Friday 30 September 2011

Post mortem's aren't usually much fun.

And I seem to be rather good at doing them.

Preached last night & said a bunch of things that carried no malice by intent, yet reviewing them in my head afterward make me realise just how badly they could have been taken. That's not good.


Lets hope people's memories are short and their attitudes good.

Sunday 25 September 2011

It's been a very emotionally charged day for me

and I'm glad to unwind with some *good dinner.

This morning I was feeling a little odd, but we sang a particular song that will always bring back memories of my daughter laying in the back of the car, blood & cranial fluid dripping from her nose, gradually stiffening and changing as the character of the person that lived in her body no longer shaped it. It's a very vivid picture, and one that will stay with me as long as I live.

This afternoon we saw someone baptised who has been through some very harsh and difficult times, and is still having to walk that path. I'd felt God give me some sections from 'Ruth' for her, but when it came to reading them, the intensity of her pain was so alive in the words that I struggled to do more than blub - when I could talk at all.

An emotionally charged day.

* Dinner was slow cook beef, pot roast for 5 hours at 130'C with Ras-al-hanout spices, soy sauce, white wine, onions, carrots and mushrooms in the pot. They were inedible, but it was good with carrots and pasta with red pesto. Nice.

Is it possible

to teach with a prophetic edge?

I hope so.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

What has changed the face of the world?

Never heard of Keith Tantlinger? Neither had I until 5 min ago.

Monday 19 September 2011

After the earlier comments about lack of blogging

I wonder too if it's just that we aren't blogging too many deep or important issues these days. I can't blog much about the church any more, and theology is often either self-centred, self-explanatory, argumentative or a combination of all 4.

Actually there's a bit of theology/church tradition that I'd like explained, and I know some visitors should be able to explain it, even if they don't agree with it.

In the context of communion in church, it was suggested that taking 'proper' communion meant we took part in the 'heavenly meal'. Now I may not have had eyes to see it, but I know my bible reasonably well these days, and this doesn't seem to crop up anywhere. Likewise bible gateway drew a blank, though I confess to not searching too exhaustively. The context was why a 'proper' cup and paten were required, but I don't want to discuss that especially. In retrospect I should have probably asked for an explanation, but it was getting late and we were all tired.

But I am interested to know if this is something else invented over the centuries, or if there is a scriptural background that I'm simply ignorant about.

Lion is Apple's Vista.

This is something I'm hearing increasingly, as people get used to the new version of OSX.

It's interesting that they genuinely do seem to have lost their way on this. Could it be fallout from Job's withdrawal, or just simply engineers being asked the impossible: to make an OS for a computer with full sized keyboard and one for a hand-held device with a tiny screen operate commonly?

And just when I thought things couldn't be worse that Snow leper.....

I've been reading comments in The Register too much - sorry about the scathing lines to begin with.

Anyone out there mobile blogging from Android?

Wondering whether the app works well or, if as seems to be implied in reviews, it's a bit patchy.

Or maybe it's just that half the users are too dumb to use something like that in the way it's intended: facebook generation, each with their smartphone & all that.

Last year was the year of the Canadians

This year isn't.

But I was thinking about the times we'd had with some of you over last summer, and how I wished I could have shown you more of this country, and at different times too. There's a lot of images on my hard drive that have only been seen through one screen, but they bring back memories - I guess that's what photos are for, rather than to show everyone how good you are with a camera.

One upside of being 'alone' again is the freedom to go have a lunchtime walk/pray time. Lots of thoughts running around (too many work projects, not to mention preaching in a couple of weeks and a whole bunch of other stuff to do with music, worship and blogging) and concerns for friends and family. Facebook has it's uses, but sometimes it's easier not to know things than to know and be concerned.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Tonight was the first time

that I've lit the stove since summer.

Not by too much - but it was 13'C and dropping quickly out there this evening around 7.40pm. Got back from the prayer meeting around 7.45, and it was pretty chilly.

On a completely different front, it's interesting when you bump up against the effects of your psychological DNA.

Over the summer I had a young lass work as an intern with me. She'd completed her first year at a *good* uni, and was intelligent, quick, kind and just generally nice. She learned quickly, and listened to what was said as well as what she was told, if you get my meaning. After 6 weeks she was doing things that people can take several months to learn, and if she'd been working for me, I'd have been happy to trust her to do things unsupervised after a bit more experience.

