Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Going to be a hectic New Year's Eve tomorrow so won't have much blog head space.

Want to share with you a New Year Bible verse. Reminder that as we look to the start of another year, we live it under the constant care and protection of the Lord.
It was alright you know. Enchanted motorway driving. Thankful to be safe back to home sweet home. And I survived the pirate attack relatively unscathed!
I made it! Very pleasant journey actually and only got lost once. Why doesn't my Tom Tom have a "you idiot, you're sailing past the junction you should be turning off!" setting? Anyway, only had to go to next junction and turn round. It's just that I have a sneaky suspicion I had to do that last time?!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

I take back every single word I wrote about enjoying night driving a few days ago.
This is my last relaxed morning of the holidays. It is poignant to be writing this on the Tuesday of the holidays when there are still 5 whole sleeps left!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Listen to this before you go to sleep for sweet dreams:
Jesus thank you

Night night zzz
I was reminded in one of the shops I was in today (!) of the sound of one of my favourite pop bands, U2. Spending a pleasant half hour looking up some on Utube.
Abiding in the vine, Part 1, John 15 v 4, 8-10, John MacArthur,
1971, listen yourself
Any of my blog-readers who thought I was a deep, independent thinker and not a follower of the crowd will be deeply disappointed in the next few lines of this posting.
LOL! Classic. "The Builders."

Sybil: why did you hire him? Because he's cheap
Basil: well cheapish
Sybil: he's cheapish because he's no good

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyTYEZQX2RI
I woke up this morning and have spent a few minutes talking to myself. No, no, no, this is a good thing; honestly!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

This is a new feature in my blog outlining my progress in developing skills in computer games.
The sermon at church this evening was immensely encouraging as we look to the start of 2010:

Saturday, 26 December 2009

I love driving at night. Have done since I was a kid. Except now I am the one behind the steering wheel which is even better (I love driving too!). Don't know why I like it so much. I think it's often because if you're driving at night you're heading towards home, sometimes after a long day away from it.

Been looking up some stuff on this website: http://www.ccef.org/. It is basically a Christian counselling website.

Isn't it awful the way the sales start on Boxing Day, first thing. People lining up from early in the morning waiting to go and get their purchases. Coming out with bag loads of clothes, such a bargain but will I ever wear it?

Friday, 25 December 2009

Now that I've edited my blog so that I can hide most of the posting I feel at liberty to write some more verbal diarrhoea because my (long suffering?) readers can select what they choose to read. This is going to be a boring one; you've been warned!

I am reading a book called "Young, Restless, Reformed" over Christmas and want to share some of the things I have enjoyed in it.

What I heard in church this Christmas morning?

A white Christmas after all. Sludgy and muddy in places but if you look in the right direction, dazzling and beautiful radiance. Not a dream after all!

Happy Christmas.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

What Christmas really means to me

Looking forward to pressies, time with family and nice food but this is what it is all about?
Fed up with Christmas TV.

Here are a few things to entertain you. Well they entertain me anyway! You can watch them all on Utube.
This is probably going to be the last morning for a while where I can fully indulge in holiday decadence. It has been a delightful week.

But what have I done? I can't tell stories of visits to exotic locations, exciting theme parks or extravagent shops. Haven't actually even gone outside that often. Pottered around at home. Done some blog writing, reading, tidying and sorting, bit of cooking, time with friends.
Wow! That Psalm works....what a refreshing sleep.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Psalm to meditate on before you go to sleep:

My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Psalm 131 v 1 -2

http://ccef.org/peace-be-still-learning-psalm-131-heart-0 (excellent article)
As the year draws to a close in a few days time I am using this opportunity to reflect on the past year and what the things I have experienced have taught me spiritually. Although what I write is personal to me in one way, I am not providing any specific details. This is because what I am really writing about is the goodness of God and this is something which every Christian experiences every second of their lives.
One of the best things about the holidays is being able to do things in the wrong order.  Being a natural night owl I am not naturally suited to a normal working day. Well, that's my excuse anyway!!!

This morning however, the night owl has exchanged places with the early bird and I'm not quite sure how but have got all the jobs for the day ticked off on my list (and a few extra too!) and all by mid-day. My freezer is now well stocked up with ready meals. Various cupboads and corners in the kitchen now look more ordered. Sad, but that makes me happy!

However, there is still one more "to do" job to get done and the deadline is set. Final trip into town to get last bits and pieces for Christmas. Having a cup of tea afterwards with a good friend which is the bit I'm looking forward to!

Welll, after I've had a siesta, after all I am on holiday! zzz
John Piper celebrated his 41st wedding anniversary yesterday. I'd like to be really cool and say I found that out on Twitter but no, it was on Facebook because I'm one of his "fans." Doesn't sounds as trendy does it?

