Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Monday, July 28

Announcements on a crowded train

"I can't depart this train with arms and legs and butts hanging out"

"Please remember there are small children on this train, so be careful not to [PAUSE] squash them"

Thursday, July 24

My miracle baby is now 6 years old

How we prayed for that baby.

The doctor had just laughed - with is head thrown back and for a long time - when  in our 40's and with six kids already we told him that we wanted a vasectomy reversal.  Under these circumstances it wasn't available on the NHS, so we spent £2500 for it to be done privately.  And then we took ages to conceive, with two miscarriages along the way.   Where was the God we believed had told us prophetically to have another child?

But then at last came the successful pregnancy, and the astonishingly beautiful little baby girl, who was such a great delight to us and to all that know her.  Six years later, she is still a delight, still wonderful, still beautiful, and now we also know she is bright, intelligent, confident, social.

She's not so great at church things though - "the Bible is boring".  She likes an active and creative Sunday school, and she likes Messy Church, but she shows little sign of any underlying spirituality.  Yet if God has purposed her into existence, we believe that that will come in time.  God has certainly used her as a catalyst for my wife's church work, and we believe that he will continue to use her albeit in changing ways as she grows older.

Happy Birthday, my lovely baby!

Tuesday, July 22

Kids Talk 4

My five -year old spells the word "result" as "wizult". I can see where she is coming from, and blame Michael Gove's over-emphasis on phonics.

Sunday, July 20

Criminal Israeli atrocities in Gaza

It is not acceptable for Israel to claim 'self defence' in the current aggression.

This started because the Israelis blamed Hamas for the murder of three teenagers, without any judicial process, and then proceeded to carry out extra-judicial reprisals against those they have imprisoned in Gaza. Yes it is true that the Palestinians have fired a few rockets, which barely tickle Israel's defences. Israel claims a right to self defence: Palestine, including Gaza, has a right to self defence. Palestine has a right to shoot rockets into the territory of the nation that is throwing far more ordnance at them, with far more devastating effect.  It is grossly unequal, grossly unfair.

How many more innocent children must be killed before the West, and Christians in particular, realise that what Israel is doing is wrong? Why do Christians support Israel at times like this? Fair enough, let Israel exist if you see that as a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy (it's not, by the way). But if the scripture is so important, then read:
  • Exodus 12:49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you. 
  • Exodus 22:21 Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. 
  • Exodus 23:9 Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. 
  • Leviticus 19:10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
  • Leviticus 19:33 When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. Leviticus 19:34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. 
  • Leviticus 23:22 When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.
  • Leviticus 24:22 You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God. 
  • Leviticus 25:35 “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. 
  • Numbers 15:15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the foreigner shall be the same before the Lord: 
 And I could go on. I will stop at this one:

  • Deuteronomy 1:16 Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.
I think that is all pretty damming.  The Hebrew scriptures require the Hebrews to treat the Palestinians in their occupied territories as equals to themselves.

They should not forget that their God is a righteous judge who sees their every action, knows their every thought.

Yes, He threw out the Canaanites for their sin and gave the land to the Hebrews.  But then he threw out the Hebrews when they sinned, sending them to Babylon, and gave the land to other nations.  Do the Hebrews of today think that God will change?  If he ejected them from the land for their sin before, he will do it again.  I believe their time is running out.  The cries of the oppressed (in this case Palestinians) do reach heaven, and they get fast tracked straight to the open ears of the God of Justice.  Israel has very little time left to repent.  Christians that love Israel must warn her of her impending doom, not endorse her sins.

Wednesday, July 16

Grasmere

Spent my Birthday in Grasmere. What a lovely place!

Typing while asleep

Mrs asked me to type up her latest MA essay the other day. It stretched late into the evening, with her dictating and me typing. It went past the time I frequently fall asleep in fromt of the TV. So, while she dictated, I fell asleep. This did not stop me typing - I still typed 4 words. When I woke up again, I had actually typed the right words in the right order: each word having two spelling errors but still remarkably good, considering I was asleep at the time I typed! (I don't type that much better when I am awake.)

Later in the eveing I performed less well, giving her three lines of KKKKKKKKKK in the middle of a paragraph.

She is proof reading it today, so we will see how angry she is when I get home tonight!

....but is it right?

..... to collect model railway track, engines, carriages and scenery, all costing £££, when there are stariving people in the world? I don't believe God expects us to ONLY feed the poor, but when it comes to the last judgement, the one who has fed the poor will go to heaven ahead of the one who has a finely-modelled train layout.

Monday, July 14

BBBQ

Triple-B Q?

The extra B stands for 'British'. That means that once we had decided that the long dry spell could be relied on for the afternoon and we had set all the stuff out in the garden and got the charcoal going nicely....

IT RAINED!