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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Sankey' style Gospel Service in Runcorn


Next Wednesday, April 8th, there will be a Gospel Service in Runcorn at St John's Presbyterian Church in Victoria Road, commencing at 7 pm. There will be congregational singing of several favourite hymns from 'the Sankey' --- Sacred Songs and Solos, collected by Ira D Sankey --- and two popular local singers, Alan Watson and Charlotte Dacia, will be performing solo pieces. There will be a word from Pastor Frank Wilding and the message will be delivered by myself.
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We are going to take up an offering during the service in aid of 'Young Life, Runcorn' who are doing great work work reaching out in the name of Jesus to young people in the area. We are pleased to support them as a church.
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It promises to be a great evening service, so why not come along and join in.

Andrew Strom in Wales for Revival Gathering

There is only a few days before the Wales International Revival Gathering takes place, the first meeting commencing on Friday April 3rd at 5 pm. It promises to be a tremendous gathering of Christians, many travelling from various parts of the world to hear the speakers, Andrew Strom (New Zealand), David Servant (USA), and Torben Sondergaard (Denmark), and to join together in prayer for Wales and for Revival in the Land.

The Gathering will open with a brief, but inspired, introduction about the last great Welsh Revival which took place in 1904/1905, led by Evan Roberts. The site of the Gathering is Moriah Chapel, Glebe Road, Loughor, South Wales, and is the same Chapel at which Evan Roberts pleaded with God to "Bend me, Lord." As a result of the 26 year old Roberts fervent prayer the Holy Spirit swept through the whole of Wales and far beyond into the wider world. Let's pray that once again the Holy Spirit of God will move upon that Nation and bring people to their knees in repentance. Let's pray that once again Revival will sweep out from Moriah across the world, touching people in many countries and turning them to God.


I have the privilege of being Moderator for the two-day Gathering. What the outcome will be I have no idea, but I am sure that God will move upon the people who are there in a great and wonderful way, and as always when that happens, lives will be changed for ever.

If you are wondering whether to come, wonder no more! Book your flight or train ticket, or fuel up your car, pump up your bicycle tyres or put on your stoutest walking boots, and head for Moriah Chapel, Loughor, near Swansea. If you are unable to come please hold the gathering up in prayer before the Lord, praying his blessing upon the speakers and those who are attending.

A Corsham lad remembers the chickens!

There have been a few times in my life when chickens have featured quite strongly. I wrote on my Blog on 22nd October, 2007, about 'The Day the Cockerel Nearly Got Me', which recounted the tale of a sparring match between me and a cockerel when I lived in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). If you track back in my blog then you'll find that it was a real mismatch. I didn't stand much of a chance, and only just escaped unscathed by the skin of my teeth! At least the whole affair, although not so funny for me at the time, has provided me with a great story to tell against myself.
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There are many 'chicken' memories from my time in Africa. For a start, I used to use one of the bedrooms in our rented house at one point, to bring on deliveries of day-old chicks, and I would rear about 250 in the room for the first couple of weeks of their lives prior to moving them on, firstly to the outside rearing shed and then to the free-range enclosures. From there they moved on one more time to a customer's dining table.
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I kept chickens both for eggs and for meat, and the meat birds used to get loaded up into my (employer's!) estate car once they were ready to sell, and taken off to the African market which was about three miles from the house. Early in the morning of Market Day we would make several trips back and forth full up with birds, and each trip there would be a queue waiting to purchase. It would take a few minutes to sell out each time. After that we would make a couple more trips with the estate car loaded with vegetables, all of which would sell out in a matter of minutes. Somehow, looking back, I don't think that my employer would have been best-pleased by my use --- or should I say misuse --- of my company car! However, considering that they eventually laid me off because I was in hospital for a couple of months, i don't really feel too bad about it. Anyway, as the expression goes, 'needs must'!
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The whole chicken thing started way back when I was still a teenager and living in Corsham. At the time I had a pet billy goat and rented a paddock from the Neston Glove Factory who had premises about half-way up on the left-hand side of Pickwick Road. I remember that the rent was the princely sum of £5.00 a Quarter, which was a lot for me to find back then. It was 1958/59 and I was about 15 or 16.
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Because I had to find the rent each Quarter I decided that it might be a good idea to rear chickens and sell the eggs, convinced that before too long I'd be a fairly well-off teenager. Ah, the folly of youth and misguided 'get-rich-quick' schemes and dreams!
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I decided that the best method would be battery hens, which was not thought particularly cruel in those days, and accordingly I purchased the necessary equipment together with a couple of dozen layers from a local source. Well, the first mistake was thinking that battery hens would be less trouble than free range, for they seemed to require an awful lot of attention, certainly more than I was prepared for. I must admit that once the whole thing was assembled and full of chickens I felt a bit like a chicken farmer for a while, although in the end, the 'while' was exceedingly short as I soon discovered my second, and by far biggest, mistake.
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Of course the real problem was that I really knew nothing at all about hens, and I had failed to recognise that the farmer who sold the birds to me had certainly spotted me coming from a mile away. I fed and watered those birds day after day, but all to no avail. Not one solitary egg did they produce between the whole two dozen birds, not the first day or the first week. By the time that the second week was up and rapidly turning into the third, I called my friend Dick Ball in to have a look and give me some advice. Now he did know about chickens, and in fact had a lot of hands-on knowledge about them. That's how he recognised that the 'layers' that I had been sold were well past their laying days and fit only for the pot. Even then they were boilers and not roasting birds. In chicken terms I had been well and truly 'sold a pup!'
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"Never mind," I thought to myself, "I can redeem the situation by selling them for the table." I decided to let my mum be the first to try one out and decided that weekend to wring the neck of one of the birds, pluck and dress it, and present it to my mum who would, I secretly hoped, decide that it was worth 7/6d. Oh dear! The chicken refused to die! I saw all my money now wasting away at a rate of notts, and so together with Dick Ball decided that there was nothing to do but return the birds to the farmer from whom I had bought them. The battery units I hoped to be able to sell after advertising them.
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Unfortunately the farmer, who was glad that I had bought them from him, and was very friendly at the time of purchase, was not so friendly when I went back and threatened to shoot us if we didn't get off his land!!! Well, we got off very quickly after that, I can tell you. It's amazing how persuasive he was able to be!
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What happened to the chickens? Well, somehow they managed to find their way back into one of that farmer's fields, and were quite happy rooting around in amongst the green shoots of his crop, although I don't think they did the crop much good.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Islamification of Britain

