Not the ConDems new industrial relations policy but something equally as vile. Seems their latest plan to make the innocent pay for the sins of the capitalists in this new proposed 'Three Strikes and you're out' policy. Basically it's Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith planning to impose a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule that will remove benefits for three years from anyone caught trying to defraud the welfare state more than three times.I actually think that the three strikes bit means something different, more along the lines of; Strike 1 - involves the welfare state so despised by Daily Mail readersStrike 2 - involves assorted ne'erdowells, single mums, wayward fathers, disabled people, Johnny Foreigner types, the type of people that Daily Mail readers assume are sponging off the state Strike 3 - involves extra-judicial punishment to teach the rotters a lesson that the Daily Mail readers would approve ofHow can the ConDems go wrong with su…
As the first decade of the new millennium is coming to an end, the Pentecostal movement is entering into a new phase in her developments: the Reformation Era in Pentecostalism. This is an era of self-evaluating, self-awakening and reforming the Pentecostal movement as it is going on now. The Pentecostal Movement with its branches and side branches needs a reformation and a re-intervention on specific areas where things have been going out of hand or in areas that have been neglected.via web.me.com Any Pentecostal Reformation is long overdue.
Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food. Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two. A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One. Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised. Liaisons between the military and academia are nothing new, of course. World War II, perhaps the most profound e…
via youtube.com I still have the 12" of this squirreled away somewhere. I should dust it off and play it for Cameron. Here we go "Wee'ere all in it together!" Well I would but I don't have a record player so the Youtube video will have to do.
via youtube.com I still have the 12" of this squirreled away somewhere. I should dust it off and play it for Cameron. Here we go "Wee'ere all in it together!" Well I would but I don't have a record player so the Youtube video will have to do.
But there is another issue here and it is this: the more debt you are in, the more you are beholden to this consumerist culture. The more you have a stake in this tottering tower of interdependent debt, the more your interests lie in propping it up. I'm not underestimating here the power and the potential of debt. Nor am I denying that I have debts of my own! I'm simply questioning the probity of the conditions which its preponderance creates.via thesensiblebond.blogspot.com Ches has sussed why any transition away from capitalism seems to be becoming more and more difficult
I came across the import function on Posterous while having a look round to see how things work. Seemed a simple process, type in the web address for your blog, be it WP, Blogger and others, click the button and away it goes. Ten minutes later all my posts had been imported into Posterous. Job done.It's made a good job of importing as well. Text, images and multimedia has been brought across and ispresented nicely. The only issue I had is that any script from Zemanta is left displayed as text at the bottom of the post.Aside from that, a job donefrom Posterous.
Emmanuel Bankole brings the word at Runnymede Christian Fellowship at Egham in Surrey. If you're around Egham on a Sunday morning then please do consider visiting us! Sent from my Nokia phone via posterous just to check and see if it's working.
Have the Catholics been feeling left out with the recent Methodist legal action mentioned in my previous post?
Seems there's moves afoot for a bit of priest-on-priest court action in the pipeline!
What in God's name is happening to our churches? We're meant to be in the world, not taking on the character of the world. All we need now to finish the show is for the Archbishop of Canterbury to slap a writ on Desmond Tutu's birthday cake. Happy birthday to Desmond tutu!
Image via Wikipedia I don't know about you but I used to have an impression that the Methodist church in the UK was a denomination typified by being very, very nice people. The sort who wouldn't say boo to a goose yet would give you their last penny to the homeless if needed. In fact a church that I would have passed over if looking for a bit more get up and go, so to say. Looking a bit closer into their workings and teachings I see a much deeper Christian church which is highly concerned with the social gospel and a church that does speak and act louder than maybe their numbers would suggest. A church hidden from my view by my own ignorance I would suggest.
So I'm surprised to see signs of discord within the Methodist church over a resolution adopted by conference regarding the issue of the Occupied Territories and Illegal Settlements.
You can read the resolution over at the Connexions blog by Richard Hall, a Methodist minister. The resolution is hardly inflammatory stuff …
Image via Wikipedia An article on the BBC brings to mind a situation from a few years ago. I used to lead a house group attached to my local Anglican church. I remember one evening as we were studying the Bible that one gentleman couldn't wait to share some news. He had read in the papers that the miracles or calamities performed by God through Moses and Aaron, the Ten Plagues of Egypt were true! There were reports of scientific evidence of how they could have happened. As a reminder the events were:
Plague of bloodPlague of frogsPlague of licePlague of fliesPlague of livestock deathPlague of boilsPlague of hailPlague of locustsPlague of darknessDeath of the first-born You can read about them in Exodus Chapters 7 to 12.
