Saturday, May 31, 2014

Innocence Lost in Pursuit of Wisdom




Eve was created innocent, but in pursuit of wisdom she lost her innocence in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God. She was deceived by the serpent and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She saw that the tree was good for food, and it was pleasant to the eyes, and its fruit was desirable for making her wise,* so she took of the fruit and ate it.

Compounding the tragedy, Adam also ate of the forbidden fruit. Their eyes were opened, and they were ashamed of their nakedness. They lost their innocence and as a result they tried covering their nakedness by making garments of fig leaves. Having disobeyed God, they hid from Him, but to no avail. The consequences of their disobedience made them cognizant and culpable because of their knowledge of good and evil. With these god-like attributes God banished them from the Garden of Eden, lest they were to take of the tree of life which was also in the Garden and live for ever. (Genesis 4:22-24)

William Blake’s poem, ‘The Sick Rose’, could possibly be seen as an allegory telling of the horrendous effect of sin brought about by the insidious serpent that violated Eve’s innocence. The sickness of sin pervades the human race.
*Genesis 3:6

The Sick Rose

 O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Links

Innocence


Innocence


Innocence Synonyms


Innocence Rose


Innocence Rose


Songs of Innocence and Experience

Friday, May 30, 2014

Wisdom



Richard, Thank you for your comment to yesterday’s blog on the subject of ‘desire’, in which you said, “I'm well content to read what you have to say, and pick up some real pearls of wisdom along the way. Thank you, and God Bless you, Bill.”

If only I could impart pearls of wisdom and be like King Solomon, I would be wise indeed by man’s standards, but even he went astray by becoming besotted with seven hundred wives, many of whom lured him into idolatrous practices.

God’s wisdom is the wisdom to be desired, and in His Book of Wisdom, the Bible, He has much to say about it.

I happen to be reading Job in my daily studies, and Chapter 28 contains a passage: verses 12 to 28, telling of where wisdom can be found, the value of it, and the effect it has on those who find it.

 Verse 28 sums up the passage:

 ‘And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,

And to depart from evil is understanding.’

This evening when I returned home from a walk, I observed a well-defined, bright image projected on the garage door. I have many times seen similar projections caused by the sun’s rays reflecting and refracting from my kitchen’s double glazed window. They occur during the months of May, June and July. In God’s wisdom they gradually change their shape from day to day until Midsummer’s day; from which time they retrace their steps until fading away.

That is awesome, with the true meaning of ‘awe’, i.e., a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear and wonder. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Desire


 
'Minnow'

The Concise Oxford Dictionary firstly defines ‘desire’ as a noun; meaning a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen, and secondly as a verb; to strongly wish for or want, perhaps sexually.

Without a doubt, our desires motivate us to pursue and obtain them. Our prime desires are for our basic needs, i.e., water, food, clothing and shelter; for without them we cannot survive for any length of time. After puberty our innate desire is to procreate. This in-built part of our nature works for the survival of our species.

We will strive after that which we desire, and without desire, which is a God-given attribute; we would have little to motivate us - beyond achieving a basic, primitive existence, not unlike early Homo sapiens, hunting and gathering for their survival. Mankind’s desires have brought the human race to where it is – on the brink of disaster, where the survival of the world in its viable ecological state is questionable on account of global warming, the pillaging of nature’s resources, and because of unsustainable population growth.

The God-given attribute of desire, when focussed on self-gain, greed or gratification is a destructive force for an individual who willingly entertains it with these motivations. More often than not, his desire is for what he should not have, because of its destructive nature, e.g., he is injurious to himself by eating too many beef burgers, drinking copious amounts of Coca Cola, smoking cannabis or by indulging in sex with a prostitute from whom he contracts a venereal disease.

If we are to live well-adjusted lives, our desires must be channelled and controlled for our own sake, and for the betterment of those we love - indeed, for the wellbeing of all with whom we come into contact, or may influence. We must closely examine our desires, and gain control over any that are destructive. If we’ve gone too far by becoming addicts of unwholesome and destructive desires, we should make every effort to seek help to overcome them.

