Friday, October 28, 2005

Little Picture problem

Well you may of noticed my shoddy title at the moment, well for some reason (it seems I broke the T&C) geocities wont host my images or reply to my emails so that I can regain my creative ownership of the images, so heres a replacement (hopefully short term replacement as were getting internet within the week) along with a very suave photo of me in a suit in my profile. Im also extending my Internet capitalist (student budget reimbnursing) expolits from the last time to new heights...ebayying, Oh how addictive this is, but a lot of fun, see what Im selling But hopefully Ill get to change that back, as its not a great representation as thats the 1 out of about 5 times in my life Ive worn a suit. Anyway also I just need two more (UK) people to complete an offer on free ipods, check my post about it here or just go and help me and pick one up for yourself here. Sorry you had to read this trashy post, scroll down for some less administartive thoughts of mine over the last few days.

Cheap Amazon Bibles & Short thoughts on Pslam 63

Psalm 62:11-12 (New International Version - UK) 11One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, 12 and that you, O Lord, are loving..."
The NIV often gets knocked as a translation, but it really is the workhorse translation of the bible. Ive been told all over the place that the best a literal translation is the NASB, so now my old NIV-UK is literally falling apart, with duct tape on the covers and curled edges and decided I would pick something up to use in lectures.
So I found these two very cheap gems on amazon and thought they were so cheap Id pick up the hardback and the paperback. I just recieved the hardback seperatly although only paid one shipping charge (Amazon obviously want to get on the right side of me for some reason) and Ive been assured the paperback is on its way. But altogether the hardback cost me £5.02 (incl. shipping) Uber cheap for an NASB as you only seem to be able to find them as crazy huge study bibles in A3 and for £40. So needless to say Im pleased to find such a cheap source of bibles. The new bible is (as Im told as this is actually only my second workhorse bible Ive ever bought) much different in layout to my old NIV, but Im sure Ill get used to it, another thing I didnt realise is that it has a concordance as well. Blow me down!
Anyway onto Psalm 63, as you can see Ive quoted it there in the NIV - UK as a little tribute to my old bible, and the fact that the translations seem fairly different of this verse. But I really like this one.
I love how this is worded because for me, it sums up the way in which God speaks to me so well, and I really empathise with the writers (probably David) expression, I just lack the eloquence.
"Two things you have spoken, one I have heard"
God so often transcends our logic, in fact I dont know that he ever fits into our logic. When his spirit comes it brings freedom through revelation, revelation of who God is, and very often for me, when I cry out to him, or even when I worship him from a seemingly firmer place, his prescence speaks to me that he is strong and that he is loving.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Peace...

I wrote this about a week ago but never posted it: This is a kind of follow on post, somewhat of a part II, or maybe even a response, but its for someone elses post!..I have only a few blogs I regularly read but today as I probably should have been cross checking my library catalogue (as I am about to do) I read Arlens 2AM musings and "went there" for a minute, so before you read anymore of this go ahead and take a quick look. I loved this post because it seemed to come out of the quietness of the soul, that when every barrier and pretense is down, the place of honesty, vunerability and openness is expressed. And for a moment in this busy University library I was there in that canoe, and then I was in the sunrise in a field in Cornwall, and as I read Arlens Prayer: May you, in the midst of today's noise--both inner and outer--may you find a place, a space, if even a brief moment of... I forgot, I for just a second remembered, as I so often have before, remembered, I took a quiet deep breath in, closed my eyes from the glare of the computer screen and had a second, of peace, of knowing god's love and lordship, the peace that passes all understanding as I sit here daunted by workload and responsibility, drowning in my tiredness, I just remember what he did, and who that makes me, and how thats changed me, and how that keeps changing me. Well if nothing else this post is adding a new facet of contrast to this blog which seems to contain every serious, humorous, spiritual, intellectual, and entrepreneurial expression of me!

Again from Arlens Blog:"Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing."--St. Teresa of Avila, said shortly before her death in 1582, to the sisters of the order she founded.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Celebrating Rosa Parks

