This was really about temptation. The Bible reading was
from Matthew's gospel, about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.
service was on the last Sunday of the winter Olympics and so I told a story
about a winter athlete from a fictional northern country called Snowvenia. He
was called Yon because there was a running joke through the story that
Snowvenians pronounce 'J's as 'Y's, and so his mum was called Yulie and his dad
was Yoseph, and they all went to St Yames's church.
The story made
similar points to the Bible passage:
- As an athlete, Yon was given detailed advice about food, and
studying this pushed out his Bible reading. Yon should have remembered that
man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the
mouth of God.
- The man from the Snowvenian ski school (the baddie in the
story) told Yon that he'd be protected when he launched himself down the
bobsleigh track. He should have remembered not to put the Lord his God to
the test. To be honest I think I should have made more of this in the
- And Yon was told that he could achieve Olympic glory, if he
devoted himself to bobsleigh. But Yon rightly said 'no', because he knew that
he should worship the Lord his God, and serve him only.
The pictures were projected onto the screen during the talk. I
gave Gill, my wife, who looks after Easy
Worship for the all age services, a copy of my talk so that she would know
when to change the slides.
I had been a bit stuck for ideas, and the
story only came to me the day before. So in one long Saturday I wrote the talk
and the story, drew the pictures and put the powerpoint presentation together.
With a bit more time, I would have (a) done some of it a few days before, so
that we could have had an earlier dinner on the Saturday, and (b) drawn a few
more pictures, including some for the talk after the story. A friend told me
that pictures help to hold his daughter's attention, even though she's too
young to understand every aspect of the message.
I drew the pictures by
hand, first in pencil; then I went over the lines with a black pen and rubbed
out the pencil. (Make sure the ink is dry before you rub out the pencil.) In
some of the pictures I used thinner pens for things in the distance. I made
sure that the lines joined up around areas that were going to be coloured
Then I scanned the pictures at a reasonably high resolution, using a
'pure black and white' setting. If you use greyscale you won't be able to
colour areas in as easily, because there will be areas of grey where there
should be white, and the black lines will have grey pixels along the
I loaded the pictures into Corel Photo-Paint (part of
Draw). This is an expensive program if you buy the full product, but there
is a much cheaper 'home and student' edition available. It's hard to find on
Corel's UK web site, but you can easily locate it through a web search.
Photoshop would work just as well, and it has a cheap version too, but I don't
Anyway, clean up all the extraneous black dots, mistakes
in the line work, etc; save the picture, change it to RGB and fill in the areas
with colour. At this point you'll find all the places where your lines didn't
meet properly. A tip: turn off the 'anti-alias' setting. If you don't, there
will be pixels of intermediate colour along all the edges and it makes it
difficult to change your mind about colour later.
Save the picture with
a new file name - so you can go back to the black and white one if you need to
start again - and then reduce it to a reasonable size for powerpoint. Again,
save the reduced picture with a different name. Put the pictures in powerpoint,
avoiding horrible transitions, and you're done.
You can hear the
and talk on the St James' Muswell Hill web site.