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Christian quoter

English Christian male who is not backward in coming forward with opinions.

Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:50:38 +0000


Diary 22 to 25 Mar 17

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:50:00 +0000

Wednesday 22ndImprovement is slow. I would like to return to a more normal sleep pattern and consistently use the sleep apnoea machine. Before hospital I was not sleeping long and tending to be dopey in the day. This has persisted and worstened.I enjoy the quiet early rising hours but for a lot of the rest of the day I am sleepy, sometimes going into a deep sleep, so much so that on wakening I do not know if if it be morning, afternoon or night. Come the evening Katy is frustrated because I am not good company when I fall asleep shortly into any given TV programme. Imanagedto stay awake for the whole Germany 1 England 0. Why did I bother. The score flattered the Germans.Thursday 23rdOccupational therapy have had some hand rails installed for me, bed, shower and newall(?) post. Instructed agents reduce our house price from 3649500 to £629,500. Our replacement car, Vauxhall Meriva 1.4L, 2015, is due Monday. Paid for, insured and breakdown covered. Enjoyed another visit from my fellow elder Andrew Rae.Friday 24thMy most encouraging visitor, Hasan for Bagdad, PH.D student in engineering recently graduated from Brunel. He first came to our church about 8years ago while studying fo rhis masters. As a parting gift before he does back to Iraq, he gave us this painting of an old couplepe outside their home. Hasan goes back to a very uncertain future. He has a job but such graduates are often targeted by the lawless and lthe rule of law does not exist inhis home city where his family have lived for over a century. See photo album Hasan. Received cheque for written off Yaris.Saturday 25thThis afternoon we had a builder round to look at out gateway. Our old Yaris had numerous scrapes on the wings, said to be entirely my fault. So we remove the brick pillars, widen the gateway and hey presto, a two vehicle driveway. Off road parking for us and Debbie. Today has been the second of the year sunny enough to sit outside though it was a cold wind and better in the shade out of the wind to read. Tomorrow I plan to be at church for the first time this month and doing so I will revert to my new year sabbath resolution, no Sunday internet.[...]


Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:36:00 +0000

Yesterday a friend from Iraq who no longer identifies as Muslim said there are three kinds of Muslims. About 90 % are ignorant of Islam except for rituals. If they have learned the Koran it is in Arabic and they have no understanding. About 10% know something of the Koran and what it teaches. A small minority, perhaps 1% are jihadists who favour violence to restore a Caliphate, an Islamic state. So as I post these verses it is with the understanding that they are the true Islam but most Muslims are much, much better than this.They may be people of peace but the religion here is certainly not.Authentic quotes compiled by Dr Alan C. CliffordSurah 2:191-193 Fight and kill unbelievers until “religion is Allah’s,” i.e. Islamic law rules all societies“And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.”Surah 3:28 Don’t take unbelievers as friends and allies, unless it is for “fear of them,” i.e. deceptively for protection of oneself or of Islam“Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends, rather than the believers — for whoso does that belongs not to Allah in anything — unless you have a fear of them. Allah warns you that You beware of Him, and unto Allah is the homecoming.”Surah 4:34 Beat disobedient women“Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that Allah has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for Allah’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; Allah is All-high, All-great.”Surah 5:33 Crucify or amputate the hands and feet of those who make war against Allah and Muhammad“This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.”Surah 5:51 Don’t take Jews and Christians as friends and allies“O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. Allah guides not the people of the evildoers.”Surah 5:59-60 Jews cursed, made into apes and swine“Say: “People of the Book, do you blame us for any other cause than that we believe in Allah, and what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down before, and that most of you are ungodly?” Say: “Shall I tell you of a recompense with Allah, worse than that? Whomsoever Allah has cursed, and with whom He is wroth, and made some of them apes and swine, and worshippers of idols — they are worse situated, and have gone further astray from the right way.”"Surah 5:72 Christians are unbelievers“They are unbelievers who say, “Allah is the Messiah, Mary’s son.” For the Messiah said, “Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord. Verily whoso associates with Allah anything, Allah shall prohibit him entrance to Paradise, and his refuge shall be the Fire; and wrongdoers shall have no helpers.”"Surah 8:12 Allah will terrorize unbelievers; Muslims should behead them“When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, “I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers’ hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!”Surah 8:39 Fight unbelievers until Islam reigns[...]

Diary 19 to 21 Mar 17

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:51:00 +0000

Sunday 19 Mar
Very unusual for me I have missed three Sundays in a row at our church due to illness.It may have happened once before due to vacation but at that time I worshipped in other churches. Now I await the mp3s of todays sermons. As to health, there is slow improvement and more control of the unmentionables. A good uninterrupted night's sleep would be welcome. Last night I did keep the sleep apnoea machine on for the first time in over a week. Normaly is it on all night every night and that will improve day time alertness.

Monday 20 Mar

Visits from old IPC friends from Sussex and one of our prospective IPC elders who brought me a copy of a church history book from my old pastor in Yorkshire, John Legg.
In 7 years I have completed my 11th reading of the ESV New Testament. Old Testament is slower, once a year and Psalms much more ofter.Daily bread helps spiritual growth. Enjoyed another visit from Pastor Paul, a good and faithful servant.

Tuesday 21 Mar

Very pleasant urology consultant at Northwick Park OPD advises continued observation of the abnormality on my right kidney.No rush to surgery. Plus some injections into the bladder wall to bring better control than oral medicines have produced. The injections are botox. I am told they have many indications. My first trip out after hospital was for Ethan = Lego Boy's 6th birthday. He built Darth Vader all by himself, a kit for 9 years plus.
See my photo album, Ethan is 6.

