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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Today is another great day!

Today is such a lovely day, one that reminds me of sunny days spent lazing by the pool or out on a Game Reserve when I lived in Rhodesia. Having spent twelve years in that wonderful country, (it really was back then), so many of my memories go back to that period of my life. I was still, relatively speaking, a newly-married, having only been married for a couple of years when I arrived in the Country. There was so much to discover, not only about the Country and its people and culture, but also about myself.

From the very beginning I warmed to the people. Their friendliness seemed to know no bounds, and I soon made friends with a great many people from the different ethnic backgrounds. Because of my job, working for the Singer Sewing Machine Company, my work brought me primarily into contact with the African population, and many formed friendships with me that lasted throughout my sojourn in that land. Even today, almost twenty-five years after I left the Country, I can still call to mind so many wonderful people, all of whom helped to make life worthwhile over those years.

I guess that it's because of the friendships and the bond that I felt with my adopted country, that I feel so strongly now about all that is happening there under the Mugabe regime. I took out Rhodesian Citizenship, proud to belong to a Nation that could justifiably hold its head proud. So much was written in the world's media at that time that was totally untrue, all nothing more than propaganda to be used as a sop to the world because Rhodesia had blown a raspberry at Harold Wilson and the British government. I remember how my brother had returned to the UK after coming on a visit, and seen a picture in the press on his return which accompanied the story of how the bridge in the picture had been blown up by 'freedom fighters'. The problem was that he had been standing on the bridge in the picture about three or four weeks after the supposed event, thereby proving it was a malicious lie! There were many such stories abounding! In one infamous newsreel clip it showed tanks rolling down the main streets of Salisbury (now Harare). To get them there they would have had to cross the mountain ranges on the border with Mozambique, or to have rolled up from friendly South Africa! One thing these stories do at least is still bring a smile to the face!

When I think that what we referred to as Terrorists were repeatedly referred to in so much of the world's press as either 'Freedom Fighters' or 'the Liberation Army', I ponder on the form of liberation or freedom that Mugabe's coming to power has meant for my Zimbabwean friends. I guess that the truth of the matter is that when it comes to the question of real freedom there is only one who can bring that into our lives, and that's Jesus Christ.

Jesus came so that the prisoners could be set free. Without Christ people are prisoners of sin, bound by the complexities of their sinful human natures to this world. Only Christ can set people free from sin. Only Christ can offer SALVATION. Human beings --- and that means you and me --- can only be redeemed to God through Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it! Anyone who thinks otherwise is in for a massive shock when the Book of Life is opened!

So there we are. A few thoughts generated by the beauty of this day. Enjoy it, dear reader, for it truly is a gift from God

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A PREGNANT MAN --- Nonsense!

There has been much in the media recently about a 34-year old man who is around 7 - 8 months pregnant, and the people involved are set to make a lot of money from the assorted publicity. Money is, of course, at the root of this nonsense --- for that is what it is, rest assured.

How, you might well ask, could a man be pregnant? Well the answer is a simple one, for the person in question is Thomas Beatie, and this person is a woman who has a wispy beard and a very obvious 'baby-bump'. Originally called Tracy Lagondino, following surgery to remove her breasts and given testosterone to increase her masculine characteristics, she became known as Thomas Beatie. In a lesbian relationship with Nancy, the woman now referred to as Beatie's 'wife', the pair claim that they are husband and wife and, following a DIY sperm injection from an unknown donor, Tracy/Thomas became pregnant, having conveniently decided not to undergo genital surgery to fully effect a sex-change, the announcement has been made that Tracy/Thomas is pregnant. Further, they claim that she is a man, a factor that is hyped up by the media referring to her as 'him'.

The reality takes little education to work out, even by the lowest scholar!
  1. Tracy/Thomas is a woman who has opted to have her breasts removed and who has taken the male hormone, testosterone. FACT: This does not make her a man. She is still a woman, able to function as a woman, although unable to produce fertile eggs, almost certainly because of the high levels of testosterone.
  2. These two women claim that they are a married couple. FACT: Marriage is an institution ordained by God between a man and a woman for the procreation of children. Two people of the same sex, whether men or women, CANNOT be married.

