Deborah’s First Birthday

Luke 9:23-26, 57-62; 14:25-35

These are two scriptures that came to me yesterday while I was in a men’s meeting. It’s the first time I’ve been to something like that and it was a truly incredible experience. Just to have an opportunity to share and be real with other men was truly terrific.


Well the day has arrived and I’m grateful to God for it. At 3:22pm on Wednesday 29 December 2004 Deborah Christina Dryden was born. My first child. What an awesome responsibility, what a beautiful baby, what a wonderful gift from God Himself. Sometimes I look at her and am amazed at how much has changed since her first day on the planet.


Ho hum.

Oh and I can confirm that the guests are here!!! But who are they? You’ll have to wait for a future blog to check the identity!

Great to see Liverpool going on from win to win, especially with a derby day victory over Everton!! I was well pleased by that. Come on you Reds!

l8r
da man cd

Bits and Bobs from DMCD

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve submitted an entry. Let me state first and foremost that it’s not due to the mad Christmas panic business. I do not celebrate the festival and so I’ve not had to worry about going even deeper in debt whilst looking to give to others. Rather it’s just been one of those times where we as a family have been busy looking after the house in preparation for this week’s special guests … but I’ll wait for later on to let you in on who they are. It is confirmed that they will be here soon and so maybe at least one of them can come and say hello to y’all.

Baby Blues

On Sunday my friend celebrated the birthday of his son. As in for real, this ain’t no spiritual gimmick, it’s serious, my mate Kevin has a son named Tamir who was born on December 25th. Now if that doesn’t give a legitimate reason to celebrate the ACTUAL day someone was born then someone somewhere is desperately wrong. Anyhow, as a father himself, Kevin was relaying the good news that the older these children get the more fussy they become. As I expressed the fact that my daughter would be one year old on Thursday he said it must have felt like 2 weeks. I told him that it felt more like 365 days. It’s been a really gruelling experience this year – changing her when she wets herself, feeding her, playing with her, encouraging her in standing, slapping her when she misbehaves … and that’s just the wife!!

The New Doctor

Also on Sunday the BBC broadcast their Doctor Who Christmas Special marking the debut of David Tennant in the lead role. They’ve been hyping the Christmas Invasion for a week or two now with trailers, in which case if people were hung up on the hype they would have been slightly disappointed. Thankfully I never bought into the hype and so was happy to take the episode on its own merits. In essence this was a typical earth-in-danger-from-alien-invasion and it needs the doctor’s intervention. The difference here is that because it’s a new doctor we’re not sure what will happen. The story wasn’t that original but it did introduce earth’s developing response to alien threat through Project Torchwood as employed by the new PM Harriet Jones.

A 21st Century audience is unused to a new doctor and its regeneration issues, so they covered the usual instability issues fairly well. I’m not too concerned about the characterisation of the new doctor as I realise that it takes a while for a new character to settle. The first impression of Tennant is favourable. It’s a bit like my first positive response to the Eccleston portrayal – this doctor has bounce, vitality and a good sense of humour. I was also very impressed by the performance of Harriet Jones, the recurring gag about her identifying herself was well played out.

There were some cheesy moments highlighted at the start with the cliché of Rose’s mum asking doctor who? The cheese factor culminated in the group hug for the conquering doctor as he returned to earth. I feel the cheese factor was overplayed a bit, but that’s family television.

On the positive side it was a safe debut for the new doctor in a solid story. A really snazzy bit was the Luke Skywalker gig where the doctor has an arm chopped off, but gets to regenerate it there and then. The ‘no second chances’ line as he offs his opponent was also good. The use of Torchwood at the end and the ‘downfall’ of the PM in six words was cleverly done. One concern I do have is the continued role of Rose Tyler. More than almost any other companion before her, Rose has a strong emotional link to the doctor. As the last series progressed this bong became more set leading up to the emotional farewell. I feel that this ploy has only been effective to a point. Hopefully the independent lone time wanderer aspect of the doctor can come to the fore in the upcoming series. I also truly hope that they will take strides to clearly define the new doctor as a separate one to his predecessors.

Overall, however, it was worth catching the debut performance and I’d look forward to catching some episodes when they come out in the Spring.

While I Was Shopping

How many men know that shopping is actually a woman’s way of saying that she owns the purse strings no matter what you buy? I only liked shopping when I was growing up because of the chance to get a doughnut or other goodie on the trip. Other than that, shopping sucked. When I was at university I learned to appreciate grocery shopping a bit more, and really get to grips with shopping for books, comics, magazines, CD’s and DVD’s. Yet even then I found it a bit of a drag.

You can imagine then the chagrin that slapped me upside the head when I hooked up for life with the wife. To be fair, the good woman is not a typical shop-a-holic, she’s more necessity driven than one to spend HOURS in stores. Still, with a family to shop for, grocery shopping becomes even more onerous. Indeed it’s a good thing I love me wife or that whole thing could really cause mental and physical pain.

