Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Daily Meditation

Living in Exile

We look to Nehemiah for clues to guide our own pilgrimage in difficult times. Nehemiah was grief-stricken by the news of the condition of Jerusalem. The walls were broken down and the gates burned with fire. His first emotion over the sad loss of his heritage was grief. It was not bitterness or anger. Nehemiah wept and mourned as Jesus would later weep over the same city.
In his grief, Nehemiah moved to the next step, prayer and fasting. His prayer was first of all a prayer of adoration for the majestic awe of God and for His faithfulness to His people: “Oh great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments” (Neh. 1:5).
Even in exile, Nehemiah praised God for His covenant faithfulness. Then the focus of his prayer turned to repentance, as he pleaded with God to forgive the sins of his own people, acknowledging that they had brought exile upon themselves.

Coram Deo

Think about some of the ways God has proven faithful to you in the past, then thank Him!

Passages for Further Study

Pull The Other One . . .

What's With Winston and Russia?

In New Zealand we have a senior politician--the Deputy Prime Minister in fact--who seems to have a deep attachment to Russia.  No-one is quite sure why the attachment exists, but in his role as Foreign Minister, Winston Peters endeavours to put a positive gloss on anything and everything the Russian state does.  It is puzzling.

When Russia was publicly accused of using two professional spies from its secretive GRU to attempt to assassinate two Russians in the UK, Peters played it down.  As the evidence mounted he reluctantly "got on board" with the rest of the human race and agreed that it was a bad look for Russia.  This was one horse Peters ought never to have backed.

The two GRU agents had since returned to Russia and gone to ground.  But when the formal accusations and indictments came forth from the UK, the hapless duo were paraded on Russian state TV for an interview in which they claimed they had merely been tourists in the UK.

The Daily Mail has shot holes in their clumsy story.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Dangers Loom for the Universal Holy Catholic Church

The Catholic Sex Scandal

Why Every Christian Should Be Very Worried 

This scandal will prove to be a crisis on the scale of the Protestant Reformation, which began just over 500 years ago — an earthquake of 9.5 on the Richter scale.

Willis L. Krumholz and Robert Delahunty
The Federalist

The rapidly unfolding crisis in the Roman Catholic Church is not a matter of concern to Catholics alone. Its true dimensions have yet to be measured, but we think it will prove to be a crisis on the scale of the Protestant Reformation, which began just over 500 years ago — an earthquake of 9.5 on the Richter scale. If so, resolution of the crisis will take decades to work through.

Resolution and absolution will require serious effort, and most likely require deep, structural reforms. Even if we are mistaken, the Catholic crisis is of such a magnitude that Christians of all denominations must take a serious interest in it.

We are both evangelical Christians with strong ties to the Catholic Church and deep respect for it. One of us was raised as a Catholic, was educated at Catholic primary and secondary schools, and has taught for the past 14 years at a Catholic law school; the other is a graduate of the law school and the business school of that Catholic university, and has many Catholic family members.

We also care deeply about our many Catholic friends, and the health of the Roman Catholic Church, which is an enormous force for good in this world. We also believe that what happens with the Catholic Church will affect Christianity worldwide. In other words, we have a stake in the matter.

Daily Meditation

The Soul’s Final Feast

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

John Piper


God is not unresponsive to the contrite longing of the soul. He comes and lifts the load of sin and fills our heart with gladness and gratitude. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30:11–12).

But our joy does not just rise from the backward glance in gratitude. It also rises from the forward glance in hope: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:5–6).

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Psalm 130:5).

In the end, the heart longs not for any of God’s good gifts, but for God himself. To see him and know him and be in his presence is the soul’s final feast. Beyond this there is no quest. Words fail. We call it pleasure, joy, delight. But these are weak pointers to the unspeakable experience:

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

“Delight yourself in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4).