There are many examples of Britain leading the world in the past when it comes to voicing outrage at human rights violations, and broadsides have been levelled at countries such as China, Zimbabwe, Cambodia and many more, for the manner in which people or groups of people have been persecuted, even their basic human rights being withdrawn from them. All of this is right and proper, for if we allow persecution to go unchecked, no matter where or what it is, then it reduces us to a similar level of the persecutors. It is as though by burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the situation, we become complicit partners with the persecutors against the persecuted.

In many nations of the world persecution continues against one group of people in particular, so why is our government so silent about it? In many Muslim countries countless Christians are being persecuted in the extreme as a direct result of their faith. Not only are they being subjected to the most inhumane treatment, but they are also being murdered in the most violent manner. Age is no barrier, neither is gender. All that matters is that the victims are human beings who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ rather than submitting to the iron fist of Islamic fundamentalism.

For many people in this country it is perhaps all too easy to convince themselves that the problem does not affect them because it is happening in lands that are both far-off and unconnected to them. After all, they argue, such things could never happen in this country could they?

To all people who think like this I urge you to WAKE UP! The relentant march of the most unacceptable face of Islam in Britain is taking place right now. Do nothing about it and one day you'll find yourselves waking up to a new world order that you certainly won't like. For many years this country has played both host and haven for many of the global Islamic extremists who have carried out their plotting and perpetrated the spreading of poison against anyone daring to disagree with their brand of hate-filled rhetoric, proselytising British born nationals in the process. What a ridiculous situation it is when the tax-payer against whom the rhetoric is targeted should also be, via the benefit system, the provider for those whose aim is to destroy the British way of life, replacing it with that of Islamic extremism.

In this they have been aided and abetted by successive governments, each more blatant in their support than the previous, as new laws have been drafted to protect these perpetrators of hatred from deportation, or even, generally speaking, from prosecution. Admittedly there has been the occasional prosecution, but nothing that would serve to stem the increasing tide. In all of this one of the greatest tools that has been put at the disposal of such people is that of Political Correctness. People, deemed sensible in many areas of their lives, are afraid to speak out at what they not only perceive but know is wrong, for fear of being challenged through the Courts as being Politically Incorrect.

It's time to stop this nonsense. It's time to stop the rot. It's time to stop the Islamification of Britain and return to a nation that takes pride in its Christian heritage and culture.

Who can make a difference? Who can turn the tide in the face of increasing opposition and the implementation of laws which are designed to further protect those who seek to destroy the way of life that has evolved over hundreds of years in this country? Why, the answer, my friends, is that YOU CAN!

If you lay claim to being a Christian then it's time to take a firm stand and reclaim this country for Christ. Bear in mind that the law will not help you. In fact, in many instances, the law will set its face against you. But then again, Jesus Himself promised that it would never be easy being one of His followers, and those words are as true today as they were when He uttered them.

I'm not talking about just going to worship in one of the thousands of churches that are nine-tenths empty at every service, but of wearing your Christian faith in every walk of your life, proclaiming it from the rooftops if necessary. Let the elected realise that YOUR votes are important to them and they'll start to join the turning tide.

When the leaders of the State Church, the Church of England, by and large fail to lead their people properly, is it any wonder that the advance of Islam is taking place so rapidly. Even the Druid who is also the Archbishop of Canterbury supports the concepts of implementing Sharia Law in Britain, and is certainly backward when it comes to coming forward on the subject of Britain's Islamification. Thank God, and I mean that in its truest sense, for men of the calibre of Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, and of Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, for without such men, and a few others like them, the Church of England would most probably have lain on its proverbial back with its feet in the air by now, in an act of total submission.

For decades the church has, through a mixture of non-gospel based messages, often little more than soft-styled opinions, and its arroagnat refusal to assert itself over the issue of its core beliefs, gradually aided and abetted its own attempted suicide. Threatened by the increasing waves of secularism and Islamification it has tried only to find ways to accommodate those who seek to destroy its very existence. The end result is that it has failed in its mission to safeguard the spiritual life of the nation and morphed into little more than an extra arm of the Social Services. What it should have been doing, and desperately needs to be doing now, is teaching and implementing the Ten Commandments which are all that we need to live Godly lives by, and pointing people towards Salvation through Jesus Christ. The Church should be preaching against secularism, not embracing it; teaching Christian moral and ethical values, not ignoring them; reaching out to, and supporting, the people, not rushing headlong into destruction regardless.

It is time for the most valiant and outspoken Christians in this land to come together and join forces to mobilise an army of Christians, inspired by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, to reclaim this land of ours. Perhaps then we'll be able to have some hope for the future of our children and grandchildren. The time to do this is NOW. Act TODAY to rid our nation of the cankers that seek to destroy it and bring it down! Let the various Christian organisations who truly believe and truly have faith, come together and, putting aside their differences, show that the greatness that built this nation still exists as a remnant and can, phoenix-like, rise once again from the ashes of today's Godless society.

Memories of a Corsham lad: Milk deliveries & local shops



Who remembers Harry Dew delivering milk from his horse and cart in post-war Corsham? It was a very different world in the 1950's when Farmer Dew and Blackie delivered milk door to door, with far less traffic in those days for a horse to worry about. A real treat for me as a lad was to be allowed to ride on the cart as it made its way along Corsham High Street, Blackie knowing just where to stop for the milk to be delivered. Farmer Dew would ladle the milk from the churn into waiting jugs, covering the top afterwards with the little bead-edged muslin nets that people provided for that purpose. I'm sure that the Health & Safety folk would have a fit if anyone delivered milk these days in the same manner! Back then it was perfectly normal, and I wouldn't think that anyones' health was the worse for it. It always fascinated me that the horse knew exactly where to stop, missing out the houses which Harry didn't supply.

