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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is the FREE MARKET in FREEFALL?


Around the globe the news media report that share prices are on a downward spiral, and the news-speak attributes the free-fall of the global economy, blaming it on what is described as 'The Credit Crunch'. Of course, what this really is all about is the breakdown of confidence in the world's markets.

There are many who believe that it all has to do with the way that so many in our nations have conducted themselves. The overt greed of the materialistic and hedonistic is finally coming home to roost. John Donne famously wrote that 'No man is an island . . .', yet in a materialistic world this is what people seek to be, concerning themselves with the amassing of personal wealth irrespective of the expense to either the individuals around them or the nations in which they practise. To live out life in such a way is to court ultimate disaster, and the current situation is, I believe, a prime example of the sort of thing that can happen when greed and materialism take over. To see such examples it is only necessary to look at the vast amounts of money paid out in bonuses in the financial institutions, both to Traders and Directors of Companies, for many of these bonuses and pay-packets can only be described as financially obscene.

So who is to blame for the situation that we are in? One thing for sure --- it can't possibly be me! After all, one of the things that I've learned from the society in which we live is that no matter what happens, even things on a personal level, there is always someone else who deserves the blame! We can blame the government, can't we. After all, they are the ones who make all the decisions, aren't they? Well, the problem is that the government is made up of representatives of the people, and those representatives are elected into power on the votes cast by people like you and me. This means that we must all share a portion of the blame.

It is said that the current FREE-FALL of the FREE MARKET is largely down to loss of confidence in the housing market due to irresponsible lending. Well, I guess that is part of the trouble, but with irresponsible lending goes irresponsible borrowing surely. I think that one of the most unfortunate things that has happened in the last thirty years or so is that houses have changed from being simply 'homes' into 'investments', and with this has come the crazy price rises of properties based, not upon need for somewhere to live, but on how much someone is prepared to pay. Only recently I read reports of people who will pay several million pounds for a property in places such as Sandbanks (UK), only to tear the property down and build new on the site. Where is the sense in that?

When I was growing up there was little credit in the community at large. If you wanted something then you saved up for it. The general exception to the rule would be housing, although even there it was necessary to save a large deposit in order to qualify for a mortgage. It would appear that, to some extent at least, we are moving back to that part of the equation, although house-prices are still, I believe, disproportionate to the individual income. For years people have said that you cannot live indefinitely on credit and with rising prices, and that the time would come when the 'piper would finally have to be paid'. It would appear that we might well have come to that time now.

Before the current problems are resolved there will be much more pain for people to experience, and nobody knows precisely how it will affect them, although it is bound to effect everyone in some manner. It is likely that there will be a sharp increase in unemployment for instance, with all of the heartache that it causes. House repossessions are likely to increase as people find that they simply cannot find the money to meet their mortgage commitments, and that will inevitably be responsible not only for family break-ups to to the pressures involved, but will push the economy still further into decline.

Possibly the greatest problem that needs to be resolved is how to deal with the situation and stop the free fall. On a global scale, if nothing is successfully done to rectify the situation, the potential disaster is too immense to contemplate, yet perhaps it's only by doing just that that an answer might be found. The resolve to work together, irrespective of party allegiances, is a necessity. In many respects, nations are on a 'war footing', fighting for their very survival. Not nation against nation --- although this will continue in some areas, just as it always has done --- but nations against principalities.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

It is time for people to turn to God and REPENT of the greed that has motivated much of the world for so long. How can it be right that people live the way of so many in the so-called 'civilized world' when so much more of the world is struggling simply to exist? If the truth be known, we are ALL GUILTY! Therefore it is necessary for us ALL to REPENT and turn to God in prayer. If we can do that then He will provide the answer.

One thing is for sure, and that is that the face of the world will have been changed for ever by the time this is all over. It is up to each of us to ensure that the change is a positive and good one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fighting the dumbing down of our children


Education is a popular subject for politicians of all shades to opine upon, especially when there is an election due or at times when exam results are announced, such as the GCSE results. Each announcement seems to result in another round of accusations regarding what is perceived as the dumbing down of the education system and, as a result, the dumbing down of our children. Amongst the latest pearls of wisdom to fall from ministerial lips is that lessons in lifestyle are of more use than those that teach the 3 R's. Students, of course, insist that their results are brought into being by sheer hard work. So what is the answer?

I'm impressed by the number of parents in the USA who homeschool their kids, and so I stated to investigate the system here in the UK. Certainly, the Moms that I know of in he States who are involved in homeschooling swear by it, and are certain that their children are better of because of it. Additionally I think that one GREAT benefit to homeschooling is the increased closeness between parent and child, and also the greater parental control over their children's lives in general. In my (albeit limited) experience of children who have been homeschooled I have found that the children tend to be brighter, more alert to the world around them, better mannered, and with a greater interest in things beyond an endless round of video/computer games.

One thing that is not perhaps generally known is that here in the UK whilst education is compulsory, school attendance is not, and so the way is wide open for more parents to consider home-schooling. A great website to find out more about the subject is familyonwards.com, and there is a lot of advice offered by Jill Curtis, a senior psychotherapist working in the UK, who is the author of many books helping people to find the answers to family problems, including Does Your Child have a Hidden Disability?

