Saturday, October 31, 2009

Home Again

We left Bad Homburg and arrived home 11 hors later. Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, the Channel Tunnel and England. Our ride was to Epsom where we transferred to our own car. The whole trip was blessed with good weather. Today we drove over 600 miles. Pictures of the Chunnel if you click on the title. In the evening we were not answering the doorbell to Halloween participants. The pound is so nearly parity with the euro so little seems cheaper in the EUSSR.

Charles Kendall Adams -

No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction= Charles Kendall Adams

Get dealt a set of cards in life, and just deal with problem.-Charles Kendall Adams (January 24, 1835 – July 26, 1902) American educator and historian

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday to Bad Homburg

Bas =baths. Spa town. 'In 1888, Bad Homburg became known throughout the German Empire because Kaiser Wilhelm II declared Bad Homburg's Schloss an Imperial summer residence, and later financed the building of the Church of the Redeemer (Erlöserkirche) close by. His mother, too, Victoria, the old emperor's widow — and Queen Victoria's eldest daughter — lived there for several years. King Edward VII was also often a guest. It was he who introduced the Homburg hat and permanent turn-up trousers. He also underwent fasting cures at Homburg 32 times.' I will not be fasting. This was a 400 mile drive in 7 hours. I expected Austrian mountains bur we passed none. From motorway shops Germany looks expensive. This town is where the frankfurst bankers live and we are out to dinner with one of them

Later: Marion is a banker with European Development bank working in Luxembourg and her husband works for the company with the computer which co-ordinates airline tickets world wide. Both are from the former East Germany so illustrate the blessings of the collapse of the evil empire. Our Belgrade host has worked with the wife and was bringing her a painting she bought in Mostar. After we took it to the flat we were treated to an excellent Italian restaurant dinner with good conversation and cross-cultural learning.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday to Austria

Travelled to Maltz, Austria, 590 miles from Belgrade via Budapest and Vienna in under 9 hours. Chipped in 77 Euros for a tank of diesel. Serbia was the flat Hungarian plain. Farming root crops but no villages. Round Budapest the road was busier and the scenery more varied. We were examined entering Hungary but into Austria nothing. So for once I am pleased with the EUSSR and glad the evil empire has gone with its Iron Curtain. After dinner we walked in what seems a quaint old town dominated by the most impressive monastery above it. EU prices are way above Serbia. Photos, click on title.

Wednesday -again Belgrade.

We walked to a Christian charity helping poor Serbians and bought some souveniers and cards they sold. Having thus done some Christmas shopping we took a taxi to the Bohemian quarter and I photographed before we had a coffee/beer break. We walked to and round the excellent ethnographic museum which allowed photographs. Click on the title to see them. Lunch at a good value Serbian restaurant included a 500g mixed grill for under 9ukp, my best ever value. A walk then a taxi back to the flat. En route I stocked up on liquid refreshments for England. Spirits from under 6ukp/L is a bargain. Local wine is about a quarter of our prices too. Back at the flat we packed for the morning, 9am start and an estimated 7+ hours to a hotel in Austria. We will be driven in our hosts Volvo Chelsea tractor; luxury motoring from Serbia through Hungary. I did not need much dinner tonight.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The European Green Belt

Staying in the same flat as us in Belgrade is an Englishman financed by the UN to develop a green corridor where the Iron Curtain used to be. Sounds a good idea as long as I am not financing it through my taxes. I am only green in recycling and energy saving, and the latter is for economic reasons not environmental ones. I am a global warming sceptic who stamps his foot at the sound of carbon footprints and green taxes or people wanting me to have guilt feelings over flying now that at last I can afford it. I think secularism, Islam and the EUSSR are the big threats, not global warming.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday to Belgrade

We were up before 5am to get the train to Belgrade. It took five hours, not the scheduled four, on a misty day. But the sun came out in the afternoon and we went to Zemun to walk by the Danube. This town marked the border of Christian civilisation for five centuries. It was Hapsburg; Belgrade, Ottoman, Click title for photos.

Monday in Timisoara

I spent the morning with our Romanian pastors while Katy felt abandoned for the wives were all busy and our host ill in bed. After lunch a young friend, Patriscu, took us into town. We had a brief but interesting tour of the Museum of the Revolution. Iw is coming up to the 20th anniversary of the overthrow of the evil communist regime. I wanted to photograph the plaque on the wall of the fleat of Bishop Toces, the Reformed pastor whose refusal to leave started the whole revolution. But building renovation meant the was no memorial to see. After some shopping it was dinner with our friends and packing for the 5.50 am train on Tuesday. Click title for photos.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday in Timisoara

We took a cab to church as our hostess has food to carry for pot luck lunch. The church was better decorated than I remember from my precious visit and the landlord still had grapes on his vines. Liviu led the service. Christi led the music on his guitar and the singing was good. They also have a good choir. I preached on church as body, building and brethren. Daniel translated. Seven women and two men were received as first members in addition to the three elders. I told them something of presbyterian government and what to do if there was a problem with their elders. After we talked with two elders and wives about problematic church / mission relations and sought a way forward. We enjoyed a good dinner with Christi and Melissa at a local restaurant. Romanian food, beer and tuica = grappa, but I was the only paraker of the alcohol.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday in Timisoara

We spent the morning and lunch with Liviu and Sica, his wife. We walked into town after discussing church affairs. I saw again the bullet holes in the walls of MacDonalds. No it was not a protest at one of America's least worthy contributions to globalisation. The holes were from the revolution which started here 20 years ago this December.

The weather was warm enough for us to dine out on the roof terrace of a top Romanian cuisine restaurant. Like Serbia, lagrge portions. Tripe soup followed by the best liver and bacon I have ever eaten. We rested after that. I did some sermon preparation for tomorrow and we had a pizza out with our host. Trabsylvanian dark beer is good.

Friday to Timisoara

After breakfast I walked around to find where I could get a haicut. After a long walk I found one near the apartment, one unknown to our hosts. 4.40 ukp was a bargain so I gave a tip too. Katy bought honey from the market.After lunch we took a taxi to the station. Unfortunately I left by 1L gottle of geer in the cab :-( The train was of ancient vintage. One compartment in three was lit properly but we had lots of space as few were travelling on this Bucharest train. The four hous went up by 15 minutes but our two Romanian brothers were there to meet us and take us to Nena's flat. She is a Philippino American Presbyterin misionary about to leave after six years here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday in Belgrade

This morning the ladies were at a Bible study and I walked to the station to buy our train tickets for Timisoara, a bargain at about 18ukp each return. I then spent to morning walking by the River Sava past its confluence with the Danube and back into the city for lunch with our host and a Greek railway engineer colleague of his. Then Angela and Katy took me to The Fortress overlooking the rivers. Click title for photos. At night we took our hosts to dinner at a Serbian restaurant. All I can say is that this place would be wasted on vegetarians.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday - Belgrade.

