Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Brexit at The Golf Club

I would have posted this under the Brexit thread I started on the Ealing Forum internet but they are such a bunch of remoaners it would be wasted on them.

Dave Davis is at the golf club returning his locker key when Mr Barnier the membership secretary sees him.

"Hello Mr Davis", says Mr Barnier. "I'm sorry to hear you are no longer renewing your club membership, if you would like to come to my office we can settle your account".

"I have settled my bar bill" says Mr Davis..

"Ah yes Mr Davis", says Mr Barnier, "but there are other matters that need settlement"

In Mr Barniers office Mr Davis explains that he has settled his bar bill so wonders what else he can possibly owe the Golf Club? "Well Mr Davis" begins Mr Barnier, "you did agree to buy one of our Club Jackets".

"Yes" agrees Mr Davis "I did agree to buy a jacket but I haven't received it yet". "As soon as you supply the jacket I             will send you a cheque for the full amount".

"That will not be possible" explains Mr Barnier. "As you are no longer a club member you will not be entitled to buy one of our jackets"!

"But you still want me to pay for it" exclaims Mr Davis.

"Yes" says Mr Barnier, "That will be £500 for the jacket. "There is also your bar bill".

"But I've already settled my bar bill" says Mr Davis.

"Yes" says Mr Barnier, "but as you can appreciate, we need to place our orders from the Brewery in advance to ensure our bar is properly stocked".. "You regularly used to spend at least £50 a week in the bar so we have placed orders with the brewery accordingly for the coming year". "You therefore owe us £2600 for the year"..

"Will you still allow me to have these drinks?" asks Mr Davis. "No of course not Mr Davis". "You are no longer a club member!" says Mr Barnier.

"Next is your restaurant bill" continues Mr Barnier. "In the same manner we have to make arrangements in advance with our catering suppliers". "Your average restaurant bill was in the order of £300 a month, so we'll require payment of £3600 for the next year".

"I don't suppose you'll be letting me have these meals either" asks Mr Davis.

"No, of course not" says an irritated Mr Barnier, "you are no longer a club member!"

"Then of course" Mr Barnier continues, "there are repairs to the clubhouse roof".

"Clubhouse roof" exclaims Mr Davis, "What's that got to do with me?"

"Well it still needs to be repaired and the builders are coming in next week", your share of the bill is £2000".

"I see" says Mr Davis, "anything else?".

"Now you mention it" says Mr Barnier, "there is Fred the Barman's pension". "We would like you to pay £5 a week towards Fred's pension when he retires next month". "He's not well you know so I doubt we'll need to ask you for payment for longer than about five years, so £1300 should do it". "This brings your total bill to £10,000" says Mr Barnier.

"Let me get this straight" says Mr Davis, "you want me to pay £500 for a jacket you won't let me have, £2600 for beverages you won't let me drink and £3600 for food you won't let me eat, all under a roof I won't be allowed under and not served by a bloke who's going to retire next month!"

"Yes, it's all perfectly clear and quite reasonable" says Mr Barnier.

"Pxxs off!" says Mr Davis

Now we understand what Brexit is all about.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

BACKLASH AGAINST THE GENDER EXTREMISTS TARGETING CHILDREN


Dear marriage supporter,
The Coalition for Marriage’s campaign to protect children from the politicians, schools and businesses targeting them with transgender propaganda has won important support from The Times.
In an editorial published yesterday (£) the newspaper argues that:
It is time the lobbyists stopped being so irresponsible and it is time that the medical and the political establishments took their duty of care seriously, ignored the charge of not being politically correct and stood firmly against this damaging trend.
The front page of yesterday’s Sun newspaper also features a story which we highlighted in an article last week covering the state-funded London nurseries holding what the paper calls “trans classes for kids age 2”.
This support comes shortly after the announcement (£) that the Government has delayed a consultation exercise on its plans to make it easier to change gender in England and Wales owing to the difficulties raised by campaign groups such as ours.

Scottish warning

The Scottish Government announced the launch of its own consultation exercise on making gender transition easier last week.
These deeply illiberal proposals threaten the fabric of family life in Scotland. They include:
  • Creating a third legal gender, neither male nor female.
  • Allowing children as young as 12 to become transgender through the courts even without parental consent.
In addition, separate guidance endorsed last week by the Scottish Government advised schools to allow children to switch and become transgender without parental consent (£).
As I told the Scotsman: “Instead of turning these vulnerable children against their parents, the Scottish Government should be supporting families as the best environment to provide the love and support confused children need.”
The consultation closes on 1st March 2018. The Coalition will write to its Scottish supporters before this date to advise them how they can participate in the consultation.