There are many things like this from the childhood years that are now only distant memories, for the world we live in, with supermarkets and hyper-markets supplying most of the things that the combination of shops and suppliers provided back then. To me these vast food emporiums are a sign of the way in which w have lost the art of leisurely shopping, and with it a way of life that will probably never return. To some extent I suppose that a remnant of that way of life still exists in villages lucky enough to retain a Village Store, but those are few and far between these days, the successful ones being gobbled up by one of the small cooperative food chains with their look-alike livery, or else closed down one day to open a short time later as a 'Tesco Extra'.

Gone are the days when the womenfolk, (okay, maybe a few menfolk as well!), walked along Corsham High Street filling their wicker baskets with the assortment of 'needs' for that day. Most homes didn't have refrigerators back then, although many, like us, had a larder with a cold slab of marble, which was very efficient. I wonder how many people still remember the open window at Shergolds with the wet fish display tempting the passer-by, or the wonderful fragrance of newly baked bread from Joe Damond's bakery or Johnson's bakery which was just up from the Post Office, near to Neate's the shoe repairers. And what about Hobb's Cycle shop with its permanent smell of oil and metal, where old Mr Hobbs would repair broken bicycles for a shilling or two? Saturday mornings, at a time when food coupons were still the norm, this small boy would skeeter down to Watt's Sweet Shop at the bottom end of the High Street, near the junction with Church Street, and purchase a couple of ounces of dolly mixtures or some other sweet delight, usually for the grand sum of a penny ha'penny.

At the top end of the High Street you turned into Pickwick Road where another line of shops supplied the town with much needed merchandise or services. Pickwick Papers were a good place to find small toys that pocket money could be used up by, whilst further up the road was Bulson's, the television & radio shop. Still further along, past the Greengrocers, was the Clarke's Shoe Shop, competition for Ken Davies' shoe shop in the High Street, and also William Hardwell's at number 27 Pickwick Road, where many a child was photographed.

All of these shops bring to mind the people of the day who either ran them or shopped in them, now mostly passed on and the way of life with them. Is it a good thing, this change that has come about over the last few decades? Well, to answer that I guess that you need to look long and hard at the society in which we live. Whilst there is much to praise and to be grateful for nowadays, there is also much that can be missed about the old days.

Back then children did pretty well what they were told for fear of being disciplined by their parents. Nowadays it's almost the reverse, with parents doing pretty well what is demanded by their children, for fear of what might happen if the children decide to report them to the authorities. From the 1960's an era of freedom was ushered in that has ultimately removed the word 'respect' from most people's vocabulary, and with it the idea of responsibility.

Perhaps, after all, those days of wicker baskets were able to offer much more than we ever realised.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

G.I.V.E. --- Bill HR 1388: 'Evil Flourishes When Good Men Do Nothing'

Something that has caught my eye and is very disturbing is the Obama Youth programs. A bill which is being referred to as 'Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education' has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 321-105 and now goes to the Senate and with a majority being Democrats it will pass easily. It's being called 'Obama's Youth Brigade'. I guess that it will ultimately be shortened to 'Obama Youth', in the same way as Hitler's Youth Brigade was shortened to 'Hitler Youth'. Just read on and judge the implications of this Bill for yourself if it is passed. Then consider that famous quotation by Edmund Burke that 'Evil flourishes when good men do nothing'. There is much evil afoot these days, often parading itself as 'Good', but look beyond the obvious and do not be fooled.


I believe that we are entering the beginning of the end time, and soon the Antichrist will show his colours.


Here is part of the wording of Bill HR 1388


SEC. 1304. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.

Section 125 (42 U.S.C. 12575) is amended to read as follows:

SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.

(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:

‘(1) Attempting to influence legislation.

‘(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.

‘(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing.

‘(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.

‘(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office.

‘(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials.

‘(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.

Willowpool Garden Centre . . . One of my favourite places.


I've been enjoying a few days off, and during the week we went for our lunch to one of my favourite places, Willowpool Garden Centre & Tea Rooms. I sometimes take visitors for a look around and an opportunity to enjoy some really great food at a reasonable price. The only problem that I have is finding the right words to describe the place, for Willowpool is more of an experience than anything else. It's the culmination of one man's dream, Sonny, Baron Brunsveld, who turned his passion for collecting into a business, yet still manages to make it look like a passionate hobby.
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You can have your food in an African style Rondavel if you like, including the benefit of an outdoor heater on a colder day. Personally I love to eat indoors in the main restaurant which is currently dressed to resemble the most magical grotto imaginable. The food, as well as being very reasonably priced, is wonderful, and especially the desserts which are pure magic in edible form!
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How do you describe a place which is more than a Garden Centre, more than a Tea-room, more than an Antique Centre? Well, all you can say is that it's an experience not to be missed! If you get the opportunity to visit the place that I'm so enchanted by then make certain that you don't miss the chance. If you want to know more about it, including a chance to visit via a YouTube video, then click here.

Count your blessings


Today it's another beautiful sunny day, even though it's cold I'm reminded that we have so much to be thankful for. The message that I will share at church this morning is all about our blessings.

BLESSINGS
Readings: Proverbs 16: 1-6 and Matthew 5: 1-12

A familiar and favourite song opens with the words Count your blessings, name them one by one. It has a way of reminding us of the fact that, no matter what life deals out to us, we always have much to be grateful for. That in itself is usually a blessing, for it often prompts the recalling of a particular moment which is remembered with joy.

Yet by and large, it often seems that many people prefer to count up the things that either they don't have, or that have not gone as smoothly as they wished, rather than thinking about the joy and happiness that is to be found in living. And there is always a measure of joy to be thankful for if you stop and think about it for a while. How easy it is for people to be misled into placing too great a value on possessions, misunderstanding the true values of life by elevating them to primary place. Jesus said, Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions (Luke 12:15). Homes that are filled with love and yet lack plenty are remembered for the love that existed not for the possessions that didn't. Scripture emphasises this with the words, Better a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred with it (Proverbs 15:27).

