Tuesday, June 29, 2010
By Michael Ireland (Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service LIVERPOOL, UK (ANS)
British actor Christopher Lee Power, whose training includes The Lee Strasberg Studio, Richmond Drama School, RADA as well as having the opportunity to appear in many soaps, including the long-running Coronation Street, is protesting with his wife against a Channel 4 DVD called 'Living and Growing' which is being used in primary schools sex education for 7-11 year olds.
Christopher and Pauline grew up in the Northern England shipbuilding town of Birkenhead, just across the River Mersey from Liverpool.
Pauline Power says: “As parents we believe that our son should be educated at the appropriate time and with good quality material not this questionable material that has parents up and down the country out crying against. Britain has the highest teenage pregnancies in Europe and thousands of these DVD’s have been sold to our schools."
Christopher and Pauline had received a letter from the school asking them to view a DVD called 'Living and Growing' produced by Channel 4. The letter however did not inform parents about the sexual intercourse scene section of the DVD, but instead mentioned that it would be about puberty.
The DVD includes a naked cartoon couple chasing each other around a bed with a feather before having sex in a number of positions.
It includes a narrator talking about physical changes during sex, which is described as “very exciting for both as they feel happy being together.” The voiceover promotes sex as 'exciting' and 'fun' and with a child’s voice saying ‘they look so happy together.’
Christopher has called for the “How Babies Are Made” section of Channel 4’s 'Living And Growing' sex education video to be taken off the timetable at all primary schools and that their should be an inquiry into why this explicit material has been used.
Pauline Power added: "Parents have a duty to safeguard the well being of their children and have a right to be properly consulted, and we are calling for schools to have greater transparency as, often, parents are not told the contents of these DVD’s in detail as you would with any other DVD at home."
As parents Christopher and Pauline feel that the dangers of sex should be stated and taught responsibly to protect children, and the DVD that was shown to them made no mention of the dangers, and this should be a basic duty.
The couple says that the Channel 4 DVD in question has a cartoon that can only be described as pornographic as it is a sexually drawn cartoon of two naked people having sex in different positions. They says its graphic content does not discuss any of the dangers associated with sex, so how can this be educational? Rather, it is putting children at risk of early experimentation or exploitation.
Although Higher Bebington Junior school did agree the scenes trivialized the important messages and have edited some of the footage, Christopher and Pauline are hoping that primary schools in the UK will follow suit. They are still trying to get their school to remove other explicit material with in the series.
In a note to ANS, Christopher says that "all week my wife and I have been the focus of attention regarding the DVD 'Living and Growing' by Channel 4.
"As parents we believe that our son should be educated at the appropriate time and with good quality material, not this questionable material that has parents up and down the country outcrying against it," he said.
"Parents have a duty to safeguard the wellbeing of their children and have a right to be properly consulted, and we are calling for schools to have greater transparency as, often, parents are not told the contents of these DVD's in detail, and have (received) misleading leading letters which state puberty -- then show children films on intercourse."
Christopher went on to say: "We as a society have the responsibility of helping our children learn, but also to have a childhood. We as parents feel that the dangers within sex education should be stated and taught, and I know that from what my wife and I have seen so far there is no mention of the dangers -- this should be a basic duty.
"In our opinion we feel that the Channel 4 DVD in question has a cartoon that can only be described as pornographic as it is a sexually-drawn cartoon of two people having sex in different positions, and because of its graphic content and is not educational, but damaging to childen. It promotes sex as 'exciting' and 'fun', and what child does not want to feel all these things? So it encourages experimentation and, at the worse, exploitation. Where is the innocence of children growing up, 'let Children be Children'?
Christopher further went on to explain that parents, who are the experts on their children, should be empowered to teach sensitive children these issues, as they will know the appropriate time for them in the home rather than a large classroom.
He added: "The school should listen to them; unfortunately parents rarely are listened to. Let's not allow our Government or Channel 4 to dictate to us as parents what is an appropriate time. Let's not take away the responsibility of the parents and, in doing so, placing sensitive issues in the school which they are not getting right."
Christopher concluded: "As my wife and I clearly stated (recently) in Liverpool, we will march to 10 Downing Street, to the Prime Minister if we have to, in order to have the right to protect our children from illicit materials promoted by questionable sources such as Channel 4 who also produce programs such as 'Big Brother.
"Should our Government not be listening to the true experts. and that is the parents, who have a love for the child they have watched grown?"
If you wish to show your support to this campaign then e-mail the Power's at email@example.com
To view a small section of the said DVD, go to Youtube and type in ‘Living and Growing: how babies are made.’
For the past twenty five years shameful deceptions have captivated, entertained and deceived the Christian Church. As they have unfolded, so they have brought destructive and unholy influences into many areas of the church with the result that the body of believers has been grievously harmed.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Barack Obama, Kenyan-born President of the United States, continues his vitriolic rhetoric against beleaguered oil giant, BP, due to some extent to his wanting to deflect public opinion away from his diminishing popularity.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
One of my favorite songs is “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”. The author of the song is unknown. These words are so precious to my heart. “I am weak, but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long as I walk, let me walk close to Thee”. It should be the heart’s cry of every Christian to walk close to Jesus.
