The Biblioblog Reference Library

[«] Posts From the Blog "James's Weblog"(#165)

September 20 2017, 2AM

I hit an annoying trouble using the "Stroke Outline" feature of Photoshop Element 14. I then solved it. So I'll share it here for the benefit of others who encounter the same issue. Stroke Outline "Stroke outline" allows you to do something quite simple:...

September 13, 2AM

Daniel chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic; the rest of Daniel (chapter 1, and chapters 8-12) are in Hebrew. The most obvious way to divide Daniel into two is to note that Daniel chapters 1-6 contain stories about Daniel, whereas chapters 7-12 contain vis...

September 6, 2AM

I'll just park this here for future reference. Sometimes you see writers say that certain parts of the Bible are written in the "apocalyptic" style of writing. Recognising the "genre" of part of the Bible can be very important when it comes to reading it ...

August 30, 2AM

“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgement; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making their inductions, I am always sur...

August 23, 2AM

Some commentators worry themselves about the fact that Daniel 4 is a mixture of first person account (Nebuchadnezzar speaking) and third person account (another narrator, writing about Nebuchadnezzar). They think this indicates that Daniel 4 was originall...

August 16, 2AM

A while back, I had a bit of a problem with someone, not me, opening bank / credit card accounts in my name. That meant I had the opportunity to contact the fraud teams at a number of banks. Most of the banks handled things brilliantly. I had cause to rin...

August 7, 9AM

Bishop N. T. ("Tom") Wright, formerly Bishop of Durham, is a well-known biblical scholar. He has produced works that showcase his careful work, such as Jesus and the Victory of God. He has also published books to help any Christian get into the biblical t...

July 26, 2AM

In hot weather, sometimes an iced coffee can be just the thing. Here's my recipe (makes about a pint / 550ml). Needless to say, as with all things coffee, GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. That's to say: Start with good quality coffee beans. I'd recommend so...

July 19, 2AM

A friend recently asked on Facebook about whether to use a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group for his newest project — or indeed whether to run both. For what it's worth, here was my advice (now elaborated upon): General Rule of Thumb: Choose My gener...

July 12, 2AM

Almost every Windows user is familiar with the problem. You have an external hard drive, or a pen drive, attached to your computer. You know the correct way to eject the device: Don't just yank out the lead, because it could corrupt data if the computer w...

July 5, 3AM

Those who have read my reflections on the consecration of Andy Lines as a Bishop in ACNA will know that Archbishop Nicholas Okoh's sermon was a major encouragement to me. In that post, I included some excerpts from that sermon. It may be that some would ...

July 3, 6AM

On Friday 30th June, at 4pm UK time, the Anglican Church of North America held a very special service to close their Provincial Assembly. Canon Andy Lines was consecrated bishop. In a previous post, I wrote about the lead-up and background to this. By the...

June 26, 4AM

Do you remember the "Love Is" cartoons. Occasionally I show them at the start of a wedding sermon. They were a light-hearted slogan to suggest what love looks like in practice, accompanied by a picture of an innocent-looking boy and girl which wittily goe...

3AM

The annual so-called "Pride Festival" runs from Saturday 24th June until Saturday 8th July this year. Lots of businesses, public and private, have chosen to show their support. They're proud to support Pride. The trouble is, "Pride" is not something that ...

June 23, 8AM

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the bestselling books ever written, never out of print since 1678. By way of brief background: It is written as though the narrator dreamt the story, and is an extended allegory of the Christian’s journey t...

June 22, 5AM

Here's a simple tip, which may help some clergy looking to complete their tax returns. Disclaimer: I am not an accountant, so this is not professional advice, merely a tip from a fellow traveller. Needless to say, you are responsible for the figures you p...

June 20, 2AM

Here, once again, is David Gooding, in his book True to the Faith. Read this slowly, let it sink in, and take time to enjoy the amazing mercy and grace of God shown that first Pentecost: “If it is true that Jesus Christ was the Son of the Owner of the v...

June 13, 1AM

Is schism the biggest, or even the only, heresy in today's church? It can seem so. The anonymous Twitter account, operated under the handle @thechurchmouse, recently mused: "Considering whether the heresy of division and disunity is the most prevalent her...

June 7, 2AM

… eventually. I have no idea which way tomorrow's General Election will go. But our parish magazine, The Well, comes out this week or next, and I have a letter in there about the Election. Here it is: Dear Friends I was planning to write some more about...