Speaking of the worthy wife Proverbs records, Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, ... (31:28).
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There are so many nice things in the world that we neither have, nor are likely to get, that we could waste our lives thinking about them with bitter and envious longing, thinking that we have somehow been short-changed. People buy Lottery tickets week by week in the hope of getting rich quick, yet the truth is that for the vast majority of those people they would have more money at the end of the year if they simply put by what they spend on the tickets. If we choose to live in a fool’s paradise, we’ll soon find that we have no time to be thankful for anything, failing to see anything in our lives to consider a blessing, when in reality it should be quite the opposite. If you started a Blessings list then you'd soon find that life started to fall into perspective as the list grew longer and longer. Are you a No person or a Yes person? No people are fairly negative about almost everything, but the good news is that they can change! Once you start your Blessings list then you start to become more and more positive as you see all that God has blessed you with. Start to say thank you, firstly for the life that He has blessed you with, then move on to the family, the home, the job or situation, and so on. The more conscious you become about your blessings then the more of a Yes person you'll become. If you suffer from the stresses of modern life then these will gradually disappear because you'll find that you don't have time for them, any more. Henry Ford once commented that he used to worry a lot but then found that he became too busy to worry. His method of beating stress and worry was something like this:
  • .Believe in the best

  • Think your best

  • Study your best

  • Have a goal for your best

  • Don't accept any less than your best

  • Try your best, and in the long run, things turn out for the best.

God has given everyone a good measure, together with the ability to acknowledge and be thankful for it. Sometimes people let other things stand in the way blotting out the view, and that's when life may seem a little sour. In Africa, where I lived for many years, I had a special way of dealing with problems. Almost every night the tapestry of the cloudless night sky unfolded before me. I would gaze up at a star and imagine that I was on that star looking down to earth. No matter how hard I tried I could never manage to pick anything out from up there, because it was all too far away. I couldn't even pick out my house, let alone me; and so if I was too small to be seen and my problems were only part of me, it put them into perspective. They didn't deserve to have a big chunk of my life. God had blessed me with far too much to turn my back on all of the good things and concentrate on just one or two things, blowing them up out of proportion!

Once we become aware of our blessings, counting them joyfully, then we also become aware of an improving relationship with God as we thank Him for them; and as we do so that increases the relationship even further. The more you become aware of the blessings that God has granted you in this life and prepared for you in the life to come, then the more you will want to draw close to Him. When the home is home not only to the family but also to the heavenly Father then there is always a sense of love and fulfilment to be found there. One writer summed it up long ago with these words:

Happy the home when God is there,
and love fills every breast;
When one their wish, and one their prayer,
and one their heavenly rest.
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Happy the home where Jesus' name
is sweet to every ear;
Where children early lisp His fame,
and parents hold Him dear.
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Happy the home where prayer is heard,
and praise is wont to rise;
Where parents love the sacred word,
and live but for the skies.
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Lord, let us in our homes agree,
this blessed home to gain;
Unite our hearts in love to Thee,
and love to all will reign.
(Author unknown).

Photo Shoot with Lisa Winwood --- a GREAT Singer!


Last December Sheer Joy Music added a really great new singer to the Sheer Joy family. Lisa Winwood, a distant cousin of British Rock legend Steve Winwood, is a versatile singer who is increasingly popular here in the UK. Next month she's off to Australia for a month-long tour and will no doubt increase her fan base extensively whilst she's there.
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On Thursday and Friday I was with her on a locational Photo shoot, first of all on the sand-dunes of Prestatyn, North Wales, and then in Runcorn, Cheshire. Although there was a bitingly cold wind she managed to keep smiling all the way through the shoot, and the result was that the photographer, Paul Walker, got lots of great pics, two of which have already been earmarked for Lisa's new CD which we will release early next year. It will contain a whole album of new songs which are being arranged especially for her voice, and will be a mixture of Country and Soul.
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Keep a watch out for this singer. Remember the name --- Lisa Winwood, because I predict that she's going to be a really big name in the music business before too long.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross


Not long before Good Friday arrives. I wonder just how many will regard it as 'just another day', which is increasingly what this secular nation wants us to do. It's all part of the move against Christianity in which the secularists, the humanists and the atheists join forces to collude against God and against Christianity in particular, all of which helps the Islamic Fundamentalists move a little closer to achieving their aim of an Islamic world.
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This year won't you help to fly the standard of Jesus Christ high by attending a church service on Good Friday and remembering all that Jesus Christ did for mankind when he suffered such a horrible, cruel death on the cross all those years ago. Yes, it will make you feel saddened when you realise the pain that he underwent, but that sadness will be lifted when you celebrate his resurrection just a couple of days later, for the important message that Easter brings to us is that, even though cruel men put Jesus to death, He overcame death and because of that today He lives!
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Easter is a wonderful time, not because of the Easter Bunny, nor of the mountains of Easter Eggs that have been on sale in the stores since a few days after Christmas, but because it celebrates all that Jesus Christ did and the offer of eternity spent in the presence of God to everyone who submits their life to Him. He is the only reason for Easter!
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The words of that wonderful hymn by Isaac Watts say it all:
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When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
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Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
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Christ gave everything for you. Dare you give anything less?

Lessons in Enjoying a Better Life!

We all need to find ways to enjoy a happier life, don't we. here are a few suggestions that should be helpful.
Sharing's a really good thing to do!

It's great to make friends with those who are different, 'cos you broaden your horizons that way.

Sometimes stop and give someone a kiss!

Laughing is really good for you!
It's important to do your best to exercise and keep fit.

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour!

Partners!

Let your creative streak loose!
Always end the day with a smile on your face.

