Like Jesus we belong to the whole world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
St. Teresa of Calcutta
from the book Works of Love Are Works of Peace
Mother Teresa, CRS credit/field
Be not afraid. God loves you and wants us to love one another
as He loves us. As miserable, weak and shameful as we are,
He loves us with an infinitely faithful love.
St. Teresa of Calcutta
from the book Works of Love Are Works of Peace
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Daniel J. Boorstin
Now that I have your attention…
Parents are not ignorant…
But perhaps we best clarify…let’s just say that the majority
of parents out there are bright and utterly competent.
Yet reading the latest post (as in yesterday by now) by our dear friend, the Scottish Pastor David Robertson,
I read that very quote. “Yes – but parents are ignorant”.
It was made by a Scottish Government Minister, spoken to David.
It came about because David challenged this particular Governmental official to allow him
to address a group of Scottish parents as to the whooie (aka crap) that they are being
fed by the Government, the School System and now by even many in “the Church” regarding everything from
gender identification to sexual orientation…
with such indoctrination starting at the ripe old age of 5 and 6.
According to David:“Not just Christians and Muslims, but many other parents who are fed up
of their children being sacrificed to the whims of a progressive establishment who don’t
give a fig for the poor and the weak –
and seem concerned only with protecting their own position.”
And so now it seems that a local (Scottish) Church vicar has come under fire for simply citing
one of David’s articles in this vicar’s weekly column in his church’s news flyer.
A media outlet got wind of the ‘blasphemy’ and in true form, without any sort of true
journalistic investigation, offered up an article damning the vicar for quoting from
an article offered by the Wee Flea blog.
Since I quote from The Wee Flea all the time, I suppose that makes me persona non grata–
but of course, I am but a retired educator and not a person of the cloth, or of any real importance…
just a person who happens to keep a little blog—- so I think I’m good.
But my point is that not all are…’good’
And perhaps we should use the word ‘safe’ versus good.
Not all who speak the Truth of God’s word, not man’s rewritten version of such
but the true Word, are safe from the mob of progressivism or
safe from the self-appointed PC police.
David offers these kind words to this now wrongly maligned vicar.
“Simply abusing those who assert these views,
rather than having an intelligent and informed discussion is not helpful.
As someone who has faced the Twitter mob when you dare to blaspheme the new authoritarian State doctrines–
I can only empathise with my Anglican brother, praise him for his courageous stand…and stand with him.
Brother – you will win.
Not because you have political power –
but because you belong to the One before whom, one day, every politician will bow –
and give account for what they have done with their power…
Please find David’s article below by clicking on the link below.
Perhaps I should add the disclaimer that…if you are not afraid to click, read or like…
because you are not afraid of The Truth.
Tuesday was the feast day of St Matthias–May 14th on the Gregorian calendar…
the calendar most of the world now follows.
However, our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters follow the Julian calendar
and so their commemoration of the feast day is August 9th.
But for our purposes today, for those of us who adhere to the Gregorian calendar,
we’ll just stick with May 14th.
St Matthias was the disciple that, following the death and Resurrection of Jesus,
and then that of his Ascension was voted on by Peter and the others to fill the void left
by the betrayal and subsequent suicide of Judas Iscariot.
It was the replacing of one who betrayed with one who remained faithful.
It was also a fulfilling of prophecy.
May 14th was also a day that I actually had time to catch the latest youtube episode of
Anglican Unscripted with US host Kevin Kallsen and our favorite rouge Anglican priest,
Bishop Gavin Ashenden.
Our dear friend actually started the segment by mentioning that their day’s discussion
was to be quite timely given the fact that it was the feast day of St Matthias.
After watching the episode, I understood the nod to the significance of St Matthias.
That being the replacing of betrayal with dedicated devotion.
A devotion that, in the face of severe trial and grave threat to life,
never wavered–one iota.
Those in the US, other than disheartened Episcopalians and Anglicans such as myself,
may not understand nor be interested in what a former British Anglican bishop has to say.
They may wonder why I continually reference the man.
