Comment on news, society and religion from the vantage point of the Christian worldview
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The God Direction
The London riots have indicated that society here in the capital of what was once known as a Christian nation is going in the wrong direction. Groups of people mainly young and including children have been gathering in the streets this week. They have smashed windows, looted shops, set fire to property and caused distress by their intimidating behaviour. One observer of the Tottenham (in North London) riot commented, "what a waste of a generation we have brought up." In a recent article published on the BBC website, 10 different reasons were offered to explain the riots. Not one of them mentions moving away from Biblical values - the true cause behind all this. The rejection of the Bible and the spiritual resources available to Christians has resulted in a godless and selfish generation bringing up a yet more godless and selfish generation. In my podcast, based on the sermons I deliver weekly as the leader of Mill Hill East Church, I offer the way forward. A return to the ancient wisdom that historically sustained Britain and trained people in integrity and morality. In the latest episode, based on the book of proverbs, we look for answers to society's ills in "the God Direction".
I was on the cusp of buying a birthing pool. They are inflatable and relatively cheap. Unfortunately, they are intended for women of about 5'9" height. I, however, required the birthing pool for a man. The man in question was over 6' tall. He was, of course, not going to give birth but, rather, he had been born again. The pool was required for baptism. So instead of the birthing pool I bought a paddling pool. The pool was 12' in diameter but only 30" high. I set it up in the garden and filled it with water. On my getting into the pool to try it out the week before the baptism, there was a veritable tidal wave engulfing a large section of my lawn. No good then. Instead I borrowed a custom made baptistry from a nearby church. The baptism went swimmingly.
A couple of days before the baptism, which took place in our regular Sunday morning service, there was a pool tournament in our church. The guy who was about to be baptised in the baptismal pool won…
The more sociable you are, the happier you are. As you age, it gets more difficult to find friends and meet people on a regular basis than when we were children. Those who seek out friendships and rate this as important, also rate themselves as being happier.
Individuals who isolate themselves fall more easily into depression and stress. Introverts need friends just as much as extroverts do, and friends can help take the edge off of loneliness and sadness. Even if you are not a natural extrovert, make a point of building friendships in order to contribute towards your mental health and happiness.
People who rely on others to lift themselves up tend to be less stressed and depressed. Having a close friend you can talk to about your problems can serve as an important aid in releasing negative feelings. Confiding in a friend tends to reverse feelings of loneliness, and most friends offer words of comfort which affects you in a positive way, knowing that someone cares.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. (2 Kings 6:16) The King of Aram was determined to capture the nation of Israel. He set an ambush and waited for the king’s men. Israel’s troops showed up…but they weren’t surprised by the attack. They’d been prepared for it and they fought valiantly. This happened again and again. Finally the King of Aram demanded to know which one of his troops was a spy for Israel. One troop came forward to explain that the prophet, Elisha, was warning Israel about these planned ambushes. So, the King of Aram decides that he needs to kill Elisha and then his plans to ambush Israel will be successful. When he learns where Elisha is, he gathers his troops and surrounds the area. The next morning, Elisha’s servant looks out the window. He’s shocked to see so many troops and more than a little afraid. Elisha sees his servant’s discouragement and utters a bold prayer. And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord…