Friday 31 March 2006

Some very good friends of ours.....

have begun blogging.

May I introduce A church in Provence - the blog of Martin and Jenny Stead. One of their earliest posts already made me chuckle out loud. Knowing how the French are about their language, it's astonishing they should show this.

C'est la vie.

We had a visitor afternoon

It was burying buns that someone had thrown out, picking them up and placing them in a pile of leaves.

So should this be a surprise?

Apparently 9 out of 10 women think casual sex is not good.

Actually I WAS surprised - I'd have expected about half to feel that way. Society, good sense or design. Any comments?

Thursday 30 March 2006

Wednesday 29 March 2006

Just one more thought before I go to work.

I've just managed to finish chapter 17 in the PDL where it talks about committment to a specific fellowship, rather than just being a christian who happens to go here or there. Quite honestly, it's good and clear stuff.

No wonder the 'liquid-church' don't like that book.

I'll be off the blog today

So I thought I'd put up a couple more images: you know what they say about a picture and a thousand words......

Especially for Peter and Carol Hill:

If you ever wondered where all your wrong-doing was remembered - this is where they store THOSE wages:

Sleepy Puerto Rico at night.

Monday 27 March 2006

Back, and glad to be here!

Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.

I kept a bit of a 'blog' going while we were there - more than a diary, really. As I get time over the next few days I'll try to get some of the pithier (and funnier) stuff up on the site.

Sunday 19 March 2006

Pretty much ready.

We're all packed, cases closed and lots of space (well, for now) in the rucksack we're carrying on the plane. Passports and tickets all together with parking directions and voucher. Ben's house-sitting, and I've already made and frozen half a dozen filled rolls for lunch, plus there's enough food in the freezer to keep him going.

We need to be away around 3.30am tomorrow morning, with the flight theoretically departing at 7.15.

If I can, I'll try to post and maybe even add an image or 2. Otherwise, by for now and see you in a week.

Saturday 18 March 2006

wonder if......................

Republishing will fix some of the issues?

Friday 17 March 2006

Some of the most important sites on the web were down today

Harmony-central, 18watt and The blog of the Ancient Mariner were all down today. Sadly, due to legal wranglings 18watt is still down, but I'm really pleased to say WE ARE BACK UP AND READY TO ROLL!

OK, Bring it on guys!

I wuv U 2

A little blobby cellular love to me from Dr. Matt.

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Thursday 16 March 2006

Well, we're still here.

Funny how things go. Tuesday I was feeling quite robust and also aware of some of the things the future holds. Yesterday I kind of came to bits a little. The technique for keeping going has been to bury my head in things that I enjoy and ignore the feelings that are hovering. Now and again they'll either push their way to the from of my mind or be dragged up by things other people say to me.

We've got some of the increasingly inappropriately names 'Thursday 4' over tonight. Something to look forward to. But before that - meeting Ben's teachers for probably the last parents evening we'll ever go to. I think we already know what they're going to say. Guess you need to eat your greens before you're allowed pudding.

Wednesday 15 March 2006

Good morning

That's all.

Carry on number one.

Monday 13 March 2006

A different kind of survey

Have a look at the gift test survey - designed to let you assess your gifting.

FWIW my assessment wasn't that great, so don't worry if you answer honestly and score 'badly'. It IS interesting if you want to see where your weaknesses are though.

Just don't take it as 'gospel' truth.

Sunday 12 March 2006

We've just had a slightly strange experience.

Someone we know appeared on the doorstep.

That's really all I can say about it. Please pray for them, that God will break in for them and sweep away the darkness they're living through.

Friday 10 March 2006

Feeling very peculiar today.

I woke around 4ish this morning, and for a change, managed to remember to pray for some of you. But ever since getting up, it's been quite strange, with my cold and mental blurriness keeping reality and a slight distance.

We had a morning of meetings lined up with 'les Grand Fromages' from company HQ. Just before the start I got a call from Chris, telling me that her muum had collapsed from her diabetes again. She was quite upset really, and needed me to whizz into Bicester at lunchtime so she could have the car.

So here I sit, mid afternoon, my presentation's done, Chris collected, head still spinning gently, just looking to finish off the key tasks of the day before being collected. Hope we can managed to rest a bit this weekend.

