Compassion

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This Sunday I was leading the congregation is singing a wonderful chorus called Mighty to Save. The first line goes

“Everyone needs compassion…”

And it go me thinking, what does God’s word say about compassion?

A couple of scriptures came to mind, first was Zechariah’s Prophecy regarding the birth of the Prophet John in which the Lord shows compassion to all of the earth.

Luke 1:78 (HCSB)

[78] Because of our God’s merciful compassion,
the Dawn from on high will visit us
[79] to shine on those who live in darkness
and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Shared from PocketBible for Windows Store (http://www.laridian.com)

And also Paul’s exhortation on the Christian life in Colossians.

Colossians 3:12 (HCSB)

The Christian Life

[12] Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, [13] accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. [14] Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity. [15] And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. [16] Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Shared from PocketBible for Windows Store (http://www.laridian.com)

What a great pair of scripture passages! A reminder of God’s love for us and another reminder to practice God’s love for all people. Compassion is something we must put on daily and practice daily. And when we do something to do it in the name of Jesus, giving thanks and praise!

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Racial Justice

I thank God for podcasts. I really do. There are so many out there that can really expand your understanding of our world, God and life.

I’ve been listening to a number of podcasts that deal with racial justice, particularly the issues in the United States of America around black people and their relationship with the Police and power structures.

The recent shooting and killing of a number of unarmed black people by Police has raised the issue of racism and the lives of black people to such a degree that I’m seeing the churches start to talk about it. And not just in a fleeting way. Churches are inviting black members of their congregation to share their experiences and asking their white members to listen and learn.

There’s two podcast episodes that I think deserve a mention so I’ve linked to the video versions.

The first is from The Village Church hosted by Matt Chandler.

 

The second is from Northpoint Church led by Andy Stanley and you can watch it by following the link below.

skininthegame

http://subsplash.com/northpointcommunitychurch/v/eb4c81d

It’s so encouraging seeing the church, particularly in the USA approaching these issues and really looking to get to grips with them.

 

 

A Day’s Work at the Docks

 

Inspired by Jemmy Hope’s new poetry season at his blog ‘Swearing at the telly‘ I thought I’d add this little gem from George Milligan entitled ‘A Day’s Work at the Docks’.

I can’t find anything about George Milligan and the only reason I’m aware of this poem is it’s included in Jack Jones’ autobiography called ‘Union Man’! The little info provided records George Milligan as a Liverpool docker and a mainstay of the Liverpool Dockers’ Union.

I think the poem captures the awfulness of the situation that dock workers faced. Your impulse is to get bread for your family. The only way is work. That in itself is not a bad thing. But it’s how capitalism takes that down to the base instinct and sets man against man in the fight for dignity and bread.

It would be good if we could say with certainty that this is a thing of the past, but it’s not. We seem to be returning to the bad old days when the rich were rich and the poor were, well, poor and should be damn well grateful for what they were allowed to have. Did anyone mention zero hours contracts?

Anyway, enjoy George’s poem.

A Day’s Work at the Docks

Before the great world’s noises break
the stillness overhead,
For toiling life begins the strife –
The day’s grim fight for bread.
Where Mersey’s mighty greyhounds speak
The wealth or England’s stocks,
Stand, mute and meek, the men that seek
A Day’s Work at the Docks.

Behold them now – a motley throng,
Men drawn from every grade:
Pale, florid, puny – weak and strong,
All by one impulse swayed.
One impulse – bread; one impulse – work!
How hope at each heart knocks
As mute and meek, they crush to seek
A day’s work at the docks.

‘Stand back! Stand back!’ A hoarse voice storms,
With curses muttered lower,
The straining ring of human forms
But closes in the more.
Well fed, you foremen scarce can know
How want the judgement mocks,
When, mute and meek, men eager seek
A day’s work at the docks.

George Milligan, circa 1910

 

Values and morals

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. – St Paul of Tarsus, AD 62ish

Sounds good.

