Photo credits

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

Tuesday, August 28

The measure you give is the measure you receive.

The Bank Holiday Weekend

Spent far too much.

Sunday: the Great Orme at Llandudno. Walked to summit and back, while Mrs took the tram, and then hunted crabs in rock pools north of the pier. A fantastic day.

Little girl got sunstroke –we think – and sicked in the car. Bought an air freshener, and proceeded with the joint smell of vomit and perfume, which is worse than pure vomit. But it was still a fantastic day.

Travelodge at Cheshire Oaks.

Monday – walked round Cheshire Oaks designer outlet village, and remembered that Cheshire has more millionaires per square mile than any other part of the UK. And we weren’t one of them. Moved on. Saw a massive queue on the motorway of people heading to Cheshire Oaks – felt sorry for them knowing that the car park was already full.

Went again to the World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Still stunning. Still not a place for those with vertigo.

Chili con carne with chips from a fantastic chippy in Llangollen.

The weather was terrible but it seemed to stop raining every time we got out of the car and then start again just as we were about to move off. There IS a God!

Domestic 'exchange of views'.  She says I'll pay for the petrol, and offers £XX.  She doesn't believe that the cost of the petrol was actually 50% more than £XX.  I ended up telling her to use the money she offered to buy herself an item from Cheshire Oaks (because I actually love her, underneath).  If she had offered more, she would have got more.  And I'm sure there is a spiritual message in that somewhere.

Wednesday, August 22

Work - a day in the life of a civil engineer specialised in hydraulics

Yesterday's question: if you enlarge the holes on a sewage filter distributor arm to stop them getting blocked, does it affect the uniformaity of the distribution of sewage across the filter?

I dragged a colleague's old spreadsheet out and dusted it down.  Re-arranged it to match the way my brain thinks.  Added graphical output.  Added a macro to run the tedious iteration.  Tested it with small holes and big holes.

Answer: yes, it does affect the distribution.  Obvious when you think about it.  If the holes are bigger, more will try to get out through the first hole, so there is les at the end.  Some people had said that the pressure along teh pipe would still be the same so the flow through each hole would be the same, it would just jet out less.  But the maths shows that it does mean more water is spread in the middle of the filter and less at the edges.

So this leads on to more questions:
  • Is the difference enough to worry about? ( we need to ask the Process Engineer)
  • This is technically outside our jurisdiction - the dsign of the distributor is the responsibility of the manufacturer, and his 'cleint' is our mechanical engineer.  So what can we do?  (We can inform the manufacturer and his client of our concerns.  we can't show them our spreadsheet, because then we would incurr a design responibility that we are not authorised to take on.  So all we can do is ask awkward questions.)

New toy

Samsung Galaxy SII.

My old LG had a cracked screen for ages - not good - and finally gave up yesterday night. 

Popped into Vodafone this morning, and upgraded.

Tuesday, August 21

New wine, Pork, and Joel Osteen

I had the following email correspondence with a Muslim colleague.  It started with me telling him I was going to New Wine, joking about the name, then joking about the pork roast stall, followed by him sending me a Joel Osteen clip about eating pork, followed by my theological response, which seemed to go down OK.

Sorry its long.

Start at the top and work down.


From: *** ME ***
Sent: 25 July 2012 17:34
To: *** Muslim Colleague ***

Subject: New Wine

As discussed … it’s not a name for a Muslim conference!

But just to show you that it’s not a massive booze-up, here’s the website for the conference organisers...

The name comes from two references:

1. In the book of Matthew Jesus says: “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” This is usually interpreted to mean that when God is doing something new he does it in a new context. For example when Jesus instituted the New Covenant, it did not fit into Judaism but a new ‘container’ was needed – Christianity. This process repeats itself: when God sends revivals of faith they tend to disrupt the dusty anachronistic church organisations and new churches are born. This is how Protestantism started, how Methodism started, how Pentecostalism started, etc. So the ‘New Wine’ conference hopes to be the container for the next thing – the next revival – that God sends.