Throughout my life, from the age of 13, I’ve always wanted to play around with boats, particularly sailing boats; my desire has been to build them, renovate them, own them and sail them, but never to the extent that I became an addict. I admit that at times, I very nearly became obsessed with them, but today, after 67 years, I am losing my desire for them; indeed, I have very nearly lost any desire to own a boat, renovate one, sail one, or even go out on the water. This is a very strange experience, hard to understand. I am trying to rekindle my desire, perhaps by launching ‘Minnow’ with a view to day sailing her, or by having a short cruise.

Links

Desire


Desire

 
Photos of Boats I have Owned - Part 1

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pink Rose



My wife bought this pink rose at a garden show, and I’ve been trying to identify it. The closest in colour, shape and form, I can find is, ‘Pink Perfection’. (See first link below)

What do you think? Can you identify the rose?

My photo was taken with my IPhone in dull light after it had been raining.

Link

Pink Perfection


Pink Perfection Rose


Pink Rose Images


Pink Roses


Pink Roses


Rose Buddies

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Penalty Charge Notice – Part 2


 
Original PCN

 
Signature of an anonymous PNPO, an Investor in People

Not so long ago I received a Penalty Charge Notice (PNC) for parking as a Blue Badge (BB) holder in a restricted area. I had been totally unaware that I had broken the law by parking where double yellow lines were additionally marked by what is referred to as ‘ticks’; these are yellow painted marks on adjacent curbs. They can be single or in pairs, evenly spaced, several feet apart along the curb.

I appealed against the PNC, but for reasons unexplained, other than the Parking Notice Processing Officer (PNPO) was ‘unable to cancel the notice’, I was fined to the tune of £35.00.

Having put forward in my Appeal that I was not the regular driver for the disabled children for whom the BB was granted, and that I was unaware of having committed an offence, I was hopeful of a compassionate response by way of a warning, and for the return of my cheque. Instead, it was pointed out to me by the PNPO that the registered owner of the BB should have informed me of the parking rules. The BB holder says I was told the rules, but I have no recollection of hearing them, and as I have a shocking memory, I have no reason to doubt that I was informed.

As a result of what has happened, I believe Civil Enforcement Officers who give out Parking Charge Notices and those who administer them, should be more flexible to accommodate unwitting drivers who do not deliberately flaunt the rules. I also believe a zero tolerance response to minor parking offences is uncalled for, because people are capable of making mistakes and of misunderstanding rules, and they do not find it easy to grasp the meaning of some parking signs. Drivers are not programmed automatons incapable of error, nor are they anonymous PNPOs who are afraid of being identified, and who do not legibly sign letters or append their real names to correspondence.

My advice is, just be careful not to break parking rules, because if you do, you likely will be treated as a computerised robot whose circuits have failed. In times to come, for any breach of the rules, the way things are going; penalty fees will automatically be deducted from your bank account!

Links

Parking Charge Notice

Monday, May 26, 2014

Adoring Roses – Part 2









Yesterday I posed the questions: “Was I satisfied?”, and “Was I happy?”

The answer to both is, “Yes.”*

Who couldn’t be satisfied and happy when he sees the fingerprints and DNA of the Creator in His creatures?

I adore roses, but I adore Him more! 

*James 5:12 ‘But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,”  “No,” lest you fall into judgment.

Links

Adoring Roses


British Roses 


Rose 


Harkness Roses 


Cockers Roses 


DNA

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Satisfaction and Reward

 
Was I satisfied?

 
Was I happy?


How do you measure satisfaction? How do you measure happiness? Is it important to be satisfied and happy?

If you are a hedonist, i.e., a person who devotes ones life to the pursuit of pleasure; then being happy and being satisfied is your raison d'ĂȘtre.

 If you are an altruist, i.e., your life is devoted to working for the welfare of others, and they are happy as a result of your efforts; you are happy too, but your own happiness is not your raison d'ĂȘtre. You may gain great satisfaction from your efforts, but your aim and purpose is to promote the welfare of others.

Whether you are hedonistic, altruistic, or a bit of both, you may adopt the ethical aphorism, ‘Effort brings reward’. Your sense of justice tells you this should be the case. Logic reasons that it is fair and right, but in practice you know that effort does not always bring reward; therefore you have no guarantee that you will gain satisfaction or happiness. You know you have no certainty of reward.

No amount of effort will guarantee a reward.

Things are different for the Christian; he is neither altruistic nor hedonistic, nor is he a bit of both. His satisfaction comes from selflessly serving Christ for His glory. He does not wok for his salvation, but because of his salvation! His greatest reward is the gift of eternal life which is given by God. No amount of effort can bring about this gift, because it is a free gift - Jesus was given to him free of charge to cleanse him eternally for access to God.

