Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Tuesday 30/01/06

Tuesday January 30, 2007

I’ve been taking a break looking through some of the old articles at challies.com. There’s a lot of stuff on there which is really good but, to my shame, today I’ve been looking at the funny ones! Some of them are really good and I just wanted to share. It’s probably worth saying that they are all spoofs and tounge-in-cheek – some of the commenters seemed not to pick up on that!

  1. Reformed Eye for the Arminian Guy – Tim suggests a new TV show
  2. The Doctrine of Hairology – might not sound fun, but really is! About 20 minutes long, though, so takes a while.
  3. Fantasty Church – how many points does your church get?
  4. Allegations of Retirement – Challies Denies All – the name says it all.

Enjoy!

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Friday 26/01/07

Sunday January 28, 2007

A bunch of us were at a friend’s watching The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the new film version). At one point it was looking like it was about to turn into a chick-flick, with Arthur announcing that Trillian “absolutely, definitely, positively” was ‘the one’. The two mice saved the day from turning into a slushy nightmare with the all-time classic line “What’s all this ‘is she the one?’ nonsense? Take his brain!” Pure genius!

At the same time, I got to rehear the story of another friend’s ears. He’s damaged his earphones so some of the metal wiring is exposed. Now, it seems that when he’s sitting on the synthetic fabric of the chairs in the computer room his jeans become statically charged. This would usually be fine, but if he’s also listening to music from the computer through the dodgy earphones then there’s an easy route for the electrons and he gets electric shocks straight into his ears every time he moves! I saw it happen when he was sitting just in front of me and it really is awfully funny.

Monday 22/01/07

Monday January 22, 2007

We were learning today about how databases of patient data work. It’s actually slightly more interesting than it sounds, but the high point came when our lecturer phrased his sentance slightly unfortunately. He was talking about not wasting space when a set of records are deleted, and a technique whereby:

We can reclaim the memory before eliminating a patient.

Whoops!

LIFE diaries

Monday January 22, 2007

Imperial College Christian Union (ICCU) has just finished our mission. It was called LIFE week and was basically a week of intensive focus on evangelism, with two lunchtime talks each day, action groups (spiritual surveys around campus), a curry night, lots of prayer and various bits and bobs. It really was a blessing, and a huge learning experience for me, and we’re already starting to think about how to make next year’s even better.

One of my jobs each day was to write up what had been happening and send it round to people – as it was impossible for anyone to be at everything, and it was helpful for people who were praying for us to know what was going on. At some point I’ll get round to reflecting on the week properly but now, for the sake of posterity, I’ve uploaded all five of those updates (after a while fighting with my laptop so it would let me!) here.

As a special bonus feature, and because I’m so excited about how cool they look, I’ve also managed to get up the fliers that we had printed. Credit for these goes to David who did a bang-up outstanding job on them!

flier-front.gif flier-back.gif

(Clicking should make them open in a new tab or window and be a lot bigger. I don’t really know what I’m doing, though.)

New blog

Sunday January 21, 2007

Dad and I (and my brother David if we can get him in!) are starting a new discussion at the Criddle Kitchen Table – a place of many, often bizarre, conversations. To begin with, we’re talking about Wayne Grudem’s book Systamatic Theology, which we all received for Christmas :) and the debate seems just to be beginning. Join in if you’re up for it – it’s starting to look like fun!

Spiritual Reformation 2 & 3

Saturday January 20, 2007

The first of Paul’s prayers that Carson looks at is in 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12. There’s a lot in there, but I’ve come away with three big things to chew over and try to improve (there’s a lot of room to do better!) with regard to how to pray for other people – namely: view, aims and content.

Paul’s view in this prayer is through a wide angled lens. Everything is set in the context of the grace of God which saved the Thessalonians and is the only means of their ongoing sanctification. Furthermore, the end of this world seems to be always in Paul’s mind, with many references to judgement and the new creation. I too often focus on what people want today or – if I’m really good – tomorrow.

Paul has two aims for his prayer – that “Jesus Christ will be glorified in us on account of what we have become by his grace, and we will be glorified in him on account of what he has done for us” (p59). He doesn’t aim for comfort or happiness for the Thessalonians, but for what is actually best.

