Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Prevent the sun from shining,
You can't stop spring from coming in,
Or winter from resigning,
Or still the waves or stay the winds,
Or keep the day from dawning;
You can't stop God from loving you,
His love is new each morning.
You can't stop ice from being cold,
You can't stop fire from burning,
Or hold the tide that's going out,
Delay its sure returning,
Or halt the progress of the years,
The flight of fame and fashion;
You can't stop God from loving you,
His nature is compassion.
You can't stop God from loving you,
Though you may disobey Him,
You can't stop God from loving you,
However you can betray Him;
From love like this no pow'r on earth
The human heart can sever,
You can't stop God from loving you,
Not God, not now, nor ever.
by John Gowan - © Copyright belongs to SP&S Ltd. - reproduced here
There will always be rocks.
The years go by so quickly,
With sun and wind and rain;
Flowers bloom and die away;
The rocks remain.
Trees grow tall and stately,
Their roots resist the strain;
Gales wreak tearing havoc;
The rocks remain.
In time trees fall and rot away;
Children are born, grown, schooled and fed,
The cycle turns, day by short day,
It seems no time until they're wed.
Their offspring grow and learn and play
Who knows where all the years have fled?
So while there's sunshine let's make hay
It won't be long before we're dead !
Generations come and go,
Mistakes recur, time and again.
We change our course and stumble on,
Some prosper from another's pain.
It's all a massive cosmic game,
Winner takes all, the lesson's plain.
Flowers, tribes, regimes will change;
The rocks remain.
It seems the weak are doomed to fail,
The strong will always win the day.
At first the winners may prevail,
Yet, spite all, with wily play
And clever moves, the slowest snail
Can creep, insinuate his way
Through all the traps in hill and dale,
Past all the rocks that say him nay.
So time rolls on and on and on.
Each year we either lose or gain.
We do our best when strength has gone
To fight, fight on,through wind and rain
To try repairing wrongs we've done,
To help our brothers in their pain,
And know, spite all that we have won,
The rocks remain.
The rocks remain, staunch and secure.
Though winds erode and floods may roar,
The heart-stone always will endure.
The challenger comes back for more!
He has the backing of his friends
And trusts his God, obeys the Law,
And presses on till striving ends
The meek inherit Earth's good store.
If we can find the moral strength
To keep emotions well in rein,
We'll use the rocks we meet each day
To help achieve our greatest gain,
They'll change from barriers in our way
To ladders making each path plain,
And we'll rejoice in victory,
Thankful that the rocks remain.
What does it mean?
What is the message behind this poem? "The rocks remain" is the
recurring theme. Apart from the physiological reality, what do the
Stability, reliability, constancy - certainly, but what else? Rocks
can become huge obstacles, irritating, immutable, unmoving,
As time passes, each generation encounters "rocks." On one hand there
is security, comfort and refuge. On the other, problems arise.
Cultures clash. Opinions differ.
Aspirations cause clashes, as do differing cultures. Fortunes
fluctuate. Greed, frustration, anger, all play a part.
Good strives against evil, rich oppresses poor, but weak becomes wily,
persistence brings results and fortune favors the brave.
As the earth rolls, the weak succumb, the stronger prevail. However
the weak can overcome the strong by evolving and persisting, as
flowers, apparently fleeting, survive by making seeds that regenerate,
season by season, each year adapting to the local conditions. Trees
trust their roots to hold them firm, but in the end they give in to
the elements and collapse. However, once rooted, a tree can shoot
again and re-establish itself, if it learns by experience to cope with
the stresses it is subjected to.
Survival is forever, but there will always be problems. We learn as we
go, and discover that initial set-backs do not necessarily mean defeat
and failure. There is always hope, and problems are not necessarily
bad. The greater the rock, the larger the challenge; the bigger the
victory, the stronger the victor.
Those who depend on themselves may find they are isolated and
vulnerable. With the backing of friends they are stronger, but those
who believe and trust in God can become more than conquerers.
We have reason to be thankful that "The rocks remain."
