Quick thought for this day:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’

Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ (Matt.16:21-23)

Peter loved his Lord, Jesus, his teacher, master and friend. He acted in love in trying to protect him, to stand between him and a violent fate. We know of Jesus’ love for Peter too: despite the awful triple denial Peter shouted in fear, Jesus later displayed a beautiful, tearjerking act of restoration of their friendship and confirmed his loyalty to his disciple as he evoked Peter’s loyalty to him.

However, in this case, despite Peter’s motivation and good intentions, he uttered something that Jesus did not wish to hear. Our Lord’s response was one of utter condemnation, in no uncertain terms. He loved Peter, but would not condone what he said.

Grace be with you.

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Putting A God On Trial

Excellent Christian apology from a fellow blogger (apology in the original sense of an academic explanation)

Everyone Has A Story...

godstrial

By a show of hands, how many of you have ever used an on-line dating service?

I tried it a few times, and it really, really did not work for me. I would read a man’s profile, sift through his pictures, and check OSCN to make sure he wasn’t a serial killer released by the latest clerical error. I’d exchange a few emails with him, trying to get a sense of his personality. If he passed through that process, I would agree to meet.

Without exception, the men never even approached the image I would have begun to form of them in my head. In most cases, there had been no explicit lies or deceitfulness on their part. I just had formed a different image based 50% on how they had described themselves and 50% on what I wanted them to be like. The first fifteen minutes of any of those…

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Mythbusting

We are complex individuals. However, we often like to define ourselves e.g. introvert/extrovert, team player, free thinker, facilitator, natural leader, etc.

One of the words I use when asked to describe myself is mythbuster. It covers a multitude of sins, since I have always hungered for knowledge and I believe that knowledge is power: it does empower you against liars and those who would twist the truth for their own ends. I suppose for me it is how I came to know Jesus as a teenager; I sought the truth, Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), and those who seek God will find him (Prov. 8:17). For me, all truth is God’s truth, and I strive to not live in fear, but by faith, therefore nothing that is true holds fear for me.

So I always find myself challenging people when they make assertions. Sometimes it’s just playing Devil’s Advocate, but usually I just want to see how they’ve come to their conclusion, or if they’ve reasoned it out at all – this is when I find myself almost incapable of letting go; I have found a myth, I REALLY want to bust it to pieces! How do I go about mythbusting? Actually, in the 21st century, the task is SO simple, it is mind-boggling to me how very few do it. The internet is an amazing ground-breaking revolution in access to knowledge, even though we know a lot of stuff on it is untrue. Recently, I have come across a number of ‘facts’ (or factoids to be more accurate without the inverted commas) on social media that have turned out to be spurious, made up, or twisted to present an inaccurate picture; some harmless little hoaxes, some politically-motivated troublemaking jibes! All I need to do is spend a few minutes (NO! – seconds, literally) on a search to find the source, a debunking, or often, nothing at all, and can conclude, extremely quickly, that what I have just read is either substantiated by many witnesses, or is a load of baloney, or (sadly, too often) it can be found from one source and it looks like news, but a critical evaluation of it turns up little keywords like ‘allegedly’ – and it emerges that no other source is corroborating the story.

By this method, one is able to deduce the more reliable news agencies – if only one is presenting something, or a particular slant on it, and does this repeatedly, it goes down in my estimation. I shall not name names – read them yourself to get the gist of their ‘agenda’ for most these days usually have one. Despite what I say about the state of journalism these days, REAL news is repeated across many places.

Google is now a verb, you can do it for yourself!

Mind you, currently I don’t Google, I Yahoo, even though I prefer Google. It’s my protest at Google’s involvement in the attempt to break up the internet into tiers for the rich and poor: http://www.theweek.co.uk/technology/12673/google-and-verizon-near-net-neutrality-deal (yes, I’m probably the only person boycotting them, but I can do no less!)

When doing my Linguistics degree, we looked at political language. We often say politicians are all liars. Technically, that’s not true; a politician caught lying can say good-bye to their career. Instead, they present half-truths, twisted truth, and misdirection, knowing full well that they are directing your thinking down a certain path. Once you call them out on something, they’ll reply “we never said that!

I’ll finish with just one pertinent example. UKIP stated that on the 1st January this year, we would open the doors to all the Bulgarians and Romanians to emigrate here. They stated this would “allow 29 million” to come here. The number of Romanians here actually went down by 4000 since January, but go on, call them on it… they only said ‘allow’ – they may as well have said that currently we ‘allow’ 500 million Europeans to come here but that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it? They’ll also never tell you that more Britons now live in the rest of the EU than EU nationals who live here!

We all know what they were trying to make us think. I didn’t think it.

Grace be with you.

HERE is where your money is going!

This is a brief political blog (maybe apt for a few days before European and local polling). No scripture verses, just common sense!

Don’t you just love it when things come together?

A few days ago, I made up my own boldomatic ‘meme’ and posted it on Facebook (and got the usual flak, of course):

Image

Yesterday, the governor of The Bank Of England stated boldly that we are heading for another major economic disaster unless we build more houses to stop this new house price bubble that is rising from the swamp. He didn’t say ‘rising from the swamp’ – that’s just my own poetic licence being waved in the air!

You see, he’s Canadian, so he hasn’t been brainwashed by the surrounding swamp of ‘free market’ ideologues we have in British economics.

This morning, I got an unusual lie-in, got up and had a late breakfast in front of the TV. We were watching ‘Homes under the hammer’ – a typical daytime production that follows people who have modest amounts of capital to auctions where they show how easy it is to buy houses, spend a few thousand (or a few hours if they’re tradespeople themselves) and sell it on for a tidy profit (maybe £10,000 for a few days’ labour or a few months’ waiting) or just rent it out for a nice income. I’ve always said that monkeys could do this, so I stand by my own meme (see above).

Today, however, we were treated to a gem! A couple bought a run-down terrace house that was virtually derelict: there was damp in the house, most likely caused (as the presenter pointed out) by a leaking roof, and a massive hole in the bathroom floor, just for starters. They bid £43,500 for it and reckoned, with the husband’s rewiring skills as an electrician, they could fix it up with their budget of around £4,000! The presenter’s eyes widened at this estimate, believe me, and then later he made it clear how ridiculous he thought that figure was. He also pointed out to them that they had broken a cardinal rule in not getting a ‘legal pack’ i.e. they had NOT involved the services of a solicitor.

They closed the house up over a cold winter, obtained insurance for it, returned after some heavy snow, and found that the snow had caused MORE damage to the house so put in a claim. The insurers informed them that since they had NOT got a surveyor’s report before they took out the insurance, it was void, and they walked away (and for once I was on the side of the insurance company). So there they were, with no money left and a worthless shell of bricks and leaking tiles. I think it was then that my wife said “slap it into them!” I nodded in agreement.

So what next for these morons? No, I’m not being harsh; let’s face it, they were an insult to monkeys!

Apparently their local council, with the housing shortage for tenants, decided to step in and give these imbeciles a grant! NOT a loan, like the ones given to all the intelligent students out there, a GRANT! OF £12,000!!!!! So the couple would finish the house and allow the council to place tenants in it for at least 5 years. The council would charge the tenants the going rate of £400/ month, take 10% for their admin costs (a standard fee any agent would levy) and give the owners £360 each and every month!

So dim-witted capitalists, investing their money unwisely in a scheme that could well have netted profit for anyone with a brain, who make a mess through their ignorance, greed and cost-cutting mistakes, get bailed out by government money! Hold on, why does that sound familiar?

Now these people are NOT benefit cheats, nor even legal benefit claimants; you know, all those people who ‘sponge taxpayers’ money’. Nor are they immigrants! Although the wonderful irony is that they are about to become immigrants: they’re heading off to a new life in Australia.

AND in 5 years’ time, they are out of their obligations of the contract and can sell or just rent to a higher paying tenant, as they wish. Nice long-term solution to our housing problems there!

AND if the tenants are on benefits or low-paid income, guess who’s going to pay most of that rent for them? To the owners sunning it up in Australia. Well, at least we’ve rid this country of a pair of dorks who were just a drain on the collective intelligence!

Just thought I’d highlight this, so that the likes of our politicians, including the new kids on the block who have their own scapegoats, will see just exactly where taxpayers’ money IS going. Glad to be of help.

This blog is in no way condemnatory towards intelligent capitalists, believe me.

(I’ll save my vitriol for the crafty capitalists for another time)

Grace be with you.