Minibio

Along with Carolyn I was recently asked to become an elder of our local church, Brightons Parish Church, Falkirk. We were ordained as elders on 23rd October. We were asked to write a mini-biography to introduce ourselves to the church – obviously most of them know us quite well but it was good to be able to speak and reflect a bit more deeply about why we’re here. My article is reproduced below.

Keith Wansbrough – Bright Lights Nov 2016

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov 3.5-6, NIV)

I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and I grew up in a Christian family. I was always aware of God and learned lots about him and the Bible in Sunday School. As a teenager I attended the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle (founded by C. H. Spurgeon’s son Thomas), and after a summer camp when I was sixteen I realised I couldn’t just rely on my parents’ faith, I had to make a decision myself. I made a public confession of faith (through adult baptism) at that point, and have been trying to follow Christ ever since.

In 1997 I left home for the first time and flew to Glasgow to study for a PhD in Computer Science. It was a huge transition and I was very aware of God going before me and providing for me. It was during my time in Glasgow that I met Carolyn (at Queen’s Park Baptist). In 1998 my supervisor moved to Cambridge and I followed him there; Carolyn and I commenced a long-distance relationship which taught us a lot about communication. In Cambridge I helped with the church youth group and attended an intense and rewarding multicultural Bible study group for graduates.

In 2000 we were married and Carolyn moved down to join me. We spent five years in Cambridge, during which time Aidan was born, but when Megan was on her way we decided to move back to Scotland to be close to family. Throughout our lives both of us had mostly attended city churches, but when we arrived in the Braes we were determined to join a local church and be part of a local community. Carolyn has told the story of how we were welcomed into Brightons when Megan was just six days old, and we’ve been here ever since! We transferred our membership, and Aidan and Megan were baptized here.

Over the last 11 years what I’ve most valued about Brightons Church is the sense of community, being part of God’s people working together where he has placed us. He has confirmed more than once that this is where he wants us to be and to serve.

One strand of this has been youth work: many years ago I was asked to help with the Junior Sunday School, and from there I progressed to Triple S, until soon after FLAIM was formed we were asked to join them. Working with the S1-S3 age group is so rewarding, as the young people are beginning to ask questions and develop a faith of their own. We’ve also been involved in the Holiday Club committee for several years. Our church is blessed with so many young people, and we have such a responsibility to teach them about Jesus and lead them to him; yet in doing this we find God speaking to us and blessing us also.

The opportunity to dig deep into God’s word with friends and talk and pray together in the fellowship group I lead on alternate Monday nights has been another strand – wherever two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, he is there with us. More informally our friends in the congregation over the years have been a mutual support and encouragement.

Serving the church as a deacon, and now as an elder and Up and Coming convenor, is a third strand. I’m excited to have been asked to serve the congregation in this way, and I look forward to finding out what God is planning for us as a church. To God be the glory.

Police Bravery Award

We were quite amazed to get a Police Bravery award on Wednesday. The AP wrote a lovely story about what happened, which was taken up by the Edinburgh Evening News and several other Scottish papers. A snippet of it even made the print edition!

Story, archived version, archived/printable PDF. (The story is correct, but the headline incorrectly says he was on the A720 – he was on the M8 just after Hermiston Gait.)

The awards ceremony was quite an honour – red carpet, police horses, piped into the auditorium along with 58 other recipients, and a certificate and handshake from the Chief Constable of Police Scotland. So many amazing and inspiring stories.

We wish the man involved well.

Facebook threads: Keith, Carolyn.

Other articles: BBC, Police Scotland website / Twitter (intro arriving 1 2 3 4 everyone) / Facebook, Police Professional, Metaswitch newsletter, a friend’s FB post.

New battery

I changed the battery in the weather station, because in cold weather it was reporting low and we really don’t want to lose any data.

Unfortunately, it picks a random station ID on restart! My display software selects one station ID to display (in case there are other weather stations nearby – the base station does the same thing). That turns out to be a bad idea if you want to see the historical data! I’ll need to enhance my code to display data from two station IDs, and do something clever with the rainfall (which has reset to zero).

Edit: Whew, fixed it. Bit of a horrid hack – I’ve hardcoded the old station ID and pre-battery-change rainfall, and arranged that it “corrects” the recent data. All-time rainfall is still wrong, but I’ll sort that another day – it’s bedtime!

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For future reference, I’ve attached the weather station manual (thanks Maplin!).

Weather station manual N25FR (WH1050)

The Guilty Spider

Here’s the spider that had taken up residence inside our rain gauge. I’m sure it’s spacious dry and out of the wind, but when it spins its web across the triangular tipping bucket it has unfortunate effects on its accuracy. Sadly for the spider, the big people who live here don’t like that, so it now has to find another home.

This is a job I have to repeat every few months.

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The spider is the black creature under the left side of the bucket.

Fab birthday

Thank you everyone – I have had a very special birthday! This is just a quick post to celebrate my family’s amazing creativity – I just had to share these with you!

Megan made me this lovely birthday card

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and painted this picture of the Glenfinnan Viaduct which we saw a few weeks ago.

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Aidan made me this stunning birthday card

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and painted this picture of the wildlife and scenery of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula where we stayed a few weeks ago.

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Carolyn put together this excellent sewing kit for me – so I can stop borrowing hers! This is just the start – there are quite a few more items yet to be found.

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Heather embroidered these amazing pictures: the first of Philae and Rosetta on Comet 67P, and the second of the Curiosity landing on Mars complete with sky crane!

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My parents sent me this beautiful book of writing by “new Kiwis” – migrant women in New Zealand – from a workshop run by a friend of mine.

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Thank you everyone for sharing the fruits of your creativity with me! (and sorry for the poor photography…)