The pain from the arthritis in my arms, legs, feet and back is getting worse and my flesh is getting weak. How thankful I am to know that when I am weak, Jesus is strong. Without Jesus, I could do nothing. He is the reason I get out of bed and He is every breath that I take. He is my all in all and the Sonshine of my heart.
Eva Mae and Mylon LeFevre wrote a beautiful song that describes how I feel “Without Him I Could Do Nothing”. O how I love this song! “Without Him, I could do nothing. Without Him, I’d surely fail. (Think about it.) Without Him, I would be drifting like a ship without a sail”. Thank God that Jesus is my lifeboat in the midst of turmoil, weakness and heartaches.
If your flesh is weak and you don’t think you can take another step or give another smile, allow Jesus to pick you up and carry you. He will be faithful to carry you through all the valleys of your life. Aren’t you glad we have a Saviour who really loves us and cares about us!
This is amazing! Someone certainly is talented and patient to create such a masterpiece. It certainly has the WOW! factor for me! (If you want to see larger pictures then just click on them and they should enlarge automatically.)
A few quick facts:
Q: How long to build it?
A: It was about a year and a half of planning, building and photographing.
Q: How many pieces of LEGO to build it?
A: More than 75,000?
Q: How big is it?
A: About 7 feet by 5 1/2 feet by 30 inches (2.2 m x 1.7 m x .76 m)
Q: How many LEGO people does it seat?
Q: How many windows?
It features a balcony, a grand entrance lobby , stairs to the balcony, toilets/restrooms , cloakrooms, several mosaics, a nave, a baptistery, an altar, a crucifix, a pulpit and an elaborate pipe organ.
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, 'The Rest of the Story,' and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called 'One nation under God.'
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Jesus inspired many to follow Him when He was here on earth, yet sometimes people would decide that they wanted to follow Him without realising what the cost would be. Whilst on the way to Jerusalem, where Jesus knew He faced persecution and death, a man approached Him and told Him that he would follow Him wherever He went. Jesus replied to him that foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head. (Luke 9:58). The decision to follow Jesus is one that requires total commitment. Jesus must always come first in your life. The decision require more than dedication, for total commitment means determination, regardless of what the cost might be. What Jesus was saying to this man in effect was that if he chose to follow Him the path would not be an easy one. There would be difficulties along the way. There would be days when he would not know where he would sleep that night, or know where the next meal was coming from. There would be times of discouragement, yet real commitment means that you keep looking forward.
If you start out on the journey which is the Christian Life, and then quit when the going becomes tough, then you risk being ridiculed by some and a source of discouragement to others. In the Book of Hebrews, chapter eleven has been referred to as ’Faith’s Hall of Fame’, listing as it does the heroes of faith who died without receiving what they had been promised. These are those who make up what is referred to in Chapter 12 as the ’great cloud of witnesses’, whose faithfulness is a great source of encouragement to every believer. When we think about them and the struggles that they faced and overcame, we realise that we do not have to struggle alone, neither are we the first to struggle with the type of problems that we face. Many others have run the race before us and won. Paul urges us to Run in such a way as to get the prize and points out that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize (1 Cor. 9:24). If we are to claim the prize then we must shed everything that would slow us down, and run the race with only that which we need for the journey. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (12:2). Facing death towards the end of his life, Paul writes to Timothy that I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). We too must complete the race set out before us and keep the faith, and then we too will know, as Paul did, that there is a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing (2 Timothy 4: 7).
Just as the great heroes of faith still continue to inspire us, we can strive to be the inspiration for others. When we consider Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Paul and all those whom we read of in the Bible, and the great encouragement that they are to us, we can also think about those people who encourage our faith today. Together they make up the cloud of witnesses who encourage us when we are discouraged, who help us to build up our faith, to refuse to give up just because life is hard, or to quit over the difficulties that we face. There are many people who encourage me in my ministry, and without whom I would be the poorer for their absence. Whenever I’m tempted to feel discouraged I remember that I am being held in prayer by them, and that serves to lift me once again. Their faith inspires me, and I, in turn, do all that I can to be an encouragement and inspiration to others as well.
The writer of Hebrews says that we need to be prepared for the struggles that we will inevitably have to face, and he tells us to ... throw off everything that hinders. There are many things that we hold onto from our past that create a burden for us to carry through life if we refuse to let them go. Whatever the burden is we need to let it go once and for all. Bitterness from past relationships will rule us if we harbour them, and they block out the opportunities to enjoy a full relationship with Christ. Sometimes the burden will be an unwholesome attachment to possessions that stands in the way of our being an effective witness, and it may be that we need to shed some of our possessions as well. Whatever serves to distract us from the race set before us needs to be removed from our lives if we are to complete the race and win the prize.
