Showing posts from December, 2010

No buses or trams after 9 tonight

A bit rough in a city where parking in town is extremely difficult and where people depend heavily on public transport. It will hit our Chinese group who have a New Year meal planned. It probably won't affect the church gathering this evening because the people who would normally come by public transport are the students (on holiday) and the Chinese (see above). Read about it here .

Work on the building continued

aided by some visiting Brazilian students

Work on the building continued

Laying a new floor, hacking plaster off a very damp wall and cleaning off a staircase with a grinding disk.

Work on the building continued

removing parts of a floor.

Work on the building continued

Putting up a partition

Mark's Gospel, Max Maclean

Watch here .

Minuit Chrétien, gros cuivres de Knoxville Symphony Orchestra


Some more photos of the work at the church


The big stone wall is starting to look quite good

but will the electrics, the partitions, the drainage, the plumbing and so on be done in time for 15 January ?

Chicago Trombone Authority (CTA) Christmas Concert '10


Boxing day

started with the journey to Blaye to preach. It's very cold here and on the way to the church there's a few underpasses where the sun don't shine. I felt the car slide a little but I don't think the family realised anything and we got there safe and sound to drop off the children before going on to Blaye. At Blaye I preached on the shepherds going to Bethlehem and we sang lots of Christmas songs. We were almost 20 people, which is a record for a Sunday morning that I've been there. We got a message from the kids - could we go and eat with a family from the church, the kids wanted to spend time together, so we gladly went along and ate delicious fresh fish. There had been fewer folk in Cenon than in Blaye. Predictable what with all the folk that have travelled away for the holidays. We got a message from some of the Chinese asking if there was an English service. We said yes, and so we met happily and thought of how God moved the heart of the Roman Emperor and se

Plagiarism, here's what I think

The Gospel Coalition appears to have finished its series on preachers and plagiarism. I said I'd tell you what I think. Here it comes. Pish tush. I'll explain. I think our dear, esteemed, illustrious and famous brothers are making a basic mistake. They confuse my Auntie Nellie with Delius Stein. Delius Stein is a well-known author and television personality who publishes beautifully researched and wonderfully illustrated cookery books. My Auntie Nellie is the busy mother of a hungry family. Delius Stein and my Auntie Nellie met recently in the kitchen of our old neighbour, Annie Higginbotham. Annie was cooking her family's dinner and showed them her recipe for spicy fishcakes with pickled eggs. They hurriedly copied down the recipe. Both went on to cook the same identical meal from the recipe they'd copied. Delius did it on television and published it in a cook book, unattributed. Auntie Nellie did it in her kitchen and fed it to her brood, unattributed. A

My Blackberry Is Not Working! - The One Ronnie, Preview - BBC One


Christmas dinner chez nous what a comedown !

Our poor voisine is coming to us for Christmas dinner, roughing it a bit ! We do have a bottle of champagne (left over from a wedding in Britain in the summer - thanks Sian and Paul !) and a bottle of Lambrusco. We also have a rather dodgy young Cahors that we use for communion ! But also a nice chicken, roast potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, some cheeses, a chocolate log for pudding, we have some crisps and olives for apéro. It'll be fine ! We can probably watch the Queen if the BBC will allow us to. And we have crackers.

Christmas Eve chez les voisins à la française

We were invited to eat next door so we went round at 19h30 and sat nibbling olives, cherry tomatoes, Pringles and tiny shrimps until the meal was ready, this apéro accompanied by champagne. Then foie gras on toasts with onion pickle and a very sweet and aged Sauterne. Then pintade (guinea fowl) stuffed with chestnuts and ceps accompanied by bread and a rather aged Graves. Then a brebis (sheep milk cheese) from the Pyrenees with a Basque-style spicy cherry conserve. Then for dessert Gwilym's birthday cake. I was very sparing indeed with the wine because afterwards I had to scuttle to the church to get our slow cooker which the Chinese had borrowed for their Christmas Eve gathering.

Christmas greetings

with our thanks for all your support in a thousand ways.

Gwilym's birthday !

Sixteen today !