2. In the book of Mark Jesus says: “This is my blood of the[a] covenant,(A) which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” . This is interpreted to mean that after his death, as part of his resurrection, there will be a new expression of the Kingdom of God in which Jesus will be present and participating. ‘The Kingdom of God’ used to be interpreted as a political Kingdom, hence most of the disasters in Europe for the last 2000 years. It is now seen more as a spiritual condition where individuals regard God effectively as their King, and includes all of the social consequences of people actually learning to live good lives. Christianity is now a grass roots religion –bottom up not top down. The Kingdom of God has two fulfilments. Jesus says ‘A time is coming and now is when …..’. The Kingdom of God is already here in people’s lives, but also has a final fulfilment near the end of time when Jesus returns and rules the planet. So the ‘New Wine’ conference is an expression of the Kingdom of God, with Jesus present and participating (in spirit at least).

Sorry if I am suffering from motormouth. I just enjoy talking about this kind of thing.

God bless

*** ME ***

From: *** Muslim Colleague ***
Sent: 26 July 2012 09:49
To: *** ME ***

Subject: RE: New Wine

Nice one thanks for the clarification!!

I must admit I luv a good metaphor !


From: *** ME ***
Sent: 14 August 2012 15:46
To: *** Muslim Colleague ***
Subject: RE: New Wine

Definitely not a Muslim conference! (see attached catering arrangements) (This was a photo of the Pork roast stall)

*** ME ***

Hydraulics Engineer


From: *** Muslim Colleague ***
Sent: 21 August 2012 11:15
To: *** ME ***

Subject: RE: New Wine

Porky porky – interestingly I was watching an evangelist on youtube talking about why hes doesn’t eat pork


From: *** ME ***
Sent: 21 August 2012 11:17
To: *** Muslim Colleague ***

Subject: RE: New Wine

So, what did he say?

*** ME ***

Hydraulics Engineer


From: *** Muslim Colleague ***
Sent: 21 August 2012 11:19
To: ** ME ***

Subject: RE: New Wine (It's the Joel Osteen clip - 3 minutes approx - he says he doesn't eat pork for health reasons and because this is what God says in the Bible - but see for yourself in case I am misquoting him)

in the recommended list is “why I hate islam “ lol


From: *** ME ***
Sent: 21 August 2012 14:50
To: *** Muslim Colleague ***

Subject: Porkies - the 20 minute sermon on why the evangelist is wrong. Seriously wrong.

Hi *** Muslim Colleague ***

Thanks for the link.

I sometimes catch this guy on Sky, but usually turn over fairly quickly because there is only so much American culture [vomit] that you can handle in one sitting.

It is of course the old, well rehearsed ‘health’ argument, supported by a theological case.

However, the pigs we eat now don’t scavenge but are given proper feeds, so that rather dismisses the whole case he makes.

I would have thought that a much more powerful case would be that pigs are highly intelligent – at least as intelligent as dogs and probably more so.

It is true that the Jewish scriptures that have been integrated into our Bible do contain the Kosher food laws, and it is an easy mistake to make – as your evangelist shows – to transpose those laws into the sect of Judaism called Christianity. Even Jesus said “Not the least stroke of the law [the law of Moses] will pass away”. Jesus also said “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it”. So am I saying Jesus was wrong?

No. I am saying that Jesus fulfilled the law, so the law is now fulfilled, period. You will agree that Jesus was sinless, and the Bible teaches us that he was the only person who is sinless. So he is the only person who has fulfilled the law. Now the Jewish scriptures identify that the reason we die is a consequence of sin, but because Jesus did not break the law, none of its punishments were applicable to him. This meant that when he died, it was not a result of his own sin, but that he was taking the legal punishments for our sins on himself. Much like when the chief of a government department resigns because some junior clerk in his department lost a memory stick – he didn’t do the deed but he takes the fall. As Christians we are in Jesus’ “department” – he takes the fall.