Survive the Depression by Andrew Strom


Andrew Strom's latest book, Survive the Depression, has just been published here in the UK by Voice Publications, 33 Balfour Street, Runcorn, WA7 4PH, UK. It's available by post in return for a donation to cover the costs of dispatch. Feel free to order more than one copy.
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Here are a few of the reviews for this excellent book:
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Judy Ann Wade writes:
This was an excellent book. The author didn't just speak about what his opinions were, but also brought forth prophecies by others who have laid everything at the feet of Jesus. His insights on Saul, Jonathon and David were some of the best I have read. A book that will convict those who want to get serious in their relationship with the Lord. He gives step-by-step instructions from some of the greatest men who lived during a revival. This man has a heart for God and wants others to pour their hearts out to him on behalf of the church and the nation. A timely message that should be heeded by every Christian who names the name of Jesus Christ. The author doesn't just spout a bunch of "gloom and doom" but is actually giving the reader God's way to trust Him in the coming days of depression and upheaval of our nation. A book that will definitely lead one into a closer relationship with God if they follow the instructions. Don't just read the book, do what it says, for a wonderful blessing!
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D. Villamar-Nunez writes:
This book is amazing. Andrew is a true prophet and this book is not something to read like a novel. It's a wake up call. If you are a Christian, be ready to feel uncomfortable because the church has become complacent. It's a real eye opener and I will be reading it again and again and again. I've already passed it on to several friends.
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Rev. Joyce E. Purdue (Niagara Fall, New York) writes:
Excellent book. I carry it in my pocketbook, and keep reading it when I have an extra minute even while traveling. Well worth buying, and having in your library. Thank God for the information Andrew gives as he prepares us for these awesome days we are now living in. Makes an excellent gift for anytime of the year.
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Daphne Vilhauer writes:
After I read the Survive the Depression, my faith was moved to a higher level! This is a must read for anyone who wants to know the TRUTH of what is happening in these Last Days! I agreed on all points of this book as I have similar dreams and warnings...the time is to Come Out of Babylon My People. Repent and turn your heart back to the Father. If you want to know what is about to shake our world..read the Word of the Lord and you will find that much if not all of what Mr. Strom has written is in the Word of God. We are in for a bumpy ride but our Father will cause us to stand if we turn our hearts back to Him in repentance and walk in His WAY.
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If you would like to receive a copy or copies, either order direct by post or email an order through to me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Great Concert with Cantoris


Saturday evening we went to a great concert which was put on by Cantoris at a church just a few miles from us. They performed a good variety of songs, many unaccompanied, but the highlights f0r me were Bruckner's Locus Iste, always a favourite of mine, especially with them singing it, and more up-to-date numbers, That's All and The Rose. I love to hear Bette Midler's version of the latter, but Cantoris did a great job as well.
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All in all, an excellent evening's entertainment, and all for the unbelievable entrance fee of £2.00! Not only that, but refreshments were included. Short of paying us to go and listen they could not have offered greater value!!!

What A Journey It's Turning Out To Be!


The very first post on this Blog, the one in which I invited you, dear reader, to 'Share My Journey', was posted on Thursday 4th October 2007. Now, with more than 500 posts behind me, I can reflect on what a varied Journey it has been, yet always the primary thread that has run through it, no matter what the subject matter, has been my faith in the One true Living God. I have posted items of poetry and song, invariably hymns or meditative verse; items where I have ranted about the dreadful state of affairs in beleaguered Zimbabwe, a land and people who are always close to my heart; items in the news that have upset or outraged me in some manner; and I've shared with you many of my memories from the period in my life spent growing up in the small town of Corsham, which nestles on the edge of the Cotswold at the Wiltshire end. Some of my posts have attracted enormous readership, though most have been followed by a regular readership that has encompassed over forty countries of the world. In the USA my readership has been drawn from almost every State at some point or other, and is regularly subscribed to by readers in around forty States, California often producing the highest number, followed closely by North Carolina.

In all of this I feel greatly privileged to have been able to have you, dear reader, sharing my journey, walking along in a close and, I hope, fairly happy, bunch of folk. I like to think that the humorous items have made you smile and that the serious items have made you think. It's great to receive, as I often do, emails from people who have enjoyed my walks down Memory Lane, and especially so when they come from far afield as one did recently from Malaysia. It's a humbling experience to realise that others enjoy sharing your thoughts, your dreams and your aspirations, and drop along for a while on a regular, or even occasional, wander with you.

Hence the point of this particular post is to say a heartfelt 'Thank You' to all of you, and to add that I hope you will enjoy continuing to Share My Journey with me in the future. One thing that I can promise you is that there will be more of the same, as the spirit moves!

Look out for more walks down 'Memory Lane', more about the books that I'm reading, more funnies, more poems and songs, and more comments about issues that I feel strongly about such as the Zimbabwe situation, the nonsense of Political Correctness, the demise of Common Sense, the attempted Islamification of the United Kingdom, and much more. You might not always agree with me, (in fact it would be a boring world if we all thought exactly the same about everything, wouldn't it!), but if I help to ground and strengthen your opinion by sharing mine then it will all be well worthwhile.
Just like the two in the photograph above, just continue the journey and make sure that you hug and hold on!

Spooky or what?


Following my post a couple of days ago when I wrote about the malevolent spirit in the cellar under Barnett Bros. shop in Corsham High Street, I have heard from a one-time neighbour who lived a few doors away from us about a friendly ghost that inhabited their property.

In addition to the ghostly happenings that I wrote about, we also had a room in the upper floor of my family home, The Wine Lodge, situated in Corsham High Street. The building is now an Estate Agebts and offices I believe, and I wonder whether the room in question is still haunted by the ghost. It raises the question as to whether ghosts haunt property or people, and if it's the latter, does the ghost go away once the particular people have left?

Anyway, let us expand my story a little. The house was both fairly large and fairly old. In fact it was very old in some parts, particularly the cellars where we found evidence that they might have been used by kitchen staff at one stage, for there was a lot of old kitchen-type implements found in a niche that we uncovered.

