Important Information.

STOP PRESS: My first book (the first in a planned series!) is now available in paperback format. :-)
It is being published by AfJ Publications, Glasgow, and sells for £8.99 (for 230 pages). Initially, copies may only be ordered from me (p&p not included - but they may be collected in person!). Please contact me at
author@minister.com
The book is, of course, still available in its Kindle edition.


You'll find it at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009EG6TJW where you may read some sample chapters!

If you haven't got a Kindle (I haven't!), there is a FREE app at
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000423913

I am also considering producing an audio edition. Any feedback as to how welcome this might be would be appreciated, as it would involve a great deal of time and effort!

30% of the profits go to support the persecuted church.




Monday, 15 December 2014

Santa?

There have been a number of reports, in recent days, telling about the mother who decided to teach  two of her young, and apparently naughty, children a lesson.  She hung a letter - ostensibly from "Santa" - on the fireplace but, when the children opened it, they discovered that it contained the devastating news that it was "certain" that they were on the "naughty list."!

The mother's intention was, of course, that the children might start to behave better in the remaining time until Christmas Day - but she didn't anticipate how seriously the children would take the initial message!

Needless to say, the reports instigated comments from the leftie-liberal-loons.  One person stated, with reference to the mother: "What a nasty bit of goods.  I wouldn't mind putting her on some sort of stop list, but it would harm her kids again (sic)".(emphasis added).  Another wrote, again with reference to the mother: "Pure evil, no wonder kids are manic.(sic)". (emphases added).

Personally, I agreed more with the person who wrote "Absolutely brilliant.  It might, to some of the PC brigade, be cruel but it did have the desired effect.  Well done, Mum!"

However, what about some really radical thinking!   What about thinking right outside the box!   What about explaining to our children (as my wife and I did to ours - with no apparently bad effect) that this person "Santa" is nothing more than an advertising ploy?  That while there was a man named St. Nicholas, who did help some poor people in the area in which he lived, there was no 'magic' sleigh, pulled through the air by 'flying' reindeer, and carrying all of the gifts for all of the children in the world (!) to be delivered in a 24-hour period!  That the real reason why we give gifts to one another at this time of the year is because we are supposed to be celebrating the greatest Gift of all: "God loved the world so much that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever places their trust in Him should not perish but have, here and now, eternal life - that is, the very life of God Himself."

You see, I am convinced that, as children grow older, and discover that "Santa" isn't a real person, they decide that the Jesus bit of the celebration (if they hear about that at all, these days!) is probably no more real.  That, I would contend, is doing our children a real dis-service.

Christmas without "Santa" is perfectly possible.  Christmas without the Christ is totally meaningless!
Absolutely brilliant. It might, to some of the PC brigade be cruel, but it did have the desired effect. Well done Mum.
Pure evil, no wonder kids are manic!
What a nasty bit of goods. I wouldn't mind putting her on some sort of stop list, but it would harm her kids again.
What a nasty bit of goods. I wouldn't mind putting her on some sort of stop list, but it would harm her kids again.
What a nasty bit of goods. I wouldn't mind putting her on some sort of stop list, but it would harm her kids again.
What a nasty bit of goods. I wouldn't mind putting her on some sort of stop list, but it would harm her kids again.
 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Twelve days to Christmas!

No, the heading is not an invitation to sing a well-known song about leaping lords, dancing ladies, and a partridge in a pear tree, etc.  It is just a reminder that there are only twelve more days until that special celebration of the birth of the Christ-Child.  By the way, this post is also the first of the second thousand on this blog - yes, it is post 1,001!

It is also a visual post that reminds us that, without the Christ, Christmas is just another consumer-driven, debt-inducing, party-attending, season of the year.  The video is only 45 secs in length - so do take a look!


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

I'm a chef, as well!

Not everyone who accesses this blog would be expected to know that I commenced my adult working life in the catering trade.  I am, in fact, a fully time-served, experienced, chef having risen "through the ranks", from Commis Chef to Head Chef, and even Chef-Manager!

Perhaps that is why I was particularly interested in the furore caused by the comment made by Baroness Anne Jenkin that poor people are going hungry because they “do not know how cook”.  She gave the interesting illustration that: “I had a large bowl of porridge today. It cost 4p. A large bowl of sugary cereal will cost 25p.”

Of course, the loonie lefties were falling over themselves with indignation.  What did this toff know about poverty?  When did she have to go to a Food Bank for supplies?  Alright for her with her daily allowance for attending the House of Lords.  So, as seems to happen all too readily these days, the Noble Lady apologised.  

Why?  Her statement was only slightly inaccurate.  She ought to have said that, in many cases, they are just too bone-idle lazy to do so.  After all, cooking a bowl of porridge isn't exactly Cordon Bleu catering!  Yet it is one of the healthiest breakfasts that is available and, as Baroness Jenkin pointed out, is amazingly inexpensive.  The trouble, for too many (but not, by any means, all) of our Welfare State dependents, is that it requires a wee bit more effort than does opening a packet of breakfast cereal with its high sugar and salt content (of course, one ought never to cook porridge without a pinch of salt!).