The Apostle Paul was a radical member of the most fundamentalist sect of Judaism at the time and used to go around killing Christians because he was so passionate about the Law. He was a highly intellectual man, an expert in the Jewish Scriptures and Law as well as being familiar with secular writings of the day. When he became a Christian he ended up writing books that became incorporated into the Christian Bible. Most of these books explain how the Christian is not subject to the Jewish law in which he was an expert.


The example of Jesus

• He healed people on the Sabbath when ‘work’ was not allowed, because it’s more important to do good than observe the pedantic detail of the law

• His hungry disciples harvested handfuls of grain on the Sabbath – “the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath”.

• He declared all foods (implicitly including pork) clean “It is not what goes into a man that pollutes him but what comes out of him”

• At the last supper before his death he instituted a new covenant. i.e. the old covenant – the law of Moses, having been fulfilled in him, was now superseded.

The vision of the Apostle Peter

• He saw a vision in which a sheet was let down from heaven, full of all the animals the Jewish law forbade him to eat. In the vision, God told him to kill and eat the animals. He refused, because the animals were unclean’. This happened three times, and the voice [of God] told him not to call ‘unclean’ what God had made clean. He came out of the trance and found gentile knocking on his door asking him to come to their house to tell them about Jesus. In the Law he was forbidden to go into the house of ‘unclean’ gentiles, but because of the vision he went and they were the first gentile Christians. This story is primarily about the expansion of the church beyond Jews to include gentiles, but it also tells us that we are under a new regime, not under the Law of Moses.

The theology of Salvation

• Under the old covenant – the Jewish Law of Moses - you had to obey the Law or die. But the law included a system of sacrifice, whereby you could offer the best animal in your flock to die as your substitute. And there were national ceremonies where specific animals were sacrificed on behalf of national sins – the leaders would place their hands on the animals head to lay their sins on it, then kill it.

• Jesus fulfils all of this, both a perfect life lived under the law and a perfect sacrifice on our behalf. (Note that this sacrifice does not work if Jesus is just a man, because you can’t transfer sins onto other people that way. But if Jesus is the one sinned against, namely God, then he can legitimately take onto himself the consequences of our actions against him) Thus the law is complete, wrapped up and put away in storage.

• As above, Jesus instituted a new covenant in which all who call on his name asking to be included in his sacrifice (included in his Department, so to speak) are consequently forgiven for all their wrongs, and start a new life in relationship with God. This is no longer a salvation based on obedience to a law, but based on a relationship of trust, of faith, in God. It is by his grace [defined as “unmerited favour”] not by our efforts.

• My point is this – it is by trust (which we call faith), not by obedience to laws.

Disputes and a learning process in the early church

• The Bible record contains a history which shows how the Jewish Christians initially tried to impose Jewish law on Gentile converts, but gradually come round to the idea that this is missing the point.

• After a major council to debate this they wrote to the Gentiles, the only restrictions being on eating blood and food sacrificed to pagan idols

• Later they were just told to abstain from food sacrificed to idols.

• Later, they were told that since the gods represented by idols are ‘nothing’, the sacrifice could be ignored and they could eat the food so long as it didn’t upset anyone they were eating with.

Thus Paul – the expert in the law - says in his letter to some Galatian gentiles who were under pressure to adopt Jewish law when they became Christians:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free ……. do not let yourselves be burdened …. by a yoke of slavery. (in this case the ‘yoke of slavery’ is the Jewish law.)
Mark my words! …. if you let yourselves be circumcised, (an example of obeying the law)
Christ will be of no value to you at all.

Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. (I emphasise the next bit -) You who are trying to be justified by the law(F) have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

So we have a choice:

A) Choose to obey the law, but fail and be condemned to hell

B) Ask to be included ‘in Christ’, and be saved by his grace.

Every human falls into one of these two categories.