He wrote a sonnet for his wife. The link is here. http://ow.ly/OLSD
Death is not dying, a faith that saves

Listen to the story of Rachel, a woman with terminal cancer describing how she can face death with hope:

http://deathisnotdying.com/death-is-not-dying-event-audio/

Here are some notes I've made. If you're going to watch the clip (55 minutes long) make sure you have a box of tissues close to hand.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

We hoard clothes. Now I presume I am addressing a female only audience here although maybe not? I am having a serious re-evaluation of my wardrobe. I already cleared out loads in the summer but I'm still finding stuff which I haven't worn in the last year. So what's going to change next year?

Two pragmatic reasons for clearing out my wardrobe this evening:
1) you clear out old stuff it leaves space for.......you know, like what with the SALEs coming up?!
2) makes my ironing pile instantly smaller!!!
Good morning, Winter Wonderland :)

I awoke this morning having just had one of the best dreams in the world. In a deep sleep, I was gradually coaxed into consciousness by the noises outside as someone was "de-snowing" their car and preparing to drive off. I became aware that I too was now moving from the sleep to awake mode. This is something I did not want to happen because 1) I was so wonderfully asleep and 2) I too would soon have to be "out there" de-snowing my car 3) first I'd have to drag myself out of a warm cocoon and prepare myself for another day at work. And that was where the best dream kicked in. With grateful relief I realised that I'm on holiday.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Here it is a souped up version of "Well with my soul." I mentioned this hymn in my posting about the Ulverston floods. This is a new band called Kutless. Kind of folk/rock?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGHZySOi7sY
Some more funnies....

I know I'm on holiday but this is a classic. SMSL! (Split my sides laughing)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxB1gB6K-2A
"When you can think about anything you want to think about, what do you think about?

Thinking is our most constant activity. Our thoughts are our constant occupation. We are never without them. But we can choose the direction and content of these thoughts"

extract from "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges
Another installment on marriage:

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs  and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Carpe diem (seize the day)

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

PS DV of course :)

Night zzz

Sunday, 20 December 2009

I am enjoying the best night of the holidays. Tomorrow I do not have to have interactions with about 127 adolescents. Bliss!

So tomorrow I'm going to....and then.....and then.....

I missed something out there.....if God wills it.

"Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" James Chapter 4 verse 14
In the early 1990s the authors of a book on contemporary American society wrote,

"In the 1950s and even in the early 1960s, there was something much closer to a moral consensus in America....

There is absolutely no moral consensus at all in the 1990s. Everyone is making up their own moral code-their own Ten Commandments."

extract from The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
What is the best question you can ask this Christmas?

Why did God come down to earth as a man?

Only 3 minutes to find the answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFTX80TpZ_4

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Marriage and the family are the bedrock of a stable and happy society. The family unit gives the security for children to be brought into the world with both a Mum and a Dad to bring them up. A good marriage is the key to happy family life.

I'm going to start to write some brief postings on marriage gleaned from what I learn about it from the Bible.
Re-creation. An alternative word for Relaxation. After all your creative and emotional energy has been drained by a long term at the "interactive whiteboard" face a break gives the chance to do different things, have new experiences and forget about work. I think Stuart Olyott talks about relaxation as being the chance to re-create not by sitting around doing nothing but having a change of activity. So having done some blogging I'm now going to recommence another activity: "sleeping"!!! Zzz
For Anne fans a couple of Anne and Gilbert music videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZt0-Kvu720

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seIExyZlFXI

Friday, 18 December 2009

God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.

He makes no mistakes. I can trust him with every detail of my life from the smallest thing to the biggest thing. Nothing which happens is an accident. Everything is under God’s watchful eye.

I love this song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3Nnrj6i9Vk

"Even if it's a lie say it will be alright"...well, with God he's not lying when he says I can trust him.
This is the last entry on "PS I love you"....this is "the scene" verbatim.

Daniel: I don’t mean to throw this at you from left field but: What do woman want? I can’t figure it out. They want us to ask/they don’t want us to ask/they want us to make a move/not make a move…what do you people want?
Holly: I’ll tell you but you’ve got to promise not to tell anyone because it’s a sacred secret.
Daniel: Sacred secret:
Holly: We have absolutely no idea what we want
Daniel: I knew it!
I got this in an email forward today; a few classics!

It seems no matter how far our exams are dumbed down; it seems it's not far enough for today's pupils. But rather than admit defeat in the face of tricky questions, some decide to take a more creative approach to their answers.