His understanding of 'true' was to reduce the cause and process to purely natural mechanisms.
Yet despite my friend's excitement the 'scientific' reports were pure conjecture. But there was a more serious point to be addressed. In accepting the …
Rummaging through YouTube I came across these two theme tunes from programmes that I remember from my childhood. They both create within me a very peculiar feeling, a mixture of melancholy and warmth. Odd.
First off is the title tune to The Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe.
Next up we have the opening theme to White Horses.
Membership of the National Secular Society - 9,000 ( 0.01% of the population )
Membership of the British Humanist Association - 7,000 ( 0.01% of the population )
Number of Catholics in the UK - 4,200,000 ( 6.8% of the population )
It's a shame that the media doesn't give column inches and airspace in proportion to the numbers of those professing 'secularism' rather than in proportion to the egos of some of their spokespeople? Some people can't stand to see the Catholics celebrating with the Pope visiting and really need to take a measure of their own significance.
A snippet below from her Maj's welcome speech to the Pope yesterday:
"Your Holiness, your presence here today reminds us of our common Christian heritage, and of the Christian contribution to the encouragement of world peace, and to the economic and social development of the less prosperous countries of the world. We are all aware of the special contribution of the Roman Catholic Church particularly in its ministry to the poorest and most deprived members of society, its care for the homeless and for the education provided by its extensive network of schools."
Someone's obviously forgot to tell her of her own Government's success in legislating Catholic adoption agencies out of existence and the attack that Catholic, and other faith schools are suffering under.
Not only has the article reminded me that Blair was welcomed into the Catholic church despite his unrepentant attitude over the illegal war and hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and his appalling contradictory record on all matters pertaining to Catholic social teaching, now they're planning to have 'straight guy' Tone accompany the Holy Father on his trip to England!
Who's running the show, who's planning the itinerary? They should sub it out to the National Secular Society or suchlike as you can guarantee they wouldn't do such an appalling job.
Do the English Catholics really despise Pope Benedict that much?
A few years ago 19 men hijacked a number of aircraft in US airspace and deliberately crashed them into a number of targets. There must have been a number of people working behind the scenes to enable this dreadful event. Maybe 50 people in total? From that dreadful day we have seen a wave of hatred for Islam fuelled by a desire for revenge coupled with ignorance about what Islam actually is. How many have died, have suffered because of the response of the 'West' to the events on September the 11th?
On September the 11th this year pastor Terry Jones from the Dove World Outreach Centre plans for his church to hold a 'Burn A Koran Day' to send a message to 'the radical element of Islam'. His church has about 50 people in their congregation. How much hatred and desire for revenge will be ignited by his event as the message is picked up by Muslims throughout the world who will not distinguish between the views of this pastor and the 'Christian West'?
It seems to me that those who loudly proclaim "There is no God!" seem to spend an awful lot of time talking about the deity they don't believe in. And oft ignorantly so.
Stephen Hawking seems to be sticking to type by claiming that God wasn't necessary to create the universe. He says so in his new book "The Grand Design". 'New book'? Perhaps this gives us a clue.
This book seems to contain a few cases that would stretch the laws of logic a tadge far. We have:
'Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.''Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.Sigh. This makes the arguments of the 'Chicken Watcher General' look reasoned.
I remember my brother building this Sinclair Scientific calculator many, many years ago. Powered by 4 x AAA batteries and operating with reverse polish notation. I used it in earnest doing my HND at Southall College of Technology. And still working! Both me and the calculator.
Battery life better than expected as people who borrowed it quickly returned it when they couldn't find the 'equals' key. And there isn't one.
Image via Wikipedia I have to wonder why the BBC is giving the revisionist whitewash treatment to Marie Stopes. Howard Falcon-Long seems to be deliberately leaving out the bits that taint her life and character by the standards of today. She is portrayed as a female pioneer in a man's world, someone with hidden depths and talent. Which in a way she was. But why has the more unsavoury aspects of her career and her thought been left out?