No gift can be earned, only received. The reward of eternal life is guaranteed because of the perfect work of Jesus.

John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

Colossians 3:17 ‘And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.’

Links

raison d’etre

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day Sail with ‘Ladybird’



 

 



I had the honour of being a guest aboard ‘Ladybird’ for her first sail of the season. I was rowed by her skipper from the Rice and Cole pontoon to the yacht. Making headway against the ebb while edging to windward took a fair amount of effort, but we made it. I did the easy bit, which was holding the painter until gear was transferred to the cockpit.

Apart from one or two dark clouds, conditions were almost perfect for a sail. There was a Force 2 from the south which hardly fluctuated. Under reefed main we beam reached to the east. The new Garmin GPS showed our position, track and speed. We almost had the River to ourselves. Beyond the Crouch Buoy where the water shallows, two or three motor launches were anchored for fishing. When they were well astern, the skipper went below and conjured up cups of coffee.

After an almost imperceptible sprinkling of rain, the sun appeared and stayed with us for the remainder of the day. A vessel carrying spoil from the Cross Rail Project passed to port and tracked along the north side of the fairway. I took a photo of her. There were a number of racy looking yachts that were motor sailing in the opposite direction, possibly en route for Brightlingsea or perhaps Bradwell, via the Swin Spitway.

Shortly after 1230 ‘Ladybird’ lay to her anchor in the lee of Maplin Sand where there was a colony of seals. We went below for a picnic lunch and to warm up. We relaxed and chatted; now and again we glanced through the windows towards the seals. The GPS kept anchor watch.

Low water at Burnham was roughly at 1430, and just before slack we got underway for the return trip. The skipper raised the anchor, and as he stowed it and the chain, I steered towards the entrance of the Crouch. The scene was transformed. Yachts were coming and going. I was interested in a gaff-rigged yacht that overhauled us.  We were not in the least hurry, being content to jog along under reefed main.

Not far from the outermost moorings of Rice and Cole there was an isolated buoy that we used to practise picking up under sail. The skipper’s second attempt went well, giving us confidence for picking up ‘Ladybird’s’ mooring. The Foulness Firing Range Safety launch hurtled by on her way towards Burnham.  She hardly caused a ripple. Firing on the range had ceased, and the crew obviously wanted to get home quickly.

Picking up ‘Ladybird’s’ mooring went well. We had enjoyed the sail.

My experiment of getting back on the water proved a success, but I am uncertain whether I shall ever want to take ‘Minnow’ sailing again - only time will tell.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chelsea Flower Show






Regular readers will know that my wife is a keen gardener. She enjoys visiting garden centres to see what is on offer, and she seldom walks away without buying one or more plants for her garden.

Yesterday we visited Alton Garden Centre to price lawn edgings, some made from wood and others from concrete. Last year we bought rolls of cheap corrugated plastic edging for one side of the lawn, but in places where the strimmer went too close it was cut to shreds, and where the strimmer missed, our grandsons trampled it into the ground - hence our visit to find more substantial edging.

While there I mentioned to my wife that her friend could be at the Chelsea Flower Show, and she replied that Alton Garden Centre was her Chelsea Flower Show. She would far rather be where she was than with countless others craning their necks over shoulders to see exhibits. At least where she was, she could take her time and have unobstructed views of plants and flowers - not only that, entrance was free.

I was very pleased to see large numbers of bees going about their business of collecting pollen, unlike last year when there were very few.

Links

Chelsea Flower Show


Chelsea Flower Show


Chelsea Flower Show Tickets

Alton Garden Centre

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Urban Sprawl



In a Government produced report, ‘Housing and Planning Statistics 2010’,* it is revealed there were 21.5 million households in England in 2008-09: 14.6 million owner-occupiers; 3.8 million social renters; and 3.1 million private renters. The number of households is projected to rise by 5.8 million from 2008 to 2033, an increase of 232,000 per year on average reaching 27.5 million in 2033.

In my opinion the effects of the increase will bring about devastating changes to our countryside, not only because of virgin land being taken for urban development, but for additional job-related industrial complexes, trading outlets, out-of-town shopping malls and concomitant infrastructure, roads and rail etc. Extra sources of energy in the form of power stations, wind generators, solar farms and fracking units will be required to keep up with increased demand – all of these sources requiring land.

