The great debate.

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Everyone’s talking about it, even my taxi driver, who expressed very much what I was feeling – disgust at the distortion of facts, downright lies and mudslinging clouding the issues and requiring much research to get to the bottom of (if indeed one can). The issue? To leave or remain in the EU.
I was appalled yesterday to find one of my favourite groups joining in by using the murder of MP Jo Cox (by all accounts a sincere advocate of many good causes) to secure votes to remain in Europe – shame on them!
She was an EU supporter who was killed by a member of a fascist US group (Britain First groups were quick to voice that there was no connection whatsoever with them). I’ve yet to establish what was the specific reason for the killing, but it seems unlikely to be because she was pro EU (there are so many pro EU MPs to choose from).
Some seem to be pursuing pro EU goals by labeling pro exit folks racists. I find this very offensive. There are many reasons for leaving the EU I can think of, none of them racist.
Perhaps exiting the EU might even benefit genuine refugees (yes, you heard that right).
Britain is a small island with limited resources to which many would like to come. Unfortunately we cannot take a limitless number. Before the EU, when we were free to choose, we chose mostly those in urgent need of sanctuary, those married to UK citizens and those who would benefit the country by their skills. Open doors to Europeans means less places for refugees, and a very hard time for spouses etc.
I’m sad that given the chance to vote on this, instead of clear facts we are constantly bombarded with propaganda and spin. However the vote goes it is unlikely to be for the right reasons either way. Happy voting whatever your views my UK compatriots.

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Incredulity. (Flash fiction)

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The craft gleamed, rainbows of colour scintillating back and forth as Jasper took his seat. Beside him his peers chatted excitedly. He heard a subdued whoosh as trees and meadows sped by beneath at alarming speed as they headed north toward the wastelands.
He’d heard of them, everyone had, yet the notion seemed somehow unreal, the lush vegetation below giving lie to the notion. They said his ancestors made them, that they had never healed; a legacy of hate and greed. Each year graduation students would visit to see for themselves. Now it was his turn.
Nothing could prepare him. Description paled in comparison. Death as far as the eye could see. Dark silhouettes cluttered the skyline where people once lived in tiny cages, huge walls of cells, deserted, abandoned, falling in decay. No trace of green remained; the vital earth lay grey and haggard. No birds flew, and without their songs it was strangely silent.
A feeling of horror struck his soul. What must it have been like to live imprisoned in these walls, like ant colonies, but people teaming forth? He could not imagine such a thing. No wonder they turned to greed and hate, no wonder they destroyed themselves, he thought. Losing touch with all that was human, the nature that surrounded him every day, they had become perverted.
He’d heard of their strange system of commerce, where man competed against his fellow man for power and an archaic medium called “money”. Why should someone want more than their needs? Why would they fight and die for greed (especially not their own)? How were the people manipulated into agreeing that some were more deserving than others? How could some have squandered the earth’s resources living with the knowledge that others died every day of neglect and starvation? How could they have destroyed everything?
He still could not believe it, it staggered his comprehension. Only the tall sentinels rising from the debris below gave credence to the truth. Tears slowly edged down his face, his initial anger replaced by pity.

Surrender? It all depends what you surrender to!

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Surrendering to his base instincts he pulled the trigger,
Blood splattered pristine walls, lives ended.
Lives of endless suffering, of loss, of fear began in that moment.

Surrendering to her lover she gave herself to him in perfect love and trust.
From their union life sprang forth, a seed planted that day that would enrich lives forever.
Becoming one in love they each became complete, two became one and bore fruit.

Choose your “gods” wisely.
Surrender to the God of love, peace, joy, long suffering brings life.
Surrender to the god of pride brings hurt, suffering and ultimately death.
Let us not confuse the two, Satan is the god of pride, however well disguised, when we look upon others with disdain we surrender part to him, but “God is love” when we look on others with love, compassion, empathy we see through His eyes.
The greatest freedom is in total surrender to God – the right one!

Sixty + fun!

