31 July 2013

A-Z: This Woman's Work

It's time again for my summer break. I try and schedule a month off from regular blogging every year, and take the opportunity during this time to share a diiferent A to Z listing of something that interests me. 

I'm returning to my music collection and to one of my first loves. The music of Kate Bush - her music opened up something deep and spiritual within me that I've been exploring all of my life. All of the following songs are written by Kate herself.

Have a great summer, whatever you're doing.

30 July 2013

The Seventh Doctor

Sylvester McCoy became the Seventh Doctor in 1987, taking over from Colin Baker who had by then been rather curtly dismissed from the role. Colin declined the invitation to appear in the show for the handover, so McCoy wore a curly blond wig during the brief regeneration scene. 

McCoy's Doctor is initially portrayed as a comical, even thoughtful character - he uses the actor's natural  Scottish accent to good effect. Later in his run this persona is revealed to be rather  secretive and even manipulative. Towards the end we even start to explore the profound question of who the Doctor actually is...

Sylvester played the role until the show's regular run was discontinued in 1989. He played the Doctor in the 1993 charity special 'Dimensions in Time', and again in 1996 for the TV movie. McCoy is thus acknowledged as the actor who, in a way, played the Doctor for a longer period of time than any other.

The Seventh Doctor's last appearance was at the start of the TV movie where he was replaced by the Eighth Doctor - Paul McGann ...

22 July 2013

Summer Is Coming...

Just planning a little light reading for the forthcoming holiday. Some to start, some to re-read. And the pile isn't complete yet...

19 July 2013

The High Council

A number of Salvationists around the world are using their blogs to request prayer for The Salvation Army's High Council, who will be gathering next week in London to elect the Army's next General.

The High Council only ever exists at times like this. The 117 members from the four corners of the globe will gather in Heathrow for preliminary and planning meetings on Friday and Saturday 26th - 27th July. Sunday 28th July will be a day set aside for prayer. The High Council will be starting its prayerful deliberation on Monday 29th July, with the aim of identifying the Army's next international leader.

The right person for this role - either male or female - needs to be God's choice to lead his Army.

Please join me in praying for wisdom and discernment for those who are involved in the proceedings.

Further details about the High Council can be found here.

17 July 2013

Slowing Down To Be With God

Do you know, I love the coffee shops in the City of London. It gives me a chance to have a break from the hustle and bustle of City life - some of the things that happen really test my patience. I need to get away, to find a place of calm...

My main aim to use the wi-fi in the coffee shop - to catch up with some of the Christian blogs that I regularly follow. If I choose my venue wisely, I can usually find a cosy little nook with a comfy armchair, take off the specs, plug in the headphones and surf away.

It gives me a chance to slow down and spend some quality time with my Lord.

I wish I could have more than an hour for lunch, sometimes...

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. – Psalm 37:7

13 July 2013

League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

It's the media news story that grabbed my interest the most this week! Fox are talking about developing a small screen version of 'The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen'.

I must admit that I'm rather drawn to the whole concept. Alan Moore's original graphic novel series from 1999 brought together all the literary greats of 19th Century Science Fiction and brought them together as a 'super team'. The series was deftly illustrated by Kevin O'Neill. An alternate 'steampunk' London featuring my favourite literary heroes in the style of the Justice League, or the Avengers? Terrific. I own a DVD copy of the film adaptation which was released in 2003, although reportedly Moore was less than pleased with it - there were some major changes insisted on by Hollywood (sigh!).

Fox has apparently confirmed that a pilot episode is to be shot and will air, with Michael Green in the chair as writer and executive producer. A series will follow if all goes well. Unfortunately - and this is a big drawback - I understand neither Moore nor O'Neill are set to be involved with the series.

Does that mean further changes to the concept? I hope not.

9 July 2013

Meet Jim...

I'd like to introduce you to a guy that I've got to know quite well over the last few months. Let's call him ... Jim.

Jim is reliable. He's always there, an inspiration to me amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy working day. However, despite the chaos of the capital where I work - he's never too busy. He just goes about his appointed task.

He is happy to listen to my problems; to share in my victories... He's not more interested in chatting on his mobile phone than in you (unlike some). Jim doesn't talk about you behind your back. He never criticises, never grumbles.

There have been days when Jim has been the closest thing I had to a friend in the Square Mile...
Jim is good for me. I smile when I see him, a familiar face in what can be a noisy, hostile and disinterested city centre. A sign of the passing of the day.

A man worthy of his mettle. Or, on this case, metal.

Because Jim is actually a statue, who can be found outside Platform 5 at Cannon Street railway station in London. The statue's officially called 'The Plumber's Apprentice', and is a tribute to the work of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers over a 400 year period.

Jim is, sadly, not a real person. Which is a shame, as I have struck up quite a rapport with him in recent weeks...

But I do know somebody who is just as reliable, just as faithful. He's always there (not just at the railway station). He listens to me. He guides me, step by step, through my life.

And His name begins with J, too...

3 July 2013

Pull Yourself Together

I dislike that phrase. When things are going awfully wrong; when my mind is not in the best of places; when I am trying to keep my head while all around me are losing theirs; amidst the chaos and mayhem some kind soul comes out with this particular piece of advice. "Pull Yourself Together".

As if I could, suddenly, just do that. Reach into myself and give my psyche a quick shake. Or perhaps I could select Cntl-Alt-Del on my life; reboot the day.

No, I'm afraid that it's not that easy. I wish it were - don't you think I wouldn't want a quick fix? Repairing the effects of a bad day takes time... a few minutes, a few hours.

I need to reflect, to analyse, to digest, to refocus, to pray. Often it's just some time on my own. And I know that's the way others used to do it...

"When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place."Matthew 14:13