No Phone for 40 Days – The first few days.

During this season of Lent I am putting time and energies into others things other than my phone and social media. Here’s some thoughts after the first few days.

1. What do you do when you first wake up? Look at your phone?
2. What app do you go to FIRST? Why is that? 
3. Do you think our phone usage is a generational thing, or inter-generational thing?

Leave some comments, let’s continue the conversation!

Shrove Tuesday – Giving Up the Phone for Lent.

For the period of Lent I’ve decided to give myself space away from social media and excessive mobile phone usage. I recorded a short video below to outline why I fancy giving this a try, a few thoughts, and some of the rules I’ve put in place.

The Five Rules I’m putting in place are:

1. No Social Media | 2. No Text Messaging | 3. Limited Phone calls. | 4. No Internet Mobile Device Usage. | 5. I’m allowed emails (on my laptop only).

Hang on a minute! You are using social media! I found this link on facebook and twitter!” – I know, I’ve automatically set this blog post to send to twitter and facebook, but don’t worry I won’t be checking it.

Anyway, do post some comments on here or on the youtube account. Let’s get a conversation going.

A (mildly less) Mindless Monday – Car Ramblings

In a couple of days time Lent begins. The 40 day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday where we prepare. Prepare our souls, spend time in reflection, prayer, thought and a whole bunch of other things. Traditionally at Lent, followers of Jesus use this time as a time of sacrifice of things that may take up energy in their lives, in order to focus on what is important. It’s been a whole heap of years since I’ve particularly done anything for Lent, but no time like the presence to try something out again.

The other day in the car I had an idea, and I might incorporate this blog and my hobby of playing around with a camera as part of it. Let me know what you think, good idea? yey? ney?

Mindless Mondays – The Baking King

It’s been a while since our last Mindless Mondays. I decided one Saturday morning to bake some Apple Danish Pastries, and was playing about with the camera so captured it! I know this didn’t happen on a Monday (therefore can it count as a ‘mindless Monday’ video?!), but you can watch it on a Monday and I’m posting it on a Monday, and so hopefully you’ll have some enjoyment from my rather mediocre baking skills.

Take me to the Bake Off!

 

10 Things I Know Nothing About

I’ve been married for a mere 3 years, and since then have been a key figure in a house- as in, being one of the the responsible ones. There is something I didn’t realise however when I got married. And I need you all to know this if you are getting married, or taking on being responsible in a house.

Signing my marriage certificate was also signing an invisible contract saying that I should also know about all things DIY.

The same goes for any contract of house ownership that you sign.

But the problem is, I don’t know all things DIY. Infact, I know basically nothing. And I mean nothing. Things show up or happen in my house that I literally have no idea what to do with. I’d like to show you some photos of various things I’ve encountered in my house and have no idea what they are, or how to deal with them. I’d like to make a guess to say that most of us are in the same boat as me, whether married or single or whatever. If you live in a house and take some kind of responsibility in making sure it stays upright then you will relate to this. If you are not in this position, then please take this as a word of friendly warning from me, watch out for the following things:

1. Cracks. Are they dangerous? Will my ceiling collapse? I know I can’t ask a plumber about them, but who do I ask?! A crack man? Sounds like something to do with narcotics rather than an expert telling me if the house will fall down or not.

2. Wet patches on the ceiling. OK I kinda had to figure this one out quick before the house collapsed, but it took me a while, and weeks layer I’m just hoping it’s sorted itself out.

3. Mould. When our bread gets mouldy I just chuck it out. I can’t do that with a corner of a room. So I’m stuck.

4. Random Indoors Condensation. Do we need more heat in the house? Or less? Or thicker curtains? Or has somebody been chucking water around our house in the middle of the night while we sleep?

5. Bleeding Radiators. That’s an action to do, as well as what I say when they make weird noises. But this task does sound incredibly manly, if only I knew how to do it effectively, and the reason for doing it.

6. Doors that don’t open. Do you scrape away the ‘extra’ wood? Or Barge it open everytime you use it? Last year I broke open our front door with my shoulder and smashed the lock up. Not so great when you’re hoping for a secure house. Oops.

Until I get techy enough to know how to embed vines – click here to see this in action in my life:
7. This Thing. I have no idea what it is, but life is continuing whilst it’s around, so it must have some kind of purpose?!