May 31, 2AM

Why Pentecost? Why did the Spirit come on the church on that day in particular? It's a good question. Jesus ascended on a Thursday; the Spirit did not come for another 10 days. Why the wait? Jesus only said that they'd have to wait for "a few days", but ...

May 24, 5AM

Spam is a problem that never goes away. Email spam. Comment spam. This site has long used Mollom to protect the comment section and the contact form. They're closing down on 2nd April 2018, so lots of webmasters will be looking for alternatives. I'd like...

May 17, 2AM

To give credit where credit is due, some readers may spot echoes of the late Mike Ovey's CD1.1 lecture course in the pen portrait of romanticism below. They'd spot that with good reason. The section is included as a summary, and for the benefit of those n...

May 10, 2AM

In Microsoft Word, there's all the difference in the world between a new paragraph and a new line. To insert a new paragraph, press the Enter key. If you have "show all characters" turned on, you'll see each paragraph break with its "backwards P" icon. Ea...

May 3, 2AM

On Easter Sunday, I preached on Romans 8:18-30. There wasn't time in that service to set those glorious verses in their full context in the book of Romans. But I obviously made sure I was clear on the argument through the letter, so that what I said about...

April 26, 3AM

A few weeks back, I found myself in a group where we were discussing whether weapons are intrinsically evil. One person suggested that weapons cause war. In particular, the British government should outlaw British firms selling arms to foreign nations. It...

April 19, 2AM

When you have something you do not want to forget, do you write it on your hand? Some people write things on the palms of their hands; others write things on the back; others don't do this at all. In Isaiah 49, God is reassuring his people in exile that h...

April 12, 3AM

I often tell people that we need to listen to the gospel writers whenever we read the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are teaching us something by recording the things they do. We need to let them do that. The words Jesus spoke within the gospels wer...

April 5, 3AM

The week before last, tragic events unfolded in London. It seems that a man drove a car at nearly 70 mph into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a policeman on duty at the entry to the Parliamentary Estate. 5 people died, including the atta...

March 28, 9AM

I'll put this here, in case it helps anyone else. I'm owning up to Drupal Schoolboy Error #1. I was writing a very simple module. It did so little, that I wanted to keep things as simple as possible — just a .info file, and a .module file. I then includ...

March 22, 4AM

I often tell people that we need to listen to the gospel writers whenever we read the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are teaching us something by recording the things they do. We need to let them do that. The words Jesus spoke within the gospels wer...

March 15, 4AM

A little while back, the Church of England's weekday lectionary spent some time in Hebrews 7 and Genesis 14. So it was, that I found myself trying to explain as simply as possible why the hard-to-pronounce character of Melchizedek is such good news to hav...

March 8, 4AM

Robin Lustig, former journalist at the BBC, most recently as presenter of The World Tonight, has written a superb blog post entitled Will the law stretch from Srebrenica to Saydnaya?. Go read it - it's not long. He makes a simple point. War crimes from th...

March 1, 5AM

Many people today move towards the Christian faith gradually. Maybe they have friends who are Christians, with whom they talk. They start to attend a local church. Maybe they attend a course such as Christianity Explored or Alpha. Gradually, things come a...

February 24, 6AM

The Gossipy Parrot by Shen Roddie, a story that our children used to love: Godfrey, the parrot loved to make trouble. He used to tell tales on the other animals - "Gorrila says that bee has stung his own bottom." "He does, does he?", says bee - and off he...

February 20, 9AM

I'm bookmarking this here for my own future reference. There's an important article by New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson entitled Homosexuality & The Church: Scripture & Experience. It is published by Commonweal Magazine, which says about...

February 17, 8AM

This is the third in a series of blog posts looking at the decision faced by that Church of England General Synod this week: do they, or do they not, take note of the report by the House of Bishops (GS2055) on human sexuality. Part 1: When it comes to the...

February 15, 2PM

Yesterday, I wrote about the debate before the Church of England's General stood as to whether to take note of the House of Bishops' report into human sexuality. I explained that the document, and the process that led to it, was all about "good disagreem...

February 14, 1PM

How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. (1 Kings 18:21) It is logically impossible to tolerate differences of opinion when it comes to the acceptable boundaries of tolerance. Tomorrow, ...

January 13, 3AM

OK - I'll hold my hands up. The title of this post is misleading. I'm not going to give you an ABC on how to secure a Drupal site (maybe another day). I'm responding to a post on the Reseller Club blog entitled How to Secure Your Client's Drupal Website. ...

