Monday 27 April 2009

We're back, which is a good thing.

Although if we could, we'd have been happy to stay for the rest of the week. A great apartment by the grace of God (not everything is *exactly* as advertised on the internet) and a lovely place.

click here for a slideshow or here for normal thumbnails. Lots of pics of rocks that only make sense seen at high res.

This is currently Chris's favourite.

This is probably mine:

Friday 24 April 2009

And so we go.

Off for the weekend.


Monday 20 April 2009

Preparing for housegroup tomorrow night.

I've been writing about the church in Jerusalem in later years. I have just described them as 'having a large circumcision party'.

Maybe I need to rephrase that?

Friday 17 April 2009

On a completely different topic

A young facebook friend recently became a fan of French Knickers, so I get links appearing on my main page. This amused me:

french knickers - Is thinking people shouldn't report pictures of women wearing french knickers. come on i'm sick of uploading pics and them being taken off !!!

There's an innocence in the way some people write.

The games we play.

When I was a kid – an early teenager – the Boys Brigade I was part of ran a ‘bibleclass’ that was semi-compulsory if you wanted promotion etc. So a whole bunch of us would attend, and as we got a little older we were asked to ‘lead’ the class. It was very odd to me: we had to choose some hymns to sing, and I still clearly remember thinking to myself “how do I choose what to sing – they’re all just alike”. So I might have chosen ‘will your anchor hold’ or some such that seemed to get sung frequently because they were just hymns, right?

Later on I remember being asked to actually speak a little, taking a passage of scripture and explaining it. I’d read it again and again, but there was no meaning other than the obvious human one behind it as a story. So I’d go along, read out the scripture then try to say something that I knew was empty, meaningless and hollow – I can remember the sense of embarrassment even now, because it was all just untruthful words.

Later on after I became a Christian and the bible suddenly made sense as the Holy Spirit gave understanding I wondered what on earth we'd been doing. We were just children playing with things that we didn't understand, encouraged by some well meaning grownups who maybe didn't understand too much either.

What has this got to do with anything?

Last night there was talk about appointing church wardens and a church council in the Anglican church we’ve become involved with. It has the exact same feeling, of playing at church and religious stuff, of making things up because we don’t know what to do or how to make it real. Oh sure, it’s all part of a rich tradition going back a few hundred years, but to me it still feels like people are like children, playing a game every bit as much as we were as non-christian teenage boys back in that bibleclass.

So today I have a sense of agitation, of unease and disquiet that comes from being driven by stuff that comes out of men’s heads. I always knew it was going to be difficult at times to be part of the Anglican stream, and this is one of those times. It’s like there’s REAL church buried in there, but it’s made impotent by all this rubbish that’s forced over the top. So instead of anointed leadership who bring the people to know God we have a priesthood that stands BETWEEN them and God, keeping each at a safe distance. Instead of a clean new testament church structure we have a hierarchy or bizarre offices and posts to which people are appointed based on need and expediency instead of calling and anointing.

Now this isn’t exactly how things are with this church, but the mismatch between the shapes of the body of Christ and the church of England is as uncomfortable as going on a walk through rocky countryside in high heeled shoes 3 sizes too small.

Like I said, this is making me feel uncomfortable, agitated, concerned and downright unhappy. I can’t concentrate on my work because of feeling so churned up inside, and so I’m doing something that I’ve not done for a long time – I’m venting here in writing. There is nothing personal in any of this toward the guys in the church, but it is a consequence of being part of this tradition. At this stage I really have no idea how we’re going to cope with this in the years to come, but I also know that some people manage to be part of even more bizarre expressions of churchianity from a similar way of thinking to us, and they survive.

So there is little chance of me becoming a good Anglican, but I hope I can find a way to be at peace within this organisation. God has clearly spoken to us about just being ourselves here, and I wonder if expressing these kinds of thoughts (in a way that is potentially acceptable) is also going to be a part of what this church needs?

And now you can see another reason why I'm not posting too much here these days. Someone we know might read it and be terribly upset. That's not my intention, but I've been keeping stuff pent-up for so long, watching, listening but feeling unable to say the things that I'd like to say. I'm coming to love many of these people, but there's something in an insipid fish-paste-sandwiches-with-too-much-margarine way that makes me feel like I'm choking. How I need the grace of God to keep going in all this. How I already wish we weren't leaving the warmth and comfort of the community church.

I don't want sympathy. I just needed to vent a bit.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Well, that's our weekend away then.

But I can't tell you where, as I'd like to surprise Chris.

Oh, the suspense.

Monday 13 April 2009

Just to keep you up to date.

