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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Recent good reads . . .

I really enjoy reading! My favourite type of books are those which fall into what I refer to as 'Country Books', and they can be fact or fiction. I enjoy reading about the people who shaped the land and their farming traditions just as much as I enjoy reading books of fiction such as R.F.Delderfield's trilogy, God is an Englishman, or his book A Horseman Riding By. I like the way that the people in his books are brought to life in such a realistic manner that you end up feeling that you actually know them. I guess that I would recommend virtually all of his books as being a cracking good read.

Recently I finished a book called A Half-Baked Life : My Story So Far, which is attributed to Claude Jenks, but the real author is Brian Thompson. It's very different!

The extraordinary Claude Jenks has been blessed with a most unusual gift, an unerring ability to single out from among the faces in the crowd the celebrated, the great and the good.

Who else but Jenks would have spotted W.H. Auden at Skipton cattle market, or Kenneth Kaunda in a Stourbridge stamp shop? Who but Jenks, while wrestling a grandfather clock on to the tube at Oxford Circus, would have fallen in with a roistering crowd that included C. Day Lewis and Robert Helpmann?

This is an autobiography to shame the pallid memoirs of the times. Jenks, whose very raincoat is secured with orange plastic twine given to him by an obliging Simon Rattle, has met them all.

Another recent 'Good Read' has been The Steps of The Sun by Joanna Trollope, writing under the name 'Carolin Harvey'. Set in 1899 in South Africa against the backdrop of the Boer War, the story follows the lives of three young men, Matthew Paget, Will Marriott, and Hendon Bashford, whose lives were drawn together by the Boer War. As it unfolded so the lives of these men, and the women they loved, moved towards a tumultuous climax.

I'm currently reading a farming memoir called Muck on My Boots written by Alec Bull, which traces his family from his grandfather Sam Bull, forward, relating the farming methods, ups and downs, elations and tragedies, covering the period which Alec Bull remembers from his own boyhood. All good stuff to me!

How Great A Love

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; (1 John 3:1)

When Martin Luther's translation of the Bible was being printed, a section of type fell to the floor, later to be found by the printer's daughter who, upon reading it, found the words For ‘God so loved the world that He gave’. Excitedly, she showed the section to her mother. Her mother said it didn't make any sense. Gave what? she queried, whereupon the girl responded excitedly, It doesn't matter. If God loves me enough to give me anything, I don't have to be afraid of Him!

Many people in the world think of God as harsh and judgmental; even accusing Him of being indifferent to the world, yet the truth is that He loves us. How do we know that He loves us? Because He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9). The cross is God's bold declaration and demonstration of love. Because He loved us He sent Jesus to suffer the shame and agony of crucifixion, thereby making a bridge across the gulf of wrongdoing that separates us from Him. Jesus was driven by a selfish and loveless world outside the city wall and hung on a cross, and yet, all of this proclaimed that God loves His people.

John writes that we know what love is because He laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16). As Christians we are to walk in the steps of Christ, and that means responding to others as He would. His love included all people and was active in their lives. Jesus faced many so-called untouchables in His day; lepers, Samaritans, publicans, prostitutes, ministering to their needs as to any others. That kind of love is the example for every Christian: Love one another, just as I have loved you.

The love of Christ is neither gullible nor naive. If we love God, who is holy, then we cannot love the things that are against Christ. We may hate sin and yet love the sinner. John writes, Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world (1 John 2: 15-16). Christ's love is exclusive.

His love is also eternal; The man who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:17b). When you love Christ then you also love doing God's will, for this unites you with His love. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39).

The word love is probably the most misunderstood word in our vocabulary, applied as it is to everything from food to clothes; from romance to religious experience. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that there is no ‘I’ in love in order to understand its full meaning. In Christ we see the perfect example of true love, something which is desperately needed in this world of ours today.

How sure are we that the world can see that love reflected in each one of us?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The 'R' Word!

I recently reached the age of 65, even though I don't feel anything like that age. In fact, I'm convinced that there must be some sort of mistake on my birth certificate. If there is anything written about me in the Press from now on, I stand in danger of being referred to as a 'Senior Citizen' or --- even worse --- an 'Old-Age Pensioner'! Anyone who refers to me thus will only be proving that they don't know me. Not only am I not claiming any pensions for another few years, but I have eons before I even consider the 'R' word.

As a Christian I firmly believe in the Ministry of all believers, quoting Matthew 28: 19-20 in support: Jesus says: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

That means that every Christian is tasked with the ministry of sharing the Gospel message, and I do mean every Christian, not only those who have been ordained into pastoral ministry to oversee a church.

Back to the 'R' word then. Certainly I believe that I will one day retire, but I trust that the day is a long, long way off. I see retirement as an option under one of two sets of circumstances. Either I will be called home to Glory because God considers that the ministry that He has entrusted to me is finished, OR I will retire earlier at anytime if I can be convinced that there are no more sinners in the world to share the Gospel with and that God has no further work that He wants me to do. Apart from that I have no intention of retiring at all!

Looking back over the years since I became committed to serving Christ, I can recall many occasions when I have let the Lord down, even though I have tried always to do the right thing, yet I cannot find one occasion when He has let me down. He has always been there. He's never forsaken me --- never given up on me --- never cast me to one side. From the very beginning I have been overawed by all that Jesus has done for me. He died on the cross, suffering unimaginable pain in order that I might one day be able to claim the gift of Salvation. When I ran away, He was always there to welcome me back with the outstretched arms of forgiveness. When things went right He always made sure that I understood that it was by the grace of God and not by my own solitary achievement. Walking with Jesus means that your whole journey is a shared journey of companionship. When ever I stumbled He has been there to catch me and steady me. If ever I felt weary He was there to carry me until my strength returned. Jesus has done all this for me, so how could I even think of doing anything less for Him?

The wonderful thing is that I am not the sole beneficiary of His grace and love, for all that He has done for me He has done for everyone. Salvation is FREE. It cannot be purchased by anything that we might offer in terms of wealth or work. All that is asked of us is that we believe, repent, and accept.