Simon Upton's Latest Folly

A Pseudo-Emperor Parading Naked

We have in New Zealand an odd-ball Parliamentary functionary, namely the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.  The raison d'etre for such persons is that they must be an expert or specialist in a particular field--in this case, the environment--and be able to give "neutral" advice to the Parliament.  As Commissioner he or she can advise Parliament on matters relevant to the portfolio, independent of the government of the day.  

Our present Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is one Right Honourable Simon Upton, a former Cabinet Minister.  His greatest claim to ignominy is to be responsible for the Resource Management Act which has excelled all other Parliamentary boondoggles at producing unintended consequences to the detriment of New Zealand's well being.  Upton, upon leaving NZ politics did a stint with the OECD in Paris.  Now, he presumes to tell us all about the New Zealand environment and its protection.

Upton has taken up the cudgels on that horrible and destructive environmental pollutant--methane gas--which, of course, is emitted by livestock.

However, this time he has been publicly hammered by someone who does know the academic field inside out:  Dr Geoff Duffy FRSNZ, DEng, PhD, BSc, ASTC Dip., FRSNZ, FIChemE, CEng is Professor Emeritus – Chemical Engineering, University of Auckland.  Upton is left looking like the fool--a part he has acted out not infrequently in his career.

Prof Duffy's closing piece of advice on Upton's latest eructation is:
At crucial points this (Upton's) report mischaracterises the science and lacks proper scientific understanding. It should be withdrawn until verified by independent scrutiny.
This works for us.  But before we move on, it's worth reading Prof Duffy's criticisms as he lays them out, because they leave the very strong impression that this particular piece of "climate science" is most certainly the result of a pseudo-emperor parading naked.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Revising The Official Story

Things Are Not As We Have Been Led to Believe

We didn't win the war! Like us all, Peter Hitchens grew up on stories of Britain’s heroic victory over Hitler... but now, without questioning the bravery of our troops, he’s written a book challenging all we think about WW2


By Peter Hitchens
Daily Mail


In a chilly, high-ceilinged room in a Sussex preparatory school in the winter of 1959, I work intently on my model of the destroyer HMS Cossack. Such models come in lurid cardboard boxes illustrated with pictures of aircraft, tanks and warships, amid scenes of fiery melodrama, guns emitting orange streaks of flame, and the smoke of battle. With these and our imaginations, we seek to recreate the thrill of the war we have just missed, in which our fathers fought and our mothers endured privations.

This is a war just over the horizon of time in which we wish we had taken part, and which dominates our boyish minds above all things. Courage in pursuit of goodness, in the face of a terrible enemy, was what we most believed in.  Even the Crucifixion grew pale and faint in the lurid light of air raids and great columns of burning oil at Dunkirk.

But the Second World War, like all events that have become myths, has become a dangerous subject. As a nation, we are enthralled by the belief that it was an unequivocally ‘Good War’, a belief that has grown with extraordinary speed. Yet I did not have to look far to see a rather different picture. My parents were brought together by the tempest of that war and were marked by it for the rest of their lives.

My father, Commander Eric Hitchens, who served in the Royal Navy for 30 years, was never wholly sure who had won. He neither felt he was living in a victorious country nor felt it had rewarded him justly. I remember well how, sometimes, late in the evening, he would look thoughtfully into the middle distance and say: ‘Ah, well, we won the war… or did we?’

Daily Meditation

Acknowledging Our Citizenship

Ligonier Ministries
My wife and I were traveling in Eastern Europe with another couple several years ago. When we crossed the border from Hungary to Romania, three burly, rough-looking soldiers boarded the train to check our passports and examine our luggage. Their leader indicated that he wanted to see our passports. As we handed them to him, he pointed to our luggage. As I rose to reach for a large suitcase, he suddenly stopped me. In broken English, he said, “Wait! You not American!” Then he looked at the woman who was traveling with us and said, “You not American.”
I must confess I was gripped by a vise of fear. The man pointed to a paper bag our friend had on the seat beside her. “What is that?” he asked, pointing to the edges of a book that protruded out of the top of the bag. She pulled out her Bible. I gulped, thinking to myself, “Now, we are in real trouble.”
The soldier took the Bible and began to leaf through its pages. He opened to the second chapter of Ephesians and pointed to verse 19. He ordered: “Read.” We read aloud, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
Instantly, the soldier’s face radiated with a benevolent smile as he said: “You not American. I not Romanian. We are citizens of heaven.” Then he turned to his fellow troops and said, “These people okay.” He returned our passports and bade us Godspeed.

