Friday, 3 October 2014
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
The football team failed, the cricket's been miserable. The rugby was plucky but unsuccessful. Murray has, for his standards, done poorly.
So, come December, we might end up scratching around for a Sports Personality of the Year.
As things stand, the top contenders with the bookies (Sky Bet, William Hill) are:
1. Lewis Hamilton (6/4, 11/8)
Despite a rough few weeks, Lewis is back on course to contend for the F1 title. He's the surest hope for a Brit to win a title in a popular sport and is strong favourite with the bookies. But to win SPOTY, he needs to win the drivers' championship and hope no one else does anything spectacular. Hamilton isn't universally popular and has come second in the competition twice when he's had a strong case to win. I'd definitely put him favourite but those aren't good odds.
2. Jonny Wilkinson (6/1, 5/1)
This is an amazing inclusion for the second spot and shows how weak the field is. He's retiring and had a decent season but it's astonishing that a player who's been out of international rugby (and therefore out of the average person's awareness) for so long is the second favourite for SPOTY. I'd need much longer odds to persuade me.
3. Carl Froch (7/1, 8/1)
He won his first big fight for the year (and big it was) and needs to hold off James DeGale. His 8/1 seems a better value bet to me than the other two.
Beyond those three, we're largely speculating that a golfer will win a major (and possibly the Ryder Cup) or Murray will win the US Open.
Can anyone else see a potential winner? (Sky Bet odds, William Hill odds)
1: In Adam every human fell
Death spread through every race
Now those with faith in Christ are well
Judged righteous by his grace - Judged righteous by his grace
Thank you O God - You clothed me in Christ
Made me your own - For the ultimate price
A matchless exchange! - All my wrongs for your rights
You took my sin - And gave me your life
2: Because in love God overlooked
The evil we had done
Remaining just he undertook
A plan to make us one - A plan to make us one
3: Upon the cross the Son atoned
He bore God's wrath at sin
His perfect life is counted my own
God looks at me as him
God looks at me as him
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
'That was bad sportsmanship'
'Not in the spirit of the game'
'He may have been given two warnings but that was below the belt'
'Batsmen step out of the crease all of the time.'
These are the comments being made in the wake of the 'controversial' run out of Jos Buttler against Sri Lanka.
Are we not aware that all of the same points could be made about stumpings? Except no batsman gets multiple chances when they're stumped.
As much as I support Buttler and the England team the solution is very simple. Back up properly. It is not hard.
No one has been tricked or cheated. No one has lied to or deceived the umpires. No one has been rude to anyone else. The Sri Lankan team simply enforced a law. After two warnings.
If you want to talk about the spirit of the game, let's ban sledging and punish batsmen who don't walk when they know they're out. These actions are far more against the spirit of the game.
In the meantime, I'm very happy to apply for the role of England's backing up coach. I will teach all the batsmen how to back up without leaving the crease before the ball is bowled. I will even show the bowlers how to enforce the rule themselves. I did so once in youth cricket.
Can we please not talk about umpires deducting/awarding runs for bad backing up? They have enough to do and it'll be a nightmare for scorers.
All we need to do is de-stigmatise this mode of run outs. Batsmen shouldn't even be given warnings. Very soon, batsmen will learn to back up properly and fairly.
Monday, 26 May 2014
1. There are a lot of awesome people in my life.
2. Can we all at least agree that we're happy that the BNP has been destroyed this weekend?
3. I can't stop thinking about a lady I met at the weekend. Raped when 15 and in foster care and had forced termination. Now looking after her sister's 5 year old boy who was badly abused and bears the (behavioural) scars.
She became a Christian in January. Lord keep her and make her story end well.
4. Well happy for Tim and Sarah. And James and Libby.
5. Drink alcohol when you're happy, not when you're sad. And be happy as much as possible.
6. Listening to Pharrell Williams or Guvna B songs does not aid in this pursuit.
7. There is an enormous difference between a bad latte and an ok one. But there is an even bigger difference between an ok one and a great one. Go to Taylor St Baristas in Brighton.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
|My notepad bearing the scars of re-writing|
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Given that we want our boy to:
- Be a Christian.
- Be musical.
- Be happy.
- Go to sleep on demand.
____, ____, Yahweh has given you life
____, ____, Use it to glorify Christ
May you love the Lord with all your soul
May you love his words as much as gold
May you love your neighbour as yourself
May you look to Yahweh for help
____, ____, Jesus has given you life
Geekily, I note that this is pretty much a chiasm.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Us moderns (and postmoderns, if you prefer) like keeping our hobbies, work, politics and religion separate.
Be friends with your book club as you read Will Self's latest novel. Invite your family for tea. Best not invite the radical feminist or she'll scare Auntie Mabel.
Theologians do it Two Kingdoms style (no Jesus in our public space). The French do it secular style (no Jesus in our public space).
|Marc Trestman. He normally wears a hat.|
But then Michael Sam comes along, media circus behind him, disturbing the locals. And so, sex, morality, politics and Christianity suddenly invade my Bear cave.
What do I do? What should I do?
How strongly do I make my views known? Someone on the internet is wrong! And not just about the inaccuracy of ProFootballFocus' offensive line stats. Liberty, sexuality, morality, God.
Two principles to guide me:
1) Christ rules over all.
If Jesus rules all, He has opinions on everything. And if I'm called to be Christ-like, I'm to try to represent His opinions everywhere. It's not loving to keep Him bottled up in the whisky cupboard for special occasions.
2) Only withdraw what you can afford
I nicked this off Douglas Wilson but changed the context.
You can write someone a cheque for a million pounds. But unless you have that kind of money, it'll only bounce. The recipient will get annoyed and no good has been done.
How much have you invested in the people you're talking with? Are you a drive-by critic or a supportive friend?
If you've got £10 in that account, make a £10 comment (at most). If you've got £10,000 in there, you can withdraw a lot more.
That means investing more in real connections and friendships.
It means contributing to people's lives with more than (but not less than) the right opinion.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
So you don't write. Or you do write but only when something spontaneously comes into your head - a lyric perhaps, or a tune.
The desire to be famous - for the sake of... what exactly?
More likely than famelust, perhaps. You write so that someone will say something nice about you. "He's so talented!". "What a brilliant metaphor!"
Imagine creating that one song, novel or comedy YouTube video that gives you sustainable income for life. The freedom!
To prove you can
Maybe because you don't believe you can.
I'm not immune to such pulls. But, at my best, I create because I see needs.
I see people led astray by shallow arguments and facile catchphrases.
I see my unborn baby boy who will need a lullaby for bedtime.
I see truths and realities people don't like to understand or believe, let alone sing about.
I see prepositions at the end of sentences that I don't care about.
I see trees of green, red roses too (still reading?)
What drives you to create? Is it a good thing?