There are many reasons why parents might consider home-schooling their children, including the fact that they are not happy with the education system that's on offer. Equally it may well be that their children have particular needs that they perceive are not being met by the current system, especially if they have a child with a learning or behavioural problem.

The following extract is advice given on the familyonwards.com homeschooling page:

If home schooling is something you are considering you should contact the Home Education Advisory Service (www.heas.org.uk). Members of the charity HEAS have access to an advice line for curriculum guidance, and a specialist Dyslexia Helpline. The Department for Education and Skills sets out conditions parents have to fulfill in order to educate their child at home; these can be seen on their website www.dfes.gov.uk. In the US look at Homeschool Internet Yellow Pages at http://www.homeschoolyellowpages.com/

I wonder what you think about it, dear reader. Do you perhaps have personal experience of homeschooling? Perhaps you were homeschooled yourself. Why not share your experiences through the comments section of this post. Maybe you just disagree with the whole idea. Whatever you think, why not let me know about it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Bit of a Problem!


Every Christian should beware of being fed a sacharine diet from the pulpit with so much sweetness that it turns you away from the TRUTH!
Remember, as well as causing
TOOTH DECAY
there is a great danger that you might suffer from
TRUTH DECAY
as well!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Time of CRISIS!



Some years ago I travelled to work as a candle maker in a Craft Unit in rural Wales, and part of the journey took me through a section of the Dyfnant Forest. In the Springtime, as I emerged from the forest road, the banks were a mass of wild flowers. Often I would be reminded that they would still be there long after I had gone from this world. They served as a salutary reminder that no matter what we aspire to in this world, what matters is the way that we live and the aspirations that we have regarding the next world.

We are living in what some may regard as perilous times, and certainly they are times when we are sailing through very stormy seas to say the least. During the Great Depression, which started in 1929 when the stock market crashed on Tuesday 29th October, known as 'Black Tuesday', and lasted until the end of the 1930's or even, in some places, to the early 1940's, there were many stories of the misery surrounding people's lives. Today we are in what is probably the most dangerous economic position since those days, and it is easy to see how RECESSION can turn into DEPRESSION if it is allowed to.


Just as people saw a run on the banks during the run-up to the Great Depression in 1929, such as the run on the Union Bank in New York seen in the picture above, so we can draw parallels with the problems today. Here in the UK recently there was a run on Northern Rock, and most recently we have seen a rescue takeover of the Halifax, which was the UK's largest mortgage lender. In the USA the unthinkable has already happened with the demise of Lehman Brothers, a banking institution that withstood the Great Depression yet has fallen now after 158 years of trading. Freddie Mac and Freddie Mae, the two biggest players in the US mortgage market have collapsed. The banking economy in both the US and the UK is currently being propped up by government intervention.
Faced with all of this turbulence there is little wonder that people are edgy and wondering what is going to happen next. The stormy seas caused by the turbulence are in danger of rising to flood alert levels. Many thousands of people have already lost their jobs and it is likely that many more thousands will too. Even if you are not one of them it's true to say that everyone will be affected in one way or another by the rising cost of living. The recent increases in power and fuel supplies are phenomenal, and they are far from over, with more increases being forecast. The cost of the weekly grocery is rising at an alarming rate. What can we do?
We are certainly in a time of trouble, and certainly in need of a place of refuge. We are reminded by the psalmist, David, that we have a refuge to turn to. In Psalm 9 he reminds us that the Lord reigns for ever, executing judgment from His throne. He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. He goes on to advise us where to seek our help: The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
There is a great need for the world to REPENT of the wickedness that engulfs it, and it is only through REPENTANCE that we can truly return to God and claim the refuge that He offers us. Yes, the times that we are in are tough and it's easy to predict that they will become much tougher before they are through, but there is a way out, and that is by turning to God and claiming the victory won by Jesus Christ, repenting of our own sin and acknowledging Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah.
You can strengthen and build up your faith by daily reminding God in your prayer time of His promises. Join with the psalmist as he prays (Psalm 31):
1. O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don't let me be put to shame. Rescue me, for you always do what is right.
2 Bend down and listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be for me a great rock of safety, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
3 You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this peril.
4 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone.
5 I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God.
6 I hate those who worship worthless idols. I trust in the LORD.
7 I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to my enemy but have set me in a safe place.
9 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. My sight is blurred because of my tears. My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Misery* has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.
11 I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbours -- even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me on the street, they turn the other way.
12 I have been ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot.
13 I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror. My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life.
14 But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, "You are my God!"
15 My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
16 Let your favour shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, save me.
17 Don't let me be disgraced, O LORD, for I call out to you for help. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them lie silent in the grave.
18 May their lying lips be silenced-- those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.
19 Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.
20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.
21 Praise the LORD, for he has shown me his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
22 In sudden fear I had cried out, "I have been cut off from the LORD!" But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.
23 Love the LORD, all you faithful ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes all who are arrogant.
24 So be strong and take courage, all you who put your hope in the LORD!
My prayer for each of you, dear readers, is that you will, by the grace of God, weather this storm and come out the other side strengthened by the trials that it may subject you to.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Winning the Battle



A few thoughts on retirement.

The only retired Christians are those who have gone to Glory! They are the ones who have fought the good fight and not been found wanting. They are the ones who have put on the whole armour of God and worn it with pride, yet displayed humility in their work and compassion towards those who have been found in need. They are the ones who have listened constantly for fresh orders and gone wherever they have been sent, irrespective of the cost. They are the ones who have served for the glory of God and not for personal gain.

