Understanding Muslim Obsession With Israel

If you have ever wondered why the Arab world is obsessed with destroying Israel, even at the expense of its own people, this article by Melanie Phillips will turn on the lights for you. It is all driven by honour and shame, and in particular the role the Jews had in being suitable victims of shame to enhance the honour of Arabs. She quotes at length an article by Professor Richard Landes. A long article but worth reading.

Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, has called for a “day of rage” tomorrow.

This is ostensibly to protest against the metal detectors which the Israeli government has installed at Temple Mount in Jerusalem. That was in response to last Sunday’s attack there by two Israeli Arabs. Already armed, they burst from the compound and murdered two Israeli Druze police officers, leaving a third officer injured.

Dozens have already been hurt overnight in violent demonstrations against the police in both the Temple Mount area and in east Jerusalem, with Arab youths throwing stones at officers and setting dumpsters on fire. According to Jerusalem’s police commissioner Yoram Halevi, many of those who took part in the rioting were encouraged to do so by the provocative statements being made by the Palestinian leadership.

You don’t say.

It’s the usual story. Arabs are incited to attack Jews by mendacious claims (made by Abbas, amongst others) that the Jews are attacking Muslim holy site; Arabs launch murderous attack on Israelis from said Muslim holy site; Israelis take security measures around said Muslim holy site to defend against further such attacks; Arabs claim these defensive security measure are further attack on Muslim holy site; Arabs incite further attacks on Israelis in protest at presumed attack on holy site; and on and on.

The Israelis’ real crime, in the Arabs’ eyes, is to assert control of any kind on Temple Mount. The Arabs have threatened to unleash world war if Jews were ever to have free access to it or in any way alter the status quo. That status quo means Jews have their access to Temple Mount heavily restricted and are not even allowed to pray on it.

This despite the fact that, as the site of the original Jewish Temple, it is the holiest place of all for religious Jews. The Arab and Muslim belligerency over Temple Mount is not just an attack on Israel but on Judaism itself.

Read the full article here

Reflection on Genesis 28:10-19


Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+28.10-19


Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”


Jacob comes to a certain place and lies down for the night. He dreams of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven and angels ascending and descending on it.

The Lord appears to Jacob and repeats His promises to Abraham and Isaac. These are promises of land, offspring and blessing.

Jacob wakes from his sleep and says, “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place and I did not know it. This place is the house of God.” He anoints the stone he slept on and names the place Bethel, that is house of God.


We christians have the Holy Spirit in us, and so every place we go is Bethel, for we are each one the house of God.

There are times when the Lord surprises us, perhaps speaking to us or acting for us in ways we did not expect.

The presence of God becomes obvious to us in these moments. Every day in all that we do, we should try to be aware of God. He is with us in all the moments of all our days.

Many years ago a monk known as Brother Lawrence wrote a book called “Practising the Presence of God.” The title itself is a clue- we need to practise listening and discerning God’s presence with us in the minutiae of daily life.

We can learn to take the opportunities to seek out the Lord in our daily routines. I know of one lady who assigns a prayer point to each household task. Others take a minute each hour to stop and ask “Lord what are you saying to me right now?”

It is so easy to miss appointments with God when we lose ourselves in the world. We need to seek out God in the unlikely places of our lives and declare with Jacob, “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.”


Father in heaven, help me to seek you in everything I do. Please reveal yourself to me in my daily life. Amen.

The Slippery Slope of Doctor Who


They’ve been hinting it for 6 months, and last night the BBC announced that the next actor to play Doctor Who will be a woman, Jodie Whittaker.

And once again the show slides down the ramp of political commentary until enough viewers stop watching it and it gets canned.

We are already going there with Season 10 with the explicitly lesbian companion Bill Potts and anti-capitalist episodes such as “Oxygen”. When any TV show stops telling stories and turns into some sort of leftist political soap opera it becomes boring and people turn off.

You only have to go back to the reasons why the original Doctor Who creaked to a halt. It was the same political bent that killed it in the 1980’s.  Then it was the  anti-capitalist, anti-Thatcher propaganda that produced boring story lines.

