Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Strange series of Links.

Interesting article and corresponding study - the possible link between autism and gender dysphoria.



~ ~ ~ ~

A Bible verse for today: 

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free
John 8:32 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

You're my inspiration.

Even though it all seems so far away and long ago
I just have to think of you and let the inspiration flow.
The thought that such-and-such might give you pleasure
Turns the work of composition into leisure.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

More Transgender Madness.

Some interesting articles.

I'm putting this online on the off chance that the 0.03% of the population with these sorts of obsessions might read it and get the help they need, which is not affirmation of their chosen gender - the more people act out on their obsessions the more power the obsession has.

The greatest help (as Walt Heyer affirms) is Jesus.

No way do I want anyone to mock or bully transgender people.

Walt Heyer in particular is speaking from a position of experience and his biography is also well worth reading.



This is the cover they are talking about - a ten year old boy who identifies as female. While this boy's situation is of course sad, and no one wants a world in which he is bullied or ridiculed if he goes to school etc like that, nonetheless I think it is clear from Walt Heyer's article that this transition will not deliver on what has been promised psychologically speaking, which means a whole lot of people are being duped, including most of us. 

I once had a nightmare that the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras parade had turned into a giant  multicoloured Rhinoceros that was trampling on children and young people. Shades of Eugene Ionesco, perhaps... It seems to have intuited symbolically the true situation.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Rogue One .

What a brilliant movie! 5 stars.

At last a sequel has captured the magic of episodes 4, 5 and 6, which were of course the first Star Wars movies to be made.

Apart from the ever-more-wonderful special effects, appealing characters and sporadic humour (the droid is specifically quite funny in places) there is something in this movie that one often finds lacking in many of today's cynical entertainments, where every character is corrupt and damaged and 'in it for themselves'; in Rogue One there is a real take home message about redemption, what goodness and hope really mean and what it is to be part of something larger than oneself.

A truly positive movie that celebrates hope and the meaning of true heroism.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

How to Cripple your sense of self.

How to Completely Cripple your sense of self:

1) Don't do what social pressure says not to do (Even though you know it is right/what God wants you to do.)
2) Do what social pressure says to do (Even though you know it is wrong/what God does not want you to do.)

(These methods of crippling self are both true even when the social pressure is apparently telling you to do something that 'society' disapproves of, or not to do something that 'society' approves of.  For that's the modern illusion - that by somehow rebelling against status quo you are actually achieving the opposite of crippling your sense of self by bowing to society's pressure, when those who are saying 'rebel with us' are quite simply creating their own mini-status-quo. Then you have the situation today, for when everyone is rebelling, no one is rebelling. )

& How To Strengthen your Sense of Self: 

Give up your self to Jesus. Quite simply, let Him be King over your entire life. Let His word be your guide-book, let Him guide you Himself.

"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." Matthew 16:25

What I Cannot Do.

I cannot be the light for you
But I can point the way
I cannot be the truth for you
But "Jesus" is all that I can say.

I cannot (myself) be life to you
Let Jesus be your living bread
I cannot earn forgiveness for you,
But Jesus died! (Rejoice! For He is no longer dead!)

I cannot always be there for you
Though I really, really wanted to
But while, for me, there is still day
I can wait and stay
I can wait and stay

What Love Means.

(A sonnet)

Love means I love you, though you believe a lie
Yet still I'd die for you to know the truth
Love means I love you though they all ask "why?"
I stretch my arms out, sacrifice my last breath of youth.

Sing, bird, sing, of all your sorrows, sing,
Yet even so, what sorrows you? What do you know?
You grieve because they clipped your exuberant wing!
You wanted to fly but they all told you, no, stay low.

You listened to the lies they told you, my owl so wise,
When they said once this way, always this way,
And now you still think any other would be compromise
Yet you yourself think differently from all the things they say.

There is but One who can help, yes, true! Not me.
Let Jesus' light enlighten thee. Then truth will set you free.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

With God Is The One Safe Place.

It's just something I was thinking about. With God is the one safe place.

Quite a few passages in the Bible say this. (a sampling below)

Also, (at the bottom of the article) Charles Slack about God's cure for depression. Might be good to read for anyone going through depression.

Some Bible verses about Safety: 

The Lord is my light and my salvation -
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life -
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2    
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7                              
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1  
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8                                                                                                                                                        
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3        
The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.
Nahum 1:7        
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in humans.
Psalm 118:8      
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him — his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
Psalm 68:4-5    
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:2   
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 9:9                                                                              


Monday, 2 January 2017

God Comforts.

Good 1st January sermon from Dale Appleby at St Mark's Bassendean


Note (added just after posting) what this sermon is saying is that Jesus' presence is safety and comfort.

Identity and how Shallow it really is.

Identity problems are a red herring.

Let's hypothesise that a particular person is trying to work out their true identity - such a person in the more distant past might have said, am I supposed to be a nun or a monk, or get married and live a conventional life?

Or in the sixties - should I join the commune? Should I become a hippie? Or should I join a company like Dad or get married like Mum and live a conventional life?

In the eighties and nineties, should I opt out of the big career goals or go for the whole money-making conventional package? I need to 'find myself' was what people said.