Our campaign is making a difference

There are enough bad people in the world for parents to worry about. They should not be in constant fear of bad government too.
Stories like that of the teacher who was suspended for ‘mis-gendering’ a girl who had decided to transition to become a boy are frustrating for all of those who believe in free speech and family life.
However, working with politicians and the media we have been able to help make the transgender assault on families and children a mainstream issue. With your support we continue to work to solidify the opposition to this damaging trend and halt its progress into law.
DONATE
Yours sincerely,
Thomas Pascoe
Thomas Pascoe
Campaign Director
Coalition for Marriage (C4M)

ON THIS DAY IN 1263 THE EXTRAORDINARY RUSSIAN PRINCE ALEXANDER NEVSKY PARTED THIS LIFE TO BE WITH CHRIST.

Alexander Nevsky was one of Russia’s most extraordinary rulers. Born into nobility, he was just a teenager when it fell to him to hold together a coalition of quarrelsome and independent rulers. His personal charm and devout faith helped him succeed. Alexander’s parents had taught him to honor God, and even as a boy delighted in the Bible. Impressed by his qualities, the people of Novgorod invited him to be their prince. A chronicler wrote “He was taller than others and his voice reached the people as a trumpet, and his face was like the face of Joseph, whom the Egyptian Pharaoh placed as next to the king after him of Egypt. His power was a part of the power of Samson and God gave him the wisdom of Solomon...” 
In 1240, Catholic Swedes planned an invasion of Orthodox Russia. Alexander planted sentries to warn him when their ships arrived. He feared the Swedes would crush Russian Orthodoxy, which he regarded as the soul of his nation. When the Swedes arrived, he marched a small force through treacherous marshes to the Neva River, where he told his men, “God is not on the side of force, but of the just cause, the truth.” Attacking out of a mist, before the Swedes were fully disembarked, he caught the Swedish general lolling in a golden chair. The Russian victory was complete and earned him the name “Nevsky” to refer to his victory on the Neva. 
Nevsky went on to defeat a Lithuanian invasion and fought the powerful Teutonic Knights in a famous battle on ice. In the west he was successful, but threats from the east proved harder to deal with. Realizing Russia could not defeat the Golden Horde of Gengis Khan, he became the Khan’s vassal. But in a visit to the Khan, Nevsky boldly refused to worship pagan gods, knowing this could mean his death. Khan Batu admired his spirit and waived the obligatory ceremony. During a second meeting, the Khan increased Nevsky's domain. 
Nevsky’s ambition caused him trouble with Novgorod, as did the heavy taxes he paid to the Tatars. After the Russians killed some tax collectors, Nevsky traveled with a few followers to negotiate on behalf of his people. He was rudely treated but achieved his goal. Exhausted by the ordeal, he headed home. At a monastery in Gorodetz he rested, his body no longer as strong as his spirit. He died on this day, 14 November 1263. 
At his death, he was dressed in a monk's clothes. When Metropolitan Cyril learned of his demise, he said, “Brethren, know that the sun of the Russian Land has now set.” Nevsky was just forty-three but had become a legend in his short life. He was one of the greatest military geniuses Russia ever produced, and regarded by many Russians as a saint because he did so much to preserve the Orthodox church from the Catholics in the west and the Mongols in the east.



The changing world (11) 1968 end

   October were civil rights riots in Londonderry. Preached for the Brethren in Saffron Walden. Francis Williams, SUM pharmacist at Vom, studying in at ANMC says they need me there. So far I did not doubt my calling was pharmacy. When I arrived in Nigeria I found others realised I had other gifts too.  I was now doing the college course only and was head student. Stan Bruce joined the staff and taught Greek. I was organiser for a S E Asia prayer group.Now lectures on Romans and biblical theology from Non Davies who is reformed baptist. At this stage I was definitely the militant Calvinist ready to challenge anyone showing any Arminian colour. Sharing a room with Ken Cowell who I believe went to Japan. Met Bo and Jean Balfour. He was obstetrician at Mom with us and a practical joker, a mad medic who went on to become one of the few pro-life jobs & gynaecologist consultants,
   Playing table tennis. Listened to Schaeffer's three semons on Job on reel to reel tape. Excellent exposition. Linesman for college football. Nixon wins presidential election. Johnson stops bombing North Vietnam.
   First visit to Elland Road. We lost 0-1 to Spurs against the run of play. Went to White Hart Lane with Dick Bulmer for Spurs 5 Sunderland 1. Enoch Powell in trouble over Rivers of Blood. Introduced to hausa study. Christmas holiday locus in Accrington in large cold flat. Scruffy one assistant shop owned by the family of a former Square student contemporary. Visited Stephen Procter in Brnley an ANMC student who was toward as an accountant for an Arab company in Saudi and London and be an elder in Less IPC, Hampshire. He also generously help our first house purchase in 1984. Apollo 3 off round the moon. Home by bus for Christmas. Visited Bill Foggit the eccentric Thirsk Methodist who had become a TV weather pundit and family friend. Back to Accrington. Visited the Dalbys in Colne, independent Methodists. Peter had done national service in the RAF at Tolcliffe and worshipped in Skipton. Katy came up to Accrington and we went to Skipton by train and Dad's car.