However, there are many tired Christians around. You can find them in almost every Fellowship, although sometimes they don't make a song and dance enough to stand out, preferring to work quietly away in the background, doing all for the Lord rather than for any Merit badge. No matter what size the Fellowship is, they will number relatively few.

So, who are they? Well, they are the people who make certain that the heating or air conditioning is turned on; the folk who ensure that spent light bulbs are replaced; the folk who arrange the flowers and give out the hymn books; the folk who do all that they can to make the church a comfortable and welcoming place for when you arrive for the services. They are the people who play the instruments, whether it be a grand organ, a piano, or a music group. They are the people who ensure that everything possible is done to make the Fellowship an example that others will want to copy. Their secret is that they do it all for the Lord, although the folk who turn up for the services become the beneficiaries of their labour of love. Are you one of the tired Christians in your Fellowship? If only there were more people willing and prepared to take on some of the tasks --- not because they've been asked to but because they've volunteered to --- what a difference it would make.

Praise the Lord!


Psalm 103
Praise the Lord, O may soul: and all that is within me praise his holy Name.
Praise the Lord, O may soul: and forget not all his benefits.
Who forgiveth all thy sin: and healeth all thine infirmities;
Who saveth thy life from destruction: and crowneth thee with mercy and loving-kindness.
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things: making thee young and lusty as an eagle.
The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement: for all them that are oppressed with wrong.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: long-suffering and of great goodness.
He will not always be chiding: neither keepeth he his anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our wickednesses.
For look how high the heaven is in comparison of the earth: so great is his mercy also toward them that fear him.
Look how wide also the east is from the west: so far hath he set our sins from us.
Yes, like as a father pitieth his own children: even so is the Lord merciful unto them that fear him.
O praise the Lord, you angels of his, ye that excel in strength: ye that fulfil his commandment, and hearken unto the voice of his words.
O praise the Lord, all ye his hosts: ye servants of his that do his pleasure.
O speak good of the Lord, all ye works of his, in all places of his dominion: praise thou the Lord, O my soul.

What better way to start your day than by giving praise to Almighty God? Prayer is such a wonderful privilege, affording us as it does the means of communicating with God. I say 'communicating', because prayer is not simply an opportunity for us to speak to God, but an opportunity for us to listen to Him as well. Sometimes people ask me how to pray effectively. I think that the best answer is that the person praying should do so believing that God is, and that He hears us, and speaks with us, when we call upon Him.

This Prayer Guide can be a great help in when you seek spiritual renewal with the Lord.
  • Humble yourself before Him

  • Be still and listen

  • Praise His name

  • Pray His Word

  • Believe His promises

  • Trust His Word

  • Thank Him for answering

  • Rejoice

Monday, September 22, 2008

Now THIS is what I call REALLY CUTE!

Here are some great photographs of a young wild grey squirrel, hand- reared by Debby Cantion, and called Finnegan. Debby plans to release Finnegan back into the wild, but in the meantime has been bottle-feeding him since he was brought into the house.



When Debby Cantion took in the tiny creature and began to look after him, she found herself with an unlikely nurse's aide, her very pregnant Papillon, Mademoiselle Giselle.

Finnegan was resting in a nest inside a cage just a few days before Giselle was due to give birth to her puppies.


Debby and her husband watched as the dog dragged the quirrel's cage twice to the side of her basket before she gave birth.


Debby was concerned, yet ultimately decided to allow the squirrel out of the cage, whereupon the inter-species bonding began.


Finnegan rides on top of the puppies, gradually burrowing in amongst them for warmth after feeding, and eventually working his way beneath his new litter mates.


Two days after giving birth, Giselle allowed Finnegan to nurse. Family photographs and a video show her encouraging him to suckle alongside her litter of five puppies.


Now Finnegan mostly uses a bottle, but still likes to snuggle with the puppies, rolling atop their bodies before sinking in deeply for a nice warm nap!

Squirrel and puppies get along as if it were the natural occurence in the world, Finnegan making himself completely at home with his litter-mates, nuzzling nose-to-nose for a nap after feeding.


The moral of this story is simply this:

Even though we might be different from each other in lots of ways, that should never stop us loving each other and caring for each other.

The TRUE Face of Islam?


This should make you think! These pictures are from London! Can you imagine having a Christian demonstration against Islam in downtown Baghdad!

These pictures show what the future of the Western World is if our governments continue to carry out policies of appeasement. Islamic extremists have stated that England will be the first country they take over, and it has even been stated a couple of years ago in Parliament that it would happen within ten years. We already have seen Sharia Law surreptitiously brought in and it is currently being practised in many areas of the UK. Remember, the hordes of Muslims in this country are voters and our politicians are more interested in creaming votes that keep them in office than anything else, no matter the ultimate cost to our nation. If this were not the case then we would not see demonstrations such as the one shown here on our streets.

These pictures are of Muslims marching through the STREETS OF LONDON during their recent 'Religion of Peace Demonstration'.

Why would anyone think that we should fear such nice, peaceful Muslims? Christians and non-Christians need to know what is going on, and these pictures tell it all, exactly as it is! These are pictures not shown on our TV screens nor in the Press.