Of course, the one great burden that can cause us to fall at the first hurdle is sin. The writer of Hebrews refers to the sin that so easily entangles us in verse 1. Sin is like a climbing vine that curls around us, entangling us in its grip, and if it’s left unchecked, increasing and increasing until it strangles us altogether. It’s when we cut ourselves free that we are left to run the race. I remember times at school when we set out on a cross-country run. Some boys would race off at the start only to run out of steam early and fall by the wayside, whilst others would pace themselves and conserve their energy for the final sprint needed to finish in a good position. Many Christians run the Christian race like those boys I mentioned, starting off full of promise only to run out of steam along the way and fall back altogether before the finish line. Sometimes, even though we have got on well for a time, we reach a point where we feel like giving up, and that’s where we most need to heed the words in Hebrews to run with perseverance the race marked out for us. We are not left alone, for we have the Holy Spirit as our running companion, and it’s the power that the Spirit gives that enables us to win. To live effectively we must keep our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus, and not on ourselves or on our surroundings. If we allow ourselves to be distracted then we will stumble and fall. The race is a race for Christ’s benefit, not for ours, and we must keep Him always in sight. Notice what the writer of Hebrews says, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, & sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary & lose heart.
No matter what opposition He met with, and no matter how much He was persecuted, Jesus carried on, obedient to His Father’s will until He had completed the race and claimed the prize. When we hold on to this fact then it will encourage us to be the same. How easy it is for Christians and even whole churches to throw in the towel and quit because it has got difficult to carry on. How easy it is to give up and say that you don’t need the bother any more, that you don’t have to do this or that any more, yet the Bible urges us to go on, no matter how tough the going gets. We must focus on Jesus and do all for him, because one day we will stand before Him as our judge.
Romans 3:23 says, There is no difference, for all have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God. One day we will all be called to account before our judge, and we will have to have an answer for everything that has occurred in our lives. Will we be found guilty of neglecting our faith or will we be presented with a crown for our faithfulness? If you were brought before a court on a charge of being a committed Christian and of sharing the Gospel, would you be found Guilty, as charged or would your case be dismissed through lack of evidence?
The only hope we have is found in Jesus Christ. Without Him we have no hope in eternal terms, and that is why we must never turn our eyes from Him. Run the race with patience, and don’t lose heart. Don’t become discouraged. Don’t quit. Keep on running the race that has been set before you until, at the end, you can stand to claim your crown from Christ Himself.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
'Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name.
A little boy was overheard praying:
'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am.'
After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, 'That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys.'
One particular four-year-old prayed, 'And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.'
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, 'And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?' One bright little girl replied, 'Because people are sleeping.'
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. 'If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.' Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, ' Ryan , you be Jesus !'
A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand. 'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked.
'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, 'Did God throw him back down?'
Mary Johanssen invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, 'Would you like to say the blessing?' 'I wouldn't know what to say,' the little girl replied. 'Just say what you hear Mummy say,' the wife answered.
I was always reading when I was a teenager because I loved to read. I remember several times when I was reading a book that Mom would say “Joanne, wash the dishes”. I didn’t want to stop reading so I said to her “Why do I have to wash the dishes? They just get dirty again”.
I used to work in an airport as part of the janitorial service. It seemed like every time we cleaned the bathrooms they were dirty again in five minutes. When I mop my kitchen and bathrooms and hallway, it doesn’t take very long for them to get dirty and I have to mop them again.
The same is true with our hearts. God has forgiven us and given us clean hearts. However, our hearts get dirty again because we allow satan to put unforgiveness, resentment, hatred, bitterness, jealousy, sarcasm and criticism in our hearts. We need God to clean our hearts once again.
Is your heart clean or dirty? Do you need God to clean your heart? Heavenly Father, we ask You to please forgive us for hurting people and for doing things and saying things that hurt You. Please clean our hearts and renew a right spirit within us. Amen.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Colossians 1:10 (King James Version)
Johnson Oatman, Jr. who was a Methodist Episcopal minister, wrote the lyrics to five thousand Gospel songs. One of his songs that I really like is “Worthy the Lamb”. These words in the song should make us search our hearts and see if we are walking worthy of the Lord.
“Worthy is the Lamb, who shed His precious blood to restore a world to happiness and God; “When no eye could pity and no arm could save,” Jesus for our ransom, Himself freely gave.” Are we freely giving ourselves in service to Jesus?
Have we grasped in our hearts the urgency of telling lost souls of a risen Saviour? Do we really care that people are dying without Jesus? If we do care, then we will shut off the television and pick up the telephone and call people. We will go and tell everyone we see about Jesus.
Heavenly Father, please forgive us for neglecting to tell our families, our friends and everyone we see about Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Please give us a desire to witness for Jesus. May we be found worthy in the service of Jesus.
Help us, Father, to love lost people so much that we will pray for them and witness to them. I pray when others look at us that they will see the difference Jesus made in our lives. May we be a shining light for Jesus who died so that we may live.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
One of the great pleasures of being a songwriter is that you get to discover some amazing talent, and I've certainly done that over the last few years. In recent blogs I have posted entries about the UK Queen of Country, Hayley Oliver and also the amazingly talented Jennifer Douglas who shot to number three in the UK NCM Charts with a song written by myself and Greg Scheer, If Only I Had Wings.