It certainly seems to me, from my observations, that a considerable number of those on state benefits are among the more obese in our society.  Perhaps some basic exercise (even walking a couple of bus stops, instead of using a bus pass), and some freshly-cooked food (mince steak, potatoes, and fresh veg) instead of processed, and 'carry-out', meals would make a difference.  Of course, that would require taking responsibility for themselves, and not expecting others to pander to their wants!


Monday, 8 December 2014

The search for justice.

It has been one of today's major news items.  A murder trial has ended - stopped by the judge on the ground that the prosecution evidence was not strong enough; indeed, that the evidence of the main prosecution witness was: "improbable, contradictory, even laughable".  The reaction to this situation could not be more different.  On the one hand, there is the grieving family of the murder victim, unable to comprehend how a justice system could allow such a thing to happen.  On the other hand, there is the accused - who, it is now reported, may even be able to sue the authorities for having disclosed certain unsavoury aspects of his private life.

I do not have the evidence before me to comment on the case, or on the decision of the judge.  I am not able to make any comment on the real guilt, or innocence, of the accused.  However, I do know that, instinctively, we long for justice but, so often, seem to be unable to find it.

The wisest man of his day, Solomon the king of Israel, faced similar frustration and disappointment.  He saw that imperfect human beings could never administer perfect justice.  He wrote: "I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness." (Eccl 3:16).

If all that we trusted in was the wisdom and justice of imperfect people, we would lose all hope.  However, Solomon continued: "I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for He has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work." (Eccl. 3:17).

The search for true justice can be satisfied only by trusting the God Who is always just.  One day, as each of us stands before Him, the scales of justice will be perfectly balanced.

I trust that the family of Anni Dewani will look to Him for comfort and for peace.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Personhood, and human rights!

We live in a society, and a culture, in which there is considerably more emphasis placed on "Human Rights" than on personal responsibility.  So, we are informed, violent killers; Islamist hate-preachers; illegal immigrants, including an Algerian illegal immigrant who was barred from seeing his family after threatening to burn them alive – and who won his appeal against deportation on the grounds that he is entitled to a family life; et al, are entitled to their "Human Rights" - regardless of the rights of the community at large!

However, it would seem that at least one group does not have any "Human Rights".  I refer to the unborn!  It has been widely reported that a child who was left disabled because of her mother's alcohol abuse during the pregnancy, is not entitled to a payout from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board because, according to the Court of Appeal, she was "not a person" at the time!  Lord Justice Treacey is reported as having stated that "Parliament could have legislated to criminalise the excessive drinking of a pregnant woman - but it has not done so."

An unborn child, at any stage during the pregnancy, is not a person!  This begs the question: "What is such an unborn child?"   There was a time when many were convinced that it was nothing more than an amorphous mass of cells - the "blob of jelly" to which reference was sometimes made.  However, with the advent of medical, and scientific, techniques such as ultrasound pictures, we now know that, from its earliest days in the womb, what is forming there is a unique, individual, human being!  Have the learnèd judges at the Court of Appeal failed to keep up with contemporary developments?

Of course, as the old adage has it, "It's an ill wind that blows no good" so, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (an organisation that supports abortion for any reason) stated that, "This is an extremely important ruling for mothers everywhere.  Women must be able to make their own decisions about their pregnancies."

Many rightly condemn the Hitlers, the Stalins, the Pol Pots, and others for their activities that led to the deaths of so many.  However, not one of them ever came close to the numbers of unborn children, murdered in their mothers' wombs, almost always because they are seen to be "an inconvenience".

The following is from a letter by Billy Graham posted, a few years ago, on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website:
"Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah.” ... ... ...

"I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle."
Sadly, the same kind of comment could be made about much of the western world.  We stand condemned in the eyes of the Creator and Sustainer of all that is.

However, there is hope!  Writing to the early church, the apostle John states: "This is the message we have heard from [Jesus] and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth;  but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (I John 1:5-10; emphases added).

Did you notice those words that I have emphasised?  They are the assurance that, if we come to Jesus, confessing our personal sins and sinfulness, then He is able to make us new creations (II Cor.5:17), and to live our lives, ever after, for Him!

If we do so, then we have the further amazing promise: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom 8:1).  That word 'now' is so important.  Salvation, in and through the Christ, is not "pie in the sky when you die"!  It is for here and now.  I have eternal life, in Him - it's not something that I will only receive when I have done with this mortal body.

You, too, may have eternal life.  Not, necessarily, a 'bed of roses' - in spite of what some tele-evangelists appear to promise - but a life that makes Him more important than anyone, or anything else.  If you wish to know more, then please feel free to contact me using the e-mail address at the top of the page or, alternatively, check out some of the links at the bottom right-hand side.

Regardless of the decisions of the UK Court of Appeal, you have been a person since the moment of your conception - and you have been loved by Almighty God since before the world was even formed!!  Now, that's Good News!