This, however, is a story of how enduring painful things can bring pleasure eventually. So on Thursday, we went shopping for the month as usual. On this occasion the whole family took the trip. The bonus of this was that it meant that Kevaughn could push the trolley, leaving me to hang about the more favourable areas of the store, i.e. books, comics, magazines, CD’s and DVD’s. Now although I consider myself to be a solid Stevie Wonder, I’ve been slow on the uptake with his new album. Indeed it’s been out for a fair few months now and I had not acquired it, thus leaving me completely out of sync with the members of the yahoo group. So you can imagine the joy that filled my soul when the Family Treasurer, aka the wife allowed the budget to stretch to include the purchase of the album. Sweet! And as for the album itself … well you’ll just have to wait for the review!!

What You Reading, Christopher?

As well as reviewing CD’s, it kinda makes sense, being the reader that I am to review some of the reading material that passes through me hands. Now I am a library connoisseur, so rather than accumulate a collection of acquired items, I accumulate a collection of library fines based on getting a large number of books and taking my own sweet time to get through them, sometimes overlooking the small matter of renewing them. Indeed this is a condition I developed whilst growing up. Indeed such were the fines I racked up my dear mother must have financially kept them in business.

Anyhow, I’m not the sort to just read one book at a time, I’ll tend to have a few going at the same time. Currently I’m making my way through Hip Hop America by Nelson George. It’s an interesting documenting of the development of the cultural phenomenon by a writer who closely monitored it from its beginnings to the ‘relative’ present. One thing about the writing is that I was rather intrigued by the kind of defence of a view of the ‘black’ experience that at times is at odds with my moral base, i.e. the promoting of pride and the individualistic nature of the enterprise. What’s also clear through the reading of this book is that it’s difficult to find anything good about Hip Hop other than making people rich. I mean, just because your life has been tough and as a result you’re a victim of society, doesn’t excuse revelling in it and making money out of it. I’m 90% through the book – it’s not a long book at all – and for anyone interested in the many facets of the genre it’s well worth the read.

Who Let The Dogs In by Molly Ivins is a kind of anthology of the writer’s works over the years. For anyone new to Ivins, she’s a liberal American – liberal in the American tradition of the word, so tending to favour a more open attitude to issues of federal involvement, sexuality and supporting the minority interests. Liberals are opposed to the basic ideals of the republicans particularly in terms of their links with business interests and crushing of any welfare support. It’s a very rough definition, but live with it. I had read her book Bushwhacked which took a chunk out of the current president highlighting the damage his policies have wreaked on the country. It’s humorous and has good insight into that perspective of how politics has moved over the last 25 years. As you’d expect the Bushes don’t come out looking good and Clinton comes out looking almost like a saint comparatively. I’m roughly 68% through the book and so far it’s well worth the borrowing!

Ain’t It Cool News an autobiography by Harry Knowles is the final book that I’m making my way through. As you may know, he’s the dude who revolutionised movie news with his ‘insider’ take on the latest developments in Hollywood on his website. I have not

checked his website and took up the book on interest. He’s a passionate, articulate writer and I like that. His obsession with the movie industry is undeniable, his desire for the best in the business can be somewhat infectious, as it should be or else I wouldn’t give the book the time of day that it’s getting. His style is also very personal, there’s no sense of someone who graduated from university and been well-worn in the writing business. It’s very fresh, style-wise, maybe a bit over-verbose at times, but what kind of criticism is that coming from me? I’m always perplexed, though, as to why people write autobiographies before they’re 40? Is that really a life lived? Anyhow, we never know when the 15 minutes are done, so you might as well get it all done and dusted while you’re ‘hot’.

The benchmark of great book, however, is whether or not I would buy it. The purchase of the book suggests a significant interest in the subject matter and a willingness to invest my time in it and perhaps read it again on another occasion. These three books are interesting, but not that compelling for me to slap it in me collection.

Year Ending

One of the beautiful things about this time of year is that offers an opportunity to reflect on a set period of time and see where I was and where I am now. It obviously also offers a chance to dedicate the mind and will to where to go next, hence the scripture verse. One thing I will say I’ve learnt from this year is that if ever I need to be sensitive to the guidance of my Father it’s now.

Some things to look forward to in upcoming blogs

· Da Man CD’s Top Five Friends of the Year
· What Are My Tricks For 2006?
· The review of Stevie Wonder’s A Time To Love

That’s your lot for today, the house is buzzing in anticipation of the special guests, either that or it’s buzzing because Kevaughn has left the skipping CD on repeat again. Hold on a minute … [cue slap upside the head to Kevaughn] nope it’s the anticipation for the special guests.

A Stevie Epiphany

What An Epiphany

e·piph·a·ny n. pl. e·piph·a·nies (Third Definition) A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.

Anyone who has a passing knowledge of me will have gathered that I have a great reverence and indeed fascination with the English language. It is my contention that whereas other less blessed folk were born with silver spoons in their mouth, I emerged from the sanctuary of mother’s womb finishing munching the contents of a dictionary.

As such I had to refer back to the contents of that meal to get clarification of that word ‘epiphany’. Now to allow you to gain insight into what event would have rushed me to get this particular word allow me the time to paint the scene.