No matter what altruistic claims these two women claim is the motivation behind this pregnancy, this is one writer who firmly believes that it demonstrates greed and selfishness more than anything else. They are apparently already contracted to People magazine to tell all, and they have a book coming out in September, according to themselves.

What does this declare about the state of the world we live in, and about our so-called civilised nations? That sensationalists, such as these undoubtedly are, can tout their trashy story at all says as much about those who will read about them and listen to them as it does to the couple themselves.

They have made a life-style choice to live as a lesbian couple, and that is their right, irrespective as to whether you or I may consider the relationship right or wrong. It is their right to make such a choice, and neither they nor any other same-sex couple should be demonised for it, but to perpetrate the 'pregnant man' fraud is I think a different situation.

What do you, dear reader, think about it all?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thoughts of Vacation!

It's a Public Holiday here in the UK today, and so I, just like many millions more, am enjoying the opportunity to relax a little and just chill out. The thoughts of 'chilling out' make me think though of warmer times! It'll soon be time for the main holiday season, with June just a few days away, and so I thought I'd post a few ideas of great places to chill out yourself (or even to 'hot out'!)

A Powerful Message from Andrew Strom


I was sent this message from Revival Ministries. I have great respect for Andrew Strom and for the ministry that God has blessed him with. The Voice magazine regularly features articles by this Christian brother, and they are always worth reading and learning from.

Here's the message from Revival Ministries:
When we saw this video made by John and Sheren Farrell we were amazed at how much the stunning visuals added to the words - it was powerful! (The Thundering Song is 5 minutes of Andrew Strom's most convicting preaching with music added -and now it is a Video as well!) Please go and take a look, and leave a comment on Youtube if you can?

Here is the link-

Saturday, May 24, 2008

'When I'm With You'

It's here! The new Cd, When I'm With You is on the production line at last! Sung by Susan Marrs, it sounds really fantastic, and it's a great addition to the Sheer Joy Music product range. Co-written with Greg Scheer, the CD has eleven new love-songs on it. In the next couple of days we'll have a sample track on the website, so why not check it out for yourself. Even better, why not order a copy for your own collection!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stand Up for Zimbabwe

I thought I'd let you know about an initiative that is being taken this weekend in support of the people of Zimbabwe. I realise it’s very short notice – but things are often done at very short notice in Africa!

This Sunday is Africa Day, and civil society groups from across Africa have called for actions of solidarity with Zimbabwe. Amongst other things they are asking church leaders to take a moment in their services this Sunday to ask their congregations to stand together in a show of solidarity and to pray for God's intervention in the situation in Zimbabwe. Please do all that you can to get your church leaders to do this.

It’s a great opportunity to join in prayer for the situation in Zimbabwe. Remember, what you do for others in the name of Jesus Christ you are doing for Him. (Matthew 25: 35 - 46)

There is a website with further information if you’re interested

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Monday and Tuesday this week were both BLACK days indeed for the concept of the family as a result of the voting through the UK House of Commons in favour of the stages of the Human Enbryology and Fertilisation Bill that were voted on during that time.
For decades now the successive governments have increasingly come under the influence of the Feminist and the Homosexual and Lesbian lobbies when the subject of the family has been broached in any way. Marriage has been reduced to second-class by increasing taxation suystems that benefit those who choose to live together rather than get married, and the concept of the family unit has suffered drastically with the massive increase of children born out of wedlock, the latter being invariably with the tacit (at least) approval of the majority of society, persuaded by the vociferous feminists who haunt the Palace of Westminster.
With the passing of this oderous Bill the family has been dealt what could well ultimately prove to be a death blow. In a few years time it's likely that people who choose to live in a Biblically-based 'Family Unit' will be considered in the same light that smokers are now considered by the majority of non-smokers --- as somewhat of a pariah. Certainly, urged on by the various laws that the governments have enacted over the past few years, and especially over the last ten years, the populace, once regarded as a God-fearing Christian society, has increasingly become secularlised at the expense of God. Worship now is more likely to be a matter of worshipping all that promotes self as the best that can be aspired to than any form of realistic consideration of or for others, and for the true betterment of the human race.
How Sad!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Votes of Conscience