We can start with eugenics. She was an advocate of selective breeding and eugenics to ensure racial purity. She disowned her son because his chosen wife needed to wear glasses. She campaigned to get people of mixed race, the poor and the sick sterilised. She continually called for the compulsory sterilisation of the diseased, drunkards, or simply those of bad character. That's Parliament dealt with then!
She seemed to have a soft spot for Hitler and admired his initial policies on racial purity. She attended a Nazi party congress on…
Saw this creature while out walking the dog. It was kind enough to stay still long enough for me to take a pic with my Nokia E71.
It's beauty reminded me of the wonderful hymn by Draper, 'All Creatures Of Our God And King', itself based upon St Francis of Assisi's 'Canticle of the Sun'
Image by jimforest via Flickr Was on holiday in Kefalonia a few years ago. Had a choice of excursions. One was to do something, I don't know what. The other was to join the celebrations of St Gerasimos' feast day.
Because of his reputation as a healer his relics are brought out each year and passed over anyone who is suffering with an illness in order to effect a cure. Would have been interesting.
Needless to say we did the other, a beach bbq I think. Now where's my time machine.
Such an inoffensive article detailing some of the itinerary of the Pope's forthcoming trip to England and Scotland. But there's one section which just got my goat. It's this one here: Then, I would highlight the Pope's great address in Westminster Hall, his meeting with civil society, the world of culture, with all the most active and influential members of English society. And what about the rest of us? What's with setting aside this group as the 'most active and influential members of English society'? I'm betting that most of them will be there because of who they know or who they've brown-nosed. How many of them are actually Catholics who support the teaching of the Church and support the Holy Father? Call it inverse snobbery or something like that but these sort of concepts really, really get my blood pressure up. What about the rest of the English Catholic chur…
I've been bitching recently, here and here about how the Blogcatalog recent visitors widget would only show on refresh and then refused to show altogether. Posting on Blogcatalogs support forum prompted not even a reply from the owners or the community.
But I presume someone's fixed the remote code as it now seems to be working. So a big thank you to whoever rolled their sleeves up at Blogcatalog.
Now, how to use Blogcatalog to increase interested and interesting traffic!
Image via Wikipedia The recent decision of the synod of the church of england not to accomodate those such as the Anglo-Catholics who cannot submit to the inclusion of women in the episcopate would seem to lay to bed the notion that the Anglican Communion is a broad and inclusive church.
Those such as the Anglo-Catholics are now in a position where the apostolic succession of any Bishop, and any priest, male or female may be uncertain and there are obvious issues when it comes to priestly duties.
It's a shame when a church which claims to be intolerant and inclusive refuses to show tolerance and patience to sections of it's own family. So the offer from Pope Benedict of the Anglicanorum Coetibus should be most welcome, although things do seem to be moving slowly.
I do wonder why the existing Anglo-Catholic structure and family can't be brought into full communion with the Roman Catholic church simply by becoming Catholics? If I was an Anglo-Catholic I'd be in the Tiber by…
I posted earlier about the Blogcatalog latest visitors widget which was only showing after a page refresh. Others confirmed that fact as well. So I posted on Blogcatalog's forums and received no joy, or even a reply.
Now it seems the widget is not showing at all. So until Blogcatalog can get their act together then it's been removed.
Oh, and they're annoying me with messages in my inbox about 'Expose Yourself!' I think it's one of their schemes but I ask you! Tsk, tsk.
Image via Wikipedia We know full well that our obedience counts as a blessing, especially in the realm of giving. But it's also true that our obedience in receiving can lead to a blessing. Sometimes our pride can get in the way when people seek to bless us by their giving but we should always be obedient in such matters.
Let me illustrate this and more by way of an example from my pastor. He was on a mission trip to Uganda and was visiting a number of churches. As things go he would often have a lot of people wanting to speak to him at the end of the services. In one instance he was confronted by an old man who insisted that he give my pastor his blanket, a somewhat well worn blanket which in reality would be no use for my pastor. So my pastor tried not to receive the blanket, thinking it would be of more use to the man but he was pulled up by the local pastor. He told my pastor that God is telling him to give what little he has and by not receiving you are taking away opportunity t…
In it Miki quotes a number of Church Fathers, bible verses, scripture and other Christians on the theme of giving to the poor. I've not noticed a lot of these before but they do really grab your attention when grouped together so I'm going to thieve them and post them here! They really do make an excellent base for some scriptural meditation.