Coram Deo

Thank God for your citizenship in heaven.

Passages for Further Study

The Threat Facing Medical Science

The Return of the Witchdoctor

The medical profession stands before the Rubicon.  Either it will defend and stand firm for science-based medicine, or it will not.  If it does not, then the West will progressively return to the witch-doctors.  The latest challenge to the profession comes in the form of trans-genderism.  

Here is what's going down:
Reasonable people would be mystified, if not repelled, by the statements and actions of a leading researcher into transgender treatment. In a study funded by a $5.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers including Dr. Johanna Olson of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are supposedly evaluating use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on dysphoric children.

As I’ve written with a coauthor, however, the study is fundamentally skewed toward the conclusions transgender activists desire: it contains no control group of subjects who will be spared these drugs, and will expire after five years, long before many negative effects may surface.  [Jane Robbins, The Federalist]
It seems that Dr Olson is more a sales person than a serious scientist.  A fundamental rule of selling is that one must give the client or prospective buyer what they want.  Olson insists that this is the only right way to proceed with transgender teens.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Labour is Snookered

Winston Peters is NZ's Actual Prime Minister


Below is veteran columnist, John Armstrong's take on New Zealand's unfolding constitutional revolution.  We suspect that he has failed to grasp fully the political pressures, on the one hand, and the de facto changes to NZ's constitution, on the other. 

 Labour Has Been Outsmarted and Outmanoeuvred

John Armstrong
One News

Don’t listen to those who dismiss the current muscle-flexing by Winston Peters as nothing more than the standard fare of MMP politics.  It is anything but.

Were there a handbook covering the mechanics of forming and running a coalition government, the New Zealand First leader would currently be writing a new chapter—one which would be without a happy ending for Jacinda Ardern, her coalition managers and the rest of the Labour Party.  The latter should be worried — very worried.

It is the ongoing conundrum of multi-party governments that minor parties which behave themselves and keep their heads down have almost without exception have had their heads lopped off come election-time.  Peters seems to be experimenting with the notion that minor parties which are far less polite get noticed by voters rather than being suffocated.

If that is not enough to give Labour grief, Peters appears to be engaged in trying to pull off what would amount to a massive shift in power within the coalition.  Forget cracks about cracks appearing in the coalition’s facade.  Peters, for one, will not be going anywhere. . . .

Peters now has the dream job of foreign minister. Yet, he also remains an absolutely pivotal figure in domestic politics.  With regard to the latter, it is obvious there been a major shift in New Zealand First strategy.

Daily Meditation

Embracing Our Mission

A church that cares not for truth is a community that rejects its very mission. The person who says, “I’m not interested in doctrine or theology,” is not “of the truth.” He or she has missed the voice of Jesus.
For the church to be the church, she must bow before her King and embrace the mission He has given to her. Yes, we desire a cultural reformation and a restoration of public morality. But that is secondary to and dependent on our mission to bear witness to the truth. Doctrine is important because its central concern is for an understanding of truth, without which there can be no godliness. It is the truth that sets us free, reforms our behavior, and defines us as disciples of Christ.
The world does not see or understand the city of God. It is a hidden city, a concealed kingdom. It is veiled by falsehood, by he who seeks to obscure the truth. The truth is that at this moment Jesus is the King of kings. This world is under His dominion. We are citizens in His realm. We must not negotiate or retreat from that affirmation. The kingdom of God comprises those people who believe what God says and obey when God commands.

Coram Deo

Are you part of God’s kingdom? Do you believe what God says and obey when He commands?