Today and tomorrow the British government will vote in the House of Commons on the sections of the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill that they have been granted a 'FREE VOTE' on. This means that these sections may be voted on according to their consciences. Unfortunately all is not quite as free as it might at first appear, for the final stages of the Bill are to be voted on with a Three-Line-Whip, which means that matters of conscience don't come into the issue!

The sectors that will be voted on over these two days involve:
  1. The question of so-called Saviour Siblings
  2. The need for a father
  3. Abortion Termination Period
  4. Human-Animal hybrids

The government is, I believe, being led like a lamb to the slaughter by the Pharmaceutical Industry giants, for who the whole subject of Human-Animal hybrids in particular is an enormous golden egg just waiting to be cracked open in order to enjoy the profits. Billions of pounds/dollars are at stake, so it's little wonder that the government is going along with all of this.

Of course, in considering the need for a father in a relationship few agencies have pointed out that the need for a mother is also questioned. In reality, if a same-sex couple, whether homosexuals or lesbians, wish to have a child then if this Bill is passed it will give both of the couple the rights to be legally identified as parents. This means that a child born of a surrogate mother and using the sperm of a homosexual may be legally identified to have no mother but two fathers. Likewise, the child that is born to a lesbian using donated sperm can be legally identified as having two mothers but no father.

As a Christian, I find this whole situation an abomination, and something which totally flies in the face of God and His holy laws. Of course it may well be argued that the whole thing is a matter of semantics, but I state here and now that it takes a man and a woman to produce a child, the couple concerned being properly identified as a MOTHER and a FATHER. The issue of whether or not they remain together as a couple for any period of time is irrelevant. What is relevant is that if the Law insists on defining a child's parents as being two people of the same sex then the LAW IS AN ASS! Perhaps it's time for those responsible to go back to their educational basics and enrol themselves anew in the biology class to study human biology, and in particular, procreation.

The current termination period for abortion is 24 weeks, despite the fact that at that stage we are not talking of some minute lifeless blob but of a formed foetus. Human life commences with the fertilisation of an egg. To terminate at any period, unless it is a matter of endangering life to allow the embryo to progress, is murder, whether legal or not.

Each one of these issues is emotive of course, but I am most concerned that the majority of people are not privy to a balanced view on the subjects involved, in addition to which some of the issues are deliberately fudged around by highlighting some of the more contentious statements that are about. I hope that Members of Parliament will have the courage not only to use their votes wisely in the voting over these two days, but also to vote truthfully according to their conscience regardless of the Three-Line-Whip in the final stages of the Bill.

The arguments that the government are putting about today are based upon subjects which touch the lives of the masses of ill-informed, namely research for cures into cancer, Parkinson's, and so on. The reality is, however, that in the EIGHTEEN YEARS that research has already existed not one cure can be attributed to it, so all of this talk is nothing short of a smoke-screen.

If --- or perhaps I should say, in the absence of true FREE VOTING --- when this Bill is passed we will have not made a giant leap forward but taken a massive step backwards. No doubt there will be many in the country --- including some politicians --- who will become wealthy as a result of this heinous Bill, but that does not make it any the more right.

I urge you, therefore, to make certain that you really understand what the various aspects of this Bill are about, and then make your voice heard according to your own conscience. It may be that you will decide in favour of course, but as long as that is what your conscience prompts you to do after investigating all of the issues then you cannot be faulted. As for me, there is absolutely nothing which will square the different aspects of this Bill with my conscience, and so I will continue to stand against it on the basis that it flies in the face of Scripture and therefore of God, and as a believer in the Truth, I cannot in all conscience support any aspect of it.