IPC Synod/ Presbytery Report – Mar ’17

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 09:52:00 +0000

This is from our pastor's daily blog which I commend to you. https://ealinglevy.wordpress.comSynod/ Presbytery Report – Mar ’17Synod is the highest court of the IPC that meets annually, it is comprised of all the voting elders of the English Presbytery, the European Proto Presbytery, The Korean speaking Presbytery in England and the South Korean Presbytery, altogether there are 91 voting elders spread across the world!!For the first time we met on the continent in the OM Zav Centre in Belgium. The morning was taken up with a lecture from Jose Sagovia on the Reformation in Europe. Jose encouraged us not to think of the Reformation as a finished project in which we just take books off the shelves and study what the Reformers said. He closed with 4 applications1. We need to rediscover the human problem of sin and be willing to address it.2. The roots of the Reformation were in Revelation3. Our strength has become our weakness – to give testimony should be to speak about Christ and not our  own experience. He had a lovely line about ‘we speak the truth realising we are part of the problem’ he then riffed on Martin Luther and Woody Allen4. We must be more dependent on prayerIt was a real shame the address was not recorded, Jose is a great gift to the church he is fresh in his thinking and speaking.The business part of Synod began in the afternoon and there was slight confusion over whether we were actually quorate. Initially we thought we weren’t but then somehow we were!! It’s going to be an ongoing issue for us as the South Korean Presbytery were only able to send one delegate of their 29 members. We debated it for quite a bit of the afternoon and I think it’s fair to say we’re not of one mind!!We did decide to take church relations more seriously which I think that will be a good thing moving forward. The standing committee of Synod will take responsibility for this. I hope that will mean that we join the ICRC at some point in the future. It was a joy to have delegates from the GKV – Gereformeerde Kerken. in the Netherlands who were asked for their wisdom a few times. Reports were given from each of the Presbyteries……….Korean speaking Presbytery in England – Puk Kyong Kim has retired as Moderator and thanks were expressed for his pioneer work over the years. There is a new church plant in New Malden.English Presbytery – 2 new church plants – Brentford, Ilford, Leeds. A number of churches looking for buildings. An encouraging number of elders being trained across the denomination as well as the men under care of Presbytery. There have been discouragements too resignations and retirements to ill health this past year.European Proto Presbytery – Welcomed a new church in Prague with 3 elders, aiming for 5 churches with a  growing number of relationships with churches and church plants across the denomination. In December had a Presbytery retreat where wives were invited along and had sessions on the implications of Covenant Theology – it was a great time for deepening relationships.Korean Presbytery – 5 churches and other churches exploring joining. There are around about 20 elders going through the process of Ordination.Synod also approved the new book of liturgy that should be published in the next few months which is a very helpful document. Thanks were also given to Ranald Macauley who has written a history from his perspective over the early years of IPC. It’s a fascinating document and should be on the website shortlyWe’ll next meet in the Kingston Korean Church next March.The following day we were back for Presbytery which began with Ranald Macauley who is in his 61st year as a converted atheist  preached movingly to us from Psalm 1 & 2. He began by recounting how in 1955 he had walked out of a church in South Africa muttering under his breath “I do not believe in the Father, I do not believe in the Son, I do not believe in the [...]

Diary, at home, 15 to 18 Mar 17

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 06:29:00 +0000

Wed 15 MarOnce again many many thanks to all who have assured me of prayers and good wishes the past two weeks of hospital. I now have a pleasant collection of get well cards to view too.Six of us here for U3A history first full meting on the Thirty Years WAR 1618-48. RACHEL CAME TO B MUM. I AM STRONGER BUT NOWERE NEAR 100%. I HAVE HAD SOCIALSEVICES BUT DISTRICT NURSES SAY THEY HAVE NOT BEEN AUHORISED TO INJECT MY PRESCRIBED ANTICOAGULANT. RED TAPE! I HAVE A LETTER PESCRIBING IT.Brief visit rom Social Services carer, young Polish woman, than a long assessment from her Zimbabwean supervisor. So far, Social Services are the tops. The other end if the incontinence service. To them I was referred via the Distict Nurse. Leave a message on the answerpnone. 'It may be tomorrow when we turn your call'. But no a letter arrived telling me to keep calendar record of my problem for a week them phone them. I phoned right away and said I was not fit to attend a clinic. They promised me a visit to calcuate my needs in a week. Incontinence? More like incompetence! In a week I hope things may be back to near normal.Confusion reigns.First the district nurses say they have not been authosised to inject my anticoagulant. It takes them and us both, all morning to get through to the hospital who authorise the nurse. She comes 5pm with a prescription sheet dosage over twice that on my discharge note, twice that of the drug supplied. She cannot get sense out of the hospital. The simplest of tasks not co-ordinated. But on the bright side, the spring sunshine and warm enough to enable me to sit outside in the garden.Thurs Mar 16Feeling pampered after being washed and dressed by a Yoruba lady from Social Services. I think the last woman to do this for me was my mother 70 years ago.Coming to the end of a most comprehensive nursing assessment by a lady with a memorable name. Mrs Sippy. You have to say it out loud.Driving back after she dropped me at the hospital on Feb 28th, Katy was hit broadside on by a car emerging from a side road.He disputes liability having orally admitted it. So we are in dispute but today the insurers have said the car is a write off and have told us our pay out. At present have a courtesy car that could be recalled tomorrow. So moving fast I have secured a car from Surecar Consulants in Coventry. We have bought from them over the years, so have family and friends and always satisfied.It was 8pm before a very pleasant nurse/physio for the hospital's rapid response team arrived to give me my high dose injection to prevent thrombosis. She also instructed in exercise to help with my other problem.Later I was pleased to have a visit from my fellow elder, Andrew Rae and his wife Nicki. After Pastor Paul she gets the prize for non family visitors, three visits since I went into hospital.Friday Mar 17Twerp who ran into Katy still denies liability so the insurance companies are in dispute. My £200 excess is at stake. The good news is that the insurers will transfer my policy to our new car for a nominal admin fee only.Insurance and breakdown cover arranged for the new car, D/N came and injected me but no joy for supplies from the incompetence service until they assess me Tuesday. Told to buy my own kit if needed.With all my NHS moans here is praise. Before 9 A M today I ordered a repeat prescription on line. Here it is delivered before 5 P M. Praise where praise is due.Good visit from Occupational Therapist who will have some rails fitted to support me climbing stairs etc. Very helpful. Courtesy car picked up so we await delivery of a new (second hand) car. Elissa here for her piano lesson. She is doing well and Ethan read a story to me. He too is coming on.Sat 18 Mar 17The nurse is teaching Katy how to inject my anticoagulant. There is room for improvement of the pain front.Enlisting the help of a kind friend in Belgium we are booked to fly there 30th July for the 100th anniversary commemorations of the battle of[...]