Passages for Further Study

A Nation Going Gently Into the Night

The Star Chamber Makes a Comeback in the UK

A fundamental ethical principle that underscores freedom is:  not all sins are crimes.  Imagine if this were not observed and protected in a country.  Since sin is pervasive in all human communities the criminal code would expand to cover all areas of human life--leading to an extreme totalitarian state. 

To lie is to commit sin.  Imagine, however,  if all lies were criminalised.   Imagine a child lied to his parents about where he got the fifty cent coin that has been discovered in his pockets.  Off to court, guilty conviction, and a criminal sentence for the child.  Or, imagine an adult embellishing his employment record.  His "exaggeration" is discovered and he is arrested on the spot for the "crime" of lying.

But in the UK, things are even more extreme.  The definition of what constitutes a "sin" is entirely in the "eyes and ears" of the observer.  One female may regard a male's wolf whistle as harmless, and a bit of fun.  The next may regard it as and offensive hate crime because it demeans and degrades her.  That legitimately qualifies as both a sin and a crime in the United Kingdom--even if the "crime" is not written up in the statute book.

The only upshot possible from such legal abuse is an eventual tyranny over its citizens.   But the form in which this tyranny is unfolding is unique to our generation.  In the United Kingdom sins--and what constitutes a sin--are in the eye and ear of the observer.  Not only are sins crimes, but the definition of a sin lies entirely with the complainant. 

This, from The Federalist:

Friday, 14 September 2018

Daily Meditation

Understanding Our Pilgrimage

Resting within the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the small piece of real estate known as Ellis Island has become a symbol of American history. There, immigrants assembled on arrival to this nation. They came from many places for many different reasons. They all looked to Lady Liberty for hope—this despite her somewhat hypocritical smile, inasmuch as she was erected two years after Congress passed a law limiting immigration.
Two of my ancestors arrived at Ellis Island. One came from Ireland to escape the potato famine. He left a thatched-roof home with a mud floor. The other one came from Yugoslavia, where he was a member of the aristocracy of Croatia.
The two shared a common goal. They both left their homelands seeking a better country. They were pilgrims, sojourners in a foreign land. Like Abraham, they went out seeking a city. Yet unlike Abraham, my ancestors sought the city of man.
Every Christian is called to be a pilgrim. We are pilgrims and sojourners on the earth. Our home is in the city of God. Our community is the church, the visible testimony to the invisible kingdom of God. It is our community—a community of faith.

Coram Deo

Are you living like a pilgrim in this world or have you settled in as a permanent resident?

Passages for Further Study

A Man of Unusual Courage

Disease In the Body Politic

Demonization of Nunes Is a Window Into Our Times

By Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

Rep. Devin Nunes briefs reporters on Capitol Hill in March 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Nunes has become the subject of unprecedented media venom.

Much of what we now know about the unethical and often illegal behavior of the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, and Department of Justice emerged due to the efforts of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Its chairman during its stunning disclosures has been Representative Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), who in turn has been constantly demonized for his efforts.

Yet without the committee’s digging, Americans would not have known that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for an unsubstantiated 2016 dossier on Donald Trump compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

Prior to the committee’s work, we did not know that the FBI and Justice Department used unverified information from the Steele dossier to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing for the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Without the committee’s disclosures, Americans would not have had any idea that Bruce Ohr, who once ranked fourth in the Department of Justice hierarchy, coordinated opposition research on Trump with Steele, the FBI, and Fusion GPS. Ohr took this unethical step because his wife was working for Fusion GPS — a fact that was withheld on federal disclosure forms.

The Nunes-led committee also uncovered the names of prominent FBI and DOJ officials — including James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and Sally Yates — who had approved FISA court warrant applications that were based on the largely discredited Steele dossier.

Most dramatically, we learned that members of the Obama administration had unmasked the names of U.S. citizens swept up in government surveillance. Many of those names were illegally leaked to the press.