My wife and I are enjoying the year end holidays. We’ve decided to have a good clean out of the entire house. Today among other things I was traipsing through an old box that I’ve not opened in quite a while. Inside this box were some videos of yesteryear and in the bunch of videos were two that a friend had sent to me back in the early days of my time on the Stevie Wonder list. I believe that friend may have been Thomas Winberg, God bless him. Now I haven’t watched these videos for at least 18 months, and indeed when I originally received them I was only able to watch one of them. There was something wrong with the first one, so from the time I received – which must be well over five years ago now – I’d never seen the contents. I thought I’d leave these two videos out just for the fun of it along with a number of other videos that I’d dug up. My wife asked if she could peruse some of them and I gave her permission as I went out to get some feed for the baby.

On my return I noticed that the room with the TV and video was dark except for the light from the TV. On further investigation I discovered that my wife had gone upstairs to bed – not because the video was boring, but because she was tired … well that’s her story anyway. As I paid more attention to what video she had left playing, I found out it was the one that I was unable to play for all those years. And … shock of all shocks … it was playing the much coveted movie of The Secret Life Of Plants. I nearly had a heart attack then and there. To top things off, my timing had coincided with the last moments of this documentary and so I got to see the video at the end for title track. Now that was amazing in itself, seeing Mr. Wonder walking through various natural environments and canoeing on a river with beautiful flowers. What was even more amazing was the fact that he was without his trademark sunglasses and it was almost the get-up he must have been wearing for the cover of Talking Book. The shot where we see him face to face and can actually see his eyes was powerful. Guess what though, that was not the moment of epiphany.

As the video continued and the movie finished, I then got to watch a live concert with Stevie performing in his home-city of Detroit back in 1984. That was cool in itself. By the by, it was incredible to hear that Stevie actually wrote Ribbon in the Sky in his mother’s basement in 1969. That’s kinda scary, to know that he had that in his locker to whip out roughly ten years later. That makes me want to find out what’s in his locker all the more! Then the video moved onto Stevie’s presentation of the Kennedy Center Honor, which took place in 1999. I was intrigued to see the many ‘celebrities’ paying tribute to Stevie. It was weird. It felt out of place. Anyhow, I watched on and internally chuckled at Smokey Robinson’s reminiscence of a Stevie greeting and accepted that because of the nature of the event I shouldn’t expect the quality of cover songs to be that great. It was marvellous seeing Take 6 and particularly Herbie Hancock, but their medley was just about average, nothing to phone home, but decent enough for the setting. But then it happened. Now I remember asking before about who the blind lady was who sang with Stevie at a Democratic Nomination Convention, and someone kindly informed me it was not Roseanne Barr, but Diane Schuur who like Stevie has eyesight challenges. Evidently some bright spark had the idea to bring her on to sing for the tribute as well. Whoever that person was, deserves a knighthood and if they’re not British they can become an honorary member of the Crown and get a knighthood anyway, for Ms Schurr was the source for the epiphany.

I can’t recall the last person who rendered a Stevie original better than Stevie, but Ms Schuur did it. And, with the assistance of Take 6 and Mr. Hancock, she did it with a song that I’d struggle to choose as a great Wonder song to cover. As I’ve grown older, I’ve kind of accepted I Just Called To Say I Love You as a fairly decent song. I once hated it, but now I just think it’s a fair attempt by Stevie at song writing, even if it is not in the same planet as some of his other love songs. Dude, was I ever wrong about that. Ms Schuur’s rendition of the song was mind-blowing. She enunciated the lyrics so clearly it was as though I’d never heard it before, and I’ve heard Stevie perform it live and he was better then than on the album/single. The arrangement and performance of the song had me mesmerised. I was stunned and floored. I do believe I actually saw Stevie cry because of the song – and if it makes that man cry I know say it must be good. Absolutely amazing. I give props and props and a half to Ms Schuur for communicating an average love song into a masterpiece of performance.

Sadly the quality of the video is not that great, but it more than did the job in conveying what it needed to convey. If I get an opportunity I’ll see if someone can do something about it and who knows? What it proves is the dexterity of the musical form and that even what may appear a substandard track in the right hands can be made into something … wonderful.

If you want to find out more about the genius of the man Stevie Wonder, I strongly advise you start by checking the following links

http://www.steviewonder.org.uk/ – this is my recommended first port of call for anything in the remotest bit to do with Stevie Wonder. It is run by a Stevie Wonder living, walking, and talking encyclopaedia by the name of Vaid Bharath who is a top man! Did I say he’s a top man? I meant he’s higher than a top man! That’s just how top he is!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stevie-wonder/ – definitely worthwhile joining to get involved with a galaxy of superb wonderlovers. From here you can come across many great links to Wonder related stuff, it’s brilliant.

later
da man cd

Wrestling, Friends & Family Fortunes


Good Friends

You will keep your friends if you forgive them, but you will lose your friends if you keep talking about what they did wrong. (Proverbs_17:9 CEV)

One of the great things about the Bible is that sometimes it just speaks for itself. This is one of those times.

I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today By Not Using TV Quotes For Section Headings

As you may have noted in my profile, I’m a fan of the TV sitcom The Rise and Fall of Reggie Perrin. This is a recent interest as I came across it a few weeks ago. I recall watching it years ago, but I never really got to appreciate it as much until recently. First of all it’s a well written comedy, secondly it’s a well acted comedy and finally it’s a well funny comedy, which I think is important for a comedy. I would strongly recommend acquiring the DVD’s to watch this comedy classic and you can also get a good start on more information to do with the series here. Not to give that much away but it is amazing to see man’s lack of satisfaction so well portrayed with particular props to the star Leonard Rossiter.