Leaving Verona after breakfast, Joel took us to Bergamo Airport near Milan from where we flew to Rome. Half of our two hour stop over was spent traipsing fom our arrival terminal to our departure one. It felt like we were walking half way to Serbia. Our flight to Belgrade arrived early but our taxi awaited and took us to the Field's apartment six floor up with magnificent views of the city including the nearby Ortodox cathedral and a football stadium. We has a stroll out to the cathedral which is still under consrtruction inside. I dislike icons but at least they are preferable to RC mariolatry. Click title for photos.

Tuesday in Verona

In the morning, Joel our host drove us to a beautiful small town, Lazice, on the shore of Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake. The town has castllated walls.Unfortunately the sun was behind clouds so we did not really see the mountains. But we had never before seen so many ducks on a lake. We had a coffee but chose cappuccino not the local shot. The Italians drink it strong and black but very small volume. It is merely a caffeine shot, not a thirst quencher. Joel treated me to a different shot too, local grappa. We lunched back at the family's flat with a bottle of local Bordelino I purchased to wash down the lunch.

Afternoon was spent seeing something of Verona and learning the history from Joel. a very able guide. We saw city walls and Roman gates and roads. We went into the arena, the third largest Roman arena remaining and the best preserved. The stage and seats were being removed as the opera season is over this year. No-one knows how many Christians were lion food there. We saw the Capulet's house with Juliet's balcony. The lion of Venice, symbol of their rule was much in evidence though Napoleon defaced many such signs of any rule that was not his own.Click on title for photos.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday in Mantua

Joel, our host drove us to Mantua after his children had gone to school. Parking across the lake we walked over the causeway to the city, a great prospect with the fortifications of the ducal palace. Unfortunately, being Monday, it was closed. We did though see inside Rigoletto's house, the cathedral and another palace with fine Renaissance art. A round church 900 years old was more impressive than the gross mariolatry of the cathedral. If all your paintings have a large Mary and a baby Jesus, who is obviously most important? No wonder Muslims think the Trinity is Father , Son and Mary. I will post photos on facebook eventually but may try here too.

Lunch was a local speciality, donkey stew. Dinner, in the centre of Verona included horse with pasta. My tastes are catholic and adventurous. Why be bound by your own culture and national cuisine? Click on title for photos.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Taliban in Pakistan Warns Christian Leaders to Convert to Islam or Face Dire Consequences

'ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: -- E-mail:

Saturday, October 17, 2009 By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

SARGODHA, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on October 6, members of the Taliban sent threatening letters in Sargodha, Pakistan warning Christian leaders to convert to Islam or face dire consequences.

A copy of the letter obtained by ICC warns Christians to convert to Islam, pay Jizya tax (an Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities) or leave the country. If Christians refuse to accept the choices given to them, the letter explains that they “would be killed, their property and homes would be burnt to ashes and their women would be treated as sex slaves. And they themselves would be responsible for this.”

Rev. Zaheer Khan, pastor of Maghoo Memorial Church, Rev. Aamir Azeem, pastor of United Christians Church and Rev. Zafar Akhter, pastor of United Presbyterian Church each received a copy of threatening letter.

“The Islamists sent the letters to the following Christian institutions: St Peter’s Middle School, Sargodha Institute of Technology, Sargodha Catholic High School, St John's Primary School and Fatima Hospital,” said an ICC spokesperson.

“Besides the Christian institutions, the letter was also sent to the main Immam-Bar-Gha (Shiite Muslim’s gathering hall). Shiites are a minority Muslim group in Pakistan where the majority of the population is Sunni Muslim.”

ICC’s Jonathan Racho said, “Christians in Pakistan are soft targets for attacks by Islamic extremists. Over the past four months alone, 12 Christians have been killed by Muslims due to their faith. We are alarmed by the increase in attacks against Christians in Pakistan. We urge Pakistani officials to take the threatening letters seriously and take measures to protect the Christians and their institutions from attacks.”

Note: ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441. The ICC website is
Dan Wooding, 68, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 46 years. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS).'

Let us pray for our brethren who are under threat.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

From Verona

Yesterday we flew from Gatwick to Verona. Our car left in Epsom to where we shall return by car, our kind son in law took us to catch our plane. BA should have taken us at 12.15. We took off at 1.30. As well as inefficient BA has become mean. One measly packet of nibbles and one drink was all we were given and no bitter to drink. How can BRITISH Airways be British yet only serve lager?

Our good friend Joel met us and took us to their apartment near Verona Airport. There then followed two hours of Skype conference call with associates of our church plant in Romania, callers there and in the US. We have a difficult church and mission situation there but are encouraged to hear of the determination of all concerned to proceede in brotherly love, for church planting in Romania. We will be there on Friday, DV.

After Skype, a good Italian dinner from out hostess, Jessica. We started with big red peppers stuffed with rice and Gorgonzola. Skipping the between courses in this bog but not on our table, we finished with a fine choice of liquid refreshments including one I contributed via Islay. I had been up since 4am so retired in good time well replete despite BA's starvation.

Today has been Lord's Day rest. The church plant has services every other Sunday at present and this is the Sunday they did not meet so we enjoyed a family communion service with the Rinns and their children. Jessica's lunch was a delight, a pasta to start and four great cheeses to end plus a postscript of almond biscuits, Iccantucini, dipped in Muscat then Italian coffee to drink. I was awake enough afterwards to continue enjoying 'Calvin',s Doctrine of the Christian Life', by Ronald Wallace which is an excellent work from his Edinburgh doctrinal thesis. Now supper is coming and tomorrow sight seeing in Verona. Arena here we come.