The Velvet Revolution

Yes, Prime Minister

Down under we are witnessing the strangest thing.  Over the last few months we have had a major constitutional change--a velvet revolution, one may say.  The NZ Prime Minister has morphed from being the leader of the governing parliamentary majority, and, therefore, of the country.  Without fanfare or notice, her office has evolved  into being that of the "constitutional leader", much more akin to the Constitutional Monarchy in the UK.

She is the leader de jure, whilst the office of leader de facto has gone to someone else.  We now have a "throne" and a "leader behind the throne"--at least that is how it seems.  This development is unparalleled in our democracy.  Jacinda Ardern has become a figurehead like George VI, whilst the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters has become like Winston Churchill. 

Here are a couple of examples.  The titular PM (Jacinda Ardern) announces that the Government will pursue its ambition to double New Zealand's annual refugee quotas.  The de facto PM (Winston Peters) says it will not.  A few days later, the titular PM mumbles her consent, having taken the advice of the de facto PM.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Chinese Government Shows Its Weakness and Insecurity

Persecution of Christians In China

Chinese Gov’t Burning Bibles, Shutting Churches, Ordering Christians to Renounce Faith

Atheistic Chinese Communist Government Scared

Dave Urbanski
The Blaze

China’s government is burning Bibles, destroying crosses, shutting churches, and ordering Christians to sign papers renouncing their faith, the Associated Press reported, citing pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.  The crackdown is related to an effort to “Sinicize” — or refashion as Chinese — religion by enforcing loyalty to the atheist Communist Party and getting rid of challenges to its authority over people’s lives, the outlet said.

Bob Fu of the U.S.-based group China Aid, said the recent shuttering of churches in central Henan province and a well-known house church in Beijing equates to a “significant escalation” of the crackdown, the AP reported.  “The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” Fu wrote in an email to the outlet.

More from the AP:

Daily Meditation

Awaiting the City of God

Evangelical Christians love America. Some see in her the last hope of creating a Christian nation. But it is not a Christian nation. It is pagan to the core. It is in danger of becoming, if it is not already, the new “Evil Empire.” The Mayflower Compact is a museum piece, a relic of a forgotten era. “In God We Trust” is now a lie.
Yes, we must always work for social reform. Yes, we must be “profane” in Martin Luther’s sense of going out of the temple and into the world. We do not despise the country of our birth. But in what do we invest our hope? The state is not God. The nation is not the Promised Land. The president is not our King. The Congress is not our Savior. Our welfare can never be found in the city of man. The federal government is not sovereign. We live—in every age and in every generation—by the rivers of Babylon. We need to understand that clearly. We must learn how to sing the Lord’s song in a strange and foreign land.
America will fall. The United States will inevitably disintegrate. The Stars and Stripes will bleed. The White House will turn to rubble. That is certain. We stand like Augustine before the sea. We pray that God will spare our nation. If He chooses not to, we ask for the grace to accept its demise. In either case, we look to Him who is our King and to heaven, which is our home. We await the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God.

Coram Deo

Are you looking to your King and to your eternal destiny, despite the circumstances around you? Keep your focus on the heavenly Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God.

Passages for Further Study

Maori Youth In Our Courts

Facing Up--Or Not

It appears there are no solutions to the endless lines of Maori in our courts to be sentenced for serious crime.  Secular humanism has come to a dead end.  What on earth is to be done?  No-one knows.  No-one is prepared to speculate, let alone say.  

When the fundamental fabric of human society is torn up and thrown away, government programmes laced with billions of dollars will only exacerbate the problem--as has happened.  New Zealand's great god of the age--Secular Gummint--has failed miserably.  The tsunami of crime continues.  More hands are wrung.  More lamentations are heard.  Nothing changes.  Except for the worse.

We published an article on Maori youth yesterday, which included the following:
One of the most poignant sentencing notes I've read was by Judge Gerard Winter. A judge in Auckland for seven years, he was sentencing an 18-year-old for kidnap and aggravated robbery last year. He robbed two international students at gunpoint.