Q. what was sir Walter Raleigh famous for?
A. he is a noted figure in history because he invented cigarettes and started a craze for bicycles
I have just joined Twitter. After choosing a username I had to select some people who would twitter to me. Twitter-ees?! I also seem to keep getting news headlines and people's thoughts streaming onto my homepage. Beyond that, for the moment I am pretty clueless.

Tweet, tweet!
Am I missing something? Shopping, FUN?! When you can sit at a computer and view the whole stock, sip a cup of Earl Grey and with the click of a few buttons get everything you need WHY would you voluntarily choose to battle with queues, people, find things out of stock, low blood sugar grumpy moments (at home, the fridge is so near!) and trailing from shop to shop to find the thing which you never quite can find.

I've done most of my Christmas shopping online this year. My only regret over the next few days as I brave a busy town centre will be that I didn't do all of it online!!! Ba humbug!!!
It was a privilege early today to watch an hour of drama, song and dance performed by a talented bunch of 11-16 year olds. Their creativity and vitality was a joy to watch and I would have paid good money to watch them in a theatre. The  high quality performance was a credit to 3 very dedicated "coaches" who through hours and hours of reherseals helped these youngsters to realise their potential. These Christmas shows seem to get better every year!

And goodbye too to a very special colleague who's also become a lovely friend. We'll miss ya loads but every blessing in your new job. You'll be fab :).

Thursday, 17 December 2009

It has been highly amusing at work over the last few weeks to observe the "beard sponsership" competition. As my blog is anonymous I will give no details away. But speaking generally, they all started with beards and then as each week progressed, these gradually morphed into different styles. Raised over £1000 in sponsership for charity which is great. Must be about 10 or so participating and Monday mornings have been rather amusing as the new style for the week is revealed! Goatie came after beard then handlebar moustache and then just a normal moustache. Hats off to them because by the nature of the competition they couldn't have any time off from it. I just hope they're all gone by the start of the New Year!
I was reminded today by a facebook posting of an old favourite which I have neglected to read for too long. I was a daily addict for a number of years of Morning and Evening; was amazed at the way the words would speak into my personal situation on the same date 2 or 3 years consecutively when the words had been penned originally over 100 years ago! That is the power of scripture and also the wonderful blessing of systematic reading of God's word.
I have made the discovery recently that the internet has loads of poetry sites. This is particularly useful because most of my books are still in boxes awaiting the restoration of some shelves (they were a bargain apart from the fact that there were major structural issues!).

I found this when I was brousing some poetry websites. For any of you wondering if you have met the right person if you can read this with a smile and a warm heart then you have!
This made me giggle. For reasons of professional confidentiality the names have been changed. Found a box of "secret santa" gifts. The tag read: "to Sam, Happy Christmas, Love from Joe." Classic!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

If you're still waiting with baited breath for the film which I got the quote regarding "what woman want" from I think I've found it. My eyes hit upon the DVD case and visual memory went to the scene and I'm 99% sure I'm right. I'll cover the other 1% when I have time in the holidays! It's from "PS I love you." Now this film is a 12 and I have only recently extended my PG and U allowed rating to include 12's. Apart from the obvious reason that this extends the number of films I can watch it is also because I find that my idea of appropriateness does not tally with the ratings. So I squirm at some of the content of a PG and don't bat an eyelid at some 12's!!!
"Dockers, the khaki brand of Levi Strauss & Co., is asking men to man up and wear the pants. In a world of advertising that constantly buffets men (and women) with distorted views of manhood and womanhood, the campaign seems like a breath of fresh air. Yes, they are trying to sell pants — but there are good ways to sell pants and bad ways to sell pants. This seems a pretty good way.

advertising campaign can be found at:

http://www.us.dockers.com/season/landing.aspx
What's the best peace of advice I've ever been given as a teacher?

"Make sure they stay sat down in their chairs."
It’s the small things which make the big things.
This applies in many areas of life.
Some of my readers will be very familiar with hearing this frequently in their working day. “Miss/Sir I don’t have a pen” or more than often “Miss/Sir I’ve lost my pen.” Forget about a well equipped pencil case, they’re old fashioned! So they have come to school with just one pen, often a cheap biro, and during the course of the day this one pen has gone missing, been stolen, exploded (!) or just stopped working.
What kind of guy are you? Girls might be interested in reading this too.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK_fgKEDEv4

WARNING!!!! This is not for the faint hearted. X-rated!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

What is my life message on planet earth?

Self preservation and the preservation of those who mean the most to me. What is driving me is I want to get as far down the road in life as I can in the best shape I can be in. Don't want to go out at 30, don't want to go out at 40, 50 or 60 but want to get to 90 in good shape. Want to go as far down stream as I can in as calm water as I can with as little pain and suffering as I can get; I want this for those who I love the most. That is most people's main mission in life.

