Author: Andy

Who’s the Boss?

Who's the Boss?I had never realised this until thinking about a recent church service and those who were there doing jobs, I like to be the boss of what I do. What I mean by that is in almost every job I have done I have always ended up working my way in to position where I was in charge of what I did and that job became mine. It wasn’t that I wanted to be in charge to boss others around, in fact I have always sought out positions where I could work alone, but those positions were always where I was in charge of what I did and it was up to me to get the job done.

Having realised this I can see through out my life time and again where this has happened from jobs where I have actually worked twice as hard to do the work of two people so that I was solely responsible to times where I have worked extra hard to get my self promoted into a position where I could work alone. And even now as I work from home I prefer working independently of others, preferring to be solely responsible for the work that I do rather than with others. Maybe this comes from a childhood where not only was I not in to playing team sports but I also had to be pretty independent, who knows. Continue reading

Movie Review – Risen (2016)

Risen (2016)
Risen (2016)

Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a Roman Military Tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are given the task of finding the body of Yeshua (Cliff Curtis) as despite being crucified, thrust with a spear, placed in a sealed tomb with 24 hour guards, the body has some how gone. After failing to find the body of Yeshua by digging up recent graves, Clavius then sets his sights on the men and women who were followers of Yeshua, believing they conspired to steal the body to fulfil prophecy surrounding a risen Messiah. But as he interviews and tracks these men and women down not only does he find himself dealing with the sort of unshakeable faith where people will die for what they believe but he finds himself witness to something he can not believe.

When ever it comes to bible based movies I always wonder whether the auto-response negativity from those who disdain anything religious is balanced by the enthusiasm of those who long to see more bible based, Christian movies making it to the big screen. What that means is that a movie like “Risen” can have reviews which range from utter disdain Continue reading

The Square Peg in the Congregation

A carpenter set out to build a home, a real labour of love which he knew he would keep working on forever as he would be continually improving it. As he set about framing out one of the rooms he reached into his box of pegs and pulled out a square one. The thing is the hole he needed a peg for was round and whilst he knew he could force that square peg into the round hole it would not only put strain on the peg but its sharp edges would put tension on the surrounding wood frame. So he placed the peg back in the box and found one which fitted the hole perfectly. As time passed by that square peg found some of his sharp edges being transformed as he mingled with the other pegs in the box, each one with their own unique bumps and edges also being shaped by the other pegs. Then one day the carpenter found himself with need for a square peg with a few rounded off edges to fill a unique hole and he found that square peg as it now fitted the gap perfectly.

Why am I talking about square pegs and round holes, well a little while back the church I attend had a service all about doing our bit in church and joining one of the teams such as those who set up for the service or serve refreshments afterwards. And the pastor asked me if I was considering joining a team, which I was as I thought maybe being part of the host team would help me meet more people in the church, something as an introvert I have struggled with. Continue reading

Me, My Mind and the Devil

“Raindrops on roses. And whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things.”

The Devil, Me and My MindFor those who didn’t watch a certain movie repeatedly during their childhood, those words are lyrics from “My Favourite Things” sung by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. And whilst I am not going to go into their significance straight away you might be able to guess why I mention them. And I know that right now you are probably singing the song as well, go on enjoy it.

So I have mentioned once or twice before that I have struggled with anxiety, suffered panic attacks and also suffered depression and I mention them again partly because I believe we should not hide these things away, it is sweeping them under the carpet that can lead to years of built up issues and a lot more work to deal with when you finally confront them. Continue reading

Book Review – The Journey

Book Review - The JourneyGrowing up I never had that day to day Christian life, there was Sunday school followed by church but during the week there was nothing. In fact when I became an older teen I became part of the church’s youth team, the first one they set up to try and provide a Christian message aimed specifically for teenagers and the issues they were facing. What I missed growing up was that day to day walk with the Lord which starts in the home because whilst my mother went to church on a Sunday my father didn’t and so I couldn’t turn to him with questions about faith and the bible. Yes there was the pastor I could have spoken to and Sunday school teachers but this was a time before mobiles and the internet so having a quick chat was not as easy as it is now.

