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.




Friday, 22 August 2014

Womb - or tomb? (Part 2).

For a number of years I gave the opportunity, to my senior pupils, to choose a major topic for discussion.  One of the most popular was that of abortion!   However, one day I was summoned to the office of the head teacher.  He had received a telephone call from a parent, complaining about my having told his 16-year-old daughter what happened at an abortion (almost as if he thought that the rest of the class had not been present!).  I cannot now recall his exact words - as related to me by the head teacher - but the gist of them was that he didn't want his daughter, already able to legally engage in sexual intercourse, to know what happened, "in case she ever needed to have an abortion"!

That, I believe, is a major part of the problem about the procedure.  So many do not know - and do not wish to know - what actually happens.  They are content to believe that all that is removed from the female is a homogenous bundle of cells, no more 'human' than an appendix or than tonsils.  That is why, I suspect, so many talk of the woman's body, as if that was all that was involved.

I'll explain a little about procedure in a subsequent post but, for now, let's determine exactly what it is that is being aborted.

It is safe to say that the female - girl or woman - does not know, for certain, that she is indeed pregnant until at least seven to eight weeks after conception.  By that time, the embryonic heart is already beating!  I would suggest that it is also safe to say that, by the time a decision is made to seek an abortion, and arrangements made for the procedure to take place, another four to six weeks, minimum, will have passed.  This means that the earliest stage at which an abortion would normally be carried out would about twelve to fourteen weeks after conception or, to put in another way, approximately one-third of the way through the pregnancy.

With the benefit of scans, we now have a clear picture of what the unborn child is like at that stage in its pre-natal life.  At twelve weeks, the foetus measures about 60 mm from crown to rump and weighs between 9 and 14 grams. It is fully formed, from tooth buds to toenails, and the baby's job now is simply to continue getting larger and stronger for the rest of the pregnancy. With the most critical development behind the foetus, the chance of miscarriage drops considerably after this week.  However, it is only at this stage that the possibility of an abortion becomes a reality!  This, it must be clear to any normal person, is no 'lump of cells'.  This is, unmistakeably, a baby - a human being at an early stage of its development, but a human being nevertheless.

This little life is, of course, dependent upon its mother - but it a totally separate being.   A unique individual, just waiting to be born.

Next time, we'll look at some of the methods used to kill this little life - and to turn the womb into, temporarily, a tomb.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Answers!

Almost forgot to provide the correct answers to the latest quiz!  So, here they are.  Hope you all did well.

1.   Andrew
2.   Isaac
3.   Ananias
4.   Aaron
5.   Elizabeth
6.   Elijah
7.   Uzziah
8.   Esther
9.   Obadiah
10. Agrippa

I hope to have another quiz - before too long!!  :-)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Womb - or tomb?

In a speech yesterday - that is in no way connected to the forthcoming General Election!! - Mr David Cameron set out new measures to help families, and made a fresh commitment to put family life at the heart of Conservative policy. Among other things, he said: "For me, nothing matters more than family. It's at the centre of my life and the heart of my politics. It's family that brings up children, teaches values, passes on knowledge, instils in us all the responsibility to be good citizens and to live in harmony with others."

I liked that bit about "It's family that brings up children" because, of course, the children must be there to bring up.  Unfortunately, too many don't make it that far - and the government could do something about it!

Earlier today, I was reading about Moloch - a god of the ancient Canaanites or Phoenicians - mentioned by the Old Testament prophet, Amos (5:26).  As part of the 'worship' of this pagan deity, that was represented by a large bronze statue with a cavernous mouth that contained a furnace, mothers would throw their own live children into that mouth, where they were devoured by the flames.  In such a way, tens of thousands of innocent victims were used to placate this 'god'.  Drums were even beaten loudly in order to drown the screams of these little children.

I cannot imagine any normal human being, including Mr Cameron - our new champion of the family! -  not being appalled at such atrocities.  However, if we look at the society and culture in which we live in this 21st century, we discover that we are no better!

The modern equivalent of Moloch is, I would argue, much more implacable than the Canaanite 'god'.  Indeed, if we compare the tens of millions of victims today, then those human sacrifices of antiquity pale into numerical insignificance.

Today, and for many decades, we do not throw these children into a fire. Rather, their lives are snatched away in the cold, sterile, silence of the abortionist's operating room.  Not even given the opportunity to breathe, these little human beings are sacrificed on the altar of the 'personal convenience' of the mother.  In the womb - where they should be most protected - their little lives are snuffed out, and their little bodies are discarded.  The human sacrifices becomes, until it is emptied, a tomb!  Such is the wonder of 'modern civilisation'!

Now, in order to pre-empt some anticipated comments, let me say that there are some - very rare - situations in which abortion is the least worst thing to do.  But these are, indeed, very rare.

I expect to continue this theme for a couple of posts, so do ensure that you return to the blog!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Hamas (finally!) caught fudging the numbers in Gaza.

Belatedly, a number of major media players are calling into question the veracity of the figures provided by the Hamas Ministry of Health and the UN’s presentation thereof, during the recent conflict.

An analysis by The New York Times revealed what Israeli bloggers had been pointing out for weeks: that a disproportionate percentage of the casualties were men of fighting age.

According to the article:

“The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.”

Why were only 1,431 names examined? Didn’t over 2,000 die in Gaza? Well, maybe.  Hamas was also caught duplicating names on the list of casualties provided to the media and the UN, which themselves didn’t bother to check for such inconsistencies.

Not wanting to be left looking the fool, the BBC also quickly changed its tune, admitting that “if the Israeli attacks have been ‘indiscriminate’, as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women….In conclusion, we do not yet know for sure how many of the dead in Gaza are civilians and how many were fighters.”

The Washington Post had already noticed that something was awry much earlier, with one of its lead bloggers lamenting that “the media has engaged in journalistic malpractice by reporting casualty figures for civilians coming from Gaza as gospel.”

Much closer to reality is a detailed analysis by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, which found that there was a rough 1:1 ration of combatants to civilian casualties in Gaza. If accurate, such a ratio would be unprecedented for modern urban warfare, and would speak highly of Israel’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties.

This video is also interesting - and relevant!  It is, allegedly, of a Hamas mass funeral.  However, even having worked, at one time, for an undertaker, I have never seen such lively corpses!!   Don't laugh - but remember this on any future occasion on which Israel is seen as 'the bad guy'!


Friday, 15 August 2014

A master potter.

Another video clip - but this one doesn't star 'yours truly'!  It takes me back to the days before 24/7, multi-channel, technicolour, television.  When I was a child, and my parents purchased their first television set, we had one channel (we didn't even use the word - it was just 'T.V.'!) that was broadcast only between certain hours of the day, and evening.  However, during the frequent interludes between some programmes, there were a number of film clips broadcast.  These included a great series (I wish I could find it on YouTube!) entitled 'Stranger than fiction' and, strangest of all, a tank of tropical fish - in monochrome (that's black and white!).  However, another favourite was the potter at his wheel.  Quite amazing - as you can see in this clip!



There is, of course, a clear spiritual message. 

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  'Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear My words.'  So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? says the Lord.  Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.  If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in My sight, not listening to My voice, then I will repent of the good which I had intended to do to it. Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: 'Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.'
" (Jer.18:1-11).

Those words may be applied to not only the contemporary nations, but to every nation throughout all of time.  It may also be applied to each one of us as an individual.   There are many, today, who need to hear, and heed, those words!