Saturday, September 20, 2008

A World Full of Strangers


I'm just coming to the end of my current 'good read', and what a good read it has been. A World Full of Strangers by Cynthia Freeman ia a book that you can get your teeth into, all 631 pages of it, and it tells the story of David and Katie Rezinetsky, following their lives from the Hester Street in the New York ghettos to top-drawer life in a blossoming San Fransisco of the mid to late 1940's.

Cynthia Freeman was an American novelist, born in New York City, where, as a young girl, she began writing books but abandoned writing to pursue a career running an interior decoration business. When poor health forced her to give up her business, she decided to dust off an old manuscript from childhood but discovered the cleaning lady had thrown it out. From memory, she rewrote the story.

Ms Freeman, who died in 1988, specialized in multi-generational stories of Jewish families, centering on a female protagonist. Her novel, "No Time For Tears," was No.10 on the list of bestselling novels in the United States for 1981 as determined by the New York Times. Her books were translated into thirty-three languages, selling more than twenty million copies worldwide.

This is a book which, though published in 1975, is as much a good read today as it ever was, and I can thoroughly recommend it as a book that you'll be reluctant to put down once you get into it. You'll probably have to hunt on Amazon or similar for a copy, and I have seen them advertised for as little as 54p in the UK or $1.00 in the USA. Have a look via this link.

Friday, September 19, 2008

'Thankyou' is SUCH an important little word!

Of all the thing we say ---
when on our knees we pray ---
the thing that matters most of all,
the thing that always should be heard,
is such an easy little word.

Yet, in the hurry that we're in,
we ask God to forgive our sin,
we ask Him to be sure and heal
the people who are on our mind,
--- the ones towards whom we feel kind.

We ask for this, we ask for that,
for blessings on the place we're at.
We pray for friend --- and even foe,
for travelling mercies where we go;
and each and every day, we pray.

Yet, sometimes in the daily rush
there is one thing not always heard.
A word of thanks for all that's done,
sent up to God, the holy One,
'Thankyou' is SUCH an important word!

Out of Body Experiences


A new study into the phenomenon known as 'Out of body' experiences is set to take place with a body of scientists examining the experiences of 1,500 hospital patients to see whether they can prove or disprove the phenomena. The investigation will take three years, and the study, led by Dr Sam Parnia, will take place at the University of Southampton, here in England.

Reading about this in today's Press, I was reminded of an occasion back in he 1960's (I think it was 1968), when I had one of these experiences myself. I was spending the evening at a friends house in Warminster, Wiltshire, when I was taken ill with a recurrence of a blood-sugar problem, my blood sugar having dropped down to a dangerously low level. My friend rushed me to the local hospital where I was admitted in a comatose state. Thanks to the ministrations of the medical staff I was given the appropriate medication and gradually brought back out of my coma. I remember little of what happened as, feeling completely exhausted by the experience, I slept soundly until the next morning.

The following morning, with a clear head, I recalled the previous night's experience, and recalled a sensation of having watched all that had gone on from the upper corner of the room. Speaking to one of the nursing staff I enquired about a particular doctor who had attended me, only to be told that he was not in that morning. The nurse added that she was surprised that I should ask because that doctor had only seen me for a brief time and that I was completely comatose during the period. I then went on to tell her about the other people whom I had seen the previous evening, all during the time that I was comatose.

Who knows where the answer lies? I certainly don't! I had never been to that hospital previously so I can discount anay thought of having memories regarding the people whom I described and, even if that were the case, how did I manage to describe accurately almost every person who had attended me that evening?

Perhaps this new study will reveal the answers to this phenomenon. Perhaps not. But it will certainly be an interesting study to follow.

Have you, dear reader, had any such experience in the past? dd a comment and share it if you have.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mosques & Cathedrals


My 'In The News' item today considers the story in today's Press about the fact that the building of new Mosques may be banned in many parts of Italy. The Northern League party is piloting a Bill through the Italian Parliament which, if passed, will impose strict regulations that will serve to effectively block the building of nearly all new Mosques. They have woken up to the vast inroads made by the Islamic community in terms of erecting new places of worship, and the Northern League parliamentarian, Andrea Gibelli, in response to the estimate that permission is currently granted for a new mosque or prayer hall somewhere in the centre of world Catholicism every four days, is quoted as saying, "I consider this to be a an unfettered colonisation of our culture."

He goes on to explain the reasoning behind his Bill, saying that mosques discourage integration and "are often places of cultural indoctrination, sometimes linked to international terrorism".

Personally, I don't see any problem in erecting as many new Mosques as are required in any country, with one proviso, and that is that for every Mosque erected in a non-Islamic country there should be a Christian Cathedral erected in a major city of an Islamic country. If there is a one-for-one policy adopted then I would suggest that we would see the number of applications for new Mosques certainly dwindle, and possibly die out altogether. However, because of the large voting power of the Muslim populace, I can't think of any politician with the nous to carry the proposal through!

There are currently more than a million Muslims in Italy, representing some 1.5% of the population.

According to a recent report by Dr Peter Hammond, at this level of occupation there is no threat to the country as long as the percentage of Muslims is below 2%. Beyond that percentage their are moves to proselytize from amongst other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from amongst the criminals in goal, and amongst street gangs. In the UK, with an estimated 2.7% of the population being Muslim, this is already happening. As the percentage increases so do the demands, and, more often than not, governments in search of votes are happy to oblige.