  • Believe that Jesus is exactly who He said He was, the only Son of the Living God.
  • Repent of our sins, recognising that we were born into sin as a result of the Fall of Adam.
  • Accept all that He did by dying on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.

Once we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, coming to know Him rather than knowing ABOUT Him, then it's not time to sit back and count how lucky we are for the gift. Of course the gift of Salvation is a priceless gift, but once having received it then we must do everything that we can to share it with those who have yet to receive it.

I guess that knocks all thoughts of 'retirement' firmly on the head, at least as far as ministry is concerned! Thank the Lord for that!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Please don't forget Zimbabwe!

Even though there is little in the news media about Zimbabwe, please keep the people of that beleaguered nation in your prayers. Despite all of the tyrant Mugabe's best efforts to destroy the people's spirit they are an increasingly strong people of faith. There are many miracles taking place every day when it comes to them getting enough food to eat, and they constantly praise God for all of His goodness towards them.

If they, in all their poverty, and despite the constant and horrific treatment meted out to them by Mugabe and his thugs, can pray, praise and grow in faith, then how much more can we?

Please help to ensure that these people are not forgotten by praying for them every day in your private prayer time and by drawing attention to their needs through your churches. One of the ways that God supplies their needs is by drawing our attention to them and through our prayers for their relief.

One place you can find out about the plight of these people and also some of the ways that work is going on to help alleviate that plight, is by visiting the Barnabus Fund website.

The Worst Thing Possible . . .

When I was growing up it seemed that most people went to church, irrespective of which church they went to, be it Protestant or Roman Catholic, Church or Chapel. It was, by and large, the norm, certainly as far as I could see. Gradually, as I got older, things changed, and part of the change was that fewer and fewer people went to church. There were many and varied reasons put forward for this decline in attendance, some of them justified, others mere excuses, and the greater factor was always the latter. Of course, church attendance is a matter of habit like so many things in our lives. Once you start to go to church it demonstrates that you have organised your time to allow you to go, and this is something that you do because you feel a need to do. it soon becomes a habit, and so you attend regularly, irrespective of what you get out of going. Equally true is the fact that if you stop going for some reason for a few weeks then it soon becomes a change of habit, and you find that you can easily stop going altogether because, you reason, after all is said and done, you never really got a lot out of going anyway.

The whole process is gradual. So gradual that you hardly notice it. Instead of going every week you start to go every other week, then every month, then every three months. As the years roll on by attendance is reserved for the so-called 'special' services such as Easter and Christmas. Of course you still go to church for the 'hatchem - matchem - despatchem' services of Baptism, Marriage and Funerals, but that doesn't really count somehow, at least not in your book.

Of course the way that we live has changed drastically as well. When I was a boy there was no sport on a Sunday, and the shops were very firmly closed and shuttered. It was still a time when women dare not hang out their washing on a Sunday for fear of recrimination by their neighbours, or worse, a visit from the local priest or vicar the next day. Nowadays church services are just one of many options for people on a Sunday. The shops are open for business and are busier often than on many other weekdays. There is plenty of sport to watch, or if you want something different, you can go to a car-boot sale or visit a garden centre, or one of a plethora of other attractions.

Thanks to the 'Benefit Culture' we in the Western world live in a time when even the poor are rich by most world standards, despite the fact that the people concerned invariably don't think so. It has become normal for families to boast of house ownership rather than home rental, to have two or even three cars per family, and often, in a typically modern family, to have TV sets in almost every room, some so large that they take up half the wall-space. This is not to mention several computers , dvd players, i-pods, mobile phones, and the like between the different members of the family. Each year there will be resentment if a continental holiday, often costing the average family group an amount that's well into four figures, is not forthcoming.

Yet these same people consider themselves poor! I wonder whether they ever stop to think about the real poor in the world where people often have no idea whether or not they will eat today. Yet the poor in the Western world throw food away into the trash because they bought more than they needed!

So what's has this got to do with the price of eggs? You might well ask! The answer is that it has everything to do with it. When church attendance is high it can be seen that there are more people with a social conscience that causes them to think of others rather than themselves, that causes them to help the real poor by going without some of their wealth. Worshipping in fellowship together means that often the social conscience will be a shared one, and that is usually when thought is translated into action.

Many who still go to church look aghast at those who not only don't go, but also have no conception of what it all means. Yet whose fault is it that so many people have turned away from the church? Whose fault is it that so many people grow up with virtually no understanding about Christianity, about who Jesus was and is, and about what church is all about? Many will answer that it's the fault of the people who don't bother to find out for themselves, yet I would argue that it's the fault of the remnant who still attend, for theirs is the failure to do as commanded by our Lord and take the Gospel to those who need to hear it. None of us can be held responsible for an individuals decision to ignore the Gospel, but anyone who fails to share it as Jesus commanded His followers to do, is responsible.

To be complacent about one's own salvation status with no regard for that of others is to be the complete opposite of all that Christ calls us to be. Jesus said that not everyone who cries out "Lord! Lord!" will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. How terrible it would be to arrive at Heaven's door after a lifetime of church attendance, only to hear Jesus say, "I never knew you." To me that would be the worst thing possible.

How can we ensure that this will not be our lot when that day comes? Why, simply by doing as our Lord has commanded and sharing the Gospel message with everyone we possibly can. By being burdened for the souls of the lost sheep, and feeling a need to help lead them into the Kingdom that has no end. To do it all for love, not of ourselves, but for love of Christ and love of our fellow human beings.

We live in an age where other religious groups, sensing the apathy of the Western world, are making serious inroads and proselytizing more fervently than ever before. Islam has an aim of world domination where every human being left alive will be a Muslim. Cults such as the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses are extremely active when it comes to spreading their word, and in many areas their churches are flourishing.