Intern Sought for CPA Federal Office

Sunday, 18 October, 2009 4:30 PM From:
"Christian Peoples Alliance"

Assistant General Secretary of the CPA
Based at Federal Office of the Christian Peoples Alliance
St Lukes Centre, 85 Tarling Road, London E16
A volunteer intern is sought for the national office of the CPA, which is a growing Christian Democratic party based 20 minutes on the Jubilee Line from Westminster in Canning Town. The applicant will be eligible to apply for support from the Centre for Christian Democracy (CCD), as well as travel expenses from the CPA. The role will start as soon as possible and will continue until the role is reviewed after the coming General Election. It is likely to suit a recent graduate looking for experience in political administration and campaigning. Previous interns have gone on to work for political think-tanks.

The Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) is a party in the Christian Democratic tradition founded in 1999 from within the cross-denominational group, the Movement for Christian Democracy (now the CCD). It exists to contest elections and to promote the social teachings of the churches. Over the past decade, the CPA has consistently been one of the best supported 'small' parties in London. This year it fought national European elections in alliance with 'The Christian Party', winning 250,000 votes. The CPA has thousands of supporters across the country and now wants to mobilise them into local groups contesting parliamentary and council elections due in 2010.

Office responsibilities
The party is run on a day to day basis by an Executive, with key decisions taken by the President and the Leader, in consultation with other officers. The party has a General Secretary who maintains the database, administers membership renewals, banks donations and answers queries by phone and email. The Executive is appointed by the CPA Federal Council, which is elected bi-annually by the national membership.

Intern role
An energetic intern is now sought for the office to help with the administration and to serve as Assistant General Secretary. They will ensure that supporters who want to form local groups or stand for Parliament get the backing they need. The candidate will be computer literate, have an interest in Christian politics, ideally have some knowledge (or willingness to learn) about the European Christian Democratic tradition and be servant-hearted. They will learn about political organisation, policy development and electoral campaigning, as well as communications.

They will join an existing office in Newham, where the CPA has councillors. The intern will work under the supervision of the General Secretary and other members of the Executive to implement the wishes of the party. They will also have a separate 'mentor' and support from both President and Leader. The office is in one of the most deprived parts of London and there will be opportunities to campaign for a distinctive Christian alternative in both the local parliamentary and council election campaigns in 2010. The hours of work will be by agreement depending on the circumstances of the successful applicant.

To discuss the role: Email or call David Campanale, CPA President on 07873 625396 or otherwise request an application form which will be sent to you. Closing date is 16th November.

Take a cab by faith

This is from a lady in our church. It is a testimony to challenge and warm the heart.

'I have to say, this week has been severely hard on my wallet and bank account. I lost my monthly travel card (again - for the second time in 1 month!!!!), my Oyster (prepaid travel card) was out of credit and ended up paying extra by cash for buses, dental costs, and to cap it all, I have been running late in the mornings one too many times that I've had to take the cab to work in the mornings (London cabs is mind-blowingly expensive!) not once, not twice but thrice this week!!!!

This morning, I wasn't running late though I did miss my ideal early train as I wanted to go in early to prepare for a presentation at work. But as I watched the early train leave the station, I vehemently protested against the idea of catching my 3rd cab to work.

But this morning there seemed to be a bemused voice in my head urging me to take the cab. And for only one reason; not that I will be early enough at the office to prepare sufficiently for the presentation, but so that I can ask the cab driver a question, "Who do you think Jesus is?"

I began to vehemently protest against the idea of catching the cab not because of the financial cost but from fear of asking the question. And then the Lord pointed out that He will give me the money to catch the cab, and seemed to dryly add that all that I have is His anyway so what am I complaining about.

My feet reluctantly trod to the direction of the mini-cab office which they now recognise my face and I did hope it would be Abdul, my driver for the last two times who is a lovely gentle and kind man - PRAY that he knows the joy of the saving grace that comes from Jesus alone!

But as the office coordinator shouted out for "B05! B05! This lady is late for work!", another chap appeared. His name is Najeeb.

As I sat in the cab I was inwardly asking nervously for help from the Holy Spirit on how to ask the question in my heart without seeming like a fanatic wanting to impose my beliefs on him.

I asked him where he's from.

From Afghanistan he replies. Then a bit of idle chatter.

I asked him what those beads hanging on his rear view mirror was and he responded that it was prayer beads. Similar to some Christians he pointed out to which I explained the difference between Catholics and to those who merely believe in Jesus.


And I begged God inwardly again to help me to voice the words. I didn't want to just blurt out, "Who do you think Jesus is!?!!!" out of the blue. But Najeeb led by asking me questions and giving interesting responses to which despite my fears (residue of the silence imposed on myself after a number of years in secondary school of being mocked for my outspoken faith), I excitedly spoke to him of my thoughts and experience.

Then the question came, naturally, in line with what we were talking about. I liked when he said, "This is the first time I've heard this. I know Christians claim Jesus as the Son of God but you say he is God."

And we talked about Jesus owning all that the Father has because He is the Father's Son and we talked about how we're never going to be good enough on our own accord. I told him to not speak about people who kill and murder, even for me, when my housemates don't clean the house and I gripe I am already sinning. We will never get there on our own.

He mentioned then that the first thing about Islam is cleanliness. They have to be in an absolute state of cleanliness before entering the prayer room, before they can pray. I then told him about how Jesus gives us His clean cloak while he took our dirty ones and so when the Father judges, He sees His Son's robe on us as Jesus takes the punishment of our sins on His shoulders.

Before he dropped me off at the office, he spoke of being interested to sit down and talk to someone about religion - any religion. I wasn't quite sure how to urge him on, but invited him to a ceilidh dance which will be held in my church at the end of the month and gave him the date, time and postcode where the church is. As I told him that it will be lovely to meet him again, I truly meant it and know he saw that and as he said he would like to join that night, I know he meant it as well.

Pray for Najeeb that he will join the ceilidh, pray that he will meet other fellow Christians who will have the love of God strong and true in their hearts and that he will be ever increasingly encouraged to seek the Lord. Pray that he will know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Pray that you will meet him, if not on earth, then in heaven, because you will dearly love him. You will see the gentleness that shines through his eyes, and the depth of intelligence that he never had the opportunity to explore because of war and unrest in his country (his own father studied in an American university long ago). You will love his humble simplicity as I did when he questioned how can Jesus as son be the same as the Father, like how he felt his own earthly father is in the sky who studied in America, while he is on earth, because he is just a taxi driver.

As I walked into my office I felt like I was hovering above the ground. Shamefully, me speaking about God to others is rare and far between and so when I do it is such an exciting thing that I need to share it! I was thanking the Lord for making me catch a cab and speak with Najeeb, and giving me a comfortable cab ride to boot (since He paid for it albeit through my own wallet).

