Monday, December 19, 2005

A Turning Point

We've just moved our third (read "last") child out of our bedroom. The cot has moved to Doris' own room and she is in it - howling the house down in protest. No more babies in our room! A strange feeling of liberation but yet another sign of age, another era passed. Bring on the grey hair and wrinkles.

It's Monday Again

A day marked out so far only by its unremarkableness.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I'm Lost

Young Norris (aged 3) gave his mother the slip in a big electrical shop today, and she couldnt find him anywhere. Amazingly, he had marched himself to the customer services desk and announced, "I'm Lost".

Afterwards he said, "I was sad - but I wasn't frightened".

Monday, December 12, 2005

The frightening power of the Bible

I realised again this weekend how frightening the Bible actually is in practice. I have the job of doing some of the preaching at church, and the relationship between preaching and life is a curious one. What I have experienced over this last year is that whatever I am planning on preaching on, on the Sunday, I get tested on during the week running up to it. Preaching on Hannah (and on sacrificial giving) co-incided with a family financial crisis. Preaching on 'households' in Ephesians 5, meant disruption at home. The week I had to speak about pride was horrendous!!... and so it goes on. This wasn't some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy either! These were things which happened from outside my control.

There is a theory in the study of 'homiletics' that the preacher should first of all ensure that the word is applied first to the preacher. It is often spoken about as if this was some form of duty or task to complete. This is however far from the case. I am increasingly finding that the same God who calls you to preach, also inflicts the lessons of that word on you in unmistakable ways. Mr H. suggested that I preach a series on 'abundant blessing' therefore! It's a fine suggestion, perhaps I'll start with Song of Solomon! :-))

What I have discovered is that a mere theory of the inspiration of the Bible is only a start. You know the inspiration of scripture is real when you almost tremble opening its pages for the effects it will have on you and your family. This is no tame book - but a living word.

Monday Thing

Beautiful cold winter's day.
Just as it should be in December!

But how can another week have gone past already? Having adjusted to a completely new routine in life, with Boris at school, Norris at nursery 4 days and Doris here with me, while 'she who must be obeyed' is at work - life seems to dissappear faster than I thought possible. Yikes! - that's what old folk say.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


For reasons as yet not fully understood even by those directly responsible, our three children shall henceforth be referred to as, "Boris, Norris and Doris" respectively. I trust that rules in any futher confusion.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Monday Photo

An unremarkable week livened up only by my wife celebrating her birthday week by falling on the ice, hurting her back and then passing out. I have been experiencing all the joys of stomach bugs. (yuk)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Nearly Snow

The promised huge snowfall was a damp slushy squib. There's still a little on the hills, no snowballs, snowmen or sledging though!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear....

Burger King
Offspring #2
Fire Extinguisher
Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Name That Bird

One very large and extremely nosey bird has spent its morning staring in at us from the garden wall. we reckon it's an infamous grouse? !? No idea if that's right or not though. Click on pic to see an enlarged version in which you can actually see the thing. The pic from the better angle was taken through the kitchen window - so the flash bounced back off the glass and spoilt it a bit - nevertheless you can see the thing. Offsprung #1 (who's off school with an explosive tummy bug) was most impressed.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Dedication's What You Need

Yesterday we had offspring #2 and #3 dedicated at church, with a suitable gathering of the clans to mark the occasion - a special day in our family. It would be foolish to argue that the event has made an observable difference to the kids, it hasn't. Likewise it would be wrong to suggest that it made God love them more, or differently. It would be just as false to say that they love God more either. What we can say, is that the most foolish thing would be to let children be born and not mark the event in spiritual terms, firstly thanking God for them, and then seeking His blessing upon them, and requesting His wisdom for us as we manage them. Ceremonies are important in the Christian life, because they physically and demonstrably represent the invisible, and remind us of vital truths. The Israelites built a huge cairn when they crossed the Jordan in order never to forget what God had done. This is our cairn.


Monday 21 Nov (am). Strange patches of orange indicate either clouds or aliens approaching.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lord Lucan Found!

Like good coffee, perfection should not be hurried

It's better than the T.V.!


At college yesterday guest speaker at worship was Dominic Smart - who I haven't heard speak for many years. He spoke on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 the famous "a time for...." passage. He spoke about the extremes in each verse being a literary device, meaning encompasing all in between - not focusing our attention to the margins of excperience only. Then he contrasted contemporary 'management' and 'success' culture with the widsom of living a life responsive to God and all he brings us, whether it causes rejoicing or weeping etc. This he reckoned was the recipie for the preservation of sanity in Christian ministry. This is all impressive stuff - but what was equally so, was that I haven't spoken to him for a decade, but not only did he remember my name but also what we spoke about. This is stuff to emulate!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Grey Day

Cold, windy, grey, dark. Hints of an ominous winter to come.
14 Nov 05. 10am

Does it get more boring than this?

Does it get more boring than this? Event of the day, wife has made new curtains.
I can't believe it's come to this The price to pay for having far too many kids. I'm young enough to despise this, yet too old to change it.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Book Notes: The Greatest is Charity

Compared to Shaw's previous book this is light reading, yet it packs a powerful and challenging punch! This is the story of Andrew Reed, a leading non-Conformist mininster who sought to meet the spiritual and practical needs of those he served in Stepney, E. London in the 19thC. His preaching and visiting minstry helped hundreds of people put their faith in Christ, and he saw remarkable growth in his church. The Victorian city also presented Reed with actute physical suffering, and he did not think that Christian mission extended only to peoples souls but also to their bodies. He founded two orphanages to care for hundreds of lost children, pioneered the care of those with severe learning difficulties and in the last years of his life adopted the deeply unfashionable cause of paliative care, predating the modern hospice movement. In both his preaching and caring he sought 'Christlikeness', doing so with remarkable energy and generosity, and often at great personal cost. What is 'prophetic' about Reed is that he was inspired by biblical teaching regarding individual human worth, because all are equal before God and created in His image; and was therefore liberated from some of the intellectual currents of the day which insisted on the moral inedequacy of the poor, inviolable economic laws and the rigorous application of self-help. This extended to both the severely mentally handicapped and the 'incurables'; Londons 'untouchables' who Reed served.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


TV Star ------------------------------- Daughter

The uncanny resemblance between my daughter and a very well-known TV star has been brought to my attention. Could they by any chance be related? I think I should be told.
Grateful thanks to Dr Carlos Frankfurter of the University of Dundee for sending this.
£10 paid for winning entries (entry fee, £10).

Monday, November 07, 2005

I gain nothing

Spoke last night at church on "If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." As the greatest commandment is to 'Love', doing justice to this text was always going to be impossible. Even so - I was dissapointed with how it went. Great service otherwise though!

Stormy Monday?

07.11.05 10:30am
Today feels like the first day of winter.