25 July 2008

Biblical Church - Beresford Job

Over the last few weeks I've been reading 'Biblical Church' by Beresford Job who lives north-east of London and meets with the Chigwell Christian Fellowship. And what a fascinating read!

The book is well argued and provides plenty of references both to Bible passages and to well known and respected theologians and Biblical commentators. Job uses this as a technique again and again, pointing out that his conclusions about the meaning of Bible texts and Koine Greek words and constructions are in agreement with expert opinion. Job is claiming nothing new, but he is stoutly proclaiming that as believers we are duty bound to put into practice whatever we see in the New Testament concerning church meetings and governance.

He makes it clear that this means meeting in homes not specially constructed buildings, having small meetings as the norm (tens rather than hundreds or thousands), and the absence of any kind of hierarchical structure. He further points out that it's normal for a local body of believers to eat together as well as worship together, and that meetings are not supposed to be a 'service' led from the front, but instead are an expression of community involving everyone in an active, not passive way.

22 July 2008

MIT's Simile

MIT stands for 'Massachusetts Institute of Technology', right? That's widely known.

But what does Simile stand for? If you don't already know you will never guess, it stands for 'Semantic Interoperability of Metadata and Information in unLike Environments'.

Sooo... why exactly am I interested in this? It has something to do with my day job.

A portion of that day job is hunting for useful technology for the web development team I'm part of, we create intranet websites for Unilever. The thing is, MIT's Simile project 'seeks to enhance inter-operability among digital assets' and is 'fully committed to the open source principles of software distribution and open development'. To put this another way, they develop some very cool applications that work together and they release them for use and adaptation by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose.

Great Doddington - Table and vine

This was a great evening. At one point Jody brought oil, feeling we should anoint Peter - so that's exactly what we did.

Rachael decribed a vision of a long, long trestle table in what appeared to be a mediaeval castle hall. A jigsawThe table had an almost completed jigsaw laid out along its entire length. The jigsaw was composed of many scenes from life, and each scene contained something of Jesus. At a time of particular difficulty there was a beam of light or a glass containing the water of life, and in a scene when all was well there was a little bird sitting in a tree or some other little, joyful feature. The long jigsaw represented a person's lifetime, from birth to death.

At the end, the man making the jigsaw had only a few pieces left to add.

Chris saw that there were many tables and they all centred on Jesus and each long jigsaw was actually joined into him. So the place where the jigsaw ended, the point of death, was also the place where it joined with the centre and in reality connected fully with Christ.

We reflected on these pictures and considered again how we are grafted into the one true vine (John 15). We really are a royal priesthood!

21 July 2008

Love song of the Welsh Revival

I've just read a post on the Koinonia Life Discussion Forum (KLDF). Someone has recently heard this wonderful Welsh hymn for the first time and was deeply moved by the words and music. A hundred years ago it was popular in the Welsh Valleys during and following the great revival of 1904.

Here it is, explained and sung by Huw Priday, first in Welsh and then in English. The words are very, very moving. They capture so eloquently the purpose in Yahshua's heart, his love towards us.

19 July 2008


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Why am I interested in astronomy? I think it's because I'm fascinated by the vastness of the Universe and the amazing variety of objects it contains - including, of course, the Earth.

I don't remember when I developed this interest. I do remember being 14 or 15 years old and saving my pocket money to buy 'The Observer's Book of Astronomy' (I still have it), and around the same time I remember watching 'The Sky At Night', a monthly TV program that is one of the longest running series ever. It was (and still is) presented by Patrick Moore whose enthusiasm was intense and exciting. That was in the days when TV was only available in black and white.

I remember being even younger and looking at a nearly total eclipse of the Sun through heavily smoked glass, it was 30th June 1954, just a few weeks before my sixth birthday. Dad wanted me to see the eclipse because there wasn't going to be another like it in the UK until 1999!

18 July 2008

What's the purpose of the Scilla blog?

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Most blogs focus on a particular topic, but this one covers all sorts of topics. One reason for this is that to post enough items to keep a blog interesting takes time. Posting to two or three more focused blogs would take two or three times as much effort, otherwise they would be updated two or three times less often.

I have lots of interests, lots of stuff to share. I want this blog to reflect real life, I want it to be a way for my friends to keep track of what I do and also perhaps an introduction to areas of my life they might know little about.

Do you compartmentalise your life? I do. Not deliberately, but when I'm with scientists we talk science, when I'm with Christians we talk faith, when I'm with photographers we talk about images. It's natural. To help you I've provided a tag cloud at the top of the left hand column, click on topics that interest you and you will only see posts on those topics.

Over the next few days I plan to begin posting brief introductions to each of those topic areas explaining why I'm interested, what it involves, and how it affects my life. These are not going to be technical posts, they'll be light and easy to follow - for anyone. I promise!

