Saturday, 27 April 2013

Modern Art

Love this video found on Glen's blog, esp the clouds over the lake at 1:20...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Domestic Bliss...?

Today has been the first Saturday I've felt like a proper husband as finally, after eight and a half years of living in this house, I mowed the lawn. (For the record, I'm not proud of that sentence.)

Not that lawn mowing is the epitome of husband-dom (not to be confused with husbandry) or masculinity more generally, but just that it's evidence of a certain settled state at which one has finally arrived and that there is someone living here now who cares if she can't see out of the kitchen window due to overgrowth. Whilst I did care before, I didn't care enough to get off my backside...

It has also been the first day of the year we've been confident enough of the weather to use the washing line:

Other feminizing touches to this former bachelor pad have included - cleaner bathrooms, flowers on the dining room table and more regular laundry cycles.

I have to admit it, my game is being raised...


Last night, Elli and I watched some world cinema: a French film (with subtitles) called Untouchable (Orig: Les Intouchables).

If you want a film that lives in some kind of reality and don't mind reading a bit as you go. This is one for you. The 15 certificate is more due to the real life adult themes portrayed as the story develops and not any gratuitous sex or violence.

It is an incredibly heart warming film, one to make you laugh and cry at the same time. And it's based on a true story.

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Wedding Day

So at the "young" age of 35, having waited nearly six years, I finally married the love of my life, my dearly beloved Eleanor Joan a.k.a. Elli!

My best man, kindly treated me to a night in a hotel before the big day. A precious moment to reminisce over our friendship, hear his advice (he has been married 18 months or so) and thank God for all his goodness!

I slept surprisingly well, probably due to the stiff whiskey at the bar just before bed time, but still woke up ridiculously early - 4:30am.

The morning was very relaxed and so was I! Only when I spotted that the bridal carriage had arrived did I have a BIG sudden attack of nerves, but then I saw her face walking towards me, and all those nerves flew away! Her hands were in mine and mine in hers. Indescribable!

My father led proceedings and married us which was a great privilege as well as an echo of eternity. Even if he did get some banter in at his son's expense, he is allowed. I owe him so much and hope I can replicate his legacy as a husband and father.

We sang our songs of praise to God, supported by wonderful musical friends. Our great friend and inspiration, Sean Green preached magnificently and we declared our vows before God and in front of dear family and friends.

Up at the reception venue, my groomsmen - Richard, Scott, Craig, Sitho and Michael were amazing. Everything went like clockwork. They made me look really good! Personally, I am NEVER that organized!

The wedding breakfast consisted of spit roasted lamb with various accompaniments followed by delicious wedding cake made by our lovely friend DD.

My new father-in-law led out the speeches followed by me, my wife and the best man. Credit to the best man, after nearly 17yrs of friendship, there was no shortage of material available with which to send me up, and send me up he did!! That said, the foot in mouth moments from my own speech meant he didn't have to work very hard!

We then danced the night away with a celidah, well, til 10:30pm at any rate when the Astra, suitably transfigured into a love machine with all the usual kinds of matrimonial ribbons and decorations took us away to an undisclosed (up to that point) location!

Due to large to do lists that needed completing before the start of term as well as the process of interlocking our lives (especially our possessions) together in one house, we only had two nights away (a mini-moon) at a hotel spa resort in West Berkshire.  We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite free of charge. (Get in!!) Elli thought that only happened in the movies and I don't really watch movies!

As an aside, we wholeheartedly recommend all three of our venues, (the church, the reception at 3sixty, and the hotel) as well as our celidah band and caterers which we found through Google. We were so blessed!

Words are in no way sufficient to express how grateful my wife and I are for all the help we have received from so many in preparation for our wedding day. Not just because they saved us hundreds, even thousands, of pounds, but because of all the love of which this help was a demonstration. We are very blessed to have such wonderful families, a wonderful church family and wonderful friends. And we vow as a couple to show the same kind of love to those who come after us, not just those getting married, but for all those God puts in our path, whatever season they find themselves in. We are overwhelmed. God is good.