Today for some young people the question becomes, am I male or female? A different fixation from the past. But an identity problem nonetheless that shares some characteristics with the others. (Doctors now say it comes out of childhood trauma - but perhaps the others do too, to some degree, who knows?)

All of these identity problems result in a person choosing one or the other - the new identity or the old - conformity to parents' way of life or leaving home and apparently becoming someone new.

In fact, in the past it has often been best for someone to choose the one that results in the journey away from the parents, only to discover, ultimately, that they are still the same person, whether at home with Mum and Dad, or in the commune / opting out of the career / being a nun or monk / peeling off the layers of the onion.

The fact is, having taken that step away they know that despite having left the nest, they are really the same person they were anyway, and they become more charitable towards others and the world, from the realisation that we can't really change ourselves simply by changing our circumstances. It was all an illusion anyway - you peel off the layers of the onion and what if eventually you find there's nothing at the centre?

The one who never leaves the nest never knows, whether they would have been the same person or not.

I think that's part of the crisis of the prodigal son's elder brother. He never leaves home. He never really becomes his own person. The younger son is able to love because he makes that break, he goes off to seek his fortune.

Of course it's not so simple when the 'leaving home' could result in a bodily change so drastic it's irreversible.

But the thing is - what all these crises often obscure is a deeper crisis about love and about sin and about conformity and about God. Sometimes the real question is about this: do I follow my parents' pathway through life? Or do I follow God's pathway? (Such a question when suppressed can manifest as the different more trivial question when not faced consciously, i.e. do I become a monk? Do I change gender?)

The really crippling thing that parents can do to their children is to enforce their prejudices and blind spots about people on them. A person can believe they are 'leaving home' but quite often they take their parents' lack of love towards particular people or groups of people with them. 

Since lack of love is essentially what abiding sin is (he who is forgiven much, loves much, Jesus said - note Jesus' forgiveness is the solution here) the young person who takes their parents' prejudices and hatreds and judgement and depersonalisation of others with them never really leaves home at all. Changing life circumstances, even changing genders, will not change the fact that they are still conforming to the old patterns of behaviour.

The awareness of this sin, lack of love towards others, pushed into the subconscious, becomes a motivation for trying to change one's skin (life circumstances, surroundings, appearance, social standing, even gender) - in essence like Edmund (who himself never leaves his parents' prejudices and sins behind and consequently becomes a dragon in Narnia) - but at the end of the day, only by turning to God and letting Him change us can we become a new person.

Only Aslan (Jesus) can rip off the old skin and make someone new.

Even when we have very good parents who are loving towards others, it is really necessary to take on Christ for oneself. It's not enough just to come from a Christian background - everyone has to become a new creation in Christ and the only way to do that is by turning to God.  (Added after)

Changes in location, appearance, social role, none of these will make someone into a new person. Even something as drastic as gender surgery will not make someone into a new person. Only the person whom God changes on the inside becomes a new person. Ask Him for this change today if you haven't experienced it! 

Of course, this really, truly drastic inner change only becomes possible when a person is so desperate that they are at heart willing to hear and follow the call of God wherever it leads- to be willing to leave home, parents, family, village, lands, brothers and sisters, for the sake of Jesus and the gospel. To be willing to entrust one's life fully into God's hands. To be willing to take up one's cross and follow Jesus. (In Edmund's case, he must be willing to submit himself to Aslan)

Ultimately, to be willing to submit oneself completely to Jesus, and to trust Him completely.

To conform to social convention in that situation rather than follow God and seek God's transformation is to cripple oneself, to become the elder brother in the prodigal son story, someone who obeys out of duty, but someone who never really learns what it means to love others.

Here is the story of someone who traded the sorrows of trying to become someone/something different, in the most drastic sense, for joy, by giving his life to Jesus.

(note - 2 jan 2017 a few changes on this one.  )

Sunday, 1 January 2017

God's Love.

When the world was languishing in darkness and sin 
Jesus our Emmanuel was born 
To be a light to human hearts within
And to comfort those who languish and mourn 
He came to earth that Christmas day 
To save the lost and the ones that stray 
To strengthen the weak and the ones who seek 
And to give the earth to the small and the meek. 

To the nation who knew not their Father above 
Jesus our Saviour was born of old
To show them all the Father's truth and love
And to bring home the wanderers back to the fold
He came to be a shepherd that day 
To save the lost and the ones that stray 
To strengthen the weak and the ones who seek 
And to give the earth to the small and the meek. 

And the star that heralded Jesus' birth 
By the child in a manger was outshone 
There is no greater light on this earth 
That this child who was God's one and only Son
He came to earth that Christmas day 
To save the lost and the ones that stray 
To strengthen the weak and the ones who seek 
And to give the earth to the small and the meek. 

When you find that your life's reached it's lowest place 
And you're feeding the pigs in a pigsty somewhere 
And you know that you've misused your Father's grace 
And you long to fill your stomach with the pods 
That you're feeding the pigs and there's nothing for you there 
Turn around and go home, and say, "Father I've sinned 
I'm no longer worthy to be called your son"
Before you've finished you'll find that it's true: 
God in his love is embracing you.