Here in the UK, albeit relatively unknown to the average Mr & Mrs Brit, Sharia Law has now been officially adopted, with Sharia Courts being given power to rule on Muslim civil cases, including cases of domestic violence. This has been 'shoe-horned' in by the government. The electorate at large certainly had no opportunity to vote on whether they were prepared to accept two systems of law in the country!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

'No Outsiders' Project : Another Reason to Argue in favour of Home-Schooling!


The times in which we live, with all the problems created by governments hell-bent on promoting 'Political Correctness' and all its incumbent and nefarious policy implications, mean that caring parents must take control when it comes to the matter of all the influences that seek to be imposed upon their children's lives, especially when it comes to education. One of the thorny problems that parents have faced for many years is the increasing demand to educate children in sexual matters at a younger and younger age. The latest is being proposed by via a project known as 'No Outsiders', and is a 28-month research project based in primary schools and funded by The Economic and Social Research Council. The following extract appears on their website:

'The project is led by Elizabeth Atkinson and Renée DePalma at the University of Sunderland, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Exeter and the Institute of Education (University of London) and a team of three research assistants. During the course of the project, a team of primary teachers from three areas of the UK will develop ideas and resources to address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in their own schools and their communities. The outcomes will be disseminated via the Teacher Training Resource Bank, a documentary film and an edited book of teaching ideas.'

Once again, under the guise of exploring means of stopping bullying, we find the spectre of unnatural sexual relationships rearing its head. I'm sure that many of those involved, and the aspirations they profess, are good people with good intentions, but surely one of the best ways to prevent bullying is to instill a good sense of morality and ethics into our children from an early age. I firmly believe that this project is, to say the least, either intended as a vehicle to promote sexual deviancy or else has been hijacked in order to do so.

Considering that this project is about part of the education programme aimed at children as young as five, consider how you would feel if your five-year old came home from school and started to discuss that day's lesson with you. The stated purpose of the project is 'to stop bullying and prejudice aimed at homosexuals', yet many supporters of this project want it to also discuss 'pleasure and desire in educational contexts'. I'm afraid that, despite denials by team members, I personally consider that this is yet another example of the increasing attempt to corrupt the young. It smacks of a 'Hearts & Minds' exercise designed to create in the minds of children the idea that unnatural deviancy is actually the norm.

It is of course absolutely right that our children must be taught that all forms of bullying are wrong. They must be taught too that people are not all the same, that others think differently and act differently, and that all people should be respected for who they are and not disrespected because of the differences. I'm sure that there comes a point in the educational process of older children where, as part of their education regarding sex and procreation, they can discuss the various aspects of human sexuality in a positive manner.

From a Biblical stance, homosexuality is considered sinful. Now many arguments issue forth based upon the various laws quoted in Scripture. A favourite argument is to say that if you believe that the law regarding homosexuality is to be accepted and upheld, then so must other laws such as not cutting the hair on the side of your head (Leviticus 19.27). So often people raise the points made in the verses of Leviticus 20.13, yet I believe that the issue is clear enough when considered from a different aspect. Scripture teaches that all fornication is wrong, and that should be good enough. It is important however, in order to place things in perspective, that we teach our children that whilst certain forms of behaviour are offensive to God nevertheless God hates the sin yet loves the sinner. It's because of that love that Jesus died on the cross in order to afford mankind a way to be reconciled to God through His sacrifice.

Our path is therefore clear. We too, if we are to be truly Christian, must love the sinner even though we despise the sin. Equally, if we are to expect that others respect our view and our right to believe as we do, we must also learn to respect their differing viewpoint. To respect another viewpoint is not to align with it, merely to acknowledge that it exists and that there is a right to hold to it.

I know that many of you who visit my blog either are, or have been, parents involved in Home-Schooling. I think that the argument for Home-Schooling is strengthened every time proposals such as this experiment are mooted or, as is the case with the 'No Outsiders' project, actually put into practise as part of the experiment. How do you feel about it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Church says 'Sorry'


The Church of England has made an apology to Charles Darwin, the scientist who proffered the Theory of Evolution, some 126 years following his death, also claiming that the Church wished to distance itself from fundamentalist Christians who believe in the Biblical account of Creation.

WOW! The Church of England and its assortment of liberal theologians is distancing itself from little old me! That really warms the cockles of my heart! I have to admit that I worry a lot about being considered part of the gang in any sense, when the gang is made up of so many people who don't believe in the Bible, refuting not only the Biblical account of Creation, but also of original sin, the concept of hell, the virgin birth and even the resurrection. Cut every reference to all of that out of the Bible and you have an idea of the watered down versions that they promulgate. It's no wonder that so many churches are dying on their feet!

It is widely believed that Charles Darwin recanted towards the end of his life, although not surprisingly the stories have been rubbished, especially by the liberals who would end up with egg on their face should they be proven true. Whether they are or not is a point of conjecture. Only God knows the truth, for no one is alive today who would have been there to hear what Darwin said.

You can guess where I stand on the issue, but what about you, dear reader? Do you think that the Biblical account of Creation is a fiction? Do you perhaps feel that Darwin's theory of evolution is fully compatible with Scripture? Or what . . . ?

Bully-boy Tactics!