It has now been a week since that wonderful day and to my surprise, evidence of the occasion has hitherto proven sparse on the social media networks.  Not that I'm complaining, so here is my favourite photo to date, kindly forwarded by my brother. It's the moment after we were declared husband and wife during the celebration of the witnesses! I think it captures the beauty of my bride exquisitely:

Whilst I never cried on the day, I have been privately welling up since.
All the money in the world, could not have bought that smile on her face.
I am so blessed. The wait was worth it!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Atheistic Materialism (As Commonly Understood) Reflects a World the Rest of Us Don't Live In

Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard comments how a famous philosopher Thomas Nagel has broken rank with the atheist herd in academia in his latest book. Nagel's central tenet is that trying to understand all of life in the context of atoms, molecules and higgs bosons etc leads to some very misleading conclusions about life that run directly against common sense. Ferguson in his observations about the book says...
The incredulity [that many have with materialism] is not simply a matter of scientific ignorance, as the materialists would have it. It arises from something more fundamental and intimate. The neo-Darwinian materialist account offers a picture of the world that is unrecognizable to us—a world without color or sound, and also a world without free will or consciousness or good and evil or selves or, when it comes to that, selflessness. “It flies in the face of common sense,” he says. Materialism is an explanation for a world we don’t live in.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

When Dave Bish links to you on Twitter....

...traffic to your blog increases exponentially!

I'll leave you in suspense as to what the scale on the graph is! ;-)

The God of the Old Testament is a Butcher, because the Christ of the New is a Chef

I'm inherently suspicious of anything that claims to be a panacea, nevertheless, Mike Bull sums up our queezy feelings of confusion towards the Old Testament well and offers the beginnings of a solution. He has written a book called "God's Kitchen" to help us 21st Century people overcome our dreadful modern blindness...

In his introduction he says...
The Best Cuts
The Bible is a violent, bloody book, and modern Christians have a problem with that. Atheists are right to accuse us of being embarrassed by our own scriptures. 
Not only is the Bible a bloody book, it is "unscientific" and therefore an irrational vestige of an intolerant and inequitable religion as far as modern society is concerned. 
Without the Old Testament, however, it is impossible to interpret the world rightly. Science cuts things up and tells us what they are made of, but its scope is limited when it comes to telling us what they are actually for.

Modern theologians are not much better when it comes to the "world" of the Bible. The constraint of their scientistic mindset leaves them struggling, clueless, with what the Apostle Paul means by the term "flesh," and yet also struggling with the significance of the careful instructions for the head, skin, flesh, offal, fat and legs of the sacrificial animals in Leviticus. The relevance of the fact that these fleshly animals were blameless substitutes for sinful, fleshly men entirely escapes them. Darwinism didn't only rewrite history; it usurped the intended, holy purpose of homology
The emaciated theology that remains to us is divorced from the real world. Peter Leithart writes: 
"Theology is a 'Victorian' enterprise, neoclassically bright and neat and clean, nothing out of place. Whereas the Bible talks about hair, blood, sweat, entrails, menstruation and genital emissions... Ponder these questions: Do theologians talk about the world the same way the Bible does? Do theologians talk about the same world the Bible does?"

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Rehash and Repost: Building up the Father's House

The book of Ruth feels like a wonderful little oasis of personal life that we can relate more easily to than all the killing and political machinations going on in the surrounding books. But let's be careful, lest we are too readily satisfied, interpreting this book in our own sentimental, romantic image and not looking for anything of greater depth.

Whilst the book is called Ruth, this is in a sense misleading, for it is about how God uses Ruth and Boaz to restore Naomi (Ru.4:14)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Taste, Smell and Sacrifice

Senses are important in the Bible.

For example we use our mouths and noses to take the world into ourselves. The life of the world (food and air) becomes our life as we eat and breathe it into our bodies.  Sexual union is also a kind of ritual eating as two become one.

Taste and smell are inextricably linked as you will know from the last time you had a cold. You can't taste anything and it is infuriating.

So when the Bible says that the prescribed sacrifices offered to God were a pleasing aroma to him, it isn't saying that the LORD caught a whiff of juicy steak being cooked down there on earth at the temple and so in a fit of mild envy and desire ordered his heavenly chefs to whip him up a bit of the same...

To smell something is to receive it and to take it into yourself.  The Angel of the LORD, the pre-incarnate Christ, the one who represented the Father to Israel, who dwelt enthroned above the ark of the covenant in the glory cloud over the tabernacle (and later the temple) would literally smell the aroma of the tens if not hundred of meat, grain and drink sacrifices being offered on any given day, a few metres away from him.

The aromas of sacrifice rise up to the LORD enthroned in the cloud above the Ark of the Covenant.
In receiving the aroma into himself he, the LORD, would remember his covenant, his anger at human rebellion would subside and he would again fellowship with his people.

Not that these animal and grain sacrifices did away with sin, but in smelling them, the LORD would be reminded of the day when he himself would come down from his throne, take the place of both priest and sacrifice and give himself as a pleasing offering to the Father, uniting Heaven and earth for ever.

To compliment all this, the BBC has done a documentary (available until 18 March) about our sense of taste. Science is catching up with the Bible. ;-)