I mention my past because having finished reading Billy Graham’s “The Journey” I know this is the sort of book I could have done with as a new Christian trying to navigate life and Christianity without the access to a mentor who I could approach at anytime. In this book Billy Graham takes us on a journey through the Christian life, answering those sorts of questions many of us find ourselves confronted by on that journey such as; why is there suffering if God loves us and how to deal with worry, fear and disappointment. But he also goes in to issues such as why we need the church and fellowship, how to keep going through tough times as well as giving guidance on relationships and marriage. And with each of these sections he delivers advice based on bible teachings but also from a life of learning and stories to demonstrate what he is saying. Continue reading

God’s Logic is Not Our Logic

God's Logic is Not Our Logic

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord – Isaiah 55:8

There you have it, God tells us straight that we don’t think the way that he does and we don’t act the way that he does. The question is; are our ways better than God’s? Really, do you think I am actually asking that question! God even goes on to tell us:

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9

All great, God’s thoughts and ways are superior to ours except of course not everyone believes in God and when you start looking at the way of the world so often it seems in conflict with God’s ways, his wisdom which we find in the Word. At times the ways of the world don’t just feel like they are in conflict with God’s wisdom they seem to turn it upside down. Continue reading

The Tape in my Closet

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry - James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – James 1:19

You know it isn’t just celebrities who have film of them doing things they would rather not have others see, there is film of me doing something which I would rather no one saw. The thing is that whilst with celebrities it might be a sex tape which suddenly surfaces, often thanks to a vengeful ex, the film of me is nothing like that at all. Nope that video tape is from when I was a teenager who with a couple of church friends performed a D.C. Talk rap on stage during one of the church concerts. I would love to tell you that I was pretty fly for a white guy but you can probably guess from me dropping that line that I am not or have ever been fly for a white guy and I have no idea why I even agreed to perform on stage in the first place. And years later, every time I have thought of that night I have cringed, I can even hear the laughter when I stood there centre stage, arms crossed whilst my two friends did the running man either side of me.

The thing is that I can’t change the past but I am grateful that my brief rap career was many years ago as there is only one video tape of that night in existence and is in one person’s hands instead of all over the internet. Continue reading

SOAP Bible Study

SOAP Bible StudyAs a teenager and then as a young adult what little bible study I did was always guided by a lesson plan or a study book which would lead me through what I was meant to read and what the scriptures meant. Now I am sure these guided studies have helped a lot of people but having realised how little of the Bible stayed with me I realised that these types of studies don’t work as well for me. I say that because shortly after reconnecting with my faith I started to do an online study which would take me through the Bible in a year, yet after a couple of months I found myself doing them to keep up but not really taking it in because again I was being told what the scripture meant.

But it was then, on several Christian blogs, I found mention of the SOAP Bible Study method and I have to say that right now I am a huge fan of using the SOAP Bible Study Method, although in my case I add a P before the SOAP, as in prayer to open my mind and heart to what God wants me to learn and remember. Continue reading

TIP – Tech Impatience Problem

TIP - Tech Impatience ProblemMany, many moons ago when I was a lot younger and my family would go on holiday, the maps would come out and be spread across the dining room table. Routes would then be meticulously planned along with little detours if there was a place we wanted to visit, okay that should be if my parents wanted to visit. But it was a skill that we were pretty good at, thinking about and planning out which way to go so we got to where we were going on time. Of course times have changed and whilst my parents still use maps most people will use the systems in their cars or on their phones, following the instructions of a device which tells them what is best instead of thinking about their route for themselves.

Jump from my childhood to my 20s and I got a job working in the I.T. department of an insurance company where I learned core programming skills and went on to become a web developer. Those web development skills have stayed with me like those map reading skills Continue reading

Movie Review – The Woodcarver (2012)

John Ratzenberger as Ernest Otto in The Woodcarver (2012)
John Ratzenberger as Ernest Otto in The Woodcarver (2012)

Matthew (Dakota Daulby) prayed when his parents started arguing, he asked God to stop them from separating as their marriage crumbled. So when the arguing didn’t stop and his dad moved out Matthew took his anger out on the local church building by vandalising it. It is how he comes to meet Ernest Otto (John Ratzenberger), a woodcarver who since his wife died has given up working but who years earlier had created many of the now broken ornate wood panels for the church and who agrees to do so again, taking Matthew under his wing as the young man has to make good for the damage he caused. It is Ernest who encourages Matthew to consider WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) when ever he is faced with a decision and it leads to not only a change in Matthew but a bond forming between Ernest and the teenager. But with the wood production company, who Matthew’s father works for, desperate for a contract to supply the wood for the new Sunday school building, something which Ernest already agreed to do, there is trouble in the air.

Above the title “The Woodcarver” features the letters WWJDII so just in case you are not aware, this is the second movie in the WWJD series which started with “What Would Jesus Do?” in 2010. Continue reading