An item in the press today reports that the Islamic extremist, often described as 'The Preacher of Hate', Omar Bakri, has declared that Sir Paul McCartney is the 'enemy of every Muslim' because he is to perform in Israel later this month. This is, of course, yet another example of the bully-boy tactics that terrorists such as Bakri utilise. As the avowed aim of Islam is the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jews this statement is no real surprise to any rational person. I'm glad to read that McCartney is brushing off these threats and still intends to perform at the concert.

In many instances the fault for the vitriol that pours from the mouths of these hate-filled individuals lies firmly with the governments who have afforded them homes where they can foment the evil that they represent. In the UK for example, not only are many of these people granted asylum but they are also able to live from over-generous benefits. Surely it's time to realise that you do not cosset your enemies, allowing them to live a life of relative luxury in your midst, paid for by the State, whilst they continue with their avowed intent to destroy any who dare to disagree with their insane rantings.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Not every Muslim is a terrorist —


Not every Muslim is a terrorist —
© 2008 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

We live in greatly troubled times where our cultural and spiritual identity is under greater threat than probably any other time in history. Since the horrors of the atrocity known now simply as ‘9/11’, the Western world has come increasingly under attack by Islamic Fundamentalists bent on converting the West to Islam and replacing existing Law with that of Sharia Law. Terrorist atrocities, perpetrated by Islamic so-called ‘Upholders of the Faith’ have, since then, become relatively common-place in the West to the extent that squads of special undercover law-enforcement officers have been formed in most, if not every, country in the Western world, specifically to deal with the threat posed by Islamic groups.

Whilst it is true to say that not every Muslim is a terrorist it is equally true to state that virtually every terrorist is a Muslim.

We have seen the ‘Great’ taken out of our national title systematically, and this nation is more likely to be referred to simply as ‘Britain’ or the ‘United Kingdom’ than anything else. Part of the foundation that made this this country great were the entrenched Christian moral and ethical values upon which modern democracy was founded. To say that they have been eroded beyond belief is an understatement. Systematically, with the move over the past few decades to a more materialistic society, Christian values have gradually become something to be derided rather than upheld by the majority of those in power, and that attitude has devolved in a seemingly unstoppable downward spiral through our society today. No longer is this nation referred to — as it was when I was a boy — as a Christian country. Now it is openly referred to by its leaders and the majority of its citizens as a Secular Society.

Increasingly, the liberal theology of secularism has been allowed to pervade all aspects of our society with its political correctness, causing the average citizen — or at least those who still care — to watch the very fabric of their culture, inherited over centuries, to erode until it’s in danger of disappearing altogether.

Despite the fact that the West, and this nation in particular, is increasingly under the threat of Islamification, it can be construed as an offence under the Race Relations Act to dare to speak publicly about it for fear of upsetting the Islamic community. Yet what those outside of that community are punished for, those within it are protected from similar punishment when they speak out because they are portrayed as a beleaguered minority.

So, whose door can the causes of the problem be laid out at? Is it the fault of the government? Or the Church? Or is it the fault of the people? I believe that it is a combination of all three. Generally speaking, given the freedom of choice, the majority of people do not naturally attend church, for the basic tenets of Christianity are not something which come naturally to people carte blanche. In times past, the authority of the Church was extremely strong, due in part to a largely uneducated factor in society. Despite their reticence, many people attended Church because they were required to by their employers, or because they were afraid of the local priest. That has changed, and today neither can be said to be true. Does this mean, therefore, that the fault lies entirely with the people? Of course not! The Church itself must shoulder much of the blame for adopting and embracing increasingly liberal theologies that, in extreme cases, deny such fundamental issues as the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ. How can people be expected to embrace something when even those appointed to teach them are in such disarray? In many areas of the modern Church those who embrace the literal truth of the Bible, stating it to be the breathed Word of God, are sneered at and castigated for their childlike ignorance in matters of spirituality. Yet we live in an age when the majority of people are searching for spiritual answers to their life-problems. In so many areas of the Church it’s true to say that it is the Church itself that has failed their flock by removing Christ from the word Christian, and then allowing Christian to be misinterpreted as Citizen.

Of course much blame for the overall situation must be laid at the door of Government, in particular the government over the last decade. Increasingly they have bent like corn in the wind in order to accommodate the demands of the Islamic Community, no doubt due to the power of the Muslim vote now that, due to the enlargement of the EEC, there has been such a huge influx of Muslims into this country. Of late we have heard the diatribe of Jack Straw postulating about Turkey’s admission into the European union, and claiming not to see any reason to oppose it. Well, the fact that Turkey is an Islamic country that will have relatively unfettered access to this country’s riches, is surely reason enough.

The Islamic fundamentalists make no bones about their aims to see Britain and the West as part of an Islamic world order. There is, of course, nothing new about this, for one of the features of current Islamic practise is the annihilation of the kafir or non-believer, and ahl al-kitab or ’People of the Book’ i.e. Christians and Jews. Both groups are regarded as avowed enemies of Islam, and the only way to avoid death for the is to submit to Muslim authority.

