Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Oh what a sweaty evening.

Wishing for a shower before bed.

And another dinner (not that I need it).

Just copying 90Gb worth of backed up data across to the new system I'll edit it once it's there, but better to have it that not.

Wonder if the old Samsung drive is still in warranty with ebuyer or whether I'll have to go to Samsung?

Maybe I should talk a little less about how good XP is?


Now this is weird.

You know how you think "I'll have one last look?" Well I went back to that 750Gb Samsung drive one last time, having moved a lot of data onto the external drive already, and lo and behold, not only dd it open but I was also now able to copy it across. 102.4Gb of data is on it's way at between 5 and 50MB/s. I did do a bit of fiddling around, attempted XP repair etc so I wonder if the (failed) repair actually fixed this drive's access too? The one thing I can't move across is a back file 84Gb in size because the external hard drive is formatted in FAT32 and the max file size in this format is 4Gb.

This is good because it means that I can use that drive to create my new XP install, which should be a bit faster than the older Seagate.

BTW quick question for apple users - do you find occasionally that using an external (apple) keyboard it seems like the computer doesn't always see the letters you type? Just occasionally I'll be SURE I pressed the keys, but there will be gaps in the text, often with 2 or 3 letters in sequence missing. Just happened again.


Now I need to bite the bullet, wipe and start again.


Thanks to a Sabayon live CD I'm now saving data from the original main drive onto my external USB drive. It's not too fast because, being a live CD, it has to keep going back to the CD and asking it what to do next. But I'm half way through the first 50Gb containing some of the user data, then next I'll tackle the windows folder. Hope I don't lose too much.


Although I doubt there's much it can do to fix a failing hard drive, which I suspect is what's happened here.

When I got home last night we had a non-functioning PC. It might be the dreadful HP printer software that I had to uninstall last week, having already done the damage, but I'm just not sure. Currently trying to recover data that's on the secondary drive (750Gb samsung) before wiping that and reinstalling XP. Annoyingly knoppix refused to copy any data onto a USB drive this morning, so I'm giving Sabayon a try instead - the guys that built Sabayon have a slightly more liberal attitude to certain things, and I'm hoping it will ignore those issues.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Deserts, Parenting, Marriage and Annointing.

But not necessarily in that order. I had a long post worked out in my head during the cycle ride in this morning, and it's all evaporated. Like Randall, there's so much I could say, but it would not be beneficial.

The picture I had about being in the desert seems to be reflecting reality. It's a dry and dusty place without much comfort, but just occasionally one will encounter an oasis while on the journey. I'm starting to look out for these, to recognise them when they arrive, to make it more possible for me to find them. On Saturday morning I had more than 3 hours in the car, driving to Crawley to look at (and buy) a guitar. On the way down I'd originally planned to listen to a CD from the pastoral training course but that didn't work in the car CD player so I played my recently returned Vicky Beeching CD or the way out and a Parachute band live CD on the way back. It was quite fascinating how some songs were just anointed and some weren't: or maybe it's just that particular chord patterns stir my spirit, I don't know. But if *felt like* the Holy Spirit was there in the car for some stuff and moving on for others.

On a side note, I wonder how much music is a gift of God, even in un-christian musicians. There are some that really do stir one's spirit, though that may be more a reflection of the individual being stirred.

And on a different note, I think we've seen a bit more evidence in a couple of ways (not all fun) of our being parents. One thing that did really speak to me was yesterday afternoon the young son of a friend wanted to climb onto my lap, and eventually did so after making his wish clear in a roundabout way. Actually it made me feel more like a grandfather than a father, but there was a real tenderness and to the boy and it made me want to care, to show gentleness and love and encouragement.

And so finally, I have to say that I'm glad we have the marriage we do. In the middle of all the mess and difficulties that we have, it's so good to have someone that you know won't reject you, misunderstand you for their own purposes or try to manipulate you for their own gain. We give ourselves to each other, and in that is a place where we are secure and free. I really don't know how we'd cope if we were 2 people just sharing a house and living for themselves.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Another day, another visit

My mum was a bit less well today (yesterday she did very well indeed). A bit of angina pain, lots of overwhelming tiredness and some strain in the chest wound from trying to pick up a bag. But overall moving in the right direction.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Update on the patient.

Saw her again this evening. There's a lot more of her back again now, although she's still very tired. She's probably up to seeing people, provided they don't drop in too long (say 20min) and don't do 'unusual' things or surprise her. It's quite hard for her to re-align her thinking to accommodate the unexpected while she's recovering.

We saw my mother last night. She has made good progress, and is much more herself now, although extremely tired. She is back in control and able to handle her pain much better now. I would suggest leaving visiting until next week (and then for short periods) if anyone was thinking of going in.

Thanks for all your prayers everyone.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

What if?

'There we are, R hour, sic transit gloria Thursday'

Food for thought.

Saw my mum again this morning.