Before sentencing the man to 25 months' jail, the judge traversed the figures of Māori crime and incarceration rates included in the Waitangi Tribunal's Tū Mai te Rangi report. Judge Winter granted the youth a five-month discount to his sentence on the strength of a cultural report that covered the decades and generations that preceded the youth, and his whānau's rural-to-urban move and its impacts.  "Each and every day this court is engaged in sentencing, far too often there are young Māori offenders appearing for sentence on the very worst crime at category 3 level," the judge said. 
The Great Secular Humanist dream has turned into a nightmare.  The only thing that has changed is that now a few more people are prepared to own up to its wretched failures.  But they have no solution to offer, except more of the same.  We are approaching the layman's definition of insanity.

This is not a racial issue.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Avoiding the Obvious

Elephants in the Room

Marty Sharpe
Stuff

There are a few things you get used to when you spend a lot of time in court. First, Māori make up the vast majority of defendants; second, it's dominated by the same surnames and families coming up year after year; third, alcohol and/or drugs are almost always involved; and four; gang influence, specifically from the Mongrel Mob is insidious.

There is a problem, but if you ask me it's not the justice system, it's the system that allows these kids to become victims and consequently offenders.

This isn't news. We've been talking about this for decades. Which is why the justice summit seemed a strange thing to hold.  It's strange because it's tackling a symptom, not the cause.

If there was one thing I'd want to impress on anyone who was interested, it's that prison sentences are not given out lightly. Listening to some commentators and critics, you would think the judiciary was stacked with men and women itching to send defendants to prison.

In fact, judges and others in the justice system are at pains not to send people to jail.

Daily Meditation

Rejecting Kingdoms of This World

Augustine stood by the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. He had heard of the hordes of barbarians that were moving as a juggernaut against Rome and the empire. The reports were ominous and foreboding, lending little reason for hope of the survival of the Roman culture.
Augustine said a prayer in three parts. In the first part, he implored God to save the empire. In the second part, he asked for grace to accept the destruction of civilization as he knew it, if that should be the will of Providence. In the third part, he asked that in either case he might be permitted soon to die and enter his eternal rest.
Permanence and security cannot be found in the structures of man. Concrete crumbles. Glass shatters. Steel melts. When God says “No!” the cities and kingdoms of men come to ruin. God simply will not tolerate man’s quest for autonomy—his lust for idols of his own making. No city, no nation, no culture can survive the judgment of God.

Coram Deo

Spend some time in prayer today for your city, state, and nation.

Passages for Further Study

Telltale Signs

Gender Dysphoria a Form of Social Propaganda?

We are all (hopefully) aware of aberrant social hysteria that leads to behaviour divorced from reality.  The Salem Witch Trials are one seventeenth century example.  In New Zealand, the Christchurch Creche Case is another.  A community--including authorities such as the police, local government, academics--came to believe that the Christchurch Creche had been overtaken by a coven of pederasts.  In a later light-of-day it defies belief.

We are now, it seems, living through another form of social hysteria--trans-genderism, particularly Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD).  Robert Tracinski, writing in The Federalist, weighs up the evidence thus far.

Is Transgender The New Anorexia?

A blockbuster study suggests that in some cases transgender is a 'social contagion,' a maladaptive coping technique spread by peer groups and the Internet.

Robert Tracinski
The Federalist


Brown University Professor Lisa Littman recently published a blockbuster study on the “transgender” phenomenon, presenting evidence that parts of it might be a “social contagion”—a maladaptive coping technique for troubled teens, spread by peer groups and the Internet. Brown issued a press release about the study, then promptly retracted it and replaced it with a weasely non-statement that just drew more attention to Littman’s research. This was in response to a furious outcry from transgender activists, and I can see why they find this study such a threat.

The study itself is not actually about “gender dysphoria” as it has previously been defined in the scientific literature. Rather, it is about the newer phenomenon of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD). Prior to about ten years ago, cases of gender dysphoria typically involved a long history of a child rejecting identification with his or her biological sex, going back before puberty.