The Corporation

Recently watched segments from this movie documentary. It’s just the thing people need to watch to get insight into how this old world really works. Get more info here. The thing for me, though, is that it seems to think that ‘the people’ once made aware will make a change. The thing though is that the success of mega corporations is the nature of man to be greedy. It’s not a recent thing, it’s been about since Adam. We cannot make it without a new Spirit.

Still, check it out for yourself – it will make you think again before you go shopping.

Wrestling – I Picked A Bad Time …

Another thing you may have noticed on me profile is my interest in pro-wrestling. At this point I’d like to highlight for the jury my distinct lack of timing. I’m rather like the air control chief in the Airplane film. You remember that some calamity would take place and he’d say he picked a bad time to quit whatever? Well I picked a bad time to start supporting Liverpool and Milan. They were both at the peak of their powers and had won what there was to win, then when I get into them they go slumping. Liverpool, especially have not won a league championship in the majority of time I’ve been supporting them. It was great to witness them win the Champions League last season, but hey that’s still over 15 years since we won the top league.

I picked a bad time to get into Dr. Who. I read some of the novelisations and was really excited about watching the programme only to find that the show had been cancelled in 1987 and I’d have to wait until this year to actually get to watch a regular series again. That’s 18 years people, that’s what I call bad timing.

So when it came to wrestling, no surprise that my knack of being at the right place at the wrong time struck in again. I’d seen it before in about 1994 or 1995, but never took it on. I really began to get into it for real around 2000. Only to find once more that I’d missed the boom. I loved the Stone Cold Steve Austin character, and missed out on his best years. I was getting into the Rock just as he was getting out of the business full time. What I love is the combination of storytelling and some level of athleticism. Sadly I was getting into it just as the standard of both was taking a trip south big time. This year for example has been quite something. And by quite something I mean quite nothing. I watched a year end best of show the other night and witnessing what they had to show for themselves just showed to me just how bad the year had been. I was mildly interested at the storyline for the World Heavyweight Championship early in the year and the ECW thing was alright, but the last half of the year in particular has just been poor.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ll still remain interested in the product, but at the end of the day I’m not that heavily into it. What I’m more into is the internet analysis of it. Some sites worth checking include PW Torch, Wrestling Observer, Online Onslaught and World Wrestling Insanity. They make a bad thing interesting by their insight, even if it can get a bit too pedantic and eerie at times. Still if you’re loving something it would be advised NOT to get me interested in it or you can almost certainly guarantee a dip in interest.

Yeah But What About You?

I tend to go on a bit about this and that, how’s about a bit of an update? Oki-doke, well I’m doing fine as it happens. I hope to have a special guest at some point next week to contribute to this blog, but I’ll leave that person’s identity for the fullness of time. Physically I’m doing fine. I have an ideal weight that I’m slowly making my way towards reaching, so that pleases me. My house is near the top of a steep hill so whenever I go out to walk anywhere I know say I’m going to develop my stamina and lose some of that weight. I’m not eating that many fatty foods and am falling back in love with fruit again, so that’s all good. Spiritually I’m experiencing something of a renaissance so my creative juices are flowing more freely, for which I’m grateful.

Emotionally I’m pretty stable more looking to do what I can in the present to make the most of any opportunity. The wife and I are getting on very well indeed, which is crucial for the concept of a good marriage. Kevaughn is looking to enjoy his holidays to the best of his ability. As I may have mentioned previously, Deborah (pictured) will celebrate her first birthday next Thursday 29th December (remember cash only, don’t bother with cards and that kind of stuff – any cheques make payable to Christopher Dryden!) Yesterday the wife and I witnessed her take her first independent, unassisted step, so that’s mighty encouraging. She has all the makings of a great woman, which should be no surprise when you consider her parents! So I’m alright, thanks for asking.

Right-o peeps, that should do it for this entry, I may come up with another one later on today, but then again I may not.

later
da man cd

CD Ramble


I normally just share a scripture and give a brief thought, but such was today’s devotional that I thought I’d share it in full. Enjoy.

Following Jesus as a Disciple

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . Follow Me . . . If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Mat_28:19; Joh_1:43; and Luk_9:23)

Living daily by God’s grace depends upon getting to know Him and then walking in the humility and grace that are consequences of growing in fellowship with Him. We have reflected upon four ways to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith: living by the Spirit, living by resurrection power, living by the sufficiency of God, and living by the promises of God. Another example is following Jesus as a disciple.

When our Lord was about to leave His disciples, He gave them the marching orders that were to guide the lives of His people until He would return. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Jesus had been calling out people to follow Him as disciples. Now, they were to continue doing the same. A disciple is a follower of a master, who guides and shapes the lives of his followers. Jesus is the ultimate Master, who gives us a new life in him — life eternal. Jesus’ invitation to discipleship was “Follow Me.” Along with this invitation, Jesus often explained the terms of discipleship: “If anyone desires to come after Me.” This would inform the willing and interested about how to respond. These terms dramatically depict the necessity of relating to the Lord in humility and faith.

