Why he believes in God

Our staff team laughed a bit at this eight year old’s explanation to his teacher why he believed in God

One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way, He doesn’t have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off. God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere, which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting His time by going over your mum and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.

Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in our town. At least there aren’t any who come to our church.

Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind like His Father and He told His Father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK. His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn’t have to go out on the road anymore, He could stay in heaven. So He did.

And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary only more important.

You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to hear you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the times.

You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God. Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong! And, besides, the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared in the dark or when you can’t swim very good and you get thrown into really deep water by big kids.

But you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I  think God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.

And that’s why I believe in God.

Using custom forms in Outlook

 

We use an Outlook custom form to keep our church contacts data in Public Folders on an Exchange Server 2003.   I’ve found it a bit of a trouble to update them so I’m just writing down what I have found works.

To edit a form, in Outlook go to Tools | Forms | Design a form.

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I’ve found it’s important to clearly name the form to distinguish it from others.  Also I record the version number on the Properties tab in the edit window, I’ve used the date as the version number.

Then to save it hit save and ignore the warning that the record is blank.

But then publish it to the organizational forms library.

To create the records in the public folder using this form, right click the folder and choose Properties.  In the General tab, choose "when posting…." use Forms, navigate to the organizational forms library and choose the custom form.

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Updating a custom form can be a fiddle.

Open the form from the organizational forms library, edit save and republish.  Sometimes you need to then update the cached copy of the form on a local computer. 

To do this choose the Forms tab in the folder’s properties option.  The Manage button and then clear cache. I also check the the local copy (on the right hand side of the window) is up to date.

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I’ve often gone around in circles at this point.  The left hand side is the organizational forms library.  I added the text to the left of the Set button, in Exchange server: Folders | Public folders | right click and choose View system folders and then edit the EFORMS REGESTRY folder name to something recognisable.

Or maybe there is a better way!!

How to insert FLV into PowerPoint

I knew how to put a flash animation into PowerPoint, and now I’m concentrating on such things for a Sunday, it turns out the same principle works for FLV files too.

So this is what you do in PP 2007, similar in 2003.

1. Download and install VideoLAN VLC player on your computer. I’m a big fan of VideoLAN:  http://www.videolan.org/

2. Download FLV Video from YouTube or other video sharing web sites: http://www.savevid.com/ is an easy way of doing this.  Rename the FLV video to something unique, e.g. name.flv. The most important is that the downloaded video can be played back normally. So try it now.

3. Find the Control Toolbox in PowerPoint. Click Office button ->PowerPoint Options -> Popular -> tick "Show Developer tab in the Ribbon".

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3. Click "Developer” on the ribbon bar, click the icon "More Controls" which is displayed as hammer and wrench in the Controls column.
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Then select "VideoLAN VLC ActiveX Plugin v2" in the pop-up dialog box.

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4. Click the position in your PowerPoint slide where you want to display the shape, press the mouse button and resize the area.

5. Right click the area you drew and go to Properties tab, and manually complete the value of attribute "MRL" with the full path of the YouTube Flash video file, e.g C:\Temp\2008\name.flv, then close the tab. Now the YouTube Flash video on your hard drive is ready to play in your presentation.

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On a journey

I’m reading Paul Theroux’s 1975 classic travel book The Great Railway Bazaar. It’s written when it was possible to travel by train from London to eastern Iran and then from the Afghan border to southern Sri Lanka, Theroux records a strange but entertaining railway odyssey.  In the course of which he notes that:

"Better to go first class than to arrive"

and

"The journey is the goal"

Both of which seem to express something of the kingdom of God – that now matters a great deal.  And yet Theroux’s book would have been disappointing if he failed to ultimately reach Tokyo by train.  And for Christians there is always the goal that to "die is to gain" and that one day the kingdom will be fully formed and that there will be "no more tears".

