Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Battle Between Good and Evil Continues......At a Steps Concert!

I was a willing participant in a social experiment last Sunday. 'Can a die-hard guitar based rock fan enjoy a cheesy pop concert?'

I accompanied my 16 year old daughter to see Steps, I had refused to go earlier in the year and she couldn't find anyone else to go with (no surprise there), so when they were playing quite near to us I gave in and agreed to go.

I have to say, it was a great night, not least because my daughter and I had a fantastic laugh and did a lot of dancing! 

But because there were a few concert 'firsts' for me.  It was at the Arboretum organised by the Forestry Commission, the idea is you take your deckchairs and picnics and sit and take in the concert as the Sun goes down - beautiful.  

And if I had gone to see Alfie Boe the night before, I probably would have stayed in my deckchair.  But this was my daughter's first concert and I owed it to her to initiate her properly; so we ate our picnic while the first support act was on, then legged it to the front to watch the show in the standing area!  

The first act was a singer from the Ukraine, who had limited speaking English, but she sang in almost perfect English - strange that.  What was particularly funny was when she asked the crowd "are you having a good time?" you know the drill: crowd cheer, act says "I can't hear you" and you cheer louder. Well, bless her, she got her English a bit muddled and every time she got a little cheer she said in a broad Ukrainian accent  "I deedn't leesen" to which I looked at my daughter and said "well that's not our fault"

Once she was out of the way we abandoned our picnic rug and bags and headed down to the mosh pit - I mean standing area, to see Bjorn Again an Abba tribute act, who were fantastic, really good fun and  a lot of dancing!

Now, I've been to a fair few concerts, most of them quite grungy where the crowd is 90% long hair and tattoos, and that's just the women. But I've never seen a fight break out and 10 security guards enter the crowd and eject a crowd member - until Steps! What's that all about?! And does it say something about me, that I would expect it at a 'rock' gig but not a 'pop' one?

What I actually want this post to be about (if you're still with me!) is this picture I took of a lady in the crowd.  She has a crucifix tattooed on her back and is wearing Devil horns! Is that what you call ironic? And I wondered which she thought was least significant. The cross or the horns? 

Does the cross mean anything to her personally? Or has it become a fashionable symbol in which the wearer is unaware of the story behind it. Does she really want to represent the Devil? Or again have they just become another bad taste fashion item? I suspect the latter with the horns because lots were wearing them.

I had no idea Steps were Satanic or I wouldn't have gone and would instead have been sat at home insisting my daughter burn her cd's...........I still may insist on that.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Higgs Boson, Here Comes The Sciency Bit

Please bear with me on this post, as I am a mere non-scientist attempting to comment on the Higgs Boson discovery.

The way I understand it is: Scientists have spent billions of pounds on a piece of equipment called a Hadrom collider to look for a particle called the Higgs Boson in order to discover how the universe was fabricated; how from empty space we get the universe and us.  The search started in 1964 nearly 50 years ago, so either they weren't looking very well or this is a particularly elusive particle.

It's good they've had a nice project to keep them going, but they really needn't have bothered. You see, a lot of us already know how the universe was formed from empty space, and how we came into being.  There really is no search party required, no billion pound piece of equipment, and we've made no secret of it, the information is there for all to read in Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said "Let there be light" and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day' and the darkness he called 'night'.  And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day.

etc. etc. until after 6 days you have a complete universe with humans and animals and plants and everything. Simple. 

Simple that is if you actually believe God exists.  If you don't I suppose you're back to your billion pound particle search.  It seems to me though, assuming God doesn't exist, if it has taken us all this time and money to collide photons together in a massively complicated and expensive piece of equipment, that has been co-ordinated by some of the most brilliant minds on the planet over the last half century........How did this Higgs Boson manage to co-ordinate itself into colliding with the right particles, at the right time over 6000 years (or billions of years) ago in order to create mass which evolved into a living breathing universe? That blows my mind! I refer you back to my first sentence in which I excuse myself as a mere non-scientist, if that is something that seems completely reasonable to everyone else!

I think it is a massive faith that agrees particles colliding formed mass which made our beautiful, living, breathing, thinking universe. Far far more faith than to accept the account in Genesis 1.  Genesis leaves us with no mystery to solve, no missing pieces to search for, just the re-telling of how the God who loves us made this world, made us in His image, in His living, breathing, thinking, image. He even explains that's what He's done! We think because we are like Him, we have beauty because we are like Him, we love because we are like Him! Can the Higgs Boson make the same claims? I think not.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Whip out the Wordle

Enjoyed church this morning, aside from the always excellent sermon from one David Lawrence, I learnt of a new techy internety thing I had not come across before! Wordle's! 

No-one else seemed to know what they were and I must admit, I at first thought they were a band from the 70's who had a string of hits including 'I've got a brand new combine harvester'.

But no, a cool little website that takes any text you add and makes a pretty picture with the words and emphasises the most used one's.

So, have had a little play this afternoon, (as well as entertaining friends for afternoon tea in the garden) and quite like what it came up with.

It's an apologetics wordle!

I'm actually down to lead our home-group on Tuesday on the topic of 'introducing apologetics' and I'm actually quite nervous, but this says it all really, 'defense'! So, if all else fails on Tuesday and I'm floundering around for how to lead it, I'll just whip out the wordle!