January 3, 10AM

A few days back, I set a maths challenge: Prove that, for arbitrarily large N, the total number of gifts given up to and including day N is ( N (N+1) (N+2) ) / 6 I hope you enjoyed it. It's time for a solution: Lemma: Number of gifts on Day N First,...

December 27 2016, 9AM

While we're in the Christmas season, here's a Christmas-themed maths problem. The Christmas season is the 12 days from Christmas Day (25th December) until the day before Epiphany (which is 6th January, so the day before is 5th). From that 12 day period co...

December 13, 5AM

It turns out you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet. Or at least, if the internet gives you some information, use a bit of common sense to check you've been given an answer that feels right, rather than just taking things uncritically a...

December 4, 8AM

It's Advent, which traditionally has two focii. The season is about preparing for the coming of Christ. The more obvious half of that is preparing to celebrate Christmas. The other side to it is about the final return of Christ to this world, when he come...

December 3, 10AM

I don't normally moan online about things, but I think there's a cautionary tale here that's worth broadcasting. You see something you can buy online, and you have no way of knowing whether it's a reliable purchase until you try it. In our case, the amoun...

December 2, 10AM

This is just a short post: PHP released version 7.1 yesterday. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to get this version out of the door. Especial congratulations to Davey Shafik and Joe Watkins, the release managers, and to Anatol Belski who me...

November 11, 5AM

I'd taken a break from reading other people's blogs, but when I had a look to see what I'd been missing I found a superb 4-part essay by Peter Leithart on the subject of paedocommunion - the admission of baptised children to the Lord's Table. Part 1: This...

November 4, 5AM

Apple no longer supports its QuickTime player. Both the player and the browser plugins were found to have security flaws which meant a malicious website could trick you to playing a doctored file in the player / plugin, which would then allow those vulner...

October 28, 3AM

4 times a year, the three main congregations across our two churches meet together for a combined service. They're great times, with a full building, hearty singing, and the chance for fellowship across congregations who don't often get to worship all tog...

October 21, 4AM

I'll post this here in case anyone else is searching for this issue Since my computer updated to Windows 10, build number 1607 (also known as the "Anniversary Update", because it was a feature release timed to coincide with a year since the first release ...

October 18, 4AM

It's customary to refer to Revelation chapters 2 and 3 as the "Letters to the Seven Churches". As I've studied, and we've preached, our way through these chapters, I'm not convinced that's the best heading to give them. In fact, the whole of Revelation is...

October 11, 7AM

I've heard Revelation 3:20 used many times in an evangelistic talk: Jesus stands at the door of your life and knocks — will you let him in? Here's the verse: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will c...

October 4, 2AM

Here's a simple tech tip for you. You're signed up to some mailing list. It could be for special offers from a business you shop at. It could be a newsletter for a charity. It could be just about anything. In comes something that you think is particularly...

September 27, 7AM

Sometimes I hear it said that Old Testament ethics can be summed up in the command to fear God, and New Testament ethics can be summed up in the command to love God. Related, it is sometimes observed that the Old Testament summary of the law is ten senten...

September 20, 4AM

As I've been studying the individual messages to the 7 churches (Revelation 2-3), I've been very struck by the way Jesus addresses both each church collectively, and also the individuals within it. Take the message to Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) as an exam...

September 13, 4AM

"Mum, why did that man say that Jesus was a potato?" So asked the three-year old girl. Did I say that? Well, not exactly. But it was something like this: We were looking, a few weeks back, at John 12:23-33 during our all-age service. Jesus has been approa...

September 6, 4AM

A techy post - we haven't had one of those here for a while. The Problem: Apache 2.4 timing out I noticed occasional timeout messages coming back from monitors keeping an eye on Apache 2.4 on a server. (Centos 7.2.1511 and Apache 2.4.6 if it makes any dif...

August 30, 3AM

Here's Paul Gardner on Revelation 1: In a modern church which spends much time encouraging Christians to regard Jesus as ‘friend and brother’, this passage reminds us that if the Son of Man appeared to us right now we would fall at his feet before his...

August 23, 3AM

3 times in the book of Revelation we get this phrase - “Who was, and is, and is to come”. “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne” (Revelation 1:4) “‘I am the Alpha...