Monday, November 13, 2017

ON THIS DAY IN 1618 ARMINIANISM WAS REJECTED AT THE SYNOD OF DORDT

The Synod of Dort (also called the Synod of Dordrecht) was a church council that convened in 1618 in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, to settle a dispute between two theological factions in the Dutch Reformed Church. The Synod of Dort has had a lasting impact on theology, as it was this synod that produced the summarized version of John Calvin’s teachings known today as the Five Points of Calvinism.
On one side of the dispute in the Synod of Dort were the Arminians (also known as the Remonstrants) who followed the teachings of Jacobus Arminius. On the other side were the Calvinists (Counter-Remonstrants) who held true to the Reformed teachings of John Calvin. These two theological systems became nationalized, and Holland was split in two. The Synod of Dort was to bring resolution to the conflict. Representatives of the Reformed Church from eight foreign countries were invited to the synod, and church leaders from Great Britain, Germany, and Switzerland attended.
From 1568 to 1648, Holland was in a long struggle with Spain, trying to gain independence from the rule of King Philip II, who was the sovereign of what was then called the Habsburg Netherlands. In 1581, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (the Dutch Republic) was formed, a significant step toward Dutch independence. However, there were still decades of conflict ahead between the Dutch and the Spanish. In the middle of this conflict came the rise of Arminianism, a theological system that emphasized man’s free will in salvation and rejected Calvinist doctrines, which emphasized God’s sovereignty in salvation. John Calvin’s teachings were rejected by Jacobus Arminius in his Five Articles of Remonstrance. The followers of Arminius were called “the Remonstrants” after this document. A pamphlet war began between the Remonstrants (Arminians) and the Counter-Remonstrants (Calvinists) that actually split the country. The Netherlands had no separation of church and state; what you believed politically was connected to what you believed theologically. Naturally, the theological split led also to a political split, and a rumor began that the Arminians were in league with Spain.
A statesman by the name of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt sided with the Remonstrants in the name of religious tolerance. He helped the Arminians propose a national synod to justify their views as valid. The Calvinists refused, saying that it should be only a church synod, without involving the government. The Arminians refused that idea, and things escalated until both sides were militarized. The Dutch Republic backed the Counter-Remonstrants, and the States of Holland, under the leadership of van Oldenbarnevelt, supported the Arminians and formed their own small defense force of 4,000 men called waardgelders (“mercenaries in the pay of the town government”).
Eventually, the Calvinists agreed to the Arminians’ proposal for a national synod, and the Synod of Dort was held in 1618–19. The Arminians presented a list of reasons why Calvinism was wrong, apparently in an effort to gain votes for their side. The Calvinists argued that, since the Remonstrants were departing from the Dutch Reformed Church, they had to justify their beliefs using Scripture. The Arminians did not like this plan and chose to withdraw from the proceedings. The leaders of the Reformed Church examined the five points put forward by the Arminians, compared them to Scripture, and found them lacking. Finding no scriptural support for the position of Arminius, the Synod of Dort unanimously rejected Arminianism.
But the Synod of Dort went further than simply taking a stand against Arminianism; the delegates drafted their own five points to summarize Calvinistic doctrine, and the Canons of Dort published for the first time the Five Points of Calvinism. Other achievements of the Synod of Dort include the writing of the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism. Also, the synod ordered a new translation of the Dutch Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek.
The Synod of Dort was a decisive victory for orthodox Reformed doctrine, but, given the alliance of church and state and the political turmoil of the time, the aftermath of the Synod of Dort was less than ideal. Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was beheaded as a traitor to the state, and the Arminians were ordered to sign the Act of Cessation, which was an agreement to stop their ministry. They refused to sign it, were labeled “disturbers of the peace,” and ejected from their homeland. Van Oldenbarnevelt’s sons then attempted to assassinate Prince Maurice but failed. In 1625, after the death of Maurice, the Arminians were allowed to return to the Netherlands, and they established churches and schools throughout the country.
The Synod of Dort remains one of the most influential church councils of history.
An introduction and full text of the Canons of Dort can be found at the link below in PDF format.
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The changing world (10) 1968 second quarter and vacation - All Nations