The first aspect of being a disciple of Jesus is renouncing the self-life. “Let him deny himself.” This amounts to a refusal to attempt to develop a life that can be produced by natural human resources (which everyone inherits from Adam through physical birth). This is a repudiation of self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, self-help, self-exaltation, and the like. Our willingness to embrace this term of discipleship will be seen by a humble agreement with similar biblical pronouncements. “Make no provision for the flesh” (Rom_13:14). Those denying self are not wanting the flesh to have opportunities to indulge itself. “The flesh profits nothing” (Joh_6:63). Those who renounce self confess its total spiritual bankruptcy. We “have no confidence in the flesh” (Phi_3:3). Those who repudiate the self-life do not want to place any hope in the spiritual resources of the flesh. “That no flesh should glory in His presence” (1Co_1:29). Those denying the self-life agree that nothing of the flesh can ever boast in itself before the Lord God almighty.

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to relate rightly to You by following You as a disciple. I do not want my flesh to have any opportunity to indulge itself. I confess total spiritual bankruptcy in my flesh. I want to place no hope in my flesh. I agree that my flesh can never boast before You. I humbly renounce the self-life!

Day-by-Day by Grace by Bob Hoekstra

———————————————

Chelsea, Chelsea

Here’s a shocking prediction that will stun the world of football as we know it. I know that football pundits and fans all over the country of England will be astonished at what I am about to exclusively reveal to you today in this blog. Chelsea Football Club will win the Premiership. I’ll leave you for the next few moments to digest a statement of such enormity. I know it’s amazing. It’s controversial; it will arouse suspicion among man. What do you mean that’s old news? What do you mean some bookies have stopped the betting since October? I thought I was being original! Ho hum, how about this one – Christmas Day will be celebrated on 25 December?

Anyhow, the wife and I watched Chelsea beat Arsenal yesterday. I enjoyed it. Although I’m a Liverpool supporter, I take great pleasure in also being a bit of a football realist. Knowing the game as I do, I’d like to thing I can make a good estimation as to the state of football climate is and how it will change. I actually hoped and believed that Chelsea would retain this year as soon as they won it last year. I’m a huge Mourinho fan and I was realistic enough to believe that Liverpool would not have the resources to challenge for the Premiership until next season. Indeed my only objective for the Mighty Reds was to finish above Manchester United. Indeed despite being notorious for not wagering or betting, I even laid a bet with a United fan that this would be the outcome of the season. I am greatly impressed with how Benitez is forming the club in his own image; it’s beautiful for the intellectual part of me, even if it’s not the atypical fantasy football that people enjoyed from Brazil, Manchester United and Arsenal. (And I don’t mean that the last two teams played anywhere near the fantasy football of the boys from Rio, but I’d be the first to admit that they’ve played some attractive football in the last 10 years.)

Anyway, the issue isn’t where teams end up; it’s the sad lives of the media who look to make mountains out of molehills. It’s nothing new to state that Mourinho and Wenger are not the best of friends. Hey, at one point earlier on this season Jose accused Arsene of being a voyeur and in response Arsene almost sued the guy. So at the end of a game where Arsenal were put in their place, Jose decides to quickly make his way to the dressing room. He does not shake the loser’s hand. So what? But no, football pundits and writers and former pros are shocked at such behaviour! How can he break such an intrinsic part of the English game? How can he desecrate one of the bastions of the sport that we all love? Apparently it took away from the result that his team had produced. Once more, so I read, his antics has taken the spotlight away from the team.

Do me a favour. That is the most ridiculous excuse for a news story ever. However, it is typical of the media here in England. Why do tabloids sell, because we are suckers for any titbit of controversy that’s lying around? Nobody had to make anything of the gesture, or the lack of a gesture. It could have all just been put it down to the usual feud that goes on between the two.

Why do that, though, when you can have a story from a non-incident? Sad really, but I say to Jose, whatever my friend, whatever. Don’t get me wrong, I revere the time-honoured tradition of the handshake. I’m a big fan of the handshake. It was the way I was brought up. It’s a sign of character when you can approach any situation and remain polite. I endeavour to do so at any situation. The reality is, I don’t. There are times when it gets so hot that I’d just prefer to get out of the way and avoid contact. That’s the best way to handle a situation. I don’t condone Mourinho’s behaviour, but the greater evil is the high-minded hypocrisy of most of the media to jump on the bandwagon over the issue.

The real shock for me was that the most balanced viewing of the game seen in report by Christopher Davies (another man CD would you believe) in the Daily Telegraph. Still what would you expect from the man with those kind of initials and what a great first name! My surprise is obviously based on my predisposition towards the Daily Telegraph as a newspaper that supports a conservative agenda. I don’t mean Conservative, I mean conservative. I mean intellectual, slightly right wing (as in slight like Liverpool is slightly against Manchester United), capitalist, etc. As a result I don’t really link them with balance naturally. Hey I’m wrong … that doesn’t happen often. (Don’t believe everything the wife says, either on this score!)

