This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit
Productivity a subsidiary of Collabora focusing on LibreOffice support and
services for whom I work.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Failing that, there are all manner of interesting things to read on
the LibreOffice Planet news
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- Up, breakfast, NCC. Oiled the door to the
children's creche so it doesn't squeak horrifically. Home
for lunch; lazed around.
- Did a chunk of paint-stripping, only one end of
the cot remains (horay). More applied slugging practice,
then dinner. Listened to a rather too short Gordon sermon on 2
Kings 22-23: The Greatest Revival Ever:
- In the ancient world; the name of a God told you
about him eg. 'Dagon' - grain god, the god of beer, worshiped
by consuming large quantities of it. The real God OTOH is called
JHYH, The one who is - by implication all the others arn't.
Josiah's father Amon's problem was that he didn't remember God's
- Why were so many Kings like Amon, and not
like Josiah. Only 2 were faithful from start to finish;
Hezekiah and Josiah - none like him, he alone walked in the
footsteps of his father David and did what was right in the
eyes of the Lord.
- Out of 41 kings, only 2 are loyal to God, and
the rest are tripped up by idolatory, so: What is so attractive
about Idolatory - what's so good about these non-functioning
- The attraction is not in that they are only wood
and metal and can't answer prayer - but in that they can't
talk. They can't say anything you don't want to hear.
- None of the ANE religions imposed any radical moral
standards. In fact the God's themselves lived with an abysmal
moral record - envy, adultery, murder, fear etc. a very
user friendly religion.
- When Josiah repaired the temple he discovered
the law of God which had been lost, and after purging the land
they celebrated the passover. The message of the
passover encapsulates everything about true-faith that makes
it unappealing, and idolatory so attractive.
- The passover reminds us of the bad news: we are
rightly condemned before a holy God. The miracle of the
passover is not that the angel of destruction took the lives
of all the first born in Egypt, the miracle is that the angel
did not destroy the Israelites.
- They were no more deserving than their neighbours -
just as much involved in idolatory. Wouldn't we much rather hear
- that we're fine the way we are, that we can save ourselves.
The passover say no - it takes God's act of redemption by the
substiutionary passover lamb.
- God saved them, that they might have a debt of love
for him; at the beginning of the 10 commandments - I am the Lord
who brought you out of Egypt, therefore ... it all starts in
Gratitude. We obey God out of love because he first loved us,
and gave his life for us as a sacrifice for many.
- Went for another sermon instead on
- Scripture never contrasts faith and reason, but
many times contrasts faith and sight. We are not told why
Peter was not rescued until beyond the 11th hour, perhaps
to test his faith, or to humiliate their enemies, who knows?
- Two lessons - the power of the God and his Gospel:
it finishes with 'the word of God continued to increase
and spread'. Also, the power of prayer: God has a way of
checking what we believe - he listens to our prayers. If he
hears nothing, he knows we believe nothing.
- His people are sustained whether by life: Peter,
or death as with James, and his enemies are thwarted. Peter
imprisoned for public trial after Passover. Not the first
time Peter had been imprisoned; at least 2 times by the
religious authorities after performing miracles, flogged
- Every single time until now, the problem had
arisen from Jewish animosity, but they could not execute a
criminal without Roman approval.
- In this case Herod (not The Great, but his grandson
- Herod Agrippa). He had grown up in Rome, was child-hood buddies
with the current Emperor. Not only out of nepotism, but because
he had a little Jewish blood he was made ruler of the area.
- He tried to ingratiate himself with the Jews,
the Emperor thought that being more sensitive to them would make
them more docile; he understood their concerns, obliged with
the law - to the extent that it was convenient. Went to the
temple, made more friendly coins, read portions of Deuteronomy,
in public standing in the Temple - to show respect for God.
- Now at the feast of unleavened bread - often
celebrated by heresy hunts - get rid of the polluting leaven -
he had James put to death with the sword - and seeing that it
pleased the Jews - had Peter locked up also.
- Not looking good - bad enough to be the object of
jealosy by the jews, but worse to be in the crosshairs of Herod,
the Roman governor, personal friend of the Emperor; at his
disposal the full weight of the world's superpower.
- Not the first jail-break, an Angel freed him in
Acts, but was told to go straight to the Temple and preach -
where he was quickly caputured and brought to trial. God
perhaps wanted the court of the Jews to have an example of
God's own verdict on Peter - setting him free.
- No longer just a jail, it's now a prison - most
likely the fortress of Antonia to the NW of the temple, an
impregnable fortress, not just a minor jail - where an
earthquake might open the doors.
- Rotating sets of soldiers guarding him; two
chained to him, two guarding. It's not looking good for Peter.
Peter can have no doubt about the outcome of his imprisonment,
because of James' death. God's providence did not save him.
- The early church having prayed for James, may have
concluded that there was no point praying for Peter. De-capitation
was used for traitors / terrorists - a sign that Herod thought
the faith was a threat to the empire.
- The timing is also no good; it's the last night
before he was to go to trial; sleeping between two soldiers,
bound to them with two chains. From his perspective - his next
waking moment would be being dragged into court; no other
option, nothing left to be done.
- The timing is not accidental; there are 11
parallels between here and the Exodus / the passover. He has
to escape in haste, put on his sandles, wrap his cloak around
him. Egypt was the super power of that day, Israel was under the
thumb of state persecution then etc. only now it's Rome not
Egypt, instead of the waters opening up, the prison gates do.
- The point is that the God of the Exodus is alive
and well, and answers prayer. Verse 5: the church was
earnestly praying to God for him.
- Peter sleeping like a baby, the angel had to shove
him to wake him. The Church is earnestly praying, doing what
Peter did not do in Gesthemany, it's awake praying. Not just
individuals, but corporately - a typical thing, corporate prayer.
- The Lord's prayer - given to the disciples, to be
prayed corporately - Our Father ... give us. The
doctrine of the priesthood of all belivers - often to cut down
to removing the middle-man. Priesthood is all about making
intercession for each other.
- If we truly love people, we will pray for them.
My content in this blog and associated images / data under
data/ directories are (usually)
created by me and (unless obviously labelled otherwise) are licensed under
the public domain, and/or if that doesn't float your boat a CC0
license. I encourage linking back (of course) to help people decide for
themselves, in context, in the battle for ideas, and I love fixes /
improvements / corrections by private mail.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Collabora, SUSE,
Novell, The Document Foundation, Spaghetti Hurlers (International),
or anyone else.
It's also important to realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)