Friday, March 15, 2013

A Ranty Blog Entry

Dear Reader, I am feeling quite irritated. Nothing major you understand, but, a conversation had in the Social Media Sphere this morning has got under my skin.
It took place in my module group - the module being Arts Past and Present, for which we had to study the play Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. We will also be looking at the Dalai Lama. This morning one of the other students asked what beliefs the rest of us had. The discussion that followed was enlightening to say the least. I reproduce the gist of it here, some of it is direct quoting, some of it is the highlights, I left out the profanities and sarcasm. Please note that questions remain unanswered and the sense of hostility when a person says they believe the bible.


Live and let live

Respect the beliefs of others



Don’t criticise those with other beliefs


Religion is controlling, causes war and is full of paedophiles and get rich quick con artists, it does more harm than good. Ritual for ritual’s sake.

Religion is intolerant and prevents people from doing what they want to do

Creation completely contradicts scientific fact and shouldn’t be allowed in schools

I am a good person and am polite, well mannered and respectful, compassionate towards others

Treat others as you want to be treated and do not deliberately hurt others

*Takes a deep breath* I don’t believe in Religion. BUT I do believe the bible, all of it. And consider myself a saved or born again Christian. I don’t believe any of us are born as being of any particular faith - it is a choice we make and should mean that our lives change. I do believe in the creation theory rather than the evolution theory - simply because it makes more sense. Evolution isn’t a scientific fact; it is based mostly on guess work. The evidence can equally be applied to both theories and in fact the theory of creation is compatible with the second law of thermodynamics (I know! get me). we homeschooled our children, and when it came to science I thought I better find out what I believed regarding evolution since I had always assumed it just kind of fitted in with what the bible says - not true. the point of communion, speaking as a protestant is to remember what Christ did on the cross - those are His instructions, do this in remembrance of me until I come again, we do NOT believe the bread and wine are the actual flesh and blood but rather symbolic. One last point - interestingly, to me at any rate, biblical Christianity is the ONLY world religion based solely on what God has done for us rather than on what we can do for Him. The difficulty I have with saying 'as long as I am good' - is who defines what is good? Something that is acceptable to one and seen as good may well be seen as the exact opposite by others. So, if we are to live 'good lives' who makes the decisions? It is easy to see that none of us are born 'good' - never had to teach my kids to be naughty, don’t know about anyone else!


Religion is a crutch just like drugs and alcohol. You can't trust any of them when they have you under their influence....... if the end users can't be brainwashed into thinking they possess the faith then religion can't exist

homosexuality is wrong, what about eating pork, mixing fibres, smiting, God condones slavery and instructs men to treat women like animals; don’t like being told what to do. Homosexuals can’t enter heaven

O.K., tin hat on and even deeper breath taken. At no point does the bible condone slavery or that women are to be treated any differently to men. In fact, quite the opposite. the instructions that men are given regarding their wives is that they are to be cherished and beloved, in a loving romantic way, wives are told that their husbands are to be loved in a respectful way - in my experience this is what most of us want, whether we are men or women. Men are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church - which is an amazing thing imho. as for the whole don’t wear different fabrics etc - that stuff is all part of the ceremonial law, completed on the Cross and therefore no longer applicable, nothing to do with the times we live in - which is why unsaved, orthodox Jews still hold with this kind of thing. The bible doesn’t say that homosexuals can’t enter heaven, what is says is that sinners can't enter heaven, and, at the end of the day we are all sinners. It is not a sin to be gay, what is sinful is sexual immorality - whether that is hetero or homo! interestingly the commandment 'thou shalt not commit adultery' covers all sexual sin and the Lord Jesus said that even looking at someone in lustful manner breaks that commandment - so, that is something that most of us are guilty of I’m sure, whether straight or gay. Biblical Christianity teaches that ALL of us need Christ to get to heaven; it also teaches that He accepts ALL of us; it also teaches that we are ALL equal but have different roles, so the woman is the help meet of the man and the man is the head of the house and the provider.

Heaven will be boring with no pets, who would want to go there. Even if I got to heaven I would get thrown out.Why is this omnipotent being so engrossd in being worshipped all the time. Surely he'd be above all that?

‘There were dinasaurs too, the earth is only 6000 years old lol Sorry Jools Not taking the p, just don't believe in any of it. Good luck to you if you do but I think a lot of people are going to be bitterly disappointed when they draw their final breath.