Things really warmed up!

1. Road Rage!
Yesterday I was the victim of road rage. As I was returning home from the next town a moron in a large van decided that I was in his way and tail-gated me before undertaking me and then cutting across the nearside front of our car. He was speeding and I was in his way, something that he objected to. Unfortunately he misjudged the idiotic manoeuvre and hit the nearside front wing of my car, taking off the mirror and damaging the wing.

He tried to suggest that it was my fault, and, later in the day in a 'phone call, even tried to say that I'd been weaving in and out of the traffic and he wondered whether I'd been drinking! Not a good suggestion to make to a strictly teetotal member of the cloth! His reason was that I insisted that the matter be dealt with by the relevant insurers, and I suggest that he was driving a works vehicle when he shouldn't have been, hence wanting to keep it quiet.
2. Arson!
Anyway, a couple of hours after the evening 'phone call, after I had insisted that I would not settle things, as he put it, 'quietly', my car was set on fire in the street outside my home. Needless to say I was happy to give the police all the details of the earlier situation and the 'phone conversation.

Hmmm! Is it the way my mind works or is it all too much of a coincidence not to be directly connected?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sing out loud today!

What a beautiful morning it is this morning; sunny and bright, yet as fresh as a daisy. It's one of those days that makes you feel good to be alive as soon as you awake, no matter about the aches that accompany your age or the fact that you might not have slept well through the night. In fact

it's such a fantabulous day that you want to shout out a great big 'Thank You!' to someone for it.

Well --- why don't you!

It's always good to say thanks to God for the gift of each new day, and always much easier when the day is as great a this one is. The Psalmist says:
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,
and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High;
to declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning,
and Thy faithfulness by night,
with the ten-stringed lute, and with the harp;
with resounding music upon the lyre.
For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Thy hands.

That's good enough for me! I shall sing my heart out at church this morning, praising God through the medium of song, using the gifts that He has blessed me with in order to offer myself in worship. And what, I might ask, could be better than that? Surely the gift of being able to lift up your heart to praise God is a blessing to your very soul itself!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today is the Lord's Day!

I can almost hear you question whether today's header means that I have changed to become a Seventh Day Adventist, or even returned to my Jewish roots, and started to celebrate Saturday as the Sabbath. No such thing, however, for I'm merely attributing Saturday and EVERY DAY of the week to where it belongs, for EVERY day is the Lord's day in my book. Not one of them belongs to us, but each is a gift from God to serve Him as He pleases us to do, and that's why I consider that every day is the Lord's day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Whilst their back is turned . . .

Judging by the lack of comment in the papers it would be easy for some people to think that the Zimbabwean election problem has been resolved, and that Mugabe has finally been ousted, but if that's the case then think again. All that has happened is that the world media has found new toys to play with and new stories to tickle their readers with. The reality is that, whilst the Media's back is turned away for a moment, Mugabe's thugs are sowing a harvest of pain as they torture anyone known to be a supporter of the MDC. This torture has a two-fold effect, for not only does it serve to 'punish' those who have dared to oppose this tyrannical despot, but it warns others too against such future opposition.

If Mugabe is successful in what he is attempting to achieve with this brutality then there will be an opportunity for him to win the next round of voting because he will have instilled sufficient fear into the voters. There will be the usual sycophants who stand up and declare that 'the voting has been fair', and then Mugabe will declare that he is the winner because he is the 'popular choice'.

If this is the case then, apart from voices such as mine and the few who are prepared to shout a little louder than others via the Media, a blind eye will once again be turned when it comes to the dreadful things that have occurred and continue to occur, in this once beautiful land that was known as the bread-basket of Africa.

No Christian should stand by and let this horrendous despot continue in power without at the very least making protest through their elected representative in order to ensure that Mugabe is ostracized as much as possible by civilized society, and that governments around the world do all within their power to destroy this terrible despotic rule that Mugabe is perpetuating. Thankfully he is now 84 years old, which means that, at the very worst, he will die soon and go to the Hell that he so richly deserves, there to pay for ever for his tyranny.