Cost of sharing God's love? Priceless.'

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) -

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. Abigail Adams (1744-1818)

Our little ones, whom you so often recommend to my care and instruction, shall not be deficient in virtue or probity, if the precepts of a mother have their desired effect; but they would be doubly enforced, could they be indulged with the example of a father alternately before them. I often point them to their sire, -----"engaged in a corrupted state, Wrestling with vice and faction." -- Abigail Adams

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them. - Abigail Adams (1744-1818) Letter to John Adams, 1774

I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and like the grave cries give, give, give. The great fish swallows up the small, and he who is most strenuous for the Rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of Government. == Abigail Adams, letter to John Adams, November 27, 1775

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.--Abigail (Smith) Adams (1744-1818)_Letter to John Adams_ [March 31, 1776]

Wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues.- Abigail Adams (1744-1818) Letter to her son, John Q. Adams, 1780.

On the move 17 Oct (1)

This morning we leave home for Epsom where we will leave our car. Son in law Adrian will then take us to Gatwick for 12.15 flight to Verona, our first Italian trip.

Friday, October 16, 2009

John Dalberg Acton (1834-1902) -

Guard against the prestige of great names; see that your judgements are your own; and do not shrink from disagreement; no trusting without testing.
John Dalberg Acton (1834-1902)

History must be our deliverer not only from the undue influence of other times, but from the undue influence of our own, from the tyranny of environment and the pressures of the air we breathe. Lord Acton (Cited in Eerdmans Handbook to the History of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977), p. 2.

In every age its [liberty's] progress has been beset by its natural enemies, by ignorance and superstition, by lust of conquest and by love of ease, by the strong man's craving for power, and the poor man's craving for food."--Lord Acton

It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist. But from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason. -- Lord Acton

There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men.John Dalberg Acton (1834-1902)

There is no worse heresy then that the office sanctifies the holder of it. -- Lord Acton

Resist your time--take a foothold outside it. --Lord Acton, MSS notes, Cambridge, late 19th century

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dean Acheson (1893-1971-

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time=. Dean Acheson (1893-1971) "Sketches From Life."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pakistani Christian victims of Gojra violence refuse USAID’s aid packets

ASSIST News Service (ANS) reports on Tuesday, October 13, 2009,

'Some Pakistani Christian victims of Gojra violence refuse USAID’s aid packets
Punjab government gives double the amount of compensation to a Muslim family

By Dan Wooding and Sheraz Khurram Khan
Special to ASSIST News Service
LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- In a rare display of defiance, a few Christian victims of Gojra threw away aid packets they had received from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday, October 5, 2009, after they alleged that the government’s interpreter was not conveying a Christian family’s point of view to the US consulate’s principal officer.

One of the affected Christians living in a tent while his burned house is being reconstructed

Some 150 Christian families were rendered homeless in Korian and Gojra after their houses were burned by miscreants following rumors that Christians of Korian had committed blasphemy in July of this year.

Gojra is a small town in the Pakistani province Punjab, near Korian, where at least seven Christians were burned alive by a gang of Muslims on August 1, 2009.

Ms. Carmela Conroy, the principal officer of the US Consulate in Lahore had personally distributed a few aid packets to some Christian victims of Korian and Gojra during a ceremony held at Catholic Church in Gojra on October 5.

USAID left the rest of the aid packets in Gojra to be distributed by Catholic Church and the local administration.
Carmela Conroy, Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate in Lahore

ANS has learned that the USAID’s aid packet for each of the 150 affected Christian families of Gojra and Korian consisted of six blankets, four quilts, four mattresses, four mats, two plastic buckets, two water cans, two nets, a carton of utensils and three kilograms of washing soap. These items are now lying in the Gojra Catholic Church.

A Disruption during Carmela Conroy’s 35 minute visit to the Christian colony in Gojra occurred while she was talking to Hameed’s family members. Hameed is one of the seven Christians, who lost their lives in the wake of Gojra violence in August.

ANS has discovered that a few Christian victims of Gojra threw away their aid packets that they had earlier received, when some educated Christian men alleged that the government’s interpreter was not properly conveying the reservations of Hameed’s family to the US Consulate’s principal officer.

Professor Anjum James Paul, Director of Social Harmony and Development of Women, who led a fact-finding team to Gojra to probe why some Christians refused USAID’s aid packets, told ANS that Christians said they would welcome aid from all quarters but alleged that the “partisan role of the government’s interpreter” made a few throw away their packets in anger.

A Christian spokesman for the residents of Gojra told Professor Anjum James Paul: “We are highly thankful to the US government and people who are with us to share their grief with the persecuted Christians.

A USAID packet

“We are accepting all sorts of help and we do not deny accepting aid from our brethren of the United States.

“We need justice besides help from our well wishers.”

According to the professor, at least three major factors angered Christians of Gojra:

One, the police had accused some 129 Christians of provoking the Gojra violence in a supplementary version of Police First Information report (FIR).

The number of unidentified Christians in the police FIR is 100 whereas 29 others have also been named. The addition people who have been named included the Rt. Rev. Bishop John Samuel of Faisalabad Diocese, his two sons Adnan and Sharoon, Gojra Tehsil (administrative division) and Councilor Fanyas Masih.

The affected Christians allege the police are pressuring them to broker reconciliation with Muslims. A Pakistani court on Saturday, September 19 granted bail to some 18 Muslims who were arrested in the wake of Gojra violence under the the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Two, police have arrested two Christian men named Nouman Shahu and Naveed Shahu. The local Christians demand the immediate release of the pair who are brothers..

Three, a speech by Dost Muhammad Khosa, a Muslim Member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab for the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz on October 5 added to the existing anger among Christians because Mr. Khosa had some days back given double the amount of compensation to the family of a deceased Muslim man as compared to the amount received by Christian families, who lost their loved ones during August 1 violence in Gojra.

ANS has learned that Mr. Khosa gave (10,000,000 Pakistani rupees ($12,019.23 USD) to the family of a Muslim man who died as a consequence of injuries received during Gojra violence. The Punjab government gave 500,000 Pakistani rupees ($6,006.7277 USD) compensation money to each of the Christian families of Gojra who lost their family members during Gojra violence.

Current Situation

The Government of Punjab has allocated 200 million Pakistani rupees ($2,401,248.84 USD) for the re-construction of some 150 houses of Christians in Korian and Gojra. The on-going reconstruction work will be completed in a month time at the most.