Quotes 18 Mar 17

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 04:43:00 +0000

If you meet a powerful person – ask them five questions:
What power have you got?
Where did you get it from?
In whose interests do you exercise it?
To whom are you accountable?
And how can we get rid of you?
If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
Tony Benn

 “Not everyone is your brother or sister in the faith, but everyone is your neighbor. And you must love your neighbor.”- Tim Keller Wisdom‏ @DailyKeller

The UK has a proud history of welcoming migrants, and has benefited from the presence and contribution migrants make to society. Unrestricted EU immigration, however, means that we end up discriminating against non-EU nationals. This seems especially perverse when the UK has strong relationships with many other countries of the world through the Commonwealth, not just with the EU. The barriers to employing people from beyond the EU have become more numerous. For a Church in the UK that is weak in mission, it would be particularly welcome to have greater freedom to invite missionaries from the global South here to help us evangelise our country and rediscover our Christian roots. Unrestricted EU immigration has been adversely affecting the poorest people in the UK. It may seem great if you want to employ a plumber, a nanny, or a builder; but to those competing with immigrants for jobs, houses, or places at schools, it looks very different.- Rt Rev’d Mark Rylands, Bishop of Shrewsbury

March 15: The Presbyterian War. 1781

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 05:50:00 +0000

by archivistA Victory in DefeatThe British Parliament member, upon hearing of the “victory” in the colonies by the British army that day of March 15, 1781 has commented “another such victory would ruin the British army.” What did he mean?In the southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War, Lord Cornwallis was doing his best to defeat the stubborn American forces.  Specifically, he was doing his best to punish those pesky Scot – Irish Presbyterians who  possessed a fervor of opposition to his military units.  Whenever he found a church building connected with them, the psalm books and Bibles would be burned.  That punishment would extend to the church building as well.  It was very much a battle against Presbyterians in the southern colonies.  In fact, they would meet on many a battle field, and one of the more fiercest times was this battle at Guildford Court House, North Carolina.It was in the morning of March 15, that nineteen hundred British regulars and German allies attacked 4500 American militia members and seasoned Continental men.  The whole battle was fierce by any man’s standards.The American commander, Maj. General Nathaniel Green, had positioned his troops in three lines.  First, one thousand militia from North Carolina formed the first line.  They were to fire two shots and retire from the battle field.  One half of the British Highlanders fell from that fire.  Green’s second line was composed of Virginia marksmen, both militia and seasoned Continentals.  They twice checked the British line, but eventually retired as well.  The third line of the Americans were fourteen hundred Continentals.  At this point, the fight grew desperate.  Cornwallis himself said, “I never saw such fighting since God made me.  The Americans fought like demons.”After two and one half hours, Green retreated from the field, seeking to keep his army intact for future battles.  Cornwallis, on the other hand, lost in his “victory” over 25% of his officers and men.  Here he was, in enemy territory, without supplies, and with heavy loss of men.  He quit the area with the remnants of his army, marching to Yorktown.  Exactly seven months later, he would surrender his army to General George Washington.The soldiers who composed the American army in the field were the members of Presbyterian congregations in the southern colonies.Words to Live By:  There is a time when Christians must act their part in defense of truth and righteousness, peacefully if they can, with violence if they must.  In such an endeavor, they can with the help of the Lord win the battle.[...]

Hospital diary 12 to 14 Mar 17 - and home!

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 05:25:00 +0000

Sunday 12th Mar 17 - 12th day in hospitalToday I was able to listen to two Paul Levy sermons via mp3 downloads so caught up on missed ministry. I had a record number of nine visitors, seven family and two church members, most encouraging. Son David and eldest grandson Zac came all the way from Canterbury. I will not forget the look on my other grandson's face when he saw me in bed. Puzzlement turned to smiles when I showed him how to switch the positioning of the bed. with a touch of a button. He and big sister Elissa took joy in recounting their Saturday at Legoland, Ethan's sixth birthday treat. Vicarious pleasure for me.Monday 13 Mar 17 13th day in hospitalDischarge tomorrow confirmed. Still concerned not all is in place so have dome some phoning round. The time the transport will come is unspecified. At last I have a partial explanation of the non-appearance of the urology department. They say all that can be done is for me to have some exercises. So why did it take a junior surgeon to get that message to me and to print me out exercise sheets. When I go to their OPD it will be with a letter of complaint. They have also failed to supply a needed piece of equipment. But on the bright side Katy visitsd and two friends from church and I have the downloads of yesterday's sermons.Feeling in better spirits at the prospect of home tomorrow. Cheered by the visit of my two daughters. Fell sleep watching Chelsea beat the wretched Red Devils. With half an eye on the football in the day room I had lengthy chats with two Muslim ladies, the first maily cultural but the second really got down to some besic beliefs, common and diverse. Being in hospital and dealing with her husband's chronic illness she said she derived comfort from he story of Job. I confess I do nt know the story of Ayub (Job) as per the Koran but I gave a fair comprehensive retelling of the biblical story. She seemed to take much comfort from the characer of God evidenced in the story. Not testing beyond human endurance. Conversation much better than the football.Tuesday 14 Mar 17 - 14th day in hospitalI going hourly to the nurses' station asking if they have ordered me transport for home. I will persist as the portunate widow.Very frustrated waiting for pharmacy to produce my medicines for home. I told them I only needed the one new drug as I had kept all my regular supply at home. But no, they have to hold me up over two hours.Next it will be waiting for transport. The words booze up and brewery come to mind.Over two hours for pharmacy to dispense three items and then fail to send them to the ward. Inefficient incompetents! Now I am told the transport will be here in the hour. Seeing will be believing. This will now coincide with rush hour delays.I am very happy to be home. It was nearly 6pm when the private ambulance brought me home. The most loquacious man I have ever encountered was driving, a true Essex man. But he was quick to answer the call unlike the wretched pharmacy which took over two hours to dispense three items and even then not bring them up to the ward. I had to get a nurse to chase the medicines. The most unprofessional,incompent pharmacy service I have ever experienced. But good to be back home and home cooking. My strength is on the increase and control of the previously uncontrolled seems to be improving too. But most encouraging of all, a fourth pastoral visit from Pastor Paul, fourth during my hospital treatment He tells me he has been invited to lecture on preaching at the Free Church College Edinburgh. He seems to take it lightly but I take it as a a sign that his homiletic gifts are recognised farther afield.[...]