Is it not probable that much of the fault lies with the Church itself? For decades the Gospel has been watered down until it is almost indistinguishable from the original message. Many pulpits shower the congregations with heretic teaching that teaches that the Bible is NOT the ABSOLUTE TRUTH! Various priests, vicars, ministers, etc., refute the Virgin Birth and an increasing number also refute the Resurrection. WHY ON EARTH ARE THEY STILL IN OFFICE? If they don't believe what the Bible says what are they doing in their priest's garments? Surely they are guilty of continuing in their employment under false pretences?

It's time for the Church to preach the Word of God without fear and without excuse. No matter that many who belong to the politically-correct brigade may get upset, what is needed in order for the perpetuation of the human race is a recognition of God as the Creator, as Jesus Christ as the Saviour, and the Holy Spirit as Comforter and Guide. The time for the Church to get its act together is NOW! Yesterday would have been infinitely better, but yesterday has gone, never to return. Tomorrow may well be too late!

I for one want to all that I can to ensure that when I am called to Glory it will be by a Saviour who recognises me, not one who looks at me and says "I never knew you!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I thought that I would share the following devotion from Joanna Lowe with you today. I get a fresh devotion from her every day and it's a great ministry. I include her email and web details at the end of the post so that you can become one of her regular subscribers if you wish to.


“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

Luke 10: 33 - 37
King James Version

I looked up the definition of special needs in Webster’s Dictionary “the individual requirements (as for education) of a person with a disadvantaged background, or a mental, emotional, or physical disability or a high risk of developing one.” We have many special needs Christians who have been abused and mistreated. They have been ridiculed and criticized.

When we accept Jesus into our hearts as our personal Saviour, old things are passed away and all things are become new but we still have memories and scars from our past. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5: 17).

Joyce Landorf Heatherley, a well known author and speaker, said on one of her teaching tapes “I am not super spiritual every second of the day. I have pain that wipes out my determination to go on and if I am going to make it through, it’s going to have to be because of you.” God has used Joyce so many times in my life to encourage and inspire me because she shared from her heart.

Have you ever felt so discouraged that you wanted to give up and stop serving Jesus? I think if we are honest with ourselves, and if we will stop trying to be super spiritual that all of us will have to admit that there are times when we get so discouraged that we are tempted to give up and stop serving Jesus. When I first started posting my devotions on the Internet three and a half years ago, I received so many criticizing and sarcastic emails that I cried. There were a few times that I was tempted to give up and stop serving Jesus. However, every time I wanted to give up, I remembered what Jesus did for me on the cross. I’m sure that He did not want to die on the cross for me but He did it anyway.

In our Scripture verses for today, Jesus tells us to “Go, and do thou likewise.” When we see people who are in pain; who are hurting and discouraged, we need to put our arms around them and hug them for Jesus. We don’t know what the people we sit next to in church have been through. Some of them may have been abused sexually, physically and emotionally when they were children like I was. They desperately need to know that they are loved and that they are loved unconditionally.

Your parents, your spouse, your children and your friends may be special needs Christians. Only Jesus can see into our hearts and only Jesus can take the pain, the anguish and the horror from our hearts. However, He has not been here for over two thousand years. He has left us to hug for Him. When is the last time you put your arms around someone and told that person that Jesus loves him or her unconditionally?

You may be a special needs Christian yourself. You probably have heard this saying before “You get back what you give out.” If you aren’t a loving person, and if you don’t hug people and comfort and encourage them when they are hurting, it is very doubtful that people will hug you and comfort and encourage you when you are hurting.

Did you know that Jesus is a special needs Christian? He desperately needs to know that He is loved. He was not only abused physically and emotionally when He was here on earth; He is still being abused today when people reject Him, curse Him and mock Him. How often do you tell Him that you love Him? How many times have you told Him that you love Him today? Let’s determine in our hearts to not only be an encouragement and comfort to our families, to our loved ones, to our pastors and their families but also to Jesus.

Monday, August 25, 2008

John McCain's Sons : Something to think about . . .

The following came to me from one of my email subscribers and I thought it well worthwhile passing on. I have added my own comment at the end.

Somethings you haven't seen from the media.....

Talk about putting your most valuable where your mouth is! Apparently this was not 'newsworthy' enough for the media to comment about. Can either of the other presidential candidates truthfully come close to this? ... Just a question for each of us to seek an answer, and not a statement.

You see...character is what's shown when the public is not looking. There were no cameras or press invited to what you are about to read about, and the story comes from one person in New Hampshire ..
One evening last July, Senator John McCain of Arizona arrived at the New Hampshire home of Erin Flanagan for sandwiches, chocolate-chip cookies and a heartfelt talk about Iraq . They had met at a presidential debate, when she asked the candidates what they would do to bring home American soldiers - - soldiers like her brother, who had been killed in action a few months earlier.
Mr. McCain did not bring cameras or press. Instead, he brought his youngest son, James McCain, 19, then a private first class in the Marine Corps about to leave for Iraq . Father and son sat down to hear more about Ms. Flanagan's brother Michael Cleary, a 24-year-old Army First Lieutenant killed by an ambush ... a roadside bomb.
No one mentioned the obvious: In just days, Jimmy McCain could face similar perils. 'I can't imagine what it must have been like for them as they were coming to meet with a family that .....' Ms. Flanagan recalled, choking up. 'We lost a dear one,' she finished.
Mr. McCain, now the presumptive Republican nominee, has staked his candidacy on the promise that American troops can bring stability to Iraq . What he almost never says is that one of them is his own son, who spent seven months patrolling Anbar Province and learned of his father's New Hampshire victory in January while he was digging a stuck military vehicle out of the mud.
Two of Jimmy's three older brothers went into the military. Doug McCain, 48, was a Navy pilot. Jack McCain, 21, is to graduate from the Naval Academy next year, raising the chances that his father, if elected, could become the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower with a son at war.
I chose to share this with those who I believe will pass it on, to others who will pass it on. We hear so much inflated trash out there. How about a simple act of kindness ... and dedication to others placed above oneself?
Has anybody heard if Barack Hussein Obama has served in The American Armed Services?
This is for all you Barack voters.
The following quote comes from Barack's book, Audacity of Hope:
'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'
As a Christian, I have to say that, should I ever be placed in the position of political rule, I would always stand with Christ, irrespective of the political winds, for I serve Christ first and last, and everywhere in between. I believe that to hold to a belief and not to practise it in all that I do is wrong, and only serves to demonstrate where my belief truly lies and how strong it is. When Jesus died upon the cross to pay the price for mankind's sin, He did so for everybody, and that means you and me. He gave His all for me, so how could I dare to give Him anything less than my all as I seek to serve Him in this world?
The Islamic aim is global Islamification. I cannot argue with Barack's statement quoted above, only applaud him that he will stand firm to his beliefs. However, it is not he who will vote himself into power, it's the people of America, and if they decide that they wish to elect a Muslim as their president, despite all that has happened as a result of the terrorist atrocities of recent years, then that is their prerogative. They must then, of course, be prepared to accept all that goes with doing so. It will be no good to claim that they never knew that he was a Muslim because he has been open about his faith.
One important fact to remember in these increasingly dark days is that whilst not every terrorist in the world is a Muslim, nevertheless virtually every act of terrorism in the world today is carried out in the name of Islam.

