An Abundance of Katherines – by John Green

29 09 2014

Colin is 18 years old, and has just been dumped by Katherine IXX (yes that’s right, his 19th girlfriend called Katherine). There’s definitely a couple of parallels between this and The Rosie Project which I read recently – the lead character is a remarkably intelligent man, who struggles a little socially, and tries to find a way to formulate relationships. In the Rosie Project, this was by matching a vast amount of criteria. In this book, Colin is trying to find a formula to predict whether a relationship between two people would work, how long it would last, and who would be the dumper and who the dumpee.

Colin struggles with the fact that while he was a child prodigy, he hasn’t turned into a genius. He wants to be someone who matters. This leads to a lovely quote somewhere in the book: “And so we all matter – maybe less than a lot, but always more than none.”

The book actually follows Colin and his friend Hassan (who has his own issues to deal with) on a summer road trip to try and cheer Colin up, ending up in some random little town and that’s where the story unfolds.

Fairly light hearted mostly, a little confusing until I got used to the flashback stories of previous Katherines through the book, but some great stuff, including a highly mathematical appendix (starting from uber basic and building up) by an actual professor – lovely!

an abundance of katherines

Internet highlights w/c 21st September 2014

27 09 2014

Friends Facts – knew a few, but 10 was brilliant!

Impressive camera tricks – the better ones are in the first minute

Back to the Future: Aging 30 years, make up vs naturally

I’d ignore the last column, but otherwise great!

I’m sure this happened a few times a year, it’s hardly news, but still makes me laugh!

Friday five favourite: Loved and Hated characters from The Jungle Book

26 09 2014

It’s a while since I’ve done one of these, but last week a friend of mine was raving about The Jungle Book, and I realised just how long it is since I’ve seen it!

The thing with the Jungle Book is, in general, I love it, however, there are an awful lot of characters I dislike in it, and a lot that creep me out, so I’ve put them below, and then balanced that out with a list of the characters I love!

Weirdly, Mowgli isn’t in either list… I’m a bit indifferent to him! King Louie is another that I part love, part don’t, so he doesn’t make either list.

Kaa – obviously! He can hypnotise, he can strangle… way too dangerous!

Shere Khan – another obvious one, he’s out to kill, ’nuff said.
shere khan

The girl – maybe a bit less obvious, but she’s being all flirty with Mowgli, and luring him away from the life that he loves!

Bagheera – again, not so obvious. He’s way too strict and grumpy, doesn’t enjoy the fun things, doesn’t smile, and wants to send Mowgli away!

Colonel Hathi – another grumpus. General rule of thumb, I generally struggle with characters that don’t smile. Also big and scary.
colonel hathi


The Wolves – the cubs are just so cute, and they looked after Mowgli instead of eating him…

Hathi Junior – adorable, you wouldn’t think he was the Colonel’s child. Fun loving, and welcomes Mowgli instantly.

The Vultures – it’s only now that I re-watch as a grown up that I realise they were based on the beatles! Four Liverpudlian singers with weird hair…! Hilarious though – these are the characters that we repeatedly quoted at Primary School!

Baloo – I just want to cuddle him and hang out – so much fun

Winifred the Elephant (Colonel Hathi’s Wife) – this woman has sass. Colonal Hathi might be terrifying, but she can still tell him what’s what, tell him what to do and he listens!

And just as an added bonus – last week that friend pointed out that in the clip below (at 1 minute in), Bagheera quotes 1 John 3v16… that slightly redeemed him in my eyes!
It also goes on to some of the good Vulture stuff 🙂

Sermon Notes: Joy

22 09 2014

I blogged on a sermon on joy a few months ago, that was from my church. Yesterday I was visiting my parents church and that was the sermon topic again! Enjoy…

We looked a 1 Peter 1, but opened with an analogy from Derek Prince:

“One way to bring the difference into focus is to picture a Christmas tree and an apple tree. A Christmas tree bears gifts; an apple tree bears fruit. A gift is both attached to a Christmas tree and removed from it by a single, brief act. There is no direct connection between the tree and the gift: one may be a garment, the other a fir tree. The gift tells us nothing about the nature of the tree from which it is taken.
On the other hand, there is a direct connection between an apple and the tree that bears it. The nature of the tree determines the nature of the fruit—both its kind and its quality. An apple tree can never bear an orange. A healthy tree will never bear unhealthy fruit (see Matthew 7:17–20). The fruit on the apple tree is not produced by a single act, but is the result of a steady, continuing process of growth and development. To produce the best fruit, the tree must be carefully cultivated. This requires time, skill and labour.”

We can’t pick and choose our fruits, Galatians 5v22 says “fruit is” not “fruit are”.

Gifts express ability, fruit expresses character. Gifts can be for a time, character goes into eternity.

People sometimes accuse Christians of being miserable and joyless – they should visit a housegroup and see the laughter there!

Children run to those full of joy, not misery.

“Many of us have only dipped our toes in the ocean of joy He has for us” – Adrian Warnock. He came so that we could have life to the full – John 10v10

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
– John 15vv1-4,11

“Happiness comes from happenings, Joy comes from Jesus” – John Parker

We express joy well at a goal in football, why don’t we otherwise?

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalms 16v11

“Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
Daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.””
– Zephaniah 3vv14-17

We don’t tend to think of God as singing

What we have in Christ is better than anything you’ll see on Match Of The Day.

Internet highlights w/c 14th September 2014

20 09 2014

Friends episodes as 8-bit gifs

Only click here if you’ve seen all of Gilmore Girls

Stupid complaints from holiday makers

Self stabilising spoon invented to help parkinsons patients – ingenius!

Reaction of a little girl when her dad shaved his beard!