The answer to reducing the demand for more land would appear to be insoluble, but certain things could be done to mitigate the impact of encroachment, such as voluntary reduction of family size, i.e., no more than two children, preferably one; proper control of immigration and the building of high-rise accommodation, ideally on brownfield sites.

Links

*Housing and Planning Statistics 2010


Estimating Housing Need


Homes for the Future – A new analysis of housing need and demand in England


Census prompts revision of future housing needs


CPR’s Policy on Housing


CPR’s Policy on Planning

Monday, May 19, 2014

Preservation of Green Belt






In March 2012 the Government published their Communities and Local Government National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)* in which the Minister for Planning, the Right Honourable Greg Clark, M.P. stated in the Forward:

Our natural environment is essential to our wellbeing, and it can be better looked

after than it has been. Habitats that have been degraded can be restored. Species

that have been isolated can be reconnected. Green Belt land that has been

depleted of diversity can be refilled by nature – and opened to people to

experience it, to the benefit of body and soul.

He then went on to say:

So sustainable development is about positive growth – making economic,

environmental and social progress for this and future generations.

The planning system is about helping to make this happen.

Based on the NPPF directive, Local Authorities were to draft plans for sustainable growth and fast track them for action. My Local Council, Rochford District Council (RDC) are awaiting approval of their plan, meanwhile Linda Kendall of Rayleigh Action Group (RAG) is serving Court Proceedings against RDC  in respect to proposed Developments in Rayleigh and Hullbridge. The Action Group are claiming that 93% or more people in Rayleigh and Hullbridge are unaware that a public consultation has taken place and that a ‘SUBSTANTIAL consultation’ as required by NPPF had not taken place; furthermore, a huge area of Green Belt in Rayleigh would be built upon.

It so happens that an application has been submitted to RDC for a private dwelling to be built on Green Belt land adjoining my garden boundary. This has nothing to do with the large proposed developments for Rayleigh and Hullbridge, but the principle of building on Green Belt is the same.

I have always opposed building on Green Belt for the very reasons stated by the Right Honourable Greg Clark in the Forward to the NPPF directive.

It seems to me that there is a contraction in what the NPPF says regarding the preservation of Green Belt and what it will allow by way of ‘sustainable development’. The Government want people to have a say, but creates a system that overrules them when they do!

Incidentally, the Green Party is not the only party that has a strong policy against building on Green Belt; UKIP claims the same. Perhaps more pertinent is the recent revolt by Conservative MPs against what they perceive as a threat to Green Belt** i.e., David Cameron’s proposed changes to make it easier to build on Green Belt.

Links

*National Planning Policy Framework


Rayleigh Action Group - Report by Southend Standard


Planning proposals put green belt under threat


**Conservative MPs revolt against new threat to green belt

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blockbuster Weekend







I’ve had a blockbuster weekend packed full of action and excitement. I’ve been trying to keep up with the grandchildren who have attended two birthday parties. They had a whale of time, and I have been left deaf, breathless and speechless, but I should sleep well.

Link

Thank God for Little Children

Friday, May 16, 2014

Indian Elections


Narendra Modi

We have news today of the general election that has taken place in India. Narendra Modi and his BJP Party are celebrating a resounding victory over the outgoing Congress Party led by Sonia Gandhi.  Of 36 parties who fielded candidates for election to the Lower House, the BJP gained a majority of nearly 300 seats. Hard-line Hindu nationalist Modi, has been given the power and a mandate for achieving his aim of improving the Indian economy and of sharing wealth with those who create it, while taking outward steps to engage with the rest of the world on matters of climate change, counter-terrorism, and better trade relations.

The carbuncle that may hinder his expressed desire to represent and work for ALL Indians is a festering scar of discontent and fear caused by his perceived failure to intervene effectively in communal riots of 2012 in his own State of Gujarat when at least 1,000 people died, most of them Muslims – this despite having been cleared by the Supreme Court of India of not initiating and condoning the violence. He has five years of governmental office to prove he is not divisive as claimed by his critics and opponents who believe he will favour the majority Hindus, give to the haves and ignore the poor and needy.