The Christians of Gojra and Korian are currently living in tents and the latter have put up tents in a graveyard. It is feared that rain could make Christians highly vulnerable to contracting water-borne diseases. Christians live in a state of fear and uncertainty. As their houses were burnt to ashes, the students are without any academic certificates and degrees. It is uncertain to say when they would get their duplicate degrees given the procedural snags in the system.

ANS has learned that Christian students in Korian are being threatened that their names would be struck off from the school enrolment register after school examinations. The majority of Christian victims in Gojra are sanitary workers whereas the Christians of Korain are brick-kiln workers, field laborers and peasants.

Interestingly, family of Hameed Masih, who was one of the seven Christians burned alive in August have not had their house reconstructed yet as they want the house to remain like this so that people visiting the area could see the extent of damage that was done to Christians houses after the houses were set on fire.

The critics say a fast-paced re-construction of Christians’ houses is underway as the Punjab government wants to cover up its failure to protect the lives and properties of Christians in Korian and Gojra.'

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Worship God Quietly' - Lambeth Council Orders Church

'A LONDON church has been told by Lambeth Council to reduce the volume of its worship.

In an extraordinary decision, All Nations Church in Kennington, South London, has been served with a noise abatement notice by Lambeth council after complaints from a couple of local residents about the level of noise coming from the church.

This is the first complaint that the church has received since it began meeting at the premises in the 1960s. Church leaders have been ordered not to amplify its music or sermons – something which will make worship very difficult for the 600-strong congregation - some of whom are elderly and hard of hearing.

The decision, which imposes a restriction on the freedom of expression of religion will, according to one of the church’s pastors, Victor Jibuike, seriously affect the congregation and potentially mean that some members will leave and worship elsewhere – something he does not want to see.

The Council Noise Abatement Notice was served on the church without warning on 25 September 2009, despite the fact a meeting with the local Councilor and residents had being arranged for 20 October with the intention of addressing the neighbours’ concerns. The Pastors of the Church wanted to do everything possible to solve the matter amicably.

Pastor Jubiuke believes the complaints which have led to the notice may also have been triggered by the church’s plans to develop a disused school into a community centre in partnership with the Council. He said: “The complaint has nothing to do with the noise and everything to do with our faith. Lambeth Council are driving us out and we feel harassed.”

The Church is being supported in its ordeal by the Christian Legal Centre.

Andrea Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “The real issue behind this complaint is hostility to the Christian message, and the law is being used as a pretext to harass and silence Christian viewpoints not approved by the State. All Nations Church is simply trying to make Christianity relevant to 21st century Britain and it will be a great loss if the church, which is a great benefit to the community, has to curtail its activities and outreach programmes because of the Council’s actions.”

If you would like to donate to support the Christian Legal Centre in this case we would be very grateful.

Website: '

Where has freedom gone?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chinua Achebe (1930-____): -

Nigeria is not a great nation," he wrote. "It is one of the most disorderly nations in the world. It is one of the most corrupt, insensitive, inefficient places under the sun. It is one of the most expensive countries and one of those that give [the] least value for money. It is dirty, callous, noisy, ostentatious, dishonest and vulgar. In short, it is among the most unpleasant places on earth! Chinua Achebe quoted in Editorial in The New Republic Mar 22, 1999

When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool. -Chinua Achebe (1930-____): "Arrow of God," 1967.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Anyone for Hillsong?

When is a church not a church? Is it when it does not own the name? Hillsong seems like Vineyard. Whatever you do do not mention church. On their website I looked in vain for any statement of belief. I had the impression they are' charismania meets Australia'. What do they believe? How to give to them is right there and an upcoming rugby match, but what is the content of the gospel they proclaim.? On returning to more web pages I do find they are usig the word church, but what do they believe? My query is prompted by meeting a fine Christian student who goes there but I am in the dark about what they stand for and the website seems to have no facility for me to ask.

The man of blood

ASSIST News Service reports on Friday, October 9, 2009

'An extraordinary “forgiveness” event has been scheduled for the British House of Commons on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, when Patrick (Pat) Magee, who planted the Brighton bomb, will speak alongside Jo Berry whose father, Sir Anthony Berry MP, he killed...

The infamous IRA Brighton hotel bombing occurred on October 12, 1984, at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England. The bomb was planted by Patrick Magee, a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). It was intended to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet, who were staying at the hotel for the Conservative Party conference.

The bomb failed to kill Thatcher or any of her government ministers. Five people, however, were killed, including Conservative MP Sir Anthony Berry, and Parliamentary Treasury Secretary John Wakeham's wife Roberta. Sir Donald Maclean and his wife, Muriel, were in the room in which the bomb exploded. Lady Maclean was not killed in the explosion, but later died of her injuries, and Sir Donald was seriously injured. The other victims killed by the blast were Eric Taylor and Jeanne Shattock. Several more, including Margaret Tebbit—the wife of Norman Tebbit, who was then President of the Board of Trade—were left permanently disabled. Thirty-four people were taken to hospital but recovered from their injuries....

Belfast-born Pat Magee, former IRA activist, was given multiple life sentences for the Brighton Bombing. Released under the Good Friday Agreement in 1999, he has since been actively involved in peace work.

The event is being put on by The All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues & The Forgiveness Project .....

Pat Magee said on the website: “Some day I may be able to forgive myself. Although I still stand by my actions, I will always carry the burden that I harmed other human beings. But I’m not seeking forgiveness. If Jo could just understand why someone like me could get involved in the armed struggle then something has been achieved. The point is that Jo set out with that intent in mind – she wanted to know why.
“I decided to meet Jo because, apart from addressing a personal obligation, I felt obligated as a Republican to explain what led someone like me to participate in the action. I told her that I’d got involved in the armed struggle at the age of 19, after witnessing how a small nationalist community were being mistreated by the British. Those people had to respond. For 28 years I was active in the Republican Movement.' end quote

No. The question is not why McGee is a Republican, but why he is a murdering one. Most Republicans did not resort to murder. He did and is unrepentant. He neither desires nor merits forgiveness from his victims.. His liberty is an affront to justice for which I hold Blair responsible. Inviting him to Westminster? How foolish can you be? What next? A statue to Guy Fawkes?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Books read in October 2009 (2)

1. Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century by Neil Postman

Postman is a fan of the Enlightenment. He is very critical of the post Enlightenment modern world. He never used a typewriter, much less a computer. His critique of television is scathing as is his debunking of postmodernism. I found him both stimulating, informative and yet contradictory. He says modern man had lost a narrative to validate modernity. He has, I would say lost more than the narrative. he has lost not only a unifying world view but the attempt to find one. Postman is a great fan of childhood and of proper education. His writing on the history of childhood is fascinating. His views are sometimes surprising. He would have both evolution and creation science taught in school so the difference between good and bad science could be examined. He also sees that teachers need to know the history of science, and I would add, its limitations. The Enlightenment he says made us question everything, bringing scepticism about authority, critical learning. God has been dethroned. Man is the measure of all things. I am reminded of Connor Cruise O'Brien wring that the Enlightenment got God off our backs. Yet Postman is not a militant atheist. He wants comparative religion taught in schools for he knows religions have formed cultures. He also informs us that some famous Enlightenment figures like Paine were not atheists. This book shows us where the Enlightenment came from and where it brought benefits. he tries to give prescriptions for a return to the great Enlightenment ideas but I fear he does not give us the reasons why the Enlightenment's children have got us into our present mess. His advice is good but only part of what is needed for recovery of our true humanity as people in God;s image. History is his forte. He deserves a critical appreciative reading.

2. Calvin's doctrine of the Christian life by Ronald S Wallace

This is a doctoral thesis with a difference. It is readable and heart warming, not dry and academic. A vast reading of Calvin has produced an informative and practical book. It is an encouragement to personal holiness. Realise who you are in Christ identified with Him in death and life, Enjoy God's gifts including wine to make merry, but with moderation in all. I learned the meaning of concupiscence. It is another word for total depravity. Concupiscence refers to what we understand as the orientation, inclination or innate tendency of human beings to do evil. Always present, it must be mortified.

Jane Sherwood Ace -

Familiarity breeds attempt. - Jane Sherwood Ace (1905-1974) "Easy Aces" Radio Show, 1928-1945; in "The Fine Art of Hypochondria by Goodman Ace," 1966.

Home wasn't built in a day. - Jane Sherwood Ace (1905-1974) "Easy Aces" Radio Show, 1928-1945; in "The Fine Art of Hypochondria by Goodman Ace," 1966.

(born Jane Epstein) (October 12, 1897 – November 11, 1974) was the high-voiced, malaprop-mastering wife on legendary, low-keyed American radio comedy Easy Aces (1930-45).

Friday, October 09, 2009

Attack on Home Schooling - ACT NOW

'The Consultation on the Badman Report ends 19th October. The Government want to adopt the report, to regulate and register home school parents and children 'to keep the children safe'. I can see a scenario where parents take their children out of school, the local authority go round to investigate, using the powers recommended by Badman to interview the children alone from their parents, get something they can use against the parents, take the children into care and 'free' them for adoption.
Email and oppose the Badman report. You can say:
Putting home-educating parents on a national register is an unwarranted inteference in family life, It is an intrusion for officials to have power to question children without parents being present, There is no evidence at all that home educated children are being abuses, as Badman contends, Parents must retain freedom of choice over their own child's education.' - Christian Voice

Christian office worker sues Lewisham Council for unfair dismissal

'A Christian office worker, who was sacked for posting her personal views on homosexuality on a homosexual website, is suing her former employer for unfair dismissal.

Denise Haye, 25, from South London, is bringing a legal action against her former employer, Lewisham Council, which dismissed her from her job because she left comments on the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) website about homosexual practice being contrary to biblical teaching quoting passages from the Bible.

Denise Haye came across the LGCM website whilst looking for information about churches on-line. She says she did not realise that the website she came across was a website for homosexuals.

"I didn't know it was a lesbian and gay website at first," she said.

"There was an inquiry form page that I went onto, which invites you to give opinions, so I went on to witness to them."

"It wasn't with any malicious intent and it wasn’t with any hatred, it was out of sheer concern," she added.

Denise Haye was using her work computer outside her working hours as was permitted by the Council. When she posted her comments on the LGCM website she believed, in good faith, that her comments were confidential to the website. She was totally unaware that the e-mail account she used would be visible on the website.

Shortly after, Rev. Sharon Ferguson, a lesbian political activist and Chief Executive of the LGCM, complained to Lewisham Council. The Council’s response was to suspend her from work immediately "for further investigation". After six months Miss Haye was sacked from the job.

Rev. Sharon Ferguson commented on her complaint:

"The e-mail did not address the organisation or comment on our aims or statement of conviction, therefore I do not consider it to be in the form of feedback."

"Because the e-mail was sent from an organisation that has clear equality policies I felt it was important that they were aware of the very strong views held by one of their employees"

Rev. Ferguson is arguing that the content of the e-mail was "an unprovoked personal attack".

The case of Miss Haye is supported by the Christian Legal Centre. Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of the Centre, said:

"It is wholly disproportionate to end someone's working career for the mere expression of orthodox Christian belief. It is an extraordinary state of affairs that a personal comment given in a confidential context to a website should lead to a person's dismissal"

Spokesman for the Lewisham Council said that they are unable to comment on the case in progress.'

Andrea Minichiello Williams

020 7467 5421

Christian Legal Centre

So lesbianism is not compatible with freedom of speech. I thought it was only men they did not fancy.