So at the end of the Bible, the last chapter of the book of Revelation, it describes God’s final judgement of mankind. People come before him and books are opened – one is the record of their deeds. Anybody judged by their deeds is thrown into hell. But the other book is the list of those whose names are in ‘the Lamb’s book of life’ – those who are ‘in Christ’ as above. And if their name is in the book, they go to heaven.

Now the point in all this ranting is that if your evangelist wants to start refusing pork because it is part of the Law, then he puts himself in category A. He is then obligated to obey the WHOLE LAW – including things like not going to church the day after having sex, wearing a vest with tassels, not cutting his sideburns, the full monty. And if he fails on one point, he has become a lawbreaker, destined to death. He could try the sacrifices, but I’m not sure that deal is on offer any more. He has excluded himself from category B, erased himself from the Lamb’s book of life, and destined himself for hell.

If he wants to avoid pork for genuine health reasons, fine, its not compulsory to eat pork.

But if he says ‘the Law says so’ then he’s going down.

Sorry about the rant – it’s a knee jerk reaction. (Or is that just ‘Jerk’ reaction?)

God bless

*** ME ***

Amateur Theologian


From: *** Muslim Colleague ***
Sent: 21 August 2012 15:08
To: *** ME ***

Subject: RE: Porkies - the 20 minute sermon on why the evangelist is wrong. Seriously wrong.

Thanks for the response – very interesting indeed I like categories A and B very clear, a pretty good attempt by an “Amateur theologian”

I think you may just like Pork – no? [smiley]
I like the idea of pork being compulsory – infact during the Spanish inquisition it was!!


From: *** ME ***

Sent: 21 August 2012 15:15

To: *** Muslim Colleague ***

Subject: RE: Porkies - the 20 minute sermon on why the evangelist is wrong. Seriously wrong.

(Trying to be brief) – Thanks for your comments. I do like pork but you could make the same arguments regarding blood sausage such as black pudding, which is disgusting, and prawns, which have too many legs. I remember the Spanish inquisition thing on Radio 4.

Now – I really must do some work on the ######## project


*** ME ***

Hydraulics Engineer

Monday, August 20

Hey –someone remembered one of my old sermons!

I used the neckline of a baby vest – or more to the point my recent discovery of its function with my seventh child – as an example of how we can often read scriptures repeatedly and still not get the point until finally one day it clicks.

(British baby vests (like these) have a neck opening that can allow the shoulders through, so that it can be pulled off the bottom end as well as over the baby’s head. This means that when it has been soiled you don’t have to smear poo across your baby’s face. I discovered this when my seventh was about 9 months old. It would have been nice to know this for my first six kids!)

So this good lady that I was talking to on Sunday can remember the baby vest illustration, and has passed the tip on to others, but neither she nor I could remember anything else from the sermon. It was about 3 years ago!

I don’t like the Bible

So said my 4 year old daughter coming out of her age-group class at New Wine. She also complained that the songs were boring, and said she preferred the ‘Stepping stones’ parent-supervised crèche.
So having generally enjoyed new Wine, we were concerned about the apparently negative impact it had had on her.
But they must have goy through to her in some way because since New Wine she has started asking much more about Jesus, about heaven, about how one gets there, etc. They are intelligent questions for one her age. It’s hard to find an age-appropriate answer – one that will lead her to a genuine faith of her own without indoctrinating her, one that will make her understand that other views exist but that not all the views are of equal value, one that gets her to the truth but without pushing her artificially into it.
She needs to have her own faith in Jesus, not a veneer of parental Jesus-religion.

(And I need to stop using shock horror post titles to get you to read my blog, or you will soon start to ignore me!)

Friday, August 17


My son has won a scholarship for uni!

This results from one night long ago when we were working together feverishly, him writing sections for his application and me typing them up into the online form.  The deadline was midnight - we hit 'submit' at 12:00 and were worried that we had missed it ....  but apparently not and all that work was worthwhile.  Three grand's worth of worthwhile.