She seemed much better than last night, but that wasn't how she felt. However progress is being made by her body. Most of the pipes and wires seem to have been removed, and although there are some nasty/messy looking connections it's all a lot less scary now.

There's a real gap between what was offered pre-op and her experience, and because she doesn't deal well with analgesics the range of effective pain killers is much reduced. Morphine (still the main line of attack for pain) depresses her breathing too much, and so they have completely withdrawn it.

I hope she's able to sleep a lot right now, as she needs the escape.

Managed to do something stupid

and fall off my bike in our front garden this morning - a mix of mechanical failure and no room to maneouver. Ended up the the bushes with no real harm done except for my ego and a small hole in the side of my (relatively new) saddle. Now I'm all trembly sat here at work, and annoyed that I lost control.

Now isn't that a good image of life: circumstances on the edge of our control making us fall down?

God seems to keep taking me back to the book of Kings at the moment. Those who know me or have long memories will be aware that as a younger, possibly more zealous Christian I've been very willing to 'lay the axe at the root' as far as church went, especially where they created their own traditions that clearly opposed God's heart. This may surprise many, but in the last few years this has been quite heavily tempered by an awareness that the church is God's, and not mine to correct. I have considerably reigned in my inclination to apply the 'holy bulldozer' and begun to adopt a position of 'let it be according to your faith', even wondering if the demoninations were there to suit all the different temperaments.

One of the parts of Kings I keep getting redirected to is the era of Solomon and Rehoboam/Jeroboam and the subsequent kings. Without getting too wordy about it, Israel was just as much God's people as the church is now, yet resolutely turned away from Him and introduced all kinds of evil practices (anyone fancy burning their children to please the gods?). I feel He has been gently pointing out to me that some practices are not acceptable, and rather than accept what is going on, I have a responsibility to discern what is right and pleasing and what is human and sinful. This does not mean I have a right to set myself up as arbiter and judge, but also that I cannot just stay quiet for a quiet life.

Finding a balance in there is going to be darn difficult. I hope I can encourage in a good direction more than discourage from a wrong one.

The other thing that He seems to be talking to me about is getting ground down. Elijah saw God move in some amazing ways, yet when Jezebel threatened him he could take no more and hid himself. It is interesting how God did NOT say to him "why aren't you back in Israel" but instead strengthened him and gave him direction and purpose again. I've really been ground down in the last months, really wondering how I can carry on where we are, but in the last couple of weeks God has just met me again in the middle of it and reminded me of what He's called me to be and do.

It will be interesting to see where things go from here.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Hospital visiting tonight.

When my father had his bypass they kept him totally sedated for the first 24 hours to allow his body to recover from the trauma. However things have moved forward a long way in more than 20 years, and my mother was allowed to become conscious a few hours afterward.

We popped in to see her this evening. Medically she's doing quite well, with relatively few major issues. However she is in a great deal of pain because she MUST lay on her back, and that position has been uncomfortable for many years, plus she was laid on a hard operating table several hours, and that caused issues. It is also quite possible that this is referred pain from the surgery. Prior to the op she'd been led to believe that it should all be a pain-free experience, and that's far from the case here, as they are limited in the levels of morphine that can be given because it depresses breathing. She is bearing it with the best grace she can manage in the circumstances.

Because her breathing is a bit rocky they don't want to sedate her at this stage. They had to put a breathing tube in for the op, and it made a real mess (we could see her tongue was swollen and bruised and there was blood in her mouth and coming from her nose). A sedative might cause her to stop breathing, and another breathing tube insertion would not be good at this stage.

Finally, it would seem that they repaired a hole in the valve, rather than replaced it. Apparently it was working well when they checked under ultrasound.

Please pray that the pain will recede, that she will have a peaceful night and that she will not be distressed by all the things that she's having to undergo.

Well she's survived the op.

Which (as far as I can tell right now) is a good thing.

I'll probably have more news this evening, as I don't know how she really is apart from having made it to the critical care unit and still being alive. *Hopefully* all is well, and she'll be better than before in a few weeks time.

Thanks for your prayers everyone.


Chris writes:

Toni's mum went down for her operation about 8:00 this morning. It takes about 3 hours so they are operating right now!

Please take care of her Lord.

The latest update

is that my mother went down to theatre about 8ish this morning. I'll call about midday to try to find out how she's doing.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Just occasionally

one comes across something worth showing the world.

The photography of Chico Farias is one such. Text in Portuguese.

Read on a favourite forum

(I have heard this elsewhere, but anyway).

I'm a passive vegetarian. I only eat vegetarian animals.

Or, as a kiwi friend of mine put it "Salad? That's what food eats"

Works for me.

Today *should* be the day

That my mum gets a new heart valve.

She's due for surgery around lunchtime, if the case before her doesn't overrun too far and push her back to next week.

There is also a 12.5% (1 in 8) chance that she'll die as a direct result of the operation, statistically speaking. I don't especially believe the stats of course, since I don't think life of governed by purely random actions, so that's OK too.