Girls vs Boys pillow strategy

Things we never knew about Gilmore Girls

Goldfish has lifesaving £125 brain surgery

The no-phone!

James Jordan tells Katie Hopkins what’s what

Ridiculous travel accessories

Things that the youth of today will never experience – SOOO many of these are SOOO true!!

Gilmore Girls life lessons

Woman convinced friends and family she was on a trip round Asia when she never left her flat!

Someone struggling with an automatic gearbox, and it’s “day” and “night” mode

How to make people take the stairs

Internet highlights w/c 7th September 2014

13 09 2014

Brilliant improvements to everyday items

What British people say and what they mean – not the one often floating around, this was a new one I hadn’t seen before, like reading my life on a page!

And a few British problems

Man Booker Prize shortlist

Rules for modern living (from Innocent)
1. Whoever gets home first cooks the tea.
2. Whoever cooks the tea doesn’t have to do the washing up. Or the drying.
3. Never walk away from a printer paper jam (unless it’s to enlist the help of IT support).
5. Never trust anyone who says they enjoy ironing.
6. Never sit next to someone on the bus if there are spare seats together somewhere else.
7. Never give your bank details to a Nigerian prince.

Of Mice and Men – by John Steinbeck

12 09 2014

The final book in my “I need to finally read all the stuff I was meant to read at school but didn’t!” list.

I never realised just how short this book is! Only 120 pages – I could probably have done this in one sitting if I’d had a quieter week. And just as when I read To Kill A Mockingbird, it was much better than I remember at school. Again supporting my argument that books were meant to be read and enjoyed, not analysed to within an inch of their life.

The story is based around George and Lennie, two men who travel together and find ranches to work on. George is a smart guy, Lennie is something of a gentle giant, and really quite simple. He is adorable, doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, and has a love for cuddly small animals – which leads to trouble when he doesn’t realise his own strength.

It’s not the happiest of reads, but there’s a reason this book has stood the test of time and is still well read today. Like most books, it’s about getting to know the characters and wanting to know more about them.

of mice and men

Sermon Notes: What is Spiritual Warfare?

7 09 2014

We started our new series on spiritual warfare today, here are my notes!

Mark 1 vv 14-39

Spiritual warfare affects everyone

The world often tells us that the only things out there are the things that we can see, touch or feel.
“The modern world often does seem at times to be so evil, and human actions so wicked, that only a supernatural explanation can suffice” – secular view from The Daily Telegraph

“…the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” – 1 John 5v19b. But God is King over all creation, including the evil powers. Things like Nazism come from the evil one, but demons flee at the name of Jesus. Mark 1-3 is about demonstrating the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Satan’s rule is only temporary!

There are two ages: the present evil age, and the age to come of the kingdom of God. We as believers live between these two. The present evil age will come to an end, and we’ll have a new heaven and a new earth.

How can we see the pain and despair in this world without being driven to our knees? Watching the news is sometimes just too hard. Christian life is not easy, we live in thee world between the two ages.

D-Day was the decisive turning point in the second world war, but there were many more battles to fight before VE/VJ Day. The cross was D-Day. Get to the end of the book, we’re on the winning side!

The struggle we’re in is much bigger than us, but it’s not bigger than God, it’s not an even match! The final outcome is secure.

Satan will target the church, his tactics are subtle. There are so many sermons and teachings around on the internet we can feed ourselves so much. We need to be discerning with the teachings out there. There is a lot on self help, health and wealth, and blessings on individuals without mentioning Jesus out there, we have to be careful.

Things go wrong for all of us from time to time, and that’s when Satan whispers in our ear “Is Jesus really in control? Is He really Lord and King?”. But we know that we have a Redeemer. God’s Kingdom lasts forever.

Will we fight the good fight? The war has turned in the favour of Christ, but we’re to march on until He comes again. The one thing that will get us through is the power of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sermon Notes: The blessing of unity in the church – Psalm 133

7 09 2014

We had our final service of the summer series last weekend, I’m a bit behind, but here are my notes!

1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
– Psalm 133

Western culture is individualistic, and because of that, we tend to crave community.

We seek advice from peer groups and friends, generally those who’s opinions and views line up with our own, it’s harder to maintain a friendship circle when people don’t agree. But it can be dangerous to restrict ourselves to a small group, it means our views aren’t challenged.

We’d called to relate and to one-another with the whole church: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3v28. Mixing ages and backgrounds means that by cross-pollination we can learn from each other. The church is the family of God, and you can’t choose your family. We’re all brothers and sisters, and that changes how we should relate to each other.

Families experience tensions, it’s normal to not all get on easily: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4 vv 1-3. It’s hard, but when we do it, we get the benefits in Psalm 133 above.

Oil is poured out over Aaron, God pours out the joy of the Holy Spirit and immerses us in His presence. We want to be a church where the Holy Spirit brings us to care for one another deeply, but we need unity to create the fertile ground for the Spirit to work in.

The value of facebook is to know what’s going on in people’s lives and so be able to respond to it. We need to bear with one-another, have grace for one-another, even when they’re irritating. There will be times when we need to forgive, need to be gentle, need to be humble.

But what a motivation to be united people – the pouring out of the Holy Spirit!

Internet highlights w/c 31st August 2014

7 09 2014

Some Disney Easter Eggs

“The number of ‘followers’ you have does not make you better than anyone else. Hitler had millions, Jesus had 12”. – Unknown

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery that they will have to donate my body to a Tupperware party” – Joan Rivers

Art from crayons – but not what you’d expect!

How to feel awful about yourself first thing in the morning

Satellite photos over time

All 90 outfits Rachel wore on Friends series 1

Chocolate cake for breakfast can help you lose weight!

Ill dog had 43 socks in its stomach

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It was our density.

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