Thursday, October 20, 2011
To say i am simply fuming over this story is no exaggeration. This is injustice in the extreme. The first question that crossed my mind when reading this was why was the teacher wearing this expensive necklace in the first place. She took the risk of it being broken and deserves no compensation.
Secondly, the head teacher's comment that it was the teacher's "human right" to wear "whatever they chose to school". Firstly, teacher's like any professional, while not having to wear a uniform, have to adhere to a dress code of appropriate attire that takes into account both the respectability of the role as well as health and safety. Also, children in schools are expected to abide by dress codes, and i was recently reading of a child being secluded because they had a "banned hairstyle" This was a different school to the one being discussed here. But the principle stands. If a teacher reported to work wearing old jeans and a torn t-shirt, they would be rightfully asked to leave and would face disciplinary action. I would argue that the necklace in this instance represented a health and safety risk.
The school in question is NOT a mainstream school, but a special school where the likelihood of a child striking out is high. Granted, it may not have occurred to the teacher that the necklace might be broken, but when it happened, while the teacher may well have justifiably been upset by the accidental damage to the necklace I do not believe she was justified in demanding £225 and I am surprised that the head teacher supported her in this.
I found it interesting that this expensive pendant was a birthday gift from the very same head teacher (and another member of staff) and wondered if the head teacher had allowed her personal friendship with the teacher to cloud her judgement in this regard. (Shades of the erstwhile Secretary of Defence.)
This can (from the child's point of view) be regarded as a accident – the child struck out in a way that is typical of children with behavioural difficulties – and inadvertently broke the necklace. He was immediately apologetic and the mother took the broken necklace to be repaired. This was not deemed sufficient and the demanded to be paid compensation. However given the economic situation that the family finds itself, it is unrealistic to expect them to pay compensation of that level.
I usually don't defend insurance companies, but I think their refusal to pay for this is warranted and the family should have followed suit. They should have told the teacher if she is that hard up, she should sue them. I would hope that a judge hearing the case would chuck it out for the same reason that the insurance company would not pay out, that the necklace was not an essential item in the classroom, and that if the teacher valued it so much she should not have worn it in the classroom. What is more, even if, as the head teacher suggests, the teacher has a "human right" to wear "whatever she likes, however impractical" – she does so at her own risk. I cannot imagine a head teacher supporting an agency staff member to this extent. The financial burden that this demand has placed on the family is simply criminal. As the mother of this child points out, the child and his family have human rights too.
Personally I would not be able sleep at night, if I knew I had deprived a family of the ability to buy a carpet and Christmas presents for three children that they had been saving up for (rather than using a credit card like so many others will do.) In terms of necessities and luxuries, the carpet and the presents for young children are necessities, the necklace is a luxury.
Parenting a child with special needs faces parents with many demands, not least on their finances. From what i could gather from the article, only the father is working, and he does not draw a huge wage, and the mother makes a meagre £50 per week as a carer's allowance.
I do hope the council acts very swiftly to bring this matter to a conclusion, and that they demand the £202 (£190 already paid as well as the £12 paid for the repair.) is immediately repaid to the family, I would also like to suggest that in order to avoid possible victimisation of the child be granted a transfer to another school.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
With the disaster of events in Norway, I have heard this question being asked in two different ways, and thought that it is an important question to address. When you think of a fundamentalist, who is it that you see in your minds eye? Do you regard yourself as a fundamentalist? Why? I believe like many words in the English language, this word has metamorphosed over recent years.
- Belief in the Trinity - belief that there is One god existing in Three Persons - The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- The full and literal belief in the virgin birth of Jesus, the Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus, and the eventual return of Jesus Christ.
- The belief that Salvation is obtained ONLY by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
- The inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures in the form of the Bible - consisting of 66 'books' - 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. With this is the belief in the literal reality of the miracles described therein - e.g. Creation, Parting of the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus, Universality of the flood (Noah), Jesus' miracles, etc.
