Friday, July 1, 2016

prayer diary Friday 1 July 2016

“Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." 
Matthew 9.13

All of us are sinners. Reflect well on this the next time you try to excuse your own wrong-doings; for what you do not admit as sin you can not repent of; and what you do not repent of you can not be forgiven.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

zika and foetal abnormalities

There's an interesting article here from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) studying the Zika outbreak in Columbia. The article is, naturally, long and complicated. But cutting to the meat, the conclusion the researchers give in the abstract is as follows (emphasis mine):

Preliminary surveillance data in Colombia suggest that maternal infection with the Zika virus during the third trimester of pregnancy is not linked to structural abnormalities in the fetus. However, the monitoring of the effect of ZVD on pregnant women in Colombia is ongoing.

As they quite responsibly say, this is preliminary data and monitoring is ongoing. However, the implications of the findings are grave indeed. Why is this virus linked to foetal abnormalities in Brazil but not in Columbia? Is there a difference between what is happening in the two countries? 

Well, as it happens there is. Brazil puts larvacides into its drinking water to keep the mosquito population down. And they changed brands not long before the spike in abnormalities began. 

Could the insecticide be causing the problem? Brazil denied the possibility when the idea was first raised some months back. But this new report gives the suggestion new credibility. However, establishing that toxins targeting mosquito larvae is the cause isn't the issue here. If the preliminary indications of the NEJM report turn out to be correct that there is no link between abnormalities and Zika in Columbia, then it follows that there is a link in Brazil is unlikely to the extent of being highly implausible.

One thing is clear. The push for pregnant women infected with Zika to have an abortion needs to stop. I am pro-life; so of course I am of the opinion that it was always wrong to advise women to have an abortion because their was a risk their child would be born disabled. But I would hope that even the most ardent pro-abortion advocate would agree that it is lunacy to give that advice when there is doubt as to the causal link between the virus and abnormalities. 

prayer diary Thursday 30 June 2016

When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." 
Matthew 9. 2

Jesus' first concern was for the salvation of the man's soul rather than the healing of his body. Consider this well when next you face some of the suffering this life has to offer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

please watch this video

My teenage son has posted a video of himself reviewing his new bike on his YouTube channel. He had his eight-year old brother act as camera man. I think they have both done an excellent job - clearly both chips off the old block, their father, as some of you may know, having spent happy years in his younger days both in front of and behind the camera. So please watch this.

My son the reviewer informs me that if he gets to one million views YouTube will pay him $5000. He currently has about 500 - so he has a little way to go! So give it a look and help him along his way ... and to be honest, it's not about making it to a million - I think if he gets it up to the four-figure mark he'll be over the moon! So, if you will, view, like, and share.

prayer diary Wednesday 29 June 2016 (St Peter's Day)

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 
Matthew 16. 19

This verse describes what is called 'the power of the keys.' It shows our Lord granted great authority to the Church he founded; which means that we, as his followers, must have great respect for that authority.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

prayer diary Tuesday 28 June 2016

And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 
Matthew 8.26

Those who follow Christ need fear nothing. For the one who has power over the winds and the sea has the power to forgive sins and save souls.

Monday, June 27, 2016

prayer diary Monday 27 June 2016

A scribe came up and said to him, 'Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.' And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.' 
Matthew 8. 19,20

Thus it is that our Lord warns us that the rewards of following him are not to be found in this life. Indeed, to follow him demands great sacrifice; but the ultimate rewards for that sacrifice are beyond price.