The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us!

Went to bed extremely late last night for the complete and utter wrong reason, I was too tired. Maybe it’s happened to you, you’re ready for bed and you just sit down and have a wee flick through what’s on, before you know it it’s half past two and you can’t bring yourself to move. It is bad, it is very bad, and wrong and I repent from it, genuinely. Because late nights mean waking up in the afternoon, which means missing out on the little sunlight we get this time of year and loads of other joyful things that are to be found in the day! The verse is found in Romans 13:12-13…

So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime.

I had a walk with jonblog two days ago, we walked across some rocks for a good mile to the next coast which is called Clarach, then walked back through a forest. It was delightful. Do read all about it on his blog. I’ll have him know that the shoes are from Store21 and not Matalan, the cheek.

My Father will be pleased to know that I’ve got some use out of the ukulele he got me for Christmas, not that I’ve played anything profound, but O’Hara taught me how to play that song by Noah and the Whale that sounds good on ukulele. It’s a word I only recently learned how to spell, after a particularly difficult round of gnilleps during New Years Cranium session – I thought it was spelled ukelele, school boy error.

A book that was first recommended to me by a certain tie wearing champion and then recommended — via a facebook status — to me by Soli Deo Gloria is called Today’s Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic. I started reading it this week, it’s very short, but I’ve found it extremely helpful. When I think about evangelism I have these preconceived ideas about how to do it, and most of them are quite removed from biblical methods.

Chantry takes the example of a story I never really got, the one where — in my mind — it goes like this… a nice enthusiastic guy, eager to learn runs up to Jesus and respectfully calls him “good teacher” then asks how to get to heaven. It seems like the evangelism opportunity of our dreams, perfect on every level! But Jesus wastes it, by not even answering his question and being picky about his choice of words “why do you call me good? Only God is good.” Then going on about The Ten Commandments and then worst of all says he should sell everything he owns! It really does seem ridiculous.

But Mr. Chantry explains the incident so clearly, and it has completely changed the way I think about how I evangelise, and the way Christians are encouraged to do it these days and the way they talk about it. Jesus firstly wants him to know who God is, the man called him a good teacher, which is what we hear people today calling Jesus a lot, but he wasn’t just a good teacher, he was — and is — GOD!

Secondly Jesus shows him the law, it’s not too hard to get someone to admit they’re not perfect, we all know that, but that’s not going to break their hearts to the extent in which they feel they should turn to God. What can move them is God’s law, they need to know they’ve broken God’s law.

Thirdly, repentance. People are often told to ‘make a decision’ for Christ, but in the Bible, that term is never used, people need to turn around from their sins to come to God.

Fourthly, we need to be preaching faith, faith in God’s son, repentance and faith are Siamese twins. I haven’t read the last two chapters, but they are assurance of acceptance from God and dependence upon God. Christians today need to know this stuff!

I’m off to Morrisons this afternoon, they had the ingenious slogan ‘more reasons to shop at Morrisons’ which on the surface of it doesn’t sound that clever, but it sticks in your mind because it sort of rhymes. Listen… ‘morreesons to shop at morreesons’ my Dad pointed that out to me, very clever.

Another successful supermarket campaign involving rhyming for me is the CoOp – ‘good with food’ again on paper, doesn’t sound that great, but the Scottish guy on the advert saying it? Transformation… “The Cohohperrativ… Gud with Fud.” I can’t see the slogan without saying it in my head.

I should go into advertising, because I think I know what works. For example the current Stephen Merchant Barclays adverts, he’s managed to get me looking up from whatever distraction I have (book or laptop) during the adverts, to hear him humorously talk about current account financial packages, very clever. He will often comment on the fact that there are some ‘unconvincing metaphors’ about in this advert, which gets him on our side, whilst also placing us in opposition to any other bank advert which uses elaborate illustrative techniques to get us to use their banks.

Tesco mobile adverts, also very clever, they start off like a lot of adverts do these days, bright scene, pretty white woman, maybe in a forest or lying down on some grass or on a cloud speaking to the camera: ‘I want to live in a world where I communicate with everybody‘ etc. We are drawn in but not convinced because it doesn’t mean anything. Then an average looking fellow with a regional accent comes onto the screen and tells us he just wants something simple. Brilliant! That’s what we all want! You’re our friend Tesco! You’re not, I know you’re not.

Finally, my favourite advert at the moment is the one for something which can’t be that good because I can’t remember the name of the company or what they do, but it involves a narrative between two toasters, it’s a stroke of genius.

God bless.

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Blewog’s Firey Diary – 19/11/2010 (Washing Machines, MC’s and Dental Combat)

Those of you who are avid readers would have seen that for a short time I thought it was a good idea to change this series’ name from ‘Blewog’s Firey Diary’ to ‘Blewog’s Infernal Journal’ which was an awesome name because it kept with the firey theme and it rhymed with journal, but little did I know that it referenced hell. Faux pas methinks!

Recent goings on in the life of Rhodri Brady have been the writing of essays and the learning of lines, nothing new I hear you say. Well how about I bust you out of your overly complacent cage and tell you about the time me and not one, not two, but three other men went to buy a washing machine together. Not only that, but we came to a descision about which one to buy with in literal minutes! This was after five minutes of making jokes about buying an oven by accident and then actually thinking a tumble dryer was a washing machine.

On Sunday evening I preached! Sadly our planned preacher for the evening had to drop out, so I was rolled in at the last minute. I ended up preaching a very similar sermon to the one I did in Childs Hill in September, but I changed it slightly, eager to come at the passage afresh. I was really chuffed at how supportive so many in the congregation were, God was very good to me and it was a joy.