Our government helps to perpetrate the popular myth that portrays Islam as a peaceful and tolerant religion. History, though, has proved otherwise, for though there have certainly existed periods of relative tranquillity and tolerance, minorities and non-Muslims have always been prosecuted under Islam. In fact, Islamic ideology is based upon an intense hatred of the non-Muslim. The claim that Islam is a religion of peace is supported by their apologists on the basis that they allow non-Muslims to live within their Islamic state, yet the truth is that they only do so as dhimmi, which is a protected but non-Muslim status. This means that, at least officially, non-Muslims such as Jews and Christians are permitted to avoid execution provided they acknowledge the superiority of Islam.

As to the Christian there is none superior to God and Jesus Christ, this means that no Christian can ever acknowledge Islamic superiority. Further, as Jesus has commissioned every one of His followers to spread the gospel throughout the whole world (Matthew 28.19/20), this means that they must take the message of Salvation to all, non-Muslim and Muslim alike, for as Scripture records, all have sinned and fallen short of the righteousness of God.

How easy it would be to hate the Muslims, yet that is not the way of Christ. Rather we should pray for their salvation through Christ, and declare an ideology based upon love, forgiveness and reconciliation, rather than of hatred and fear.

The question remains then, as to how the situation can be changed. The answer has to be that the people of this once-great nation must turn to God and, bowing to His perfect wisdom, acknowledge that the only way to live is to live according to God’s holy laws. When I say ‘the people’, I mean all people of course, and that includes those in the corridors of power, both local and national.

Change can come through the power of the Holy Spirit, but we need to see those who confess Christ as their Lord praying in the sincere belief that the Power of God can and will change things. There also needs to be a change in the mindset of people long-held under the glamour of materialism, and a determination that those aspects of society such as respect, responsibility and accountability, should be embraced with a new vigour. People need to learn to respect themselves, for without self-respect there can be no respect for anything else. There needs to be a lead in distinguishing right from wrong, teaching the young in particular in this respect.

Change does not simply happen on its own. It needs a catalyst. Today, with the threat to our society’s cultural and ideological structure as never before, that is the one factor from which a catalyst can emerge. Leaders need to come forward who will lead without fear. The Church itself can and should lead the way, casting aside the liberal theologies that have so watered down the gospel as to render it ineffective, converting it to the gospel of man rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not man’s message to the world that will save it from destruction, but God’s message. Only His saving grace can provide the answer, and that answer has already been provided in and through Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. The Church leads an army of believer’s, all of who have one powerful weapon in their arsenal, irrespective of their age or status, and that is prayer. When believer’s cry out to God in prayer then they unleash His formidable power to fulfil their prayers to the eternal benefit of His kingdom.

It’s interesting to note that the Muslims worship Allah, the name being derived from the word al-ilah, the name given to the Moon-god of Arab worshippers living and worshipping in Pagan times.

Whilst Christians are urged to effectively love their neighbour unto salvation through Jesus Christ, Muslims have a great many verses in the Q’ran that incite them to kill those who refuse to submit to Allah. Here’s a few for you to read and judge for yourself:

  • A Muslim must ‘fight for the cause of Allah with the devotion due to him’ (Sura 22.78).
  • Muslims must make war on the infidels (unbelievers) who live round about them (Sura 9.123).
  • Muslims are to be ‘ruthless to unbelievers’ (Sura 48.29).
  • A Muslim can kill any person he wishes if it be a ‘just cause’ (Sura 6.152).

Of course there will be many casualties in this war, but that is one of the problems in any war. One of the most important things is to know your enemy, and yet sadly the majority of those who call themselves Christians have either very little or no knowledge in this respect. I know that there will be some who read this and view it as some form of extremist vilification of Islam. In today’s politically correct climate it may well be considered Islamophobic, yet how can that be the case when my concern is that we recognise the equality of all people, and their right to practise whatever faith they wish, even to proclaim no faith at all. Yet we, if we are to be true to our own faith as Christians, must share the Gospel with everyone, particularly in the light of our Lord’s words recorded in the Bible in John 6.14, whilst being acutely aware of what I perceive to be the greatest threat to our faith ever, I hate none, but profess only love and concern for those whom my God tells me, through His Word, are lost.

Special Missionaries

From time to time I like to share the devotions which I receive every day from by Joanne Lowe who is blessed with this ministry. So today I'm privileged to share the latest with you, dear reader. I hope it strikes a cord with you as it does with me. If you qould like to receive Joanne's devotions every day then just email her with the word 'SUBSCRIBE' and your FULL NAME typed into the body of the email.

SPECIAL MISSIONARIES

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
Mark 10: 13 - 16 (King James Version)

One of the definitions in Webster’s Dictionary for missionaries is “a body of persons sent to perform a service or carry on an activity”. Every time I see children who are handicapped in any way, I know that I am seeing special missionaries. It is true that when we have a special needs child, there are a lot more challenges we have when we raise them. However, the joy they bring to our hearts far outweighs the challenges we face.

There is a lady who is a very close and dear friend of mine that I have known since I was a teenager. One day my friend called me and she was crying. She said as she was sobbing brokenheartedly “Joanne, our doctor just told my husband and me that our son is retarded and we are devastated and heartbroken”. About three years later, I talked to her again and she was very excited.

She said “Our son just started work and he has learned to read and write. However, the most important thing that has happened to us since our son was born is that my husband and I are closer and we have started going to church again. Our son has brought love, joy and happiness into our home”. If you have a special needs child, pray and give God thanks that He trusted you enough to give you this child.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for sending us these children as Your special missionaries to brighten our lives and to bring love, joy and laughter into our homes and also to our hearts. May we as adults become as these precious little missionaries and spread the unconditional love of Jesus to everyone we meet so that people will have Your joy and Your peace in their homes and in their hearts. Amen.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Go away, for I never knew you."

