I took the funeral of a 96 year old woman recently. I reflected about the changes that a person that age had been required to live through. In 1912, the idea that someone would one day write a column about accessing all the wisdom of the world, without leaving their desk or owning a pencil would have been preposterous. Let the preposterousness commence with a column of thrifty advice for hard times.
We will start with money. Apparently none of us are going to have any soon. Our church has been thinking about cash as we finalised our budget for 2009. Stewardship is '...the Christian financial support services charity, connecting people and resources to advance the Kingdom of God.' Red2Black is '...a brand new campaign to encourage and support your church tackle debt issues in your congregation and community.' Parish Resources '...offers a wide range of resources to support all aspects of stewardship in the local church.'
The Money Revolution and the Money Revolution Blog offer teaching about using your own money. The site has been allowed to fall out of date with its news but the principles are strong. The Diocese of Liverpool has its own site on stewardship called Giving in Grace.
Every day I wake up grateful that I am vicar of a church without a building. If lots of your money seems to go on church buildings then a visit to Churchcare may help. It's full of practical ideas about churchyards, archaeology, maintenance, repairs, legal matters and loads more.
It's always nice to find sites that are information hubs. Fantastic Fiction is just such a place. Here you will find biographies of thousands of authors and details of even more books. May be a useful place to search as Christmas approaches. Readitswapit does what it says. When you've finished with a book, swap it with someone else. Almost a quarter of a million titles to choose from.
Sometimes I make typing errors. No, really, I do. Have you ever spotted that Google will notice when you make a typing error and ask you if you really meant something else? Clever that. Well Fatfingers have had a think and decided that people selling things on eBay may make typing errors too, so no-one will find the item. Until now. Bid low for a copy of the White Album by The Beatls, for instance. Like the lottery it's a tax on stupidity. Otherwise the items would expire unnoticed and without any bids.
For fashionistas Whatsmineisyours is the place to go. This on-line community is for the beautifully dressed, perhaps of limited use to the majority of the Anglican Communion. Take your designer clothes here to swap. They '...make it easy to consume and indulge whilst remaining eco-conscious...' which is a bit contradictory. Still, if you would otherwise throw away clothes you don't like but others might...
If you have ever discovered that you need to chair an emergency PCC when you should be moshing try Swapmyticket. It's as trustworthy and tout-free as a site offering this service can get, which is not very, but they do advise properly about legality and care.
I love brainstorming sessions. I only become bored when the ideas turn to actual work. Russell Davies has a site which is full of ideas and images that started me thinking in many different directions. Use it to kick start your creativity.
On-line news sites are worth a visit. Mainstream newspapers have a huge web presence now but have you come across the Daily Beast, Drudge or the Huffington Post? They are American. Let me know any recommendations you have of British sites and I'll share them. Do this by leaving a comment on Mustard Seed Shavings after the column archive each month.
Game of the month is Jumpers for Goalposts. Learn football skills in your backyard until you are discovered, trialled at a big club and start making appearances, money, a girlfriend etc. Probably a suitable site for men without a girlfriend. Try grilfriend on eBay. It may work.
End of column joke was going to be that Jumpleads.com wouldn't start. Then I checked the link and found a site that sells trampolines. Brilliant.