At least the rain was warm!

Well, I'm back from my week-long holiday on the island of Anglesey, which, for the less geographically informed of my readers, is just off the North Wales coast. This summer has been, of course, not one of the finest, and we had more than our fair share of rain, but despite that, it was a great holiday and a good time of relaxation. We took our dog Sam with us and so he had a holiday as well. Loads of walks!

Anglesey is such a beautiful place! I suppose that I'm a little biased because it's part of Wales, and also because my late Dad was raised at Llanbedrgoch, which is a small village in a farming area to the west of the island.

The Welsh name for Anglesey is Ynys Môn, which means 'Mother of Wales'. You can learn something of it by visiting here.

Here are a few pictures that I took when we there. I thought that you'd like to share them as well.

There were some tiny kittens on the farm where our cottage was, and they would come and lie outside when it was nice enough.

Not only that, but there were peacocks roaming around the gardens as well!

Of course, those who know me will know that I love the sea and boats, and so many of my photographs reflect just that. Here are just a couple!

On the way back we stopped at Betws-y-Coed, and here's a picture of the turbulent water that you can find there.

We never got chance to visit the Swalloow Falls so I found this picture for you to see what it's like.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh Dear!!!

What a way to return to my Blog! I entered a new URL for Joanne's site in the 'Sites I Like' section. All well and good. The new information posted okay. I then meant to delete her old contact detail and then --- TRAGEDY --- I deleted the entire section! Hopefully, having posted a question on the 'Help' page, I will find out how to restore it. As soon as you see (or if you see) the list of 'Sites I Like' return, then you know that I've righted my wrong!

Like I said,
What a way to return to my Blog!
Now that the panic has gone from me this afternoon, and I've calmed down, I've fixed the problem!

Friday, August 15, 2008

We all need encouragement

Reading through devotions that are sent to me each day by Joanne, encourages me greatly in my daily walk. Sometimes people seem to forget that we all need to be ministered to, especially those whose allotted task is to minister to others on a full-time basis. I often say to people that I'm unable to go to church every Sunday even though I would love to, explaining that it's because I have to work almost every Sunday of the year. Often they don't understand what I men, and point out that I do go to church almost every week. Just occasionally there will be somebody who understands exactly what I'm driving at. Yes I go to church, but I'm there to work! I'm there to minister to the need of others. Of course I get a blessing from my calling, but I need to be ministered to as well.

There are times when I, just like everyone else, feel down, and it's at times like these that I find the Lord sends someone along to encourage and uplift me. Just when I begin to feel that I'm not really making a difference someone comes along to tell me what a difference I make to their life in one way or another. Often it will be because I care enough to pray for them. Other times it will be something that I've been led to say in a service. Of course, the real answer is that it's really Jesus that makes the difference, for without my desire to reach out to others in His name and for His sake I would not be able to give the blessings that I do.

Sometimes I find that things seem to be working better than ever in my ministry, which is a great encouragement to me. yet those are the times when I know that I need to be even more 'on guard' than ever, for when the enemy sees that we are making headway then that is when he decides to attack us in some sneaky way. So I guess that coming under satanic attack is, in a strange way, a stamp of approval on our work for the Lord. After all, if we weren't busy for the Lord then we wouldn't be worrying the devil!

Be encouraged! Everything that you do for others through your devotions or in any other way,when you do it in service to the Lord Jesus you are furthering the work of the Kingdom. When the words that you write are an encouragement to others in their ministry then that's all part of the important work that we are all called to.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thank you Mum!

On Sunday I shall say a quiet, heartfelt, 'Thank you' to my late Mum, for it will be my birthday, and an occasion to remember that she brought me into this world and nurtured me for so long. So often we think about what we can get for a present on our birthdays, yet we already have the most precious gift of life given to us. What can better that? Can anything at all?

Well, yes it can, actually, for we can obtain an even more precious gift, and that's the gift of eternal life. This gift comes to us from God Himself, given through the saving grace of His only Son, Jesus Christ, and it's a gift that is there for all of us to claim. There are some special features about this gift:
  • It has a purchase price yet you cannot buy it.

  • It is truly a gift because it has been purchased for us.

  • It's not a prize --- you cannot win it!

  • It's not some sort of payment because you have done some good things or live a 'good' life.

  • You don't 'earn' it by going to church, --- even if you go three times every Sunday!

  • If you had to buy it you would never have the purchase price, no matter how wealthy you were.

  • You cannot get it from anyone else except Jesus.

So, how do you get this wonderful gift?

That's easy!

First of all you have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the Cross at Calvary to pay the price of sin for the whole of mankind. Only Jesus, who was without sin Himself, was good enough to pay the price that God demanded.

