Saturday, 27 January 2007

The Great War for Civilisation

I am reading Robert Fisk's book, 'The Great War for Civilisation' at the moment. I am enjoying it, and learning a great deal from it. Unfortunate that it is so big a book, but I suppose it is an enormous subject, and indeed Fisk's life's work in effect. Afghanistan, Iran and now I am onto Iraq. The main lesson is the obvious one, Islamic societies do not want to be told what to do by the west! They desire decent treatment, and independence. Extremists like Bin Laden are not the problem, that is the misuse and misunderstanding of the culture by those that think they can push the world around.

There are many failings in the societies of the middle east, far too many! Cruel savagery is not uncommon. Savagery of a kind not seen in the west since, well, the last time it was seen. Human beings are all the same underneath after all! The British, French, Russian and U.S. empires have all made promises they would not keep, and used and abused the area for their own ends. They still do! It is remarkable how many mistakes have been made in the past and now are being repeated because experts, and ignorant leaders, either do not know of them, or for some obscure reason, imagine that 'This time it will be different.' How wrong they are.

What to do? Good question, I hope you have the answer! I don't.

We could say Jesus is in control and working out his plan. True, but we see it as in a very dark mirror. Many suffer and die if the troops remain, and many will suffer and die if they leave. Oil, the main point for Bush, will keep the interest ongoing. Terrorist strikes may also keep troops there. But again, can you win a war in Afghanistan? The British didn't, the Russians with great power failed miserably, and it is hundreds of years since anyone conquered that land. Will a few thousand, well trained, troops win now? No is the answer. If Pakistan helps out they might. Pakistan cannot help more than she is doing, the people would turn on the leaders. The Al-Quedah (you spell it!) threat may not be as great now as it was. many other groups working alone may be more of a danger. Instead of fighting, maybe dealing with Muslims would be a better, long term idea. However, I have no idea how it would work. Did you notice me going round in circles here?

Friday, 26 January 2007


The sun is shining and bathing the cold, damp land outside with that lovely yellow light. Overhead the last of the cloud is sweeping south, pushed hard by the cold north wind, leaving behind an ever deepening blue sky. Lovely! A simple thing sunshine, but even with such biting cold air it cheers the soul. For those who spend six months or more in the darkness of constant night, depression is commonplace. Many suffer here because their work keeps them indoors, far from daylight. Life can be improved for each worker simply by putting them near a large window, and letting the light shine in.

For me, if it were possible, I would be on one of those countries that endure sunshine all day long. I realise that this would be difficult to endure, bright sunshine, light, warmth, happiness, all things that need constant endurance I admit, but I am willing to give it a go! Of course, at this moment, I sit hear fully clothed, with a jacket round my shoulders, another over my knees, the heating is on, and the chill that goes through my bones is not lifted even by the sight of the sun on the park opposite.

Still, I'm happy eh?

Monday, 22 January 2007

Another Rain Soaked Monday

Gray clouds overhead, rain leaving the streets dark and wet. Folks slipping by, heads down, hoods up. Another Monday in the United Kingdom! Situated here on the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean we are buffeted by the winds and the rain. This does give a good harvest, unless it is flooded out of course, and produces a prosperity for some. It has also played it part in producing a dark humour, designed to make the most of mornings like these. Everywhere folk have made it to work, the weather on their lips. Some cursing, some sardonically telling others that it's 'good for the ducks', and being informed no doubt as to just exactly what the ducks can do with the weather.
For me a day of study, it says here, cleaning up, and possible despair as I remember just how good my God has been to me, and just how I withhold myself from him. Self centred, spoilt brat that I am! Will today produce a heart felt change? Or just more of the failure that I have become so used to? We shall see.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Another Wasted Week!

OK so I did look for work, and with a bad knee, no required skills and age against me nothing happened. But what else did I do? Nothing!