In the Easter vacation I did my first retail pharmacy locus, a three assistant shop in Runcorn. In those days one had to decipher doctors writing, no computerised or typed prescriptions. Our labels bore no drug names unless instructed to write them. No quantities, no dates, no warnings on the labels, no patient leaflets. Labels written by hand. I stayed in a hotel expenses paid. £9 for four nights
   Bought the engagement ring, sapphires round a diamond, £44. I asked for her hand and Mr Overend agreed. Mrs O said Katy would never stand the African heat. But we were now officially engaged. ANMC had us do regular PE and sometimes a cross country run. 
   Took London Dip.th. exams at Alexandra Palace but walked out in Comparative Religion. I refused to be examined by unbelievers who think one is dealing with mere intellectual debate not truth and lies. You cannot say what the Bible says and leave it at that. It is as if I did pharmacy but for every question you could not only give the allopathic remedy but you had to give homoeopathic or Ayurvedic alternatives too. My message to the examiners would be Isaiah 66:2 - But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. The examiners did not tremble but judged God's word. 
   A three day college campus under canvas in the grounds of or next to the house of John Profuma the disgraced former Minister of War who devoted his later life to charitable work after his affair with Christine Keeler back in 1963.
   Three week's locum in Wood Green with four part time assistants. Stayed at Overends. Then Irish Evangelical Trek college team together with Katy for two weeks. Train to Holyhead. Ferry to Dun Laoghaire. Train to Athlone. Our base is with a Protestant farmer in a mouse infested farmhouse. The second day ten were trapped. We took a Bible study in a modernist RC seminary. Open air meeting in Galway. Visited Knock and was sickened by the idolatry of The Virgin of Knock with holy water on tap. We used evangelistic questionnaires in Athlone. At Croagh Patrick we climbed the 2510' mountain with thousands of pilgrims some barefoot. It moved me to be bold and preach that evening in Athlone in the shade of the IRA memorial. A drunk disturbed our ladies. Colportage door to door in Roscommon. 
   Locus at Frodsham near Bedford, dispenser and three assistants in the most modern pharmacy yet. Visited the home of Bryan Boddy,ANMC student, agriculturalist who would spend all the rest of his working life in Nigeria. Also visited Uncle Steve, my grandfathers brother in law, a widower shepherd. Found the Bunyan museum very good indeed with his flute and violin. Visited Elstow Abbey, the Hill Difficulty and the House Beautiful. After a week there one back in Runcorn. Visited Chest and walked the walls. Then via home to Hull staying with a Methodist couplefor two weeks. Dispenser plus two assistants. Watched rugby league, Hull Kingston Rovers 10 Leeds 17. Sad that Russia invaded Czechoslovakia to put down rebellion. Visited Wilberfoce and Transport museums.  
   My old flame Margaret married Keith my classmate. Saw a dull Yorkshire v Surrey game at Harrogate. We won and should be champions. Met Mr Cullam the millionaire businessman who bankrolled the banner. Ezekil from Nigeria visited and we visited the Scots. John was ex-Nigerian forestry but now headmaster at Breckenbough School where they boarded boys from troubled home backgrounds. An earthquake killed 20,000 in Persia. I lodged in a hotel for a locus in Bletchley. My first colour TV. £9.10/- the week. Two assistants in the shop.
   Next a  two week locus in Barking. Dispenser and four assistants. MCC tour of South Africa called off after D'Olivera, mixed race picked for us.  Another week in Runcorn then Southend with three assistants. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The changing world (9) 1968 first quarter - All Nations

From now one this account is much more comprehensive for Katy's Christmas gift to me in 1967 was a five year daily and from now on I have a daily account to follow as well as my ordinary appointments diaries - day except for periods when I was down. and not so communicative. . That this was a symptom of bipolar was not diagnosed for 45 years.
   I started January at Skipton Bridge with Katy failing my driving test in Northallerton. I was later to fail in Ealing before passing. The only exam I need to pass and failed - twice. Fellow student, Dick Bulmer from Sunderland had a minivan and gave me lifts to and from college. He quipped then he was the only one who could call be a southerner and the best thing about Yorkshire ward dual carriageway all the way through.
  To my surprise the North Riding continued to give me a full grant even though I had had one for three years before at university. I also received a book grant from a local charity via a farmer in our village.
I attended the North Yorkshire Bible Reading in Northallerton with Howel Jones preaching. It was  organised by John Legg, a very gifted expositor and pastor of Northallerton Evangelical which met at that time in the Legg's home. John had been Congregational minister at Reeth in Swaledale but the Congregational Union went on to become the Congregational Church. This was not merely a contradiction terms of ecclesiology. They adopted a Barthian basis if faith saying the Bible contains the word of God. John,believing the Bible is the word of God left, moved to the county town and took up school teaching. He was a rarity in England, a real reformed paedobaptist.
   I studied a lot of Greek in the vacation. I was to receive the college prize and eventually forget nearly all of it. Back o ANMC my room was now in the old stables sharing with Peter Harrison, later a missionary to Austria. The first Sunday I heard Trevor Routley, another student, at the localStanstead Abbots Countess of Huntingdon CongregationalChurch. Trevor is now a missionary in Argentina.
   ANMC day started formal with assembly in college chapel. The staff processed in. Our pianist played them in. John Tuttlebee, later missionary to Ireland, had a good sense of humour. One day he played them in to. 'O I do like to be beside the seaside'. He was disciplined. ANMC was practical with all of us given chores. Tom Paget the maintenance man had me sorting plant pots with Gerald Mann, ex Church Army and future SUM Nigeria worker. Gerald had a great gift for personal evangelism. I was never comfortable door to door. Gerald was a duck to water. He could chat and pray with everyone. Second Sunday preached from 1Timothy in the village. Though depressed it went well.
   David Morris advised Katy to do a year at Mount Hermon Ladies Missionary College in Ealing, known at ANMC as the hefelump house. But that advice was to affect our lives for most of our years ahead. That is why I am writing now from Ealing.
   One relaxation at ANMC was on a quarter size snooker table. I often played against our Ethiopian student Habtom Asgodom. He taught me my one word of Amharic, gosh asha, rubbish, shouted by him when he missed or I flaked a pot. In Patters bar I asked Mr Overend for Katy's hand.
   Katy and I conversed a lot by phone. She was disgusted when I once ended the call due to involvement in a pillow fight. I see my previous visit to White hart lane was wrongly place in an earlier year. It was now I went with Katy, Dick and Paul Clough. Paul, known as Fudge was a bolshy Yorkshireman. He was on the college football team playing Spurgeons. An away game. Te baptists showed the ANMC lads round the college pointing out Sprurgeon's Bible and various Spurgeonic artifacts. Paul asked them where they kept his doctrine. But at the big match previously described it was Spars 1 Man U 2.
   My diary in those days sounds very spiritual recording the ups and downs of my daily walk with the Lord. My parents advised waiting concerning engagement so we had been keeping it secret for several months.
   I discussed my continuing the Dip.Th. course with Ron Davis. He advised me to press on. Having read Van Til I knew I did not share the presuppositions of the examiners. Mine were that God is. He has revealed himself in Jesus and the Bible is a trustworthy record of that revelation. I studied from belief. The examiners questioned from unbelief. I was later in the year to drop the course.
   I shopped at the Banner in Chiltern Street. They sold damaged books at reduced prices and would damage them to order I think. Bought the SCM Battles edition of the Institutes there. So much better in modern translation.
   I started booking locus work. First at £40 a week in Wood Green. Visited the local RC seminary and found them liberal. Stayed with relatives in Newport in Easter vacation and watched them at rugby. John Sullivan joined me going to Stan Steadman's wedding to Irene at the Apostolic Church, Pontardawe. From Newport another rail journey to Thirsk.
 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