“But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today.” – St Cameron of the Bahamas, AD 2011, BBC News

Sounds good.

David Cameron personally intervened in 2013 to water down an EU drive to tackle tax evasion, it was claimed last night. – Daily Mirror, AD 2016

Oh dear.

A New Home!

No I haven’t moved to another house but I have moved my blog! After hosting it on Blogger since 2009 I’ve become a little disillusioned by Google’s commitment to the Blogger platform. The last significant update was a few years ago when they introduced the clever but restricting ‘Dynamic Views’. Since then diddly-squat.

Posterous would have been my primary choice for a new platform but that was bought out by Twitter and then discontinued.

Self hosting and using a CMS was another option but for a blog like this too much work for my liking!

So WordPress.com it is. Seems very nice as well.

All I need now is to add a redirect to my old host at http://thesignofthecross.blogspot.com and all is complete!

The Last Post

As the title says.

This will be my last post at Lansbury’s Lido. I’ve finally decided to retire this blog to the heavenly archive or maybe I’ll consign it to the fiery furnace leaving nowt but a shadow on the wayback machine.

It’s been a good ride over the years, sharing my lefty thoughts on politics and current events, sharing posts and discussions, meeting some great comrades, and also some not so great, hoping for a great socialist future where peace and harmony reigns supreme!

Alas the wheels came off the bus as they say. Was it my expectations or viewing the possible futures through rose-tinted spectacles of memories past?

My Left was a Left of Keir Hardie, of George Lansbury, of Attlee and Bevan and the NHS, Of Eric Heffer and Tom Mann. A left of strong union leaders working with comrades to realise Clause 4! A Left where those whose labour and brain created the wealth got to share in and control the wealth. A Left open to all, from the hoary handed worker in the field to the academic in the ivory tower.

It gone. All gone.

The elites in the main political left parties have suited and booted and embraced the creed of the Tories whilst deceitfully leaving the Red Flag flying. Those to the left outside of Parliament have dissolved into internecine disputes of funds and rape. The young have become intolerant caricatures, rallying to the latest sexy trend on Twitter and Facebook and forgetting those, the majority who they should be supporting and fighting for.

Those parties now seen as the hope for the Left are nothing but semi-fascist and engrossed in issues of singular importance to the minority.

¡No pasarán! was the cry to the capitalist behemoth. They shall not pass!

But whilst the Left scoured social media for another ‘phobia’ they could decry and hang their vendetta masks on the Tories and the economic elite built a bypass. The Left gesticulated from the crumbling B road as private capital roared past on the smooth undulating toll roads.

Modernity has been consumed by a fascist, intolerant liberalism and then vomited up as a postmodern pavement pizza. Facts have been swept under the carpet and tagged as bigotry. This is the Left now. Idiotic, childish and screwed up.

A man puts on lipstick, a dress and high heels and demands to be allowed into the women’s changing room at Next. When he’s not allowed he screams something ending in ‘-phobic’ and the Left condemns the ‘bigots’ for not being accepting him as a woman.

Another person decides it’s fabulous to suggest that #killallwhitemen is a grand thing to post on a Tweet for a business account and gets the hump when they’re called out for it.

A good point to post my favourite graphic methinks.

Homoexuals in Iran swing from cranes at the behest of Shia clerics for the delight of the crowd. In Mosul homosexuals are thrown from buildings by Islamists of Daesh and stoned by the crowd if they have the temerity to survive the drop. In Britain Christians are dragged through the legal system for the heinous crime of wearing a cross or not wanting to bake a cake. And for the left we know which of these events generates the shrillest condemnation and thirst for vengeance.

After venting my spleen in this post I realise that my ‘Left’ hasn’t changed. It’s died a whimpering death and the title has been stolen by the fascist liberals. Dreams of economic control by the workers are no more.

It was good whilst it lasted.

Fin.