Yesterday Rosa Parks died. As I was growing up rosa Parks was somewhat of an icon as I learnt US Civil Rights History in secondary school and her life, and her actions made an ordinary women do a small thing that had massive impact. Her life inspires everyone to make a difference, to stand firm for what is right, to live for justice when its costly and so today on this tiny space on the web I celebrate Rosa Parks, as a testimony of how normal people can change nations. DETROIT (Reuters) - Rosa Parks, the black seamstress whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white man sparked a revolution in American race relations, died on Monday. The U.S. civil rights pioneer was 92. Shirley Kaigler, Parks' lawyer, said she died while taking a nap early on Monday evening surrounded by a small group of friends and family members. "She just fell asleep and didn't wake up," Kaigler said. Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a statement: "The nation lost a courageous woman and a true American hero. A half century ago, Rosa Parks stood up not only for herself, but for generations upon generations of Americans." Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress for a Montgomery department store when she caught a bus in downtown Montgomery on December 1, 1955. Three stops after she got on, a white man boarded and had to stand. To make room for him to sit alone, as the rules required, driver James Blake told Parks and three other black riders, "You all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats." The other riders complied but Parks did not. "No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen," she told Blake. Blake called police, who asked Parks why she didn't move: "I didn't think I should have to. I paid my fare like everybody else." Four days later, she was convicted of breaking the law and fined $10, along with $4 in court costs. That same day, black residents began a boycott of the bus system, led by a then-unknown Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott lasted 381 days, and the legal challenges led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that forced Montgomery to desegregate its bus system and put an end to "Jim Crow" laws separating blacks and whites at public facilities throughout the South. Parks and her husband, Raymond, moved to Detroit in 1957, after she lost her job and received numerous death threats in Alabama. From 1965 to 1988, she worked as an aide to U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat and founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. "For a long time people were a little bit afraid of Rosa Parks because she had created this whole new modern civil rights movement," Conyers told Detroit radio late on Monday. "They didn't know what to expect, and they certainly didn't expect someone that quiet. She sought no limelight; you'd never hear her talking about her own civil rights activities and all the things that she had been in," he said. "She has saint-like qualities," Conyers added.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Selling out?

Ive been toying with this idea for a while, but never felt the need to get on and do it...but today I took the plunge. Internet Advertising, I hate the stuff most of the time, especially those pop ups, and heres a commitment in black and white (well white on black is more the style of this blog) that there will never be annoying pop up ads but a few companys that make some cool stuff (not condoning some of the more questionable Busted Tees) like Defunker and Busted Tees offering me $4 for every T bought through a link and then Google Pay-per-click (not yet set up) seemed like a good idea. But anyway its time to give the decision over to the Ive created my own world of web based democracy..Have your say, should I help keep my student account afloat with the odd couple of pounds from net ads or should I forget it and spend thrifty!!

Dan Hughes through TSK on Pakistan

Message from Dan Hughes, My brother Trevor is in the earthquake disaster zone in Pakistan helping in the relief effort and blogging what he sees. His organization, Secured Path (, is also movingmoney directly to effected families without any amount being sliced off the top for the typical middleman "expenses". I want to ask if you would consider linking to Trevor's Pakistan earthquake disaster blog If we can get some Googlejuice flowing we might stand a chance of getting many small gifts into the hands of the thousands of suffering families who have lost children, home and village and now face winter alone.Thanks for indulging me. This story has dropped from the front pages of our western papers far to soon.For the hurting, Dan

Early Bird and great blogging

Well this is just a blogging testimony to either my insanity or my commitment to my degree (Im inclined to think insanity) But I left my house in St Combs at 3:50am this morning to take some friends to Dyce Airport in Aberdeen, to go on a boot camp at metro ministries in New York, I was really excited for them, to read more about the boot camp go here. Straight after sropping them off Ive come into Uni...Ive got crazy amounts of coursework to do just now, so thats keeping me pretty busy, but not too busy I cant blog it seems. Anyway I was checking out the blogosphere for a minuite and read my friend Arlen's last 3 posts, which are amazing for me to read this morning...I love the quote from Teresa of Avila and the 4 pieces of Advice to Christians from Ghandi. Wayda Blog Arlen..

