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Matthew 4:1-11

This was really about temptation. The Bible reading was from Matthew's gospel, about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.

The 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 story.
  • 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 in.

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 sides.

I loaded the pictures into Corel Photo-Paint (part of Corel 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 have photoshop.

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 story and talk on the St James' Muswell Hill web site.


Yon walking to St Yames's in the summer


Yon skiing to St Yames's in the winter

Yon skiing
Yon skiing fast

ski school man
The man from the Snowvenia ski school

A Snowvenian bobsleigh

Yon's first run
Yon having a go in a bobsleigh

Yon fast bobsleigh
Yon taking it a lot more seriously this time


Desert island church by John Parker. Contact me via the about page. Text and images copyright © 2014 John Parker www.desertislandchurch.co.uk.