"The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge and belief in love." - Dorothy Day
"As you do to the least of these My brethren, so you do it unto Me." - Matthew 25:40
"Words express, but examples persuade." - Pope Benedict XVI
"It is the crushed heart which is the soft heart, the…
This video seems to be doing the rounds of a number of Catholic blogs and sites. Certainly some interesting stuff there which purports to be written in the early church history.
When I was drawn to Christ I went to the nearest Church of England church to where I lived. After all, not knowing anything about Christianity I checked a few churches out but the CofE seemed the 'safest'. This church was actually in the neighbouring parish but because of the location of where I lived it made more sense to join with the neighbouring parish. We then had a Church Army captain planted on our estate to do outreach and after a year the parish set up a church to meet on out estate. It did quite well. But so that they could share communion they brought an ordained minister out of retirement to help with things. However, when he threw in the towel, the church plant wasn't allowed to celebrate communion without an ordained minister. And as they didn't have one they couldn't share co…
1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. 4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. 5Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”6 So we may boldly say: “ The LORDismy helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:1-6, New King James Version)
Image by insane_capture via Flickr It's been reorted that the France's lower parliament has voted to ban the wearing of the burkha in public. The bill would make it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public. It envisages fines of 150 euros (£119) for women who break the law and 30,000 euros and a one-year jail term for men who force their wives to wear the burka. If ratified then it becomes law in September.
I can't say that I followed any of the debate but the soundbites being reported are somewhat worrying.
Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said it was a "victory for democracy and for French values" and "Democracy thrives when it is open-faced." She added that the bill, which makes no reference to Islam or veils, was not aimed at "stigmatising or singling out a religion".
Berengere Poletti, an MP from Mr Sarkozy's centre-right UMP party, said women in full veils wore &q…
This is a cross-post from one of my other blogs. As it's got a religious element I thought it fair game to post here!
It's not a website I normally frequent but there appears a peculiar story in the Brussels Journal. It's about the increasing harassment of Jews in Amsterdam.
As with any harassment of identifiable people groups the Dutch Police use undercover decoy tactics to hold accountable those guilty of such attacks. It's commonly used to identify people who are considered to actively harass groups such as prostitutes, gay persons, or the elderly. And to me it sounds a pretty good tactic. Who could find anything wrong with that?
Well it seems one particular party does, but only when the undercover police are dressed as Jews. The website reports Evelien van Roemburg, an Amsterdam counselor of the Green Left Party, saying that using a decoy by the police amounts to provoking a crime.
Image via Wikipedia One thing I love to do when working, at a keyboard or elsewhere is to listen to the radio. At my daily work my lab doesn't have any windows with a view to the outside world and the radio reception tends to be a bit rubbish. It wouldn't be right to use the company's broadband so I use my mobile phone to connect to on-line radio stations.
Ancient Faith Radio seeks to deepen and enrich the faith of Orthodox Christians around the world with streaming audio programming and on-demand podcasts. We feature liturgical music from a variety of Orthodox traditions, as well as prayers, readings, lectures, and interviews.
Ancient Faith Radio is a division of Conciliar Media Ministries, which operates under the auspices of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. However, it is a pan-Orthodox ministry and thus serves and supports all jurisdictions.One thing I would like to change about …
So Benedict XVI is going to visit the UK in September this year. How do we know? Because of all the protests that are being lined up!
We have the National Secular Society, The Orange Order, Gay Humanists, Central London Humanist Group, the British Humanist Association, the National Secular Society, One Law for All, the Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association, the Rationalist Association, OutRage! and more.
They must see Pope Benny as a big fish for him to generate this amount of indignation. Not even Mugabe could rouse the wrath of so many!
I'm also aware of the huge theological influence that Hans Urs von Balthasar has has on the Pope so I thought it would be good to dip into some of his stuff. On Goodreads.com his book called 'Prayer' gets some excellent reviews. And if you want to connect up on Goodreads.com then you can find me here.
Aside from the work of the Church this is perhaps evolved and expressed most eloquently through the works of the Catholic Worker Movement initiated by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, although this movement is not an official organ of the church.