Hospital diary 9 to 11 March

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 06:28:00 +0000

Thursday 9th Mar 17I a definitely not fit for imminent discharge. When Katy came in this afternoon we went to see sister and told the double inconinemce problem which has not eased, She said tomorrow a team would evaluate my need and what should be put in place for discharge . She sa]ysi discharge could be some days away.I may miss the rugby :-( Tonight Katy, Adrian and Pastor Paul visited. https://ealinglevy.wordpress.comLook at his daily diary of a pastor's lifeFriday 10th Mar Katy and Debbie have been in this afternoon. I have finally been told that my ongoing care needs will be assessed Monday and communicated to the district nurses who should have supplies on hand for me at Tuesday discharge. I will also be referred for twice a day social services care. What has angered me is that the urology department here have refused to come and see me. They say I will be seen as an outpatient in two weeks. I know I already have that appointment but my present urgent need is being ignored it seems. They can expect an official complaint when I see them on 21st.Wales beatng Ireland did England and me a world of good. I was able to walk to the day room to watch it. Saturday 11th March 17Incontinence is much the same which bothers me about going home although Social Services called at home today saying the care package is in place. Now we need to hear from district nurses. But the hospital could have done better, or so the manufacturer's instructions on the devices say.Katy and Debbie came in the aftnernoon and ere with me watching on TV England  rout the Scots in a victory to lift my spirits. I had snoozed in the evening when Pastor Paul came and related his very happy though long day on Friday, driving to Cardiff,watchig the rugby with Irish in laws to get home 1a.m.So I thought it very good of him come on hid third pastoral visit to me  in hospital. He is a real blessing.[...]

Faith triumphs in adverse providence

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 03:26:00 +0000

On 11Mar 1812 William Carey’s Work Went up in Flames"AT ABOUT SIX in the evening on this day, 11 March 1812, fire broke out in a print shop at Serampore, India. The mission staff there were able to rescue a few deeds and financial records, but could salvage little more. Around midnight, the roof caved in, sending a pillar of fire high into the sky.Twelve years of missionary toil went up with those flames. William Carey, pioneer Baptist missionary to India, had produced a polyglot dictionary of several Indian languages. It burned. The conflagration also consumed Scriptures already printed in Indian tongues, Bengali and Sanskrit grammars, and twelve thousand reams of paper. Melted by the fire were fourteen special fonts of Asian typefaces.Carey was in Calcutta when the disaster struck. When fellow-missionary Joshua Marshman took him the news in the morning, he was so stunned he could not say a word for a several moments. The pair spent the day looking for replacement typefaces, but had to return to Serampore empty-handed.However, they received good news when they got there. Printer William Ward had found many of the punches and molds for typecasting unharmed in the ruins. With these in hand, they could have the presses running again in a month. The presses themselves were unaffected in an adjacent building, and six weeks later were turning out copies of the Scriptures in two languages.Carey estimated it would take him twelve months to reconstruct his own work. Although downcast, he wrote, “The loss is heavy, but as traveling a road the second time is usually done with greater ease and certainty than the first time, I trust the work will lose nothing of real value.”In fact, the catastrophe proved something of a blessing. As the news spread, contributions poured in. Helpers rallied to Carey’s side, restoring what was lost and much more. Before Carey’s death in 1834, the mission had printed and distributed all or part of the Bible in forty-four languages and dialects.While Carey lay dying, he lamented how unprofitable he had been. A visiting minister asked him about his hope of a future world. “I cannot say I have any very rapturous feelings; but I am confident in the promises of the Lord and wish to leave my eternal interests in his hands,” he replied. He had told his friends earlier, “I am sure that Christ will save all that come unto him; and if I know anything of myself, I think I know that I have come to him.”LikeLikeLoveHahaWowSadAngry[...]

Hansard on international Women's Day from a real hero

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 09:46:00 +0000

Baroness Cox Crossbench  4:05 pm, 9th March 2017 My Lords, I also congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Shields, on giving us this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of many women. I would like to introduce some examples of inspirational women and men who are working to promote the well-being of women and girls in some of the most challenging situations in our world: education in the conflict areas of Sudan and South Sudan; maternal and child health in areas of continuing conflict in Burma’s Shan State; and gender equality in Pakistan and the UK. I shall conclude with a celebration of success in Canada.First, please travel with me in imagination to Sudan’s Nuba mountains this January and climb a rugged mountain for two hours to meet families hiding in caves for fear of aerial bombardment. There we meet people suffering snake bites and dying from malaria with no medicine. Yet their priority for help is education, especially for girls. Schools are deliberately targeted by Government of Sudan bombers, so education and exams have to take place out of doors, using the respected Kenya curriculum. When it is time for exams, 1,000 students converge and invigilation is undertaken on the mountainside. Our valiant partner, Nagwa, asks every student to bring a large stone. As they gather, she tells them, “When you hear the Antonov bombers approaching while you are doing your exam, you will place your exam papers neatly under your large stone. You will then run and hide in the caves. When the bombers have gone, you can return. Your exam papers will not have been blown away by the blast or the wind and you can continue your exams”. That is exam pressure with a difference, and many of those students perform as well as their counterparts in Kenya.Moving to the tragic situation in South Sudan, I have had the privilege of visiting South Sudan more than 30 times, many during the previous war when 2 million people perished, 4 million were displaced and tens of thousands of women and children were abducted into slavery. Many are still missing and their families continue to grieve. But the people there still yearn for education as a priority. The Anglican bishop, Moses Deng, of the diocese of Wau in Bahr El Ghazal, recognises the importance of education, especially for girls. He has supported the establishment of a school delightfully called “A Girls’ School Which Boys May Attend”. The girls do attend, and so do the boys, and their achievements are amazing. They attain some of the best results in the country.Moving rapidly to Burma, the Burmese Government continue their military offensives and grave violations of human rights in ethnic national areas such as the predominantly Muslim Rakhine State, the predominantly Buddhist Shan State and the predominantly Christian Kachin State. Among many local NGOs doing magnificent work is the SWAN Shan Women’s Action Network, which promotes maternal and child health in the conflict-affected areas of Shan State. But SWAN has great difficulty in obtaining funds, especially since DfID adopted a policy of using intermediary organisations to implement and monitor DfID support. SWAN claims that it cannot access these funds because of bureaucratic complexities and, as a consequence, it is in acute need of resources to continue its life-saving work.We heard an identical concern being expressed by Bishop Moses Deng, who is desperately trying to obtain funds for life-saving food for thousands of internally displaced persons who have fled from conflicts to his diocese. He also says that he does not have the resources to meet the complexities of DfID’s requirements. I therefore ask the Minister to request that DfID makes funds more readily available to smaller ind[...]