August 16, 2AM

I'll put this up here, because this may be of help to someone else at some point, but I'm a bit tentative about doing so. In working on preaching from Revelation chapter 1, I found it helpful to make an audio recording of the Greek of that chapter. Once I...

August 9, 4AM

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us. Where might we look in the Bible to see th...

August 2, 4AM

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us. Where might we look in the Bible to see th...

July 26, 4AM

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us. Where might we look in the Bible to see th...

July 19, 4AM

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us. Where might we look in the Bible to see th...

July 12, 11AM

The Drupal Security team has just released a public security announcement, PSA 2016-001. There will be multiple releases of Drupal contributed modules on Wednesday July 13th 2016 16:00 UTC that will fix highly critical remote code execution vulnerabilitie...

July 7, 4AM

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us. Where might we look in the Bible to see th...

June 30, 3AM

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us. But many Christians are brought up to beli...

June 24, 5AM

Yesterday, the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. In no particular order, here are a few thoughts on where we go from here. 1. Rebuilding Trust I was appalled at the campaigns run by both the "Remain" and the "Leave" camps. ...

June 20, 3AM

A few weeks ago (Trinity Sunday as it happened - this was the lectionary gospel reading this year), I preached on John 16:12-15. That passage includes this sentence concerning the Spirit: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into al...

June 13, 1AM

Just bookmarking this page for future reference: Are Christian converts seeking asylum getting a raw deal? In summary, if someone arrives in Britain, and they are claiming assylum because they are Muslim who has converted to Christianity, how would an imm...

June 6, 1AM

The Independent reported on Thursday, with a piece entitled: “Humanists threaten further legal action over ‘unlawful’ Religious Studies GCSE syllabus”. You can also read about it in the TES. A New National Curriculum Here's the background, as laid...

May 31, 3AM

A small note for Anglican clergy who read this blog. Until very recently, when I led the "signing of the marriage registers" after a wedding, here is how I did it: 1. The groom signs 3 copies (the two marriage registers, and what will be their marriage ce...

May 26, 2AM

Drupal 7 and below came with an optional module you can use in your input formats - the "PHP Filter". This allows you to put PHP code into the content of your webpages, and Drupal will process the PHP before rendering the page. PHP Filter - a Bad Idea ™...

May 24, 4AM

In a couple of week's time, the Lectionary gospel reading will be Luke 7:11-17: Soon afterwards, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out...

December 18 2015, 9AM

My friend Neil Robbie, vicar of Holy Trinity West Bromwich, has written an advent lament, called "Broken". He takes a long hard look at modern Britain, that is both informed and compassionate, and asks the question: "What has gone wrong?", but also "What ...
My friend Neil Robbie, vicar of Holy Trinity West Bromwich, has written an advent lament, called "Broken". He takes a long hard look at modern Britain, that is both informed and compassionate, and asks the question: "What has gone wrong?", but also "What ...

2AM

I've recommended to several of my friends that they try the subscription service over at Has Bean Coffee. It's called In My Mug, and you can order to receive a different coffee every time - either weekly, fortnightly or monthly, over either a month, quart...
I've recommended to several of my friends that they try the subscription service over at Has Bean Coffee. It's called In My Mug, and you can order to receive a different coffee every time - either weekly, fortnightly or monthly, over either a month, quart...

October 11, 1PM

Last week, to appropriate fanfares, Drupal 8 reached Release Candidate stage. That means Drupal 8 tagged releases now have an upgrade path between them, and it also means (very nearly) complete API / hook stability - which means this is the cue for some s...
Last week, to appropriate fanfares, Drupal 8 reached Release Candidate stage. That means Drupal 8 tagged releases now have an upgrade path between them, and it also means (very nearly) complete API / hook stability - which means this is the cue for some s...

September 29, 11AM

This post is unlikely to interest any of my regular readers, but I'll post it here for the benefit of those who search for the solution to this exact problem. I used to use the FVD Speed Dial extension for Firefox. Starting with about Firefox 40, this got...
This post is unlikely to interest any of my regular readers, but I'll post it here for the benefit of those who search for the solution to this exact problem. I used to use the FVD Speed Dial extension for Firefox. Starting with about Firefox 40, this got...

September 22, 12 AM

I've never used it, but I know a lot of people who do. For years, AVG have offered a free anti-virus product. You have to put up with the fact that it will put a signature on the end of your email messages, letting the recipient know that AVG Free scanned...
I've never used it, but I know a lot of people who do. For years, AVG have offered a free anti-virus product. You have to put up with the fact that it will put a signature on the end of your email messages, letting the recipient know that AVG Free scanned...