Five of the eight bedrooms were on the third floor of the house and it is in one of these that my story takes place. This room had been used on many occasions by my paternal grandmother, and it is believed that the haunting was by her less than friendly spirit. It was a room that I never went into unless I had to because I felt that it had an unfriendly and unwelcoming feel to it, not that I had anything other than my feelings to go on, but those feelings were shared bu other family members as well. On one occasion I had a friend come to stay overnight --- in fact, one reason that I remember this story is that it was the only time that I ever had a friend stay when I was growing up, although that changed in later years when I lived in the property in the mid '60's for a while when my eldest brother ran the business. Anyway, my friend Peter was given this particular room, usually referred to as 'Grandma's Room', and he duly retired for the night. The following morning I asked him how he had slept and a tired looking Peter explained that he had been up for most of the night unable to sleep because the room had suddenly become intensely cold in the middle of the night, waking him from his earlier slumber. There was a gas fire in the bedroom and so he lit this, but he said that even sitting in front of the fire with a bed quilt around him could not banish the cold. He commented that he could hardly wait for morning to come so that he could get out of the room, and that he'd sensed a presence that was willing him to leave the room.

Once again there was nothing to see but a very definite 'presence' to be felt, and I'm certain that this was not the same presence as that in the next door cellar, although I'm never likely to know now either.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

If Only I'd Been There

If Only
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If only I’d been there,
in that stable
on that night,
to fall upon my knee
and gaze in wonder
at the sight.
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
in the temple
as He spoke:
a child amongst His peers,
whose words
the Spirit woke.
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
amongst the crowd
who heard and fed.
The blessing of the Word
to feed the soul;
then fish and bread.
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
at the tomb
where Lazarus lay:
when Jesus wept and prayed
for His friend
upon that day.
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
when the blind
were made to see,
the deaf were made to hear,
the lame to walk,
and souls set free.
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
in Gethsemane
when He prayed,
‘Take not this cup from Me,
I know that You
must be obeyed.’
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
when the crowd
bayed for His end;
when they set Barabbas free,
and called a thief
their friend.
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
when He hung
upon that cross.
If they had understood
that salvation
has a cost.
If only I’d been there!
.
If only I’d been there,
to be with Him
along the way.
To walk with Him,
to talk with Him,
to hear Him every day.
If only I’d been there!
© Colin Gordon-Farleigh, January 2006

Saturday, March 21, 2009

An Obituary printed in the London Times.........

Interesting and sadly rather true:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.


Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.


Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason...

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights; I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame; and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, share this with others. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Another Country Song with Greg Scheer


Yesterday my song-writing partner, Greg Scheer, sent me the sheet music to the latest song that we have completed together. It's another Country song, entitled, Shake the Dust, and you can take a look at the sheet music and even listen to an MP3 of the tune (albeit a somewhat cheesy computerised rendition) by going to the Musicblog section of Greg's website. Why not have a listen. If you like it, why not download a copy of the music and sing along to it.
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In the meantime, here are the words:
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Shake the Dust 7.7.11.8.8.11.7.7.9.7.7.9
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When your backs against the wall
and your feeling kinda small,
and the world’s a hard and crazy place to be.
When ev’ry sentence starts with ‘Why?’
when there’s no ‘You’ but only ‘I’,
there’s no longer any ‘Us’ but only ‘Me’;
that’s the time to hit the trail,
go by bus or plane or sail,
shake the dust from off your trav’lin feet.
Yeah, it’s time to hit the trail,
go by bus or plane or sail,
looking for new loves and lives to meet.
When it’s time to hit the trail,
go by bus or plane or sail,
shake the dust from off your trav’lin feet.
Yeah, the only way to be
is footloose and fancy free,
so shake the dust from your trav’lin feet.
Yeah, shake the dust from your trav’lin feet.
.
With your back against the wall
you’ll be standing ten feet tall,
and this great world will provide a place to stay.
Just shake the dust from off your feet,
move on to where fun-people meet,
and find out your world’s no longer coloured grey.
Go north or south, east or west,
find just where the lovin’s best,
for this world’s the greatest place to be;
Set your feet firm on the trail,
Go by bus or plane or sail,
Soon you’ll be an ‘Us’ instead of ‘Me’.
When it’s time to hit the trail,
go by bus or plane or sail,
shake the dust from off your trav’lin feet.
Yeah, the only way to be
is footloose and fancy free,
so shake the dust from your trav’lin feet.
Yeah, shake the dust from your trav’lin feet.
© Colin Gordon-Farleigh : May 2008
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The Haunted Cellar in my Corsham home


