Monday, April 27, 2009

Thanks for your prayers

Thanks, people.

I was informed today that I will be able to renew my tenancy. A nice speedy response there.

My neighbours will continue to be perplexed by the chaotic and terrifying music that emanate from my apartment.

If you can spare a prayer as well for a client of mine who is homeless and who will probably be rough sleeping in the next few weeks. He was taken into hospital today where he had a nasty fit, probably brought on by his heavy drinking. His needs are much bigger than mine.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another prayer request

The alcohol project I am running has got off to a good start, though it requires quite a bit of work.

I would appreciate some prayer about my housing situation. I would like to stay put. I really like my apartment and it is pretty convenient. The tenancy expires in June and I would really like to renew it. If I have to move out, it will cost me money and be very inconvenient.

If you could pray that my landlord will grant me the opportunity to renew my tenancy, that would be wonderful. Thanks.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Apologies to my Pre-Trib brethren for this post

Often you hear Christians gasp with amazement when they hear about the peculiar doctrines of cults like the Mormons and JWs. They often exclaim "How can anybody believe that?"

Typically, they have not read enough of the cults material too understand the reasoning behind some of these false doctrines. Hence, when they actually meet real live cult followers, they are confounded and have no idea how to answer them.

These false doctrines have not been plucked from the air. They are supported by twisted readings of scriptural passages. They are invariably based on wrong methods of eisegesis. Yet the reasoning behind them makes sense. When they present their arguments, you can see where they are going.

Yet despite the smart arguments, you are still left with the thought in your head "How can anybody come to that conclusion?"

For all the great theology that has come from Dispensationalist theologians, my thoughts on the Pre-Trib rapture are still exactly the same as my reaction to the odd doctrines of the cults- "How can anybody come to that conclusion?"

I have read book after book by Pre-Trib theologians. Yet I am still baffled as to how people come to think that there is a pre-trib rapture. The more arguments that Pre-Tribbers raise, the more implausible there proposition seems to me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The battle of the shirts in Thailand

I don't pretend to be an expert on politics in Thailand.

Basically, the red shirts are supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawat, who was forced out of office by the army, allegedly because of corruption. For the most part they are rural poor. The yellow shirts, the People's Alliance for Democracy are fanatical monarchists who oppose Thaksin Shinawat and managed to pressure the previous government to step down. They are mostly middle-class.

It seems unfair that a government that was fairly elected should be forced out, the first time by the army and the second time by demonstors.

However, the part of me that feels nostalgia for Imperial Germany and Tsarist Russia leads me to a certain sympathy for the yellow shirts. They are supporters of monarchy and legitimate interests. They remind me of the religious middle classes who in the nineteenth century were distrustful of democracy.

The sad truth is that democracy does not always work. The previous Thai government may have been fairly elected, but was it good for Thailand? Most of its supporters were uneducated peasents. Surely the middle classes who support the yellow shirts have a better idea about the needs of their country?

Yesterday was the election in South Africa. I don't know if the results have been announced yet, but it is certain that the African National Congress will win. And it may be they will win the next election too. That cannot be good; yet that is what an illiterate electorate will come up with. The elections in Zimbabwe were certainly rigged, but even if they were not, we can be sure that many Zimbabweans would have voted for Mugabe despite all his tyranny. Across Africa, corrupt leaders have been able to exploit elections.

I am inclined to sympathize with the supporters of Thailand's elites rather than her rural poor. I guess that is the right-winger in me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Polish Salad

One of the wonderful things I have been buying from Tescos lately is Polish salad, or rather, salatka.

It is pickled in a jar and contains cucumber, carrot, onion and red pepper.

It is so convenient. The problem with fresh salad is that it goes off. This pickled salad lasts for ages. One of the wonderful things that Britain's new Polish population has brought us.

Tescos sell it on a special shelf dedicated to Polish products.

Times: Enemy of the people? No, Tesco is a hero

Times: Enemy of the people? No, Tesco is a hero

Despite the recession, Tescos, the supermarket giant, is doing incredibly well. She rules the whole world, except in the USA, where she failed to sink Walmart.

I used to resent Tescos for her market dominance, but I have grown to love the place; its choice and variety.