July 25, 4AM

Question: Who said this? Christianity isn't a list of rules to follow or a strict theological code. It is primarily about a relationship with a God whose character means that he seeks a relationship with you. The Bible is full to the brim of accounts of G...
Question: Who said this? Christianity isn't a list of rules to follow or a strict theological code. It is primarily about a relationship with a God whose character means that he seeks a relationship with you. The Bible is full to the brim of accounts of G...

July 23, 9AM

Psalm 33:3 says this: Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy. Note the three ingredients here of how we are instructed to sing to God. A new song. Caution is needed here. Elsewhere, the appeal to sing new songs stems from God doing new ...
Psalm 33:3 says this: Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy. Note the three ingredients here of how we are instructed to sing to God. A new song. Caution is needed here. Elsewhere, the appeal to sing new songs stems from God doing new ...

July 14, 3AM

God doesn't just need to patch us up, he gives us new birth and makes us brand new creatures. Mounce quotes Chrysostom's fifth homily whilst commenting on Titus 3:5. Titus 3:5 says this: But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved...
God doesn't just need to patch us up, he gives us new birth and makes us brand new creatures. Mounce quotes Chrysostom's fifth homily whilst commenting on Titus 3:5. Titus 3:5 says this: But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved...

May 28, 3PM

My friend Steve Jeffery posted a short post on his minister's blog. So short, it's hard to know which bit to quote. And yet so wonderful, so true, and so necessary to be chewed over, that I think I'll just quote all of it. I hope Steve doesn't mind - espe...
My friend Steve Jeffery posted a short post on his minister's blog. So short, it's hard to know which bit to quote. And yet so wonderful, so true, and so necessary to be chewed over, that I think I'll just quote all of it. I hope Steve doesn't mind - espe...

April 5, 1AM

John, in his Gospel, loves the motifs of light and dark. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. When Judas slipped out of the last supper to betray Jesus, it was night. John's account of the empty tomb records Mary Magdalene going to the tomb "while it was sti...
John, in his Gospel, loves the motifs of light and dark. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. When Judas slipped out of the last supper to betray Jesus, it was night. John's account of the empty tomb records Mary Magdalene going to the tomb "while it was sti...

March 5, 5AM

... That was the question I was asked by a member of our church one Wednesday morning, during our midweek Communion service. We had just had readings on the great Christian hope - that one day, Jesus will return to this earth and renew it. It will be free...

December 16, 5AM

I owe to my friend John Goulding the following observation: In Jonah 4, God provided a plant to shield Jonah from the heat. The verb "to provide" is a key-word in Jonah - it's מָנָה (manah). The worm that ate the manah / the provided plant was a תּ...

December 8, 4PM

In case you missed it, Drush has evolved recently. Quick primer for beginners follows. (Although, if you haven't heard of Drush, the chances are this post was not written with you in mind. I blog about many subjects, and there aren't many readers who are ...

December 3, 8AM

It's Advent. It's widely acknowledged that there are some TV shows that are timeless, and deserve to be watched at Christmas time. The film It's a Wonderful Life, various editions of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, and so on. It is ...

October 10, 1AM

I'm a believer in paying for things. "Don't steal" - it's one of the ten commandments. That means, if I want to use a stock photo on a website, on a flyer, on a poster, it should be with the copyright-holder's permission. It's their photo, and it's up to ...

September 9, 5AM

This week, I'm wrestling with the book of Ecclesiastes, in preparation for preaching on chapter 12 this coming Sunday. It's hard work. It appears to be a book that doesn't want to be understood. Many writers have tried to pin down its structure, but beyon...

September 7, 10PM

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; He with the King of Glory shall reign eternally. (Apparently, Stand up, stand up for Je...

September 2, 7AM

Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:17) There's much debate as to exactly what that means. Jesus couldn't mean that adults have to be like children in every sense, as ...

July 16, 2AM

I had a really interesting conversation this last week on the subject of what proportions of sermons here should be on which parts of Scripture. (I said that I try to aim at 1/3 each of Old Testament, Gospel, and rest of New Testament - after using some w...

July 14, 12 PM

THE Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God’s word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnan...

1AM

Yesterday, I had two very interesting conversations after church services, which set off the following thoughts. (What follows is not something I said to either person, although it might have been helpful if I had done). Red Letters Many English Bibles pr...