Let me state first of all that the photo above is not from the cellar in question, but just to get you in the mood a bit. I could equally have shown a photo of a flight of stone stairs to depict the ones which I often ran up, the hairs on the back of my neck still bristling with the fear of my experience.
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Sorry! I'm starting my tale at the wrong end I guess, so I'll begin it once again.
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The family home in Corsham was a very large eight-bedroomed house in the High Street,and housed my father's shop, which was a Wine Merchants. One side of the shop area , plus one of the bedrooms above, were let out to Cyril Thorne where he plied his trade as a chemist. Digressing from my main story slightly for a moment, I recall the old-fashioned 'candlestick' telephone that was housed in an opening between the back section of the chemists and our hall. There was a sliding panel that allowed either of us to answer the phone, and we shared the same number, Corsham 2277. That telephone is etched forever in my memory, being the bearer of so much news over the years, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Whatever the news was that travelled down the line, there was a comfortable feeling holding the phone stem in one hand whilst holding the ear-piece to the side of your head in the other. In many ways it ranks amongst the inanimate 'old friends' of my childhood.
My father being a Wine Merchant, there was invariably jobs that we children could do that earned us some pocket money, and this was especially so as the Christmas season drew near. The prize job was bottling up a cask of wine, usually there being, as far as memory permits, about seven dozen bottles to a cask. It was a job that took about an hour to an hour-and-a-half, depending on the size of the cask, and the rate of pay was 7/6d, a small fortune for a child whose pocket-money was normally about two shillings or two-and-sixpence per week. (I've held back from giving the conversion rate to New Pence, because the values have changed so much that a straight conversion is pointless.) If you really got the cream of jobs then you not only bottled the cask but you also got the job of putting the labels and capsules on the bottles as well. This would bring the total for a 7-dozen cask up to 14/6d! When you consider that when I started work in September 1959 my weekly wage was £2.5.0d, then you can understand what a fortune this was to a boy in his early teens!
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Originally the bottling was done in our kitchen, three large casks being hoisted up onto a special ramp and then allowed to settle for a time before they were ready for bottling. Getting ready for the job was a special procedure in itself. it was necessary to be able to see whether there was any sediment in the wine as you were bottling it, and so you placed a candle on a small stand in such a position that you created a backdrop of light behind the bottle, thus making any impurities obvious. Needless to say you had to concentrate on what you were doing.
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At some point my father negotiated with the Barnett Brothers who owned the newsagents next door, and he bought their cellars from them, a doorway being knocked between the two cellars to make them into one large area beneath the two properties. From then on all the bottling was done in the new section of the cellar, the casks being lowered into the cellar via an opening in the railings that were set in front of the shop window above, and later into the the pavement. One of the problems that came with the new cellar was that it often flooded after heavy rain, and had to be pumped out by the fire-brigade. I well recall going down the cellar steps, stopping about the third step from the floor, and seeing the water that swirled through the cellars, spoiling anything in its path. All in all, with the benefit of hindsight, I don't think that the additional cellar was a very good purchase by my father, for I don't recall our original cellar ever being flooded, despite the floor being flagstones laid straight onto the earth.
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On then to the main point of my story --- the haunting! At first everything was fine when I went down to the new section to bottle up a cask. I would settle myself down with the candle-light adding its warm glow to the experience and usually with Radio Luxembourg playing the favourite pop songs of the day in the background. I guess it was after I had done this over several weeks when I was busy as usual one evening, bent over the cask watching the bottles fill and checking for any tell-tale signs of impurities, that I suddenly felt the temperature in the cellar drop considerably. At first I assumed that there was a change in the wind direction of something as simple as that, but the room got colder and colder until it felt icy cold. I became a little disconcerted and concentrated on the job in hand even harder. Suddenly the air seemed to get thicker, the cold became more intense, and the hairs on the back of my neck started to bristle and I could sense that I was being watched from the far corner of the cellar, just below where the trapdoor opening was that led up to the street. The feeling became more and more intense, as though somebody or something was willing me to leave the cellar. I finished bottling that cask as quickly as I could and then rushed upstairs, afraid to say anything to anyone for fear of appearing a fool.
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After that the sensation of being watched in that cellar increased until the time when, part-way through bottling a cask, I fled upstairs, pale and shaking. In answer to my parent's questioning I simply said that I didn't feel well and wanted to go to bed. I was sorry, I told my father, that I would not be able to finish the bottling, and so he arranged for someone else to finish it. I never went down into that cellar again, having no wish to see just how far what I perceived to be a malevolent spirit would go.
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Many years later, in discussion with my eldest brother, he told me that the same experience had happened to at least three of us, although we each felt it was not something we wished to open a discussion on!
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What was it? Was it really a malevolent spirit from the past, or was it the fact that I was a pubescent boy with raging hormones? Does anyone really have an answer, or is it just one of the great mysteries that we encounter sometimes in our lives. Even today, I would hesitate about going down into those cellars, that's for sure!
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I wonder if any of my Corsham readers have any strange and unexplained mysteries of this nature to relate. If you do, dear reader, then why not email them to me and I'll share them through this blog.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Emynau Cymraeg: 'Y Pasg'


Here is a song for Easter for you to sing at your Easter Celebration Services. I've put the English and the Welsh wording for you, dear reader, and hope you enjoy singing it.

Y PASG 8.6.8.6.

Canwch eich mawl i Frenin nef,
Daw’r Pasg â llawen wawr.
Codwch eich lleisiau gyda’r llu
Sy’n moli Duw yn awr!

Dathlu a wnawn fod Iesu’n fyw
 llais a chalon lawn.
Fe goncrodd ef holl ofn y bedd
A’n cyfiawnhau a’i Iawn.

Ei fuddugoliaeth yw ein braint,
Ei wobr yw ein rhan,
Cawn foli’i tragwyddoldeb maith
Ei enw yn y man.

Pob calon lân sy’n llawn o gân
Yn datgan mawl i’r Iôr,
Wrth ddathlu’r dydd y gwnaeth ni’n rhydd
A’i gariad fel y môr.
Eirlys Gruffydd © 2009

Easter 8.6.8.6.

Sing out your praises to our King
This happy Easter day!
Lift up your voice and join the throng
That praises God today!

We celebrate the risen Lord
With heart and voice and soul;
For He has overcome the grave
So we can be made whole.

His victory is ours to share,
His prize is ours to claim!
Now we can spend eternity
Praising His holy name!

So now with joyful hearts sing out!
Sing loud and true and long.
Celebrate this glorious day,
With thankful praise and song.
© Colin Gordon-Farleigh, April 2006
The tune is 'Nativity' which is a well-known tune written by Isaac Watts. The version that is shown in the picture at the top of this post is an arrangement by Sarah Atter, a very talented arranger and accomplished musician, who often works with me with Sheer Joy Music. The arrangement is available to you either by clicking on the image above and printing it off or you can get it by post if you email me giving your post details. Make sure to ask for the music by name!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Memories of a Corsham Lad


As a boy I knew the lie of the land that made up Park Farm in Corsham, for I spent so much of my childhood playing there. Even now, though the intervening years might have dimmed the edges of much that happened way back then, I can still recall the pleasure that I got simply being part of the land in a country-life sort of meaning.

The main thing, I suppose, was that I loved the land because it was always there, always reliable, always ready to respond in familiar ways and yet at the same time to constantly evolve like all living things. Being born and bred in the country is much more than simply having some sort of allegiance to the place in which you live. It involves a oneness with the land around you that grows out of an intimate knowledge of all that it is and all that it contains. I well remember going home, weary but contented, from helping out at Park Farm during the haymaking season. I've written on previous occasions about time spent at the farm which was so ably run by Farmer Jack Vowles, so I won't digress too far on that today.