Secondly, you must repent of all the sin in your own life. This means all sin! Only man tries to differentiate between 'big' sin and 'little' sin!

Thirdly, you must confess Jesus as your Saviour and acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life. This means that, recognising that He is responsible for your salvation, you die to yourself and live to Him. In plain language: You must let Jesus control your life!

Oh yes, about my birthday! According to my birth certificate I shall be 65, and by the way that I feel, that has to be 65 years YOUNG! The photo above shows how young I look. OK! OK! It's not exactly an 'up-to-date' photo, but so what!!! At least it is (or rather was) me! There's less hair on top (much less!), and more on the face. There's probably a few lines that my eyesight hides from me. BUT, there's still the same sense of humour, still the same love for the Lord, still the same commitment to God. If anything has changed it's only that these things have increased over the years, and that has to be a good thing!

Praise the Lord for the richness of my life in Him!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This is something of real importance to everyone. Consider Biblical prophecy about the 'end times'. We have much to learn by being constantly aware in the times in which we live. Read this and also take a look at this video, then judge for yourself.
Common Purpose (CP)
- a hidden menace in our government and schools

Common Purpose is the glue than enables fraud to be committed across government departments to reward pro European politicians. Corrupt deals are enabled that put property or cash into their pockets by embezzling public assets.

Although it has 80,000 trainees in 36 cities, 18,000 'graduate' members and enormous power, Common Purpose is largely unknown to the general public.

It recruits and trains "leaders" to be loyal to the directives of Common Purpose and the EU, instead of to their own departments, which they then undermine or subvert, the NHS being an example.

Common Purpose is identifying leaders in all levels of our government to assume power when our nation is replaced by the European Union. Unlike current leaders, CP leaders are taught to rule without democracy, and will bring the EU police state home to every one of us.

It has members in the NHS, BBC, the police, the legal profession, many of Britains 7,000 quangos, local councils, the Civil Service, government ministries, Parliament, and it controls many RDA's (Regional Development Agencies).

Cressida Dick is the Common Purpose senior police officer who authorised the "Shoot to kill" policy without reference to Parliament, the law or the British Constitution. Jean de Menezes was one of the innocents who died as a result. Her shoot to kill policy still stands today.

Common Purpose trained Janet Paraskeva, the Law Society's Chief Executive Officer. Surprising numbers of lawyers are CP members. It is no coincidence that justice is more expensive, more flawed and more corrupt. And no surprise the courts refused to uphold the law, when a challenge was made to the signing of the six EU treaties, which illegally abolish Britain's sovereignty.

Common Purpose is backed by John Prescott's "Office of the Deputy Prime Minister" (ODPM), and its notional Chief Executive is Julia Middleton. The Head of the Civil Service Commission is a member

It is close to controlling Plymouth City Council, where is has subverted the democratic process. Local people cannot get CP's corrupt activities published, because the editors of local papers are in CP, and refuse to let journalists publish the articles.

CP started in 1985; in the 1990’s, with its members' cross departmental influence, it was involved with what then became the disasterous New Millennium Dome Company and the squandering of £800 million; it appears £300m of this was diverted into the web of quangos set up by CP. There is a fraud case over this, stalled in the courts thanks to CP's influence in the legal profession.

Over £100 million of our money has been spend on CP courses alone, and its been hidden from the public. No published accounts, and members names are a guarded secret. It charges substantial figures for its courses. Matrix for example costs £3,950 plus VAT, and courses for the high flying ‘leader’ can be as much as £9,950 plus VAT. This money is ours, paid by government departments financing senior staff to become agents for CP, instead of loyal to their own jobs.

Common Purpose International (Ltd by guarantee) is registered as a Charity No 1056573 and describes itself as being involved in Adult education. Some charity.

Common Purpose - training our future EU rulers - continued

Potential Common Purpose subjects are ‘selected’ for training. Are they susceptible to being converted; are they in the right job, with the right colleagues and friends? Do they have power, influence and the control of money? If the candidate has some, or all of these key attributes, then the local Common Purpose Advisory Board decides if they can do the course.

Trained leaders are encouraged to act as a network, enable other members' plans, and have meetings under the so called Chatham House rules. This effectively means their statements are not attributable to them, nor can attendees reveal information heard at a Common Purpose meeting.

Council Officers are having quasi secret meetings with, for example, property developer Common Purpose friends. No agendas and no minutes. Common Purpose Graduates from the public quango sectors such as the Regional Development Agencies attend, and have the power to award large sums of public money to projects.

It is the worst national example of cronyism, closed contract bids, fraud and corruption. And unseen to the general public.

Common Purpose undermines traditionally effective and efficient government departments with an overwhelming influx of new language, political correctness and management initiatives. The talk is of empowering communities, vision, worknessless, mainstreaming (sucking EU money into a project to sustain it), community empowerment, working partnership, regeneration and celebrating diversity etc etc. Documents appear about change, and reorganisation. In time confusion rules, and things don’t seem to work properly. Management decisions are made that seem stupidly destructive. The organisational performance becomes sluggish. Undermining the NHS is Common Purposes' biggest success so far.

David Cameron, who is pro Europe, uses the language of Common Purpose; he has appointed Ken Clarke, the most committed of the pro Europeans, in charge of his “Democracy Taskforce” - rather like putting the cat in charge of the safety of mice.

Common Purpose specifically targets children from the age of 13, and more recently younger, for special leadership and citizenship training. Yes, it is active in schools, and again the average parent has no idea.

People have contacted us to speak of their experiences with Common Purpose. A common theme is its all sweetness and light, until you fail to follow the direction set by the CP leadership.

Then interesting things happen. Ladies in particular have been bullied at work, some have lost their jobs, some have become paranoid and depressed at the pressure from people ganging up on them.

A typical story is a husband describing the decline in his wife from the time she becomes a Common Purpose graduate. Loss of sparkle, enthusiasm, anxious and ‘changed’, and she initiated a divorce.

