Showing posts from March, 2012

A pincushion filled with sand

A while back I came across the idea of an emery pincushion: a pincushion filled with a fine abrasive powder that sharpens your pins and needles when they're poked into it.  Sometimes you find emery pincushions 'as is', but more commonly they're tiny pincushions stitched onto a bigger pincushion: the small emery one for actual sharpening and the larger one for storage.  Emery is both heavy and expensive so you don't want to use more of it than you have to.

I hate waste and I do a lot of handsewing, so I liked the idea of not having to throw out a needle every time it went blunt.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a source for tiny quantities of emery but I did, eventually, find an excellent alternative.

It turns out that any very fine, very hard powder will do the trick.  Sand grains are not only very hard, they're also very easy for most Kiwis to come by :-)  Also easy for many Kiwis to come by is muslin, which can be used as a very fine-meshed seive.  Bingo!  …

Masculinity - Two Links

I ran into an interesting post from Mark Sayers today, when I failed my lenten challenge to forego my news feed.
Sayers describes the historical choice of evangelicals to promote a gentler masculinity, and the context which prompted it, to argue that rather than simply looking back to some hardened 'machismo' we should again seek to recentre from biblical principles.
This historical perspective has never featured in the many articles I have encountered on how the church suppresses my manhood, and I found many points still resonated. The world is not so rough and tumble as it was, thank God, but power and dominance are still key temptations men face. The Invitation is still daunting: In coming to Christ, hardened men were forced to leave their pride at the foot of the Cross. They were invited to follow a Messiah who shunned all of the world’s ideas of honour, who could have struck back with the force of an army of angels, but who chose to die a death that was shameful in the …

An unlikely intercessor


God shows His sense of humour again
As mentionedearlier, I've never really 'got' intercessory prayer, although I have recently started to pray for a list of people in a systematic and disciplined way never-the-less.  Two recent happenings suggest to me that praying for people and situations may well be a much more significant part of the work God wants me to do than I would ever have expected.

I've been praying for the situation in Syria for some months now and recently I wanted to see if there was anything we could actually do about it as well.  So I went online and found a list of charities that were doing aid work in Syria (or with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Turkey) as well as contact details for various political bodies who I could perhaps try to lobby.

As I was musing about this one lunchtime and asking God what we should do, I sensed very clearly that what I should do was pray!  It felt so preposterous to me: terrible things were happening and all I should…