Sunday, 30 March 2008

Have you ever noticed how clothing disappears?

Y'know, you lose a favourite item?

Well I've had clothing appear.

That's right, a pair of 32" waist jeans have found their way into my wardrobe!

They fit perfectly, but I'd SWEAR I never bought them as they aren't the kind I buy. Frayed areas, that slightly yellowed wash effect, hipster styling (with short fly that makes standing for the loo VERY hazardous).

I've racked my brains and can't remember every buying these. Ben is certain they aren't his (he still take 28" waist) and they are not Chris's. We're all stumped, but I'm wearing them now and they're fine. Call them my miracle jeans!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

This seems appropriate

Thanks to Jakeddy on CMF (can't link as I don't think he has a site).

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Has someone seen my weekend?

If so, could they please tell me where is it as I seem to have mislaid it.

That went FAR too fast.

Friday, 21 March 2008

The snow has arrived.

Just looked out of our livingroom window and it's drifting down very happily out there.

Just saw a gritter drive past - wonder if I'll get to the prayer meeting tomorrow morning?

Hi Penny

Great to see you online!

Love, Toni and Chris.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

What does discipleship mean to you?

For some people it apparently means drudgery. For those who did some of the early Oxfordshire community churches discipleship courses it apparently means being put through artificial hardship, to the point of dreading the word. To some it apparently means discipline along the lines of punishment.

As a church we've started a period of 'discipleship' using OCC generated material. The first session in the 6 week course started Tuesday night, and so far I'm somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing for 2 reasons. The first of these is that the course material is designed with the potential to push people quite hard in terms of the time and effort required to cover all the sections, with books to read (we don't have any) tapes to listen to (ditto) required exercise, essays, abstinence, fasting, bible reading and separate prayer sessions. None of this is bad, but in order to not make the entry bar too high it all feels a bit optional, to the point where I'm having to either own it for my self or just treat the next few weeks as a holiday from leading the house group.

The second issue is my perception of true discipleship. This means spending time with someone who is a mature Christian, working alongside, learning from them, being open with them, letting them speak into my life and confessing issues and problems to them. In this light you can see that the above course is a pale shadow of the potential for growth. Yes, it will stretch people, but in a cold and detached fashion. Of course being put through the mill and pushed to the end of one's tether is all part of the normal Christian walk and experience, but anyone that has raised a family while involved in church leadership will recognise that little short of concentration-camp conditions could push you harder than that.

So what to do?

I was turning this over before God in the kitchen a few days ago. I really felt quite clearly that I needed to buy into the whole thing, set goals and so on, regardless of whether they were required by the course. So I've given up Harmony Central for the next 5 weeks, which IS already leaving a big hole - these are my friends as well as an area of interest. I'm also happy with the fasting, bible reading etc and preparing essays and so on (don't expect them to appear here though - I hate fake blogs that are nothing but bible studies). TBH if I find this difficult I shall be quite disappointed in myself, as most of it is pretty much what I expect as normal lifestyle, but just more compacted., and I'm no 'super-christian'.

One interesting/amusing aspect of this is that a very good friend who is also on the same course is fully as cynical about these things as I am (and sees the artificial hardship with fully as much contempt). In the questionnaire that was filled out before starting was the question "why are you doing the course?". We both wrote almost identically "Because this is a church activity, and we support what the church is doing". I find it great to be with someone as BS free, but we'll need to watch that we don't get sucked into too much cynicism.

Right. Work.

Friday, 14 March 2008

A favourite youtube vid.

Funny youtube vid.

I already walk like that sometimes.

Chris awoke

with a migraine this morning.

I've been headachy and icky feeling all morning, even after lunch.

Tomorrow is the weekend.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Madness is not just having a different perspective.

I just listened to an amazing and peculiar conversation on Radio 4 this morning while driving to work.

A deaf man was arguing with the presenter, through the aid of an interpreter, that deafness was not a disability. The context was about comments made in parliament about the selection of embryos for IVF, and choosing to not select embryos that would result in deaf people. His perspective was that because deaf people were recognised as being equal to hearing people and the deaf association had determined that deafness was not a disability, the parliamentary speaker therefore wished all deaf people killed before birth. He argued that by the same token if deaf people were disabled, so should black and homosexual people be considered disabled, hospitalised and cured.

It was a brilliant piece of incredibly flawed logic. While it is possible to see the point he made, there was true un-sanity behind it. There is wonder to be seen in the way that humans can compensate and work around deficiencies. Yet to refuse to recognise a deficiency in defiance of all evidence has to be madness.

Doesn’t it?

It would seem I wasn't the only one that picked up on the interview. Daniel Finkelstein wrote this article for the times newspaper, published today.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Good time

with Dan and his housemates this w/e. Portsmouth is an interesting place that feels a lot like London in the 70s, but with the sea a bit closer. Good to meet Ben and Ruth again too. Cheers guys.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

It's nearly a week since I last posted here.

Looks like my mum will be coming out of hospital today, after 5 weeks+.

With our natural sense of good timing we're away this W/E, but my brother & SiL will be looking after her today and tonight. Not completely sure how I feel about this - there's a certain sense of 'we might need the bed, isn't it amazing how you're suddenly able to leave' but that might just be my nasty cynical head. I really hope she IS ready to go.

Chris has just walked past and told me that she thinks it's because they were concerned about her depression in hospital, and thought she would do better being at home.

Thanks for all the prayers. I get the feeling that this is just the next stage, rather than a fix, but we'll see.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Public information post

We're still here.


My mum has been doing rather better the last few days. The cyclosporin caused serious nausea problems but that was partially relieved with IV anti-emetics. It's now >4 weeks since she went in, and it's good to see her bored because until recently she was too ill to notice.

As for us, Chris has had a nasty cold that has now been passed to me as she is recovering. This morning I'm reminded again that she has a SEVERE issue with cocoa solids, and that the tiny piece of chocolate gateaux I gave her last night at Luke and Hayley's engagement party is probably responsible for the migraine that's made her throw up this morning. Oops.

I'm trying to tab out couple of songs for worship this afternoon. The first one seemed easy, but the second isn't my thing at all, and the cold has sucked away my musical ear so I've now got a headache. The more I listen, the less I think everyone will be able to sing it, but nothing ventured etc.

Had my break, better get back to it.