By contrast, “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” involves a post-pubescent child, usually a girl, with no history of dysphoria suddenly claiming within a period of weeks or months not to identify with her biological sex. Not only is rapid-onset gender dysphoria sudden, but it tends to occur in clusters.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Paris Climate Agreement is Dead and Gone

No-One Cares

Trump Vindicated as Paris Climate Agreement Unravels

James Delingpole
Breitbart News

The Paris Climate Agreement is a dead non-binding treaty walking. All the signatories know this, none of them will admit it. So instead, we have to endure the ritual spectacle of UN delegates racking up yet more air miles and dumping their carbon footprint on a new location in order to wail hysterically that much, much more needs to be done to save the planet from the greatest threat evah.
This week the UN’s clown caravan has moved to Bangkok, Thailand – the preliminary to an even bigger meeting, COP24, in December in Katowice, Poland.

As the South China Morning Post reports, the auguries aren’t good:
Time is running out to save the Paris Agreement, United Nations climate experts warned Tuesday at a key Bangkokmeeting, as rich nations were accused of shirking their responsibility for environmental damage.
That’s because – just as they were in Paris 2015 – the negotiations are caught between a rock and a hard place.

A Pebble That May Result In A Landslide

A "Game Changing" Piece of Work

In the great struggle between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Satan we Christians often long for the definitive blow, the decisive action which puts paid to the Satan forever.  Amongst our travails we forget that the decisive blows have already been delivered.  

Christ died for our sins--the sins of all His elect--and He rose again, ascending into the heavens to be seated at God's right hand.  From there, He judges, rules, commands, and controls all things.  He applies His "decisive actions" to the world.  It is our great honour to be His servants--for a time in the flesh, on the earth--and then, subsequently in His presence awaiting the call to return, with Him, to the physical world.

Thus, in the great struggle between light and darkness throughout our lives upon the earth we do not look for "decisive blows", as it were.  They have already been struck.  We are involved in "mopping up" operations.  But within that framework, some actions or advances are more significant than others.  They have a greater effect.

In recent days we have observed one such "mopping up" event that might well turn out to be significant beyond expectation.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Disappointed and Let Down

When the Left Turn On Their Own It's Never Pretty

Duncan Garner
Stuff

OPINION: This wasn't how the charm offensive was meant to end. No way.

The script had been written for the prime minister: Smile, wave to the trainspotters who need a selfie to prove they were there, then remind everyone in business of the real economic stats that show things are largely tracking OK despite the slump in confidence from the guys driving the latest fancy cars.

So far so good.

The PM's detail would then serve up the smoked salmon between the whining and endless wish lists from business while the PM was reminding herself NOT to mention the evil little tax working group if asked.

That group is likely to target money or success, whichever come first. Please don't tell business of their intentions as it may actually affect confidence levels again. Oh, too late, it's slumped again.

Why? I'll come to that shortly but prepare yourselves to blame Labour. What a debacle of their own making.

Daily Meditation

Making History Count

For a little fun, as well as an important look into the pages of your history, take a few minutes for a simple exercise. Take a pencil and paper and jot down the five most meaningful compliments you’ve ever received. They may have been verbal or nonverbal, direct or indirect. On your paper note:
1. The nature of the compliment.
2. When it was given.
3. Who gave you the compliment and what role that person represented to you.
After completing this exercise, try another: Write down the five most important events in your life. Then write briefly why these “historic” moments are so important to you.
These two exercises represent a simple means by which you can come to grips with who you are. To finish the exercise, ask yourself this question: If Rembrandt could paint only one portrait of you, what would he have you doing in the portrait? What is your fruitful moment? Maybe tomorrow will bring a moment that will redirect your personal history.
Our history is not the result of blind fate or the impersonal forces of chance. My personal history and yours are bound up with the Author and Lord of history, who makes my personal history count forever.

Coram Deo

Do the two exercises suggested in today’s reading, then answer the question: “If Rembrandt could paint only one portrait of you, what would he have you doing in the portrait?”

Passages for Further Study