Blog Archives

The Modesty Wraps E-Petition

Whenever we go into our local Co-Op, it has no facility to put anything high up on an aisle. That includes the magazines. My eight-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son are confronted almost at their eye level by the despicable excuse for journalism that is known as ‘lads’ mags’ – Nuts, Zoo and their ilk. Why they should face this message that the way for a woman to attract men is to strip off is beyond me. I really should speak to the manager of the store.

So while I’m not the biggest fan of e-petitions to Government, here’s one I want to support and have signed. It is a campaign to make ‘modesty wraps’ a legal requirement. That is, something should be wrapped around these magazines and other worse titles so that people are not assaulted by these images. We’re not going to get these trashy comics banned, but this might be the next best thing.

Sign the petition here. Follow the founder of the campaign on Google+ here. Join the Facebook group  here. From the Facebook group I have learned that the issue started with another Co-Op store, and it seems to be a particular issue with this company that makes such big noises about its ethical stances. They say they are ‘good for everyone’: let’s see whether they mean it. I hope they do.

There is an excellent blog post here on the subject.

Please sign the petition. Please make it known. Please encourage others to support the campaign.

Emails In Envelopes

Is this an early April Fool’s joke? Note it was published yesterday, not today, but it sounds like an April Fool to me.

It reminds me of a true story from some years ago. At one of my churches, I persuaded the Church Council to put the church office on the Internet. This was dial-up days, by the way, with fears of large phone bills for connecting.

One day, a few weeks after the deed had been done, one of my colleagues said, “Dave, I have a question for you.”


“Those emails. They come in envelopes. How do they do that?”

I paused for thought. What was he on about? Then I thought I realised.

“You mean the envelope icon next to the message?”

“No,” he said, “the emails come in actual envelopes. How does that happen?”

At which point I realised. The church administrator printed off all his emails and put them in envelopes for him.

A Fun Game On Google

So here’s some fun you can have on Google. In the search box, enter ‘Do’ followed by the name of a corporate body, or ‘Does’ followed by the name of a famous person, and see what suggestions for possible searches come up. It’s good for a bit of inane fun.

Via Louis Gray on FriendFeed.

Sabbatical, Day 85: Random Links And Thoughts

 There’s not a lot to report today on the cat front. Debbie had a long phone conversation with a woman who runs what amounts to a clearing house for people who cannot keep their pets. We’ve expressed an interest in two separate pairs of cats, and now await a call back regarding arrangements to visit them.

In the area of church and sabbatical, there is also little to say today for delicate reasons.

So instead of the usual, I offer you a pot-pourri. (No, not popery, Mr Paisley.)

Here are some interesting links I came across. 

Some Video Fun 
How about Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody played on old school computer equipment?

(Via the weekly Mojo magazine email.) 

Here’s a parody of the Christian worship – ahem – ‘industry’:


Jesus Stuff 

Not a link, but a couple of great quotes from an interview with J John in the Summer 2009 issue of New Wine magazine, pages 10 and 11:

If we are all witnesses, does that mean we are all evangelists? 
Not everyone is an evangelist, but everyone is a witness. In a court of law, you have a lawyer who takes the facts and presents them in a convincing manner. As an evangelist, that’s what I do. I take the facts and try to get people to the point where they are convinced that Christianity is true. An evangelist will communicate much more of the substance of Christianity.

But if you are a follower of Jesus, then you are a witness. And a witness in the court stands up and says, ‘Well I don’t know very much, but let me tell you my story.’ Everyone that’s a follower of Jesus has a testimony of what Jesus has done for them. Therefore everyone can answer. It’s not hard at all.

How do you approach people of other faiths? 
I don’t get defensive. Rather, I ask questions such as: in what way does your faith help you in your life, give you confidence for the future or help you face death? I reveal cracks in their philosophy and show them that in Christ, we have a confidence and a hope. But I wouldn’t ever put people down. All we have to do is lift Jesus up.

(This material copyright New Wine Magazine and used with permission.)

Chopping down the Sunday tree: radical thoughts on how to approach a potentially dying church from Graham Peacock. HT: Maggi Dawn.

Mr Tweet recommended Mike Todd on Twitter to me. I found his blog, Waving Or Drowning, and among a feast of riches I found in this post a brilliant quote from Brian McLaren about what Christians might consider to be a proper view from the economic crisis. Do read it. He says that we might contemplate recovery in the way an addict does, in which case we don’t want recovery to be a return to our old addictive highs, but a facing of the addictions.

1st Web Designer: 28 Online Photo Editing Sites To Have Fun With – via@problogger.

Read-Write Web has great first impressions of Wolfram-Alpha, not a ‘Google killer’ search engine but a ‘computational knowledge engine’ that will cross over into Wikipedia‘s domain. TechCrunch reports there will be a public preview on Tuesday, streamed live from Harvard.

Sabbatical, Day 59: Google Hoaxes, Tim Keller And A Poorly Wife

Given that tomorrow is April Fool’s Day, here is a record of Google hoaxes in past years.

I find it a useful practice to read an evangelistic book every now and again. However, it’s a long time since I read one. Last week at Lee Abbey, I noticed they had cheap copies of Tim Keller‘s books ‘The Reason for God‘ and ‘The Prodigal God‘. I haven’t yet read the former, which is a book of apologetics, but I have completed the latter this morning.

It is a winsome and powerful meditation on what Keller calls ‘The parable of the two lost sons’, for both the younger and elder brothers in the famous parable are are lost. The younger is lost in devotion to selfish pleasure, and the elder is lost in self-righteousness. God is the true Prodigal, being reckless with generous love and grace. Only that unconditional grace changes people, and only that gives a healthy motivation for sacrificial service and a life of justice. I warmly recommend it.

Since finishing it today, I have begun to read ‘The Reason for God’ in between clearing down some of last week’s accumulated four hundred plus emails and – more seriously – a poorly wife. Last night, Debbie struggled with a vicious headache. This morning, she was washed out and has spent much of the day in bed. Tonight, she took her temperature at 39.5°C, so we’ll hit that with Paracetamol and keep an eye on it. At bedtime this evening, Rebekah said to her, “I wish I had a wish, because I would wish you back to normal.”

A Quick Plug For A Struggling Charitable Cause

Microsoft, actually. (Well, they have recently announced 5000 redundancies.) Office Live Workspace is by no means the first online collaborative tool – Google, Zoho and others beat them to it ages ago. But this one uses full-blown MS applications, which people are used to (whether you like them or not, familiarity counts for something). We’re starting to use it in my circuit for the ‘Plan’. I’ve just set up an online diary for a group of evangelical churches who want to make sure that when they organise an event, another church isn’t already doing something the same day. It’s not public on the web, but only accessible to those whom you invite to view and/or edit it.

Google Chrome

The blogosphere is awash with comments on Google Chrome, the new web browser. This is just a quick note to confirm that in my opinion it’s far and away the fastest browser I’ve ever used. The latest beta can be downloaded here. It’s only 474kb in size – quite remarkable. It probably won’t have the customisation possible with Firefox through add-ons, but one thing I am uninstalling is one of my other backup browsers, Apple Safari, which is based on the same Webkit open source engine. I retain Internet Explorer because I have to, and Opera because I like it. But I think Chrome will be my main alternative to Firefox now.