Other Common Purpose people lie when they are challenged as to their involvement.

Common Purpose candidates are given a two day residential course in which they are ‘trained’ in a closed residential environment, such as a small hotel. They are encouraged to reveal significant personal information about themselves, such as their likes, dislikes, ambitions and dreams. Discussions are then controlled by the course leaders. Some participants have likened this to Delphi technique or the application of group psychology such as Cognitive Dissonance or brainwashing.

If you suspect Common Purpose is active in your organisation, or see a pattern of incredibly bad decisions, money being wasted, notice bullying, fraud, or threats, note the names of those involved (we've tracked down over a thousand) and please contact us. And publish the truth about Common Purpose as widely as you can.
See to take further action.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

There's POWER in your hands!

One of the things that made a great impression on me was something that Mother Teresa of Calcutta said at one time. When asked how she managed to reach out as she did to the diseased, the dirty and the 'untouchables', was that all she held in her mind as she reached out was the image of Jesus. This meant that whatever she did she did 'as unto Him'. Not only did she do things to serve Jesus, but when she laid hands on anyone then she was laying the hands of Christ on them rather than her own hands.

How did she do that? The answer is far easier than you might think, and is open to every one of us as well! She made certain that she was right with God and then she got plugged into the PRIME POWER SOURCE, which is Jesus Christ Himself. The wonderful news is that YOU can do just the same, dear reader, when you plug into that eternal Power Source. We have Christ's promise in John 14, verses 12 to 14:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Whenever you reach out and touch someone, whether it's to shake them by the hand, to comfort them with a touch of tenderness, or to give them a hug, DO IT IN THE NAME OF JESUS! That way you will be touching them in His name and they will be blessed by His touch.

The power source is there. All you have to do is to make certain that you are always well and truly PLUGGED IN!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm on holiday in Wales soon!

I shall be on holiday soon at Brynsiencyn on the Island of Anglesey next weekend for a whole week of relaxation. The picture above shows a typical cottage at Brynsiencyn, similar to the one we will be staying in. You can read up about this beautiful island here.

I hope that we can visit the 'church in the sea', and South Stack lighthouse, and Treaddur Bay, and . . . Oh, much, much more, all to be achieved between bouts of oure laziness or, to use another more amenable word, 'Relaxation'.

These are just a few pictures to give you a taste of this beautiful island.
I hope you enjoy them!

(Reading: Matthew 26.6-13)

Hundreds of holy cows used to wander the villages of the East, devouring the food of hungry peasants, yet they were defended with fervour. The thought of butchering them to provide food for the hungry was as appalling as the burden of maintaining them, so they lumbered through the land for centuries, dominating the scene by their enormous intrusive presence.

Christians often fill their heads with holy cows. Herds of pseudo-sacred notions lumber through their thought processes and tear away at their resources. They command such a strange superstitious awe that people fail to chase them away, trying to pretend that they never notice them. But cows are hard to hide - even holy ones - unless you are actually looking for them. Then you find that they have the peculiar property of vanishing from view

One time, when at a meeting in Shrewsbury, one of the items that came up during the course of conversation was regarding a church in South Wales that wanted to modernise the buildings, and would be asking the Connexion far half a million pounds to enable them to do all that they plan. It is probable that this money would be used, if it should be approved, to enable a building that is no longer suitable for its purpose to become more efficient. What it will most probably fail to do, though, is create a new environment that will adequately fulfil the task that it should do. Like many congregations today, I'm sure that the congregation of this particular church sees it as their primary duty to ensure the salvation of their building for eternity (or at least for another hundred years or more!). This is perhaps commendable in a museum. Indeed the Tate Modern Gallery was constructed within the shell of a disused power station at a cost of some £l34 million! Yet the purpose of the church, speaking in terms of the Church universal, is to save souls, not buildings. Buildings, however beautiful they might be, are really little more than places where God's people can congregate in for worship before moving out from to fulfil the commission of spreading His message of salvation. To put the building first denies the essence of Christ's headship. The building becomes a holy cow!

All too often the significance and relevance of Jesus Christ is hindered in today's world because of the religious restraints that many people try to contain Him within. We live in an age of instant wealth for many. Millionaires are made on television quiz shows, and weekly during the lottery draws. Dot-com Companies turn people into multi-millionaires on the basis of profits that might be made, despite the fact that none have been so far by many, if not most, of the businesses. Yet still we hear, see, or read the news reports of mass poverty in many parts of the world. "The poor will always be with us", Jesus said, yet today's Society has turned them into holy cows too. People become so used to the poor being there that they learn to ignore them, or at least to enjoy their wealth despite them. There are huge food shortages in some parts of the world, yet huge surpluses in others. If only it was possible to milk the holy cows of their religious status. Then finally we would be able to use them to feed the hungry souls with the real food of righteousness; the real message of salvation; the message that Christ brought to the world. The message is beautifully simple: ‘Repent of your sins, believe in Me as the Son of God, sacrificed for you, and you will see salvation.’

Think about it ― Celebrate it ― Live by it every day.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Only Jesus . . .!

Only Jesus . . .

I read recently about a film that was once made about Jesus, in which an archaeologist of world renown made an announcement to the world upon his return from an expedition to Israel. He claimed to have found the tomb where Jesus had been laid following the crucifixion, but this was not all. He announced to the whole world that the tomb was not empty, but contained the mummified remains of a youngish man. The news was received throughout the world, throwing people into a panic the whole world over! So, the masses chanted, it had all been an elaborate hoax after all. It must 'have been, for how could you argue when such a discovery had been made, and by one so eminent and trusted.

Throughout the world people started to tear crucifixes from their walls, throwing away anything which served to remind them of the great hoaxer. Almost overnight priests of all denominations lost their jobs. Many thousands of people, unable to come to terms with the collapse of all that they had ever believed in, committed suicide rather than face life alone. Bibles were burned by the load. Soon there was little trace of this man who had claimed to be God's own Son, and yet who had been proved to be nothing but a charlatan by this archaeologist.