My alternative facts about how Trump could make Britain great made up by me. Richard Russell

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:29:00 +0000

The remarkable narrative of the fall of President Trump and the rebirth of the British Empire, facilitated by some small Welsh dogs.Surrounded by massive security President Donald J Trump arrives at Buckingham Palace at the beginning of his state visit to Britain. Huge crowds are present outside Buckingham Palace - the main group appearing to suggest that Mr. Trump be repatriated to his homeland with all possible haste.There is a forest of varied  banners and placards. “No more of your golf-courses!”,”No deals with you - we’ve read your book!”, “Overpaid, over sexed and over here…go home yank!”, “Hands off our Queen!” and more.There is also  a tiny dispirited group of Republicans Abroad and Ukippers welcoming Trump.Inside the Palace the royal corgis - being intelligent creatures -  take an instant dislike to Trump for his failure  to bow low enough to Her Majesty and for being far too familiar.They are well trained  so  make a co-ordinated attack having originally been bred to herd cattle in Pembrokeshire. Trump flees from room to room  of the Palace hounded by corgis.(The  press corps cameras get much thrilling footage of the fleeing  most powerful man on earth pursued  by small yapping canines, later dubbed  to the sound track of “Who let the dogs out?”). During the pursuit Trump yells out angry threats to nuke London….and a bit later yells forget it - that was fake news fabricated by the liberal media. Finally cornered ,Trump  turns pulls out his  .44 magnum revolver - his constitutional right to bear arms for just such an eventuality - and blazes away all six bullets causing massive collateral damage to priceless furniture and artworks.  Nifty corgis dodged the bullets. They have had much practice of dodging gunshot at royal shooting parties at Sandringham and Balmoral since they were puppies.The responses of the British and American publics reflected their love of dogs (and underdogs) and their love of guns respectively. The British  were delighted to know that the corgis were shortly after awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal, instituted in 1943, for conspicuous bravery in the face of enemy action.They were added to the roll of honour of 32 pigeons, 31 dogs, 4 horses and 1 cat. The Americans  were shocked and appalled that their Commander in Chief of the Armed Services and a member of the National Rifle Association simply couldn't shoot ….every red-blooded American superhero alpha-male could shoot! This event unmasked Trump as a  phoney ,as a sad loser. This event served to break the morale of the American people …in the person of the President they were already a defeated nation….Back to the narrative….Queen Elizabeth ll collapses muttering  “We resign. King Charles lll, for heavens sake, do something impressively regal!”So Charles lll regally orders the Beefeaters to arrest Trump forthwith. ( Explosive fanfare of trumpets!). Accompanied by the Household Cavalry and the Scots Guard Band playing very loud patriotic music, they march Trump in chains (and tattered trousers) to the Tower of London, watched by the amazed crowd. Soon chanting erupts in the crowd “Lock him up! Lock him up!”.  Amongst the crowd there are some with traditional patriotic law-and-order values who feel that mere incarceration is a too much of a weak bleeding-heart-liberal response to  the Act of Terrorism  committed by Trump at the Palace.They  are mindful of the medieval statutes - never revoked - that makes the unsheaving of a sword in the Royal Presence  an act of High Treason and therefore a Capital Offence. By analogy clearly the loosing off of a  .44 magnum  fell within this[...]

Seven reasons to baptise believers' children

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 07:49:00 +0000

From 122 – Sun 1st Jan – There was no Sunday School this week so it was nice to start at 11. Lots of the congregation were away but with visitors from Jono and Marta’s family and removing some chairs at the back we felt full. We baptised Rowan which was a joy.I gave the 5 points of baptism which I have stolen from one of the Gibson brothers. We baptise children of believers because…1. Children have always been part of God’s created order2. Children have always been part of God’s covenant promises3. The Bible story moves from exclusive to inclusive4. We baptise because God is God and does not change5. Jesus commands us to baptise our childrenGraham gave me another two points by email which are very helpful –“Baptism, like circumcision, is first and foremost a sign of the gospel and its promise, not of our response to the gospel. It points first of all to the work of Christ for us, not to the work of the Spirit in us. It calls for our response. It is not primarily a sign of that response. So, like the proclamation of the gospel (of which it is a sign), baptism summons us to (rather than signifies) repentance and faith. Then Calvin argued from the  ordo salutis that as regeneration precedes faith, so the sign of regeneration is given infants before they can have faith.”[...]

March 9: Charles Grandison Finney [1792-1875]

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 06:35:00 +0000

Who am I? I have been called the father of American revivalism . . . the forerunner of everyone from Dwight L. Moody to Billy Graham . . . and still, living in the Vineyard movement to the Church growth movement . . . a darling of both the religious right and the Christian left, or both to the late Jerry Falwell and Jim Wallis . . . envisioned in the church as an agent of change to both individuals and the social gospel? Have you identified me yet? If you chose Charles Grandison Finney, you have passed the test. Finney lives on in all these men and movements today.Charles G. Finney was a Presbyterian minister whose dates are 1792 to 1875.   A product of the New England states, he taught in his early life and later became an attorney in New York state.  One day, he decided to find God in the woods behind his law practice. He came back to his office claiming to have a baptism of the Holy Spirit which he could barely describe, so wondrous was it.  Giving up his law practice, he refused to attend Princeton Seminary, or for that matter, any seminary, and still was ordained into the Presbyterian church.  He began to conduct revivals then and there. What transpired was what has become known in American church history as the second great awakening.  Only this awakening was diametrically different from the first great awakening.In examining Finney’s theology and subsequent preaching, listen to the words of Michael Horton. He summed up Charles Finney’s theology and subsequent preaching, as believing that God is not sovereign, that man is not a sinner by nature, that the atonement is not a true payment for sin, that justification by imputation is insulting to reason and morality, that the new birth is simply the effect of successful techniques, and that revival is a natural result of clever campaigns.  He consistently held all these positions in both his campaigns and his books. In short, whatever it was that Charles Finney accomplished, his efforts were rooted in an aberrant theology known as Arminianism. And while any real spiritual results were fleeting, his methods persist to this day.How different was this from the first great awakening which was rooted in Calvinistic theology?  What you would find in the first great awakening was the teaching that God was sovereign in salvation, that every human being was sinful by nature, that Jesus Christ took on human flesh to stand in our place, bearing our sin and achieving a righteousness for us which is ours by faith, that this new life in Christ is a work of the Holy Spirit, and that revival is brought about by that same Holy Spirit Who is not dependent upon human means for the accomplishment of His work.It was in 1831 that Charles Finney began a six month revival in the Presbyterian Church of Rochester, New York.  He would preach close to a hundred sermons, complete with all the emotional excesses of a man-centered gospel, ending it on March 9, 1831.  It was these meetings which were the zenith of his evangelistic career.  He went on to other churches and revival, but would come back to Rochester two more times.Words to Live By: There are two approaches to the gospel which distinguish between the First and Second Great Awakenings. So the question is a simple one : Which do you side with — a God-centered awakening or a man-centered awakening? It was this same question which American Presbyterians had to answer in the early nineteenth century.  Old School Presbyterians answered clearly in the theology of the First Great Awakening.[...]

Hospital diary 6 to 8 Mar 17

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 05:31:00 +0000

MondayThe consultant surgeon has done his round. He confirms slow recovery. Some time to regain bowel control which is an embarrassment. He hopes I will be down to the main ward today and to expect two three more days there. Hoping they have better food! I have now had a couple of Spanish nurses as well as the Philippinos.Visit from physiotherapist who says that continual walks along the ward will promote healing. Best rationale for exercise this reluctant mover has ever heard. I do have a very pretty young Spanish nurse but when she had difficulty finding a vein for bloods I said she was the Spanish Inquisition and I had protestant veins. I doubt if she understood. Transferred back to main ward where I was admitted.Best meal in here so far. I have become Jewish. Kosher dinner, sesame chicken schnitzel, sweet and sour sauce, parisienne potatoes and sauerkraut. Delicious, with stewed apple and custard to finish. From now on I am Jewish, lunch and dinner.I now have a Yoruba nurse. Earlier a Polish doctor trained in Malta and last but not least, a nurse from Ullapool.Managed to get out of bed unaided and walk to the toilet for the first time in five days. Romanian nurse from Timosoara. Visits from my daughters and Pastor Paul.TuesdayOvernight nurses from Nepal and Devon. Reasonable night but pressed my buzzer to call nurses three times as elderly Abdul was crying out in distress, not pressing his buzzer. I am managing to get to the toilet myself though not in time :-( Lovely cheering sunshine outside on a view of Soviet style concrete construction.Doctor said I could be discharged it I wished but I agree with Rachel that I need a home care package as I cannot manage stairs or get to the loo in time at present.The Philippino occupational therapist met with me and Rachel. She is arranging for Ealing Social Services to supply two commodes and perhaps an assessment as to care needs. Tomorrow the physic will assess capabilities on stairs and the hospital will contact Ealing district nursing for support and supplies. Maybe home Thursday. I do feel weak and incontinence is a great embarrassment.As well as Rachel here this afternoon, a cheering visit from church member and nurse,  Nicky RaeKaty and Adrian visited tonight I must be ill. For the first time I can remember I refused a perfectly good meal. Earlier in the afternoon an encouraging visit from fellow elder Paul Meiners and Jess the church administrator.Wednesday Mixed night. A most caring Philippino nurse Anne, but a less than diligent Ghanain one.Iam to have words with sister. Physio escorted me to the stairs. I managed to climb one flight so they say I am fit for home. Urinary incontinence is still a problem. I will spare you the details. One strange thing is loss of appetite. Yesterday I struggled to get through half the lunch, Same today and I did not touch dinner last night. Very odd for me. My three family ladies visited and two kind church members. Appetite is improving but not my normal self. I am frustrated by the failure to treat my urinary incontinence which is so much worse since admission here. I do not want to agree to go home until a nursing care plan is in place for how could Katy cope when the hospital here are not doing all that could be done IMO?[...]

Books read in March 2017

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 04:35:00 +0000

1.The Roots of Sorrow: Reflections on Depression.and Richard WinterIt is a pity that this most helpful book is out of print. This Christian psychiatrist gvies a really professional treatment of his subject and of pastoral theology. He has a vey balanced approach, carefully testing the presuppositions of secular psychology and why Christians may sometimes benefit from a non-christian therapist. Different Christian approaches are surveyed in a most helpful and biblical way. Extremes,like, it is all demonic, are rejected, though the possibility, if rare, of the demonic, is taken into account. Think this is a book for those dealing with depression in themselves or others though it is not a self help guide. Mu only criticism is that the section on forgiveness is weak, first all on the theology of forgiveness and then on forgiveness as a transaction.I should like to see consideration of forgiveness when the offender is unrepentant or no longer available to confront.2. Nigeria: A New History of a Turbulent Centuryby Richard Bourne Back in the early eighties a Radio 4 humour show dubbed Nigeria, the land of the greasy palm. Nothing has changed. The author has held several high commonwealth related posts but does not seem to have lived in Nigeria. I would describe his viewpoint as a top down one on the first century of Nigeria. Lugard was the progenitor of Nigeria and the man who put through indirect rule, specially by the northern then emirs. Lugard did not have it all his own way but the basic principle of leaving the emirs alone protecting them from Christian missionary influence is rightly shown to be at the root of future divisions. Then after independence in 1960, the First Republic dies under Igbo officers' bullets. Shortly after come riots in the North. Here I found the acount wanting. The scale and brutality of the killing seems brushed over. The counter coup, Gowon's magnanimity after victory over Biafra. Then Murtala is murdered and again little is related of the less than just trials of those alleged to have been plotter. Obasanjo comes and plans for civilian rule which is taken by Shagari, but not for long. Buhari, Babangida, Abacha, the latter, the worst dictator after losing an election. Obasanjo elected twice, 'Yar Addu'a dies in office as did Abacha and Goodluck takes over until Buhari is recently elected. So a mix of elections and coups but one theme throughout is the venality and corruption.I was astonished to read that all federal legislators earn over $1,000,000 a year -without the bribes etc. How to unify this artificial construct of a state?  Go from south to North and everything is diverse, climate, vegetation, ethnicities, languages, religions. Everyone wants a share of the oil wealth and that is not efficiently extracted or distributed.I have not gone onto recent troubles with Islamist insurgents. On a human level one does not feel full of optimism but Nigerians usually come up trumps3. 'Eat the Heart of the Infidel': The Harrowing of Nigeria and the Rise of Boko Haram  by Andrew WalkerThe author, a journalist living ten years in Nigeria, wrote this between 2013 and 2015 so it is as up to date asana available book though it cannot cover the latest atrocities like young girls with babies on their backs as suicide bombers nor does it deal with the middle belt conflicts in Kaduna and Plateau states though the historical background for them is found in the early chapters.Walker has been on the ground so this is no discourse from the heights of academe or government. He starts in 1804 with the jihad of Uthman Dan Fodio, the Fulani Muslims conquering the [...]

Guidelines on Muslim evangelism strategies

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 15:10:00 +0000

DRAFT FOR CONSULTATIONWe encourage Christians to actively participate in Muslim evangelism. It brings us great joy to see God raising up laborers to enter into His harvest among the unreached Muslims throughout the world. At the same time, we also recognize the potential for dangerous misunderstandings to occur as a result of certain contextualization strategies. In view of problems that have emerged, we feel it necessary to articulate the following boundaries in Muslim evangelism to help Christian evangelists remain biblical in their approaches.Statements of faith regarding Islam- The Quran is not the inspired word of God. The Bible is the inspired word of God, and is the only authority for our beliefs, values and practices.- Muhammad is not a genuine prophet of God.- Islam is not the true way that may lead its believers and followers to heaven or to a relationship with the true God, or to salvation, or to forgiveness of sins.Expression of core beliefsChristians should not give the impression that the core beliefs of Christians and Muslims are the same, and must make clear the differences between these core beliefs in the following aspects:• The attributes of God [2]• The identity of Jesus [3]• The status of the Quran [4]• The identity of Muhammad [5]Participation in Muslim religious practices [6]• Christian evangelists should not convert to Islam in order to win Muslims to Jesus Christ.• Christian evangelists should not participate, nor should they teach converts to continue participating, in the Muslim worship at the mosque.• Christian evangelists should not recite, nor should they teach converts to continue reciting, the Muslim creed (Shahada): “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”.• If Christians participate in biblically permissible Muslim practices (e.g. fasting during Ramadan and avoiding pork and alcohol) they should communicate that it is not about earning salvific merit with God.Self-identification• Christian evangelists should not identify themselves as Muslims.• Christian evangelists should not teach converts to continue identifying themselves as Muslims in terms of faith commitment.• The identity of Christians should include identification with other followers of Jesus Christ around the world.Bible Translations• Christians should reject any Bible translations in any language that remove or replace the words “Father” and “Son” in relation to God the Father and Jesus Christ.Integrity• We reject any deception by saying things that we do not believe whatever the purpose.[1] Notes for the guidelines: We are committed to work in ways that communicate respect for culture and mores as far as they are biblical and do not affirm adherence to Islam. Besides the statements of faith, most of the issues relate to what means are permissible without conveying meaning that is not intended and unbiblical. Just because a person has been genuinely saved, it does not follow that the means employed are desirable, reproducible, or to be emulated. Any number of conversions of Muslims by a strategy does not necessarily mean that the strategy is biblically permissible or that it is sustainable. [2] There are major differences between the attributes of the God whom Christians worship and those of the God (Allah) whom Muslims worship.[3] Jesus of the Bible is not the same as Isa of the Quran.[4] The Quran was not divinely inspired and does not have equal nor higher authority than the Bible.[5] Muhammad was not a genuine prophet of God following Biblical traditions.[[...]

Hospital diary 1 to 5 Mar 17

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +0000

Wed 1st Mar 17This morning had a stress echocardiogram at Northwick Park. Results awaited, I hope by 3pm, to confirm admission today and surgery tomorrow. If not .... ?? Yes Was admitted just after 4pm and had to wait two hours for a bed. Fasting after midnight for morning op.Thurs 2nd Mar 17Lying on trolley in room before anaesthesia I was cheered by the smiling face of a young Indian christian from our church   She is a theatre nurse in Ealing but doing audit here and she saw my name on the list.On recovery ward after about 3 hours to remove colon caner. No pain so  far, 6 hours later. The anaesthetist says it is thanks to the drug Jacko used to self administer. Surgeon gave a very comrehensive report. All will be monitored.Friday 3rd Mar 17Second day in Northwick Park Recovery ward. Not quite as intensive as intensive care but two patients to one nurse. On this shift it is an Indian christian. Hopefully I will go back to ordinary ward tomorrow and out on Monday but providence will disate. Yesterday I felt so unwell that apart for morning Bible I read nothing. Bothered by fever. Much better today.Saturday 4th Mar 17A big THANK YOU to many fries who have sent good wishes and assured me of prayers. Continuing to make progress today but generally weak. But out of bed in easy chair.I will not be able to respond individually to you all but you lover and care is a big encouragement.This aftrnon a long visit from Adrian, my ideal son in law. He had last night sent me a mobile wifi device so I do not have to rely on hospital wifi, free for only one hour a day. Adrian is in training to be an elder so I said today was pastoral visiting experience.Katy and Rachel visiting.I am about tu be moved to the ward next door which I am told is quieter.Now in quieter, smaller ward and much encouraged by a long transatlantic phone call from my best friend Elliott.Sunday 5th Mar 17I spent the night on the smaller, quieter surgical intensive recovery ward, In the good hands of the mainly Philippino nurses.I am about to be transferred back to Frederick Salmon ward, named after the great Victorian surgeon who started what became this hospital. St. Mark's Hospital - Wikipedia. It is the only hospital in the world to specialise entirely in intestinal and colorectal medicine and is a national and international referral centre for intestinal and colorectal disorders.EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG[...]

Quotes 5 Mar 17 - still in hospital

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 07:15:00 +0000

"A minister may fill his pews & communion roll but what he is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is & no more." — John Owen

"God is to be trusted when His providences seem to run contrary to His promises."
-- Thomas Watson

“With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has always been developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” - Charles Darwin

"If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts—i.e. of materialism and astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset." - C.S Lewis

Quotes 4 Mar 17 - still in hospital

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 08:19:00 +0000

 If we do not perceive our wretchedness and poverty, we will never know how desirable is that remedy Christ has brought to us.- John Calvin ‏@JohnCalvinDaily

Learn the amazing love of Christ.— He was the only one that knew the wickedness of the beings for whom he died.- Robert M. McCheyne ‏@McCheyneQuotes

 Faith includes repentance in its nature. The act of receiving Christ as a Saviour from sin implies forsaking and renouncing sin.- Unk

" Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free! " -Les Miserables

A terminological anomaly.

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 04:47:00 +0000

In the UK we have solicitors and barristers. In the USA they have attorneys. Yet in these countries, what is the government's top legal advisor called? The USA has a solicitor general. The UK government has the attorney general. How did this ever come about?