Piled around me are things to study, lists of jobs to be done, books everywhere crying out to be read, and on top of them all....dust! Sums me up this week. I tried, oh yes I tried, but for several days I found myself just sitting there. Not thinking anything, just blandly staring out the window, or just sitting. Actually it was quite enjoyable to do that. Instead of having to do things, read this, write that, get up and do, just sitting for a while in the quiet, with the various noises of life outside not really intruding made a restful change. I did in fact read some of the Joe Lee book. Written, unfortunately, in a 'Sunday Post' manner but worth a look nonetheless. Not enough about his time during the Great War for me, but I suppose like so many others he did not talk too much about it afterwards. The books of his adventures no doubt missed out much of the sights he saw. Those men, like soldiers today, rarely find outsiders who understand how they comprehend their warfare.

Now, after what can laughingly be called exercise, I feel more up for it......hold on, maybe another cup of tea, as everything can wait can't it? I will do the job search this afternoon maybe, and the study then also, and maybe I should just play that 'Blast Billiards' game until the Spirit moves me......

Friday, 12 January 2007

So, Maybe I was Wrong...........

It has been known.
I truly believed that I had sensed the end for me and Jesus. Sitting here I was in some degree of empty vacuousness, and all seemed at an end. However, in the time since Jesus has shown his grace and mercy to me. Once more leading me into a deeper knowledge of himself. Answering prayers that I had not quite asked and revealing his love for me, and desire to have me fully given over to him. I praise him for his answers, and am amazed at his care, and undeserved mercy.
What a God we have in this Jesus! Well, that sounds like one of those awful American Christian sites we see far too much off! I don't often talk like that, I am a wee bit more sober and Scots in my approach. But it is true however, and I am glad and want to have more of Jesus, and to be given over to him completely.
Let's go God!

Thursday, 4 January 2007

God Has Chosen Me,and I Have Let it Pass Me By

It was there once.
Jesus held out tome the promise of a new life.
His power was available.
The Holy Spirit was there willing to make me a new person.
Willing to change my life for the better. To enable me to do great things for God.

I missed it.

The power was there. He wanted so much to make me new.
I found it ‘inconvenient’ and now am left, bereft.

I have once again tried to reach him, to let him in.
Once again I am aware of holding back, not opening up.
I remember the word concerning the water flowing from the temple.
How I was seen to stand in it up to my ankles, and say ‘it’s not convenient.’
How I stopped the Holy Spirit working.
I said, once again, I want to let you in.

Then as I sat down here I had the ‘sense’ that it was too late.
I had missed it.
The chance has gone.
Gods will has passed.
I am bereft.

What now?

Monday, 1 January 2007

New Years Day

New year means little to me now. Brought up in Edinburgh meant at one time it was an excuse for a drunken night out. Not that drunken meant what it does now. This was a time for greeting strangers, knocking on doors and having a good time amongst friends, many of whom you did not know and never saw again! Today it has lost its appeal for many. The attitudes are somewhat rougher and the cheeriness of the past has been replaced by a rip off mentality in a commercial celebration. On the other hand, in the thirty years since the openness of an Edinburgh Hogmany's decline, the English have discovered New Year as another time for a piss up. As if they needed an excuse! The development of a strong economy has meant an overpaid, overweight wealthy nation sees it as a right to indulge as and when they like, with no regard for anyone else. As a nation becomes wealthier the more individual and self obsessed it becomes.

The change of a calendar date means nothing in reality, it is simply an administrative system to help us know where we are in time. The significance really comes from the northern hemisphere looking towards the spring as the days get longer and the dark winter begins to pass. Maybe we should scrap Christmas and New Year and just have a celebration on the shortest day of the year. It would be more honest!

Another year but little has changed so far. The virus still makes me cough, and leaves me near deaf in one ear. The cave lies untidy all around, the TV is stuffed full of mediocrity and downright pap! A new day but not much changes in this badly run, celebrity chasing, empty, lost society of ours.

A good new year to you all, well, both of you, maybe......