It is hardly surprising when Paul is looking at the big picture and is praying for the glory of Jesus and Christians that he doesn’t pray for temporal, material things. The content of his prayer is largely concerned with thanking God for evidence of grace in the lives of the Thessalonians (specifically faith, love and steadfastness, v3-4) and asking God to continue with their sanctification (“that our God may make you worthy of his calling”, v11). There is also prayer that the godly agendas of the Thessalonians would be fulfilled (v12) – not, that is, exams, competitions or social events but “every resolve for good and every work of faith”.

Honestly, my response? Despondancy. Not only does Paul pray all the time, but he’s really good at it! When I do manage to pray, I so rarely have the view, aim or content that Paul manages. What’s more, my earlier resolve to have a list of 12 people to pray for every time I prayed has gone completely splat and I’m tempted to give up on the whole thing. But I know that that’s Satan’s tactic and not the council of my King. I know that what I must do is get up off the mat, then get back down on the mat on my knees (see what I did there?!). I need to admit I’ve failed, and that I could never do anything other than fail. I need to admit that I’ve given in to the temptation to revel in self pity. I need to ask forgiveness. I need to praise God for his grace that there are so many fresh starts and a promise that one day it won’t be a battle but I’ll be perfected. I need to ask that God would teach me to pray. Then I need to take a smaller slice of the elephant that is learning to pray better and – relying fully on God – start chewing.

So, new resolve. I’ve just nicked the student prayer list from my church and added the the twelve names from before and a few others. Now each day there are four people – three Christians and one non-Christian. Each morning, immediately after the Bible (or I’ll never get round to it) I will, at the least, go through the Lord’s prayer, pray for the appropriate four people and read a prayer from Valley of Vision. I believe that, by grace, this is an achievable target. If not, I just need to learn to carve a thinner slice. I really should get some specific accountability on this, but until I manage to set that up (and once I have!) here’s trusting in God.

Heavenly Father, I long for Jesus to be glorified in me. I do also long for the day when I will see him and will be sanctified and glorified. For now, Father, I cling to your grace. I thank you that my motivation to improve has come from your grace. I pray that your grace would sustain me and allow me to pray at least this much each day and that soon I would outgrow this and seek more time in your presence. Please keep me from legalism and from apathy – please keep me in grace. I thank you that you have given us teaching on how to pray. I thank you that the Spirit prays in my weakness, and he knows the deep things of you. I thank you that my salvation isn’t based on being able to maintain discipline, but I thank you that I can please you by doing so. Please teach me to pray, please conform the amount, the view, the aims and the content of my prayers to your will. Amen.

Saturday 20/1/07

Saturday January 20, 2007

“There’s just no grip to be had anywhere!”

Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear trying to drive a Jaguar on, wait for it, an icerink!

Friday 19/1/07

Friday January 19, 2007

Technically this was a long time ago, but I enjoyed it enough that I’ve been chuckling every now and then ever since. A friend of mine commented, “I always get a headache when there’s too much blood in my caffeine stream.” Quality.

Gospel links

Sunday January 14, 2007

The gospel should reach in and change every part of our lives, and I’ve come across a couple of posts looking at how parts of that should work. The first is John Piper with really sound, grace-filled thoughts on “How to Deal with the Guilt of Sexual Failure” – which also works for other failures but sexual sin does seem to be the one that holds most people back most. Maybe that’s just because it’s most prevalent.

Secondly, the five15 blog (a youth group in America which I happened across) has just put up three posts on work and idleness (here, here and here). We need to rest and to take breaks from our work but I always find that when I stop doing what I normally do and replace it with other productive things like reading good books or writing posts (such as today) it’s not only more rewarding but also far more enjoyable than doing unproductive things like watching TV (such as yesterday). Admittedly, part of the reason for that is that the productive things I do tend to be Christian-related so I get encouraged and reminded of Jesus as I go! Anyway, the posts are well worth reading.

Friday 11/1/07

Friday January 12, 2007

The air-lift in Alias where two men were abducted by having the lift they were in winched up by a helicopter and flow off into the sunset. Plus, the laugh out loud line:

“Personally, I would have found it anti-climactic that after expecting to assemble a weapon of ultimate power you ended up with a revelation you could have acquired from a fortune cookie.”