This was not a means-tested bursary to get poor kids in - it was based on character, ambition and initiative, community involvement, leadership, etc. 

Well done my lad.  Dad is proud!

Seriously, WELL DONE.

(eyes definitely moist)

Thursday, August 16

More about that topic...

... so perhaps there is a need for a Christian to write a novel-come-sex-manual like 50 shades reflecting Christian morality? ... ? ... ?

(I originally wrote "come" as the three letter variant with a u in the middle, which derives from the Latin word for 'with', which I think is the correct spelling in the above context (?) but felt that if I had that word and 'sex' in the same post it might come up in the wrong google searches and might get blocked by compay firewalls, etc, as well as being mildly but coarsely amusing in the context)

Fifty more shades of grey light on christian sexuality

There was a Channel 4 documentary on it last night, so that has saved my wife the trouble of reading it.

Apparently it is mostly about bondage, sadism and masochism.  The heroine likes getting whipped.  Not everyone's cup of tea!

Of course they had feminists on, saying that this is all a form of assault even if there is consent, and it is still about male violence against women etc.  I disagree - I hear that most bondage is actually where powerful men (such as senior police officers) who having bossed people around all day like to be bossed around themselves at night.  So the 'submissive' is usually the more powerful of the two.  However, in the context of the book, the feminists may be right.  The other point made is that the man in the book likes sadism because he was a victim of abuse in his earlier life which is also apparently rarely the case.

Mrs' observation is that although the book is very popular, some of that will be down to hysteria and everyone buying it not because they really want to but because everyone is reading it and they don't want to miss out.  That is I suppose her own position.  Some of her friends have finished it, and say it is boring because the sex is so relentless.  Mrs also comments on the price - she bought it at £3.50 but if it was £9.99 like most books she wouldn't have bothered.  These are all factors in the popularity of the book.

Mrs also commented that the author seems to have just looked things up on the Internet and incorporated them into her book, rather than being truly creative.  At what point does 'research' negate 'creativity'?

I felt a bit sorry for the author, because she never expected the book to get this kind of attention.  It is being read by literary critics who are judging it as literature - when it was never intended as such.  And it is being read by sociologists who are judging it's comment on society -again it's not what she was trying to do.  If she had felt these people were likely to read and comment on it, she may have written it more carefully and thoughtfully.

And, since this is a Christian blog and I am commenting frivolously about something that could be quite serious, where does the book stand theologically?  As I have said in previous posts, porn is porn, and is wrong.  But it's not real people or real events - it's just someone's imagination, something she is telling us of her own thoughts.  So that's OK.  ..ish.  The book still endorses a huge amount of pre-marital sex, which is wrong.  But apparently they get married at the end, which is good.  And there is plenty of extra marital sex in the Bible, and that works out OK.  But the sex in the Bible is not for titillation.  But then there is the Song of Solomon, which is really quite sexy and raunchy.  And with the poetic licence it's hard to tell if the couple in it are married or courting, actually doing it or just dreaming.  Songs tells us that sex is good.  Sensuous,  Fun,  Holy.  Personally I have reached that stage in life where - although hormones still rage uncontrollably through me, there is another part that can't work out why civilised middle-class people who create cities and art and literature and machines then go home and poke around each other's bodily orifices.  I mean, WHY???  But sex is good - sex is made by God, to be enjoyed.  I speculate that there are a lot of Christians who spend too much time being anxious about whether their sexual practises (with their spouse) are OK - we tend to be too prudish.  Is anal OK?  Is oral OK?  I think we are one flesh, and we should do what we find mutually desirable within the marriage without restriction.  I think we need to be more inventive, more creative, rather than just the routine missionary position in the bedroom every Saturday.  I would therefore in some ways cautiously encourage Christians to read Fifty Shades, to get some tips and ideas.  There may be a case for Christian couples to share these and other tips with each other.  Not demonstrating of course, just talking.  I know I am treading dangerous ground here.  But when we got married our pastor lent us a book published by Scripture Union, which was basically a sex manual for Christians.  A Holy 'Joy of Sex'.  It was good.   It was helpful. 