The best that people could say about Jesus was that He had been a great man in His day, adding that it would be good for the world to have someone like that around all of the time. As the years rolled by He was soon forgotten, consigned to the history books. Churches were either pulled down or converted to commercial or residential use. Man finally had come to terms that there was nothing more to life than that which you found here and now. Then one day the papers ran a story that the archaeologist who had exposed the fraud of Jesus was seriously ill and not expected to live more than a few days. On his death-bed he finally confessed that his claims had been a lie, that in fact when he opened the tomb it was empty. How much damage his lie had done. What started out perhaps as a hoax had been responsible for destroying so many lives, and stealing hope from people.

Often today you can meet people who claim that Jesus was just a great man - nothing more. Two thoughts lie behind this assertion:

  • Jesus was a man who was later idealised by His followers - rather like a hero in a folk story.
  • There simply is no God or supernatural.

Some of the best evidence for the existence of God comes, however, when we study the claims, character and actions of Jesus.

If you are faced with the assertion that Jesus was no more than a great man then your response should be to comment that you find it an interesting point, and would be interested to hear the speaker prove from all of the recorded evidence that Jesus was only a man. When you consider that his disciples were staunchly monotheistic then there must have been overwhelming evidence for the deity of Christ. The facts of history show that Jesus is in a class of His own, and is far more than just a great man.

  1. Unlike Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius and other founders of world religions:
    Only the coming of Jesus was foretold in detail centuries prior to His arrival. His birthplace, His parents, His life, death and resurrection, were all foretold. When Herod asked the teachers of the law to check the prophecies about the Messiah's birth, they were able to tell him where to look for Jesus. He fulfilled over three hundred prophecies in detail.
  2. Only Jesus said that He came from outside the world. Others claimed messages, revelations, insights, but none claimed to come from outside this world.
  3. Only He said that He was without sin in His character and backed it up by the way He lived. It's characteristic of saints and spiritual leaders that the more they develop the more conscious they become of their ignorance and shortcomings. Jesus was never like this, and yet was never arrogant about His life.
  4. Only Jesus declared that He was God and backed it up by a life of wisdom, authority, humility and love.
  5. Only He died for the sin of the world, the result of our rebellion against God. Other people just died. Jesus Christ was born to die.
  6. Only He rose from the grave as He promised He would. You can visit the tomb of Mohammed and find his bones still there. After Buddha was cremated his ashes were buried in ten centres in India.

So was Jesus a liar? People lie for profit. When the lie is unprofitable or when death threatens, then they confess. Jesus confessed nothing. People also lie for selfish reasons, yet every aspect of Christ's personality shows that he was selfless.

So what about lunacy? We sometimes hear of schizophrenics claiming to be Jesus. Schizophrenia is a symptom of a very disturbed personality. In every way Jesus displays balance, humility, poise and selflessness, not the marks of mental illness or megalomania. He came to serve and to give His life.

The only logical conclusion once the facts have been studied is that Jesus was exactly who He said He was. That He was Lord is the only conclusion that fits the facts.

If Jesus Christ is God, then nothing is more important than your relationship to Him. He is Lord.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

10 Piggy Pics!

Pigs Fall in Love Too!

Smiling Pig

Cute Pig

Birthday Pig

Colourful Pigs

Flying Pigs

Contented Pig

Posh Pig

Minnie Pig

Guinea Pig

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Is Praising Islam Coming to Your Church?

I pass on the following because I think that it is so important. Judge for yourself!

By Jan Markell

Following a four-day conference last week at Yale University, Christian and Muslim leaders from around the world announced the first step of the "Common Word" exchange drafted last November. A joint statement was affirmed in their support of religious freedom and further interfaith dialogue based on their common love for God and neighbor. But something is very wrong with this picture. Over 140 conference participants unanimously approved a cooperative statement that signaled a "new beginning of collaboration between Christians and Muslims" where stronger assertions of faith would be required. So the statement began by affirming the "unity and absoluteness of God" and God's merciful love as central to both religions. Wait a minute! Allah has merciful love? And Allah is central to both Christianity and Islam? Isn't it devotion to Allah that causes people to strap explosives onto themselves and blow innocent people to shreds? And it seems he also encourages some of his followers to cut off heads of the innocent.

In attendance and in agreement, sadly, were both the head of the National Association of Evangelicals and the World Evangelical Alliance. Those two organizations represent most evangelicals in America. Both faiths--Christianity and Islam -- pledged to spend one week a year sharing the good aspects about the other's faith. Our pulpits are already lacking in sound gospel preaching! Now we must take one week each year to learn that Islam might really be "a religion of peace?" And that Christians and Muslims worship the same God? The Lord's Day is just that: A day to worship and learn about the God of the Bible, not to hear about the positive nature of Islam or any other faith. It's tough enough that many reading this are laboring in churches that have forsaken the Bible for "new ways of doing church." We have leftists and Emergent Church leaders praised in our pulpits, and now once a year we will have Islam praised in our pulpits--and I am speaking of "evangelical" pulpits since the heads of the evangelical world signed on to this. Don't these evangelical leaders know that deception is part and parcel of the Muslim religion when they deal with "infidels"? Do they really think American mosques are going to start heralding Christianity once a year and really mean it? Don't they know that many American mosques--certainly not all--are the breeding ground for calling for the destruction of America and its takeover by Islam?

