Internet highlights w/c 23rd November 2014

29 11 2014

First Great Western launch a campaign to reunite lost teddy bears with their owners for Christmas

Tesco agree to hide front pages of newspapers from children and just show newspaper names on the stands

Squirrel steals a camera and takes it up a tree

Lego instructions for parents in the 70s

Bucket lists are inherently individualistic, and not where we should find our fulfilment

The Busy World of Richard Scarry in the 21st Century

Tetley insure their Master Blender’s tastebuds for £1million

Dropped beer bottle smashes new glass walkway at the top of Tower Bridge

Google’s HQ is statically charging people walking by

The best “Shake it off” video

South Korea ban selfie sticks

Another article about Band Aid – this time a reminder that we’re called to help without showing off about it.

Weird German expressions

The Queen reminds us that while Ebola is obviously a massive issue, more people are dying each week from Malaria.

They’re considering getting rid of “Reverse round a corner” from the driving test!

The Guardian does an overview of seemingly idyllic life in Romsey!

The danger of Christian Celebrity

Malasia Airlines next problem – Their own tweeting

Scripture Union are putting Christian Christmas Comics in Foodbank hampers 🙂 Donate here!

Always an adventure following Jesus.

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Internet highlights w/c 16th November 2014

22 11 2014

TV presenter wears the same suit every day for a year to highlight sexism – and 12 months later, no one noticed!

A woman binge-watched season one of Gilmore Girls and did a bullet point running commentary as she went!

Henman, McInroe & Cash vs Murray in the tennis

Comprehensive history of Brad Pitt’s hairstyles

BEST winter jumpers!

Chocolate is running out so prices are going to go up…

The downside of BandAid

Successful people wear the same thing every day

They’re looking into a bridge to the Isle Of Wight!

Hunger Games Charts

BandAid does nothing to show the positive side of Africa

Warnings that Netflix should give

The size of the universe

The snow in Buffalo, NY

The Pope is raffling off presents he’s received to raise money for the poor

Best dog poses EVER

Jeremy Vine caught speeding on his push-bike

Jamie Oliver disciplines his kids by feeding them hot peppers!

School kid makes £14,000 selling sweets to fellow pupils – now facing suspension

Lammily, the normal barbie

Some of the best film hair & make-up ever

Rebel Wilson doing a blind infomercial on the Ellen show

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Friday Five Favourites: Christmas Adverts 2014

21 11 2014

What began last year may as well become a tradition – here are my favourite Christmas adverts from this years selection…

Sainsburys

Boots

John Lewis

Post Office

Tesco

(The full light show can be seen here)





Sermon notes: Demolishing personal strongholds

16 11 2014

I thought I’d try something new in writing up my notes from this morning’s service today. As I was on projector I have the order of service, so I’ve put a YouTube playlist together of all the songs we had today, so if you like, you can listen to that while you read – although I think the music will take much longer to get through…!

“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you – I, Paul, who am ‘timid’ when face to face with you, but ‘bold’ towards you when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be towards some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” – 2 Corinthians 10 vv 1-6

The word stronghold is used both positively and negatively:

  • Positively: “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27v1.
    God is David’s security and protection
  • Negatively: “Wrong thought patterns and ideas, which Satan and his demons influence, and behind which they hide, that can govern or dominate individuals, communities, nations and even churches. Strongholds need to be taken, otherwise they continue that domination.” – David Devenish

Culturally consumerism is a massive stronghold. We are sent the message that holidays, clothes and leisure give us identity, provide us security, and ultimately make us happy.
These things aren’t wrong in themselves, but when good things become god things, that makes them idols.

Specific strongholds: Pride

The most effective means the devil has to keep believers from being full of the Spirit is to keep us full of ourselves.

Pride can be arrogance and self-righteousness, looking down on others and finding faults in anyone but ourselves.
Pride can also appear in those with low self-esteem. When we wallow in misery we invite pity and essentially ask people to tell us how great we are.

To demolish this stronghold we need to take each thought captive and demolish it with God’s word and prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit.
“God opposes the proud, but shows favour to the humble.” – James 4v6.

This means recognising that we owe everything to God’s grace and mercy, that we can’t ever earn these, that we deserve judgement but Jesus has taken that for us on the cross. We don’t need to push ourselves forward in arrogance because God has given us ultimate status as His children. We don’t need to be miserable for the very same reason!