I am sure that Jodie Whittaker is a great actress. She might even turn into a great Doctor Who. If casting a female Doctor Who is about seeing how far they can stretch the character, that’s great. But if the producers  are following an “agenda” instead of making great drama the end is near.

Three Words That will Save Your Soul

Ann Voskamp writes:

How These 3 Words can Stop What’s Stealing Your Joy — Instead of Staying Stuck In the Competing and Comparing Rat Race

So this kid? She’s apparently got a problem when it’s her kid sister’s birthday.

And yeah… it’s understandable.

I mean — who really especially likes it, or finds it easy, when the other kid gets the big cake?

Or the big gifts. Or all the flashing cameras on her grinning mug smiling pretty over candles?

I mean — I saw it once at a parade: women jockeying for a better position.

Turns out it doesn’t matter a hill of beans how old you are, how wise you are, or how you’re sitting pretty —the more you let yourself compete and compare, the more you forget your own calling.

the more you let yourself compete and compare, the more you forget your own calling.

I’d seen it, the women with their big handbags and big hopes:The more you push to get in front of others, the more you fall behind in being the best you can be.

I confess, I don’t remember much of the parade… but I went home with that.

I went and listened to the kid with the kid sister who had this birthday coming up. She was brave and honest and said out loud that she knew she was going to feel her tummy tighten into knots when everyone handed her sister all the presents, when her sister got the stage and the candles and the cake.

So she showed me what her and her mom had written on a piece of paper for her, for her to carry in her pocket, hold in her hand.

Just three words, scrawled on a scrap of paper:

Read the rest here

State of Oregon


At the outset I want to be clear that my interest in any sport is zero. I admit I was fascinated by an ice hockey match I saw on TV when I visited Canada some years ago- all that mayhem and violence, and all done in less than an hour.

So the State of Origin is done and dusted for another year. The annual ritual in which teams from “Queensland” and “New South Wales” vie for the opportunity to let Queensland win in a best of three series. It always gets Queenslanders much more excited than the population of New South Wales, which approaches the whole thing with a measure of boredom.

What most people don’t realise is that the whole series was designed to give Queensland a chance. Back in the day, there was only one decent Rugby League competition and that was Sydney. That’s where the money was and the money attracted the best players from all over the country (which in this context means NSW and Qld.) There used to be an annual match between the two states but of course NSW always won it, so they changed it to state of origin so the Queenslanders had a chance.

Suddenly Queensland, who have always felt inferior to NSW in every way except for the weather, had a chance of beating NSW in footy. And when Rugby League went National with the NRL, the State of Origin kept its old format although the relentless marketing department extended it as far as they dare.

I have never watched a State of Origin match- in fact I can’t remember the last sport event I watched- but I can tell you  this:

  1. The format is outdated and due to be overhauled to reflect the current national league, or maybe just canned altogether. I really don’t care. I think even Queenslanders are getting bored with it all judging by my facebook feed which used to explode with maroon after each match.
  2. The NSW team will rarely win a series because they just don’t care enough to win.
  3. The real enthusiasm in League is with the Premiership because that’s where the money is. Interstate matches are a bore and irrelevant to the real show, so why bother with a manufactured rivalry, except to get a few more millions out of the TV rights?

So there you go. Informed commentary on an irrelevant contest in a sport only played by a handful of people in half a dozen countries by someone who has zero interest in any of it.

Why did I just spend half an hour writing about this? I really don’t know, except to say that I observe a lot of things in our culture that amuse me, and this thing of manufactured rivalry is right up there as one of the more amusing. It’s a bit like the AFL having their annual match of “Mixed Rules” with the Irish Gaelic Football people because they are both in sports that nobody anywhere plays- how tragic is that?

Reflection on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23


Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13:1-9,18-23


He told them many things in parables, saying “Listen! A sower went out to sow.”


Jesus is surrounded by many people, so He goes on to a boat to preach. He tells the crowds the story of a sower who sows seed onto four different types of soil- a path, rocky soil, weedy soil and good soil. These different soils produce different yields.

He then explains to His disciples that the seed represents the word, while the soils represent the hearts of men. While many obstacles might prevent people from taking hold of the gospel, the ones who do run with it yield a huge return for God’s kingdom.


Jesus tells us to Listen! He is still telling us to listen.

