Saturday, 30 April 2016

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent is wonderful place to go for a Spring day walk

Last Thursday I went to Chartwell, the country home of Sir Winston Churchill, now in the care of the National Trust. I went around the house by timed ticket. Photography is forbidden, apparently for "copyright reasons".

After spending about an hour in the house I went for a long walk around the extensive grounds. I hope you enjoy my photographs, which captured to some extent a most enjoyable ramble.

I'll attach the photographs as soon as possible. Under construction.

Come on it's high time to use technology for key football decisions

The match between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough highlighted the need for controversial decisions to be referred to video technology. Middlesbrough were robbed of a victory when a goal was ruled offside. Replays clearly revealed the linesman's error. With so much hanging on these games there is no reason to avoid using the available technology. There is no excuse too.

How long? How long before common sense prevails?

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Burial is more biblical than cremation

John Piper has argued the case for Christian burial, which was the mainstream practice up to the late 19th century.

  I find headstones in cemeteries are sometimes testimonies and beautiful messages of faith, true hope and grace. Being dead some still speak. Christian hope is above all others as it rests, it stands on Christ the solid rock. All other ground is sinking sand. Burials services of Christians are times of rejoicing in the sure and certain provision of eternal life for those who belong to the Lord. None shall pluck them from the hand of Christ Jesus. To die in Christ is live for eternity in His presence. What joy! What a salvation!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Tottenham team on the up. Van Gaal's team are a faded force. Pride cometh before a fall.

Spurs are on the up. Van Gaal is right in saying that Manchester United, the red devils, are a bigger club. They are wealthier and have a greater global following. Most of their fans have never been to Old Trafford. But that's true of many teams and their fans; they've never been to a home match.

Pride comes before a fall and Manchester United have fallen from their former glory. They won't be seeing Champions League football for another season.

Van Gaal's arrogance has reared itself again. But take heed, Manager of Manchester United, you may not be at your club for very much longer. And you may be relegated to a club that's not great at all. Your tactics last Saturday may make future employers wonder. They were incomprehensible to many lovers of the beautiful game. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

PSG v Man. City draw at Parc des Princes

There was a lack of quality yesterday evening in Paris. PSG were poor as a team and failed to keep the ball during midfield encounters. There was some dreadful defending by both sides. Some players who are very well paid were not worth their wages. It was a bad day's work for David Luiz, who looked all at sea at times, particularly when De Bruyne cut through the inept PSG defence to score a magnificent goal. The referee and linesman failed to spot Abramovich in an offside position when PSG scored their second. Let's bring suitable technology to irradicate these howlers!  A 2-2 draw is an excellent result for Man. City, who may still blow it at the Etihad stadium.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Adventures in Lapland and Svenskfinland: part three

It is a lovely view through the Esse Kirkohemmet, the Church Centre, across the frozen river to Esse Kirka, the main church building, and the detached belfry.

I attended an evening Lutheran church service in Jakobstad, on the day of our return from Lapland.  Johan Candelin, who works for a Christian charity which helps persecuted churches, was the guest preacher. He does not need a pulpit, being two metres tall. I met him years ago in the 1990s at the Lutheran church in Kokkola, when Jan-Erik was kyrkoherde in Purmo. Sometimes I feel like a Hobbit in Svenskfinland. I believe Johan is related to Jan-Erik's daughter in law. Johanna is married to Jan-Erik's eldest son, Jonathan. He is the same age as my eldest son.

Johan preached about the death of Jesus on Calvary's cross and what His death achieved.  I did record a bit of this part of the service on my camcorder. (I will ask for permission to put it on YouTube.) The message ended with a report on his work and travels to help Christians in lands where there is persecution and opposition to the Gospel. Very challenging indeed. There was a retiring collection for a ministry which involves caring for vulnerable street children in Egypt.

What fabulous facilities the Lutheran church has in Finland, arguably the most Lutheran country in the world. The Lutheran Church in Finland receives one per cent in tax from the nation's income, I believe.  They use the money well. And they work hard to remove poverty.

The altar at Esse Kyrka

Inside Esse Kyrka

The pulpit at Esse Kyrka

Johan Candelin at Jakobstad

A chapel at Jakobstad church centre. Finnish minimalism.

The lecture theatre has video and translation room facilities

Jan-Erik in the lecture theatre at Jakobstad Church Centre

Friday, 1 April 2016

Adventures in Lapland and Svenskfinland: part two

The Iceman and Elizabeth at Kemi Ice Castle
In the Karasjok Co-op, meeting a Sami lady.
We saw some unusual sights, well very usual for England and Wales, but not in the Artic Circle.
The Rohan thermal clothing did well in sub zero temperatures and extreme weather conditions.

Update 6 April

In deepest Lapland, just before a snowstorm. See if you can spot the reindeer in this photograph. It was a special place, far from the madding crowd. So remote, so peaceful, so cold, but we did not feel the cold as we were appropriately dressed.

To be due course.


River Stour