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Friday, 28 March 2008

Street Children in Mongolia



One of the projects MIR is fundraising for is the street children in Mongolia and the mission of the CICM Fathers there. There are many thousands of abandoned children living in the sewers of Ulaan Baatar scratching a living from recycling bottles and cans, often in danger, and the CICM Fathers visit the manholes offering help. They also have a care centre/orphanage where they accomodate 120 children at present.

For more info, if you would like to help, see http://www.mirmedjugorje.org/

Thursday, 27 March 2008

The Royal Way


It was necessary for foreigners in Britain to renew their visas periodically. I had to have mine renewed by 31st December 1954, or leave the country. I did not have a penny to my name, how could I get those forms down to London ? A registered letter cost 1 shilling (12 pennies). I did not believe that God was going to let me be thrown out of school for the lack of a shilling.

And so the game moved into a new phase. I had a name for it by now. I called it the game of the Royal Way. I had discovered that when God supplied money He did it in a Kingly manner, not in some groveling way.

Three separate times, over the matter of the registered letter, I was almost lured from the Royal way. I was head of the student body and in charge of the schools tract fund. One day my eye lit first on the calendar, it was 28th December and then on the fund. It happened to contain several pounds just then. Surely it would be alright to borrow just one shilling.

And surely not, too. Quickly I put the idea behind me.

And then it was the 29th December. Two days left. That morning the thought occurred to me that perhaps I might find those pennies lying on the ground. I had actually put my coat on and started down the street before I saw what I was doing. I was walking along with head bowed, eyes on the ground, searching the gutter for pennies. What kind of Royal Way was this ! I straightened up and laughed out loud there on the busy street. I walked back to school with my head high, but no closer to getting the money.

The last round in the game was the most subtle of all. It was 30th December. I had to have my visa application in the post that day if it was to get to London by the 31st.

At 10 o’clock in the morning, one of the students shouted up the stairwell that I had a visitor. I ran down the stairs thinking this must be my delivering angel. But when I saw who it was my heart dropped. The visitor wasn’t coming to bring me money, he was coming to ask for it. For it was Richard, a friend I made months ago in the Patrick slums, a young man who came to the school occasionally when he needed money.

With dragging feet I went outside. Richard stood on the white-pebble walk-way, hands in pockets, eyes lowered, “Andrew, would you be having a little extra cash ? I’m hungry”
I laughed and told him my predicament and as I spoke, I saw the coin.

It lay among the pebbles, sun glinting off it in such a way that I could see it but not Richard. I could tell from its colour that it was a shilling. Instinctively, I stuck out my foot and covered the coin with my toe. Then, as Richard and I talked, I reached down and picked up the coin along with a handful of pebbles. I tossed the pebbles down, one by one, aimlessly, until at last I had just the shilling in my hand. But even as I dropped the coin into my pocket, the battle began.

That coin meant I could stay in school. I wouldn’t be doing Richard a favour by giving it to him: he’d spend it on drink and be as thirsty as ever within the hour.

While I was thinking up excellent arguments, I knew it was no good. How could I judge Richard when Christ had told me so clearly that I must not. Furthermore, this was not the Royal Way ! What right had an ambassador to hold onto money when another of the Kings children stood in front of him saying he was hungry. I shoved my hand in my pocket and drew out the silver coin.

“Look Richard, I do have this. Would it help any ?”

Richard’s eyes lit up. “it would mate”. He tossed the coin into the air and ran off down the hill. With a light heart that told me I had done the right thing, I turned to go back inside. And before I reached the door, the postman turned down our walk.

In the mail, of course, was a letter for me. I knew when I saw my sisters handwriting that it was from our prayer group back home and that there would be cash inside. And there was, a lot, a pound and a half, 30 shillings. Far more than I needed to send my letter; enough to buy soap, treat myself to my favourite toothpaste and buy Gillette supers instead of blues.