Unfortunately, if we have to wait for him to die of natural causes before his rule ends, then it means that millions of people will continue to either live in a state of constant deprivation and suffering, facing death every day either due to starvation or their opposition to this emissary of the devil. I, for one, pledge that I will not let this matter go. I will do all that I can to uphold the people of Zimbabwe in prayer and to support them through the raising of my voice above the parapet of apathy that exists simply because so many think that this is not their problem. Once again we are in a position of seeing evil exist because the good are standing by and turning their backs.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Embryology Bill

Today I am going to the House of Lords for a meeting which will discuss the subject 'What Price Life?' Parliament is in the final stages of debating the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, touching on issues surrounding the sanctity of life, the definition of the family and the legalising of the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos. This is a real can of worms!

There are many aspects surrounding this subject, all of which are emotive, but all of which need decision to be arrived at after careful consideration of the facts. How easy it is to simply dismiss some aspects of this research, providing that they do not touch your own life. For example, the subject of so-called 'saviour-siblings', where a child is created in order to provide tissue and part-organs in order to treat life-threatening conditions in an existing sibling. If this does not directly affect you then the answer far simpler to arrive at, simply looking at it from a point of view of your conscience. Yet, what if the situation arose in your own family? What if you had a child that was threatened by a condition that was life-threatening, but that condition could be treated and even cured by the creation of another sibling who was able to provide for the cure?

Sometimes we can forget that the same God who has created us also gifts us with the insight and expertise to deal with situations that arise, so is it not possible that God Himself has provided the expertise in these instants? That's not for me to answer for anyone, for it has to be a matter of conscience and of prayerful consideration in order to arrive at a real viewpoint. All I would say is that nothing is as black and white as we often would like it to be. There are always areas that we struggle to come to terms with, struggle to understand, and struggle to divorce from pure emotional decision.

I certainly don't envy those who will have to make the final decision as they wade through the vast amount of both information and misinformation that they are bombarded with. Some of the factors are much easier to pass opinion on than others of course. There is the subject of the need for a father in a child's life, which is one aspect of this Bill. In my opinion there is no contest here, for every child should be part of a loving relationship with both a father and a mother. I suspect that the concept of creating children without regard for their need of a father is more to do with the vociferous rantings of the lesbian lobby than anything else. (Whoops! I've just passed a politically incorrect opinion!).

One of the effects of this Bill, if it is passed, will be, I suggest, to further undermine the family, and in so doing will further undermine people's relationship with God. In the so-called 'civilised world' that relationship is at an all-time low as a result of a society that has too much wealth, is too self-centred, and has scant regard for the needs of others in real terms. The argument may be raised that points out that people give to charities, but that is often the easy option. Putting a couple of pounds in a charity envelope to someone who has a monthly income the size of the average family income is relatively meaningless when it comes to judging real concern for human well-being. Ask the same people to donate time and the answer would be far different, yet if they did then the results would be more far-reaching as well.

There is such a great need for a change in people's mindset, turning outward to look at the needs of others rather than constantly seeking to gratify one's own needs. Speak to most people today and they will tell you that they are seeking happiness. Well, happiness can be most easily found through actions that are applied to improve the lives of others who are less fortunate or who find themselves the victims of some catastrophe that creates massive need in their lives.

Anyway, I shall look forward to today's meeting in London, and hopefully find that it will help me in my prayerful decision-making with regard to this subject.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Over many decades, not to mention centuries, there have been many predictions and comments about new inventions that, when viewed with the benefit of hindsight, make us smile. Not only that, but they prove that the belief in man's infallibility is just a mere myth! Occasionally, just like everyone else, I have been tempted to dismiss something as a passing fad or promote something which later turned out to be a damp squib. It's good to know that I'm in the most illustrious company when I make such errors!

Anyway, here are a few which I've taken from an article by David Servant in the current issue of The Voice Christian News & Views magazine. If you want to read the whole article then simply use the link on the right-hand side of this blog and register online (it's absolutely FREE!).