NOVEMBER 11 CELEBRATED BY MANY CHRISTIANS AS FEAST DAY OF MARTIN OF TOURS

Who was Martin of Tours? First, he is one of the most famous fourth-century Christians. The son of a military tribune, he was born around 316. His parents were pagans who seemed to have moved to Italy when he was about nine. Over the objections of his parents, Martin prepared for baptism. He was thrilled to hear the stories of Christian martyrs and monks. 
An imperial edict required the sons of veterans to join the army. Although he was not quite sixteen—the minimum age—his father compelled Martin to enlist. Martin “kept completely free from those vices in which that class of men become too frequently involved,” wrote his disciple Sulpitius Severus. He donated most of his pay to charity. 
The best-known instance of Martin’s charity came during a severe winter, in which “extreme cold was proving fatal to many.” A poor man at the gate of Amiens was ill-clothed. Martin “recognized that a being to whom others showed no pity, was, in that respect, left to him.” Martin had already parted with all of his spare garments to help the poor and needed his cloak himself. Taking his sword, he divided it into two equal parts, giving half to the poor man. That night, Martin had a vision in which Jesus, wrapped in the beggar’s piece said, “Martin, who is still but a catechumen [one preparing for baptism], clothed me with this robe.” 
Martin recognized both praise and censure in Christ’s words. Why was he not yet baptized? He hurried to fulfill that Christian obligation. Soon afterward, he requested emperor Julius Constans to release him from military service. The emperor accused him of cowardice because a battle was impending, but that night the enemy sued for peace and Martin got his discharge. 
Martin studied under Bishop Hilary and lived as a hermit, emerging from solitude only to preach. Traveling to seek the conversion of his parents, he was captured by bandits, but won one of his captors over to Christ and the man released him. Martin’s mother became a Christian during that visit, but his father held out until later. Martin returned to Gaul where he built some of its first monasteries and impressed many with his holy life and miracles. 
Around 371, the people of Tours lured him to their city with a plea that he come pray over a sick woman. As soon as he entered the town, they surrounded him and made him Bishop by force. 
As a bishop, Martin never lost his warm sympathy for suffering people. While he preached the gospel, he also assisted the needy and championed political freedom. Excessive taxation had crushed the middle class in the Roman empire. Many were forced into slavery. Martin took the side of the people against the rulers and offered asylum to fugitives. He probably acted as Defensor for Tours, an advocacy position created by the empire. His monasteries provided security to many who were otherwise crushed by meaningless oppression. All this made him highly popular. 
Hundreds of churches and places are named for Martin and the church honors him with a feast on this day 11 November. Lecoy de la Marche observed about Martin, “he who attempts to measure his stature succeeds only in measuring his own littleness.”
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Diary w/e Nov 11

Sunday Nov 5
A memorable morning with three new elders ordained including my son in law Adrian. I believe it is the first time IPC has had so many ordained at once unless it might have happened when we received elders from a former Church of Scotland congregation. I feel justifiable pride to have, Adrian, a second generation of the family join the session, almost as proud as the day I gave him my daughter Rachel as his wife. Ian Hamilton preached from Is 42, very challenging awn serving as a servant of the Lord. Then we had two generations of the Littles round for roast beef and Yorkshires. I explained it was not quite as grand as my Nigerian ordination in 1978 when a bull of ordination was served at the feast - a whole bull!. In the evening anther treat with Ian Hamilton on the shrewd steward, Luke 16. We are to use our wealth wisely to receive our reward of welcome in heaven. Photos on Facebook.