Brazilian students helping on the building


Jerry Bridges for today

If God has promised that all nations will be blessed and that "all the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord" (Psalm 22:27), how should we respond? I maintain that our response should begin with prayer. We should boldly and persistently plead in prayer the promises of God. Daniel, one of the Bible's great men, is our example. He lived during the Babylonian captivity of Judah. He understood, from reading Jeremiah 29:10, that the captivity would last seventy years. So he took God at his word and began to pray that he would fulfill his promise to restore the Jews to their home (Daniel 9:1-19). He pleaded the promise of God. This is what we should do in response to God's promises of the success of the Gospel. We should earnestly pray over such Scriptures as Genesis 22:18 and Psalm 22:27-28, asking God to fulfill his promises. I'm dismayed at how little we Christians pray for the success of the Gospel among the nations. If we honestly e

International prayer meeting !

We had a visit from a group of Brazilian students who are spending their summer holidays working in Spain and who were visiting Bordeaux on a recce for similar groups next year. It made for an interesting prayer meeting as the Brazilians spoke Portuguese and varying degrees of English. One lad was Argentinian so he spoke Spanish and Portuguese. One of our chaps is also Portuguese so he was in his element but other folk spoke only French. It's frustrating that nobody has room to accommodate five students like this. I had to lead them to the nearest Etap low-cost hotel.

A friend in Provence is troubled by these critters

Read about them here.

Glenn Lucke on plagiarism

Read it here .

A definition of plagiarize.

I read one in Chambers dictionary here .

and Sandy Willson on plagiarism

here .

A happy Tuesday afternoon

Knocking plaster off a crumbling stone wall at the church, then sucking it in through my ventolin inhaler just before leaving. I must remember to blow before I suck.

Perman on Preaching and Plagiarism

Here 's Matt Perman's view.

More on preachers and plagiarism

Tim Keller gives his view here .

James Markey: Theme and Variations on "Turkey in the Straw"


Radio Neige-folle

If you can't get out to the shops you can still hear incessant Christmas music - this time with that special Gallic twist, ici . Que du bonheur !

Preachers and plagiarism

Don Carson gives his view here . Share what you think if you like. I'll tell you what I think later - the Gospel Coalition is talking to various people about this this week. I bet I have a weird, eccentric view on this as well.

The big Christmas weekend

Christmas began on Saturday with the kids rehearsing for the "Fête de Noël". Gwilym and Catrin were taking part in various different things and so Saturday lunchtime saw us eating ham and cheese sandwiches and watching them practice. We then proceeded to Anglade for the "Fête de Noël" there where we Daveys were making a musical contribution: singing in the streets and then helping the accompaniment in the little chapel. There followed a delicious collation. It was good to see a good number of visitors there, some simply through leaflets popped into mailboxes. Sunday morning I preached on the shepherds going to Bethlehem, the sinful, hard, sad city and being transformed by finding purity, compassion and joy in the new-born Saviour. We sang lots of Christmas songs and concluded with the Lord's Supper "You can't begin to understand the crèche without the cross". There followed a lunch together, largely pizzas, some home made and some shop-bought

Snow again

Well yesterday we woke up to a thin covering of snow - perhaps almost an inch. That's enough to paralyse our roads, however, and the buses and trams were already on strike anyway. Not only that but the chidlren had been on a church kids sleepover and we were supposed to collect Catrin at 12, then Gwilym at 2. Not only that but Samuel Stagiaire was due to be coming to our place at 2:30 so we could proceed to Blaye for 3:30 to sing in the streets before the Blaye Christmas service. So Alan became a slightly concerned bunny - how would we be where we needed to be with snowy roads ? Some of the timing was a bit dodgy anyway... Well we had a quick family confabulation and decided that we'd take some lunch with us when we collected Catrin, that we'd stay at the church and meet Sam Stage there and that we'd proceed from there to Anglade. A slight complcation ensued when Gwilym was needed till 3 instead of two, but we compromised on 2:30 and left for Anglade in reasonab

Singing in the streets in Anglade

Double-glazing has killed carol-singing.

Christmas dinner is GOOD for you !

A good standard French Christmas dinner * is good for you, says this article . * A good standard French Christmas dinner is, apparently: Oysters Foie gras (Duck liver paté) Smoked salmon Lobster mayonnaise Capon Ice cream log Champagne. Our Christmas dinner is not quite up to standard, in case you were wondering !

Jolly good !

Trams and buses on strike all weekend. (It's the annual pay negotiations which almost always lead to a strike the weekend before Christmas.) Snowfall overnight. It's pretty heavy, too. Miust be almost an inch out there. Meanwhile this afternoon we're due out at Blaye for the Culte de Noël. And the kids are at the church, which is 30 mins drive away, and we're due to get them at about 12. It'll be fine ! It'll be fine !