I have to conclude that the primary goal here is unbiblical ecumenical unity. The second goal is to get Christians to see Islam in a positive light. Sharing the gospel with Muslims is not part of the agenda with this interfaith effort, even though thousands of Muslims are turning to Christ today. If this element were a part of the plan, it would be less egregious. I ask, "Where is the outrage toward the evangelical leaders who are promoting this agenda?" It has long been the standard of congregations who are a part of the National Council of Churches to promote ecumenical unity and praise false religions. Now that so-called evangelical organizations are doing the same, is there a dime's worth of difference between them? Forgive my cynicism but I think the Muslims are laughing all the way to Mecca. RADIO: Our programming from last weekend is posted at "Radio Archives." Learn of some of the "101 Last Days Prophecies" with Jim Tetlow and about vanishing discernment today with Sandy Simpson from Deception in the Church. Our archived programming is even dial-up friendly if you don't have DSL. For podcasting information, visit this link. We are live Saturdays, 9 to 11 AM CDT out of AM980 KKMS, Minneapolis/St. Paul, simulcast with AM820 KGNW, Seattle/Tacoma, 7 to 9 AM PDT. We are heard nationally through affiliates and satellite and internationally via the Internet.

You can always "listen live" at AM980 KKMS or AM820 KGNW.
If you would like to become a CD subscriber for $30 a month and get two CDs a week of hour two-hour program, call 763-493-3010 or 763-210-8291. We take Visa or MasterCard.

"I trust in You, O Lord . . . Our times are in Your hands..." Psalms 31:14


Here are a few choice tidbits to consider as well from someone who knows:

"If you knew Islam as I know Islam" ... I teach on this subject and lived 10% of my childhood in Libya.

The Islamic principal of " El Taqu'hia" instructs Muslims to lie to infidels to further the cause of Islam. THIS IS NORMAL PRACTICE FOR THEM.

This is why NO treaty signed by Arabs is worth the paper it's written on ( vide Oslo ).

Did you know that Yasser Arafat's uncle lived in Germany as Hitler's guest during the war and helped with The Final Solution? That he founded a muslim SS Regiment ?

Did you know that as Mufti of Jerusalem in 1928 he announced ( to the surprise of most Muslims ) that Mohammed had ascended on his horse from the Dome of The Rock?

There's an awful lot about Islam that most Christians NEED to know " Know thine enemy "And enemies THEY ARE ; The Lord Jesus died for them too but the very idea that their 'god' is the same as The Lord is farcical. Islam declares " A**ah has no son" so he clearly isn't God The Father.

God bless!

At the recent Healing Conference which was held at Gregynog in Mid Wales, we sang the following hymn at the Blessing Service. The singing at that Service was truly blessed, and I thought that the roof would lift off with this hymn, such was the angelic choir! I hope that you like it, dear reader, and that you will introduce it into your own worship. Why not take a copy along to your next church Service or Choir rehearsal? As long as you print it out in full, including the copyright line, you have my permission to make as many copies for non-commercial use as you like. The tune, All to Jesus, is both well-known and easy to sing. (It's the tune to the hymn All to Jesus I surrender, and is in number 25 in Mission Praise.) If you use it leave a comment. In fact, leave a comment even if you just sing it on your own. When you do that you'll be praising God!

Saved for Glory
Tune: All to Jesus

Saved for glory by the Saviour,
Christ is all in all to me;
I will tell the wondrous story,
How He came to set us free.
Saved by Christ alone!
Saved by Christ alone!
Saved for glory by the Saviour,
Saved by Christ alone!

He came down to bring us freedom,
From man’s own self-righteous law;
Came to grant us free salvation,
Tell it out from door to door.

Christ, the one Son of the Father,
God incarnate came to earth;
When you claim through Him redemption,
Through God’s Spirit get rebirth.


You can claim this glorious blessing,
You receive the bounty free;
You can sing the Saviour’s story,
Tell it out aloud like me.


Tell the world you’re saved for glory,
That in heav’n one day we’ll meet;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
We will worship at their feet.


© Colin Gordon-Farleigh, 2006

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Walking With Jesus

I never understand those people who think that being a Christian is boring! I first gave my life to Christ in September 1969, and have had an exciting journey since then. I don't mean that it's always been an easy journey, and I've certainly struggled for parts of it, but it's certainly never been boring!

I've always tried to make sure that I listen out for God's voice in order that I know what He wants of me. Sometimes I have heard that voice as if it spoke right next to me, and this has happened at moments of great revelation in my life such as the time that I knew God was calling me into full-time ministry. I guess that my only explanation is that I expect to hear God speaking to me.

So often I have had people ask me why 'special' things seem to happen to me in my Christian life, and the only answer that I have is that I expect them to. After all, my God is all-powerful, and there is nothing that He is incapable of, so why should we be so surprised when things happen to us that have a beneficial impact on our spiritual lives. Surely, to go through life and not expect anything to happen to you is a sign of weakness in your faith?

Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14: 12-14 NAS).

Often in the Bible, we discover Jesus has taken Himself apart from the others in order to pray in communion with God the Father. These were the times when His mission was reiterated and strengthened. They were times of renewing and refreshing. Jesus knew that He needed to Go to the Father in order to submit Himself completely to the Father's will, and that in so doing He would receive the strengthening and the refreshing that He needed to fulfil all that was asked of Him. It's no different for us as His followers, for if we truly want to follow Him then we must do all that we can to be like Him, emulating the way in which He lived, walked, touched, spoke, and prayed. If it was necessary for Jesus who was perfect to pray to His Father for renewing and for guidance, how much more do we --- with all of our imperfections --- need to do the same. It's only by submitting ourselves totally to God through prayer and in the name of Jesus that we will know the path that He wants us to take, and receive the strength that we need in order to fulfil God's will for our lives.

We must let God dictate the small things as well as the big things, handing our lives over to Him completely. That way we will experience REVIVAL through the constant renewing of our minds in Christ, and be able follow the leading of our hearts that are Christ-centred.

Boring? NEVER! The journey has been so exciting this far, and there is so much more left to do and to experience. What a wonderful blessing it has been, it is and it will be! That's because our God is unchanging --- the same yesterday, today and for ever! Praise the Lord!

I have never regretted giving my life to Him for one millisecond, and I pray that He will continue to use me to help others in their spiritual walk, to encourage, to touch, to heal, and the myriad other tasks that He sets before me. one thing is sure, as long as I walk with Jesus I will never be alone and I will most certainly never find myself bored!

God bless you!