17 July 2008

Photography, something I love

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We should all find, make, or steal the time to do at least one thing that we really, really love. Come on now, you know I'm right. In this modern age there are so many pressures on us that sometimes we struggle just to get from one day to the next. The trouble with that is simple. You will only live this day one single time, you have just one bite at it. So spend part of it doing something fun, or rewarding, or delightful. It's not decadent to do that, it's an expression of who you are, to yourself, to your family, to friends and aquaintances, and to the King of Creation too. Unless of course you think he's not interested in who you are, or think he doesn't exist. But even then, you still owe it to yourself and to those around you to express the real you.

Something I love is to capture images of things that impress me by their beauty, things that amaze me.

15 July 2008

Things you can do with cornflour

Some You Tube videos of cornflour have been doing the rounds and they're quite fascinating to watch.

You might think cornflour is only good for thickening sauces or making cornbread (yumm). Well you'd be wrong.

You can try running on it...

Or you can pop it on an upturned bass speaker and play it some music!...

10 July 2008

Eaton Ford - Prayer

Only very brief notes were made this week. We spent much of the time talking, but we also prayed for Pam's Mum who has been unwell, and for Jim and Sean who have both been heavily overworked.

07 July 2008

Let my people go

I wanted to reply to Frank Viola's recent blog post 'Favourite Song of the Season', but comments were closed so I'm going to reply here instead. Do visit Frank's item by clicking the link above (or the image), read the words and listen to the song. I agree with Frank, it's a great song. I love it!

The theme is one that's been very real to me for many years. It applies to the Church today, indeed it's applied to the church for the bulk of its history. Let my people go!

What do I mean? Let's say that Egypt represents the world, and Pharaoh therefore represents the Prince of this world. Meanwhile the Israelites, Yahweh's chosen people, represent the Church. The problem the Israelites had was that not only had they got into Egypt, but Egypt had also got into them. They arrived in Joseph's day, hungry and desperate and glad to find a land where there was food enough to go around. As the generations passed they became more and more dependent upon the Egyptians. At the same time, as far as the Egyptians were concerned they became a serious refugee and immigration problem, aliens in the land.

Improving car efficiency

This is an idea I had recently for improving the efficiency of internal combustion engined vehicles. 'Green' is becoming the watchword of the decade (rightly so), and anything that can reduce fuel consumption is a good thing whether your car burns petrol, diesel, or biofuel.

Engines run much more efficiently when they are at their working temperature. Every increment in starting temperature will increase initial efficiency and reduce the time required to reach full working temperature, a double benefit by starting 'further up the curve'.

For very little extra manufacturing expense I suggest fitting a network of piping between the roof of a car and its internal lining. The network would be fed engine coolant by flow and return pipes that could be concealed inside the front pillars between the windscreen and side windows. The coolant would be warmed by solar energy and would flow to the cold engine when the vehicle is idle, returning to the roof network to pick up more heat.

06 July 2008

What on earth?

This is an amazing image for a variety of reasons. What is it? Could it be a pulsating jellyfish from deep in the ocean? An iridescent soap bubble against a black background? Maybe it's a cell viewed in a fluorecence microscope?

No, the truth is stranger than any of these. Much of the 'light' you see here is invisible, the rest is far too faint to see. This bubble is the result of a sudden event witnessed by the Saxons, although it actually happened during the Stone Age. The photograph was taken by a range of telescopes, not all on the earth's surface.

This is SN 1006, a supernova remnant. Everything about it is awesome, almost beyond the human mind's ability to appreciate. And of course it's not on Earth at all. An astonishing feature of this little corner of the universe where we live, our Milky Way galaxy.

What is Supernova 1006? How did it happen? How was the image made?

04 July 2008

Walking around Huntingdon

The ring roadBack in the middle of May (Sunday 11th) I took part in a prayer time at Huntingdon. The intention was to have small groups of people at intervals around the ring road, praying for the town and for the surrounding area. Not many turned up on the day and I decided that the best thing to do was to walk round the entire circuit.

As I walked I found myself caught up in a conversation with the Lord, it was amazing. Things I saw along the way prompted questions and the answers kept on coming. Often there were words that seemed to come without prompting too. I jotted it all down.

Daisies in the grass
The sun was shining and I came to a patch of grass liberally sprinkled with daisies. So beautiful.

And the Lord said...

As the daisies cover the grass in summer, so will my people cover the earth.

And I prayed, 'If you command it, Lord, it shall be done.' What he says always happens, his voice alone is sufficient cause and his word is always effective.

03 July 2008

Little Paxton - John's Gospel

< 29th June 2008 | Index | 10th July 2008 >

Very few notes were made this week, but we read some passages from John's Gospel (John 1:5, 3:19, 8:12, and 12:35).

< 29th June 2008 | Index | 10th July 2008 >


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