Funny what surprises the Bible can spring upon you. I got my large study bible down from the bookshelf to have a nose through when I had 10 minutes spare and I settled upon the James, specifically chapter 2.
1My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (James 2:1-4, King James Version)
Quite a strong passage there highlighting how we should practice equality in our relations and transactions with other people. So strong is the request that the passage suggests that to treat people based upon their outward appearance or worldly standing is in fac…
Unfortunately the Abbey grounds and the monastic community have recently been attacked, as reported in the Farnborough News and Mail.
I visited the Abbey last Saturday and asked my guide Brother Thomas how they were coping. His reply was "it's an occupational hazard nowadays."
Gang attack historic abbey in Farnborough
By Jack Sommers
June 25, 2010
MONKS are living in fear after a gang of teenagers stormed their historic abbey, causing £2,000 worth of damage.
A group of between 15 and 20 youths began shouting abuse at the monks at St Michael’s Abbey via the gate-phone at its Farnborough Road entrance in the late hours of Saturday June 12, the day of England’s match against the USA in the World Cup.
Father Dom Cuthbert Brogan, abbot of the Grade 1 listed abbey, said he had been frustrated wh…
Not the sort that you'd expect from our present government in the UK but a bit of fun. Steve Hayes at Notes from Underground posted recently with his results from the Belief-o-matic questionnaire on religious identity. So here's mine:
1. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (100%)
2. Eastern Orthodox (93%)
3. Roman Catholic (93%)
4. Orthodox Quaker (93%)
5. Seventh Day Adventist (93%)
6. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (74%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (68%)
8. Jehovah's Witness (65%)
9. Hinduism (61%)
10. Orthodox Judaism (56%)
Interesting fun stuff, if perhaps a little inaccurate!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was pleasantly surprised by how readable and encouraging this book is. Pope Benedict XVI has shown himself to have a fantastic understanding of the Gospels and their sources, as well he should! He brings that information along and presents it in a fresh and inspiring way. Many, many times he shows how connected the Bible is to itself and how doctrine and theology stretch consistently from Genesis to Revelation, how themes are repeated and built up and how what we have is truly inspired.
So put aside any bigotry, if you have any and grab a copy!
As I grow older and hopefully mature more in the faith I become more aware of what I don't have to help me in the faith that other Christians have. And that is tradition. Years ago traditions were to me restrictive and also purposeful in defending an office of man - the priesthood. Now I see the errors in past. Tradition has a rightful and God-given role in the life and structure of the church. Tradition is there to unite, to guide, to inspire, to protect, to defend, to aid evangelism, nd to build up the community.
So there is my quandry now, how to live as a Christian in self-exile from the bearers of that tradition. And for the future may God grant me the guidance and strength I seek.
St. John of Damascus:
The eyewitnesses and ministers of the word not only handed down the law of the Church in writings, but also in certain unwritten traditions. For whence do we know the holy place of the skull? Whence the memorial of life? Does not a child learn it from his father without anything…
Image by pjotter05 via Flickr My Pastor, Dave Food is off to Nigeria on a week of mission. His first visit to the country. If anyone is able to remember him in their prayers with me then that would be excellent.
Tuesday 2nd February Depart Heathrow to Abujja
Wednesday 3rd February Arrive Abujja, Depart Abuja, arrive Oweri
Am - Preach at a city wide Prayer session
Pm - Preach at Kingdom Glory Church
Thursday 4th February Am - Speak to leaders (tbc)
Pm - Preach at Faith Chapel Church
Friday 5th February Am - Preach at Oasis of Faith, Pastor Emmanuel’s birthday celebration
Pm - Preach at Night of Miracles at the Umuahia Stadium
Saturday 6th February Am - Morning free – rest and relaxation
I tweeted a link to a humorous and thoughtful post by George Pitcher in his Daily Telegraph blog regarding the article in the Times by Richard Dawkins. Minutes later I had a direct tweet from someone personally ridiculing my faith and calling me a 'pervert'. Not quite sure how that all links together? Anyway, that's the first time I've been abused via Twitter. A first time for everything I suppose.
How sad that we seem to have a growing fundamentalist atheism in the Western world. An atheism that cannot debate or argue without having to resort to such nastiness. An atheism that seeks to make it's philosophy and worldview the de facto worldview, in fact the only worldview. Is their arguement that far lost that they resort to such bigotry?