Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Tuesday, April 27

My latest sermon II

One lady came to me afterwards and said "I really felt the wind of the Holy Spirit while you were speaking".

Perhaps I should tell her about the heating vent under her chair (we were sitting in a different part of the church form usual).

Or maybe she was right - another lady said something similar.

Sunday, April 25

Saturday, April 24

More thoughts on homosexuality

I have had some interaction with Pastor Rommel Weekly of the Gay Christian Fellowship at

In round one, he helped me very much with a how the concept of 'one flesh' might be interpreted in the context of gay christian relationships.

In round two, he flummaxed me on my interpretation of Romans 1.

I had been following through on my idea that Leviticus is Temple Prostitution, ergo so is Corinthians, ergo so is Romans (please see my previous posts for a fuller description). BUt Pastor Weekly goes with a more traditional view that in Romans Paul is indeed refering to homosexuality in a more general sense, seeing it as a symptom of paganism. Pastor Weekly seems to assert that although Paul was right to see it that way at the time it can't be extended to a universal condemnation of homosexuality. Something to do with the word 'natural' in Romans 1 being the same as the word 'natural' in the context of the length of men's hair, the requirement for men to have short hair being rarely preached on these says! Pastor Weekly claims to believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture. Now I have broken off my correspondence with him, because I couldn't put into words why I have trouble with his view of Romans 1. PArtly it's coz it looks like an excuse and its just to convoluted and far fetched. Partly its because if you make this kind of argument here, where does it stop? Which other scriptures can you disregard? And partly its because I'm looking for reasoning that will stand up to rigorous assault by skeptical conservatives. But as time has passed and I've let it cook in my head, I'm beginning to see where he's coming from.

Pastor Weekly: if you read this, please accept my apologies for not coming back to you direct and for quoting (or misquoting?) you on the web without consent. I can only recommend that my readers go to your site and check it out for themselves.

Who reads all this?

According to my Site Meter, the most common searches that casue people to find my blog are (most common first):
  1. Brits asking about Ford KA power steering fluid leaks (mine is on the steering rack, so I can either keep topping it up or get a new rack)
  2. People in India asking questions like "How is life adventurous?" (India must be a dreadfully dull and predictable place)
  3. Americans looking for an Arsenokoitai definition (It's a word invented by Paul, made by merging two words lifted direct from the septuagint translation of Leviticus, I don't think anyone REALLY knows what it means but it usually gets translated differently in Corinthians (homophobically) from Timothy (unspecified perversion). Personally, having delved into Leviticus and the parallel passage Deuteronomy, I think it refers to pagan temple prostitution - a view I used to reject vehemently but now think is right)

But it's supposed to be a general blog about normal life as a Christian. Are these people missing the point, or proving it?

Friday, April 23

Car trouble

Passenger wing mirror fell off. OK, so I was too close to the wheelie bin and should not have touched it. I should be more careful. But to be fair, I think corrosion is the main trouble.

Dumped into it again V

Church APCM next Sunday - "Simon, will you take the minutes?"
Next Sunday evening service - "Simon, Mark was down to preach but has backed out at the last minute and I can't do it. Are you free?"

So I should now be doing a fairly detailed study of 1 Corinthians 2.

GCSE stress

As if GCSEs are not hard enough, the memory stick with all my son's coursework got broken. A friend of my brother tried to solder it, but it didn't work. But they put me in touch with who after one failed attempt recovered the data and will send it by FTP tonight. Fantastic. Only cost a painful £250 - but that's a small price for your son's GCSEs.

Work at last!

After 13 months of unemployment, 100s of job applications, and several interviews, I finally have a job to look forward to. This is IT!

I will be working on the Surface Water Management Plan for a nearby local authority. Each local authority in the country is required to preare a SWMP by the Floods and Water Management Act 2010, which received royal assent on 8th April. So thanks, Queen, I now have a job!

The actual start date has yet to be agreed. Ditto the actual pay. THis is because rather than being employed directly by the local authority, I will work on a freelance basis for an engineering consultancy who will second me into the authority. The consultancy wanted to win a ocntract to do the SWMP in its entirity, but in the end they only get to send me into the authority's team. But I'm moving off the point - the reason for the delay is that the authority's procedures. They are supposed to use a particular employment agency in cases like this, so they should pay the agency to pay the consultancy to pay me, and the agency has done no work at all. So the guy at the authority is trying to find a way to circumvent the procedure - which I think is a universal full time occupation for all local government officers.

Also, because of the above, its not yet clear just how much of the payment will end up with me.

But the good news is that it is freelance work, which maximises my income and also means that I won't have to wind up my limited company.

And it is within commuting distance, so no living away from home and deducting the cost of a flat.

Good news all round.

And of course, when there is good news like this, it should not be forgotten that it has come about by the Grace of God, mediated through your prayers. And so many thanks to all of you that did pray.

Tuesday, April 13


A bit more optimisim on the job front.

A client company I interviewed for back in January has now had their meeting with their own client - a local council about one and a half hour's drive away - and it seems that they are going to go ahead with employing me in due course. They will arrange for me to see the local authority sometime next week, and are now thrashing out the details of rates of pay etc.

It will be freelance work rather than staff, which is what I want, and is for a year rather than the just three months that I feared. If this does work out, it means that my own company will have enough income to finish paying last year's tax bill in installments without going bust and it also means that I can actually pay myself something and come off state benefits again.

So it's looking very good. We just need to pray it into existance.

Aparently the boss at the council is an ex-military man, so I will have to get out my shirt and tie again and tell him all about how my son wants to join the RAF.

Baby talk

You know your baby can talk when she says "My bum is stinky" - and it is.

Thursday, April 1

April 2010 update

Being at home all day day unemployed not mean freedom. It mean being ucked into domesticity, babysitting, talking to this woman in the houe who turns out to be my wife, etc. Hence I rarely blog these days.

  • The 's' key on my keyboard keeps sticking - hence probable spelling errors herein
  • Work - still unemployed but market seems to be perking up. I've had a few interviews, but promises don't seem to evolve into contracts. Much depends on the 'Flood and Water management' bill getting through parliament before the election.
  • Church - I am part of the 'vision' group, and we seem to be heading towards a 'purpose driven church' kind of model if we can get something like it to fit in an Anglican context. It's good but not without significant problems.
  • Home - decorated daughters bedroom
  • Car - KA off road since last summer needing new steering rack. LDV recently back from garage - I left the handbrake off and it rolled off down the drive and ripped the side door off on the gatepost. LDV no longer trading therefore part V expensive. Had to get econd hand bits off ebay, and couldn't get a whole door. Hammered into shape sufficeint to close but not at all pretty. Now it ha started to give off black exhaust smoke and lose power, so it's back in the garage again. Luckily (or by faith ?) just received £400 excess back from inurance for accident last summer to pay for thi work
  • Faith - high! GOd provides through all circumtances. Big debate on in church: Is all suffering a conequence of sin/devil/fall, or does GOd deliberately send us tough times purely for training purposes? I have never agreed with those whose god is too nice to do things they don't undertand, and am firmly of the view that my unemployment has been very profitable training planned and sent by God, and definitely not an attack by the Devil with God ineffective in the background. I won't give the Devil that much credit!