Specific strongholds: Rejection

Many people suffer from rejection from loved ones, and this damage makes it difficult to believe that God wouldn’t also reject them.

To demolish this stronghold we need to prayerfully meditate on what the bible says about God accepting us.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13v5.

If we receive Jesus as Saviour, then we can’t do anything to cause Him to reject us.

There are many other personal strongholds, for example: fear, negativity, lust, guilt, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, addiction, despair, rejection, pride, and so many more.

Psychologists say that it takes 6 weeks to make a thought pattern a habit. It’s going to take some pretty persistent prayer!

Each stronghold is a pattern of thinking which is a lie. A stronghold buster takes that lie, and lists verses to contradict it. You read these daily, renouncing the lies that the devil or our sinful nature feed us.

Maybe write a stronghold buster for a stronghold of yours with a friend who can also then keep you accountable.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12v2

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5v1

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8v36





Internet highlights w/c 9th November 2014

15 11 2014

Cloud computing has a long way to go

Disney princesses with realistic waistlines

If I fits, I sits

Things to know before living with a girl

A woman’s reaction when a cashier pointed out her son’s down syndrome to her…

The Doughnut Burger

Literary reviews of the Mr Men books

A man takes looking after a plant to extremes

The BNP boast on Twitter about how they won’t forget the 2 minutes silence like others will…. a day late

Swede’ns ingenious solution to prostitution

The Pope is having showers built alongside the public toilets in the Vatican so the homeless have somewhere to wash

Netherlands build first solar panel cycle lane

The dog who forgot to jump

“I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1444012991/ref=pe_27781_56873741_em_1p_0_ti

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haba-Biofino-3822-Roast-Chicken/dp/B001ECBSVS





The Year I Met You – by Cecelia Ahern

13 11 2014

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book written in the second person before! I’d thought a while ago how books are always written in the first or third person, but never second – that is not the case.

Jasmine has just lost her job, and her neighbour over the road has just had his wife leave him. He works on the radio and is generally very offensive – Jasmine hates him for something he once said about people with Downs Syndrome, which her sister has, and this book is written as if she is speaking to him.

We follow her year of gardening leave, working out what to do with her time, figuring out what to do at the end of it when she’s allowed to work again, a headhunter called Monday, her relationship with her neighbours who she never really knew before, and her relationship with her sister.

Feel good as Cecelia Ahern’s books always are, this is definitely another one.

I actually got this book much earlier than expected, I normally get the new Cecelia Ahern books when they come out in paperback, and this isn’t due until next summer. But last month I was in an airport, and exclusively they sell books in paperback that are only hardback in shops – expensive, yes, and still bulky in size, but it was very exciting to get it so early. Just means a long long wait for the next one now!

the year i met you





Sermon notes: Sacrifice

11 11 2014

These are my notes from the sermon that was shared at church on this Remembrance Sunday.

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

John 15 vv 12-14
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

A lady called Amy Beechey had 8 sons who fought in WWI. Only 3 came home, one of whom was permanently disabled. She received an honour from the Queen for her immense sacrifice, and replied, “I was no sacrifice Ma’am. I did not give them willingly.”

A man called Rob Young is running a marathon every day for a year. Every day, between 2-5am he runs a marathon, before then going about his normal day at work. He is sacrificing his sleep to raise money for those less fortunate. He’s currently well over halfway through, and hoping to raise £200,000.

Our sin and self-centred-ness as humans has polluted creation. Alongside these acts of sacrifice, we see greed, jealously, hate, violence.

We were created to love and serve God. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God, but they rebelled as they chose to serve their own wants first. In doing so, human kind lost their intimate friendship with God.

Sin is when we love ourselves more than we love God, this cuts us off from Him. Jesus lived a life totally going by His Father’s agenda, He took our sins on Himself, allowed himself to be cut off from God even though he never sinned Himself, and in doing so, restored our ability to have a relationship with the Father.

No one other than Jesus, the only sinless man, could have done this. Our greatest sacrifices are nothing in comparison, they could never have freed us. That said, we are now called to lay down our lives in sacrificial love for others (John 15v12).

Jesus loved us, even when we didn’t deserve His love, and so we are to love others even when they don’t deserve it. Jesus didn’t wait until we were worthy of His love before he died for us in love. He loved us while we were far away.

It’s impossible to humanly love as Jesus loved, but Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches, through which His love can run. We need to remain connected to Him, to draw our love from Him.

In this way, if we love as Christ loved us, we will shine as lights in the darkness.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke