You become your parents,

Or so they say.

And hereby, I think I will prove it true, to some degree:


Yes, I’m blogging pictures of settlers games, and home made food.

Now for some context.

So we got back from honeymoon two weeks ago – which means we’ve been married now for a month! Incredible.

Honeymoon was amazing – the perfect holiday, I think. We stayed in this gorgeous cottage / gatehouse / lodge , in Gatehouse of fleet:

Went for loads of walks (Dumfries & Galloway are lovely!):

(where I took quite a few photos of flowers and insects, cos it’s cool)



Yeah. Honeymoon was cool! I thoroughly recommend it. Getting married first is a pretty good idea, too.

We visited Cream of Galloway who make icecreams:

(I love this photo!!! Becky isn’t so keen on it though. heh heh heh)

Drank lots of coffee:

(I figure if I put a funny one of me, I’ll get less flak for putting a crazy one of Becky…)

The house had a log fire,
where we made smores:


And generally had a wonderful time. Thanks to everyone who came to the wedding, helped us in so many ways, and gave us gifts and all that cool stuff. Getting married is awesome! Being married is even better.

So now we’re back, we’ve been playing with some new kitchen toys (real chef knives, a blender, breadmaker, new plates and bowls and pans and pots and a yoghurt maker… wow! I feel really thankful and very embarrassed in a good way…). Thus the food pictures:



(making pancakes using a blender to make the batter – is this the ultimate in laziness? Whatever – it’s fun! 🙂 )

Yes – we’re having fun. Not having to walk half an hour home each night is VERY nice too. I may well post more pictures too, as I slowly sort them out. We haven’t actually got all the pictures back from the wedding, we’ve seen some of them, but I’ll post some of those too, later.

Theology and Perspective (Part 3…)

First check out Part 1, and Part 2.

So, returning to my original quote: love isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision.

And I said, there’s some truth to it. However – I don’t think that’s the whole story.

We all long for love, and when we think of it, imagine the amazing soaring heights: long walks in the woods; laughter; passion; kisses in the moonlight; being held by someone who just wants to be with you; that secret, hidden spark; being known and knowing, intimately, deeply, unjudgingly; the look that’s meant just for you…

And Josh Harris et al. are right in saying it’s more than just the feeling we get from these things (incredible, inexplicable, wonderful and rewarding though it is…), and we must have something more, a decision, an act of the will, which keeps us going through the dark times. Though thick and thin, health and sickness, better or worse, richer or poorer. The thing which keeps us going though we’re angry and tired, and the one we love drives us mad. When everything goes wrong and we want to give up – that “not-giving-up-ness”, is also love. And without it, all of the first list are just a crashing cymbal, or breath of wind, cool, sweet, beautiful, but perishable, and of no lasting significance.

But the thing is, I don’t think that just the decision is love.

And I think we can – by looking at it, or teaching it this way – miss the fact that 90% of the time*, life isn’t passionate highlights, nor terrible lows, but plodding along in the day-to-day mundane boring normality.
[*Yes, I know. Fictional statistic for the sake of rhetorical prose. Forgive me.]

Does that sound bad?

If you get married, and have kids, then by the time they are old enough to leave home, you’ll have spent two thousand HOURS … doing the dishes.

Is that bad?

No. It’s an integral part of love. Without the details, picking up the trash and the dishes, vacuuming the carpets, driving to work, none of the “perks” of love can exist – nor would they mean anything if they did.

What we need, I think, is not to say “I have decided to love”, but “I am love”. Following God’s description of Himself in John’s gospel as love. The famous passage in 1 Corinthians comes to mind, of course, as well. So instead of thinking, “I’ve decided to love Becky”, or “I feel in love with Becky”, I must say, “I am love Becky.” (grammarians, have fun)

Then the things I do, the things I think, the things I say, will all come from that. The who I am.

And it must become part of the who.

So then, how does this all reflect back to theology, and the my thoughts about our perspective on God?

Well, I struggle to connect a lot of the bits and pieces of Christianity.

The theology, on one hand, with the practical out-working on the other, loving people on the third hand, loving God on the fourth, loving myself with the fifth hand, spiritual experience with the sixth, and by this stage, I’ve more than run out of arms.

The Christian life is for Octopuses.

But back to the point of this – I believe we all long for the excitement and adventure of faith. Of being part of something enormously bigger and more fantastic than ourselves; of knowing something (someone) deep inside of our hearts; fighting against evil; forgetting ourselves as we proclaim with great passion and joy the great truths, of sitting discussing until the wee hours about how fantastically beautiful each aspect of our Creator is, delving deeper and deeper into something incredibly vast and unending, and also of going out amongst the poor and needy, healing the sick, giving up luxuries with joy, being a useful part of a bigger kingdom.
[Note the ‘3 winds’, btw]

Adrian Plass jokes of his fantasy walking through a church hall healing people in wheel-chairs.

But the biggest thing, I think, within this is the aspect of “forgetting ourselves”.

We’re SO self-obsessed, and when we finally forget ourselves, and reach in the reality outside of our own pettiness, we truly live.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Why books can be so absorbing; why I want to escape to Narnia, or Middle Earth, or Hogwarts; why it’s so much easier to watch an episode of “Top Gear” than to write emails or invite the neighbours ’round for tea…

I think firstly, losing ourselves; Not having to “think about number 1”, and get away. But then there’s also the other bits of faith – being part of something enormously bigger, deep truths and fighting against evil, growing deeper…

To me, Narnia and all that is so very attractive, as fighting dragons and hunting in the forests seems so much easier than the battles I face. Peter grows up and becomes a man through slaying the wolf of Queen Jardis. I must grow up by memorising verses and remembering to take out the trash?

I’m convinced that this “escapism” is not wrong. It catches us, with the secret “joy” that C.S. Lewis talks of, and awakens our hearts to the calling of God. I cannot believe that God did not intend us to be adventurous. Just as it takes forever for Gandalf to convince Bilbo that hobbits are actually very good at adventuring, and that a safe happy small life in a hobbit-hole is actually a wasted life.

What we need is to be those adventurers, those bold warriors, those royal alive on-fire Lords and Ladies, as we do everything. As we wash the dishes. As we scrape ice off the car. As we pay our rent.

Just believing the right Christian theology – isn’t enough. Just making a decision – isn’t enough. Just discussing the right Christian concepts – isn’t enough. Just doing the right Christian things – isn’t enough.

We have to be christians.

Most of the time, I don’t even know where to start.

Thoughts…

We’ve booked our tickets to leave Cyprus in a month-ish. This time has gone SO fast … it did last time too.

I’ve started thinking about “stuff”. Very vague, I know. More, possessions type stuff. Here’s a picture of my cupboard:


as you can see, crammed full of all kinds of bits and pieces. From recorders (blockflöten) to juggling balls to old marmite jars with elastic bands to rope to old telephones to candles to old CD players to scissors…

I know I’m naturally something of a hoarder, and don’t want to throw stuff away… but on Doulos I think I either learned to be more balanced, or else some how got even more messed up! 🙂

By the time I left AV, I had picked up quite a bit of “are we using it? No? Is it working? No? OK, then throw it away.” – I know Ant and Adam will claim somewhat otherwise *cough*oldA&Hsound-desks*cough* – but I know I’ve actually changed a lot. So now, looking at all this stuff in my cupboard, things I haven’t used in over 4 years now… I find it really hard to want to keep it.

How is it helping me to have this here? How is it helping anyone? Am I using it? No. Is it working? Well, some of it, kind of. Will I use it again?

Probably not… well… some of it? Maybe?

Sentimental value seems to be something I no longer really care about much.

I’ve thrown out the old hand-made juggling clubs (plastic milk bottles, newspaper and kitchen-roll centers 🙂 ) and broken telephones (for a juggling routine to do with communication), and some other odds and ends, but amn’t sure what to do with the rest.

Does it actually behoove me ( I’ve been wanting to use that word for AGES! ha! Done it! ) to throw stuff away?

Now I’m going back to Carlisle for a few years, and getting married next year, I need to think more about such stuff, I guess. I will no longer be a batchelor, able to just keep random clutter in a cupboard. I’m fine with that. (I’m pretty sure I’ll end up picking up more…)

I do have a lot of projects on the go at once. Juggling stuff – one day I will get back into it more; Obscure music stuff – I will take up the bagpipes one day; art stuff – I love painting, I just haven’t done any for a while; computer programming – a hobby. I don’t want a job of this! But a little is fun; graphic design… etc… etc…

But it’s not very efficient. I know I need to prioritise, cut away the cruft. I don’t NEED this stuff! But maybe not? Maybe actually having lots of clutter and things on the go is actually how I function best? Or maybe not?

Isn’t it great being decisive? Well, perhaps? Or perhaps not? Some times? Er…

So.

How do you make big announcements?

Do you blow trumpets and dance and stuff?

Or pretend like nothing is up and act all blasé?

Which is less pretentious? Which is less gauche? (I am enjoying using all these fancy words, but I have to use the flippin’ spell checker to make sure I get them right, which rather spoils the whole sophisticated air of the thing. Oh well.)

I kind of feel I should respect my British heritage, and get all worked up about the tiniest things (such as toasters, knots, AV, coffee machines, and so on) and drop big announcements as if they’re specks of dust being flicked from ones mess-jacket (not that I have a mess jacket, but it sounds right, Bertie Woosterish).

Enough of this blithering.

I’m engaged to be married to the most wonderful girl in the world! Life is a happy thing, full of kittens and sunshine and gentle summer breezes, and stuff!

Hopefully that somewhat fell between the lines of fanfare and faux pas, hint and hyperbole, I shall now go and dance for a bit.

The Abomination is Dead.

I don’t like Mobile Phones.

I was somewhat forced by various parents (well, mine, actually) to take one with me, when I first went off to Doulos, 5 years ago.

Here it is:

I named it “The Abomination”.

5 years later, I have conceded that they are somewhat useful. Alas, I dropped it this week. It now only does this:

So it is deceased. Good bye Abomination.

Rest in Pieces.

at quinta again

Back from Spain. It went really well. Really great people, and it was cool helping to support technically all these guys who are so excited by what they’re doing.

Quite a surprise that some friends from Cyprus were particpants at the conference! So it was quite cool meeting up with them!

We’ve been back a week now. Becky was with some friends down south, and I was up in Carlisle finishing off some projects, and then we met up again on Friday, here at the Quinta.

Last time I was here, was for a few days break after my first 2 years on Doulos. I’m now here with Becky for a couple of days debrief with our home-office, and talking to some of the new people who are joining the company in september about life on board the ships.

It’s again quiet, relaxing, and also very good hanging out with some of my friends from the Doulos who are living and working here now.

I managed to spend catch lunch with my brother and some friends in Birmingham on the way down.

Here’s a crazy story:

Trying to buy tickets to get here, straight from Carlisle to Quinta would cost 40 pounds+… but if I booked Carlisle to Birmingham, and then Birmingham to Quinta, it cost 26.

I do NOT understand why. I blaim computers. They’re evil. It’s all a conspiracy.

We only have a few weeks more at Carlisle, for now, and hope to fly to Cyprus in about a month. Probably.

Then, hopefully, God willing, etc, to come back here for a few years starting some time in the summer.

We’ll see how that all goes.

Life carries on…

So. Short post.

We’re in KK, Malaysia. Beautiful place.

A whole bunch of people left, and a whole bunch of new ‘uns joined.

The crazy Swedish dude left my AV team and headed home, after two years on board, and now I’ve got a new American the team. It’s fun training him, although kind of strange. I’ve taught AV stuff to so many people now. It’s hard to remember what I’ve taught to whom. I’ve got a basic Doulos AV curriculum, finally, but it’s difficult to get it all together. Theres so many little bits of randomness.

So now the team is one Korean, one Brit, one American, and one confused-not-quite-sure-ean(me).

Amongst the new recruits is one of my friends from the UK, which is very cool. She seems to be enjoying the ship so far, and is working in the “Accomedation” team, cleaning the inside of the ship, doing the laundry, running the bookshop cafe, etc.

Anyway. So. This was intended to be a short post, and mostly informational…

Yeah.

It’s my girlfriend’s birthday tomorrow. The whole present-buying-birthday-celebration-rituals-cultures-thing terrifies me. Like, I dunno. Something about my INFP/TCK nature, I guess. I want everything I do to be meaningful, and genuine. Especially with those who are really dear to me. That’s the INFP side… But also, I feel like so many things (such as buying presents on birthdays, putting up signs, cards, etc) are very superficial, and just a crass part of some culture.

I want to buy presents that are really real – not just bought “because” of the birthday. Yet I don’t know if buying presents *for* the birthday, like, “doing the birthday thing” is also a way of being real, within a culture?

I don’t totally relate personally to any culture, really, and find almost all cultures have things which offend me, and which I don’t fit into.

Also, on the other hand, more practically, I know that there is an element I also probably ought to have of simply “Daniel, just grow up, accept the fact that you’re not all that great at buying presents, so get over it, stop making all these stupid theoretical excuses and work harder than everyone else to actually do it well, and on time. Stop being so lazy.”

Avoid Sudoku!

I hardly ever do Sudoku.

But occasionally I fall into temptation, and picked up the following problem:


[4][ ][ ] [ ][ ][3] [ ][9][ ]
[5][1][ ] [ ][4][8] [ ][2][7]
[ ][2][ ] [ ][9][ ] [ ][8][ ]

[ ][4][ ] [3][7][ ] [2][ ][ ]
[7][ ][2] [ ][8][ ] [9][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][6] [ ][1][ ] [ ][5][3]

[ ][ ][7] [8][6][ ] [4][ ][9]
[9][6][ ] [ ][ ][7] [ ][ ][2]
[ ][ ][4] [ ][ ][1] [ ][7][ ]

Apparently DEAD EASY to do. It took me about 2 minutes.

Except the last 4 squares, which are impossible.

I’m almost annoyed enough to almost go learn what the rules for making a sudoku are, and find out which one this particular sudoku has broken.

Grr.

Long time no update

Hi Blog.

Long time no update, I blame I.T. and specifically I blame Blip, who works in I.T. I don’t blame her because it’s probably her fault, but because she deserves it. I can’t access blogspot, so have to go back to the old email-mum-with-stuff-to-blog method.

Anyway.

So. Many changes in the last few months.

I went on break for a week last port in Manila. Yes, Manila again. So I’ve been there 3 times now, total of 3 months. Quite cool. Anyway, we only managed to actually get to where we wanted to go for 2 days of the week of shore-leave, but it was so peaceful there. We went up to the mountains, near a place called Taal where there’s a volcano and so on.

Back on the ship, AV wise, I’ve been doing a bit more guerrilla carpentry.


Here’s our laptop/workstation. Things to note: the amazing wall-mount for the screen. Made from 100% recyclable natural products. Also, the big screen is showing mac OS. This is from Ant’s mac mini which is also hidden in the shot. The laptop is the A/V laptop, and running windows. The big screen can also show the A/V second screen quite happily, just by pressing a button on the screen. So. Two computers, but only one mouse and keyboard? Yep! Thanks to the amazing “Synergy” software, you can scroll the mouse off the left of the laptop screen and it jumps onto the mac, and vice versa! Very cool.


We had a Jazz recording session last monday, our amazing sax player just left the ship, so before he went we spent a whole afternoon recording with the band, and then had an evening for the ship’s company to come and hang out while the band jammed in a quiet atmosphere. This is the old 4 channel data minidisk recorder that we found in a closet and used for recording each channel individually as well as the main mix on the computer.


And team changes. Here’s one of the mainstays of the AV team, who just left yesterday. She’s finished her commitment on Doulos, and has gone back to Europe. I’ll miss her a lot. She’s American. On the team currently we have a Swedish guy, two German lunatic men, an American videographer dude, or cat, or whatever historical term of endearment he currently is using, one strapping British lad who’s currently in the UK for 2 months cross-training/work with the team there (like I did last year) and me.

Notice anything? Yep. All Westerners, and all guys. In a sense, that’s pretty understandable. Of the kinds of people who join the ship, the western guys tend to be the group who are into tech/arts. But, it’s also quite unbalanced. So in a week’s time, we’ll have a new member of the team, a Korean lady! She’s worked as videographer in a big church in Korea for several years, so that’s quite exciting. Both of the Germans will be leaving at the end of this port, around the 30th, and the Brit will be coming back. So we’ll be somewhat smaller again, hopefully we’ll get someone else soon, but who knows.

Anyway. It’s a time of changes. I’m excited, and hope I can use these changes to bring better changes throughout the whole team and work we do.

And finally.


This is proof that the evil sock monster exists. We put all our underwear into bags before it goes to laundry, to keep it together and not let anything get lost, and yet, somehow, I’ve got here 7 – yes, count them – 7 non-matching socks.

What the heck?!

Of Coffee Makers and Consciences (part 1?)

One of the things I love about the “Peanuts” cartoons are the tiny little things that I love. If that makes sense. For instance, this one thing I love about the Peanuts cartoon, is Snoopy’s book that he writes occasionally “Has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong?” as part of the whole debate thing with Lucy. I love those books.

Anyway.

Has it ever occurred to you that you might be mad?

It’s been of late the rather disagreeable experience of mine to have occurring to me with disturbingly increasing regularity the possibility that I myself might be in a somewhat insanitous state.

I challenge anyone to diagram that sentence, and send me the picture…

Insanitous sounds rather unhygienic, but it’s not. I just mean “mad”, in a slightly more complex way of speaking.

To take simpler mode of address, I’ll quote Freddie Mercury:

“It’s finally happened, I’m slightly mad.”

Anyway, the current evidence I have towards this conclusion is The Strange Affair Of The Coffee Maker In The Daytime.

I feel remarkably Adrian Plassish as I type this, in a “this is dead serious to me, but I get the feeling people will laugh at me about it, because it’s so stupid…” sort of way. Like his paper-clip story.

Settle back, gentle reader, and prepare thyself for an epic journey into the mind of one convinced that he is no longer all quite there.

It all began like this…

This house is great. I’m really enjoying living here. right now, I’m sprawled across one of the *three* sofas in the living room, with my laptop, and a pot of Earl Grey tea.

Seriously, how can life get more chilled out than this?

What could there possibly be to complain about?

Well, there’s no internet at home. Is this a bad thing? Well, kind of. But also, it does stop me spending inordinate amounts of time online, which I did over the whole furlough, to my shame. 3 months to rest and do anything, and most of the time I spent online. Silly. So, it’s probably a good thing that I’m not online here, and can just write emails that I need to write, and then send them from the Shed. And spend the rest of my time at home cooking, reading, playing clarinet, and exercising. Oh, and sleeping, of course.

Secondly. And far more seriously. There is no coffee maker here.

I say it again, for emphasis.

There. Is. NO. Coffee. Maker. Here!!!

Shocking! But true!

There is a kettle, and a teapot, and plenty of instant coffee, of the “Fair Trade” and the “Nescafe” varieties – both of which are vile – but a brewed mug of the real stuff? Not a chance.

So, how can I solve this crisis, I wondered, then had the brainwave: I can buy a coffee maker.

In the UK they have this really weird store called Argos, where everything is in this funny HUGE catalogue that you can get, and then you write down the item order numbers, or SKU or something, give it to the clerk, and it gets brought in to you via conveyor belt, or so. No browsing around the store, just the catalogue.

Anyway, we happened to have an Argos Catalogue in the house, so I looked inside for coffee makers. Of course, there are plenty. About 20 types of filter machines, and about 30 types of espresso machines, in various shapes, sizes, colours, etc, etc, and every other type of coffee maker I can think of. And 2 things caught my eye.

Firstly, that there was a filter machine for 6 quid. Woah, now this looks like my kind of budget!

And secondly, an espresso machine for 17 quid. Hm. That’s about 100 pounds cheaper than I’ve ever seen before, and just about within my pricerange… so very tempting.

3-5 bar pressure, not amazing, but probably acceptable, milk steamer/frother too… so would be good for hot choc as well. Mmmm…..

And I’ve wanted to learn how to make espresso for ages.

So. Here it seems is a perfectly normal life situation. Nothing to stress about, nothing to worry about, just a simple domestic “which should I buy? Hm, the espresso machine, OK, lets’ buy it, done.”

10 minutes, all told, and not even really worth blogging about.

Except! This is no ordinary story! Not to be stumped by even the more mundane of situations, I find myself wrestling to gain even the fleetest of footings while hanging on to the horns of a stampeding dilemma!

I have been fretting about this! I have been wandering around the town wondering if I should buy the wretched thing or not. I’ve prayed about it, numerous times, and still have no reached any kind of satisfactory conclusion!

Should I buy it? Should I not buy it? The question is easy enough to state, and the pros and cons can easily be listed.

17 pounds is really not all that expensive, and I checked online the website, and found it had apparently gone to 11 pounds. So, even more reason for this to be a minor and inconsequential affair.

The thought occurred to me “If you had this machine, you wouldn’t need to buy expensive coffee at cafe’s After 9 cups you would have saved money!” See how insiduous advertising is? I don’t need all that coffee, and I might not have bought it anyway, thus I’ve not saved money at all, but in fact spent more! I’ll write about this more some other time.. 
Anyway, I frequently find myself wanting to drink a decent cup, and the only place available is expensive, and so if I did buy this machine, and if I had been buying one coffee a day there, then by the end of a week I would indeed have saved money. But, no.

I just haven’t been able to bring myself to go and buy it. Every time I set out towards the store, I’ve felt an almost compulsion to not buy it, and the weird sensation that I’m doing something wrong.

I was asking God, “Do you want me to buy it? Do you not want me to buy it?” and then asked “If you don’t want me to buy it, don’t let me.”, which is a dangerous sort of prayer, and then after work 2 days ago, while praying this, I went to the store, and low and behold it was shut.

Hm! Is this some kind of sign?! Or is it just that they close at 5pm, and it took me until 5.45 to get to the shop?! Is this divine guidence, or just a coincidence catalysed by lack of time management and me not remembering which road it was on?

Do I even believe in coincidence anyway?

As a good evangelical, I know I should not.

But I’m not a good evangelical. I know that God is in control of everything, but I also know that the world is so sufficiently complex that if we want to see correlations and coincidences, we will, without God going out of His way to make sure certain things coincide.

But, argues the pig headed annoying evangelical so-and-so who lives in my head: If I’m asking God something, couldn’t He also make it so that things don’t coincide, just so that I don’t see the coincidence that I asked about?

Yet that also totally stuffs God into a box, and is very unfair to Him.

Why on earth should God go out of His way to modify something running really quite well (ie, what time a certain store closes) on the earth just so that one of his slightly deranged sons gets an answer to some pointless question he asked in an absurd and arrogant way!? I mean, what if I asked for the moon to turn somersaults and the sun to go back one hour? Even if that did happen way back in the O.T…

I dunno. I mean, before, when God has got me to stop sinning in certain ways, I’ve really not wanted to stop, and so I’ve asked Him for help, but in ways that are really not helpful. The kind of thing being “If you don’t want me to lie to so and so about why I haven’t done what I promised, then please could I not see them today…”.

This kind of thing. I mean, yes, it’s asking God for help. And yes, it’s kind of admitting a problem. But is it really sane to expect God to tweak reality because of my selfishness? I mean, I know He loves me, and I know He can modify reality more easily than I can breath, but, well, isn’t it kind of forcing Him into a box? Trying to exert power over Him, and manipulate Him like a Genie?

And “trying to manipulate God like a Genie” is one of those things that definitely falls into the “Unwise bordering on Stupid, yet Amazingly Typical and very Human” category.

And the thing is, usually, if I start praying things in the form “If you want me to not do… then please do…” it’s usually ended up being something that I really shouldn’t do anyway, and a fairly good hint that I already know what the answer is, and what I should or shouldn’t do.

Imagine the little boy saying “God, if you don’t want me to steal the sweets from the sweetshop, then please would the shop owner be standing next to the box I want to steal from when I come into the shop”, knowing full well that the shop owner is always sitting behind her desk on the opposite side of the shop, and can’t even see that aisle.

Well, duh!

Yet that’s exactly how I behave to God, quite frequently. And then, even if the situation I have asked God about *does* happen to be a “no” thing, then I’ll repeat the experiment again, with more obscure clauses, or else repeat again and again until it’s not so. And this is *so* stupid. I mean, if I really want to sin that much, then I’m gonna find a way to do it, even if it means totally ignoring what God is shouting and jumping up and down with a big sign on a stick telling me about.

Yet, the issue at hand isn’t some kind of sin. This isn’t stuff which is even kind of borderline/dodgey, such as using “bad language” on stage at the theatre (one of the issues I fought long and hard with, and with God about, a few years back).

This is a flippin’ coffee maker!

I mean, for crying out loud!

OK, so I can imagine maybe God has some kind of plan, to teach me a lesson in something, or some life skill or something, and so this coffee maker was part of it, but I can also imagine Him putting his head into his hands and saying “Good grief. Just buy the stupid coffee maker already, Daniel. Look, I’m not going to send you an army of angels just to tell you to do your blinking laundry just because you feel doubts!”

And also, I can kind of imagine maybe that God doesn’t want me to buy the coffee maker. I’ve not been so great with my money, in how careful I am about it all, in remembering to give regularly, or in being generous, or whatever. And there is so much poverty in the world, and the current joke here in the office is about the “rich missionaries” with their iPods and iPhones and iBooks and living at Starbucks and being far too damn comfortable. Jesus never told us life would be comfortable, as His followers. He told us it would suck, majorly.

Yet He also said that workers deserve their wages, and that we shouldn’t worry about what we eat or drink, as if we look first to God’s kingdom, He would provide these things anyway.

And it’s not that I’m worrying about coffee. I’m not addicted, and can quite happily go for a week or two without tasting a sip of coffee without headaches and all that. I just like the stuff!

Yet I am worried. About getting too comfortable. About becoming a sleeping Christian, not really in the world, not really living radically, as a revolutionary of Christ in this world. About picking up the strings and rags of this earth, and becoming attached to them, and not scorning them for the true garments of heaven.

Yet Jesus also spent His time at parties, as J. John said in one of his sermons, if Jesus was a stuffed up christian bore at the parties, why was he invited to so many? He’d have been told to stay at home! We are supposed to live life to the full, to not skimp and be prudes and wusses and all that.

I guess it all boils down to this:

Is it better to wait and not do anything because it’s not what God called us to, or to do something we think is from God, even if it’s not?

If I have a course of action in mind, but no “calling” or direction to it from God, is it still a good/the right action to take, or should I only act on instructions?

Or, is this kind of nagging doubt really from God? Or just my messed up personality? Insecure INFP that I am, and everything.

Is it better to do things only we *know* are from God, or to do things that might be from Him, even if they’re not?

And can we know for sure, most of the time, anyway?

*sigh*

Life is so complicated.

And all this just for a coffeemaker.

The whole “having peace” about something just doesn’t seem to work for me. I don’t really “have peace” about things very often.

Is it better to do something we think might be God’s will, or to not do something we think might be against it?

Action and anti-action! And inaction and anti-inaction.

And this has been going on for about 4 or 5 days now.

Back to Peanuts, apparently I’m fairly similar personalitywise to Charlie Brown.

If ever we (Charlie Brown and I) seem kind of indecisive and wishy-washy, this is why. We’re going through this kind of trauma about every single thing in life. From whether to kick the football or not, whether to write the valentine or not, to whether to buy the coffee maker or not…

A part of me, now, says “Just do it, lah” like one of my Malaysia friends had. I mean, God is so much bigger than I am, and if I screw up, He’ll catch me and help me back on my feet again.

It’s just, well, He also gave me the ability to look at issues and find more deep consequences of them. Shouldn’t I use that?

And if I don’t try to figure things out, because I know it just ends up with inaction and all that crap above, then how do I know what to do? What can I trust?

Instincts? Dangerous. Others? Unwise. Myself? Stupid. A pair of dice? Ridiculous!

A big part of me says “Yeah, I’ll buy the coffee maker. No biggie.”

The other half shrieks and says “You don’t need it! And you MIGHT be going against what God has told you, because you are not sure, and so are acting in doubt, and according to the bible: that is sin! It’s not worth it, just for a coffee maker!”

Either it’s just a normal bit of being human, in which case I am weak and indecisive and a wimp, or else I’m slightly schizophrenic.

Either way, life promises to be – if nothing else – interesting.