Liverpool Loses

So on Sunday morning, the wife and I were indisposed for three quarters of the match where Liverpool played Sao Paulo for the World Club Championship. I managed to see the final quarter where the Reds were camped in the opposite half. Apparently they had three ‘goals’ ruled offside. We lost 1-0. A lot of people said the best side lost. I just have to say this here and now – I know the feeling of being gutted when you dominate and the result doesn’t reflect, but the nature of the game is that if you score more goals than your opponents you are the better team. Indeed so superior are you that you are declared the winner. If you’re good enough to score more goals than the opposition you’ll be good enough to win the match. To me, regardless of all the emotion, that’s the bottom line. And in this match, the bottom line is that they scored and we didn’t. I wasn’t too disappointed, I would have loved to have won it, but now we just get back to the business of continuing our good run in the league and amass points to finish second behind Chelsea. This falls in line with the Dryden Family motto – Get Over It. Remind me to share the history of this motto.

First Gay Marriage:

As I got online today I read this report from Yahoo.
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/19122005/140/uk-s-first-gay-weddings-held-today.html

I am going to say something about it. The great challenge for Christians is how to address these policies and not be homophobic. This is not straightforward at all. Some of the more radical believers will suggest in fairly vehement tones that people who engage in homosexuality are doomed to hell and do much to actually reinforce a homosexual’s disposition. On the other side some of the more liberal believers will tend to view the Bible as a message of ‘love’ that would in no way seek to stop people who ‘love’ each other from being to express that ‘love’. Even if that ‘love’ goes against God’s guidelines.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, it’s easy for Christians to target this issue – it’s easy to bang on about it. Even in this area though, it’s as though we fall into the same trap as those who brought the woman who had committed adultery to Jesus. We’re quick to highlight this sin, but if we were to actually look at some of our own issues it’s unlikely we’d necessarily be that quick to condemn homosexuals.

No worries, I’m not going to go that much further into an elaborate explanation as to what the standard Christian position on the homosexual issue is. What I will say is that just because we’ve gone too far in judging does not mean we still cannot make a contribution to these liberal policies. The policies at its heart promotes godless lifestyles, because at its centre is the ethos of letting people do whatever they want to do as long as it doesn’t ‘harm’ anyone else. The challenge is to address this issue and promote the only viable way for societies to make progress – God’s way.

Taking Christ out of Christmas


Well I was on a roll, so after I read that, I read this report from BBC website
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/4540108.stm

Oki-doke. At heart it’s a great campaign. It raises the profile of Jesus Christ and in a festival that at least nominally is supposed to be about Him that must be all good. Right?

Two years ago my friend and I researched and put together a document on Christmas and presented it to a large group of people in Birmingham. What is at stake is not just truth, but the truth expressed in love. The truth is Christmas is a convenient compromise between pagan festivals and the influx of a new Christian order back in the day. The truth is Jesus Christ was not born in December. The truth is the festival was never celebrated by the early church and you would have thought if it was that important that they would have celebrated it. The truth is the background to the festival and many of its trappings actually celebrate things that Jesus Christ would not endorse. Indeed the truth is that the aspects of the modern festival as celebrated today would also not bring joy to the LORD.

Yet the truth in love is that this season can still be used to bring out the truth of who Jesus Christ was. The truth in love is that as people gather together as a family for what in some cases is the only time they’ll see each other in the year, the message of Christ can be brought across to solidify the core of the family. The truth in love is that no greater gift was ever given to man than the gift of the life of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness it brings. So now we can be inheritors of this gift, we can freely receive it and acknowledge Him as LORD and in return receive the most precious gift of all – abundant life.

It’s Only A Game So …

Congratulations to Ding Junhui – the first non-British or Irish winner of UK Championship in snooker – hey it ain’t a huge interest of mine, but I like to watch the occasional game of snooker now and then. I remember having seen it and then finally having the chance to play it. I was at university and I’d already played pool and also wrecked my own really miniature snooker table which was part of a Game of Games set. When I actually realised how hard the snooker balls were and how huge the table was, especially compared to pool, I quickly gained a better appreciation for the players … and decided not to bother playing again.

later

da man cd

Sabbath – What’s The Fuss?

So as a Christian one of my favourite things is enjoying God communicating with me and confirming His Word through His Word and the word of another. What I mean by that is that I’ll sense God talking on an issue. Then in taking in His Word something – verse or chapter – will come to confirm the initial Word. To top things off I’ll either be having a conversation with someone, or reading something or watch something or hear something which will have no prior knowledge of my word and they will also confirm that word.

Anyhow, as I mentioned yesterday I was going to have a look at Sabbath. So today whilst enjoying it, I was considering how I would have a look at it and then the Word that came to confirm it was the command in the Word. You know the one,

“Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day–not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That’s why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me. ” (Exodus 20:9-11 CEV)

Yeah, that one. So I was on a roll and I approached me laptop to type up today’s submission. Now as ever, before almost anything else, I open the e-Sword and check the daily devotionals, and would you believe that the one written by F.B. Meyer called Our Daily Walk looked Quiet Resting Places and their closing prayer neatly fit into the whole talk about Sabbath. I’ll leave that for the end of today’s submission.