I would say more like 8,000 - the evidence for it being any older is theoretical at best, and there is a lot of evidence for the existence of dinosaurs alongside mankind. We are created to want to worship - that is why, with the decline in spirituality, there is so much other kind of worship going on, we need to fill that void within us. it is also interesting to note that when any new tribes are discovered they invariably have some form of worship of a an unknown deity, and in many cultures there are loads of indications that in ancient times they had knowledge of the God of the bible - ancient china for e.g.

sorry Jools that's just toal bunkum we have evidence of humans going back hundreds of thousands of years. I'm going to stop now because I might say something I might regret and I don't want to offend you

Lol, never get offended, especially online - it’s too easy to misread what people say, so I always read in neutral. What evidence is there that shows humans have been here for thousands of years? Many people accept evolution and all that goes with it without proper investigation and yet have difficulty accepting the bible with the same premise. Not suggesting anyone here has done that, more of a general observation.

And RE: evolution. I refer you to the principals of animal husbandry and breeding programmes. No, i'm not going to respond. I'm outa here. it's getting ridiculous. I'm with you. When I saw the original post I thought we would get to this stage quicker. Adieu good people. May the force be with you.

microevolution - no probs with that, it is clearly seen. macroevolution on the other hand......
And to finish, from me at any rate.....
Ha, there was I thinking we are all grownups, that we believe in live and let live and each to their own. Just goes to show

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When your faith is weak and feeble

So it occurs to me that My Reader may well have forgotten that I am a Bible Believing Christian - since most of my blog posts of late have been of a more secular nature. I thought I should take the opportunity to redress the balance a bit.

I usually say that I am a Bible Believing Christian because I am not, currently, a member of any church and don't choose to align myself with a particular denomination - largely because they all have their faults and as we all know there is no such thing as a perfect church. And if there was, my attendance would ruin it. Since almost all churches appear to take this approach - I am wary of wear to hang my hat.....

Part of the problem for me is that I am quite easily convinced of more or less any point of view and am A Bear of Very Little Brain, although long words don't necessarily bother me.

A long time ago, when I first became a Christian, I attended a fairly standard Anglican church. For a variety of reasons I felt it necessary to leave and became a bit of a nomad for a while, eventually I started attending the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster (as opposed to the Wee Frees of Scotland). Now, generally speaking I was happy enough with this church, the teaching is good, the politics doesn't affect me and whilst I don't necessarily agree with everything - their position on baptism for example is wishy washy to say the least - I was fairly happy there.

As with all things, eventually, A Terrible Thing happened, which I don't want to go into here, but, which did dent my appreciation of the denomination - particularly since it involved the wife of a minister. Then I met a young man who is a wonderfully godly young person, who really loves the Lord and who explained to me the reasons why he chooses to attend an Anglican church. And, of course, I agree with him. Generally.

These are the things I think are important in a church -
  • The preaching - it must be good sound teaching from the bible, presenting Christ in all His loveliness and clearly showing the way of salvation.
  • No pointless repetition of liturgy - I know for some people it is a useful tool, but, it just reminds me of Matthew 6:7 -
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
  • No rock and roll - if I saw a drum kit in a church I would turn around and leave. I have a half finished blog post on this subject, I should finish it I suppose.
  • No women in leadership roles other than for women and children - I know, controversial, and perhaps I am wrong, but, it's what I see in the bible
  • Ladies to be modestly dressed and preferably with a head covering - by which I do NOT mean a £300 hat covering a man's hairstyle
  • Men to be modestly dressed and to be real men. 
  • Biblical teaching regarding family and gender
  • Encouragement from the front for private prayer and bible study
  • Dedications for infants and Believers Baptism for those who are saved - again I know this may be controversial but, it is what I understand the bible to teach
  • Plain teaching regarding Creation, young earth and why we don't believe in evolution
  • Outreach to the unchurched and those on the fringes of society.
This last point is, I think, where the Free Ps fall down somewhat. Whilst they are pretty hot on preaching the Gospel and having Missions there seems to be little outreach on the street. No engaging with those who never darken the door of a church. Perhaps this is a cultural thing, in Northern Ireland most people know what it means to be a Christian, they understand that those who 'get saved' undergo a life changing experience. Here on the mainland that isn't the case. On the mainland most people believe themselves to be 'a good person', generally speaking people believe there is no such thing as  sin, other than child abuse. Certainly most people on the mainland would be left confused and somewhat perplexed if they were told that a Christian doesn't go to the cinema, doesn't go to the pub, doesn't watch tv. doesn't do the lottery, must wear a suit/smart dress for church etc etc. The church is viewed as being irrelevant whilst millions rush about their daily business trying to fill the spiritual void in their life with so much dross.