Anyway, after the programme, Mrs doesn't need to read Fifty Shades any more.  Which is why last night she started to!  She has skimmed quite a few pages already, but has still not reached anything raunchy.

Dad is very proud!

It's good news for my third son with two As and a B in his A level exams, which means that he will be going to University in September.  This really is great news as it was not a foregone conclusion at all. 

Well done, my lad!  Dad is very proud!

Also my daughter did well in her AS level exams - an A and 3 Bs.  Her A was in law - I subject I encouraged her to do, so that is a relief, but eeven though she finds it the easiest of subjects she plans to drop it next year to concentrate on the ones she enjoys more.  One B was art, her favorite subject, where apparently it is very hard to achieve high grades and her B is probably the highest in the class.   Another B was in maths, where she had a lot of trouble in one exam being ill and witha broken calculator, so the B is almost a miracle.

Well done my lass!  Dad is very proud!

Wednesday, August 15

Old posts reviewed and compared to the present, and some future plans

I've been browsing over some of my old posts from January and February 2007.  They reminded me of what a rough patch we were going through at the time.

And to be honest, life is still very tough, but after the miscarriages of 2007 we now have a wonderful 4 year-old daughter who is a real delight and makes life bearable.  (Though she is going through a spoilt brat stage, that we are trying to get her out of while recognising our own shortcomings in this area).

The main outstanding problem is Mrs' rheumatoid arthritis, which seems to be increasingly crippling her.  She now struggles to walk more than a couple of blocks away from our house, and will usually ask me for a lift to the nearest bus stop before I go to work so that she can at least get some fresh air.

We are more comfortable at church, but still struggling with residual hurts from our time away and the things that caused it.  You know you have to let go, but it hard when things keep coming back to bite you.

Life is changing as kids move out to college.  Bills come down, but so does the child tax credit that has been an essential top-up to my income.  But there is also more freedom, especially now that our youngest starts school in September.

So Mrs has now decided taht she will do a full-time theology masters degree in all the free time she will have.  I'm not sure where she thinks the course fee is coming from, to say nothing of transport costs to the college, books, etc.  Hopefully she will spend less time in shops buying dresses and it will all balance out.

My Dad still alive!  (and may even make his 90th next January).

He seems to be over the worst of his medical crisis, and is to be moved to a reahb hospital where he will have intense physiotherapy which will try to get him on his feet so he can go home.

His main trouble at the moment is simply being in hospital - he is just desperate - really desperate - to get out.

Please pray for this to be accomplished.

Tuesday, August 14

Another salient thing from my anniversary weekend


I can't believe it.  "See it, wolf it" seems to be her motto.

I bought it on Friday as part of my lunch, but it got lost somewhere in the car.  On Saturday while sorting out her seat belt I found it, picked it up saying I had found my missing Yorkie, and she literally took it from my hand and ate in front of me, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

Does she not know that Yorkie is a man-bar?  Does it not say on the packet "Its not for girls"?

I am astonished.  Incensed.  How much must a man tolerate and forgive in a marriage?

My first son: Engaged!

My 21 year old son proposed to his long-time girlfriend over the weekend.  She said yes!

He had made a special electronic box which by GPS would only open at one time and in one place (a hill overlooking Buxton). 

The box did not contain the ring that she expected, but he made an unexpected appearance and presented it to her in person.

Well, that was the theory.  In fact, the box did not work, and somebody had let it slip that he was coming.

So months of planning and hard work by him ended up as a damp squib, and while I rejoice at his engagement I feel sorry for him that it all went so badly.  At least they didn't row!