8. Random Cables & plugs. So many wires. So much fear to throw any of them away. They’ll be useful one day. Maybe.

9. That On/Off Switch. We’ve all got one in our houses, hidden away in the darkness of a mysterious cupboard. But what does it do? It has something to do with electrics I know that. Will the house blow up if I flick it? This looks as simple as a child’s toy, but will be as destructive as a petrol bomb if used incorrectly.

10. Fear-Inducing Plastic ‘Bits’. I have this extra plastic bit after a kitchen appliance was installed. The installer said nothing about it. I’d better keep it just in case. **Proceed to stick it in a drawer for 20 years holding an irrational fear of throwing it away.**

Oh DIY, how I loathe thee, but you are cheaper than those people who come round and sort stuff out in 5 minutes yet charge £80 for the privilege.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

My favourite part of 2014.

The first blog post of the year should probably be about something that I’d like to happen this coming year, some hopes and dreams etc. However, I wanted to finally post about one of my favourite moments of last year before getting onto new things.

Back in September I turned 30, and one of the ways Heather and I celebrated was with a trip around Italy. We had a wonderful 10 days travelling across the country, visiting various bits and pieces, sites and cities of the place. I was only told about the trip about 2 weeks before we left, so it was such an awesome surprise, and we had such an excellent time together.

Since then I’ve been meaning to put together a video of the stuff we saw and experienced, and over the Christmas break I’ve had an opportunity to get it finished. It’s mainly for Heather and I’s enjoyment as we look back at our holiday, but I figured you may fancy having a watch too. Think of it like a far quicker and less boring way to be subjected to your friend’s photos from a holiday 😉

Please excuse the mildly dodgy sound and video quality (I’m no professional!), but I’m sure you get the idea.

#tbt 10 – Dying to the wrong things.

It’s another #tbt, looking back at aspects of the story of Jesus’ Church. Finding out a few interesting bits and pieces, and seeing what we can learn for us today.

Last week I told you about Ignatious. He wrote loads of letters in his time (being the worst ever letter writer/text replier/responder to calls ever, I’m desperately put to shame by Ignatious’ trigger/pen-happy fingers), but a specific one was to a church in Smyrna. Take a look at the map, Smyrna doesn’t exist anymore, but it was located in Turkey. The bishop at the time was a guy called Polycarp. Now, when it comes to standing up for your faith, this guy was the real deal.photo

At a time when the Roman Emperor was considered a god in the 2nd century, people were forced to worship them, burn incense for them, and reject any other god-like figures (particularly Jesus), being a Christian wasn’t easy. For those that refused to do this, they would be killed. Polycarp was a refuser. As he was reportedly dragged before the crowds, before he was martyred he declared

86 years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong.

How can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?

Now there is somebody’s hand I want to shake.

After he was martyred by being burned at the stake, many Christians would come to remember, and celebrate this amazing example of what it was to following and give it all up for Jesus.

However, unfortunately people took it too far. Martyrdom became somewhat ‘fashion’. I don’t say this lightly or want to seem crude, but many Christians began to freely hand themselves over to the authorities in order to be martyred. It became the greatest thing one could do in order to be like Jesus, as that is what he did. Leaders had to begin to share direction and correction with Christians, that they shouldn’t die to the wrong things. The Bible does say that we are called  to ‘die to ourselves‘, but we need not die to the wrong things. At the time of the ‘wannabe martyrs’ (greatly named by Nick Page in this great book), it was written by a Christian leader that “we do not approve of men offering themselves spontaneously.“. Needlessly and willingly giving your life away to be martyred was not was God had in mind.

I wonder if we die to the wrong things today? Most of us in the Western world today don’t find ourselves in a position where being martyred is a reality we need to face, and therefore the idea of us willingly and eagerly putting ourselves in a place to be martyred is even more distant. But how many of us become martyrs in different ways? I wonder if you take on burdens you need not carry? Behaviours, lifestyle choices, attitudes that we simply don’t need to hold onto. How many of us have misinterpreted things  or are going the wrong end of the ‘die-to-yourself’ stick? I know God often needs to remind us of a few things he does not want us to die to:

  • Loving and serving my family.
  • Fun and enjoyment.
  • Sleep and rest.
  • The health of our soul in preference over our ‘doing’ for God.

What other things is God speaking to you about NOT dying to? Sure, we do need to die to some things, but lets not become martyrs in the wrong way, and avoid the full life that God would love us to have.