Is Halloween Really that Significant?- Albert Mohler

Is Halloween Really that Significant?, Page 0

Shared via AddThis

Yet more dhimmitude

London Church may be Forced to Close over Muslim Neighbour Singing Complaint

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- If you think you’ve heard it all from post-Christian Britain, here’s a story that will shock many of you.
A London, UK, church has been effectively “silenced” by a Court after a decision by Magistrates to uphold a noise abatement notice, not to play excessive sound, after just one Muslim neighbour complained about noise levels of worship in a church which was next door to the house he purchased.
Singing Songs of Praise on a Sunday is normal Church activity. Using amplification is a normal part of Church life and it was argued at the Court hearing that the normal use of a Church building entails worship and cannot constitute noise nuisance.
According to the Christian Legal Centre (, Immanuel House of Worship Church (IHOW) has been meeting at 89 Vallentin Road in Walthamstow, London, since it bought the premises in 2006.
“The Church was built in 1894 and was formerly used by the United Reformed Church, when the Church owned all the land on which the current properties are now built,” said a spokesperson for the London-based Christian Legal Centre.
“The property next door to the church, No 87, was formerly the Manse (vicarage) until 1989, when it was then sold by the United Reformed Church. In 2005, No 87 was sold to the current occupants, Mr. and Mrs. Baha Uddin.
“From 2005 – 2006, the property was empty and vagrants frequently hung around church. Currently, the IHOW church offers a nursery to serve the whole neighborhood and has an impressive list of neighbors who welcome the church and who do not regard their worship as a problem.
“However, Mr. and Mrs. Uddin complained about the level of noise of worship coming from the church for just 40 minutes a week and an Abatement Notice was served on the Church Trustees on 6 May 2009 under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 79(1) (g). The church appealed to the magistrate court and the hearing took place on 5 and 6 October at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.”
Mr. Ade Ajike, a trustee of the church said: “When we moved into Valentinn Road in 2007, and we had renovated the property and bricked up the three windows facing house No 87. We also double glazed all the windows, except one stained glass window, and spent £10,000 ($16,000 USD) to carry out sound-reducing. In fact, the Council’s environmental department at the time said it would be enough just to brick up the windows.
“After moving in we invited Environmental Officers to visit the premises and we got the OK. We also visited neighbors and took them potted plants, and had no problem until Mr. Uddin made his official complaint in August 2008.
“Gary Vickers, an Environmental health enforcement officer visited Mr Uddin’s house on 10th August (Sunday worship service time) and on 12 August issued a letter to us saying that in his opinion, the volume from the music was of statutory noise nuisance level throughout the neighbours’ property. He suggested to deal with matter through sensible negotiation, informing our pastor that ‘the church had to keep the noise down so as not to offend the Muslims living in the area’. He told us ‘this is a Muslim borough, you have to tread carefully’.”
According to the Christian Legal Centre, during August, IHOW took action. They reduced hours of Sunday worship from 4 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes, of which music is played for about 45 minutes. They reduced their weekly services to one service on Sunday, and all mid-week services held are skeletal services without music. Sunday evening services were reduced to once a month. The trustees also took the decision not to hire out the premises in case noise would aggravate Mr. Uddin, a move which has cost the church additional revenue. However, the visiting officer changed and questioning got more “hostile”.
Mr. Ajike said: “Officers questioned the church why they needed amplifiers when 50 years ago the Church would not have used drums and amplified music. On 6 May 2009, an Abatement Notice was issued against the church alleging an unreasonable level of noise nuisance caused by excessive loud amplified music and drums.
“Since then we have stopped using drums and further reduced our worship time to 20 minutes beginning from 11.30am on a Sunday morning. We have also restricted church services to once a week. Despite all our action, Mr. Uddin, who actually lives in what was the former Manse (vicarage) to the church, would stand at church’s main entrance door and shout his complaints and demand our pastor come out to speak to him during his sermon.”
Now the IHOW has sought the advice of the Christian Legal Centre over their plight and to appeal this week’s decision. CLC has instructed leading Human Right’s expert Paul Diamond to represent the church at the Appeal.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and director of the CLC said: “The charge of nuisance in law must involve proving there is a substantial interference with comfort. Surely, any reasonable person would think that singing for 40 minutes or so once or twice a week would not cross this threshold.
"Worship in a Church is to be expected. The Environmental Health Officers do not seem to have taken this fact into account. This is a vibrant Afro Caribbean community of Christian believers whose worship of God is fundamental to the expression of their faith. The richness and vibrancy of groups like the London Gospel Community Choir is based on the Afro Caribbean expression of faith through music.”
For more information, please go to

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Karl Abraham -

A considerable number of persons are able to protect themselves against the outbreak of serious neurotic phenomena only through intense work. --Karl Abraham (3 May 1877 – 25 December 1925) early German psychoanalyst, and a correspondent of Sigmund Freud, who called him his 'best pupil'

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Child prostitution

'We reached Pune armed with information about two Bangladeshi victims, aged 16 and 14. After planning the investigation, two Freedom Firm operatives searched the area but couldn't find the girls. Unfortunately our information was inaccurate. Although discouraged, the operatives moved up the street to do random investigations. Entering a building nearby, they noticed a girl aged about 14 or 15 through an open door. She was crying and appeared desperate. Two men were negotiating a price for the girl with a brothel keeper while trying to convince the girl to prostitute. She was refusing but that didn't appear to matter.
They called me immediately with the information and we agreed that the operatives should "engage the girl" (pay for time with her) to buy us time to call in the local police. They paid for one hour, and in order to stall a little longer had drinks brought for them and soda pop for the girl.
Meanwhile, I called the Crime Branch of Pune and requested for urgent intervention to rescue the targeted girl. I kept close surveillance, and within 10 minutes the Crime Branch team arrived, met up with me, and called in the local police to raid the brothel. Together we entered the building. We found a total of six minor girls who had been forced into prostitution there and rescued them all. The traffickers tried to escape from the brothel, but the police caught them; in all, the brothel keeper, two male traffickers, and a female trafficker were arrested.
As we prepared to leave the scene, a mob of local pimps, customers and brothel keepers formed around one of the operatives and me. Fortunately, the police had not yet left and they were able to escort us to safety.'
This account comes from Shyam K., Freedom Firm's Senior Investigator. Shyam works with our team of operatives to find trafficked girls. He then assists local police to raid brothels, rescue girls, and arrest perpetrators.

Freedom Firm
78/85, Indu Sadan
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India
643 001

Languages in the UK

My professional Journal gave me this, ' A day for minding our languages By Bystander
Today, 26 September 2009, is the European Day of Languages — a Council of Europe initiative introduced in 2001 to celebrate language and cultural diversity......

The UK is unusual in having no constitutionally defined official language. This is because English has been so predominant that it is accepted as the de facto primary tongue.

However, no fewer that six other native tongues have been recognised by the UK government under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, which protects traditional languages spoken by nationals. The six are Lowland Scots (1.5 miliion speakers), Welsh (600,000), Irish (110,000), Scottish Gaelic (60,000), Uster Scots (30,000) and Cornish (3,500).'

So is their any broadcasting in Lowland Scots?

I am a leftie

I now get Hadith of the Day on Facebook. It is part of my ongoing education to understand Islam. Today it says,' Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet used to love to start doing things from the right side whenever possible, in performing ablution, putting on his shoes, and combing his hair. (Al-Ash'ath said: The Prophet used to do so in all his affairs.)'

I reflect that I am not a follower as I part my hair from the left, put on shoes and gloves from the left, etc.