But what about when suffering comes? Circumstances over which we have no control; that life message crumbles.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Driscoll for The Men

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di9imh10Fc8

The following is extracted from the above clip:

Real men are creators and cultivators, not childish consumers, cowards, or complainers.

Mark Driscoll makes the point that in 30AD there were 5 stages between boyhood and manhood which happened, sometimes simultaneously and often suddenly; didn’t have the gap we call adolescence or teen years.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

 "da Lord, he is da boss"

What a beautfiul way of describing the sovereignty God!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Variation on "bad hair day" yesterday. I had a "bad watch" day. Or should I say a "no watch" day. Minutes before leaving the house could I find it? Pockets, surfaces, everywhere I could think of. So took my alarm clock to work with me. That redeemed the situation somewhat. And this morning I looked laterally at a "surface" I had missed the morning before and there it was. And it's back where it belongs helping me to know how much time I have left to get so much done!
I have discovered that some people are actually reading my blog. When I have a peep from time to time I find that the "ratings" counter has changed and it's not just recording all the times I've logged on! I have had the odd positive  unsolicited (mostly!) comment here and there. So thank you if you are reading it; hope there are things of use, amusement and general well being contained within.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

I am not a "trekkie" but one thing from Star Trek is a must which I don't have. And could desperately do with at the moment. A food replicator. Press a button and what you want is there straight away. I want to have breakfast but I've run out of milk for my shredded wheat. Normally the milk would be sitting in my fridge thanks to "Earth's" second best alternative to the replicator; SAINSBURY's on line shopping.

However, decided this week I'd go myself later on in the day and do it the old fashioned away after having a leisurely morning inside. That has now  been abruptly brought to an end as I need to venture into the cold and visit the SPAR! Ggggrrrrhhhhh or should I say bbbbrrrrrrhhhhhh?! Have a nice day :).
Bad hair days are real. I am writing this as a warning to anyone who thinks they can neglect this important fact.

I had a rubbish day on Thursday. Started with running late then running even later because I’d forgotten to put the wheelie bin out. Just felt like one thing after another. “Anne” aptly calls them Jonah days.

Only hit me the next day where I’d made a fatal error. It all came down to the hairstyle. I’d skimped on time and settled for less than 100% purely based on time saving considerations and not efficacy and holistic well being. I paid for it the rest of the day. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Even if it means skimping on breakfast, make sure you don’t let bad hair spoil your day!!
What is the best that life can offer you? A flourishing career? Gorgeous house? Plush car? Hectic social life? Fulfilling relationships?

Even if you had all these things there would still be something missing.

"Most people, if they have really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise" (1)
C.S. Lewis said: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
(The Problem of Pain, 1940)

Many of us would never have recognized our need for God had it not been for the pain we were experiencing. It was that way for me.

For the rest of this article click on this link
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/609011/gods_megaphone_in_our_pain.html

Saturday, 28 November 2009

A clip in the movie “27 dresses” made me giggle. My interpretation is that it refers to the fickleness and irrationality of woman in the demands they make within relationships but I think it can probably be extended to men as well. We all have that child in us who isn’t quite enjoying the “mint choc” ice cream because maybe they’d have been better with the “cinder crunch” that their mate got. Or is that just me?
So, as promised in previous entry. A dose of frivolous trivia.

How do you curl hair with hair straightners? I was recently given a tutorial by my hairdresser so the details are fresh in my mind:

Flood Testimony

In this posting I am going to break the only 2 rules I have mentally made about my blog:

1) Mentioning friends names personally and
2) Not having Christian content in every blog; don’t want my non-believing readers to feel “Bible bashed”!!!

The reason for 1) will become obvious and 2) is because I find it hard to write about anything in any depth without referring to what the Bible has to say about it! I promise I will write some frivolous postings soon (like how to curl your hair with hair straightners; do you really want to know?!).

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Does no one have an imagination these days???

BT broadband connection not working
Dial 150; find a very helpful 0800 number giving information on which areas are affected. Also updated every hour which is useful. However, they suggest that if this information is not enough then you log on to www.btbroadband.com. Duh??? Why am I on the phone to them in the first place??? If I could log on to www.btbroadband.com then I wouldn’t be on the phone to them and would be happily surfing the internet.

It’s a crazy world. I would love have afternoon tea with the person who thinks up these improbable solutions. Mind you they probably wouldn’t have the common sense to know how to make a brew...