But here's the thing: now that she's gone I have become aware that she was becoming another daughter. Fatherhood seems to be in my 'DNA' as inescapably as baldness and making bad jokes about the English language.

Now please understand that there was nothing inappropriate or untoward about our relationship. But I found that it was natural to care, to want to put in the best and to hope that the outcome was for the best too, rather than just treat her like someone passing through, to be used for whatever could be squeezed from them. Tomorrow I shall be back in the lab, and will miss her, even though it means I shall be able to focus on my own work undistracted.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Maybe life is that complicated after all

I'm inclined to believe that people are more difficult than molecules - harder to get hold of, define, understand and work with. A little like trying to hold a jelly that grows thorns as it runs through your fingers.

Friday 9 September 2011

Life isn't really complicated

but that's how it looks on the surface.

I've been looking at how some antibodies interact with their targets, using recombinant proteins in comparison with natural ones. The application is in creating tests to measure natural proteins, but in order to do that I have to be sure the materials I have will give meaningful results, and that's not always the case.

I tried explaining to Chris this evening. Imagine someone sneaked in during the night and changed your tape measure, so that instead of feet it used millimeters instead. Now imagine that same person did this with most tape measures used by those whose opinion in how long things should be was most valued by the world. Suppose you then went and, using a standard of measure created and stored by a world authority, discovered that the measurements everyone had been using was about 1000 X too small. And not only that, but some rulers that you'd tested about 6 years before (produced by a prestigious University in the US) in comparison with the dodgy rulers had appeared to be wrong, but were in fact correct....

So you start thinking life might be a little more complicated than it should be.

If I did not have access to the tools and the experience that I do, this project would have gone in the bin by now (and it very nearly did anyway). However there is a very distinct possibility that things will actually work out well after all, and we may get a useful commercial product after all. And for those who wonder, I think there really IS quite a lot of grace from God in here, allowing me to keep going.

Thursday 8 September 2011

On radio 4 this morning (Libya content)

They had a reporter visit one of the prisons previously used by the old regime to hold political prisoners, now being used to hold those accused of fighting for Gaddafi. The description was a place of overcrowded filthiness, with sick and injured people who needed to be able to lay down & rest while getting decent food, fresh air and sunshine.

First interview was of a Liberian man, accused of being a mercenary but who claimed to have been a worker. He was articulate, spoke of there being no proof of him having been a mercenary, but actually *sounded* as though he could have been a mercenary (he sounded too sharp to be a simple labourer).

Next up was a young woman. She told a story of having been abducted, raped by the head of security before being drafted into their services. Shortly before the fall of Tripoli she had been forced to shoot prisoners at gun point. Her words were clearly spoken in distress, and it sounded very much as though she'd been through a system to break her will and character. This nearly had me in tears.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Has the blogosphere of my friends (almost) ground to a halt.

Maybe everyone is twittering?

Or maybe no-one has time to say anything.

Perhaps the era of personal blogging is (mostly) over and done now that the novelty is well and truly worn off. Most blogs now seem to be for the purpose of directing others how to think in one form or another.

Maybe I just need to get my backside in gear and post some content?

Stuff I care about:

My friend who has moved abroad, only to take their troubles with them: they can't seem to realise that drunkenness and sleeping with various people is the source, rather than solution of their problems.

My friend who believes people want to dominate the lives of others.

Friends who are sick and struggling.

Friends who are divorced, and in one case, gone from loving Jesus to being actively hostile in their determination not to be guilty for carelessly destroying their marriage.

The church: mistakes I make and my failure to do the things I should while doing the things I should not. Guess that smears into the rest of my life too.

The church again: why, no matter how much we *talk* about the Holy Spirit, the signs of His presence are subtle and hidden, rather than clear and overt.

My family and the negative impact the things I do might have on them (it's hard not to overlook the positive impact good things I do have also had on them). Included in that is wider family.

Where the business is going right now, and whether we'll have to can it at the end of the year.

That last is a potential source of fear - and one I'm fighting, having already given notice on the part-time job because I can't keep doing it.

Monday 5 September 2011

Jabba the carrot

One of Chris's carrots, entered as a 'vegemal' in the Somerton village produce show 2011.