My mobile phone contract

This month my 18-month phone contract with O2 came to an end, so deciding to keep my existing handset (the O2 Xda Orbit) I chose a cheaper tariff, enabling me to save a massive £15.00 per month.

But I still get more text messages and phone call minutes bundled with my tariff (Online simplicity 25 with Unlimited Web Bolt On) than I know what to do with.

txt spk

Let’s start with text messages.  I get 1,000 per month.

One thousand.

Ten times ten times ten.

Or if you’re Roman: M.

When do I have the time to send 1,000 text messages every month?!

Let’s say there’s an average of 30 days per month, and I’m awake for 16 hours per day.  That means that I need to send around 33 texts per day, at just over 2 per hour every hour to take best advantage of that offer.

And that’s not even taking into account the 620 minutes that I need to use making telephone calls.

Calls

Six-hundred and twenty minutes of voice calls I get bundled in with my calling package.

That’s over 10 hours!

When am I going to have the time to speak to folks on the phone for over ten hours a month, don’t they know I’m spending most of that time composing texts?!

Actual

Last month I used:

  • 104 minutes of calls
  • 11 text messages
  • 19 KB of data (on an unlimited data package)

What I’ve not been blogging about

I’ve been meaning to blog for ages … just can’t justify putting blogging that high on my list of priorities, I’m sorry to say.

Here’s a few things that I’ve not been blogging about:

  • Visit to see Mum in Selkirk … oh, I think I did blog about that come to think of it.
  • Sister and brother and families visiting last weekend.
  • Working hard to finish the new website for the Christian Fellowship of Healing (Scotland).
  • I’m scheduled to preach at Newport-on-Tay again this weekend … need to find the time to write the sermon.
  • Installing Apache Tomcat (it’s a special kind of Web server that allows you to run software written in the Java language).
  • Cycling.
  • I’m still on antibiotics to fight a kidney-related infection … bah!
  • Holiday (at home) booked for next week.
  • Queen album review … must find time to write that post.
  • Twins group at Ninewells.

That’s your lot for now … back to the website.

Commissioning of the Ministry Leadership Team

Bishop Brian preaching at St John's Selkirk
Bishop Brian preaching at St John’s Selkirk.

On Saturday Jane and I drove down to Selkirk — via Kirkcaldy to pick up a pram, via South Queensferry to have lunch with my brother, via Hermiston Gait (Edinburgh) to buy winter supplies for the car, and via Gilmerton (Edinburgh) to help set up Jane’s sister’s new broadband connection — to visit my Mum, sister and nephew.

The reason for going, other than simply because I love my Mum and it had been too long since I’d been to visit, was that Mum was one of seven being commissioned by Bishop Brian as part of a Ministry Leadership Team at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Selkirk.

St John’s

It was a lovely service, lovely to be back in St John’s (who encouraged and sponsored my own ministry) amongst friends. Bishop Brian preached a great sermon about the need to share in ministry rather than share out ministry. It was encouraging, insightful and realistic.

One thing he said, which stuck with me (if I remember it correctly) was that these seven people were not being commissioned to wow! with their competence but to be obedient servants and just get stuck in and do what they could.

Then minutes after the comment about not wowing with competence Bishop Brian stepped out of the pulpit, knocked over a banner which tumbled onto the window ledge upsetting a flower display.

It was a genuinely beautiful moment of humanness, which was received by the congregation and reflected as a warm and delighted laugh. Brian, one of the seven to be soon commissioned, leapt to the Bishop’s aid and between them they re-set everything as it had been.

“There’s collaborative ministry in action”, David, the Priest-in-Charge affirmed.

Commissioning

Bishop Brian commissioning the Ministry Team at St John's Selkirk
Bishop Brian (in the pointy gold hat) commissioning the Ministry Team at St John’s Selkirk; Mum is in the bright pink top.

Following the creed and a re-dedication of the people of St John’s:

Brothers and sisters in Christ,
will you renew your commitment
to the loving service of God,
of one another
and of your fellow men and women?

and confession the seven were introduced to the Bishop by my sister Jenni and Annie, one of the servers, where he commissioned them:

Brothers and sisters in Christ,
you have been entrusted with the leading of Christ’s people
to fulfil their baptismal calling to ministry in this place.
Are you willing to undertake this service,
under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit;
following the example of Jesus Christ,
who came not to be served but to serve?

I was so proud of Mum, who has been such a role model and encouragement in my own journey of ministry. It was a joy, delight and privilege to be there. It was lovely to share that too in the company of Jane, who had only had two hours sleep the night before.

The Peace

When the Bishop introduced the peace:

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name,” says the Lord, “there I am, in the midst of them.”

It occurred to me that “Where two or three are gathered together…” could easily describe Jane just now!

Pick and eat

After the service, after the coffee, many of the congregation retired to the church hall for a buffet (my brother as a child called these a ‘pick and eat’), which was served by our newly commissioned team, ably demonstrating their servant natures.

Sitting at a table with my nephew Benjamin he asked: “Which places would you like to visit before you die?”

Jane thought for a moment before saying “the doctor’s, the hospital and the operating theatre!”

Norton AntiVirus 2009 vs ZoneAlarm Pro 7.0.483.000

So, this evening I thought I’d give Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2009 a go.  I uninstalled AVG Free 8.0, rebooted, started the installation process which was surprisingly fast until …

The system locked when it got to starting services.  I waited.  And waited.  Reboot.

Nothing!

Reboot again.

Nothing (again)!

System restore.  The Norton AV installer ran on reboot and got further this time: it was trying to connect to the Norton online account (or something similar).

System restore further back.  Reboot.  But then AVG wouldn’t work and I got this message:

@AvgErrorCode_0x0253 %FILE% = “C:Program FilesAVGAVG8”

Downloading the installer and doing a repair fixed it.  Phew!

ZoneAlarm

And then … then I discovered that it would appear that Norton AntiVirus 2009 has an issue with ZoneAlarm Pro 7.0.483.000 — which I know is going to prompt Tim and Mike to leave comments to the effect: Why are you using ZA anyway?!

What I’m trying to determine now is whether the latest version of ZoneAlarm Pro (version 8) works with Norton AV 2009 … does anyone know?

Money as debt

I discovered this video (Money as Debt) embedded on Dave Gorman’s blog this week, and have only just gotten around to watching it — it lasts about 47 minutes, but it’s certainly well worth it — and if true … wow! Then the situation is more scary than I feared. There’s a website too: www.moneyasdebt.net.

What I thought

I always thought that money worked like this, and this is part of what I said on Sunday in my sermon.

I’m going to have to be honest with you here, I’ve never really understood money beyond the fact that I have a bank account: I put money in to the bank, I take money out and sometimes, somehow, the bank uses the money that I’ve deposited to make them — and me — more money. I have no idea how that works!

To me, it’s a bit like those films where your children’s toys come to life after dark, like Toy Story: you put the action figure in the toy chest, in the morning it’s still there exactly where you left it … but during the hours in between it’s been on some daring and crazy adventure.

New money

But it would appear not. It would appear that banks simply create new money almost out of thin air, and that money now simply represents debt.

“Each and every time a bank makes a loan, new bank credit is created – new deposits – brand new money.”
Graham F. Towers, Governor, Bank of Canada, 1934-54.

A few interesting quotations from the movie that gets you thinking:

Woodrow Wilson

“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.

Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of a nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.

We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world, no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”

Woodrow Wilson
President of the United States of America, 1913-1921

John Adams

“All of the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arises, not from the defects of the Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.”

John Adams,
Founding Father of the American Constitution

William Lyon Mackenzie King

“Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile…

Once a nation parts with control of its credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws…

Usury once in control will wreck any nation.”

William Lyon Mackenzie King
from Prime Minister of Canada
(who nationalized the Bank of Canada)

Rockerfeller

And perhaps the most scary quotation, which closes the film:

“We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.

It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years.

But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission,
in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission, in June, 1991.

What now?

Perhaps it’s time for us to stop being complacent and find out how this whole money thing works (or doesn’t) and do something about it.

But of course, we’re all busy. And I’ve got work in the morning. And there’s the grass to cut, and I have a to do list as long as my monitor is high. Perhaps it would be best just to leave it to the bankers. It’s their area of expertise, after all. They know how it works, and how to fix it … maybe we should just leave it to them …