There is no possible way we can, any longer, think of England as a Christian nation - so many people do not know the true meaning of Christmas or Easter, so many think of Jesus Christ as nothing more than an expletive - they don't know Who He is or What He has done for us.

When I read the bible and read about my Lovely Saviour I see Him meeting people at the point of their need, whatever that need maybe. Certainly that is where He meets me. Indeed this is something that the Free P ministers often preach about and yet, it seems to me, that very often the needs, as seen from the Free P pulpit (and others I am quite sure) are only for those in the grip of vices such as alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. In reality, for most of us, our needs are not that extreme. In fact I would even suggest that we are all struggling with the same sin, however it manifests in our daily lives, we don't love Jesus. Surely it is this that needs to be addressed for those millions who never enter a church unless someone is being hatched, matched or dispatched - and even those occasions are becoming fewer and fewer.

So, what is my conclusion? Only this, I am a Christian, I believe the Whole of The Bible, I believe Christ is the Only Way to Eternal Life, and, other than that, I haven't a clue anymore!

*waves goodbye*

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Smoking and Smells

In an earlier post I talked about our impending house move and the reasons for it. One of the things I forgot to mention in the list of things I dislike about our current residence is the smell.

We didn't notice it straight away, but, we soon began to smell cigarettes. Quelle Horreur. As an ex-smoker I find the smell of cigarettes particularly obnoxious - even though it is more than 20 years since I smoked. As an ex-smoker I am also quite sensitive to the smell. At first I thought I was losing my marbles (even more than usual) or had a brain tumour or something (I have read of people who had weird things happening to their sense of taste and smell - turned out it was their first symptom of a brain disorder). When sitting in a particular place in our living room I was sure I could smell smoke, but none of us partake in that disgusting habit anymore. So, on smelling stale tobacco in the bedroom of The Ginger One, who suffers with asthma, you can imagine my indignation. We eventually decided the smoke must be seeping through the walls of our house from next door! Goodness knows how many cigarettes the residents of that abode smoke for that to happen!

 Eventually we found it so unpleasant I rang the environmental health department. To give them credit where credit is due, they did come and have a sniff - they could smell it clearly in the bedroom. And recommended that I seal up the cupboard! Since the house next door belongs to the council they did say they could come and have a look if things didn't improve - but seriously who wants that hassle?

So, what is the moral of the story? Several things. Be aware that next door's smoking habits may affect you and your home. Surprisingly there are still middle aged women who smoke heavily and smoking still kills, so, if you smoke I suggest you stop. Now.

*waves goodbye*

Silence Really is Golden

My Regular Reader will, no doubt, be aware that I am a little bit more rock and roll than other people, a few more sandwiches short of a picnic, more nuts than a bar of Wholenut in fact. In short I am slightly eccentric/insane/dippy/nutty as a fruitcake/any of the above.

I am not yet at the stage of Crazy Cat Lady - largely because I don't like cats, and Crazy Non-Shedding Allergen Free Dog Lady doesn't have quite the same ring to it really.

There are a number of reasons for my 'Mental Health Issues' - as my GP likes to call them, not least overwhelming mental and emotional exhaustion. And, apparently, this kind of thing affects a great number of people, probably more than any of us realise.

Probably the most stressful thing for me is something that many of us complain about but which we rarely seem to address - I know that I contribute to the problem as I have a voice like a foghorn, not to put too fine a point on it. Yes, Dear Reader, I am talking about that bane of modern living

Actually, I don't know which is worse, noise or technology and its increasingly intrusive role in our everyday lives. Let's stick with noise for today. Sometimes there is so much noise it actually makes me want to cry - when I have to visit the Health Centre, or hospital for example, and there are people chatting, phones going, babies crying, children making all the noises they make, beepers beeping and of course the incessant mobile noises. All clamouring for space in my head and, quite frankly, I don't want them there. I prefer my head to be an oasis of calm, a place of babbling brooks, fields of tulips, daffodils and poppies, lush green forests where I can sit and read a book and drink tea. 


Yes, yes I know, totally unrealistic, but, a Crazy Lady can dream can't she? Anyway, the point of this post is to share something interesting I noticed in a daily newspaper.

Selfridges have instituted a quiet policy in some areas of their stores - it is called the No Noise Campaign. Reader, what an absolutely wonderful idea. It seems that it has really caught the imagination of some people as a number of big companies have issued what I am guessing are limited editions of their products which harmonise with the minimalist approach to shopping that Selfridges are taking in some parts of their stores.

