Darren Jones

On blank pages in printed Google docs

I use Google docs all the time. I print a lot of it out for church.

I create A5 PDF’s to print off as double-sided 8-page hand-outs.

When saving as a PDF to print off in booklet form, I was getting blank pages inserted. Super irritating.

The “fix” seems to be to click on Print, and in the print preview change “Margins” to “Customised” and then just move the left margin a tiny amount.

Bingo. From 16 pages with every other page a blank, down to the correct 8 pages ready to go.

How to paste Hebrew into Microsoft Word

I searched around for this quite a bit online!

The problem is this: When you copy Hebrew text in one application and then paste it into Microsoft Word, the sentence word order is reversed. The letters still read right-to-left, but the words run left-to-right.

That might be just about ok if you wanted to write an interlinear, but it’s not really what you want.

The solution is simple: First copy your text as normal. In Microsoft Word, put the cursor where you want the text to appear. On the Ribbon at the top of the screen, you’ll see two buttons you’ve possibly never used: Left-To-Right and Right-To-Left. Click on Right-To-Left and then paste your text.

That should paste your text just how you want it.

Where the English national football team go wrong

Lots of people have picked over the bones of England’s dismal Euro 2016 efforts, and the general tone is one of mystery and confusion – as if it’s almost a problem that can’t be solved.

It’s funny to think that the business world likes to hear from Sir Alex Ferguson about leadership, because the football world should probably pay a bit more attention too.

Football is a team game. You can’t put individuals together and hope for the best, even when they are as talented as some of the young English players are. You have to build a plan for each game you face; you build your plan around the weaknesses of the opposition and the strengths of your individuals; you then organise your players around the plan.

You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of both teams so that when something happens (injury, substitution) you can adjust your plan and team shape.

This is all obvious, of course.

Where England go wrong is they never have a manager who is bold enough to stamp in his plan, his style. Someone willing to drop the big names if they don’t fit or perform. National sides play far, far fewer games than domestic clubs, so the outcome for each game is significantly more dependent on the manager. He is the 12th player, and ought to be intimately connected to and directing the action minute-by-minute in a way that domestic managers don’t quite need to be.

Iceland don’t have better players, but they did have a better plan. It was simple and effective and, frankly, obvious.

You will know from the moment the next England manager is appointed whether they have a chance in the near future. It will be down to him, far less than the team at his disposal.

Two places at once?

At a family service at church recently I asked everyone what super-power they’d like to have, e.g. flight, strength, etc.

Some of the older people said they’d like the “power” to remember things or to be able to get up the stairs easily!

Someone said they’d like to be able to be in two places at once. My brain nearly popped at the thought. Would you be simultaneously aware of the surroundings of both, as if somehow one “mind” or “person” occupied two bodies? Or would you need to “sync” the two later on? Would it be permanent, or something you could turn off and on?

It made me think of God, simultaneously hearing the prayers of people all over the world – of him actually paying attention to every one. And how he does that as he sees every new creature born, every drop of rain land, and every galaxy continue its motion.

God’s attention – his focus – on you and me is astounding. He graciously turns his divine power towards his people.

When worlds collide

Last Sunday (20th July), we had 90+ Ministries leading the service at Matheson church.

It was the culmination of two months of outreach activity to the local youth.

Somewhere around 25 children and teenagers came along to the service. Two groups of people had their eyes opened. First, the youngsters finally saw the rest of the church at a service on a Sunday. That was a first because although they come week after week to the mid-week activities they had not previously been part of a Sunday service.

The second group to have their eyes opened was the church itself. For some, it seemed as if they were being confronted by the reality of the community in which the church is located for the first time ever – and it was an uncomfortable experience.

The community (all of it, all ages) need Jesus. No financial injection, social reform or education programme will do the job. They need to know Jesus. That means the church has to find sincere and effective means of going and telling – not waiting for them to get good enough to come.

Why my Twitter name is “mwnt”

Mwnt is a perfect little corner of Wales, not far from Cardigan.

It is awkward to get to and has limited facilities. You can’t “pass through” Mwnt – it’s the end of the lane; go any further and you’re in the sea.

Here is it on Google maps.

Choc the Dazbar

Our Dan has been doing a project in school where they had to come up with a new chocolate bar, complete with name, logo, etc.

Dan: Dad, if you made a new chocolate bar what would you call it?

Me: I’d call it the Dazbar. And I’d have a strapline of Choc the Dazbar. On the adverts I’d have a version of the Clash’s Rock the Casbah. [Singing] “I re-e-eally like it! Choc the Dazbar, Choc the Dazbar”

Dan: Have you thought about this before?

Cuteness overload…

Some things are just gorgeous, and here’s one of them…