This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- Fitfull sleep, awake early to the dulcet screams
of two toddlers.
- Looked around the house, had breakfast and chatted,
set off, drove for hours home. Very amused by "I'm sorry I havn't
a clue"; "The first known victim of asbestosis was buried here,
after they'd tried for 3 weeks to cremate him" etc.
- Slept for a while, then got up, listened to 2
from Gordon on
1 Corinthians 10:1-14:
- So, if you think you are standing firm, be
careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you
except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will
not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when
you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you
can stand up under it. (NIV).
- The struggles of life - wear us down; some endure
some of the most horrific temptations and trials. It's all
common or garden temptation, and God is faithful, nothing
beyond your strength.
- Same word in Gk for test and temptation, depends
on the perspective. The pre-supposition is that You will be
tempted - Temptation is unavoidable, don't fool yourself.
- You would think this would be painfully obvious to
anyone with an ounce of self reflection, that this would not be
news to them. But no - in Corinth they had deluded themselves
into thinking they had an immunity from hard-testing and difficult
- Paul's reality therapy - If you think you are
standing firm, be careful that you don't fall. There are indeed
wonderful benefits from the resurrection, many Corinthians had been
powerfully delivered when they became Christians, set free from their
sexual promiscuity and drugs - but the initial dramatic victories as
a gift are no garentee that there will be no future struggles.
- Israel's easiest battle was the first - Jerico: just
walk around the town, are all the battles like that ? - no, the next
they're routed by a small force. The battle was given to make the
point that the battle is the Lord's, there is lots of fighting
ahead, lots of effort.
- If God's so faithful, why does he let us be tempted ?
From heaven's perspective they are tests,
Proverbs 17:3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart The trials are to strengthen us
and our confidence in him. The testing produces
- Chapter starts with events at least a millenium
before the Corinthians. Israel had an amazing baptism, incredible
experiences, God repeatedly provided for them by mighty miracles,
and lead them himself. Yet - that conferred no immunity from
temptation: the Golden calf, sexual immorality at the Baal of
Peor, grumbling etc. - we will be tested.
- Christ may have picked us up from the gutter, but
we're in a war-zone. We have to take to heart the message:
- The power of negative thinking - under no
illusions that this will make him a fortune, doesn't have the
ring of Norman Vincent Peale - this is going to go nowhere.
No-one wants to hear it, we dislike negativity. Hence the
proliferation of positive lunacy.
- The bible doesn't hesitate to point to the power
of negative thinking; to fortify us for the battle ahead.
CS Lewis: If you think of this world as a place intended simply
for our happiness, you'll find it quite intolerable; think of it
instead it as a place of training and correction, and it's not that
bad. Imagine a set of people living in the same building: half think
it's a hotel, half a prison. One half might regard it as intolerable,
whereas the other decide it is really suprisingly comfortable. ...
people who try to hold an optimistic view of this world become
pessimists, the people who hold a pretty stern view become optimistic.
- The bad news is that we're going to be tempted, but
we have the power of negative thinking. To be forewarned, is to be
- We like to think our suffering is unparalleled,
unique - but no, it's all garden variety, common to man. We don't
want to hear that, since it robs us of self pity and the special
excuses we're preparing for ourselves to give in. Of course, the
packaging is often unique, but the temptation is always garden
- Don't cut yourself off from Christian biography,
talking to others, from the comfort of scripture - your situation
is not different. We know a man who was tempted, in every way
just as you are, but was without Sin.
- Don't be mislead by superficial differences in packaging,
it's all the same, ultimately an infraction of Love God with your
whole heart and mind and soul and strength, and your neighbour as
- At park-street we bank on the intimacy of small groups,
every condition known to man faced by people in the church. Dead
marriages revived, dead children with murderers never found, sexual
temptation of all kinds; seek encouragement from people.
- Humans have the proclivity
to wishful thinking; thinking that we're better than we are.
William Burstein: There are two kinds of investors, those
who don't know where the market is heading, and those who don't
know that they don't know. Of course the latter make you the
- Great danger in self pity; Dr Henry Beecher -
Pain management; served as medic in WW II, was astonished on
the beaches to go from badly wounded soldier to soldier, people
in acute pain, offering morphine to be told "save it for someone
who is in greater pain". The stark contrast being that after the
war, civilians with comperable injuries - were in excruciating
pain. He came up with three thoughts:
- Conditioning - soldiers prepared to endure
pain, practicing for war, the power of negative
thinking: Be self controlled
and alert - your enemy the Devil walks around
like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.
- Confidence - soldiers had that civilians did
not have; their pain was gain; in some way it
contributed to the eventual liberation of Europe.
As christians we have that too, sufferings are not
meaningless if we die with him we'll also live
with him. No suffering is meaningless.
- Congruence - that the soldiers that endured
unspeakable injuries, realised that their buddies
were also loosing limbs, they wern't in this alone.
No temptation has siezed you except what is
common to man.. Resist him standing firm
in the faith, because you know that your brothers
throught the world are undergoing the same kind of
1 Peter 5
- Armed with this fortitude, be encouraged that whatever
battle we're facing, we're not facing it alone, God is our strength
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)