"On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'" - Matt 7:22-23

Yesterday evening I watched a TV documentary about Tania Head, once feted as probably the best-known survivor of the 9/11 tragedy. It was interesting to note that even though in the end she turned out to be a fraud, and in fact had never even been in America on the day of the disaster, nevertheless she was responsible for raising the profile of the Survivor's Group and, in doing so, directly responsible for much good that came out of that raised profile. It might well be argued therefore, that even though her motivation was wrong, even though she told lie after lie, what she did in terms of the overall 'big picture' brought comfort and relief to many people. There would no doubt be some people, perhaps even many people, who might argue that what she did caused no real harm to anyone, or that, if it did, it could be justified by offsetting the good against it.

A great part of her deception centred around the fact that she had lost her fiance, David, who had perished in one of the Twin Towers, whilst she survived because she was in the other one. If only someone could have let her stand in front of David, face to face! He would have said to her, "Go away, I never knew you!"

Her problem was that she obviously knew a great deal about the 9/11 disaster, but she never was personally involved in it. In the end all her knowledge was to no avail. She was exposed as a fraudster.

I think that for anyone who wears the label 'Christian', the worst thing that could ever happen to them would be for them to eventually stand face to face with Jesus only to have Him say those dreaded words, "Depart from Me, for I never knew you."

Many people refer to themselves as Christians yet in reality, although they know a lot about Jesus, they do not know Him. Sometimes this will be the fault to a large extent of those who are called to teach, but that's only part of the cause. For anyone to deserve the name Christian it's important that they have handed their life over to Him entirely.

You may know of a large Company, perhaps one with a store in every main street or in every Shopping Mall. You may go in and purchase things regularly from them. You may know many of the staff who work in the stores. You may even read about the Chief Executive in the Business Press from time to time. Yet you will not know him, and neither will he be able to acknowledge you. In order to know him you would need to go to work for him and serve his needs, gradually learning more and more about him from a personal interface with him. If you ever became his PA then you would need to know him even more, and eventually you would be able to serve his needs automatically because you would know the way that he liked things done. You would have an understanding of what he would say and how he would react in any given situation. You would really know him!

The only way to serve Jesus as you are called to do is to get to really know Him intimately, knowing what to do and what to say in any given situation, because you would know just what He would say or do. If you can do this in this life, then you can be certain that He will know you in the next and will never have to turn to you and say, "Depart from Me, for I never knew you."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 - Another Anniversary

9/11 Remembered

Close your eyes and try to keep out the dust;
Close your ears and try to keep out the sounds;
Close your mind and try to keep out the pain.

What now? Now that the years are passing,
and the ground no longer blossoms red?

What now? Now that the cloying dust has turned
into a vast bouquet of concrete roses?

What now? Now that the mind, in relaxed moments,
recalls the awful sounds of people screaming,
people crying,
--- of people dying?
What now?

Are all the lessons learned?
Has hatred turned to love?
Or is the world the same, despite the rhetoric
that it was changed for ever on that day?

So many questions. So many questions.

Yet still no answers from the growing shroud
that covers all the mounting dead.

Still no answers from the bleating throng
who find their solace in the world instead.

Still no peace exists 'tween man and man,
nor ever will as long as hate exists.

So on this day, when we recall the horror
of that day when life was changed,
let us make a stand for peace,
a stand for love,
a stand for Christ;

And in His name, pray to our God above
that our world will change again.
Yet let this change be one that turns on love.
© Copyright 2009 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

When will the UK wake up to this threat?

Reports abound today in the UK Press about yet ANOTHER Muslim police officer who is preparing a claim against Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair. Whilst I certainly do not carry a banner of support for the way that he has performed in office, nevertheless I suspect that this has less to do with what appears on the surface of the arguments being put forward and more to do with the general Islamic advance in the UK.

The United Kingdom has a Muslim population of 2.7%, and also affords refuge to many recognised Islamic terrorists such as Abu Qatada. Already the battleground is being prepared for further skirmishes. In recent times there have been increasing calls for Sharia Law to be the rule in the various Muslim ghettos, and there is some evidence that this is happening in some areas already, even without official recognition or sanction.

For many years the UK has been subjected to the depraved rants of various extremist Islamic clerics such as Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, hell-bent on fulfilling the mission to convert the world into one global Islamic state, working piecemeal, country by country, in order to bring together the whole. In this they have been assisted by the assortment of politicians who court their vote in order to remain in office, despite the ultimate cost to the nation.

Returning to the subject of the police force, I question exactly how a National Black Police Association can be allowed to exist in this so-called racially-integrated society of ours, yet should it be decided by a group of officers to promote a National White Police Association it would be met by screams people labelling it a 'racist' act.

Makes you think, doesn't it? When will the UK wake up to this threat?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thank YOU, Lord!


There is so much to be thankful for, no matter what our lot in life is. The following serves to remind us that we can --- and should --- be thankful for everything. Every day is another gift; another opportunity to make a difference to someone's life; another chance to give thanks to God for all of the blessings that He pours daily into our lives.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord , that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced, thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day, and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for the life that You have blessed me with.