My son first met her lining up to go into the reception class at infant school.  She was one of the 21girls (There were only 30 people in the class) that gave him a valentine card that year.  He liked her, and I used to see him kissing her even then.  They went their seperate ways at high school.  She ended up dating a lad from her church.  But when they all ended up together at 6th form college, that relationship ended and my son took his chance.  So I think that is 4 or 5 years now.  They plan to marry in summer 2014.

Monday, August 13

Grey Shades of Fifty

As I approach my half century in a few year's time, don't look at my hair too closely!  (Did you see what I did there? Oh, never mind)

One topic at New Wine was about how in this society we disrespect age, in contrast to Africa.  Here we say 'How young you look'.  But they would feel insulted by that.

The Bible says 'honour the hoary head'

Anniversary Weekend

The Ayr/Largs/Glasgow trip was part of our 23rd anniversary weekend.

I arranged for flowers, chocolates and a pink teddy to be delivered to the hotel, and took a bottle of vinho verde.  So just for once she is not angry at me for messing up our anniversary through lack of effort.  In fact, she made me feel very happily married.  Or maybe she was just under the influnce of the drink.  Or maybe she has read more of that 50 shades book than she is letting on ....


I have heard it said that a holiday in Scotland is measured not in terms of how happy it was , but in terms of how dissapointing it wasn't.

That certainly applies to Ayr.  Abandon hope all ye who enter here!  (Its the kind of place where the diesel exhaust from the rides is pointed straight at the toddler's playground.)

But Largs is nice.  And Glasgow (my first vist there) was pleasantly good.  We managed to get onto the open top bus tour through a series of things that I call the miracles of a loving God in the details of life, whereas the cynic would call them chance.

New Wine, women, and song. And healing!?

Well I promised a report, but have been busy, been away, and been frustrated by malfunctioning IT.

We were off-site, with a young child, so each day we only managed to attend one morning seminar and take turns for the evening meeting while the other sat in the creche facility watching the video link.

The teaching was very good indeed, touching on things that were relevant for us.

It was less charismatic than we expected.  The worship was good, and where in the past at such events I have felt like an observer mystified by what is going on around him, this time I was part of it, involved.

There is a strong pro-women-in-ministry agenda, with Biblical exposition showing how the Bible has been translated and used incorrectly, and if used correctly it shows that women should be in church leadership.  (There was some overlap in terms of principles of exegesis with my position on homosexuality)

We ate main meals with our church in the 'village' which gave good times of bonding with people that we have needed to bond with since our return to this church, and we were able to break down some communication barriers.

Mrs received prayer for healing, with no apparent effect.  (Let's be honest about these things).  So after wards, while we were extending our holiday, I prayed with her one night in the middle of the night in the Travelodge (after I had persuaded her that my touch was not for 'marital purposes').  I became quite emotional about her situation.  There was no instant healing.  But in the morning, whereas her first trip form bed to toilet would normally be a slow struggle with stiff and painful joints causing her to gasp in pain and hobble along grasping furniture for support, this time she only hobbled, unsupported.  So there had been a measure of healing following my prayer, and this was not some hyped-up mass hysteria, it was just me in a dark bedroom - moving from theoretical dutiful prayer to actually caring about it.

I think this is very significant.

Now, let's be honest, she still suffers severely from rheumatoid arthritis.  She still can't walk ANY distance without painful hobbling.  Her knees are permanently bent, like her deformed fingers.  And there has been a bit of a relapse since the healing.  So I would say, if she was at a score of 10 before I prayed, she went down to 9 on the morning after the prayer, and is now probably at 9.3.

I think it merits a cautious 'Hallelujah!'

Wednesday, August 8

New Wine

Lots to report but not time to do it now.

Around and about

Back from hols.

Been to:

Cambridge, Newark (New Wine), Southport, Hull (suprisingly nice), Leeds, York, Skipton.

York Maze is good.

Thornton Hall Country park is good.

The Deep is good.

Baptism of fire back at work - accused of sanctioning work on site without proper approvals- big stressful meeting - fortunately found the key email with my big disclaimer in bold red font with my project reviewer CCd in.