Diary 26 to 28 Feb 17 - awaiting surgery

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 21:29:00 +0000

Sunday 26th - I ruined Debbie's beauty sleep getting her to drive me to the hospital for an injection to prevent DVT  during surgery (thrombosis). It was only after I agreed on Friday to three hospital visits for injection I realised we had helpful nurses in the church who would have saved us the journeys. But I was able to be back for adult Sunday School at 10 where our speaker was a Presbyterian pastor fromWarsaw. His talk on John a Lasco, father of the Reformation in Poland was most informative. The he preached and came to us for lunch. Once again it was an internationals lunch with other guests from USA, Italy and Ireland. In the evening I expounded Genesis 1 at the Immigration Removal Centre.

Monday 27th Katy drove me to the hospital for the injection. The surgeon was doing his rounds and told us that he may do a smaller operation with a stay of one night only. It all depends on what he sees on the ultrasound scan of the cancer. From St Mark's I went to Ealing Hospital for a regular appointment in urology. Two drugs and staying off all caffeine has not done s lot except dry my mouth. Bt I was able to ask the consultant why urology at St Mars's also wanted to see me. To my surprise he was able to bring up on his screen the MRI at St Mark's last week and he showed me a small abnormality on one kidney which he said is what the St Mark's consultant would be investigating to see if that might be malignant. In the evening we had a good session meeting planning future ministry and dates for prospective new elders submitting their papers for presbytery examination.

Tuesday 28th. Another injection first thing followed by an ultrasound scan of the cancer. Having an enema then a probe inserted for 15 minutes where the sun don't shine was not pleasant. It revealed cancer near the colon wall and I was told it was up to the surgeon whether he would do minor surgery from below to remove the cancer or longer surgery to take out part of the colon too. In the afternoon I heard I was to be admitted Wednesday for surgery on Thursday and home Friday. So minor procedure it is.

Complaint to BBC

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:15:00 +0000

Fatima Salaria – its second Muslim executive to take control of its faith-based output and serve as the new commissioning editor for religion and ethics. I believe this is totally inappropriate in a  Christian country. Muslims are a minority. A Muslim's understanding of what the Christian majority want cannot be adequate. To have a Muslim in charge of Songs of Praise, well you might as well have an atheist. I regard this appointment as BBC bias towards Islam. - I await response

Diary 23 to 25 Feb 17

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 22:49:00 +0000

Thursday 17th Had my second colonoscopy in two weeks at St Mask's Hospital, Harrow. I had injections for sedation making this time a less uncomfortable experience.I was encouraged by the surgeon's conclusion that I do not need to have all the colon removed for that would have necessitated a stoma (bag). He says the polyps  (non-malignant growths) were mainly in the lower colon so he will recommend removal of that when the cancer is removed. That was Thursday morning. In the afternoon I had a community cardiologist appointment in Hanwell. The consultant said my heart condition was not a cause for concern at present but he continues to want regular monitoring. This follows my treatment for cardiac arrhythmias in Hammersmith Hospital about 8 years ago.

Friday 23rd Katy took me back to Northwick Park Hospital Harrow. It shares a site with St Mark's and I was there for a second MRI scan, this time liver and kidneys. It involved about 45 minutes in the scanner with about eight times instructions to hold ones breath for about 15 seconds at a stretch. When we returned from Nigeria in 1982 MRI was an experimental procedure in some London hospitals. Now this hospital alone has three suites of scanners. Next I was at the ophthalmic clinic in Hanwell where I was told I had incipient glaucoma so now it will be eye drops every night. Back home I did something never done before. I gave the lawns their first cut of the year, an event usually done in early April.

Then  I had a call from St Marks telling me I was being booked for an ultrasound scan of the tumour next week.What I did not expect was to be told of an appointment for a pre-surgical assessment. Even more surprising was to be invited to come back to the hospital that afternoon which I did. The assessment took a nearly three hour stay. I was told to expect surgery next Wednesday. I was also booked in for earlier procedures, injections of anticoagulant, echocardiogram and consultation with stoma nurse. It is all happening. Well I hope it is. We will be getting a five day ticket for hospital parking. This day cost us £13. NHS is free at the point of need but not its car parks.

Saturday 24th, A quiet day enjoying seeing wins for LeedsUnited, Scotland and Ireland then an enjoyable quiz evening at Holy Cross, Greenford.

23 Feb 1758 Jonathan Edwards-a fatal inoculation

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:39:00 +0000

by davidtmyersTrust in God, and you shall not fearThe subject of today’s historical devotional was not a Presbyterian, but in the closing days of his life and ministry on earth, he was the president of the foremost Presbyterian college in America. Jonathan Edwards was born into a ministerial families in 1703. Trained in the home, he entered into scholarly pursuits by attending Yale College at age 13. In the latter portion of his collegiate training, the Holy Spirit convicted his heart and convinced him of his need of Jesus Christ. He received Jesus as Lord and Savior at that pivotal time. Graduating from Yale in 1720, he continued his studies for the gospel ministry. When a congregation in what is now the New England area of our country became vacant, he went as the pastor in 1729, following his father-in-law as the minister. It was there under the preaching of the Word, including the famous sermon “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God,” that the Great Awakening movement came to the church and area. Over three hundred souls were awakened to their sinfulness and brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.Jonathan Edwards was not only effective as an awakening pastor, but through his writings, the then known world of Christendom was challenged as to the authority of God’s Word in the life of the church and the sphere of culture. He was America’s foremost apologist, or defender of the faith. Even in the midst of church controversy, such as developed in that Northampton congregation over the issue of qualified participants of the Lord’s Supper, he did not allow his departure to stop him in his ministry. He evangelized among the native Americans for six years in the Stockton, Massachusetts area.It was in 1758, that a delegation came from the College of New Jersey, with an offer to become the president of that Presbyterian school of the prophets. After some objections were answered satisfactorily, he did accept the offer in January of 1758 and became associated with what would later become Princeton University. As smallpox was present in the area, a noted physician came down from Philadelphia on February 23, 1758 to inoculate President Edwards and two of his daughters. Edwards was inoculated with pus from a patient with smallpox, a practice of the time called variolation (variola=smallpox virus). Vaccination using coxpox virus (vacca=cow) came about 40 years later. Edwards had never been in the best of health and as the effects of the inoculation were subsiding, a secondary fever took hold and Jonathan Edwards died of small pox approximately one month later, March 22, 1758.Just before his death, some people were attending him on his death-bed, and remarked about the approaching effect of this certain demise on the Christian church. Jonathan Edwards, hearing those remarks, spoke to those attending him with his dying words “Trust in God, and ye need not fear.”Words to Live By: Let us ever and always trust in God, indeed the God of providence, with whom there is no mistake in life or death.[...]