Phew, that’s better, thank you for reading my rant.
I’ve been thinking about timing recently. We talk a lot about time, and how little we seem to have of it to get everything done, but timing is very different and more subtle. It’s not just dependent on whether something gets done or not but when it happens.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

After the first 36 hours of hectic activity I haven't written any more on my blog. Why???

Because, after impulsively setting up the blog and writing down stories and thoughts as they came into my head I decided to start "organising" and "planning." So I've set up a "blog folder" in my computer file with various files. I have a couple of semi written postings in draft form and headings for future articles as thoughts have occurred to me. I have started to think about planning what I write more specifically and giving some structure to my entries. Maybe they should have a starter, main and plenary and of course it is important that the reader makes progress in their understanding and there can be tangible evidence of this by the end.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

I am dead nervous because I'm about to post details of this blog on my facebook wall. That means that some people might actually read it. Not much point in writing a blog if that doesn't happen is there?! What if it's a load of boring rubbish? Some of the things I've written have made me giggle but it's fairly normal for me to be the only person laughing at my jokes.
Since I bought my house a couple of months ago my perspective on a number of things has changed. I was aware of the snowball effect. Start making little changes here and there and then things snowball and the whole house is being gutted. Yeah, whatever, I thought to myself. That will never happen with me; my philosophy is if it's not broke then don't fix it. I purposely bought a property that, to my novice eyes, was pretty perfect cosmetically. Neutral colours, newly fitted kitchen, alright bathroom and more than bearable carpets. The only thing which needed to be done was central heating being fitted. In my thinking that would then be it. In addition to a few more pieces of furniture which I'd save up for.
Sleep. What a blessing to have a good night's sleep. To put your head down on the pillow after a long day, close your eyes and wake up the next day refreshed and ready to face the challenges of a new day. Yeah, well, if it were that simple. I won't share the details of my own battles against sleep-less-ness; it's a long story, I'd bore you to tears and you'd probably be asleep by the time I'd finished. There are some people who get 8 hours night after night; I find they are nicer people for it. We need people like that in the world. They are cool, calm and collected. They balance out the crabby, ill tempered, grumpy dudes who permanently suffer from sleep deprivation; and that's not just first time parents with a wakeful 1 month year old.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Winter. No, no, no.....don't like it. Dark long nights, less hours of daylight. Lets be positive, there must be things to like about it. Erm, lets see. Bright, crisp and frosty days when the sun is brilliant and you feel your lungs filled up with fresh air and goodness as you breath in deeply. Yes, well, just as long as you make sure you finish your time in the great outdoors before 4pm when it gets dark. That's the best I can do. I know some people say they enjoy being all cosy inside with a cup of cocoa and a roaring fire on a winter's evening. My problem is that I just can't put out of my mind long summer evenings when you can go out for a walk at 9pm and it's still light and watch a beautiful sunset. Got to put that thought right out of my mind now!

Best go and make my mug of cocoa. Might not have a roaring fire but I'm very thankful for my central heating and warm radiators. You see, I have found something positive after all; get to use my fancy "portable" thermostat and enjoy my central heating. And daylight will come in the morning!
Being tidy? I so want to be tidy... a place for everything and everything in it's place. BUT, deciding the place in the first place AND then sticking to it. Aaaggghhh, gotta get this sorted. You can learn to be tidy can't you? Sure hope so!
Ouch, woman and diets. Everywhere you turn, in the female world, there is someone talking about their weight. I am just the same! I have a "MissAnna" weight which I am happy with, but even when I am there, I get "greedy" for greater weight loss so I can be a little more slender. Why is thin so attractive? I get so cross when I watch yet another movie where the lead woman is a size 6. OK, I can handle it, I know it is not realistic for a "normal woman" to be that weightless. She hardly eats, spends half her life at the gym and is always hungry! But what about teenage girls? In a world which is so image conscious and where it is perceived that being attractive on the outside is all important to being loved and valued by the opposite sex, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the slimmer you are the better and more likely to find "Mr Right."
The inspiration behind the name for this blog was the following short article I wrote after watching a DVD called "fruitcake and ice cream."

Fruit cake and ice cream
What a gorgeous combination to excite your taste buds! The name is not a new Ben and Jerry’s flavour but the title of a DVD describing the growing friendship between an American final year student named Ashley and her roommate, Crystal who she nicknamed “fruitcake.” The cranky nickname will become clear over time! As their friendship grew they developed a common love of ice cream and, at significant moments would delve deep into the fridge and have massive binge sessions.
hey everyone

welcome to my first blog entry. I have decided to write a blog cos I got so much to write down and there isn't enough space on facebook.

called my blog "cake and ice cream" cos that's such a delicious sounding name and makes you want to find out more...