reflecting my eclectic (and sometimes erratic) life
Author: John Ager
Salvation Army Officer (in retirement) who likes technology, Radiohead and F1. Married to Naomi. Runner. Christian with an open heart and mind. Left of centre. Freedom, justice and equality. Feminism. LGBTQ ally. Interfaith dialogue with those of all faiths and none. Geek. Personal views.
For those of you running Windows 11, Microsoft have just released a cumulative update that caused me problems. I had to perform a System restore to get the taskbar and other functions back.
Others have reported this problem, so it’s probably best not to update with KB5006050. I’ve paused updates to prevent this problem happening again, and I’ll probably wait until Windows 11 becomes generally available before updating again. For now, I’m going to stay on the safe side.
I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect: the Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Saviour! Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.
Life’s honouring deeds we start and do not do – I know, I know that these are counted too. The flowers that do not come to flower but drop to earth and lose their power, the rivers that run dry in desert, never to renew, I know, I know that these are counted too.
Today’s intentions that are not seen through, I know, I know that these are not untrue. All my deeds so long delayed, all the tunes I have not played sound out on your bina’s strings, all performed by you. I know, I know that these are counted too.
Sometimes peace in our human hearts can seem elusive. We can so easily be knocked off balance, experiencing discouragement and distress in our inner being.
The psalmist expresses this in Psalms 42 and 43. These are two psalms which in many Hebrew manuscripts form one psalm, and when you read them together you can see why. Separated by number, but not by obvious thematic connection and narrative flow.
I caught this morning morning’s minion, king- dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing, As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
I’m a member of the National Trust. For an annual subscription I get free parking and free entrance to all their properties and can visit any of them as often as I wish. If I resign from the National Trust, I will have to pay parking and entrance fees every time I visit a National Trust property. The National Trust are not penalising me by imposing those charges, only applying the charges that apply to all non-members, which I chose to become by resigning.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
There are times when you need an uplifting song to raise your mood, at other times a sad song can emotionally connect with particular feelings and be more meaningful. Indeed, many people consider sad songs better and deeper than happy songs, as they speak profoundly to the human condition.
Just sometimes though, we need to rage and let our feelings out, as this can be very cathartic. Here’s a Radiohead song does just that, it’s a song of rage from their album Kid A released in 2000.
Everyone Everyone around here Everyone is so near It’s holding on It’s holding on
Everyone Everyone is so near Everyone has got the fear It’s holding on It’s holding on
It’s holding on It’s holding on It’s holding on
Thom Yorke sings short, ambiguous lyrics, using voice distortion and a feedback echo that creates a sense of isolation and fear. The looping heavy bass line that leads the song was composed by Yorke when he was 16 years old. The early electronic instrument called ondes Martenot, played by Jonny Greenwood, was inspired by Olivier Messiaen. The free jazz-style brass section was inspired by the work of Charles Mingus. Added to that are some interlaced sound effects and mysterious samples creating quite a unique track.