Saturday, 28 May 2016

Pharisee & Tax collector

We're finishing our Sunday School series on the 10 commandments tomorrow, with the parable of the Pharisee & the Tax Collector.

Here's a couple of bits from the teachers' background notes that I wrote. I'm talking to myself, really... 

"Far, far, far too easy for us to be like the Pharisees. We’re good Christian people who know the Bible inside out and come to church every week. We teach Sunday School. We pray and give. We don’t get drunk and sleep around. We’re not even like those Christians over there with their dodgy theology… and so we can forget how much we need God, and that we depend on Jesus for our righteousness.

On the other hand, sometimes we beat ourselves up about our failures. We know what we should be like, and we’re not. We do the same things again and again; sometimes we give up trying to change, because it’s too hard. When we feel like that we need to do what the tax collector did—run to God for mercy and help."

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Children's christian books

Dear writers of children's Christian books,

Please stop writing stories where doing the right thing (or, even worse, becoming a Christian) results in material reward or circumstances suddenly changing for the better.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

A Sunday School teacher


A random thought I had (I have strange random thoughts):

You shouldn't get married unless you would be willing to get their name tattooed on you.

Now I realise there are all kinds of reasons why you might not want any tattoo at all (cultural, religious, aesthetic, pain...). But one reason - their permanency - does not apply here. If you're thinking, 'but what if we split up?' you shouldn't be getting married.

And then I thought - maybe you shouldn't get baptised unless you would (apart from all the above caveats) be willing to get Jesus' name tattooed on you. 

After all - he has my name engraved on the palms of his hands*. He is committed to me forever. Am I to him?

*I'm not sure if this is slightly out of context - the immediate context is about Zion (Jerusalem). However, it's part of a longer passage which is talking about the salvation of the Gentiles, and Christians are part of the heavenly Zion/Jerusalem. Anyway, if I've misused this passage, the point still stands :-)

Weather forecast

The weather app that came with my phone has never been particularly accurate. But today rather takes the biscuit: It says that it is snowing.

I have just downloaded a new weather app.


“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"

Thank you God

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


I was looking at a mackerel, and thought: Mackerel have zebra stripes.

Maquereaux etal.jpg
Mackerel picture from Wikipedia. My mackerel was smoked and peppered and didn't have a smiley face.

And then I thought: you could just as easily say zebras have mackerel stripes.

Herd of zebra with a baby suckling on it's mother

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Background noise

Recently I have been using Noisli to help me concentrate on work.

Usually when working I listen to the radio (mostly plays, comedy or documentaries), or podcasts. If I really need more concentration, I listen to music. But sometimes even that's too distracting - but silence can be distracting too.

So Noisli plays background noises for you.

I've been listening to the rain and a train. You can also have the sea, wind, thunder, leaves, fire, coffee shop background...

Oddly, it really does seem to help!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Blocked forever?

I use Leechblock on my computer to attempt to exercise some self control over my internet use. For example, to block it after bedtime. Some sites I only allow 5 mins per day. Some are blocked altogether. Very, very useful programme.

Tonight I got a rather odd message, though:
"The page you're attempting to access has been blocked by LeechBlock.
The page will be unblocked at: the end of time"
I assume this means 'at the end of the time you set', not 'at the last trumpet' :-o

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


In Sunday School, we were discussing lying, and how sometimes people make up stories about others so that other people won’t like them. 

The teacher gave as an example: Suppose I told everyone that [child's name] was a nasty person who did lots of bad things.*

The child whose name she mentioned: Well, it would be a bit true.

*Or words to that effect - I can't remember exactly.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

How very peculiar

I have had both someone at the door and a phonecall saying that 'This is the SNP and we're reminding our supporters to go out and vote if they haven't already done so.'

I wasn't aware I was a supporter of the SNP (or of any other party).

Very odd!

An election and a deadline on the same day

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour
1 Timothy 2 v 1-3