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Readings in Ecclesiology

I know...isn't great that now Im back at University I call it Ecclesiology instead of "I was reading stuff about Church today" Well thats maybe countered by the fact Im listening to Snoop Dogg as I read Radical 80's Ecclesiology in the form of "Resident Aliens" by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon. I can't quite blanket the book as being right on or not just now, partially because Im only in the second chapter, but also because Im emmersed in it right now and I think even if books aren't "right on" then if it inspires and cultivates a thinking process about what is "right on" or even if that can be found, then its maybe a good book. Anyway Im more and more being challenged on my strong leanings toward activist, socially left of centre church set ups, through books and lectures, but still not wanting to peaceably returning home to my original perception of church as a ghetto community free from being involved in "worldly matters". In passing, both of these concepts are entirely self arrived, and in no way are reflections on my involvement/experience in the Churches I have been a part of, just merely false destinations in my own journey of working out of my own methodology and theology. So here is a passage from the book that offers not a helpful medium, or a balance of polarities as many books might but a "radical alternative" pg45. nb:The book uses the term "conversionist Church" to describe what I refered to as a "ghetto community" in the last paragraph. The "radical alternative" the book purports is called the "confessing church". "The confessing Church, like the conversionist Church, also calls people to conversion, but it depicts that conversion as a long process of being baptismally engrafted into a new people, an alternative polis, a countercultural social structure called Church. It seeks to influence the world by being the church , that is, by being something the world is not and can never be, lacking the gift and vision, which is ours in Christ. The confessing church seeks the visible church, a place, clearly visible to the world, in which people are faithful to their promises, love their enemies, tell the truth, honour the poor, suffer for righteousness, and thereby testify to the amazing community creating power of God. The Confessing Church has no interest in withdrawing from the world, but it is not surprised when its witness evokes hostility from the world. The Confessing Church moves from the activist church's acceptance of the culture with a few qualifications, to rejection of the culture with a few exceptions. This is encouraging me to find that tension, that balance or maybe even that radical alternative, to a Church concept that enables Church to be the force for the upholding of justice without the loss of spirituality that many churches fall into. What it seems to me that Hauerwas and Willimon argue is that for the Church to be the most effective purveyor of Justice and Social Change it must be centred on its identity as God's people, centred around Jesus and all the implications of his messianic eschatology (redemptive return...that word was just for Johnny!). Go comment people...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ray: A Worthwhile Loser

I watched RAY last night after it being recommended to me by a few people, and liking the little of Ray Charles music I had heard. As far as the film goes it had a few moments of nice cinematography and the childhood flash backs where effective, but passed being an ex media student the film said something else too. I didnt know much about Ray Charles Robinson's life before I watched the movie but it was full of hurt, bitterness, brokeness, serious drug abuse, and selfishness, and through much of the movie Ray Charles isnt somebody who you really like as you watch the movie. But he did something that was important, that was effective, 2 of his best moves where when he refused to play in Georgia and stood against the racial justice of his culture and the second was when he finally valued his family enough to beat his addiction to heroin. On Sunday, my friends stuart preached on Noah, who did amazing this for God and then got drunk and naked straight after, and seemingly messed it all up, samew with David that guy was "a man after Gods heart" as we always here, he wrote the psalms some of the most inspirational words of God ever inspired, but he was also the biggest sinner. I know I wont be perfect in this life, Ill probably hurt people, be selfish, and broken, and while Ill try not to be these things, Im comforted by the fact that God tends to use the screw ups to display his outrageous Grace.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I know, I know

I know, New title seriously required but you see the problem is photoshop and the internet are never on the same PC at the moment, maybe I just need to blow my overdraft and pick up a G5 Powerbook but then I dont think that would be so wise. So Yep I know its not Summer 05 but hey Im doing the best I can here!.. ..Life is busy and draining me right now, but Im not gonna die or anything so nobody start making any gravestones quite yet! Also Im being bored to death reading a 20 page article and underlining stuff on Orientalism, which isn't my choice subject, although it can be quite interesting. No inspiring musings today apart from something that Im living through right now that is summed up well in the book i spoke about in the post yesterday, and so i'll leave you with this thought: Willard Waller, an American Sociologist, spent his life studying people in order to gain an understanding of the complex interplay that goes on in human relationship. Though he wrote many research papers, his life's work can be summed up in two simple statements: 1. In any relationship one persons loves more than another. 2. The Person who loves the least in any relationship has the most power and conversly the person who loves most has least power.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Church . co . uk and Steve Chalke

Well I may be well behind the times, but maybe I'll view myself as the blog that sweeps us the dust after the other "on the pulse" blogs speed ahead, but I just finished a book called the "Lost Message of Jesus" by Steve Chalke It was originally receommended to me by Miriam Hartley probably at least a year or two ago, but it passed me by, then all the cool blogs (pretty much the ones in the e-lationships tab on the right are the coolest blogs on the net!) got in on it, reviewed and argued about it, they even had a debate with around 1000 intelligent types in London around the book, well I kept up with all this through the most affluent (in blog posts at least) blog on the net TSK, here are his posts on the debate before and after Anyway back on track, the book is a really inspiring read, and nothing in it hit my "heresy" alarm, if I even have one that is, so a short good read that has a nice bit of referance to scholarship and provides a really helpful new look at the character of Jesus and the implications for us. Buy it from PLAY, they have the best price but are out of stock so you have to be willing to wait or from Amazon, who always have everything as long as you want to pay postage. If anyone who has read it wants to....leave comment on what you thought about the book. Also the church Steve Chalke is involved in which I gleam is called is unsurprisingly also found at and has a very nice little webpage, and a typepad blog thats down right now! Anyway let me know what you think