If we get down to what the root of the meaning is - now reverting to generalities in terms of religion - the notion is that a fundamentalist is getting back to the "fundamentals". What are fundamentals? They are those basic principles of the religion that define its adherents. I've listed some of those fundamentals of the Christian belief.
The problem is, like most things in life religion adapts and changes over time, but people do not change at the same rate. There are those who believe we need to adapt and change with the times and will embrace these changes enthusiastically. These people say that those who don't want to change are wrong and conversely, those who see these changes as compromises and are naturally resistant to any such change (fundamentalists), and will label the modernist (or those keen to embrace change) as liberals - with the implication that the person is NOT a true adherent of their religion.
Many of the internal conflicts and discrepancies within a religion comes down to this "old versus new" argument. Sometimes though, I think that people who THINK they are fundamentalists would more accurately be described as a TRADITIONALIST. Growing up in the 70's when "Christian choruses" were all the rage, and gainin g in popularity, there were those, who insisted that nothing but HYMNS shoulod be sung in Church and that these "happy clappy" choruses were bringing down the tone. The solution in many churches was to have services dedicated to traditional service - in which it would be quite acceptable to sing:
Now thank we all our God, with heart and soul and voices...but not
Clap your hand, all ye people, shout unto God with a voice of triumph...
What is the difference - the first was written a long time ago, and is sung to organ music, while the latter (the chorus of it - as it is directly out of Scripture) was written more recently, and people actually raise their hands, clap their hands and SHOUT. Sadly these differences have caused Christians to leave fellowship, and fight.
Again, there is nothing wrong with being a traditionalist, but when it comes to a point where people decide that everybody has to ascribe to the same traditions, and to want to do things differently is somehow a rejection or a walking away from one's faith.
Tradition is a good thing, We can learn so much from old ways, but there are traditions that are not good and are better assigned to history where it belongs. Let us look at the tradition of a man owning his wife as chattel. There are many traditions which are linked to this - like in the marriage vows where a bride would vow to obey her husband. There will be those among you who read this blog who feel that that should still be the case. Some of you will be ready to quote verses of Scripture to defend this mentality. However, by and large society has moved on, and the notion of equality of the sexes is widely accepted and considered the NORM.
However, on reflection, as I've listened to discussions on radio to radio we should perhaps avoid describing the terrorists as "fundamentalist". They are not defending the fundamentals of faith, but they are defending their tradition. They may fight under the banner of "Islam" or under the banner of "Christianity" but what they are "defending" is not the fundamentals of their religion, but their own lifestyles. The 9/11 bombers, the 7/7 bombers, Bali, Spain, claimed to be Muslim. But They do not represent true Islam. Breivik claims to be a fundamentalist Christian, but his violent act is exactly the opposite of what we stand for a Christians.
I think that the Church must be willing to either stop referring to people as Muslim terrorists as if their terrorism is truly represented the Islamic faith, or be willing to refer to Breivik as a Christian terrorist. It should be cut both ways. I've heard people phoning up the radio station and assert that the Quran taught that such violence was right. However these people are not Islamic Scholars interpreting their own Scripture, but non-Islamic people who have heard these ideas talked about and taken them without question. It's easy to believe that what other people do is evil.
Well, I think in conclusion, I would say that it is not FUNDAMENTALISM that is the issue, but being an EXTREMIST.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Your Wish is My Command
- Choose your battles – sometimes something simply is NOT worth the effort.
- Do your best in the circumstances and don’t be downhearted if you cannot be THE BEST. Don’t let failure caused you to become demotivated. Pick yourself up and keep pushing.
- Don’t try to do it alone – Three mighty men went to get a cup of water. One of them might have thought he could go alone, but he didn’t. When circumstances are difficult – it is not a shame to ask for help.