July 1, 3AM

Lots of people's discovery of the Christian faith goes something like this: They start out thinking that it's all about being good. If we're good enough, God might just accept us. They then discover the wonderful news the Bible calls "grace". Jesus did no...

June 12, 3AM

Oh, the pain of leaving things out. I'm preaching on 1 Kings 11-12 on Sunday. As is always the case with preaching, the aim is to help people to hear what that part of Scripture is saying to us today. And in order to be clear, you have to be ruthless. So ...

June 9, 3PM

The BBC News website headlined an article with this picture of some of the European political leaders today. What's missing? Blog Category: Current Affairs

June 5, 12 PM

I'm preaching on 1 Kings 2 this Sunday, and it's a trickier passage than it first looks. David had previously overlooked two murders committed by his commander in chief, Joab, and pardoned the insolent Shimei. Then the time comes to hand over the kingdom ...

4AM

If I'm right, the so-called "story of the widow's mite" (Mark 12:41-44) is one of the most abused passages in the New Testament. We must read this story in its context. Before Immediately before the incident, Jesus has been warning people about the scribe...

May 23, 2AM

As you read the 4 gospels, there are a number of pressure points: Will Jesus and his disciples be faithful to how God says the world should be saved? Or will they turn from God's way of doing things? These all seem to happen in threes. At the start of Jes...

May 8, 5AM

AttachmentSize core_update.sh (rename from .txt)2.24 KB Yesterday, Drupal 7.28 was released. People rush to upgrade, knowing that there will be a tranche of bug-fixes that may resolve longstanding issues. People hesitate to upgrade, because updatin...

2AM

I've never noticed this before. Sometimes, you notice something in the Bible, it's then so obvious that you wonder why you didn't see it there before. That's a good sign that it's on the right track - it's noticing what's there, rather than reading in thi...

April 8, 8AM

Today is the day that Microsoft's Windows XP reaches "EOL" (End of Life) status. That means they won't be issuing any more updates for it. If security researchers (good guys), or hackers (bad guys), find vulnerabilities with it, Microsoft won't be issuing...

April 4, 3AM

I'm not sure what to conclude from this data, but I've just looked through the 4 gospels to identify the occasions on which Jesus was offered wine to drink, in one form or another. It seems that he was offered wine 4 times. He refused it the first time, w...

March 14, 2AM

My friend, Steve Jeffery, has posted an excellent article on logical fallacies. Of his own admission, little of it is original to him, although it draws things together helpfully. There are a 5 brief introductory comments, the first of which explains what...

February 28, 10AM

Did you know that Leviticus 20:21 was partly responsible for starting the protestant reformation in England. It is often said that Henry VIII needed to separate from the Church of Rome so that he could divorce Catherine of Aragon. It is therefore said tha...

February 7, 6AM

In Acts chapter 13, Paul meets a magician on Cyprus. I wonder if, as you read that, you found yourself thinking this was familiar. Ah yes, there was another magician in Acts chapter 8. There, Simon the Magician met with Philip, and then with Peter. Here B...

February 6, 6AM

Two very important things happen in Exodus chapter 24. Both are designed to encourage the people of Israel that God is serious about having them as his people. First, the covenant God has made with them is confirmed with blood. Animals are killed, and the...

February 4, 5AM

Exodus chapter 19 is a very important chapter. Many of us know well the story of the Passover, the Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea. Exodus 19 tells us where this was heading - the ultimate plan. God says, in verse 4, "I brought you to myself". God ...

February 2, 8AM

The Sea by James via James's Weblog (#25452)
This morning, at our 8 am service, we had two readings. They weren't picked because they belonged together. We had Exodus 14 because we've resting the whole Bible as a church and this is where we've got to in the Old Testament. We had Matthew 8 because th...

January 7, 4AM

Many Christians struggle with the conquest of Canaan in the Old Testament. We don't get there until the book of Joshua, but to the modern mind it can seem like barbaric genocide. The people of Israel were told to conquer the land of Canaan, which was alre...

December 23 2013, 5AM

I love Christmas carols. Really I do. We had a great night yesterday, with about 20 from our church singing carols in lots of the public spaces in the village, joined in each place by some who live nearby. But sometimes, honestly... In second place is the...

December 19, 6AM

I'm preparing the third of a series of three sermons on end-times and the Christian hope. (Do join us at 10.30 on Sunday if you're around). It's great to spend a few weeks thinking about how good God's promises are, and how wonderful the future will be. I...

December 17, 3AM

It's the time of year for Christmas carol services. On Sunday night, at ours, we sang Wesley's final verse of "Hark! The herald-angels sing". It's an absolute cracker, rich in biblical theology, that praises Christ for his work in a full way, and prays th...

December 16, 3AM

I love the idea that we can buy produce here that makes a real difference to the people who make it. The whole "Fair Trade" movement is built on this ideal. But "Fair Trade" (with capital F, capital T) is only one way to do it. The Fair Trade organisation...

December 11, 5AM

I must have read Matthew 11:27-30 a thousand times before: All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come t...

December 10, 4AM

The two churches of Kemsing and Woodlands in Kent are going on an ambitious journey together in 2014. We're going on a Bible tour. Here's the plan: Read the whole Bible through 2014, in step with one another. In that sense, it's a communal read-through. (...

November 20, 9AM

AttachmentSize update_modsecurity.txt7.72 KB Phew, the heading of this post was a mouthful! This post is a technical one, that probably won't interest many of my regular readers. However I know there are plenty of people looking for how to do this,...

November 11, 5AM

Once every 2-4 months, we have an informal evening service in Kemsing under the name of "Digging Deeper". We sing a few songs, and say a few prayers, but most of our time is devoted to taking some topic addressed by the Bible and digging deeper together i...

October 21, 1AM

On a Monday morning I'm always exhausted. Sundays take it out of me. That means I often use the lion's share of Mondays to get admin done, or other things that take time but don't require the most intensive thought. But over the years I've learnt the valu...

October 3, 6AM

Please Update Earlier this week, I got several automated e-mails from Drupal sites I manage. The e-mails told me that some of the modules I use had a new version, so I was advised to log in and upgrade. Puzzling I was puzzled to see that one of the module...

September 17, 2AM

This coming weekend, I'll be at Otford Manor, the base of Oak Hall Expeditions, for a teaching weekend. Roughly 4 times a year, they run weekends under the title of "Unlocking the Bible", at which a speaker takes one book of the Bible, and seeks to unpack...

September 6, 4AM

This week, I've been pondering how the individual paragraphs of Matthew 7 fit into the whole chapter. It's always a mistake to take a paragraph of Scripture away from its context, and to read it with no regard to where it comes. In this case, these paragr...

September 5, 4AM

On Monday, I posted about the difficulties in reading Matthew 7 as a whole. Far easier to read a paragraph in isolation; hard to articulate what the chapter as a whole is about and how each paragraph contributes to that. Yesterday, I had a go at trying to...

September 4, 3AM

On Monday, I posted about the difficulties in reading Matthew 7 as a whole. Far easier to read a paragraph in isolation; hard to articulate what the chapter as a whole is about and how each paragraph contributes to that. Today, I'm going to have a stab at...

September 2, 4AM

Both Matthew 5 and Matthew 6 have a clear structure. Each chapter also has a clear message - Jesus seems to be developing one clear theme in each chapter. This is not the place to go into what the structure and message of each chapter is. By contrast, Mat...

July 30, 4AM

Photo: Germán Póo-CaamañoLots of churches have had their summer holiday clubs for children - they do them as soon as term finishes. We do ours the other end of the summer - just after the bank holiday weekend. (Quick plug: If you live in or near Kemsin...

July 22, 2AM

I'm just coming to the end of a preaching series in 1 John. (11 sermons down, 1 to go on 1 John 5:13-21). This short letter will get another outing in September in a different context. As I've preached through 1 John chapter 5, it has increasingly felt th...

July 19, 8AM

Since 2008, I've been using Opera as my main web browser. There were a few things I couldn't do on it - a few websites checked which browser you were using and stoutly refused to go any further if you were using Opera. For the main, it had a light memory ...

July 15, 8AM

Coming across through a few old files on the computer, I found something I'd written on Job - ooh, back in 2007. At least, I think I wrote it. If someone else recognises this as their thoughts and writing on Job, I apologise. And I thank you. Anyway - I w...

July 13, 2AM

Photo: Scot NelsonA little exchange on Facebook last week made me think it was time to write a basic guide to the two most common types of coffee. This will be very familiar ground to any readers with a keen interest in coffee, but may be new ground for s...

June 24, 6AM

I cannot grow plants. It's true that I'm not very good at gardening, or even at caring for house plants. But that's not what I mean. Even if I do remember to water them, put them in the right place, prune them, leave them alone when they need it - I can't...

June 22, 12 AM

Yesterday, the PHP group announced the first stable release of PHP 5.5. This is great news. I shall compile it very shortly so that it can optionally be used on this server. That will allow me to test my various Drupal sites against PHP 5.5, to see if the...

June 12, 1AM

Two of the people from Has Bean Coffee have produced a free e-book on how to brew espresso, and how to tune that process until you are getting the exact drink you want. When this was first written, it was only available to those who had an iOS device - wh...

June 7, 3AM

I've known Sam Allberry for about 15 years now. I've long appreciated his clarity as a teacher, preacher and writer. I now admire his courage and honesty as well. Sam has a new book coming out shortly, entitled "Is God Anti-Gay?" That's a good question. M...

May 25, 5AM

Today, I'd like to introduce you to cascara. It's not a kind of make-up. It's not a sequence of waterfalls. It's a byproduct of the coffee producing process, which most people in these shores haven't heard of. Yet in the coffee producing regions it is tur...

May 24, 2AM

Sometimes, during our evening services, there is plenty of time for discussion. Recently, we were having a session looking at the name of God, and I was asked a question. I answered it as best I could, but I've been thinking about it some more since. I th...

May 23, 4AM

I just got a call. The caller display showed "international". The accent was foreign. Operator: "Hello, this is N calling from the technical department of Windows Computer Systems. Could I speak to the main user please." Me: "I'm sorry, there is no compan...

May 21, 1AM

I feel prompted to post part of Psalm 2 this morning 1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,3 “Let us burst ...

May 20, 7AM

Drupal websites don't always need to allow users to register themselves with an account. This site doesn't, for instance. Anonymous commenting is turned on. The contact form is enabled for anonymous users. And those are the only thing that any member of t...

May 14, 12 PM

Here's why you should never trust the autocomplete feature of Google Blog Category: Technology

May 7, 7AM

I've used the services of Pingdom for a long time to keep track of how my websites are loading. They will check any website from ten different servers around the world, as often as once a minute. You can look at graphs of how the load time varies with tim...

May 3, 4AM

For those who don't know, a Hot Top is a home coffee roaster that operates a bit like a miniature version of the commercial roasters. It roasts in a perforated steel drum that rotates while the air temperature around it ramps up to the right temperature. ...

April 24, 6AM

Getting Things Done David Allen, in Getting Things Done, has lots of very useful tips on how to keep on top of all the things that need to be done. I don't think you need to adopt his method in an all-or-nothing way, although if taken as a whole approach ...

April 18, 3AM

I've just taken delivery of the commentary on 1-3 John by Colin Kruse, published in the Pillar series by IVP. One of the questions that any student of 1 John has to ask is who the opponents are. There apear to be some false teachers infiltrating the churc...

April 16, 6AM

Smalley, commenting on 1 John 2:3, is very helpful on the place of obedience in the Christian life. “Just as the ‘amount’ of one’s knowledge of God is less important than the direction of that knowledge (whether one knows God at all), so the ‘am...

February 12, 6AM

Steve Leighton, proprietor of Has Bean Coffee, has been on a trip to Kenya. Naturally, this is doubly close to my heart, and so it was interesting to read his thoughts on his return. There's an encouraging twist in there that we can expect some good Kenya...

February 6, 9AM

Some of you are thinking "that's obvious!". First, a little bit of background for those of you from other countries who are fortunate enough to have missed this one. Until last Monday, 4th February, Chris Huhne was Member of Parliament for the constituenc...

January 28, 2AM

This blog has posts on a number of themes, and this one is technology related; for the rest of you, I shall see you later on. If you don't understand the title of this post, then it's probably not written with you in mind! Edit: cPanel 11.36 introduces RP...

January 23, 2PM

Genesis 2:18 describes God making Eve as a "helper" (עֵזֶר) for Adam. This particular word occurs 19 times in the Old Testament, and it pays to notice carefully what it does and does not mean elsewhere. 2 are in Genesis 2 (Gen 2:18; 2:20) 4 are prope...

6AM

What was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and why was it a sin to eat its fruit? Bruce Waltke is very helpful, on page 86 of his Genesis commentary: ‘Good and evil’ is a merism for all moral knowledge: the capacity to create a system of ethics ...