears then the temperature will plummet.

We're going Christmas shopping tomorrow, and I'm going to try to buy a replacement livingroom stove.

The choice is between one of these:

And one of these:

I like the Morso on top much better from a design and construction point of view, however the Stovax below actually fits the gap a little better, takes wider logs (although it's less deep) and is slightly cheaper. I've come across somewhere that's really cheap online this evening, but there's no way we'd get it in time now and in any case I want to support the The Fire Place in Bicester as they've been so helpful.

Monday, 18 December 2006

Thoughts on 'Godmen'

Rather than whitter and replicate stuff here, let me link to 2 excellent threads on Fernando's desk:

The first and most significant thread.

The second thread.

If you've not heard of Godmen (and that's not too surprising) then it may be worth following up some of the links on Fern's page.

Personally I see it as a reaction to the increasingly aggressive message from some parts of the church that women not only might aspire to leadership, but that they should expect it. In addition to that, for a long time the church has seen far more women through its doors than men, to the point where many of us are asking *why?*. I'm sure it's all linked to the fundamentally different and complementary characters of men and women, and the way in which structures have been built that required a male character that is unfashionable in current society to operate them.

I'll stop now.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

A couple of todays images.

Clear, cold and bright this morning. Chris took the left hand photo of the berries and Gate.

We bought a tree today, which I then erected and decorated. We always row whenever the tree goes up - it's probably just that time when there's too much to do and we're just fed up with it.

We only really do Christmas these days for other people. It's good to get together, but it's one darn bucketfull of hassle. I think if my mother was well enough, we'd suggest hiring a house somewhere warm and disappearing for 2 weeks while England bathed itself in mince pies, lousy TV and tasteless baubles.



........ The most amazing guitar player you'll watch almost anywhere.


Not my kind of thing, but the sheer skill in both technical and musical areas is just stunning.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Well I've finished

on-line ordering of pressies.

For now, anyway.

Wonder what's not in stock?

Monday, 11 December 2006

For the first time ever

I've not bought something because it's too cheap.

It isn't quality that concerns me, but instead that there is a right price for everything, and good shouldn't be that cheap, even out of China. It may be that the price is subsidised, but somehow I still think there should be an absolute minimum value on stuff.

I'm all for good prices, particularly on essentials, but we're just finding new ways of making property for people to acquire, and everyone is acquiring stuff like crazy.

If you care, it's rechargeable batteries, but it could just as easily have been a Tee shirt or Jeans, maybe crockery from IKEA, computer parts from Malaysia or even beef from Tesco. The source isn't especially important, but the principle of paying the right price is.

Saturday, 9 December 2006

BTW anybody want to buy a guitar?

Think I may have found a 6-string equivalent of a 'pearl of great price'. If you'd like to make an offer on either of these then let me know.....

Clearing up isn't hard to do.

But chucking stuff out is difficult sometimes.

I've just been through the CDs to tidy stuff up so we can clear a room. The Music CDs are fine - there's a couple that I could 'lose' but mostly it's great music.

Then there are PC CDs.

I used to LOVE the free software that came on PC mags, when home computing was still something of a novelty and the WWW ran at 33Kbps. Then everything you wanted to download took 20 mins, 30 mins, sometimes a couple of hours! So the magazine CDs were THE way to try new software, get the latest patches, drivers, updates etc etc. Fantastic.

Looking at the piles of CDs now, I hate to thing how much money that represents, between '98 and '02. In some ways it was good value: I got paid a small stipend for providing IT support in that period to the company, as I'd often do it outside hours (and it let me use the name Turtle I T Services). When we were acquired in 2002, TITS was let go and that coincided with a decreased interest in computing and refocus on hardware and the internet as a means of communication.

I still had my stash of CDs with all kinds of utils, graphic and web design packages, game demos, time management software, LINUX distros etc etc. Some of it got used, but V little really.

So today I started looking through. I wonder how much stuff that was compatible with Windows 3.1 would even run on Win 2000 (that I'm running now). When the next iteration of windows software arrives and that is no longer universally acceptable for soft and hardware (what drove me to upgrade from Win 98) then I'll almost certainly go LINUX and Open Orifice. But for now all those CDs are just taking up space. If Ben wants the cases they're his, otherwise I hope they can be recycled.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

We have just had a classic experience.

A piece of equipment has been delivered around 9.30am this morning.

It is too tall by approx 1" to fit into any of the rooms off the main corridor.

The door frames are welded steel, and cannot simply have a bead removed.

The equipment weighs 320+ Kg, and cannot be laid down for technical reasons.

