15 Things We Can Learn From Lord of The Rings

Last night, we took advantage of the extra hour by completing the trip through Middle Earth, by watching the epic-length “Return of The King”.
As I watching it, I couldn’t help but think about the plots and characters interwoven throughout all 3 books / movies, and wondered what we could learn from them.  So here we present the Church Sofa list of things we can learn from The Lord of The Rings:
    1. If you’re going to walk in the river – make sure you can swim
    2. Don’t put all your trust in your first wizard, wait for the ‘White’ one to come along
    3. Make sure you don’t follow an insane leader
    4. Be careful if that random old uncle gives you a random ring. If he does, do yourself a favour… Lock it away somewhere safe, leave it alone, and run!
    5. They do indeed come in pints
    6. Some times you need that extra gulp of beer before you chat to the pretty bar maid.
    7. Don’t tell small people to go away, you may need them to watch your back sooner then you think.
    8. Don’t try and steal rings from little people.
    9. If a wise and trusted old wizard tells you not to touch a giant marble… Don’t touch it.
    10. Be careful when wondering in dark caves, you may want to check for any local rumours of monsters before you go in there.
    11. Does your gardener have a weird spaced out look in his eyes? If so make sure he hasn’t nicked the ring that random old uncle gave you.
    12. The night can only last so long, come sun rise you will get reinforcements
    13. You won’t always get the right man for the job – sometimes you’ll need a woman.
    14. Every now and then you may need someone to carry you.
    15. Sometimes you need things to go that badly wrong to know what you can really do.

With thanks to our fantastic Twitter followers for their inspiration.

Is there any more we could include?

Joy, Fraud, and See Through Toilets

With a title such as “Joy, Fraud, and See Through Toilets”, this can only be this weeks weekly round up:

  • After a week where some people can argue that the Lib Dems became a little bit more blue, and politics became a little less fair; its good to see the URC, Baptists, and Methodists ganging up on the government and claim foul over benefit fraud claims. Anyone know why the C of E Wasn’t involved? Read more on BBC News
  • The Blue Fish Project discusses lack of joy in older Christians, while Jon Butler looks at the need to be more child like – I’m personally already designing my new imaginary friend. Read Jon’s blog to understand what I mean!
  • The Digital Spy seems shocked that Alice Cooper believes in Demons.
  • And finally… It is rumoured that The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town has shown interest in See Through Toilets. Read the eChurch to try and figure out whats really going on!

Finding a church

So recently I moved from Bath to Exeter. Not a huge distance but certainly not close enough for me to keep going to the same church. This put me in a bit of a dilemma – how do you go about finding the right church for you?

The first question I had to deal with was why I don’t always like going to church? It’s become almost too obvious to say that men don’t like going to church, but often it’s true. I’m still not 100% on what makes me not like it, maybe I just like to have a lie in on a sunday or maybe I don’t like the idea of being preached at, though I do quite like doing the preaching. There’s lots of things it could be and maybe one day I’ll realise what it is that puts me off every so often. However me not always liking being there isn’t going to stop me going. I’ve figured that this whole following God thing seems to work best in a group!

Looking for a church is something I’d never had to do as a regular punter so to speak. I went to the church my parents when to when I was a child and continued there until I went to uni. While at uni I worked for a church on a placement and was expected there on sundays, so had never really had to find a church to go to for myself. There were a few things however that I thought were important about a church, and this is what I based my decision on, in no particular order.

  • Outward looking – they need to be involved in the community, the city/town and be concerned about engaging with real people missionally, not necessarily always focused on evangelism but working against injustice and bring glory to God in the local area.
  • The Bible as a high priority – I’ve noticed that at times it’s easy to under estimate the Bible and just take it at it’s face value, when in fact it’s a book that can entirely change your life.
  • Passionate worship – it was important to me to be in a church that passionately worships God, not just in sung worship but in everything they do.
  • A place to serve – there needed to be opportunities to serve in all sorts of areas but I do have a passion for worship leading and youth work

and now after a fairly long time of looking, trying to decide between visiting traditional churches and super charismatic churches and everything in between, I have found a church that seems right for me. It’s a free church, with all of the above, to the extent that the second time I went I was in the worship band!

The thing is, it’s not just a church that meets my ‘requirements’ . Its a  church that I feel a part of already. This is because of the welcome I’ve received, to the extent that I feel I now belong to a church that wanted me to be a part of it.

I wanna go to housegroup!


This CartoonChurch.com cartoon by Dave Walker originally appeared in the Church Times.

I was going to comment about housegroups / home groups / cell groups / what ever… I was going to talk about how meeting half way through the week to study the Bible can seem like a weird and odd thing to do. I was then going to say something about loving being able to share in the brutal craziness of life in light of Gods Grace.

But my throat is doing some weird aching thing, and I’m missing not being at housegroup.

But I think Dave said it better on his blog.

The Church Sofa Weekly Round Up

Here’s this weeks weekly round up…

To start with, some serious C of E news, it seems there have been some factions opening up and things like that. If you feel like you can concentrate then the Church Mouse explains it all. (Not to be confused with Clarissa…)

Have you heard about the Steelroots saga? If not check out our post here. While the eChurch goes a little deeper, giving a little bit more detail about the tale of the American Bully Boys. If you want a lesson on irony check out the American Steelroots Twitter page.

On a lighter note. According to the BBC, contrary to popular reports, Homer and Bart Simpson are not Catholic.

On a final note if your interested in “iPhone Photography” you may want to check out the Project 365 blog from “ThatAndy”.

Only one name per group please!

Imagine a world where no two churches are allowed to have the same name. If a second church opens with the same name, then one church will sue the other for the right to use that name.

So there would only one “St Peters Church”, only one “City Community Church”, and yes. Only one “Baptist Church”.

The same rules apply to youthgroups, housegroups, and any other ‘groups’.

Want to know what I’m on about?

Well check out:

Steelroots.com – the website for a Christian youth television company based in America.

Steelroots.org.uk – the website for a Church youth group.

The cease and desist letter that one has sent the other…

Shout out to Dave Walker for bringing this to peoples attention.

Beer and Bible

Now heres something a little special from the world of Chelmsford and the brain of Phil Ritchie.

As part of the Bible Year 2011 initiative, the “Beer and Bible” initiative is there to encourage public reading of the Bible in 200 pubs around the Chelmsford area, with a focus on seasonal times such as Easter.

The Church Sofa lads are fans of both the Bible and Beer, and any excuse to combine the two is worth celebrating.

Personally speaking one of my most peaceful months for a few months was spent next to the River Exe in Exeter, pint in hand, while reading 1 John. It was a nice pint by the way…

Phils Treehouse

Beer and Bible on Twitter