Mon 6 Nov

First draft of Christmas letter, a personal record time. First enlarged session meeting last night with the four new elders all participating.  Paul Levy reminded the session that our membership is not over 100 now but past 150. Children are members too. 

Tues 7 Nov

To Brent Cross where John Lewis exchanged wrongly supplied electric bulbs without quibble but they will charge me £28 for a new glass shade on a light costing £35. I would not pay it but SWMBO wants it to make a new pair by our bed. Driving back she evidenced her gyratophobia. Once bumped, for ever shy, she will not do the gyratory so we diverted back via Alperton and Perivale, a nostalgic route. 

Wed 8 Nov

I am reading a book sent to me for review. It is by an Igbo, the biography of her great uncle an RC bishop from Onitsha and contains a comprehensive account of the start on missionary work there by Crowther and the CMS. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bishop-Anyogu-Auctrice-REGINA-Pacis-Historical/dp/1532010494/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510137595&sr=8-1&keywords=marie+otigba&dpID=41dps%252B7pY4L&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srchFirst house group on 1 Samuel.

Thur 9 Nov

Blogging my autobiography for secondary school years. First Greenford lunchtime talks by Chris Roberts. Only IPC people there so far. Contacting joiners for a quote on alcove shelving. Cooked butter chicken with Dal and for the first time did not set off the smoke alarm which was fitted close to the cooker.For the first time ever, when I rang someone offering Sunday lunch at ours, they turned it around and will will eat at theirs. It will be my first pastoral visit since we elders received our shepherding lists dividing the flock among the 10 of us.

Fri 10 Nov

Garden shed to be erected today then contents housed from under the patio tarpaulin their home for the three weeks we have been here. Shed erectors cancelled due to back injury. Now coming Wednesday next. First five gallons of chardonnay at the new house is in the fermenter. Next red for communion wine.

Sat 11 Nov
Joiners to estimate on shelves in bedroom alcove. Some firms unobtainable, come do not return calls. Those coming Polish?, Indian and English. Been to garden centre for 11 concrete slabs as bases. Observed the two minutes silence in the store 11a.m.I enrolled for a quiz at the local parish church this time next week. Find I am placed on a team with our MP Steve Pound. We were on opposite sides of Ealing Council, 1990-98. He has been my MP ever since. We are good friends. He knows I never vote for him but on sexual moral issues he is very good being RC and he ia an excellent constituency MP. So I look forward to the evening.  Watching the Festival of Remembrance I recall seeing it in 1982 back from Nigeria and then the Chelsea Pensioners included Boer war veterans. Now no WWI men and any WWII people will be least 90.