I'll know for certain about the op happening around 1pm-ish.


It didn't happen due to there not being a nurse available to watch her after the op was completed. Monday?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Ever walked through a gate into an empty field?

You see a green expanse before you, fresh grass never before trodden on.

Sounds fabulous.

But you have somewhere to go. You KNOW there's a path that must be taken ad a destination to be reached.

So where do you go and how do you get there? Do you launch out into the field following the map in your head or wait by the gate, hoping nervously that a path will appear?

We've begun creating a path. I don't know if it's going in exactly the right direction, but it *feels* right. And if we go a bit wrong, then I'm sure we'll tack a bit and get back on the right route. I don't want to be a Saul, but I also don't want to be a Barak.

Well I've just spent the morning installing.

Samsung do incredibly good value kit.

I have just spent the morning trying to get a new colour printer to install drivers that actually work. Success has been achieved, but it required drivers to be downloaded from the Samsung site, and compared to the range of settings offered to windows users, these are derisory (although fully consistent with the Mac OS).

Why is it that Macs get such completely lousy printer options? Are there just not enough to bother developing, or is it the constraints of the OS? The Linux drivers on the disc *seemed* to offer much better functionality: I can't even select colour or B&W output with these.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

I had a post

and it slipped away.

I have been keeping my head down like a man walking through a sandstorm, afraid to open my mouth because of what will get in (or especially, what will come out).

I am grim, not light hearted.

I have seen and felt God's Spirit poured out at times in worship like someone turned a tap on, and then just as quickly, with another change of song the tap has been turned off and the Spirit went away.

So I'll keep walking, because the only alternative is failure and defeat.

There's a place of peace: good food and refreshing drink ahead, and it's where I'm headed. There's no shame in recognising I lack those at the moment, because at the right time they will be mine.

Blogger seems flakey this evening.

Tried to log in earlier, first go it rejected me, second go it simply went to a non-functional page.

Never mind.

I'm slightly hesitant to talk about this because words, both spoken and written, can have real power.

When we were prayed out of BCC last week there were quite a number of words for us, and we were very grateful for them too. A consistent picture was of us going through a gate into a place of freedom, open green fields, and the time of constraint was over. At the time that these were being spoken God showed me that actually we had entered a desert, with sheep that needed to be lead to those places of rest and pasture.

At the moment we're having a real battle on our hands - or in our minds - and for me, I would so much love to run back through the gate.

And I know why there is so much resistance too. But it *feels like* we may have taken a step or 2 further tonight, in spite of it all. I'm really praying that we will see things change as we move forward, because the desert is a grim place to live, and I couldn't survive it long.

We have also been given words about going empty handed and just being ourselves. So that is what we are going to do. Chris is a mother, I am a father. We build family, not cliques, not power bases, not religious structures. And this is where we are going to start again, building family. I am praying for grace, because grace is what will allow us to all rub along together instead of just rubbing up the wrong way.


There's some things I missed out. I am also a teacher. Jesus said "the truth shall set you free" and a part of my calling is to teach people so that they are no longer blown around by every wind that whistles through their life, bound up to myths, habits and traditions. I guess that is threatening for some people, because it means that things they've held onto might be suddenly found unhelpful, and others will not like the truth for the challenges it brings. It will be interesting to see how the freedom we are given works out in that area.

And finally, I am prophetic. Not much, but enough that it colours everything I do.

Why mention this? Because there's a feeling that if we allowed it to happen, we would be stripped of all our gifting, everything that God has built up in us. Consider this a boundary mark of the beginning, not the end, of where we're going.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Hanging in there.

But not letting go.

And planning for a ladder.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

I've bunged up a users Ts&Cs

It's a bit tongue in cheek, but I sense a change in how and what I'm blogging.

It feels like I'm changing and what (and how) I post is too. Don't know where this is going yet, but the ride may be a little bumpy.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

I alone am God, part Deux.

So it seems I don't know everything after all.

There have been several conversations running around for me this evening, on several levels. Ever been talking to someone else and have God say to you "you need to listen to this, I'm going to talk to you through it."? It's not in what they are saying to me as such, but within their words were things highlighted that I needed to hear, and which lined up with things I struggled with and placed I've been.

OK, here's another one, and the point of the part two posting.

God was talking to me again tonight, about the 'me' centric stuff, showing me things that were happening and explaining that this was the milk necessary for babes to come to Him. This is something I've been aware of at a low level, and even mentioned it in part 1, but suddenly it put everything in perspective. As someone else put it to me this evening, it's OK for the children to have nursery rhymes, even though they seem dull and childish to adults.

And here's where it gets scary.

God then reminded me that of 1 John 2 12-14, and then told me I was a father - not called to be a father. I need to be doing a lot more worrying about the children than worrying about being happy about stuff and whether it's done 'right'. D'oh, got it wrong again. The ways in which one devalues (or allows oneself to be devalued) are so sneaky and subtle sometimes.

Interesting, if not entirely comfortable times.