Friday, 30 December 2011

Boxhill on Boxing Day... Well almost.

On 3rd March I'll be doing five 8 mile loops around Boxhill. The first on foot, the second, third and fourth on a bike and the final lap back on foot again.

As a result, I thought I'd go and check out the course.

It's not as bad as I feared, but the circuit finishes with a gentle but relentless 2 mile ascent (about as steep as the worst part of Kendrick Rd in Reading).

After running round once, I have that depressing feeling that I have a lot more to do before the course becomes my friend.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Abraham and Zechariah: More in Common than You'd Think

Abe, Sarah and Isaac
Here are some parallels between Abraham, the great patriarch and Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist:
  • Both are priests. (Gen.12:7, (Lk.1:8-9)
  • Both are men of faith for many years, are old and have no children because their wives cannot conceive (Gen.18:11, Lk.1:7)
  • Both have a messenger from Heaven to tell them that they are going to have sons through the power of God (Gen.12:2, Lk.1:11)
  • Both express incredulity at the promise of God, (Gen.17:17, Lk.1:18) but whilst Abraham is let off, Zechariah should have known better with all that history behind them.
  • Zech, Liz and John
  • Both Abraham's son, Isaac and Zechariah's son, John will live lives that prepare the hearts of the people to receive the Messiah. Isaac by the story of his life and John by preaching a baptism of repentance (Lk.1:76-77).
  • Both Abraham and Zechariah have their eyes firmly fixed not on their earthly prosperity, but on the salvation of God and Heavenly destiny (Heb.11:10,16, Lk.1:68-69,78-79).

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Another International Christmas Day Lunch

Another International Christmas Lunch at [address removed for security reasons].  India, Nigeria, Malaysia, Botswana and Ghana were all represented around the table. Malaysia brought music, Nigeria brought poetry, Botswana and Ghana brought games and India and the Home Team brought food.

I thought I had been abstemious with the amount of food I bought this year, but I still have a barrel load of left overs! It's already freezing and will not reappear until at least half way through April!

As you can see from the photo, we forgot to pull the crackers until half way through the meal. I am particularly proud of the table decoration. I'm discovering creative talents these days, I didn't know I had.

Happy Christmas.

What do Santa and the Living God have in Common? Less than You Think

Great poem. Not your usual predictable anti-commercialist tirade. Makes you think.

[Author's script here]


Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Perfection and Powerlessness of both Creation and Law

This morning I listened to a classic of Christian Literature: Athanasius: On the Incarnation. You can pick it up for free (along with lots of other stuff), here.

One of the things that struck me was that Athanasius appears to be saying that as sin increased, so revelation (grace) increased to curb our corruption and point us to God. In other words, Adam understood very well the way of salvation through Christ to the Father and that it was not ignorance (as so commonly assumed) that lead him and Eve astray, but deliberate disobedience of the full revelation of God in Christ to him (Ps.19:1-2, Rom.1:19-20), hence such a mighty curse. He says:

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Not What I Was Expecting...

Back in September I declared some goals I wanted to achieve between now and the end of the Autumn Term. How have I been getting on?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Carol Time!

At our church carol service on Sunday, we saw a video put together by the great Josh John:

The music in the background

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Meditation: The Heart of the Giver

It is more blessed to give than to receive is a phrase you hear a lot at this time of year and it’s not just from clever kids who want to blackmail their parents into getting them presents! It's something we genuinely believe to be true.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Towards a Better Answer - Maybe
There'll be some things I write here that I'll unreservedly regret, others only half so. This post is an example of the latter.

Maybe this isn't quite right either, but it is an improvement on the previous post - I hope.

As I understand it, angels did sing as Jesus created the universe - Job 38:7, but their song fell silent at the shock of Adam and Eve rebelling against God - for now not everything was good, some things were really, really bad. That song was silent for thousands of years (Rev.4:8,10)

However they break forth in new song when the eternal Son returns to Heaven, the glorious victor - triumphing over sin, death and the devil and being given all authority and power by his Father (Rev.5:9).

But maybe I'm still barking up the wrong tree.

Believe it or not, I'm not big into angelology.

Friday, 2 December 2011

From Idolatry to Ideology aka From a Rock to a Hard Place.

In a sermon I listened to recently, a passing comment was made that Israel gave up worshipping idols after the Exile. Up until that point, they had been repeatedly warned by the prophets not to go "whoring" after images of created things - contravening the second commandment (see Exodus 32 for the most famous example).

That didn't mean that everything was OK though...