The game was over. The King had done it His way.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

The Way of the Cross



Pictures by Geoff Todd of the way of the cross and an instrumental piece by Paul Lisney

The Power of the Tongue


A woman went to Confession to a Desert Father. She admitted to having slandered someone. Seeing her sincere repentance, the priest gave her absolution. Before dismissing her, he gave her this penance: She was to buy a chicken, pluck it on the Village Square and then come back to see him.
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The woman carefully carried out her penance, came back to the priest and asked: "Now, what must I do with the chicken?" "Go back to the Marketplace where you plucked the chicken," He told her. "And pick up all the chicken's feathers."
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"That's impossible," exclaimed the woman. "The feathers have all flown away, the wind has scattered them to the four corners of the globe!" "That's true! Now you understand what slander can do! It can spread more quickly and farther then those feathers!
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The judgments, which this creates in hearts and the troubles, which arise in the consciences cannot be repaired!"
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Jesus has given us a golden rule: "When your brother sins, go to him, one on one..." (Matt.18,15). Most often, the very fact of going to see a brother causes the "falsehood" that one had fabricated to dispel, and peace to be restored. Even if truly there had been sin, we certainly have other means of furthering the Kingdom than that of whispering criticism! Compassion heals the wounded heart more surely than judgment, and prayer can convert the sinner more surely than accusation.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Be Still



Pics from the Holy land and a couple of Christian songs by Paul Lisney & Peter Mason respectively

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Appeal from descendant of William Wilberforce


Letter from Fr Gerard Wilberforce, a priest from Plymouth Diocese.
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I am writing as the great great grandson of William Wilberforce, who campaigned vigorously for the ending of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807, which ultimately paved the way for the abolition of slavery itself throughout the entire British Empire in 1833.
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I am often asked what would be the campaigns Wilberforce would be fighting if he were alive in 21st century Britain. I believe that there would be a number of different issues - among them human trafficking and the scourge of drugs. But almost certainly at the top of the list, would be the issue of abortion.
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As the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill comes before Parliament over the next few weeks, the opportunity presents itself to amend the abortion Act. With the number of abortions having reached 200,000 per year in the UK alone, the time is right to tighten up the law that was designed to protect women by ending illegal abortion, but never to allow such a high degree of deprived life.There are great similarities between the status of the foetus and the status of African slaves two centuries ago.
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Slaves were considered a commodity to do with whatever the vested interests of the day decided. Today, in our desire to play God in our embryology experimentation, with all its' unfulfilled promises of miracle cures, and our decision to abort unwanted children, we are no better that those slave traders who put their interests and world view higher than they placed the sanctityand value of human life.
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Most people at the time didn't believe the evil of slavery could ever be defeated, as so much of the economy at the time was dependent on the trade. It's easy for us to think that is the case today with abortion, but I believe William Wilberforce would not take such a view.Whilst our hearts go out to those who have chosen abortion, there should now be much greater emphasis on the alternatives that exist.
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Many of us would like to see far more support those who have made such a significant and difficult decision - but whilst we recognise the trauma many women have gone through, we also have a duty to 'Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves' (Proverbs 31).The Psalmist says 'My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.'
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With abortions in the UK reaching 600 a day, it seems to me that the 'secret place', is one of the most dangerous places to be in modern day Britain. As with my great ancestor, the battle took many years, even decades. But now, with the passage of time we look back in horror at how we devalued human life. I truly believe we will look back in years to come, repent and ask forgiveness for what we let happen to the unborn child. There is something deeply depressing about a society in which abortion is so easy, yet alternatives such as adoption are made to appear so difficult.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Angels Video



A video of aid convoys to Bosnia during the war, and a beautiful soundtrack by Tami Leah & Anna called 'Angels' .. See http://www.mirmedjugorje.org/

Traveling On Your Knees


Last night I took a journey
To a land across the seas.
I didn't go by ship or plane
I traveled on my knees.
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I saw so many people there
In bondage to their sin,
And Jesus told me I should go,
That there were souls to win.
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But I said "Jesus, I can't go
To lands across the seas."
He answered quickly, "Yes, you can
By traveling on your knees.
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"He said, "You pray, I'll meet the need.
You call, and I will hear.
It's up to you to be concerned
For lost souls far and near.
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"And so I did; knelt in prayer,
Gave up some hours of ease,
And with the Savior by my side,
I traveled on my knees.
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As I prayed on, I saw souls saved
And twisted persons healed,
I saw God's workers strength renewed
While laboring in the field.
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I said, "Yes Lord, I'll take the job.
Your heart I want to please.
I'll heed Your call and swiftly go
By traveling on my knees."

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Love Song



Pictures by Chinese artist He Qi and a beautiful soundtrack by Christa Haberstock called 'Love Song'

Monday, 10 March 2008

Mao is Dead !


A new film (in the development stage) about the Church in China. Based on true stories from the underground house church movement on the mainland. A story of persecution, astonishing miracles and God's love for the people of China.. the link to the blog is:

http://maoisdead.blogspot.com/

If you can help in any way, with prayers, skills, time or funding..get in touch at Mao.is.Dead@googlemail.com

Kyrie Eleison



A video of orthodox & Coptic Icons..a walkthrough the Gospels, with a song called Kyrie Eleison by Paul Lisney

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Heaven Sent..