I love the Tescos here in Stevenage. It is huge and sells everything you could need. I bought my vacuum cleaner there and I could have got my laptop from there as well.

They sell flip flops. They had a sale on recently and I bought loads of pairs. Tescos clothing is pretty good and at excellent prices.

The online Tescos is great too- they sell albums by obscure black metal bands like Hate Forest (the thought of getting an Hate Forest album from Tescos is kind of surreal).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Night of the Dead Bees

The government is going to spend lots of money investigating the decline in the bee population.

Everyone seems really worried about the decline. Experts are saying that the consequences could be catastrophic.

Another doomsday scenario to add to the list.

Does anybody wonder if maybe it might be in the interests of bee experts to make people alarmed about this subject?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Is this a north/ south difference?

One thing I have noticed is that lots of people in the south wear bomber jackets. When I lived in the midlands, I did not see many people wearing bomber jackets.

Is this because the skinhead scene was much bigger in the south? Or did a skinhead revival start after I moved to the south?

Bomber jackets are cool. I think skinhead stuff is cool.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bespectacled

Have you noticed that nobody ever uses the word bespectacled any more? I suppose they think it has negative connotations.

I think it is a shame.

Surely it is easier to say bespectacled than wearing glasses?

Too many decent English words are being lost.

Not drinking much

I only had one beer this week. I have not bought any beer since the previous weekend.

In my job I see the bad side of alcohol, in fact that is the main thing I am dealing with. That does not really put me in the mood for drinking much, even though I enjoy beer.

A few weeks ago, I was drinking a bit more than was good for me. I have totally slowed down lately.

I think it is important that if I am helping people to cut down their drinking, I am not enslaved to the stuff myself.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Times: The Church must stop trivializing Easter

Times: The Church must stop trivializing Easter

by the Very Rev. Tom Wright, bishop of Durham

Wright may be an Anglican and therefore a promoter of false ecumenicism and his views on justification may be deeply unsound, but he has been stalwart in his defence of the historicity of the resurrection.

It is wonderful to see the evidence for the resurrection being brought to light in the Times.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Visiting St. Albans

My parents came to visit today. We decided to visit the pleasent medieval town of St. Albans. So far, I had only been there for work purposes.

Thankfully, it is a beautiful spring day.

We had lunch at a nice restuarant bar. I had a steak with spinach, potato wedges and fried cabbage. At this restuarant bar they had Franzikaner, a German wheat beer that I am quite fond of.

St. Albans cathedral is a mixture of both Norman and Gothic architecture. It was nice, but it lacked the magnificence of truly gothic cathedrals.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Details

I am listening to a punk rock band who shared the same name as the organisation I work for.

I can actually think of another punk rock band who shared the same name as a British charity.

I can assure you its not the Sex Pistols or the Dead Kennedys.

I prefer not to say too much about my exact job, in case I breach anybody's confidentiality or compromise my service in any way.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I am Right-wing or Left-wing depending on my mood

I am Left-wing when:

* I listen to Punk rock music.
* I hear about the plight of asylum seekers and refugees in this country.
* Politicians talk about welfare reform.
* People make mean comments about single mothers.
* I read blogs by American conservatives who have the mad idea that free healthcare is a bad thing.
* I see cool people with pink hair and facial piercings.
* I meet Daily Mail readers.

I am Right-wing when:


* I listen to military marches from the Kaiserreich (Wagner's Kaisermarch is one of my favorites).
* I see anything to do with Tsarist Russia.
* I hear people worshipping Nelson Mandela.
* I hear talk about abolishing the Act of Settlement.
* I read articles in the Guardian arguing that too many people are sent to prison.
* I listen to black metal music.
* I see photographs of Sarah Palin.
* I see environmentalist protestors on the t.v.
* I hear trade union representatives speaking on the radio.
* I hear Liberal Democrats talking about rich people paying more taxes.
* I look at paintings by William Adolphe Bouguereau.

I have the urge to get my nose pierced again

I had my nose pierced when I was 18. It has since healed, leaving only the tiniest of scars.

A lot of people in my line of work have their noses pierced and I keep getting the urge to have mine done again.

Somebody with taste

Somebody complemented me on the pair of flip flops I was wearing today. Usually my colleagues in drug services either humour or ridicule my habit of wearing flip flops nearly all the time.