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC, 1977

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out anyway." -- President of Decca Records, rejecting The Beatles after an audition, 1962

"There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States." -- T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965)

"The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most." -- IBM , to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959

"You ain't going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck." -- Jim Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, in firing Elvis Presley after a performance, 1954

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one." -- W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954

"Television won't last. It's a flash in the pan." -- Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous." -- Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, 1939

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean the atom would have to be shattered at will." -- Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist, 1932

"Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Yale University Professor of Economics, 1929 (two weeks later, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression started)

"While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming." -- Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, 1926

"The radio craze will die out in time." -- Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1922

"The horse is here to stay, the automobile is only a fad." -- Advice of President of Michigan Savings Bank to Horace Rackham, lawyer for Henry Ford, 1903 (Rackham ignored the advice and invested $5000 in Ford stock, selling it later for $12.5 million)

"Man will not fly for 50 years." -- Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer, to brother Orville, after a disappointing flying experiment, 1901 (their first successful flight was in 1903)

"Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." -- Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889

"This telephone has too many shortcomings to be considered as a means of communication. The device is of inherently no value to us." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -- Pierre Pachet, British surgeon, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

"It's a great invention but who would want to use it anyway?" -- Rutherford B. Hayes, U.S. President, after a demonstration of Alexander Bell's telephone, 1872

"A man has been arrested in New York for attempting to extort funds from ignorant and superstitious people by exhibiting a device which he says will convey the human voice any distance over metallic wires so that it will be heard by the listener at the other end. He calls this instrument a telephone. Well-informed people know that it is impossible to transmit the human voice over wires." -- News item in a New York newspaper, 1868

"Dear Mr. President: The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as 'railroads' ... As you may well know, Mr. President, 'railroad' carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by 'engines' which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed." -- Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1865(?)

"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." -- Drillers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist for his project to drill for oil, 1859

"Rail travel at high speeds is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia." -- Dionysius Lardner, Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London, and author of The Steam Engine Explained and Illustrated, 1830s

"What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense."-- Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton's steamboat, 1800s

"The view that the sun stands motionless at the centre of the universe is foolish, philosophically false, utterly heretical, because contrary to Holy Scripture. The view that the earth is not the centre of the universe and even has a daily rotation is philosophically false, and at least an erroneous belief."
-- Holy Office, Roman Catholic Church, ridiculing the scientific analysis that the Earth orbited the Sun in edict of March 5, 1616

" many centuries after the Creation it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value." -- Committee advising King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain regarding a proposal by Christopher Columbus, 1486

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A bouquet for YOU!

Today is another beautiful day which promises to be warm and full of sunshine. It will just add to the sunshine that is already in my life, but will be a welcome addition nevertheless, for I don't think that you can grumble about a little more beauty entering your life. For this reason I'm sending you, dear reader, the above bouquet, in the hope that it will brighten up your day.
If you like it enough you could print it off and blow it up a little, then stick it onto your 'fridge door. That way it will be a reminder that you are someone special!
Yes, I know that some of you will think me a little sloppy --- even a little silly --- but who cares. For each one that thinks that there will be many more who appreciate the gesture. And anyway, what if it's true? Does it make the gesture any the less meaningful?
I don't think so!

A GREAT Evening!

Yesterday evening the singers from LYRA gave their concert at the church, performing to an almost full house. This was the fourth year running that we have hosted a concert by singers from the 25-strong Russian group, all professional singers who come from St Petersburg. The first half of the programme was filled by a series of Russian Sacred Music and Chants, but also included were a couple of pieces by the English composer George Frederick Handel. For the second half of the programme the singers changed into their colourful national costumes and sang their way through a series of Folk songs from Russia and the Ukraine. They also included a piece from the CD that they had recently recorded of my work, entitled There is Joy, and there certainly was joy in my heart to hear this work sung so beautifully in live performance.