The changing world (8) 1967

Started the year with IVF conference in Swanwick then to Sheffield visiting a girl, Elizabeth. I remember little except we went to a concert which included Stravisnski's Firebird. We were seated behind the orchestra. The percussion woke me up when the egg broke I think.
   January also heard Bill Lees, ex OMF on Independence at the London Missionary Volunteer Fellowship. He would later lecture at All Nations. John Rosser of Irish Treks spoke at Bedford College. I twice went on these evangelistic ventures to the republic. Oliver Barclay, general secretary of IVF spoke at Prof Fairbairn's on The Christian View of Sex. I would cycle to Enfield for this. Mrs Fairbairn's buffet was a great attraction too. As well as the CU he would have his overseas doctoral students to the meeting. Te prof's invite was one they should not refuse. Alex Mother spoke at LIFCU. After Easter there was another Swanwick conference. As the same time a theological students conference was being addressed by Schaeffer. My friend John and I were alone in a lounge when a crowd of theology students walked in with FAS. He immediately said the room was take they would go elsewhere. John said that impressed him more than all I had told him about Schaeller's teaching.
  In June I was at a CU house party at Mabledon near Tonbridge with Herbert Carson. What I remember was the library full of leather bound puritan volumes. Finals taken.
  In July I went to Belfast from Liverpool on Irish Treks. The shock landing at Belfast was to see police with guns. Never seen that before. Most of the team were from the north. One lad reckoned a garden with orange lilies in the south betokened protestants. We were basically offering to distribute scriptures. We were warned not to criticised the Roman church even if people we met did as they would not welcome criticism from the English. We were based in Sligo.
   August I got my degree results. 2.!. Prof was sorry I turned down the Ph.D opportunity. I now say I am Ph.D declined to any who boast of their degrees. So at 21 I was a qualified pharmacist on paying the entry fees. I had already passed the legal exam.
    In September I was interviewed at SUM Sidcup. and examined by their Harley Street doctor. I took Katy out for the first time, Merchant of Venice at the Aldwych.
   October I started at All Nations. We had two Nigerians, both senior pastors. Yakuby Yako was an accomplished evangelist with New Life for All which saw much church growth. He worked with Wilf Bellamy of SUM who sadly went astray after he left Nigeria for an American pastorate. Yakubu would always evangelise. While travelling he would ask fellow passengers if they were saved. His compatriot Panya Paba was leader in the missionary arm of his church, Evangelical Churches of West Africa, the product of Sudan Interior Mission work.
   I was doing the London University Diploma in Theology course. Included were history of Israel, Ezra and Nehemiah, philosophy of religion, Islam and college subjects like pastoral epistles and systematic theology. Ron Warne was bursar and taught philosophy. Of one of my essays he remarked,
   'A good Van Tillian perspective but there are others.' Ron Davis did systematics and Greek. He attended Welwyn Evangelical. I was given permission to worship there Sundays and he gave me a lift. Ian Tait ministered and taught homiletics a ANCC. Davis Morris taught Ezekiel. Other lecturers were Captain Godfrey Buxton MC of the family that had built Easneye the ANMC house. He was very godly but a hopeless expositor. Arthur Bennett, author of, Valley of Vision lectured but not to  me. He was a local vicar, reported as saying he knew one Isaiah in the pulpit but perhaps three in the examination hall. Such theologial schizophrenia I found abhorrent.
   Saturdays I could get to see Katy. Peter Clark, farmer and car owner would give me a lift. Her father was somewhat gruff and not then a believer. Katy soon left the Methodists for Welwyn Evangelical. Just before Peter picked me up Saturday late, I would watch match of the day, the only football on TV apart from the cup final.
   I note coffee at 6d a cup, dinner for two, 15/8 = 78p. In November Katy agreed she too was called to Nigeria. So  I proposed after this. I popped the question in the British Museum Assyrian room and she said yes.
   In December I attended the Westminster conference. It was my introduction to my hero Kuyper, not that I recognised his genius then. The Doctor was not impressed it seemed by a Christian politician, journalist, theologian church reformer and university founder. Too much the old Welsh pietist.  Home for Christmas.

The changing world (7) - undergraduate years, 1965-6

College Christian Union had weekly speakers. I have some notes but not names though I do remember Prof. J N D Anderson, chair of Islamic law at SOAS. He had owned the Ealing house bought by L'Abri where our IPC church started.
   Ranald Macaulay spoke at a meeting in our hall. At the time he was an undergraduate at Kings but married to Susan, daughter of fancies Schaeffer had started English L'Abri. What he taught on apologetics helped me in witness to those like my fellow students who were happy to think their godless philosophy was rational. Schaeffer's teaching later published in "Escape from reason' gave a basis for destroying the thought strongholds of unbelief.
 
   Among our weekly titles were, Can Christianity be proved true?Happiness, The historic faith ]we proclaim, Biblical wisdom, The person of Jesus, Judgement. In November David Sheppard did a university mission. I think it may have been before he was a bishop. Dr Spanner also spoke to our CU on, Is humanism the answer.
   I managed to get to some top sport. England rugby at the old Twickenham for all the games except Wales which was sold out. I was not buying tickets in advance nor did I for football. The most memorable rugby moment was hank's try the length of the pitch against Scotland. From the French game I remember the cockerels.
THE FIRST DIVISION SOCCER WAS A TRIAL OF STRENGTH THROUGH THE PRESS INTO THE GROUND AND ON THE STANDS, FOR STANDING WE WERE. THE TUBE TUNNELS AT HIGHBURY WERE THE WORST. MOST MEMORABLE WAS MAN U AT SPURS. CHARLTON SCORED A TYPICAL LONG DISTANCE STRIKE WHILE BEST WAS MAGIC. IN THE BOX, DEFENDER EITHER SIDE HE GETS THE BALL WITH HIS BACK TO GOAL AND BEFORE YOU BLINKED Y=THE BALL WAS IN THE NET. MAGIC.
  I am fed up correcting caps lock so won't.  February 1966 the doctor was in Acts 5 in the evening. This was one of the two occasions he was memorably topical. He usually did not refer to current events. But that month Nkrumah, first president of Ghana, fist independent former British African colony was overthrown. The Doctor was preaching on Christ the cornerstone, Acts 4. He made reference to, Matthew 21:44 - And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Nkrumah had a statue with the blasphemous inscription, 'Seek ye first the political kingdom'. Politician overthrown and statue too. The rock had fallen on the politician.
   In April I attended an IPF CU leaders conference at Swanwick. Met Gill from Bristol a medical student. She visited me in London and I went to hers but nothing came of it. I wanted two things. The right woman and guidance for the future. I was president of the college CU and missionary secretary for LIFCU. My second year exams in June saw 8 papers in the first week including a six hour chemistry practical. The next two weeks saw five more papers then leaving international hall I moved to the home of my cousin Roger in Woking for a couple of weeks. He was surgical registrar at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital Portsmouth. His wife Hilary was a medic too, a Cambridge sailing blue. Their children Robert and Sara. Roger got me a job in his hospital's pharmacy. I stayed with a Christian family. The memorable event was the world cup final. Saw England win on my own in the nurses home where they had a TV. But more significant was meeting the Berry family. Tony had been the first pharmacist for the Sudan United Mission's hospital at Vom, Benue Plateau State , Nigeria, The country had entered the Biafran civil war. Tony challenged me about work in Nigeria. Welcoming overseas students for IVP I was getting a similar message from Nigerians.  I remember taking one to Perivale to the tin research centre his sponsors.This was crucial. I knew God wanted me to serve overseas for England had lots of Christians and Was willing to go where the gospel was not so established. All my degree honours depended on the last year. Should I serve overseas as an academic or a missionary? The former required at least a 2:1degree to enable me to enrol for a Ph.D. I fancied that and Prof Fairbairn would have had me researching bio synthetic pathways in the opium poppy. He was feeding poppies grown in Enfield, radioactive isotopes to see how the opium was produced than he could modify it for synthetic opiates. But if I was not to follow the academic path any degree would do and I could give more time to CU in my final year. I was being guided to missionary work.
  Summer ended youth hosteling on my own in the Lakes.then IVF leaders conference at Swanick.
   I left International Hall for a flat share in Holloway with tree other Christian pharmacy student. John Sullivan mentioned before was from Birmingham. He too was to go to All Nations and serve in Yemen and Mali. David Durham fro Southampton became an academic. Stan Steadman from Pontardawe managed a Boots in Liverpool Street before owning his own chop in Robertsbridge, We cooked in turns. Stan's specialised in sheep's  heart. I did curry. My introduction had been the interview at the Square back in 1963 I looked for a restaurant for lunch and settled on an Indian. Never eating in such before I in ignorance chose vindaloo. Hot in, hot out,. Lips burning I finished it off. I paid up so I ate up too and got a taste for Indian. In those days you had to go to Soho for the spices, a respectable reason to visit there.
  I cycled everywhere. I was faster into college than my friends via the tube. I cycled to the chapel including round Trafalgar Square which was less regulated in those days, I was keen on collecting Spurgeon and advertised in the Christian press. My first visit to Ealing was by cycle to buy some Spurgeon.
   October I heard the Doctor two days after Aberfan. He was devastating. 'People will ask how did God allow this? What was it to do with God. Man in his greed built a slag heap on uni spring and then wants to blame God?' In this he was prescient. This indeed was the cause of the disaster. 'I know Aberfan. It used to be a place where the gospel was honoured. Now people turn their backs on God and expect him to protect their children.'Only a Welshman and a Calvinist count have said it. My Welsh flatmate Stan was shocked when I told him what the Doctor had said.
   1966 Autumn term Herbert Carson, assistant to the Doctor gave three LIFCU bible readings on the sovereignty of Good. He started with providence then on bonfire night, election. With the smell of fireworks in the air I met a girl I did not find particularly attractive.
   Kathry Overend fro Potters bar was reading music at Trinity College. Her friend and fellow musician Fiona Pallant suggested a group of us come to her home after morning worship at Westminster Chapel. But no-one else turned up and I started to get to know Katy on the long Central Line ride to Fiona in Loughton. Romance was slow for I did not ask Katy out until the following September.
    But Carson on the sovereignty of God had a seminal effect me I became an enthusiastic Calvinist. The talks divided the CU. One student particular, a LSE man became militantly Arminian. I was strongly the other way and read voraciously on the subject starting with Spurgeon's Early Years borrowed from my father who though Methodist was not an Arminian. I also read his books on ecumenism published by the Banner. So when I was baptised by the Methodist minister I declined church membership. I did not want to be part of a mixed denomination with liberals.
   Though regular at the Chapel, no-one there talked about membership. I was never invited to so much as a cup of coffee. There was the doctor urging evangelicals to come together in Bible churches yet his own congregation had for me no life whatsoever. I know know members could spend the whole day there with lunch together and tea but no-one invited me. The consultant physician was happy to run church like a surgery.You could come to him. He did not seek you out. This is even evidenced by Carson and others never being associate ministers only assistants to the Doctor. So he get s 10/10 for preaching and 0/10 for church body life.
   Our CU had a houseparty at Ashburnham Place , Sussex addressed by John Dart of Barry Bible College.
  Researching for my dissertation on the history of cannabis the prof took me to visit Scotland Yard's black museum.
   Alan Stubbs of Oak Hill spoke for our CU. I had a December interview at All Nations,Missionary College Ware, principal David Morris, ex R.A. and SUM Nigeria. He was a major in the war commanding an anti-aircraft battery in Dover during the Battle of Britain.
   I saw the new year in at Swanwick, IVP missionary conference with Donald English.