Thursday 9 March 2006

Very occasionally finds a site that stands head and shoulders above other sites.........

One such is the The completely useless web site.

Glorious buffoonery, albeit borrowed.

Just thought I'd share a little happiness.

Voxy baby now works!

I had a D'oh moment last night.

It's all very well wiring everything to an earth bus rail, but that rail STILL needs to be connected to the electrical earth to function.

There's a dud cap in there too - waggling it produced various degrees of buzzing noise - but replacement is a simple job. There are a couple of further tweaks that are needed, but they should be quite straight forward. I need to remove the 'character' pot (variable 1st gain stage bias) and replace it with something to a fixed value resistor. I'll probably also do a mid and treble boost mod too.

Wednesday 8 March 2006

I've just taken....

Not my life in my hands, but close - my credit card.

We're going on a little little trip.

Somewhere presently snowy, but probably full of mozzies by the time we get there. Chris, Ben and myself.

I haven't spent that kind of money since I last bought a car.

But I'm glad we're going.

Where do?

Where do those who have 2 jobs, work in the evening as well as the day, and only have limited time out connect into church?

This is a good question, and may be where blogging partly fits in. Good thoughts from Jordon Cooper.

Method validation - a study.

One picture is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday 7 March 2006


Chris writes,
Wow I am amazed. I had no idea my hubby was so widely read! Hits from Sweden (a work colleague), India (Fern so Toni tells me) and now 4 in Australia (we don't know that many people in Australia), Malaysia (I think - but we don't know anyone there)& now what looks like the Canary Islands!

That is well as all our faithful friends in the UK, USA & Canada (& Marseille of course dear studmuffins).

How many of these are just where people have stumbled on Toni's blog at random as a one off I wonder?

BTW calling the Canary Islands, we are off to Gran Canaria in 2 weeks time, see you there!

Sometimes I feel useless.

Trying to discuss celibacy, homosexuality, fornication and marriage vows with colleagues.

I think too slow, and I get self conscious and nervous. Words flow better from the fingers than the lips.

The porpoise driven wife

We have been playing with the name of this book a little. Chris managed to mis-hear me, and thought I said something a little more interesting, but ho hum.

Today we're not particularly impressed.

The sentiments Rick Warren is trying to express - that God loves each of us, and chose us for himself - are spot on. But the detail in the description is inconsistent both with itself and with scripture. One moment it suggests that God choses and specifies every detail of our lives: our parents, character, hair colour, each moment of the day, every step we take. Then it says that we can chose our jobs, partners, house etc.

He's stumbled over predestination, and rather than tidy the mess up for others, has made it worse.

Now the spirit of the book IS good. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW we were chosen by God, and He's the one that gives us purpose. But when we were chosen I'd suspect it was rather like selecting a car "I'll have that Ford Escort THERE, and accepting the fact that we happen to come with head restraints in the front but not the back, and our spare tyre is only a space-saver type. It also dodges round the idea that IF God chose how everyone was, then why do some people have spinabifida, Down syndrome etc by saying God 'permitted it'. Either He specifies or He doesn't.

Now the arguementative might say "what about the scripture that says 'He formed us in our mothers womb' and 'before we were born He knew us'"? This is still perfectly true - the bible also talks about God making seeds grow, even though we plant and water them. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that an omniscient God who was able to view time from start to finish would know our characters and *what we were going to do* even before we were conceived. But this is substantially different from deciding every aspect of our lives, including each step we take - if that were the case then there would be no free will, and sin could not be sin because God would have decided for us that we were going to do those things, and therefore they would be in line with the will of God!

This doesn't lessen the involvement of God both in the world as a whole and in our lives directly. But it is important to remember that God is a father who handles us a s a father and not a giant pupett master, pulling an ever more complex tangle of strings as He steers the world through crisis after crisis.

There is a temptation to anthropomorphise God - to make Him in our image. The bible tells us the reverse is true - He made us in His image. It is important to bear this in mind when we view God and His actions.

Monday 6 March 2006

Voxy Baby

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Completed last night around 11.15pm.

I'll test her tonight.

So much for the weekend.

It's here.

Then it's gone.

Slept badly Friday night - Ben was out 'till 12ish, woke up around 12.15 wondering if he'd come home, had a sore throat, couldn't sleep properly until I gave in around 4ish and checked - yes, he was there. Saturday night I wanted to keep working on the amp (I'll introduce Voxy Baby later) I was building, so I carried on until 1.30ish, then surfed (stupidly) until 5ish.

So I'm sat here at work on a Monday morning feeling as tired as I did on Friday evening. I HAVE acheived some things, but R&R wasn't really a big feature. Looking forward (or backward) to a time when Chris and I were both fit and well.

Later I may publish some thoughts on 'The Purpose Driven Life'.

Or I might just do some work.

Saturday 4 March 2006

This clustrmaps thing is fascinating.

I'd just like to say 'Hi and thanks for dropping by' to Martin and Jenny, Gunvor, Victoria (I think) Phil and Ester, Johanna and everyone else that doesn't live in some relationally-unique part of the world from us.

Friday 3 March 2006

I have succumbed

Oh, nothing nasty.

Instead I've given in to a form of site counter.

If you look down below the links on the left you'll see a world map in minature (aren't ehy all?). This will show where in the world visitors to this blog have come from, as well as how many. My personal feeling is that counters normally show you've got a problem, but this little thing is really neat with it's location facility. I tried to get this about 6 months ago, but they had withdrawn it at the time I tried to download. Now it's available again, and so I grabbed the opportunity while it was there.

I wonder whether I have more UK or Ca visitors? Guess we'll find out soon.


The things you find when you google your own name to answer a post on a forum.

A new favourite emoticon

I'm a real sicko:

Thursday 2 March 2006

What good is religion?

I've not visited the Country Life Blog for a week or so, but have just found a post by Sue that reminds me of why I get frustrated by traditional church. Why, I ask, do we think there is something useful in special clothes, using different voices and words, meeting in special buildings and having special music.

Does it make us more like Jesus?

Is it going to convict us that the poor need to be fed?

Is it going to bring justice to the oppressed and down-trodden?

Will it actually have any impact on our lives, other than to make us spend a couple of hours once or twice a week doing the prescribed actions that we've been culturally lead to believe will help us be 'OK' with God?

This does not detract in any way from those that live sacrificial lives, working within the traditional churches. But, as many from the hierarchy of those churches have observed, they are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the general population, and the result is that people don't see the point any more. Christianity (rather than churchianity) is a living and vital thing, immediately relevant to all generations and all cultures. It touches us to the heart, guiding us in lifestyle, relationships and policy.

There are 2 things I want when I die.

That I will have served God in my generation.

That no-one will copy how I did things.

Dunno really.

Sometimes up and sometimes not up.

I was recently asked about whether we're doing anything around the time of Sarah's death. Apart from not having an answer, it was a question I'm not sure I really wanted to even think about. It's less difficult for me to bury my head in the Thurday night group, building amps etc etc. I'm not sure that I'm really that far over what's happened, but I've developed things far enough to lead a semi-normal life.

This isn't a cry for help or me being depressed (I've worn the Tee-shirt for that in the past, and know the difference). But I frequently don't post all that I think and feel these days. Sometimes it wouldn't be helpful, sometimes it might upset or shock people a bit and sometimes it's no-one else's business. But this is something I can say a little bit about without hopefully causing too many issues.

Wednesday 1 March 2006

Just looked out

And thought to myself "that snow is coming down so thick and so fine that it looks like smoke!"

Went to investigate further and found that the cigarette butt bin was smouldering gently to itself, smoke blowing across the front of the building.

C'est precipitant.

We have snow again. Wonder if it'll stay this time? It was certainly cold enough this morning.

Who knows?

Not me.

This was going to be a random post, but now I'm wondering.....

Our MD has given up alcohol for lent. I'm going to *try* to give up double entendres.

May change my plans on this if I meet with abject and rapid failure: it can be very hard to cancel out instinct.

BTW did anyone realise that 'Mardi Gras' meant 'Fat Tuesday'? Somehow Shrove Tuesday sounds like something shrivelled and atrophied - austere and cold - but thanks to Ben, we did eat pancakes last night.

Hi Sue.

How's the back this morning?


I'm supposed to be doing circuit training tonight, and seem to have twinged a nerve in my back. Not sure I'll be there tonight.