2 April 2018

Harvesting personal information

The lid has been blown off the way personal information can be harvested from Facebook and other social media.


Photograph: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

The Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower has exposed how political parties and advertisers can target us, based on our online profiles. These are the uncomfortable realities of our digital age. Strangely, it's all come to light just as the new General Data Protection Regulation is coming into effect on 25th May 2018. The law is tightening up the way companies collect and hold our personal information.

God knows everything about us
Nonetheless, who knows about us, and how much they know about us is a big issue for many people. We find it hard to trust even our nearest and dearest with very personal information, let alone strangers. So it should sober us up when we find in the Bible that God knows everything about us, and keeps a record of it all.

In Proverbs 5:21 it says, 'The LORD sees everything you do; wherever you go he is watching.'

Psalm 139:1-4 says, 'You have searched me LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you, LORD, know it completely.'

And Hebrews 4:13 says, 'Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.'

4 March 2018

World gone mad

Dan Smith, lead singer/songwriter of Indie band Bastille, wrote a song in 2017 'World Gone Mad'. He felt, like so many today, that civil society is unravelling before our eyes, and becoming one scary place. The reality is that chaos and confusion are very frightening. Take something as simple as traffic lights. If a group of people insisted on their rights that red, orange and green can mean whatever they want them to mean, then approaching a busy crossroads would be really hairy, really unpredictable and unsafe.

14 February 2018

Bleak outlook

The economic forecast going into 2018 is not good. The future is looking bleak. Economic growth has slowed down. Despite the prolonged pain, austerity has failed to dig us out of crippling debt. Jobs are uncertain. The cost of housing (rent or purchase) is way beyond the average Joe and Jane. And who knows what the effect of Brexit will be?

Money, money, money
The temptation is to work harder, to do anything we can to make a bit more money, and try to save or invest as much as we can to have some security in the future. Maybe, as a last desperate resort, we might play the Lotto and put our hopes in the hands of Lady Luck.

What's clear is that our sense of security is almost entirely based on money.

The trouble with money is that it can be like a drug. It makes you feel better off and more secure than you are. When we have money we feel like everything's OK, and that the more we have, and the more we can store away in savings, pensions, house ownership etc, then the better off we'll be.

2 December 2017

Join us this Christmas


SUNDAY 24 DEC
10.30am Christmas Carols and Readings
Traditional carols and Bible readings looking forward to the coming of Christ.

6.00pm Candlelit Family Carols
Traditional carols, Christmas message and performances from our children's clubs.

MONDAY 25 DEC
10.00am Christmas Day
Sing traditional carols and hear a message from the Bible.

SUNDAY 31 DEC
11.00pm New Year’s Eve Celebration
Join with others from around the Borough for music, a timely message from the Bible, songs, and refreshments.

We're celebrating his birth, not his birthday

What have Isaac Newton, Humphrey Bogart, Annie Lennox, Dido and my Mum got in common?

They were all born on 25th December.

Because it's Christmas, you'd think we could have said, ‘they all share a birthday with Jesus'! But they don't, because Jesus wasn't born on 25th December. No one knows the exact day Jesus was born. Best guesses put it sometime in April or May.