view from my pew 13

Dear Internet

Mr Grenville-Stubbs here again. Did you miss me? I have been busy trying to make a positive difference in cyberspace. I had an idea for a search engine that I have been trying to get off the ground with what is known as ‘crowd funding’ – where lots of people offer small amounts of money to help make something a reality.

My idea was to create a Christian internet search engine. I did think of calling it ‘Ask Mr Grenville-Stubbs’ but my friends suggested that this might be a bit of a long name for people to type in. They suggested something easier to remember, too. So I came up with ‘Goddle’.

searchGoddle works like any other search engine you can think of: you type in a question, a word or something that you want to find out about and click ‘pray’. (I think ‘pray’ is better than ‘search’ for a Christian search engine).

After you have clicked ‘pray’ the clever software will go to work and find a Bible verse that relates to that question / word / thing you want to find out about. So, if you wanted to search pray for information about ‘wrestling’, for example, Goddle would provide you with Psalm 13 verse 2: “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

I put this idea on a website for crowd funding ideas and have been waiting for donations to flood in. I think there must be a bug in that website because even though my idea has been available for the past month so far nobody has offered anything.

I am sorry to have to say that my Minister, Revd Philip Inneck-Tucker was not much help at first, either. I mentioned the idea to him on a Sunday after church but he had one of his mysterious coughing fits and had to rush off to get a glass of water. I tried to talk to him several times later that day but he always seemed to rush away just as I got close to him. In the end I managed to talk to him by waiting outside the church until he had locked up and was unlocking his car in the dimly lit car park.

I came up behind him: “So what do you think of Goddle?” I asked.

He uttered something unintelligible (or it may have been ancient Hebrew) as he clutched his chest. “What are you doing sneaking around in the shadows? You almost gave me a coronary!”

I apologised for surprising him, but insisted he gave me his opinion.

“Why would anyone want to use Goddle?” he asked. “If I want to find a recipe for chili con carne I don’t want to be given some obscure verse from Leviticus about regulations for food preparation.”

“But the Bible has answers for everything,” I said.

He gave me one of his funny looks and that’s when he gave me a brilliant idea. He suggested that if that was my attitude to the Bible I could save myself a lot of time and money by making the answer to every question: “Jesus.”

Why didn’t I think of that?

Yours faithfully

Mr QR Grenville-Stubbs


You will not believe chocolate eclair what has happened Triceratops

I was looking on a well-known internet search engine yesterday to see what happened when I entered this blog name. I was stunned to discover that if I search for ‘nukelear fishing’ as opposed to ‘nuclear fishing’ this blog is referred to on other websites.

It is mentioned on a gamers’ website – I mentioned playing in that blog entry.
It is mentioned on a tech support website – I mentioned the Blue Screen of Death.
It is mentioned on a website about what to wear when taking a wedding – I mentioned what someone wore when baptising (!)
And most bizarrely it is referenced on a Singapore website page that is talking about the Inter Milan manager Rafael Benitez. You’ll have to read back over recent entries to work that one out!

I think that on most of these occasions the website has its own automatic search facility that looks for key words and then simply adds those websites to their catalogue. It is very tempting to start putting random words in the middle banoffee pie of sentences to see if my blog appears brontosaurus on any other unusual websites such as cookery or dinosaur sites.

It has made me think about what makes me distinctive as a Christian. Often people see me as a Minister first and foremost and perhaps expect me to be different because I am a ‘professional Christian’. But I am normal (mostly), but I am paid to serve the church – the church has set me aside to enable me to fulfil this ministry. But when people meet me, especially if they don’t know I am a minister, what messages about me are they picking up, and is my faith part of that message? I hope so. That is part of what God’s Spirit does – he reveals the presence and personality of Jesus to other people – so long as I don’t get in the way.

This joke came to me from a search of the internet (perhaps the most tenuous joke reference yet)

A lawyer died and went to heaven. There were thousands of people ahead of him in line to see St. Peter. To the lawyer’s surprise, St. Peter left his desk at the gate and came down the long line to where he was and greeted him warmly. St. Peter took the lawyer up to the front of the line, and into a comfortable chair by his desk. The lawyer said, “I like all this attention, but what makes me so special?”

St. Peter replied, “Well, I’ve added up all the hours for which you billed your clients, and by my calculation you’re 193 years old!”