The equipment *looks* like a washing machine and tumble drier (it's a freeze-drier). Everyone naturally assumes that because it appears in 2 halves, all we need to do is unbolt the top and separate them.

The equipment was scheduled to be delivered at 4ish this afternoon. In 2 halves disassembled by an engineer.

Suggestions have ranged from dynamiting the doorways (in response to my idea of using an angle grinder to cut out a section of steel frame) to moving it back outside and making a water feature of it.

We await developments with bated breath.

This blog has been very content-light.

Some of that is my fault, either indirectly or directly: partly I've not felt able to post much spiritual or theological stuff and partly my cold has made the thinking process very slow and difficult. I've found myself leaving slightly dumb comments on peoples blogs too, which isn't good, but is an accurate reflection of what's going on inside.

But I also think in the last 2 weeks God's been showing me things: kind of saying "look at this - observe and learn from what is happening". And I know the thing I'm seeing are related, yet a PRECISE understanding is slightly elusive.

Some of it is to via John Smulo, the posts and the comments on his blog. The outreach to satanists, wiccans and pagans is a part, plus the recent interviews with Phil Wyman (part 1 and part 2) and especially some of the comments left there.

It also has to do with the way I'm observing christians inter-relate and interact, and the hatred and anger some of these guys are experiencing. Some of them pastor churches, so they're hardly unstable fringe christians. I don't want to blog deeply on this, as 1) it's late and 2) I doubt it'll make good sense if I try.

I've had a phrase running round my head today. It's in the style of a well-known Microsoft ad: "Evangelical conservative - who do you want to hate today?". I believe part of the key to effectiveness in our Christian walk is to do with how we love and how we hate. If we can be made to hate, as many in some parts of the world are, then the church is left emasculated and ineffective.

I'll leave you guys to start drawing conclusions.

Chris and I have remarkably similar hobbies

Both involve pieces of wire, small components, wire cutters and pliers. Both occasionally snip things that 'ping' across the kitchen. Both occasionally get a little frustrated or bored. Both hobbies are quite practical, with the fruits often appearing at church or in public.

Beading and making amplifiers are much closer than you ever thought possible. And the great thing is we can share half the table each and spend time together while doing what we enjoy separately.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Ever find there was a job you couldn't do any more?

I can't write Christmas cards.

I can't spell names.

I choose the wrong people to write to.

I sign us off wrong.

I especially wind up my wife.

If you get a card I wrote this year, sorry. Now where's my kennel?

Monday, 4 December 2006

I wish white van drivers would look.

We live on a hill. There's a T junction at the top, and as I reached the junction a chap in a white van tried to pull out. Shouting


is a very effective audible warning of approach. It's amazing how volume gets boosted by adrenaline.

Sunday, 3 December 2006

I would ask......

....... when will our weekends, or indeed lives, be normal again. Somehow I suspect any answer I did get wouldn't really help though.

We started off OK. Last night (well, strictly Friday night, but I've not been to bed yet, even though it's now Sunday) Chris had her work Christmas meal at Hollywells in Oxford.I collected her around 10.45pm and on the way back home, managed to hit a deer. Our car did not do well from the encounter.

Tonight we went to someone's 40th birthday party. I must be getting old, as the volume seriously affected my hearing. Well that's not strictly true - nothing to do with age and everything to do with a poorly set up sound system that had too punchy a bass (you could feel your chest move) and inadequate mid-range reproduction.

What was odd? All the attractive women, with the exception of Nikita, were over 35, while almost all those under 35 showed signs of having over-enjoyed the produce of messers Burger king, Macdonald et al.

That's not so unusual: what else? The band played a bunch of Ska/Madness stuff, like 'Baggy Trousers', 'Night boat to Cairo', Poison Ivy', 'Ghost town' etc. The people trying to dance looked like they must have been seriously stoned and trying to impersonate Morrisey from his 'Smiths' days, standing on one leg, arms waving randomly with an expression of moderate confusion on their faces. Certainly some of them were old enough to remember how things should have been done.

So we came home, eventually, because Chris is having tummy pains and has now gone to bed. Nikita came back too, as she wasn't sleepy, and she + Ben were going to watch a DVD together. I'm not quite ready for bed either, so I'm here blogging, and when I've finished I'll watch the second half of 'Flash Gordon'. The film is a classic for it's send up of the original and because the acting is appalling, it's more funny than it would have been otherwise. And people still quote lines like "Send out war-rocket Ajax to bring back his body" to each other, so it MUST be a classic.