What a great idea! And one which I wish I could implement in my house. A quiet zone is something I would really enjoy. I do, on occasion, wear ear plugs in order to read and block out the sounds of the TV, the Ginger One on his various screens and his breathing, plus of course my neighbour's very loud music, the car alarms and Charlie my dog who never, ever, stops barking.

So, that's my thought for Saturday.

*waves goodbye*

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Tale of a Gas Cooker

So, we have been living in rented accommodation for about six years now, the first house was a new build with a lovely kitchen complete with integrated oven and hob. The one we are in currently was a bit of a last minute thing and has a pretty rubbish kitchen with a dreadful Belling cooker - somewhat similar to the one in the picture, but not as new, or as clean for that matter.

In fact, when we moved into this property the oven was so disgusting it was unusable and I got one of those professional oven cleaning companies to come in and sort it out.

In the two and a half years we have lived here The Gas Man has been three times to do the official Corgi check on all the equipment, including the cooker as it is mentioned on the inventory. This time it was a different guy and he condemned the cooker!!!

Now, Dear Reader, I am a woman who does like to cook - admittedly the dire state of such a basic cooker has meant that not much cooking has been done of late, but, there has been enough to prevent Dearest Ginger Son from eating his own arm! When The Gas Man called my landlady to report the condemned and unsafe nature of the cooker her reply was thusly -

'It's not mine, I left it there as a favour, it belongs to the tenant. If she rings the council they will take it away'.

Quelle Horreur as they say across the channel.

Well, at first I wasn't unduly perturbed. After all I didn't like the cooker anyway, here was an ideal opportunity to buy one that I did like. That is until I measured the space - 57cm. The only cooker that would fit in that particular space is, you guessed it Reader Of Mine, the same Bally Belling already in situ!!! And they run at around £300!

Then I started thinking about all the other stuff I don't like about this particular house -
  • The bathroom leaks into the kitchen unless I keep a towel wedged against the bath and has a mouldy ceiling
  • The electrics need rewiring - several things give an electric shock when plugged into a particular socket and if I have the washing machine on I have to pause it in order to boil the kettle
  • No dining room
  • It is in the middle of a big estate
  • It's expensive
  • It now has no cooker
There are probably more but you get the gist. Then my Beautiful Daughter heard our tale of woe and, well, she Blew A Gasket. And immediately started looking for another house for us to rent. And we found one.

So, March 21st will see us take possession of our third rented home in six years - we lived in our own home for over 25 years. I handed my notice in for this house and informed the landlady that the cooker is not, in fact, ours but hers and so I will neither be taking it with me nor arranging for its removal. So, she is coming to take it away in the next few days - which means we shall be cooker-less. Ah, well, I have a slow cooker, a microwave and a George Foreman Grill - I daresay we won't starve, but how Dearest Ginger Son is going to cope without his daily fix of oven chips I do not know. Perhaps he will eat his arm!

I have, already, started to pack boxes and am thankful that when  we left our home of 25 years we did get rid of a lot of stuff. Plus most of my books are still packed away - the new house has plenty of shelves which is wonderful.

So, we are becoming like nomads, but, since my home is not on this earth but rather with my Saviour I don't really mind.

*waves goodbye*

Friday, March 01, 2013

Regularly Irregular Blogging

So, it has come to my attention that I am, in fact a terrible blogger. Despite my best intentions I never seem able to keep a good flow of witty and interesting posts coming. Ah well. I don't suppose it matters.

Several things have happened in the last few weeks - the silence from my blogspot was, in fact, somewhat deceiving. 

Firstly I made myself a study space, the early stages of this excluded a computer, I now have my own which is especially marvellous and may well mean more blog posts for you to peruse Dear Reader. 

I liked the idea of a compact study space since I do live in a small house. So, when you google 'small study space' there are lots of wonderful suggestions, including these -

How lovely! Of course the reality is vastly different - for a start off, my space is in what I like to, euphemistically, call my 'Utility Room'. This means my first attempt at creating an oasis of calm in which I can diligently read, study and compose looked like this -

Note the absence of a a computer, books, files etc. Also, what you can't see here is my Lovely Son's very expensive pushbike. Eventually I was taken to Ikea, another story in itself, where I bought a bookshelf, some file/storage solutions and a couple of chairs. Then I did a little bit of moving around and ended up with this -

Here you can see the bike, just, but not the fridge/freezer! On the plus side I am seated right by a window, everything is in easy reach - including the kettle and coffee making supplies.

So, there you have it - my reality version of a small, compact study space.

Unfortunately, or not as it happens, we are now moving house - which means I will once again have to find the ideal spot in which to assume my student persona. That's another post entirely.

*waves goodbye*