I’m not going to bother drawing out a long argument giving reasons for Sabbath-observance, I hope that the links at the end of this submission will be good for you to find out more information about it. If you asked me why I observed the Sabbath, not so long ago, I’d offer the same rationale as the author of the song Jesus Loves Me and that is for the bible tells me so. As I grow older, I realise that this can be somewhat off-putting. In fact in can come across rather robotic and – dare I say it – legalistic. It’s interesting I should mention that word, because in a very real way that’s how I’ve been brought up. I’m not blaming people, cos there’s no need for that. It’s a fact, however, that my approach to the Bible was more as a rulebook rather than a guide to how to relate with and understand the Creator.

When I finally began to develop my own relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, He allowed my eyes to see His Word not as something to bind myself with, but something to liberate me. Something to allow me to fully cherish who God is and how he’s created me. Part of that was getting to grips with His commands. A lot of people would argue that the Law was done away with by the sacrifice of Christ. Those same people would put it to me that when Jesus said He’s come to fulfil the Law and Prophets that it suggests that it’s finished and done away with. They would also suggest that I live under grace and not the law. Where I’m coming from is that Jesus actually fulfilled the Law’s requirements – as in how to live the life pleasing to God. Now through Him I’m not subject to the oppressive nature of the law – which was never meant to give life. Now I’m subject to the grace of God that gives me power to live right. And one way to live right is to obey the commands of God, one of which is Sabbath observance.

It’s interesting that Christians will defend no killing, no idolatry, no stealing, no adultery, no dishonouring parents and virtually all the other of the commandments, but they’ll stutter, cough and brush over the fourth commandment. I’m not here to judge, just to share my insight. My insight as based on the Word is that God established this command to allow us to – as He did – rest after 6 days of creative work. As Jesus put it, the Sabbath was made for the benefit of man. Not as a shackle of oppression and a list of things you cannot do, but an insight into the real glory of God that surrounds us and a taste of the one that awaits us. The opportunity not to work and rather to celebrate and rest is easily misunderstood, but when appreciated truly from a heart of love it’s more than refreshing, as I now know from experience.

Growing up I used to look forward to the end of Sabbath, nowadays I look forward to the beginning of Sabbath and seek to share in the benefits that God set apart in the day that He literally set apart. As F.B. Meyer wrote in his devotional entry for today, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life – the demands of work and home. It’s easy to get swept up in the dog-eat-dog world pursuing material gain and forget about the need to stop and rest. It is easy to neglect the need for our whole bodies (emotional, physical, mental and spiritual) to receive nourishment and restoration through a shutdown in work and recuperation through the blessed presence of God. That’s why I’m grateful that the Creator established a sacred time for us to gain insight into a time He’s preparing for all those who will seek Him – that eternal rest.

Here then is that prayer from Meyer (I’m a poet don’t I know it). I hope you are blessed and challenged by it.

PRAYER
O God, may there be a pause in the busy rush of daily life, not only in outward seeming, but in our inward temper. May our anxieties and cares be borne by Thyself on whom we cast them, that there may be nothing to break the repose and serenity of our hearts. Ordain peace for us, because Thou hast also wrought all our works in us. AMEN.

One of the benefits of this bloggin business is the ability to link to resources and sites that can be useful for any issues that comes out of my entries. I’ve not thoroughly interrogated these sites, but an initial glance at these indicate that they should be good to get your teeth into the issue that I’ve looked at today, I hope that they’re useful for you too!

http://sabbath.org/
http://www.biblesabbath.org/
http://www.biblesabbath.org.uk/

l8r
da man cd

Family Introduction and Social Injustice

In continuing my endeavour to give an appropriate context in which to assess me allow me to give you the basic statistics on my family. As you may have gathered elsewhere, I am a happily married man – she’s happy, I’m married. (Cue drum roll and cymbal crash and audience laughter.) But seriously, I am blessed to be married to the most beautiful woman in the world and as such it would be remiss of me to even consider posting a photo up on this here blog. You see, one of the things me and the wife share is a love of Columbo. One of the classic things about Columbo is that you never see his wife, and so in tribute to the great detective, you ain’t gonna see mine either … unless you’ve already seen her … in which case that’s your blessing, but I shall not divulge the nature of her physical beauty for such a wide audience to behold. Were it just the physical beauty that would be in itself of interest, but nay, my beloved should have a character and personality that far outshines her physical beauty. Ahhh she is such a wonderful woman that sometimes I shake my head and smile in gratitude at the goodness of the LORD.
Anyway, that be the wife, whose name is … the wife. We are also blessed to have a beautiful daughter who goes by the name Deborah. She will be a year old on 29th December, so please mark that in your calendars and remember we only need cash for her at this time as a birthday gift. Cheques should be made payable to Christopher Dryden and preferably have more than two digits to the left of the decimal point! Deborah is a delight and is my first child so I’ve had a really … interesting time getting to grips with the challenge of fatherhood. I’m in two minds as to whether to conduct a full analysis into the varying smells and sights of a baby’s faeces here on this blog, but as I’m aware of the delicate stomach that may be attached to the eyes of the reader I shall leave it for request only. Needless to mention, however, isn’t it fascinating? It is to me. Thankfully there’s so much more to Deborah than the solid output from her daily digestion and I’m sure you’ll find that out as time progresses.
The final part of the close family cast is Kevaughn who is the 12-year-old son of the wife. I am not his biological father, but while he remains with us I accept virtual parenting responsibility for him. He calls me Dad, I call him son, we get on alright. He’s a bright, enthusiastic, bubbly kind of boy – really intelligent and creative and a future chief executive of his own airline, so I’m playing my cards right now, so when I need a Business Class seat on a trip to New York, I know where to go! Who says being a parent doesn’t have its perks?
So that be the main cast, there are the rest of my family as well to introduce, but I’ll do that in another entry.
Now onto the main course of today’s entry. I love reading. More than almost anything else I can thing of, I enjoy reading. So I endeavour to have reading material with me wherever I go, even when I’m depositing waste in the biological method (go to the toilet for the less literate of us). Today whilst I made me usual 50-minute walk from the local town centre to the place of my abode I read something that struck me as good blog material. It’s from a book called Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas. At this point I hope the lawyers will allow me this direct quote without fear of litigation, indeed this could be seen as part of their marketing strategy to reach a huge audience … or not. Anyway the quote is as follows:

“What’s always bothered me about the fundamentalists is that they seem preoccupied with the most obvious sins. If those sins, sexual immorality and drug addiction, come out of unhappiness, then I’m sure God wants to set people free of that unhappiness. But I couldn’t figure out why the same people were never questioning the deeper, slyer problems of the human spirit like self-righteousness, judgementalism, institutional greed, corporate greed.”
This quote is part of the talk that Bono has on his first encounter with the televangelists of the U.S. It struck a chord with me on the real tragedy of Christianity today. By the way for those not in the know, Bono can be described broadly speaking as a Christian. I’ll leave it at that, as I don’t know that much more about the guy, but that I’m fairly convinced of. What really came across as so true in this quote was just how obsessed we as Christians can be over certain sins rather than others. Rather than spreading and preaching the liberty with which Christ can set us free, the view is easier seen of judgement being passed down on the ‘losers’ of this world. No compassion, rather condemnation. I know of which I talk as I am a member of church, I do consider myself to be a follower of Christ and I am more than aware of some of the areas in which the body to which I belong sometimes contradicts the heart of the Christ of whom we are meant to be followers.
It’s such a challenge. On the one hand there’s the legalist nature of Christians which is sometimes masked as observance of God’s commands. On the other hand there’s the licentious compromise of the values of God that is disguised as grace. The walk is so narrow … and yet that’s exactly Christ’s point. The way is meant to be narrow, it’s meant to be challenging. Following Christ is not there for us to be popular, but neither is it there for us to be irrelevant in the world we live in. As long as we don’t share the love and righteousness of God through Jesus Christ we fail to deliver the true gospel message.
What, however, particularly irks me concerning the contradiction is what Bono alludes to in terms of Christians being quick to condemn sexual sin and slow (if movement is made at all) to speak out against a world that legalises greed and covetousness through that great word CAPTIALISM. I mean look at that word – capitalism – capitalise, to take advantage of, to grow greater and better than others, the amassing of capital. It’s no coincidence that the poor in society are left behind because they’re not high up on the agenda when it comes to capitalism. Now before anyone accuses me of being a socialist or communist, or anarchist, or whatever I can state clearly now that this is not the case. I am in the process of writing something on political ideologies and a Christian alternative that I hope to complete at some point before I die, God willing. The point remains, however, that a just society must put as a priority looking out for the welfare of those who are the ‘least advantaged’ in society. Just as Christ came to save the lost and bring liberation to those captive, so a just society looks to bring liberty to those who are captive to economic situations. I’m not talking about encouraging people to scrounge off the state, but I am talking about encouraging people to know that they’re not on their own that they are part of a community and society that passionately cares about them fulfilling their own call for their own sense of worth and the improvement of the community.
That’s why I get so excited when I consider how our gifts can be used in society to radically bring change to the lives of people through the power and love of God. I get excited because it’s not just something that makes me feel good inside, but it’s something that gives me a passion to reach out to others. It’s something that makes me want to stand up for what’s right in God’s sight. It’s something that makes me more compassionate for those who are yet to realise who they really are.
I don’t apologise for going on like this. Hey, this is my blog, I am entitled to go on a bit within reason. Yet I understand only too well that this is where the problem is for so many believers. When we speak out for right in God’s sight, the first place that it must start with is ourselves or we bring disrepute on the very word we proclaim, and yet as believers we don’t have a choice. We have to live out all that we hear God say and see Christ do. For me it is such a struggle, especially as God reveals to me who I am, but it’s a worthwhile lifelong struggle to be able, through the grace and power of God, to stand up and make my life count for something bigger than me. That others can benefit from. That others can grow from. That others can be challenged and blessed by.
That’s me for the day. I was going to write about the Sabbath, but I’ll leave that for another entry, so you can look out for that. In the meantime, have a great weekend, if I don’t write to you before the end of that. Ah ha, that’s something I almost forgot. Beware the Jephthah Factor. I know that not everyone lives up to their word, but I’m endeavouring to be one of those people who do. The real gift is to know when to open your mouth to establish your word, when to keep your mouth shut, and what to say when you open your mouth, or else you may find yourself regretting having ever opened your mouth in the first place. If you don’t know what I mean, check Judges 11.

Right, that about does it for today. Until whenever,
Shalom.
l8r
da man cd