So for those of you who wonder who in the heck I keep talking about, quoting or referencing,
in a Wikipedia and from his own bio nutshell, here is who is he is… “Gavin Roy Pelham Ashenden (born 1954)
is a British Anglican clergyman.
He was a Chaplain to the Queen from 2008 until his resignation in 2017.
He was ordained in the Church of England, but left it in 2017.
That year was consecrated a missionary bishop by the Christian Episcopal Church,
a continuing Anglican jurisdiction outside of the Anglican Communion.”
On the Feast of St Michael and All Angels 2017,
the Archbishop of the Christian Episcopal Church announced that Dr. Ashenden
had been consecrated as a Missionary bishop to the UK and Europe.
But there is more to the man than a quick bio—
Bishop Ashenden knows music and its history, he has a law degree, he studied psychology
and theology, he is an accomplished and deeply published author, he has been a teacher,
preacher and even smuggler—smuggling Bibles into the communist Soviet Union.
He has served in small parishes and he has served a Queen.
He is keenly knowledgable about history be it the history of religions, governments or law.
In other words, he is a man who knows his stuff.
Yet because he knows “his” stuff, why should any of that matter to you, you might now be asking.
Well, because my friend, if you are one who considers themselves a Christian, as well as a member
of the Judaeo/ Christian democratic Western Civilization, Bishop Ashenden paints a grave yet
painfully honest picture of your very world…a truth that you need to familiarize yourself with
before you are caught like so many will be, blindsided.
Would I call Bishop Ashenden a prophet?
Perhaps I would.
I do know that much of the modern-day world wonders why we have not heard from the
likes of such prophets like those from the days of old.
Those wizened voices who rose up most often from obscurity,
bending the ears of kings and warriors alike by foretelling things that were to be.
Those men who dreamed dreams and shared visions.
Not like a Nostradamus mind you, but more like a Jeremiah, Obadiah or an Isaiah,
or even a John The Baptizer.
I know I’ve been guilty of lamenting ‘where are the prophets?’
Where are those voices of Truth…?
But as I’ve pondered such a notion…it has dawned on me that the prophets are indeed
alive and well…they are found the world over and rest in the voices of men and women who
speak the Truth about Jesus Christ…His life, His teachings, His death, and His resurrection.
They are the ones who do not bend the Truth for convenience sake.
They are not the appeasers or the pleasers of an egocentric society or a materialistic world.
They are the men and women who literally die each and every day for their faith because their
trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Christ alone.
They do not care about social norms, culturalisms, objectivism, convenience, or popularity.
They do not care what a world gone mad thinks of them.
They are not afraid.
For those who speak Truth are never afraid.
During Tuesday’s segment, host Kevin Kallsen made mention that he had seen on a
recent Yahoo News interview freshman Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib,
who happens to be a practicing Muslim, state that the notion of the Holocaust gives her
“a calming feeling.”
Are you kidding???
Holocaust and clam used within the same sentence???
And yet Congress, along with mainstream media, has basically all ignored such a statement.
Who in their right mind has any sort of sense of calm or peace whenever thinking of the Shoah,
in other words, the Holocaust???
I’ve looked into the back story a bit and it appears that some feel her words were taken
out of context…but, I don’t agree.
And so as the segment’s conversation continues,
the good Bishop actually takes a closer look at Islam and that of the Chruch’s odd embrace
of a religion that has always stated that living
in harmony with the followers of the Cross will never be tolerated.
Bishop Ashenden notes that Mohammed’s Islam has, for the better part of 60 years,
been taught by theologians to be one of the three legs of the Abrahamic religions…
with the other two legs being that of Christianity and Judaism.
However our dear friend staunchly, and without hesitation, states that that thought
is absolutely not the truth.
Mohammed borrowed the Biblical characters such as Noah, Mary, and even Jesus,
in order to give credence to “his” religion.
And he denied that Jesus ever rose from the dead.
The good Bishop states that “Mohammed is nothing more than a dictator who demands submission.”
whereas Jesus Christ offers himself as a sacrifice.
Islam is not a cousin of our faith but on the contrary…runs counter to Christianity.
The troubling thing, however, is that we are today witnessing a global Chruch who wants to
appear friendly, accepting and even embracing of Islam.
Going so far as to inviting Muslim neighbors into a Chruch’s sanctuary in order to celebrate
the ending of Eid by covering up the crosses in order not to offend.
Is not covering the cross on the altar of the Chruch a turning of one’s back to Christ and all
He stands for in our faith?
Is that not a betrayal of convenience?
To follow Jesus means that we are not to be ashamed nor disassociate ourselves–ever.
Bishop Ashenden reminds us that we know more about Hell from Jesus than from anyone else Biblically.
He shares that Jesus was and is very specific about consequences…
So much so that He tells us that to deny Him, results in the opposite of Paradise…
it results in Hell.
Yet so many of us will argue that we are a polite society.
We don’t want to rock the boat.
We want to accommodate and be neighborly and friendly.
But to what extent?
At what cost?
Do we opt to turn a blind eye, ignoring public servants who speak positively about
egregious atrocities such as the Holocaust?
Do we rewrite God’s word so that His words now fit better into our current day and times?
Do we cover up and hide the key representative symbol of our faith,
thinking that others of differing faiths may find it offensive?
Evil is alive and well…yet no one likes to admit such let alone think about such.
Bishop Ashenden tells us that Christianity, and only Christianity, offers a defense against Evil.
Jesus cleanses the human heart of such Evil.
Yet the fingerprints of Satan are very much visible within and across the global collective Church.
Truth is being turned upside down as there is not enough regard for the truth in our
And yet we are reminded…
Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life…the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life…
Do not compromise.
Do not be ashamed.
Do not hide.
Do not deny.
Do not pretend.
“And I saw that truly nothing happens by accident or luck,
but everything by God’s wise providence …
for matters that have been in God’s foreseeing wisdom,
since before time began, befall us suddenly,
all unawares; and so in our blindness and ignorance we say that this is accident or luck,
but to our Lord God it is not so.”
St. Julian of Norwich
(Pieta in The Cathedral of Notre Dame / Paris, France /Julie Cook / 20118)
“Many of the saints tell us that these times of God-ordained ‘desolation’ or dryness
are very important times of growth if we persevere through them by exercising a deeper
faith, hope, and love.
It is particularly important, they tell us,
not to give up our spiritual practices but to remain faithful.
God in His wisdom knows how long and how deeply we must be tried in order to come closer to Him,
and we should patiently trust Him during the trial while persevering in our practices.”
Ralph Martin, p.174
An Except From
Fulfillment of all Desire
With God, there are no accidents.
Even when, in our thinking, a near-irreparable tragedy, of which is a true accident and is
nonetheless horrific and simply unbearable…leaves both our lives and bodies shattered…
We are reminded that God is still very much present.
Yet such a reminder, to those who are living in and with the aftermath,
rings often empty and even bitterly insulting.
Our pain and our anger are both agonizingly palpable.
Yet such moments, more often than not, send even the most staunch religious
and spiritual among us into the depths of deep darkness.
A wasteland of sorrow, loneliness, bitterness and yes, a gnawing and seething anger…
The wasteland can last, for what can seem, an eternity.
Or…on the other hand…perhaps there was no accident…no tragedy…
There was no particular impetus for a sudden wandering into the wasteland of an empty soul…
We simply find ourselves, our souls, suddenly and oddly empty and cold.
At best, our faith remains shallow…
At worst, our faith seems lost forever…
However, we are reminded to hold fast.
To hold on.
Words, which to the hurting, the lost, the lonely, more often than not,
echo of emptiness and even the trite.
It will take a conscious act of totally emptying oneself to all that is.
It will take a complete letting go of all that we know and hold dear.
It will take a blind leap of faith.
It will take a willingness to trust in that which we cannot see while we cling to
a promise given to each of us long ago.
We have a choice…
we can choose to remain lost, bitter or angry.
Or we can cling to the one promise we have…
Be not afraid…
The tragedy, the accident, the sorrow which could not, cannot be prevented…
nor that of the painful results, while one seems to remain caught in the vicious cycle
of pain both physical and spiritual, that results from such situations…
is ours to either keep and hold on to or to let go of while we figure out how to find our way back…home
That is our choice, our conscious decision.
There are no accidents with God, no coincidence.
And when in the desert, He remains steadfast despite a perceived silence.
I say all of this as I am in the midst of reading a book that is a tale
of the horrific, the unthinkable, the unimaginable and yet a tale
of the hope, the healing, and the Saving Grace…
of which far outweighs that of the Evil.
More on this story as time allows.
It does indeed seem empty to say to those who suffer the unimaginable that they must simply
hold on and hold tight…
but that is exactly what we all must be willing to do…
and to “will” ourselves takes a conscious act…
Something Beautiful Happened
A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil
by Yvette Manessis Corporon
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
“All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein
(the sun hides behind the weed stalk / Julie Cook / 2017)
Notice how Einstein said “the world as we have created it…”
He meant man….
He did not say, nor did he intend to say, that it was God who had been doing the creating….not God, but man.
For it is a world very much which man has indeed created…ever since that
fateful day in a now sealed garden…
Very much a pandora’s box sort of world—as all manner of things, both good and bad,
have been unleashed…..
And it is with that notion that several thoughts have been coming to light over
the last week or so…as time has allowed for such thoughts and tidbits, if you will,
to percolate, fester or ferment in this mind of mine….
Firstly the other day, I read a comment by a young gal on the site of a fellow blogger,
who happened to be a young lady of color.
I couldn’t tell but guessed that her feelings about Christians and or Christianity
was a bit ambivalent to actually being somewhat hostile as the tone in which
she wrote / spoke rung of mixed signals, mixed messages and outright
hypocrisy regarding Christians / Christianity and the current witnessing of the
whole Black Friday consumerism mayhem she had been seeing, as it sounded as if
it had seen as a bit up and personal—
All of which, if the truth be told, has sadly become the notable marker
to the this whole holiday season—
never mind that it use to the the lighting of an Advent candle.
Somehow the lighting of a candle verses being the first in line for a door buster
goodie just doesn’t seem to ring of the same sense of importance.
This young woman sees it as if ‘they speak of all things love and acceptance
but act like hungry crazy sharks who’d punch a fellow human being in the face
over the last door buster flat screen TV…
She went on about sharing the Thanksgiving holiday with a Middle Eastern friend who
was Muslim, along with the friend’s entire family. And that she found them
(the friend and friend’s family) to be warm, gracious and hospitable which was a
stark contrast to what she presumed to be the Christian hate of all things Muslim….
Would it help any if I defended “us” by saying we’re not suppose to be calling it
Christmas in the first place….but rather ‘winter holiday’… or some other similar generic winter mumbo jumbo…
a time that just so happens to be earmarked as a time of over the top giving????
How are we to help the fact that the savvy marketeers of all things materialistic
have turned Christmas gift giving into some sort of high end art of a feeding frenzy….
And therein lies much of our trouble—
we have allowed this to grow out of control by playing right into the middle
of it all.
And secondly, I don’t recall it being a Christian mantra that “we hate Muslims”…
But either way, this young lady obviously had been given some sort of bad vibes in
order for her to “feel” this level of resentment for Christians and Christianity….
because I don’t think she just pulled all of this out of thin air…
As in what kind of Christians / Christianity has she been witnessing???
The other thing that has been resonating with me as of late is the fact that
there is evil in the world.
I’m talking real serious evil.
I bring this up because evil is something that has always been
at the forefront of my relationship with God as Father and Christ as Savior….
As in I’ve always known that the devil is real and there is a raging spiritual
war all around us…and it was Christ who went to hell to do battle
over our very salvation.
I just think we the faithful often prefer to down play the real ugliness of evil….
except only when it’s convenient or practical—as in ‘that violent act was so evil’…
never mind the guy punching the other guy in the face on Black Friday at the mall
as also being an evil act…it just wasn’t “as” evil as we like to define our evils.
We tend to gloss over it, him, whatever…
I think in part because it’s a topic we don’t much like to think about nor do we
consider it a tasteful topic…preferring to think of Flip Wilson and Geraldine
“the devil made me do it” sort of nonsense…saving the sinister one and his
minions for Halloween.
So in the comfort and safety of our homes how much are we willing to
recognize such as really being real?
We tend to ignore or just push aside that which we don’t like to talk about because
gloom and doom and the Devil are not things we really think we need to talk about or address.
Those of us “Christian” bloggers, as much as we talk about what it is we
talk about…that being of faith and or witness, is all well and good but
I wonder if we are really reaching our target and or are we truly presenting our
case, testimony, witness or whatever it is we’re presenting as well as we should??
Oh we have our “friends” who read our words, offering their supportive “amens”,
and we even have our atheist “friends,” whom we’ve gotten to know over the years,
who we truly do like as we both simply seem to enjoy our daily or weekly tussle and arguments…
But what of our real message and target…the one with words and the one with actions?
The ones this young lady missed, or maybe didn’t miss and those things we’re afraid
to talk about??
Satan is slick.
Just ask Eve as she was engaged in conversation with a smooth talking serpent.
When Rio was about to host the Summer Olympics, I think it was 60 Minutes who had gone
to Rio to do a story about its darker side.
Rio is rife with poverty, crime and drugs.
That is a fact but a far cry from what the Olympic Committee or the Government
wanted anyone to see or realize as images of the Girl from Ipanema was to be the
focus and not what was going on in the slums just up the hill.
The reporter was granted an interview up in those slums with a drug lord.
Jabba the Hut came immediately to mind.
This large slimy looking man was surrounded by geeked out followers just waiting
for the next offered hit—he was more than creepy… he was downright evil.
His vantage point was one of looking directly down on those beautiful Brazilian beaches.
That man, I had no doubt, would put a bullet in your head so fast, if he felt one
inkling of betrayal…it would literally make your head spin before you fell over dead
as he was / is the type of person who does indeed scare me.
Those very cold unfeeling people who have no regard for human life.
Think Mafia and organized crime…think psychopaths like Charles Manson.
I’m currently reading the book A Very Expensive Poison,
The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s War with the West
by Luke Harding.
If you don’t think there is real evil out and about—then you are living much too sheltered under your rock or much like my aunt, preferring the covering of sand
over your head. And if you think it is far removed from your safe little
corner of life, again you are sadly mistaken.
There is so much going on that the average human being really has no clue.
And much of it will simply manifest itself in the ugliness of greed, materialism and
entertainment that is so far removed from a Christian’s mindset but is consumed
mindlessly as we rationalize away any thought that it could actually be harmful
or dare we say it, evil.
And I don’t say this as some paranoid Henny Penny the sky is falling chicken running
about with hands to head wailing ‘oh woe is me.’
I think it is time that Christians really need to start thinking about what it is
that makes them, us, you, me…believers.
We need to figure out our faith and how that faith is to manifest itself to a world
rife with evil.
And anyone promising a happy life of pie in the sky is simply delusional and lying—
because being a Christian is so very much more.
It is to truly be at battle….as very real battle indeed.
And it is not a pretty battle.
Yet maybe the route you’ve taken is because you were raised as such and
that’s just how it is? A quiet simple go the Church on Sunday sort
of deal with that being that.
Maybe it is because you go to church on Sunday, maybe even on Wednesday night, and that makes it all good—as in you’re checked off for the week?
Maybe it’s because you are the typical and dying breed of WASP and that’s
just the history of how your life has always been…?
Maybe you throw money in the red kettle this time or year, give a little extra something
to those who cut your yard, your hair, carry your groceries, etc…and that’s
your humanitarian effort for the year?
Are you just living your life, doing your thing, while all the bad guys are out there,
over there and far removed as you rationalize you and yours are good to go
as those “others” out there are busy in the world of all things destructive
I’m afraid itsjust not so simple.
And until we as Believers can figure that out—that we keep allowing the bad,
the Evil one, to get and keep that upper hand while we politely turn our backs….well
it certainly is more comfortable to be cozy in this kitchen of mine as I chat about such
and as I oddly find myself humming the Girl, or in my case the boy, from Ipanema….
all the while folks are still putting cold compresses on those black Friday beatings…
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”