Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson

I'm not the first to blog, tweet or comment on this and I'm certain I won't be the last.

I was shocked to find out this morning. Just after I started the van up and was setting off to work the radio came on with the news: Michael Jackson has died.

He was a leader in the music industry and really helped to shake things up. He was an eccentric character (aren't all the best geniuses eccentric?) and was greatly troubled. Those close to him should never have allowed him to get into the situation with those children, however innocent he may have been - this was his ruin. His fortune, his possessions, his lifestyle and his vibrant character were robbed from him.

I pray that God will be with his family and his children at this time. I hope the fans are courteous and gracious, even those that paid a lot of money for O2 tickets (see for more info).

The king is dead! Long live the king? To be honest, I don't know who could take on that crown next, is there anyone big enough?

Thanks to the British way of dealing with such things, expect a lot of jokes to come out in the next few days.

All I can say is "Thank you for the music" and I hope he was saved so we can boogie down in heaven!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Practical Holiness

I've re-started following Captain Andrew Bale's blog after a time of neglect - in fact, I've neglected to follow any blogs for sometime until discovering the incredible usefulness of Google Reader!

Anyway, fitting in perfectly with what I've been thinking recently came this post on his blog It includes his manifesto for practical holiness (my description, not his):

I believe that the following lifestyle manifesto is a gift from God, it is not an attempt to earn God's blessing but is a response to blessings already received, it is not an attempt to win 'salvation by works' it is a commitment to see God's words reflected in my actions. This manifesto is an extension of my Articles of War, and is from now on a sacred part of my Salvationist covenant. I would encourage others to sign up.

  • As long as people are hungry I will only eat the minimum required to remain healthy.
  • As long as people go thirsty I will only drink water.
  • I will not waste or mince my words while there are people who remain deaf to God's word.
  • I will not abuse my freedom in Christ but will use it to release those who are bound by sin and addiction.
  • In a world of increasing leisure and dubious entertainment I surrender all my spare time to God to reach the distracted.
  • In a world of increasing materialism and consumerism I will embrace poverty (as much as I practically can) and surrender my money to God to reach the dissatisfied and sell all personal possessions which are not essential to my mission.
  • In a fragmented world of broken relationships, where individuals are increasingly marginalised, I will not forget my own family in my enthusiastic efforts to welcome the excluded.
  • I will remember that rest is a command and obey it even though to do so is against the grain.
  • In an environment damaged through the apathy of greedy industry and lazy humanity I will use the minimum of both natural resources and energy. Practically, I will wash only with cold water, walk (where possible instead of drive) and where I can travel by public transport.
  • In a world of political, economic and social oppression I will fight for social justice, champion the cause of the forgotten and bring those out of sight into mind. I will make myself aware of, and join in, campaigns for social justice, I will use any purchasing power that comes my way to shop ethically.
  • In a world of political correctness and Christian hypocrisy I will hate and oppose the sin but adamantly refuse to hate the sinner - I will love the unloved as Christ loves me.
  • I am a resource in God's hands made freely available for him to spend as he wishes. I give myself totally and without any reservation to God and the Salvation War.
  • I am dead long live Jesus
Definitely inspiring stuff, I think I'll have to spend some time getting to grips with how this would affect my life and what steps I need to take to make my life more in-line with what I profess. I guess I may spend some time addressing these points one by one over the next few weeks.

Friday, 5 June 2009

The problem with consistency

Followers of my gorgeous wife's blog will know that we're trying to live an organic and ethical life - she sums it up perfectly as SOLES (Seasonal, Organic, Local, Ethical and Sustainable). As Christians we believe we should do no less (it's part of our holiness), and would encourage the rest of you to give it a try.

There's only one problem with making a statement like this, only one problem with making this stand: consistency. Now that we have made this decision we cannot go back on it and we really shouldn't compromise.

At the moment we're going through a bit of a financial crisis. Ho hum, it happens. We're trying to work it all out. In the meantime, we're buying more expensive stuff, because of our rules. Normally in this situation, I would have downgraded as much as possible to ASDA Smartprice, not this time (and never again). So what do we do?

We're trying to eat less, waste less and make more of what we have. We're trying to buy the minimum we can. It's tough, but people used to live like this all the time. For instance, the other week we had quite a lot of our vegetable box left over, so I made stew out of it and froze them. Minimal waste. Perfect!

Look out for tips on saving and making your ethical produce go as far as possible on Lucy's blog.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Say goodbye to "Pick Your Own"...

The idiots of this land have done it again. Taken away something beautiful just because they can't look where they're walking.
There won't be as many Pick Your Own places any more, because the Health and Safety inspectors are saying they're too dangerous and demanding a lot of expensive "improvements", on top of that Insurance companies are pushing up their premiums. Why? Because some stupid woman is suing some Pick Your Own farm because she fell over.
Did she not know she was on a farm? Did she not look where she was going? Did she not enjoy the opportunity to have strawberries so fresh because you have just taken them from the plant?
People don't seem to understand the damage they do by suing someone else, they just think about themselves and how they can make some money out of an accident. Well because of this one woman, a British summer-time institution is slipping away.
See this BBC article for more information:
Goodbye "Pick Your Own" and thanks for all the fruit!