Friday, 21 December 2007

Sensible Government at Last?

I was heartened by two items in yesterday's news.

The penalties for using a mobile phone while driving are being increased (BBC News). Motorists now face a jail sentence if their use of a mobile phone causes them to drive dangerously. This has to be good news - even at low speeds the effect of such distractions can be deadly. It would be even more sensible, though, to hammer the message home more consistently. The police should be more active in pulling over and warning drivers they see using mobiles - even in traffic jams and slow moving traffic.

The other item that caught my eye is that Harriet Harman, the Commons Leader, has called for it to be made illegal to pay for sex, as has apparently been done in Sweden (Daily Telegraph). There appears to be evidence that prostitution is fuelling a growth in international human trafficking; anything that can be done to help prevent such evil has got to be a good thing. That this proposal has already been opposed by the Liberal Party is perhaps unsurprising, and should make us think twice before giving them any more power.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Avoiding Worry 4 - Remember God's Love

Another strategy for avoiding worry if you are a Christian ...

4 Remember God’s love for you

When you meditate on God’s love for you in the Lord Jesus Christ: choosing you before the foundation of the world to share in his eternal kingdom; sending his own son to die for you - to deal with your sin and to clothe you with his righteousness … When you think about all these things and the other good that flows from this, how can you doubt that God loves you and wants the best for you? God will supply everything you need.

... your heavenly father knows that you need [food, drink, clothes, etc.]. (Matthew 6:32)

And you are precious to him.

Are you not much more valuable than [the birds of the air]? (Matthew 6:26)

Yes, times might be difficult, but the promise of Romans 8:28 still stands:

You know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11)

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
(Psalm 103)

Saturday, 8 December 2007

London Speak

This is a public service announcement on behalf of strangers to the capital.

One sure way to tell if someone is a visitor to London is to listen to them talking about bus routes. If they refer to the one hundred and eighty six (or - worse! - the one hundred eighty six) or the seven three, they probably haven't been here long.

Here are some rules to make you sound like a native (at least here in the North West).

Refer to routes with numbers under a hundred just as normal numbers; so:

13: thirteen
73: seventy three
82: eighty two
C11: C eleven

Once you get over a hundred, the rules get a little more complicated. If the number's not a multiple of ten, then just list its digits:
183: one eight three
113: one one three
102: one oh two (not one zero two)

If the number's over a hundred and a multiple of ten, then you need to combine the two rules above:
460: four sixty
210: two ten