A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left her work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter. When returning to her car she found that she had locked her keys in the car.


She was in a hurry to get home to her sick daughter, she didn't know what to do, so she called her home and told the baby sitter what had happened and that she did not know what to do. The baby sitter told her that her daughter was getting worse. She said, "You might find a coat hanger and use that to open the door." The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground possibly by someone else who at some time or other had locked their keys in their car.


Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I don't know how to use this." So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within five minutes an old rusty car pulled up, with a dirty, greasy, bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag on his head. The woman thought, "Great God. This is what you sent to help me????" But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful.


The man got out of his car and asked her if he could help. She said "Yes, my daughter is very sick. I stopped to get her some medication and I locked my keys in my car, I must get home to her. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car." He said, "SURE." He walked over to the car, and in less than one minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, "THANK YOU SO MUCH ... You are a very nice man."


The man replied, "Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of prison today. I was in prison for car theft and have only been out for about an hour. "The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud ..."THANK YOU, GOD, FOR SENDING ME A PROFESSIONAL! "

Friday, 7 March 2008

St Faustina's Diary .. praying for the dying


This evening, a certain young man was dying; he was suffering terribly. For his intention, I began to say the chaplet which the Lord had taught me. I said it all, but the agony continued.
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I wanted to start the Litany of the Saints, but suddenly I heard the words, Say the chaplet. I understood that the soul needed the special help of prayers and great mercy. And so I locked myself in my room and fell prostrate before God and begged for mercy upon that soul.
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Then I felt the great majesty of God and His great justice. I trembled with fear, but did not stop begging the Lord's mercy for that soul. Then I took the cross off my breast, the crucifix I had received when making my vows, and I put it on the chest of the dying man and said to the Lord, "Jesus, look on this soul with the same love with which You looked on my holocaust on the day of my perpetual vows, and by the power of the promise which You made to me in respect to the dying and those who would invoke Your mercy on them, [grant this man the grace of a happy death]."
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His suffering then ceased, and he died peacefully. Oh, how much we should pray for the dying! Let us take advantage of mercy while there is still time for mercy.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Peace ...be Reconcilled


Father O'Malley was pastor of a small parish in Grass Valley, California. One evening while he was preparing his homily for the coming Sunday, his telephone rang.

The weather was stormy, and all the electrical lines were down. A voice on the other end of the telephone said, "Fr. O'Malley, I am calling from the local hospital and we have a terminally ill patient here who is asking to see a priest about the last rites, can you come quickly?"The trip was 30 miles, the going was rough as trees and power lines were down.

The nurse met Fr. O'Malley at the door, and thanked him for coming. The person who wants to see you, Father, is an alcoholic, but he is still coherent but is slipping fast. Fr. O'Malley asked the nurse what the patients name was. She answered, the hospital calls him Tom.

Fr. O'Malley went into Tom's room and said to Tom, "I was just passing thru and thought I would visit you before you sleep.""Don't give me any of that garbage", Tom replied, "I asked that nurse to call someone to give me the last rites because I know my time is done and its my turn to go. Now get with it.""Would you like to make a confession?" the priest asked Tom.

"Absolutely not" Tom answered. They talked for a long time and occasionally Father would ask Tom if he was ready for confession. After some time Tom told Father that he had done something in his life that was with him every day and he did not feel that God would forgive him.

Finally after some time, Tom agreed to tell the priest his story. "Thirty-two years ago, two months and eleven days ago, I was working for the railroad. It happened in a bad storm. It was two days before Christmas and the whole crew was drunk. Someone had to go out and push the switch for the train to go northbound. I guess I was more drunk than the rest because I pushed the switch in the wrong direction.

At 45 miles per hour the freight train slammed into a passenger car at the end of the next crossing and killed a young man, his wife, and their two daughters. I have had to live with that all of my life," Tom said.

There was a moment of silence as Tom's confession of this tragedy hung in the air. After what seemed like an eternity, Fr. O'Malley gently put his hand on Tom's shoulder and said very quietly. "If I can forgive you, God can forgive you, because in that car were my mother, my father and my two sisters.

Do we still find it difficult to forgive anyone?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

In the Begining..



A video with old Testament pictures by a Chinese artist He Qi and a soundtrack by a messianic Jewish group called Katuv. See http://www.katuvmusic.com/ and http://www.heqigallery.com/