Peter Abelard-

We do not easily suspect evil of those whom we love the most. --Peter Abelard c1132 Historia Calamitatum Ch.6

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Edward Abbey (1927-1989)-

A city man is a home anywhere, for all big cities are much alike. But a country man has a place where he belongs, where he always returns, and where, when the time comes, he is willing to die.--Edward Abbey

Growth merely for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.= Edward Abbey

Monday, October 05, 2009

John Wesley's "Directions for Singing" (from Select Hymns, 1761)

I. Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.

II. Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can.

III. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find a blessing.

IV. Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.

V. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

VI. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it; but attend close to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can; and take care not to sing too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

VII. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

W.C Abbott, Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell=

During a great part of the eighteenth century most Tories hated him because he overthrew the monarchy, most Whigs because he overthrew Parliament. Since Carlyle wrote, all liberals have seen in him their champion, and all revolutionists have apotheosized the first great representatives of their school; while, on the other side, their opponents have hailed the dictator who put down anarchy. Unless the socialists or the anarchists finally prevail- and perhaps even then - his fame seems as secure as human reputation is likely to be in a changing world. -- W.C Abbott, Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell

OC is a Marmite character. You love him or hate him - GJW

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Disturbing Stats

'51% of adults were registered as
married in 2007, compared with 59%
in 1998, according to the Offi ce of
National Statistics. Within a year it is
anticipated that it will fall below 50%.
The number of weddings in England
and Wales is now the lowest it has
been since 1895 – despite a vastly
increased population. Almost half of
women living outside wedlock had
children. Recent changes in the tax
and welfare system mean that married couples can be up to
£5,000 per year worse off than those who remain single.' - THE MONTHLY RECORD - April 2009

Nicola Abbagnano -

Reason itself is fallible, and this fallibility must find a place in our logic. - Nicola Abbagnano (1900 1990) Italian existential philosopher.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Assisted dying

From The Times
September 26, 2009
Assisted dying
This move to liberalise, although not without its rationale, is profoundly flawed

Sir, There is an exceptionally strong argument against liberalisation of legislation on assisted dying (report, Sept 24), found in the bitter experience of other countries and regions where the law has been relaxed. Both Oregon in the US and Northern Territory in Australia liberalised and soon had a disaster on their hands as elderly and unwell people reported sensing a growing feeling of being a burden on their relatives. In both cases the law was quickly tightened again. A related lesson is the case of the Netherlands where, once the idea of the sanctity of life had been lost through liberalisation of assisted suicide, involuntary euthanasia eventually became commonplace.

This move to liberalise, although not without its rationale, is profoundly flawed. Whatever our personal position may be on the question of faith, there is no denying the demonstrable disaster that liberalisation has been elsewhere. And whatever our feelings on the subject, learning from the mistakes of others wherever possible is wiser than repeating them.

Andrea Minichiello-Williams

Barrister and Executive Director,

The Christian Legal Centre


Q. What did the Zen Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?
A. "Make me one with everything."

On presenting a $10 bill to the vendor, He asked for his change...the vendor replied "But change comes from within."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land?

John Piper on April 17, 2002 wrote,

'How should Bible-believing Christians align themselves in the Jewish-Palestinian conflict? There are Biblical reasons for treating both sides with compassionate public justice in the same way that disputes should be settled between nations generally. In other words, the Bible does not teach us to be partial to Israel or to the Palestinians because either has a special divine status.

I do not deny that Israel was chosen by God from all the peoples of the world to be the focus of special blessing in the history of redemption which climaxed in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. "The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 7:6).

Nor do I deny that God promised to Israel the presently disputed land from the time of Abraham onward. God said to Moses, "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, 'I will give it to your offspring'" (Deuteronomy 34:4).

But neither of these Biblical facts leads necessarily to the endorsement of present-day Israel as the rightful possessor of all the disputed land. Israel may have such a right. And she may not. But that decision is not based on divine privilege. Why?

First, a non-covenant-keeping people does not have a divine right to hold the land of promise. Both the blessed status of the people and the privileged right to the land are conditional on Israel's keeping the covenant God made with her. Thus God said to Israel, "If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples" (Exodus 19:5). Israel has no warrant to a present experience of divine privilege when she is not keeping covenant with God.

More than once Israel was denied the experience of her divine right to the land when she broke covenant with God. For example, when Israel languished in captivity in Babylon, Daniel prayed, "O Lord . . .we have sinned and done wrong . . . To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame . . . to all Israel . . . in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you" (Daniel 9:4-7; see Psalm 78:54-61). Israel has no divine right to be in the land of promise when she is breaking the covenant of promise.

This does not mean that other nations have the right to molest her. She still has human rights among nations when she has no divine right. Nations that gloated over her divine discipline were punished by God (Isaiah 10:5-13).

Secondly, Israel as a whole today rejects her Messiah, Jesus Christ, God's Son. This is the ultimate act of covenant-breaking with God. God promised that to Israel "a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6-7). But with tears this Prince of Peace looked out over Jerusalem and said, "Would that you . . . had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. . . . You did not know the time of your visitation" (Luke 19:42-44).

When the builders rejected the beautiful Cornerstone, Jesus said, "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits" (Matthew 21:43). He explained, "Many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness" (Matthew 8:11-12)

God has saving purposes for ethnic Israel (Romans 11:25-26). But for now the people are at enmity with God in rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, their Messiah (Romans 11:28). God has expanded his saving work to embrace all peoples (including Palestinians) who will trust his Son and depend on his death and resurrection for salvation. "Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one. He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith" (Romans 3:29-30).

The Christian plea in the Middle East to Palestinians and Jews is: "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). And until that great day when both Jewish and Gentile followers of King Jesus inherit the earth (not just the land), without lifting sword or gun, the rights of nations should be decided by the principles of compassionate and public justice, not claims to national divine right or status.'

I am 1005 In agreement.

© Desiring God


One of the tragedies of human history that *the children of darkness* are frequently more determined and zealous than *the children of light*. ~Martin Luther King Jr

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Youth -

Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life. - Herbert Henry Asquith (1852 &endash; 1928)

The young always have the same problem , how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. Quentin Crisp

Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor. --Euripides

The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don't have to pay taxes - naturally, no one wants to live any other way. ~Judith Martin "Miss Manners

God...frequently...makes young men and women wiser than the aged, and gives to many, in a very short time, a closer and deeper communion with himself than others attain in a long course of years.-John Wesley ,letter: , 27 Dec 1774