My mother came home at the end of last week, and she's doing a little 'better' - meaning that she's still up and down, butis less bad than when she went in to hospital. We are hoping she'll have her heart op in a few weeks time, and that will turn things around strength-wise for her.

Thanks for your prayers everyone.

Friday 10 April 2009

If I told you I just bust a nut

and had to replace it, would you understand?

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Really rough today.

All my joints seem uncomfy - even my hands hurt if I try to play guitar.


Tuesday 7 April 2009

The new corporate website is done!

Well, that is to say, I have a design, logo, various pages put together. Now it's being looked over by various people to make suggestions about text and appearance.

Who'd have though that red, green, blue and pink could look so cool together?

Let me say, it's not a marvel of coding techology, stunning javascript or astonishing python. It is however very small, fast and tidy. It works on small laptop screens (maybe even winbooks? I don't have one) but looks fine at 1600X1000 something.

To those who suggested I use The GIMP, thank you. It's a long time since I used a 'real' image editor, and although it took a couple of hourse to do it, I was able to make my text images with transparent backgrounds just fine in the end.

If you have my email address and want to see it before it goes live then drop me a line.

Welcome to the infection.

I seem to have done well with my cold.

The sinuses are now under pressure, face feels well-punched, joints twanging away.

Sunday 5 April 2009

It's been a busy but fulfilling weekend.

Not without frustrations, but they are outweighed the good things.

PTC was interesting on Saturday. The session on praying for people was challenging with being required to seek God for a 'word' with a 1 minute time interval. Roger (the guy leading the session) is someone I've known a long time, and he's really grown in this area in the last 10 years. He had some very key things for people.

The day was hard work generally, and by the end we were both pretty tired.

Today It was really good being with the housegroup this afternoon - there's such a strong sense of family with these people, and we are so going to miss them. It's also interesting how they can flow from having a deep theological discussion about the purpose of suffering and endurance into light hearted joking and fun, and back again.

And TBH we really love these people. Our moving is going to bring an opportunity to grow within many of them, but I wish we could take our family with us!

Friday 3 April 2009

Something I never knew

All this time I had a cool html editor on this mac and I never knew it.


Opera will open the page source and allow you to edit text directly, then save it again. If I had only known this I could have done most of the website on the macbook instead of the PC.

All I'd have needed the PC for then would be creation of the 'contact' image files. I know there's a print screen command somewhere in the Mac OS, but I can't remember the key combination. Something funny that I read on this topic in one of the 'migrate to Mac from PC' magazines was where the writer rubbished the single key PrtScn command (who knows what it's for? he said) only to then give the required key presses later in the article.

Oh, and I'd have needed an image editor capable of cropping and resizing.

Dan - I looked at the packages you mentioned - I'm reluctant to pay 50 euros or 100 dollars for stuff I can use free on the PC.

Fern - you're right. The Mac doesn't make me happy, and the more I dig the more annoyed the OS makes me. There are probably workarounds for all the limitations, but if so, they're obscure and hidden from me. As a laptop for limited business use it's great, but I don't want to pay substantially for occasional use software, and shareware is as expensive as full-priced app for XP it seems. I'll keep it because it IS a great piece of hardware, but I really must look into dual-booting or VM. I guess this is good, because it's helped me get past the 'I wonder if a Mac is better' thing. No amount of clever animations are an acceptable substitute for built-in control.

I never thought I'd become a Microsoft fan, but I think the tread the right place between linux excess choices and apple's limited options. If only stupid clever people wouldn't try to hack that OS.

So today I'm mostly

home with lurgy.

Runny nose, deep deep cough, swimmy head and achey joints.


No-one is going to rub my head and call me a "poor little bunny" though - I don't do man-flu.

But I did discover something cool this morning. One of our cats (that likes to claw the carpets) was doing just that outside our bedroom. I stroked the cat to distract it and found that a couple of strokes was enough to build up a lot of static electricity.

Which discharged noisily and painfully onto the ears.

The animal was in confusion. It wanted the attention but didn't like the discomfort. Eventually it tried to bite and then claw my hand, which was fine as I'd seen the signs and was ready to move. Yet it seems the animal's memory was so short that within moments it was asking for attention (and shocks) again.

Anyone want a cat that's had electric shock aversion therapy?

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Oh the joy

.......of building web pages.

In notepad.

I tried iWeb, but it made me very cross is a very short space of time.

Back to notepad then. At least that's an HTML editor I can understand.

Oh, and haven't apple learned about the negative impact of nagware yet (you know, stuff that reminds you to register for something every time you start it)? No, I don't want a mobile twit account - get lost!

Guardian to go online only.

Apparently the Guardian is giving up ink and paper publishing in favour of Twitter.

Fernando (arch socialist ;-) ) has the skinny, Also on the paper's own website.