- You may not get the reaction you expected or were hoping for. You may be disappointed when you set out to do something nice for someone that they don’t appreciate it. Don’t allow that disappointment to develop into bitterness – forgive them – even if they don’t think that they have done anything wrong, and move on.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
I am thinning on top - I have known this for some time and frankly - it is no big deal to me - From photographs I see that both my grandfathers were bald. I was reading an article in the Daily Mail today about Hair Transplants and clearly for the author of the article, Jason Gardiner, the thought of losing his crowning glory, was more than he could cope with - he however is in the privileged position of being able to afford a hair transplant. I am pleased for him that it worked not only in terms of its success as a procedure, but the resultant psychological effect.
However, I am not merely commenting on a rather humdrum boring article about a hair-transplant operation - but on the attitudes of some of the people choosing to comment on it. I have submitted a comment, and I share it with you below.
Baldness looks awful and is a look best suited to thugs! (comment edited) - Stuart, Caerphilly, 18/6/2011 09:50
Stuart - that is a very inflammatory and unfair comment. Like there is no thug who has a full head of hair. Jason has the good fortune of having the money to get the problem fixed. The majority of us have to accept that that is nature taking its course. For some, men, women and children, baldness is the sad side-effect of cancer treatment and no laughing matter. Imagine having to be the parent who has to see his or her child's beautiful hair shorn off, rather than have them go through the agony of seeing it fall out on their pillow. I have not been through that agony- but I know of a brave man, who knowing his little four year old had to undergo the indignity of chemo therapy - when the parents decided to shave his hair off - had his own head head shaved at the same time, to distract the little boy and reassure him that it was going to be ok. Some thug, hey Stuart?
It's not only baldness that attracts people's nastiness. people who have astigmatisms (such as a squint) or are albino, or have a large and noticeable birth mark. People who are unusually tall or short, people who have "buck teeth" etc. It's a crying shame that people are so unfeeling that they do not hesitate to label and discard people who they do not think fits the "norm". I know and could tag (but won't) a great number of my friends, who, for one reason or another, can say that they have been affected by these prejudices.
This week on the radio, I heard that they have found that BOYS as young as 10 and 11 suffering from Bulimia because of bullying at school. Bulimia mainly affects girls, who have a media image that brainwashes them into believing that they are too fat. This same phenomenon is affecting boys too now (1 in 10 approx are boys). One brave young man phoned into LBC and told his story that at 15 or 16, his mother told him that he would "never find a wife" if he was that fat. That was the trigger to his bulimia. Although he had overcome the issue - one could hear in his voice that he was still hurting. Read this link
Not long ago, I was horrified to read the account of a mother who was giving her "beauty pageant" daughter of 8 years old Botox injections.(It turned out to be a hoax) I heard of another mother who had given her presumably flat-chested little seven year old, a voucher for when she turns 16 to have "breast enhancement" operation. My head spun with the wrongness of both of these mothers and the dire psychological damage (and physical harm in the case of the Botox) being done to these girls. The stupidity of the mothers concerned. I'm only "picking on" the mothers in these cases because medias focus was on the mother and I am presuming that there was no father figure in the little girls' lives. Also, sexist though it may sound, since they were girls you would have though that the mothers would show the necessary sensitivity and stability and know what is suitable for them and what isn't.
In all the situations mentioned above, the bottom line is WHAT WE LOOK LIKE AND HOW WE ARE PERCEIVED BY OTHERS. It's easy to say - ignore what others say and think about you - it doesn't matter - but rightly or wrongly - what others think of us and the way we look is important. Where an opinion is shared with love and a view to help, that a person may present themselves in the possible light - then it is a good thing. We all get a boost when someone compliments our looks - but if people make scathing remarks about things we cannot do anything about - it hurts and causes damage.
I not only would welcome comments on this article - I would request comments. I also invite you to repost this article on your pages and invite your friends to post their comments to my blog. Do not restrict your comments to Baldness, Boobs, botox or Bulimia, but any issue that affects one's body image.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385151/Council-staff-wall-shame-mock-pictures-disabled-children.html#ixzz1LsmljIB8
I am flabbergasted - first of all, WHY would people choose to pick on innocent people. This kind of teasing is pitiful - even when done by children who don't know any better - but adults? Especially people in the public eye.
John C. Fairlamb