One bonus for me is that Andrey Sysoev, the group's leader, has agreed to compose some music for a selection of my hymn texts to be set to. Over the past four years Andrey and I have struck up a good friendship, and so, following on from the CD recently released, this will further cement the relationship.

One of the exciting things that has happened to me over the past few years as a result of the blessing that God has given to me as a hymn-writer and song-writer is that I have met, either literally or virtually, several highly talented people who have added their talents to mine, and the result has been to breathe life into my work. How thankful I am for all of the people whom God has linked me to! I pray that through it all He will be glorified and praised constantly!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Music in the air . . .

There's music in the air at the moment!
A few weeks ago, the choir that I belong to gave a concert in Frodsham, Cheshire, where we sang Puccini's Gloria and Rossini's Stabat Mater. The tenor soloist was a young Welshman from Anglesey by the name of John Pierce, and I thought that his voice was amazing. He hit the top D in the Stabat Mater seemingly effortlessly, to the amazement of many of the people there. Yesterday evening I had a meeting with John and he has agreed to record a CD of my hymns, which is fantastic news. All things being equal, we shall record in July or August for a September release. Watch out for it on the Sheer Joy Music label.

That's not all . . .

Tomorrow evening, Friday 9th May, the Russian singers from the LYRA Ensemble will be in concert at my church, St John's Presbyterian Church in Runcorn. This will be the fourth year running that singers from this fabulous company have included us as part of their UK Tour, and I know that they will be appreciated by the audience as previously.

They recently released a CD of my work which they recorded in St Petersburg, in Russian, which is fabulous.

Even that's not all!

There really is music in the air over these few days, because this Sunday evening Cantoris are giving a concert at Arddleen in Powys, mid-Wales, where they will be singing selections from their recent CD, Motets & Madrigals, and also from the CD of my hymns that they released last October. I will be reading a selection of meditations from my books in the In Praise of Him series.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What a lovely day!

Today the sun is shining and it's really warm out! What a treat! It's on days like this that we feel thankful to be alive, isn't it? Yet really, we should feel thankful to be alive whatever the weather is. No matter whether it's cold or hot, wet or dry, we have so much to thank God for every single day, starting the moment that we get out of bed in the morning --- Yes, even on a so-called 'miserable Monday' morning!

Being the creatures we are, it often seems to me that people are far better at complaining than they are at saying 'Thank you', and the problem with that is that they could then hardly be described as having a sunny disposition.

A few years ago I made my living by working on an indoor market, and there was one older lady who used to greet everyone as they came in to set up their stalls for the day. That's a task that is usually undertaken quite early in the morning, and many of the market traders had to travel quite a distance to get there, --- in my own case I travelled about 45 miles. Needless to say, many of the traders were feeling far from 'sunny' at the start of the day, and so this lady's cheery greeting often went unheeded, or even got a miserable reply.

One particular day she saw me coming in and started to greet me, but then stopped. "What's the point with you", she said, "Whatever the time or the weather you're always cheerful!"

"That's because I've always met with the Lord before I get here, and then travel through the day with Jesus by my side," I replied. You see,when you do that it's pretty difficult to be miserable isn't it?

I love the song Count Your Blessings, because when I hum it or sing the words it makes me thankful for everything that I've been blessed with. If I had to stop and count my blessings 'one by one' as the song urges then I'd be hard pushed to find enough time in the day to do anything at all.

Don't we have a wonderful God. He blesses us constantly, giving us not only what we need but far more beside. This is not just for our direct benefit but in order that we can bless others by sharing what we have been given, so that they are rich with blessings as well.

Whatever today brings be thankful for it, no matter what it may be. Even the things that seem to be bad give us the means whereby we can learn valuable lessons from the experiences.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


For the uninitiated, GTA4 is what the new game craze Grand Theft Auto IV is referred to by. There are stories about people waiting at stores to make their purchase at midnight, amongst the many stories --- mostly bad news stories for decent folk --- that are doing the rounds.