Difficult times and the kind of God we have

I hesitate to comment on the sadness around in the lives of many of my friends, for fear of being trivial.   This is an extensive reflection by John Ortberg on Job’s troubled life.  It sums up all I think and believe.

Ellen Davis writes that God’s questions are indicating something about the kind of person he is. They are filled with references to God’s extravagant goodness and provision even though there is no "strategic gain" in it at all.

"Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,… to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?"

These lines would jump out at the reader in Job’s day. Life in Israel depended on rainfall. They would never waste water. So why would God water "a land where no one lives"?

Because God is a God of gratuitous goodness. And he is uncontrollably generous. He is irrationally loving. He is good for no reason at all. He is good just because he loves to give. He sends streams of living water flowing out of sheer exuberant generosity. There is a wilderness where no one lives, yet it is full of beauty and grace because God makes a river run through it.

God delights in animals that are of no apparent use at all. The ostrich looks goofy and flaps her wings "joyfully" as if they could get her somewhere. She lays eggs and can’t even remember where she left the babies. She doesn’t seem to be worth much of an investment- But when she runs—oh my! "She laughs at horse and rider." Why would God waste such talent?

"I made the behemoth," God says—probably the hippopotamus. The creature is of no particular use: "Can anyone capture him when he is on the watch, With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?" The ancient world considered the hippo a chaotic monster that had to be destroyed—but not God, "He ranks first among the works of God." It’s as if God is saying, "Best thing I ever did. I had my A’ game going the day 1 made the behemoth."

God takes pleasure in wild oxen that will never plough; the wild donkey that will never be tamed; mountain goats that give birth in secret places man will never see; the leviathan that no one can catch. "Nothing on earth is his equal."

God creates, cares for, gives to, and delights in animals that don’t appear to be good for anything. Why should God love a world like that? Anne Dillard writes, "Because the creator loves pizzazz." He revels in the beauty of the least strategic creature.

„. What God is really telling us is, "I’m worth it, Life, following me—it’s all worth it. Don’t give up. This pain is not going to last forever. I am the kind of God who is worth getting close to."

That is because God is gratuitously good—and uncontrollably generous—and irrationally loving. He Just gives for no reason at all. It’s his nature.

"God loves pizzazz."‘Maybe that’s why we’re here.

My favourite author writes,

And when I begin to think about God’s wild extravagance, his wastefulness, his passion for the unnecessary and the excessive and the completely useless, I am struck by a thought so wonderfully freeing I can do nothing but laugh. What if that extravagance extends to me? I am not a soldier for God, or a valued servant in the kingdom. I am a jester! I am the celestial equivalent of a peacock—a tiara—a talking doll. We were not made to serve God. We were made to charm him.

[Job’s] story is our story. On this earth .. winter comes, and we don’t know why.

But Job finds out about something better. He finds out who God is.

"My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you." That’s enough. God knows, God cares.

When God himself came to the earth, he came in winter. Jesus, like Job, was known as a "man of sorrows." He was acquainted with grief.

Where was God? He was on the ash heap. He, like Job, was so torn by suffering that no one recognized him: "We considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted." He himself would go through the winter of the absence of God: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

On the cross is the ultimate paradox: God experiencing the absence of God so that he can draw close to us in our loss and grief and even in our God-forsakenness,

Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote a book called "Lament for a Son" when he entered into winter after his son died in a an accident while mountain climbing, Woltersdorff writes of how we are told that no one can see the face of God and live. "I always thought that meant no one can see God’s glory and live. A friend suggested that perhaps it means no one can see God’s suffering and live. Or perhaps his suffering is his glory."

Never did we see his glory more clearly than when he was on the cross, taking our God-forsakenness on himself. Karl Earth wrote of the great miracle that God would rather be the suffering God of a suffering people than the blest God of an unblest people.

If it is winter in your life, and you wonder where God is, you don’t have to wonder anymore. He is the God of the ash heap. Jesus was, in a sense, never closer to us than when he was farthest from the Father. Perhaps his suffering is his glory.

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