P.S. Politics matters. UK citizens, please use your vote on polling day for the European Elections due to take place on 22nd May, 2014. ( http://bills-log.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/in-or-out-of-europe.html )

Links

Indian Election: Narendra Modi hails ‘landmark’ win


Indians vote in first phase of giant general election


How Narendra Modi could usher in India’s greatest foreign policy era yet


Who is Narendra Modi? Meet India's pro-business, Hindu nationalist PM-in-waiting


Indian Election Results 2014: 7 things you need to know about Narendra Modi

Thursday, May 15, 2014

UK Political Party Leaders 2014 European Election



The ethos of a political party is to a large extent determined by its leaders, particularly the principal leader.

There are ten parties contending for seats representing the Eastern Region of the UK where I live, and as I am undecided to whom to give my vote, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research about their policies and leaders. Experience has shown me that leaders can make or break an organisation.

A charismatic leader is not necessarily the best, and yet people are often swayed by a politician’s personality, his or her looks, mannerisms, how they speak etc. A person with intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, compassion, understanding, integrity, and a genuine desire to serve; one who is able to communicate and who is a natural leader is far more desirable than one with superficial charm and the gift of the gab.

What this Country needs is a leader with a vision, one who can inspire people to work together to achieve that vision for the better good, based on truth and equity for the enrichment of society in mind and spirit; a caring, tolerant society that values love in preference to greed, power and a quest for more and more material wealth.

Here are the leaders in random order:

David Cameron - Conservative Party


Nick Clegg - Liberal Democrats


Ed Milliband - Labour Party


Nigel Farage - UK Independence Party


Natalie Bennett - Green Party


Nick Griffin – British National Party


Mike Nattrass - An Independence from Europe


Sid Cordle - Christian Peoples Alliance


Robin Tilbrook - English Democrats


NO2EU – Was led by Bob Crow who recently died.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In or Out of Europe?



Continuing yesterday’s theme - the European Parliamentary Elections - five of the ten parties represented want to leave Europe. They are: An Independence from Europe, British National Party, English Democrats, NO2EU and UKIP. People may dismiss these parties and say they are minor and insignificant, but together they represent the views of millions in the UK.

Unavoidably, whether to stay in or to come out of Europe has become the major issue in these European elections.

 Parties are therefore showing their colours by publishing policies in manifestos – that’s with the exception of Labour, who appear not to want to become embroiled on the issue, because they are well-and-truly in, and they are aware of a groundswell of discontent being expressed by followers of the five parties who want out, besides those within their own ranks.

Inextricably linked to the ‘in or out’ debate is the topic of ever-increasing immigration.

Conservatives say they will stay in Europe, at least until 2017, when, if they have been re-elected they will give the British people a choice by way of a referendum.

 The Green Party want to remain in Europe for their voice to be heard.

The Christian Peoples Alliance wish to remain in, to work for moral and democratic reform, but they will support and respect the results of a referendum in 2017.

The Liberal Democrats very strongly support and promote being in Europe for looking after the interests of the UK.

Well, the outcome of the election is up to those who vote, because every vote counts, as members of the European Parliament are given seats by way of proportional representation.

How you and I vote will affect us all. Have your say.

Links

Let Britain Decide – Conservative policy on Europe


Green Party


English Democrats


Labour Party in Europe


NO2EU


CPA launches European Campaign

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

European Parliamentary Elections












If you are anything like me, you are bewildered by the number of political parties vying for places in the European Parliament.  Each party promotes policies they believe are best for the Country or helpful for achieving their own objectives: the Green Party for a sustainable world, the Conservatives for business growth and free enterprise, Labour for affordable living, UKIP for British independence, English Democrats for an English Parliament, Liberal Democrats for keeping Britain in Europe etc.

There are a number of other parties such as the Christian Peoples Alliance, who want a fairer and more equitable world based on Christian principles and morality; Independence from Europe who are campaigning to quit Europe by having a referendum; NO2EU who want the UK to leave Europe, and the extreme British National Party who want to stop all immigration and outlaw miscegenation.

Election Day is the 22nd May, and although we may be bewildered, I believe it’s really important for us to examine what is being offered for our future and for the future of generations to come; we should not waste our vote.

Links

An Independence from Europe


British National Party


Christian Peoples Alliance


Conservative Party


English Democrats


Green Party


Labour Party


Liberal Democrats


NO2EU


UKIP