Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Songs for prison

One of the staff in my office - the one-and-only Mr Wilson - was singing a song at his desk the other day: Because He Lives. I made an approving comment and he replied, "Ah, yes!  It's the sort of song you can sing in prison."  Fleshing this out, he went on to explain that he uses this gauge to measure all Christian hymns and songs.  Think Paul and Silas in the jail singing at midnight or the countless prisoners of faith who have sung to keep up their courage.  If the music is too complex to be sung in a dark and gloomy cell without a backing track, or if the words would not sustain you in your hour of need, then it's not a great song.

So my new standard test for church music is: could you sing it in prison?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

IKEA night-mare!!

Little pun in the title there.  IKEA have pulled their famous meatballs out of their European stores because they've been found to contain horsemeat.  AGHGHGHGH!  Don't tell my daughter!  She'll never eat at IKEA again!!!

And just to be pedantic, I note that The Age has written "Ikea" at some points in the article.  Come on, guys, it's IKEA because it's an acronym.  You can have cheap, flat-packed Swedish happiness but you've got to get the name right.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I am Second - Stephen Baldwin

A shout out to my friends who have been discussing lately how God seeks us and finds us, even when we think our life is just all about us.  I'll let Stephen Baldwin tell his own story...

 
 
For more I am Second stories - click through to I am Second.

Thank God it's Saturday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday Saturday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.  I totally forgot yesterday!

Today, I’m again thankful to be getting together for poker night with friends this evening. I'm am so blessed to have these friends in my life.

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

When Mummy dressed up as Satan

Me (trying to make light dinnertime conversation that doesn't involve whinging or grossness): So, why don't you tell Daddy what we did in Sunday School today?

4.5 year old (trying hard to remember and then giving the answer with much enthusiasm):  Well....Mummy dressed up as Satan!

It's been a strange kind of day.

Just for the record (so that you don't think I'm a complete lunatic), we did Adam, Eve and the Snake today and I was "dressed up" as each character and interviewed as to what happened on that fateful day in the garden of Eden.  My snake costume consisted only in a green eye-mask.  Just hoping the new minister's kid is giving a slightly more coherent version of this morning's events to her parents.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thank God it's Friday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.

Today, I’m thankful for the first fortnight of work being over.  It's gone well but I have still have to work on balancing home and work.  The house is a pig's sty!   I'm grateful too that when I thought on Wednesday night, that I'd used up all my energy for the week and was wondering how on earth I was going to get through another couple of busy days, God was kind and a couple of meetings got cancelled that made life lighter. I am truly very thankful for my enjoyable work.

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Extraordinary

Oscar Pistorius, known as the 'Blade Runner', has been taken into custodyThis man's life story is anything but ordinary!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Philosophical time-waster

Here's fun exercise to show how philosophy lies at the base of all areas of knowledge....or at least at the base of all areas of Wikipedia.

Go into Wikipedia and type in any subject imaginable in the whole wide world.  Try jellyfish, or Russian revolution or Machu Picchu or any weird thing.  Then click on the first highlighted word in the main text that is not inside a brackets.  Keep doing this and you will eventually get to the page on Philosophy.  Every single time.  No matter where you start from.  It all leads back to Philosophy.

From here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday School basics

So Sunday School is back on and I've survived the second week with 19 kiddos.  Last week, I felt I was concentrating too hard on the mechanics of making the new material work and not thinking enough about the kids themselves.  So in the car this morning on the way to church I was chewing over the purpose of Sunday School.  In Philosophy classes this week we've been discussing the chief end of man*.  That made me think, what would it be like if I asked the question, "What is the chief end of Sunday School?"  and gave the answer, "To glorify God and enjoy him forever."

Now I'm not attempting any kind of justification of the modern practice of Sunday Schooling during church services.  I'll leave that hot potato well alone, thanks.  But it did seem to me that that phrase provides a really good foundation for the basics of Sunday School.

Glorifying God

* The focus of our time together at Sunday School should be on God and his works.  It should not be all about how clever the program is, what a great performer I am, nor how cute the craft turns out to be.  If any of those things get top billing, then my priorities are out of whack.

* In order to glorify God, we ought to be organized.  The program should be well-planned.  The materials well- ordered.  The lesson should be prepared earlier than the very last minute, the children prayed for and the parents encouraged.  Sloppy preparation and execution on a regular basis is not God-honouring.

Enjoying God

* If the Sunday School time is dour and grim and full of disapproving stares from a teacher who doesn't really want to be there, I'm not sure we can be said to be enjoying God.

* Our time together should be characterized by joy and thankfulness in view of God's kindness to us in giving us Jesus.

It was actually a termendously helpful thing to have in my head as we begun the lesson: glorify God and enjoy Him.

* We have been contrasting Aristotle's description of the function of man with the Shorter Catechism's opening question: What is the chief end of man?  The Catechism (written during the English Reformation in the 1640s) answers it this way: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The awesome power of technology

Found this today on Take Your Vitamin Z:

The lizard

In case you thought I was exaggerating when I spoke of my son's room, today while cleaning we found a small live lizard.  We captured him and released him back in the wild.  I knew it was only a matter of time before we moved from bones to wildlife.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thank God it's Friday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.

Today, I’m thankful that the near miss while I was driving today wasn't the terrible accident it could have been.  I was on a very busy four-lane freeway going about 80 kmph when a black Audi in the lane next to me thought he might change lanes without checking his blind spot.  Mercifully I saw him in time and swerved and mercifully there was room in the lane next to me to do so.

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bother

I'm going to have to turn on anti-spam comment verification for a bit.  If you look at my last two posts you'll see I'm getting a ridiculous amount of praise for the high standard of my blogging: the kind of special praise that can only be got from spamming robots.  So I apologize for the need to type in little letters and numbers before you comment but hopefully it will only be temporary.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Survived

Survived the first (mega-long) lesson with Year 12 Philosophy.  Now I'm in the post-adrenalin-crash phase.  This morning, I could have beat Usain Bolt around the block with the amount of nervous energy pulsing through me.  Now I'd be lucky to win a race against Little Ted.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fireworks again

The fireworks next door were annoying on New Year's Eve but that's life.  But tonight?  On an ordinary Saturday night in built-up suburbia?  I'm not feeling the love.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thank God it's Friday

I know that “Thank God it’s Friday’ is usually said in absence of any kind of thankfulness towards the Almighty, but I’d like to do my bit to remedy that.

Today, I’m thankful for the end of the school holidays.  Yep, partly because I'm ready for the kids to be somewhere else for a few hours. Oh, yes, I am.  But mainly because work and routine is a blessing and it's good for us to be engrossed in usefulness and productivity.  I just need to remind myself in a few weeks (when the novelty has once again worn off) that it is a blessing for which to be thankful.

You got anything you’re thankful for today? Join in! Let’s count our blessings for a bit.