One evening this week I had my first profiad of ’emceeing’, I am not referring to the rapping kind (as in Jay Zed etc.) no, I mean as in the master of ceremonies, the compére guy. The CU put on an open-mic night and lots of people sung and I was basically given the freedom to shout whatever I wanted down the microphone in-between the actual talent. This was for a good few hours. It was an absolute joy, and I particularly enjoyed making music jokes, political jokes and science jokes—most of which I stole from t’internet. I was hesitant to crush the idea of me being the rapping kind of MC, because at the end of the show, me and my fellow friend performed a rap, a rap all about kicking the bar, which went to the tune of Kick, Push by Lupe Fiasco. We had rapping names, he was called Prfessor JJ, and I went by the name of Serious Filth! We went down an absolute storm and we now have a recording contract (not).

I am rather bruised because in my play, we have to rehearse a scene in which I get beaten up over and over and over and over agin. It’s fun at the time because it takes me back to the days of the old school yard, but when I wake up the next morning, I find bruises in the most unusual places.

I’m off to London tonight, I shall be watching a play there (surprise surprise)! I’m looking forward to having some time on the train to think, and read, and probably not listen to music because I dumbly lost my iPod, along with another billion other lovely valuables such as my Bible and house keys and TheBestSupermanShirtEver all inside my wife’s favourite ruck-sack. Twas her favourite container in which to carry her rucks. But we live and learn (or in my case live and lose, and lose, and lose, and find, and lose again).

I was eating bonbons in a lecture the other day and the chewy part of it suddenly became hard. I thought to myself, what an interesting chemical reaction these confectionarial makers have managed to create in my mouth! However, what happened was far less Willy Wonka-esque. I had managed to dislodge a gold inlay from my tooth, thus leaving a rather large chasm in the back row of my upper jaw. The day before yesterday (which is the day after the day before the day after two days ago) I went to the dentist. I shall spare you the paragraph in which I share with you the fact that I often find myself revelling in the fear that we all have to some extent—of the dentist. Anyway, this procedure was rather easy. I’d kept the inlay in my wallet for quite some time, it was quite the conversation killer. She—the dentist—grabbed it and shoved in there and it felt a bit weird but it was fine, I thought she’d finished, but of course she felt the need to cement it. So then she had to spend five minutes taking it out of my teeth again, the fear of dentists is never too bad until you consider that maybe, just maybe they’re going to make a mistake. You hear horror stories of dentists accidentally pulling whole jaws off, and this is was the genre of fear I was feeling this time. She was yanking, levering and wedging this little metal bit in my teeth, like I’d never seen. What I should have told her was that I would just pop a bonbon in my mouth and then I’d take it out for her! Eventually it dropped out and I almost swallowed it, and then, with spot of cement from her industrial sized mixer, in the style of a true brick-layer, I was kitted up and ready to beep my way through any airport security gate you threw at me. It does feel a bit weird though, because (this is really amazing, God is awesome) when you lose a tooth or a bit of a tooth, the set of teeth below compensate for this by pushing themselves up a bit further to make up for it, to help my chewing! But when she put it back in, all I could feel was this huge metal wad. By now my mouth is getting used to it, but I do have regular tap dance recitals, inside my head.

Blewog’s Firey Diary – 05/11/2010 (Love Letters, Boardgame Settlers and Cymru Cheesecake Trend-Setters)

This week we’ve had:

  • Early mornings (if waking up at 8 can be called early?)

The thing you begin to realise when you’re getting up at a semi-reasonable hour of the day is that you need to go to bed early. Now, I am still suffering from a state of mind I lived with in childhood, it’s called inevereverevereverwanttogotobed syndrome, the main symptom of this disease is a connection in one’s mind of sleeping at night with a ceasing of ‘fun’. I’m slowly recovering, but the knowledge of 24 hour Spar is always a demon.

  • Some exciting letter writing.

I found myself trying to scan some of the old files in my cerebrum for files on ‘how to write a letter’ I remembered that there were all these formatting rules and courtesy regulations, it took me back to my penpal days with a certain Tiger Tim of Thirsk.

  • Readings and spectatings of some good examples of post-dramatic theatre (Martin Crimp, Cupola Bobba).

No plot, no characters, no words, no conflict, no stage, no actor, no audience, no life, no earth, no God. Well, it’s not exactly that, but that description is getting close.

  • An evening of home made burgers and a session of cheese tasting followed by a game of ‘Settlers of Catan’.

We found ourselves in Morrisons, talking to the lady at the deli counter, sampling some of the country’s finest cheeses, in the end settling for some Australian cheddar which I didn’t even know existed and doesn’t sound particularly appetising, it was good though. I also enjoyed some onion chutney. Friends are good for recommendations like that aren’t they, they’re also good for German multiplayer boardgame related joy.

  • A blessed Welsh CU meeting thinking especially about The Creation or should I say Y Creu.

My Taid was our speaker this Thursday, and what a joy it was to have him there. A good number, and a clear message for us to chew on.

  • A baby birthday celebration, a victorious game of Articulate and a surprisingly engrossing viewing of first twenty minutes of Finding Nemo.

We had chocolate cake and cheesecake, and as we consumed, the topic of ‘why do Welsh people talk about cheesecake more than other nationalities talk about cheescake’? I’d never heard such claims. I have no opinion on the matter, do you?

So, as you can see, this week’s been a busy one and on top of all that, I feel that most of my time has been taken up with trying to learn lines, and then desperately trying with oh so much of my strength to make my sultana sized brain remember them during the rehearsals! I hope we’re making progress on the play. I really do hope so.

Listening to:

Virally Contracted:

Banksy fancy dress costume.

Video: Telegraph reporter attacked by lion “just playing”

It gets really good around the 2 minute mark.

I love the guy just shouting no in Afrikaans, a word that we as a family have come to know quite well, as we have some South African kids in our congregation.