No, today my thoughts are of the places in the great parkland that afforded a sense of mystery and pleasure to a growing country boy. I knew the trees that I passed by on my way to and from the farm and, as dusk gathered after a day spent haymaking, there was a warmth of friendliness from the familiar. I recall that as I passed by I would bid a friendly "Good-night" to the trees as if they could understand me. After all, I was a son of the soil in many ways and those trees had been with me all of my life, short though it was back then.

Walking back from the farm as the sun was setting on another day I had the woods that bounded Lacock Road on my left whilst across to my right I could see the lake settling down for another night, the setting sunlight reflecting on the water, turning it into a cauldron of molten gold for a brief scantling of time. Moments like these were magic to a child. Years later, when I lived in Africa, I would remember the sun setting on Corsham lake as I watched the glorious sunsets that bewitched the African skyline.

Several times of late, thinking about the park and the lake, I have recalled Bill Holland who was the game-keeper on the Estate when I was a boy. I don't recall meeting him so much as avoiding him, for his reputation was that if he caught you trespassing where you shouldn't be then not only would your father get to know about it --- and that could have dire consequences --- but he would give you a clipped ear as well. That threat did not entirely deter small boys of course, and I often would wander into the woods around the lake and go down by the boathouse to look for fish in the surrounding water. The lake would often freeze right over in the winter in those days, for the years of my childhood enjoyed, or endured, depending on your particular viewpoint, hard winters. Snow and ice seemed to be with us for week after week back then, unlike the mild winters of today. We were hardier creatures as well, not only because we were younger, but because we grew up to expect it and dressed accordingly. Also, as children, we did not sit glued to a screen, either TV or computer, for hours on end in centrally-heated luxury, but went out to play in the great outdoors as often as we could. Winter, to us, meant opportunities for FUN!

I remember some winters when there would be skaters on the ice of the lake, though those memories are few and dim. I think that the thing about the lake that I most recall is the dire warnings of my parents not to go near the water for fear of falling in and getting pulled under and trapped by the weeds that reached upward and lay just below the surface. Certainly, many years later when I went out on the lake in the boat, I remember the odd shudder that went through me as I saw the weed so close to the surface. Whilst the adventure of being on the lake in the boat was great, there was a strong sense of fear that if there was an accident then it would be inevitable that it would be fatal. Such was the suggestive power of all the warnings that I'd been given in the past!

An exciting place to play as a child was in the Dry Arch woods which lay at the farthest extreme of the park with only a field between them and the Corsham to Chippenham road. The woods were so-named because there was a slight bridged area which spanned what was probably a large ditch, although I never recall any water to speak of. As children the underside of the arch became a great place to play, forming as it did the necessary backdrop to suit the occasion. It could be a fort, a jail-cell, a palace, or whatever our childhood imaginations wanted it to be, and just like so much else in our childhoods it had a touch of magic about it.

Not so another place in the park that I recall. Almost hidden in the hedge of one field was an entrance to an underground passage. You went don about eight or nine steps and you were in what appeared to be a bit of a tunnel, although it only stretched for about eight or ten feet at most before it became a drop into some sort of pit or possibly well shaft. I never found out what it was for, but the tales that we made up about it being some sort of secret passage that led either to the vaults of the church or to the cellars of Corsham Court, both relatively close by, were tales that usually managed to scare us witless and thereby ensure that we stayed away from the place for a few weeks until curiosity once more took a hold of us.

Time to go now, but I hope that you enjoyed this wander down memory lane with me, dear reader.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Is Argos becoming the Ebenezer Scrooge of retailers?

A story in UK newspaper The Mirror, today reports that retail catalogue giant, Argos, have used the Credit Crunch as an excuse to convert Boxing Day from a Bank Holiday to a normal working day for their employees. Argos also wants its workers to "flex their working day by plus or minus two hours for no extra pay" and to accept tiered pay rates linked to "multi-skilling and performance".

In order to try and bully their staff into accepting the proposals Argos are offering a bribe of £500 to employees in exchange for them signing an acceptance of the new conditions. Mutters of potential mass redundancies and the like add to the attempt to frighten staff into capitulation.

Argos say that workers who work on Boxing Day will be given a day off in lieu, whereas at present they either pay double-time or else give two days off, Boxing Day being a Public Bank Holiday.

This measure, should it be implemented, will herald further draconian measures by Argos without doubt. What next? Will it be Christmas Day or Easter? Eventually they might even manage to do away with staff holidays as well!

Of course, the measures they propose will undoubtedly apply to staff in the retail section of the Company and not the fat cats at the top who will undoubtedly continue to enjoy the benefits of Bank Holidays that they are attempting to deny their staff.

All in all, unacceptable behaviour on the part of Argos!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

'Put on the whole armour of God'

This Scripture verse, taken from Paul's letter to the Ephesians, has been given to me one way or another ever since I committed my life to Christ and to serving His kingdom. If I've been feeling a little 'down' or fearful over anything, then along comes someone to share this verse with me. Even when I'm feeling pretty good about everything, it's a verse that has the power to lift me even more because it reminds me that God equips us with everything that we'll need to do His work, no matter how difficult it might sometimes appear.
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ARE WE STANDING

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6: 11 - 13 (King James Version)

There are a lot of different definitions for the word “standing” in Webster’s Dictionary. The definition that I like the best is “not movable.” When we are anchored securely on our firm foundation, we can not be moved. We read in the Bible “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6: 19, 20).

We also read in the Bible “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3: 11). Jesus is the foundation on which we must stand if we are going to be able to withstand the vicious attacks of satan. I wonder how many times we have tried to defeat satan in our own strength. It hasn’t worked and it never will work. Only Jesus has the power to defeat satan.

Don’t let satan discourage and defeat you. Cry out to Jesus and ask Him to help you. When we are weak, He is strong. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12: 9). Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the armour that You give us for protection.