Internet highlights – w/c 20th March 2016

26 03 2016

Colin Mochries best lines on Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Harry Potter Jewelry

What colours were the Mr Men – quiz – kinda disappointed in my 17/20!

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Sermon Notes: The Ninth Commandment – To tell the truth

22 03 2016

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.”

A lot of people these days think that telling the truth can just cause problems. In the film, “Liar, liar”, when Jim Carrey is forced to tell the truth it’s an absolute disaster for him.

Telling the truth is different to being brutally honest, or “telling it as it is”. We’re called to speak the truth in love; that is, to have the good of the other person in mind. The important thing is the attitude behind the truth telling.

The commandment refers to our neighbour, but we know from the story of the good samaritan that this is not limited to those we know and like.

A witness report was highly important in the ancient near east – on just one witness report you would be considered guilty until proven innocent.

“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offence they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you.”
– Deuteronomy 19 vv 15, 18-19

The ten commandments generally cover the most serious form of each sin – for example for murder this covers forms of hate and anger, it looks at the condition of the heart.

Other things covered by lying include exaggeration, misleading, and taking words out of context.

Words are powerful and can be damaging. “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” – James 3 v 6.

Gossip is talking about people to do damage to their reputation; malicious sharing of information. It’s a big issue for the church when things will be shared under the disguise of “for prayerful concern”.

We should ask ourselves:

  • Is what I’m saying true?
  • Does it need to be shared with this person?
  • Would I say it if the person it’s about was here?

It’s as bad to listen to gossip as it is to share it; it ropes us in and encourages it. If we find ourselves gossiping, let’s stop and pray for the person instead!

If someone is complaining about a grievance against someone, suggest they go to them directly, not to have a go, but to express the hurt caused in love, and try to reconcile the relationship.

All commandments have a positive side to them – speak the truth!
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.” – Ephesians 4 v 25
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1 v 14
“He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
– Isaiah 53 v 9
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14 v 6

The world does brutal honesty; we’re called to speak the truth in love.

No matter how hard we try, none of us speak completely wholesomely.
“All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.’
‘Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practise deceit.’
‘The poison of vipers is on their lips.’”
– Romans 3 vv 12-13

Because of what Jesus did, we don’t need to live lives tied to the burden of lies.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8 v 32

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4 v 29





Internet highlights – w/c 13th March 2016

19 03 2016

How to get good pictures of your dog

Fictional characters who portray mental illnesses

Fascinating and detailed theory on different levels of friendship

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Reasons to stay alive – by Matt Haig

17 03 2016

This book is brilliant, everyone should read it, it should maybe even be on the National Curriculum.

I believed this before I even read it. The quotes on the front, back, and inside covers set the bar very high indeed – here are a couple of my favourites:

  • “Brilliant … should be on prescription” – Rev Richard Coles
  • “A small masterpiece that might even save lives” – Joanna Lumley

And they’re correct. Technically an autobiography, we travel with Matt Haig through his experience of anxiety and depression, through five sections: “Falling”, “Landing”, “Rising”, “Living” and “Being”.

One of my favourite things about the book is that I don’t think there was a chapter longer than 6 pages, and most chapters were 1-4 pages – it’s well and truly bite-size, which is handy for something that while massively educational for some, has the risk of being triggering for others. It’s not a long book either – it’s quite small in size, well spaced, and only ~250 pages, so really not too intimidating. For what can be a very heavy subject, it’s broken down brilliantly.

For me this book had two very different sides to it. I’ve said before that I have anxiety disorder, and so for that section of the book, I was reading him put into words things I’ve felt but never been able to explain, and just reading about others that have the same struggles is encouraging in knowing you’re not alone. The other half, depression, I have friends that struggle with this, but don’t know a tonne about it myself, and so for this side of the story, it was hugely educational. As someone experienced, and someone clueless, this book had something to say to me.

Some chapters are simply lists: How to be there for someone with depression or anxiety, Things that (sometimes) make me better, and of course, Reasons to stay alive, among many others. There’s also a further reading list at the back.

I’ve put some of my favourite nuggets below, but please please read this book.

  • “Doubts are like swallows. They follow each other and swarm together.”
  • “Adding anxiety to depression is a bit like adding cocaine to alcohol. It presses fast-forward on the whole experience. If you have depression on its own your mind sinks into a swamp and loses momentum, but with anxiety in the cocktail, the swamp is still a swamp but the swamp now has whirlpools in it.”
  • “If pills work for you it doesn’t really matter if this is to do with serotonin or another process or anything else – keep taking them. If licking wallpaper does it for you, do that. I am not anti pill. I am pro anything that works.”
  • “When every bit of you is panicking, then walking is better than standing.”
  • “I was starting to find that, sometimes, simply doing something that I had dreaded – and surviving – was the best kind of therapy.”
  • “I have been ill before, then well again. Wellness is possible.”
  • “Depression is smaller than you. […] It operates within you, you do not operate within it. [..] You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.
  • “To panic without a reason, that’s madness. To panic with a reason, that’s sanity.”
  • “We cannot save ourselves from suffering by buying a [expensive gadget]. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t buy one, it just means we should know such things are not ends in themselves.”
  • “Just as none of us are 100% physically healthy no one is 100$ mentally healthy. We are all on a scale.”

reasons to stay alive





Internet highlights – w/c 6th March 2016

12 03 2016

Website shows what it’s like to have dyslexia

Friends quotes that have become day to day phrases

Unexplainable joys of Britishness

Some of the stupidest IT support questions!

and other musician’s brain’s pie charts

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Sermon Notes: The Eighth Commandment – What’s mine is God’s

11 03 2016

“You shall not steal.”

We live in a corrupt world. Corruption is responsible for about 5% of the global GDP.
We pay the price in insurance, tax, higher prices in shops to cover losses from shop lifting..

Tax avoidance is a huge issue for respectable companies – fraud is theft!

Some forms of theft have almost become normal or even acceptable. Dream holidays that are building sites, taking office stationary, even wasting work time.

A lot of the ten commandments tie together. Theft (8) often stems from coveting (10), can hardly be done without lying (9) and often ties in with idolatry (2).

Consumerism is a religion, shopping centres are the new cathedrals.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” – Luke 16 v 13

The desire to acquire, to keep up with others, is a danger of consumerism.

“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendour,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honour come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” – 1 Chronicles 29 vv 11-12, 14

People have their wealth and possessions, but we’re stewards, not owners. Stealing is therefore an offence against God – it implies the robber is not trusting God for all he needs.

A steward is someone who cares for someone else’s property and manages it to their intentions, not being wasteful or letting it get into disrepair.

Good stewardship means working hard – “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” – Ephesians 4 v 28

Good stewardship involves giving away to those in need

Three attitudes to possessions:

  • What’s yours is mine – Thief
  • What’s mine is mine – Most common attitude
  • What’s mine is God’s – Correct

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6 vv 19-21

Our gifts and talents are from God and are to be used for His glory. When we waste time and fail to use gifts we’re robbing God.

Breaking other commandments robs God of his glory, and so in breaking them, we often break this one.

When we steal, we are saying that what God has given us is not enough.





Internet highlights – w/c 28th February 2016

5 03 2016

If last year’s Eurovision was run with this year’s scoring system

Brilliant combination photos

Where is your surname popular?

Much as I hate to admit it, there are some plot faults in Cinderella

Hilarious take on the Lion King – no seriously, I actually laughed out loud a few times, but warning, does contain swears

A surprisingly excellent reason why a dad is going to get his baby a tattoo

A company is giving women “period leave”

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