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I had such an enjoyable day yesterday! (I’m a volunteer with a group that takes disabled people, sailing on the lake near where I live.)
First session, perfect sailing weather (sun and light wind) with a great “special” partner – a chatty young girl with a big smile, heaven!
Then adventure! As I took off a second time from the jetty, I noticed two big black clouds either side of the lake. All seemed fine till the wind picked up (prelude to heavy rain) gusting us mercilessly towards the shallow water . With visions of being stuck in the reeds while the safety boat removed their rudder to reach us and those black clouds rained down, I began to wave frantically.
The problem was my companion, joining in the “game”, began to wave also. The safety boat waved back happily, thinking “those guys are really having fun!” Eventually they got the point and came to drag us back to deep water and we all made it back before the skies opened. Everyone had a good laugh about that one!
Adventure over, sheltering from the rain, I sighed as I was assigned as helper on the safety boat.. (The safety boat is always the last on the water if it rains!)
Surprisingly instead of a drenching it turned out to be the funest time ever. Not only did the rain stop and the sun appear but, due to only two sailing boats (both with very expert crew members) to watch out for, the motor boats had nothing to do. Soon an impromptu “water fight” began between us and the patrol boat creating wakes to rock/splash each other, reeling and twirling like a fairground ride. I don’t know when I last screamed and shrieked with laughter so much! (amazing for all us 60 +ers.) Our boat “won” with never a drop of wash water reaching us (well the guy on the tiller was a retired sailing instructor lol!) The two “special sailors” watched from the sail boats laughing and enjoying the entertainment.
Sometimes I feel so young!

A sordid life?

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A caterpillar trudges its weary way surrounded by dirt, trash, sordid hypodermic needles, and discarded condoms (relics of discarded loves). It searches for some forest glade where man’s debris is less abundant. Even there it is surrounded by decay, last years leaves, fungi and ever, where ever it roams, it must watch for predators swooping from nowhere to devour. The caterpillar is reconciled to such a life, encompassed by dirt, it becomes dirty.
Things worsen, encased in darkness it becomes paralyzed, trapped. All this struggle, the constant forage for food, the narrow escapes, the dreary day to day trudge, all to end this way?
Then “one day”, one blessed day, everything changes. The caterpillar is reborn. It breaks forth of its confines, a new creature, no more of earth but of the sky. Dirt and ugliness are transformed to beauty as it rises on new formed wings. It no longer deals in dirt but in clouds. It soars, high above the debris, still seeing yet distanced, to a place it can spot those birds coming. No longer encased in decay it embraces the sky.
We need not wait on death for this transformation.; today can be our “one day”.

A song in the rain.

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Sometimes our days are sunny, soft clouds bedeck the sky,
The path we take is easy, our spirits fly on high.
But some days it is raining, the clouds all black and grey,
Come rolling in beside us and soon disrupt our day.
Then let your voice rise upward and reach beyond the mist,
And find the sun there shining in golden lines amidst.
Embrace the tiny song bird as it sits within the rain,
Knowing in its feathered heart the sun will shine again.

Needlessly hard?

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I recently spent hours in A and E with my granddaughter, her third bout of severe chest pains in two weeks. Even the consultant couldn’t find the cause, though they were able, from numerous tests, to rule out many things. Only strong analgesics are able to stop the pain, leaving her unable to have a clear head for her A levels (she missed one altogether the morning I was with her). Doubtless stress is adding greatly to her condition.
I felt dis-empowered. All I could give in the way of comfort were empty platitudes. You see, riding the tide of being an outstanding, straight A student, she has embraced extreme and antagonistic atheism. She now feels “religion” is for the ignorant and gives her little brother a hard time about his simple faith.
I’ve been blessed with so many infallible proofs that faith comes naturally to me, but I can still remember the dreadful pressure of purely self-reliance before I came to know God. My greatest joy at salvation was the realisation that there was a power beyond me and it was loving, benevolent. I knew my own inadequacy and that of my fellow humans. Minus God we were without hope.
She looked to the doctors to “fix” her and grew angry at them when they couldn’t help. But doctors are not God, just sincere human beings, overworked, and often sick or in pain themselves (the consultant shared how he himself suffered severe back pain and just had to “grin and bear it” so he could tend to others, encouraging her to go ahead with the A levels regardless.)
Normally I’d offer prayer, phone others to pray for her, remind that God was in control and would take care of the A levels, but I could do none of these. I prayed silently for her but it was hard to have faith for a miracle as I had the feeling that God may believe the lesson to be more important than instant healing. I know He loves her and is working in her life, that He will take care of everything long-term, but it’s hard to see her suffer like this knowing comfort and help are so close by.
My youngest daughter expressed a while back that even if God were not real she’d rather go through life believing He was because of the comfort it brings – the de-stressing element. I know what she means. Not everyone has been blessed with seeing all the miracles we have but my heart aches for the true atheist, all alone with nothing but his flawed fellow man to fall back on, shouldering the horrors of this world knowing in his heart he is powerless to stop the hate, the suffering, even in his own life. Our choices can change a great deal but they can’t bring back the dead, heal a child, deal with all the hate and greed. Man tries to be his own God, he endeavours, often sincerely, to help his fellow man, but the honest heart knows how far we fall short – life has a way of teaching us, at that point, without a force beyond ourselves, how empty and hopeless the void.