Sunday, December 25, 2005

God's gift for Christmas? (click for audio)

On the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I think its fair to take out a few moments to think about the whole issue of the claims of Christianity itself.

As I was working today, I was challenged again by hearing one of our interviews with a special guest called John Blanchard. John has spoken at my Church a few times and he speaks articulately for the evangelical view that faith is based on relationship, not religion.

I have posted John's interview on this page and it makes interesting listening to anyone who may consider the importance or existence of God at this time.

To listen to the audio, please click on the TITLE of this post and may I wish people of all faiths and none, a very peaceful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tis the season to be merry

Click the ^^^^^title^^^^^ to see festive house lights taken to the next level

The music you hear also plays to accompany the christmas lights but after many people simply camped outside the house for front row seats the owners had to pull the plug.

...No wonder the USA contributes 25% towards global warming, I've a funny feeling theres a good 10-15% going up in lights right there :-)

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Vatican Photographs

For the last few days I have been in Rome, fulfilling a long time ambition to visit the Vatican. I am not a Roman Catholic but for anyone who's vaguely interested in Church History. St Peter's must be top of the list of places to visit.

Its the worlds largest Church in the worlds smallest country and although there are bigger golf courses than the whole Vatican state itself, you'll be hard pressed to find other places which such a great and varied collection of art and sculpture.

Anyone who wants to see some of photographs from my visit may do so by clicking on the "Vatican Photographs" text above the banner at the top of this entry.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The value of God?

I arrived home today to find my latest coin had arrived for my collection. This is a special coin with a special story.

Coin collecting may not be everyone's cup of tea but most people can identify with some coin or other. Some coins seem rather normal but others ooze intrigue and interest after a few hundred years underground or even underwater.

Whether its pirates pieces of eight or medieval coinage from the darkest streets of London, I love wondering about the history behind these tiny discs of metal. If only they could speak. Whose hands could of held them?

My new coin certainly falls into this category. It was minted around 35AD in Jerusalem and its a standard shekel which would have been changed at the temple into temple money (this was coinage bearing no idololoturous imagery). The old coins would never be used in the house of God.

Problems soon arose however as people who changed this money soon realised that they could charge a premium for doing so. Over time, the cost of changing coinage grew and grew meaning that poorer people couldn't afford the better offerings once inside.

It was this system which angered Jesus greatly. On one occasion He stormed through the temple, turning over the money tables as he went "This is supposed to be a house of prayer..." He said "but you have turned it into a den of thieves!"

What's it worth?

This coin is also very special for another reason. Although its minted approximately two years after the crucifixion of Jesus, this coin is the same type as the infamous '30 pieces of silver'. This was the price for which Judas agreed to betray Christ to the authorities. As I held this coin for the first time today, I wondered for what price I betray the faith which I claim? The coin looks so small especially in comparison to the life of a man yet sometimes people seem to betray their beliefs for even less than this.

For anyone who's interested. This coin is valued today at £186.28 which means that using the same '30 piece rule' the price on the head of Jesus would be £5588.40.