La Définition de Chalcédoine 451

Suivant donc les saints Pères, nous enseignons tous unanimement que nous confessons un seul et même Fils, notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, le même parfait en divinité, et le même parfait en humanité, le même vraiment Dieu et vraiment homme (composé) d'une âme raisonnable et d'un corps, consubstantiel au Père selon la divinité et le même consubstantiel à nous selon l'humanité, en tout semblable à nous sauf le péché, avant les siècles engendré du Père selon la divinité, et aux derniers jours le même (engendré) pour nous et pour notre salut de la Vierge Marie, Mère de Dieu selon l'humanité, un seul même Christ, Fils du Seigneur, l'unique engendré, reconnu en deux natures, sans confusion, sans changement, sans division et sans séparation, la différence des deux natures n'étant nullement supprimée à cause de l'union, la propriété de l'une et l'autre nature étant bien plutôt sauvegardée et concourant à une seule personne et une seule hypostase, un

The Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D)

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one

Leaving the FAC premises

Simon cleans the windows and we all wax the wood floor.

Sixty-Six Clouds (Word Cloud Bible)

These are very simple but I find them very beautiful.

A wintry afternoon in Bordeaux


Setting up for the carol service.


Well that was a full and fun weekend

It started on Saturday morning with chiselling plaster and plasterboard off the stone walls of the new premises. "Would you like some gloves, Alan ?" asked Mr Security in that "Put these on now, please !" tone of voice. Nice but determined. I was happy to comply. At lunchtime I sneaked off and sneaked some pizza before scuttling off to the house to change into my serious clothes. Two-thirty found us haring off to get the children and two-forty-five saw us stuck on the quays in the mother of all traffic jams. Three-thirty rehearsal. Went pretty well. Four-thirty last minute fussing. Kids find new tasks to do. Five-thirty start. A good crowd. Fewer than last year, I think ? Chatting with various folk afterwards. We left at just after eight, knowing that some would be leaving significantly later. Sunday morning - a late start. We have no responsibilities this morning other than to provide bread and wine. Sam is preaching and leading. He starts the service. Fe

"I've got this weird feeling that something's crawling up my leg",

said Patricia. "I think you're right, let's see what it is," quoth I. "It's me !" said Rich Lizard, who had sneaked under the duvet to warm himself up...

Victoria - O Magnum Mysterium

We're singing this as a sort of warm-up before the service. Our alleluia sectuions are a bit more energetic !

The weekend ahead

Big band last night - after missing two weeks it was good to be back in the blast. This morning church demolition, then pizzas for lunch together. Kids to kidsclub. Me home to shower and change and stuff. Then Carol Service this afternoon. Then home this evening - we anticipate being tired but happy.

Michael Buble "Feeling Good" (HD 720p)

We have a new chart at the PJB and it's a corker.

Jacques Loussier - Chorale No. 1


Wednesday was a conspiracy day

everything was conspiring to waste the day. Thursday was worse, though with shots of unpredictable providence and grace. Last week I had to collect someone from Villenave. I popped into the supermarket there on the way and noticed that they had nice corduroy trousers. Nice but pricey. 30 euros for supermarket cords... Hmm... Anyway French trousers are just different. They don't do lengths and the cut ... well it's not Marks and Sparks... It's like shopping for trousers on Octar, the Octopus Planet... I left them there. Yesterday, for reasons that I won't go into, I needed to find some black trousers that I can wear on Saturday afternoon. So I went to Villenave. They still had cords. They had black ones. I tried them on. They're OK. Phew ! Amazing !

"Shut up ! Just shut up !" (laughing)

It was in 1981 and the acceptance tester was testing my programme. "Hmm... Could you do this, this, this and this, please?"  Customer is always right. I spent the morning making the changes. After lunch... "Hmm... No, it was better before." So I spent the afternoon changing it back. A day's work to achieve nothing at all... I learnt a lot that day. Firstly about version control. Keep the old version. You may need to change it back. Secondly about work. Sometimes you work all day like a slave to achieve nothing at all. Of course, ministry  is never like that, is it ? Well I spent a good part of yesterday morning preparing for something that I later discovered we aren't going to do. Still, never mind, surveys on campus next. I arrived in good time and awaited the happy band of colleagues. Ting ! A message ! Tram accident. We're stuck at the other end of the campus. Can you join us here ? They had a hard time using a survey that wasn'

Makes you think...

An article from World magazine here.

Just imagine... (Jerry Bridges, from 'Respectable Sins')

The Scripture passage that has helped me most to deal with the sins of the tongue is Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." This is an application of Paul's "put off/put on" principle that he set forth in Ephesians 4:22-24. The principle is that we're to put off the sinful traits of the old self and, at the same time, give diligence to putting on the gracious traits of the new self created in Christ. As we look at Ephesians 4:29, we see that we're not to let any corrupting talk come out of our mouths. Corrupting talk is not limited to profanity or obscene speech. It includes all the various types of negative speech—including lying, slander, critical speech (even when true), harsh words, insults, sarcasm, and ridicule. Note Paul's absolute prohibition: No corrupting talk. None whatsoever. This means no gos

John Fedchock New York Big Band - FLINTSTONED


Today in view

I still need one 40cm bookshelf from Ikea. I couldn't get it yesterday because it was emptying down with rain so loading up is a nightmare. So I hope to get it this morning, and to continue sorting out books in the study. This afternoon we converge on the FAC premises to move lots of the stuff out to be stored at the church. This evening we have the great Thé O Show Café Théologique in town on the theme of human progress.

Banana porridge and rutabaga swede

Banana porridge works great. Slice the banana into the porridge before cooking and increase the cooking time in your nucrowave oven. Rutabaga is kinda like swede but it doesn't go very yellow. Tastes OK in the cawl cennyn though.

Well that all worked OK !

First full day back in circulation : Church at 9h30 because I am accompanying the songs. Not sure this'll work but you gotta give it a go. Quick run-through is OK, though by the end I am flagging... Service 10h30 - 12h - all went OK. It's never as gruelling as the run-through. Lunch together afterwards, delightful as ever. Discover that a good mousse au chocolat is best made at midnight. Off to FAC for 16h30 prayer meeting. I can't usually go to this but this week I was in town ready ! Heard of another conversion among the Chinese group - third this year. 'It's just the start,' said Sen. Sneak out of FAC at 17h30 to get back to church to open the door for the culte en anglais. A new face, an American student. Some regulars missing, some regulars back. Home at 21h. Made it !

Banana porridge

Doesn't work. Not worth trying.

Patrick Gallois interpretent MOZART QUATUOR POUR FLUTE ET CORDES en RE M...

nothing like Mozart for sorting out those baffled moments...

It's my own stupid fault

1) when the guy with the most scary cold I have ever seen sat next to me for the end of synod service last Saturday, I didn't move to sit elsewhere. No, but seriously ! He was sweating so much at one point I wondered if it was a heart attack. I won't be so restrained next time. Next time I'll move. 2) when it was obvious that I had a sore throat I tried to ignore it and hoped it would go away. It didn't. Next time I'll take it seriously. 3) when it developed into a streaming cold I just carried on regardless in the same old way that I usually do, even with Bouchra's rebuke 'On se soigne, hein ? On reste à la maison et on prend des vitamines...' ringing in my ears. Next time I'll be good, I promise. Except I might just do the same things all over again... Still this afternoon is the big afternoon when I get to leave the house for the first time since Wednesday morning. Yipppeee.

Photos of the Gironde in the snow

For them as like that sort of thing look here .

It's enough to stop the buses

and probably the trams, too.

Pat has gone out panic-buying

to our local Spar. They don't sell sliced bread, though!

Snow chaos hits Bordeaux

Gwilym is on the way home after getting half-way to school. The bus is stopping at la Médoquine and it's quite a walk from there, poor lad.

Nnnoooooooo !

Foie gras burgers ?

Christmas in Bordeaux


Liberté, égalité, fraternité, ... et puis... ?

So last night was the café théo to discuss the motto of the Republic. Again we won the quiz, though with only 5/10 I am not sure it was a result to be proud of. Part of the evening was to propose another word for the motto. Here's three of the suggestions that emerged : Liberté, égalité, fraternité, solidarité . (That one is very French-minded) Liberté, égalité, fraternité, obésité . (Apparently the idea is of sharing France's good food...) Liberté, égalité, fraternité, éternité . (That's my favourite, though the thought of an everlasting République isn't very appealing...) On my table we were a Chinese student, a French student,; two Irish folk and me. We talked about the paradox of la liberté chrétienne. Jésus s'est soumis, et par cela il a conquis. Et nous aussi, on se soumet et on ... conquit ? con ... after some discussion we decided on conquérit ... We were wrong. On se soumet et on conquiert . Oh the JOY of French. I LOVE it ! .