An archived copy of my monthly column in CEN
It’s well into Lent, the days are getting a little less grey, but it’s still too cold to go surfing in real water so stick here for a bit of virtual. Some people who do surf all year round are the Christian Surfers. They are widely respected and run an annual event called the Jesus Surf Classic. Good pictures and video footage.
There has been much discussion recently about young people and alcohol. Truthaboutbooze is a web-site linked to the Drink Aware campaign with much useful information and many stories from young people. Very helpful in terms of understanding what a unit of alcohol is. Watch out if you have a large glass of wine in a pub; they can hold as much as half a bottle. If you need urgent help try DryOutNow for immediate access to advice and treatment.
I found myself doing rather more shopping surfing than usual recently with a plethora of birthdays in the early part of the year plus Mothering Sunday. Nice site to shop for hand-made gifts from around the world is Etsy. I also chanced across the Mothers’ Union web-site as they had an ethical gifts campaign. I was trying to avoid sending my mother a cow. It seemed wrong. Hello Mum.
Due to a terrible typing error whilst searching for mothers I also found the Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union’s beautiful pictures of moths. Enjoy your Operophtera brumata. It could have been worse.
If you want some intellectual stimulation this moth, oops I mean month, then go near the Edge. Edge Foundation, Inc., was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of a group known as The Reality Club. Its informal membership includes of some of the most interesting minds in the world. It’s a centre for debate on matters intellectual, philosophical, artistic and literary.
But what about the dinosaurs? This question often comes up when discussing the Bible, creation and evolution. If you want to compare the extremes of possible answer try Answers in Genesis on the one hand or Dennis Alexander’s article, ‘Can a Christian believe in evolution?’ on the Evangelical Alliance website, on the other. His piece links to the Christians in Science site, an ‘...international network of those concerned with the relationship between science and Christian faith, open to scientists, teachers, students and all those with an interest in this dialogue.’
It’s not too late (but it is a bit late, where you been?) to do something about Hope08, the project designed to get churches helping their communities.
Need a good online dictionary or encyclopaedia? There are many to choose from but amongst the most popular are Merriam-Webster, Free Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Using English links to many other dictionaries.
New to the blogosphere are CPAS (Church Pastoral Aid Society) who have put a blog online to accompany their useful Church Leadership material. I have also been enjoying engaging with Ian Adams’ blog about alternative worship and community called In the Belly of the Big Fish, which is a good name for a place to do some serious reflecting. Richard Sudworth blogs at Distinctly Welcoming and muses on church in a multi-faith area of Birmingham. Always thought provoking. Take this, from a post today, ‘Being able to see what we can learn whilst holding to our Christian identity, I believe, is vital for our relationship with all faiths and none. In fact, it is part and parcel of us staying true to what we believe.’ Richard Lyall is The Crafty Curate who blogs at Pilgrim’s Progress on matters to do with emerging church and leadership. Interesting visuals.
Need a puzzle this month and find simple Su-doku too straightforward? Try Killersudoku online. Hours of distraction. Or how about a quick Kakuro to get your brain in gear before starting work? If all this is too serious then visit Don’t Shoot the Puppy and try not to.
Last month’s column, and all previous columns, archived on my blog Mustard Seed Shavings. If you want a glimpse at a way to use a blog to support your church go to Trendleblog or Nailsea Fresh Expressions. Both works in progress but helpful to make sure that people are kept in touch with what is going on and get a chance to comment.