But, some will say, it's only a game. But is that true --- really true? I don't think that anything which has a massive potential to take over the minds of our children can be referred to as 'only a game'. The big problem with Grand Theft Auto IV is not its marketing, but its message. The game carries the "M" rating for "Mature" and is to be sold only to customers 17 and older. There are warnings on the label of 'blood', 'intense violence', 'partial nudity', 'strong language', 'strong sexual content', and 'use of drugs and alcohol.' Is this really what you would consider to be a good influence on the lives of young people. I say 'young people' because the game is aimed at that group, and in fact --- shockingly, even to one of the games creators, Lazlo Jones, --- the group that is rushing to purchase this game by the thousand are 12 - 14 year-old boys.

Just think about the implications! Across our land there are young boys of 12 - 14 who are shut away in their bedrooms, often with the curtains closing out the light, playing a game that teaches them about car theft, drugs, sex, and all the other unpleasantries of this so-called game. Now ask yourself the question, 'Is this what I really want for my child?'

This game is another step into the darkness, away from the true Light, and poses the question of morality and moral influence on the minds of our young people. It is another result of living in an economy that has too much money, too little guidance, insufficient discipline, and too little respect, particularly in the arena of morality. It is part of the downward spiral that leads ultimately to the Abyss. Is that where we want our youngsters to end up?

These things are taking place under our noses. They are not secretive but blatant. It's the responsibility of Christians everywhere, and especially of the church, to offer moral guidance and not only condemn these things, but also campaign for a better society by their removal from it. Our youngsters are being lured into a moral abyss for the sake of producing gargantuan profits for the industry that is peddling this trash. If we do nothing, apart from perhaps going "Tut, tut!", then we are guilty by association of the heinous sin of helping to destroy childhood's innocence. On the other hand, one positive approach as a result of the game's release is that parents, teachers and church leaders, not forgetting the leaders of our country at the various levels, all share the opportunity for teaching our children about the importance of moral choice.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Inspired Quotes

I find great inspiration from reading the quotations of other Christians, finding words that help to lift me, to make me look at myself, and to propel me. Here are a few great quotes which i hope will do the same for you.

I have never known a person sweat blood; but I have known a
person pray till the blood started from his nose. And I have known persons to pray till they were all wet with perspiration, in the coldest weather in winter. I have known persons pray for hours, till their strength was all exhausted with the agony of their minds. Such prayers prevailed with God. - Charles G. Finney

God will do nothing except in answer to prayer. - John Wesley

Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer, support the tottering knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the Throne of Grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down. - John Wesley

The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. A man may study because his brain is hungry for knowledge, even Bible knowledge. But he prays because his soul is hungry for God. We live in a generation that has never known revival God's way. True revival changes the moral climate of an area or a nation. Without exception, all true revivals of the past began after years of agonizing, hell-robbing, earth-shaking, heaven-sent intercession. The secret to true revival in our own day is still the same. But where, oh, where, are the intercessors? - Leonard Ravenhill

The prayers and supplications that Christ offered up were, joined with strong cries and tears, herein setting us example not only to pray, but to be fervent and importune in prayer. How many dry prayers, how few wet ones, do we offer up to God! - Matthew Henry

You must go forward on your knees. - Hudson Taylor

Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused. - Charles Spurgeon

We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results. - R.A. Torrey

You must pray with all your might. That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you. It means fervent,
effectual, untiring wrestling with God...This kind of prayer, be sure, the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame. - William Booth

Sam says . . .


I thought that I'd take over his Blog for today.
I've got some great pictures to share with you.
If you wonder why I think that they are GREAT then that's easy ...
they are pictures of ME!

I decided to play my favourite game, which is playing with a ball.
I've discovered that every time that I throw it towards him he kicks it back, which is a great game. In fact, if only he understood me better, I could do this all day long.
The trouble is that he seems to tire of the game after a while!

Anyway, today was the same as usual so I decided to get him to take these pictures of me. It was so easy!!! All I had to do was look cute, and that's so easy for me 'cos I am cute. I mean, how could anyone resist me when I give them one of my cute looks?

So that's it. I hope you like my pictures.