Archive for November, 2013

My previous life

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Sometimes I refer to what I did in Australia as “my previous life”, as it seems so different and distant from what I do now. But every now and again things happen that bring back recollections of my past life. For example, on Friday I was remembering a conversation I had with some good friends at Newcastle at least 25 years ago, when Don Carson’s book Exegetical Fallacies had recently come out. One of the group said, “That would be a book for Richard!”. An accurate assessment, and in fact a few years ago I was asked to translate it into Italian by one of the local publishing houses. It is just been printed, and on Friday I received a few copies of the book for my work, and for my memories.

Last Easter, Stefania and Daniele saw me look at some chess news on Internet, and wanted to know all about it. So they learnt the rules, and started going along to a chess club at Trento, although only Daniele has continued after the summer. As I have taken them to the children’s lessons at the club, I have got to know some of the other members, and regained a bit of interest from my teenage years. It is also another opportunity to meet people outside of the church circles. Since the summer I have played in three single afternoon friendly tournaments, being a bit the unknown and unrated dark horse. The third one was today, when I also picked up my first placing (3rd). Which was the best result I ever obtained in my teenage years as well. Next Sunday there is a family day, with a tournament for children and one for their families, so we’ll see how Daniele fares in his first official matches.

But what made me the most excited all week, and brought back lots of memories, was discovering on Saturday morning that the Dr Who special (to celebrate my 50th anniversary a couple of months ago?) would be shown on Italian TV that night, at the same time it was shown in England. Usually I have to wait a year for shows to be dubbed and come out in Italy. Instead, I had an expected evening being nostalgic about my previous life.

Computer time

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

A few days ago, I finished preparing the Bible studies for the church this year. This means that until May, when I will start preparing the studies for after the summer, I have a bit more time for other projects. Which is principally the computer work, of which I have quite a few ideas which I would like to implement. What is different now is that I have a virtual team helping me: people that I do not know, but who have offered to help me with their time and abilities, and that I give direction to and incorporate in the whole LaParola vision. So in the next few months the main computer projects I will be working on are:

New graphics for the site – after 12 years essentially the same, it is getting a bit dated. But I am no good on graphics, so someone is working on a new site design into which I will slot the contents of the site.

Bible quiz – someone has sent me over 1200 questions on the Bible, for which it was easy to create a web interface (it should go live this week), and I will put into my Windows program and create an independent Android app.

Windows program – I’m working on this by myself still, because it is a mature program with little work needed. But last week I finally added an often requested feature, to project the Bible text onto a second screen. So once I have added the quiz I will publish a new version of the program.

Android app – I wrote the core part of this program, and someone else the interface. There is not much else to do in the core, but I give advice to the other person as he adds new features to the program in the interface, calling the parts of the core that are already written.

iPhone/iPad app – I have two volunteers to work on the interface of this new program. First I have to modify the core of the Macintosh program to create a new core for an iOS program – they are similar, but not identical.

Hard Passages of the Bible – answers to common questions on the Bible that I am writing. I am continuing this by myself, both to keep it consistent and to keep me studying the Bible whilst I am not preparing Bible studies.

Leaders’ retreat

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

On Saturday the church has its first leaders’ “retreat” – a day at a house in the mountains for the leaders of the church and of its various groups and ministries, including a few who are in preparation. There were 29 adults and 18 children, plus five others to give us input and help with the food and children. It was a privilege to be a part of this group, many of whom I have served together with for over 20 years, others who I have helped in becoming a leaders, others who have helped me a lot. Also the other leaders expressed their appreciation of being able to get away for a day, with other people to look after the children, and concentrate on their relationships with the other leaders and on how they can help even more the church to grow as a community. And the children loved having a whole day to play together, rather than just a few minutes after church. Definitely something to repeat in the future.

An update on Pinuccia’s family situation I mentioned last week: her nephew has been taken off the drugs which were keeping him in a coma, but he has not woken up yet. From the worry, Pinuccia’s mother’s blood pressure shot up, and spent a few days in hospital as well. So Pinuccia has been feeling the distance from her family even more.