There are many people wanting us to listen- musicians, entertainers, advertisers, politicians, activists.

There is much talking past each other, but precious little listening.

To listen means that we value someone, that they are worth the time and that their words and thoughts are important to us.

This morning I spent two hours listening to an inter-state truck driver. He loves the Lord but struggles with anxiety from time to time. This morning he needed to be listened to and encouraged in his dreams and visions for the future.

We also need to listen to Jesus. He is talking to us all the time- directing, encouraging, building up. We need to hear His voice in our daily life.

It is hard to remember to listen to Jesus because He doesn’t always get in our face and shout “Listen to me!” We hear Him in the Scriptures, in the words of others and in the quiet voice in our heart.

Jesus says “Listen!”


Lord help me to be still and listen. Speak to me so that I can lean my life on your wisdom. Amen.

Educating Drivers About Safely Passing Cyclists

That’s how you teach motorists how to share the roads with others:

Police crack down on cyclist road safety with operation ‘close pass’


Anyone refusing road side education will receive a fixed penalty notice of £100 and three points on their licence for the offence of ‘driving a vehicle without reasonable consideration of others’.

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Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance have carried out an operation to improve the safety of cyclists on the road by education drivers on how to overtake them safely. During the two hour operation six drivers were stopped and all accepted safety advice from the police officers.

On Tuesday, July 11, the Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance roads policing teams simultaneously launched Operation Close Pass.

Close Pass is an initiative intended to improve the safety of cyclists on the road by educating drivers on how to overtake them safely. It aims to raise awareness amongst motorists and cyclists alike on how to behave courteously to each other on the regions roads.

Head of roads policing for the Alliance, Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, said: “Rolling out Close Pass across in Devon and Cornwall is in direct response to feedback we have received from cycling groups and individual cyclists about the danger and discourtesy they face on a daily basis on the regions’ roads.

“Our figures indicate approximately 400 or so collisions involving cyclists every year, 200 to 300 of which result in slight injury, 50 to 80 in serious injury. There were 4 cyclist fatalities in each of the years from 2012 to 2016.

“This initiative is very important in the safeguarding and education of our community of road users.”

Close Pass works by volunteer police officers in cycling clothes, effectively ‘undercover’, taking to the road on bicycles fitted with cameras which record the behaviour of drivers who overtake them.

If offences are found to have taken place, the officer radios colleagues further down the road to direct the offending vehicle into a checkpoint where the driver will be offered roadside education using a specially designed mat which illustrates the safe passing distance.



Anyone refusing road side education will receive a fixed penalty notice of £100 and three points on their licence for the offence of ‘driving a vehicle without reasonable consideration of others’.

Read more at http://www.devonlive.com/police-crack-down-on-cyclist-road-safety-with-operation-close-pass/story-30434919-detail/story.html#8faUDHG8LaUJBVkV.99

Reflection on Romans 8:1-11


Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8.1-11


But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.


There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the spirit of death and sin.

Those who live by the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

If the Spirit of God dwells in us, then we have the Spirit of the one who raised Christ from the dead and we can be confident that this same Spirit will raise us to life in Christ.


The mark of the true disciple is that we have the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is not in a person then they are not born again.

The Holy Spirit shows Himself in a variety of ways, primarily in the manifestation gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 and the fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 5.

My life must be a journey of becoming ever more like Jesus. If I do not show evidence of this then the Holy Spirit is not in me, and I do not belong to Christ.

If the Spirit of God is in me, then I have the responsibility to set my mind on the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the flesh.. The Spirit brings life, but the flesh brings death.

As always in the mystery of spiritual life, there is a paradox. On the one hand, the Spirit comes as a free gift at salvation and is released in power when we are baptised in the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, I must pursue the ways of the Spirit and set my mind on the Spirit.

For those who have tasted the joy of the indwelling peace of God, this is not burdensome. I change the direction of my thinking and desiring from self to God, and He meets me with such joy and love, far greater then anything the old fleshly nature could ever provide.


Thank you Lord for the gift of life in your Spirit. Lord it is so true that the flesh leads to death but your Spirit brings life. May I always pursue you and not be swayed by the lures and temptations of the flesh. Amen.