Welcome to my page of religious ramblings. Throughout my life I have trusted in God, and as I get older, new
fires of faith have been lit within the old crumbling Carlyboy... and in the words of those famous beefburgers.. I'm lovin'
Hymns! Fantastic.. so we thought lets pop up a few of our favourites over the coming months, starting with Lord for the
years your love has kept and guided played by Rob Charles on the beautiful 3 Manual Conacher Organ At All Saints Church Oystermouth In Swansea. Click here for the video.
The conversation became quite heated 'You shouldn't be celebrating Halloween' another Christian told me. 'Oh it's
for the kids' I said. 'No it's wrong, it's satanic'. Well after a discussion like that, I needed to investigate. Christian..
Halloween? Well it appears Halloween is often misunderstood.. Is it hocus-pocus superstition or truly Christian
focused? In the church of yore, when services were in Latin, (and nobody except the clergy understood them), the priest would say
'Hok es mayus corpus' (apologies for the spelling) when the bread was literally turned into the body of Christ. This
magical moment was seized upon by many who turned the phrase into 'Hocus Pocus'.
Halloween, which comes from the word All Hallows Eve is tied directly to All Saints Day celebrated on November 1 to commemorate
the old saints who have past on. These “saints” were heroes and martyrs for the Christian Faith. The origin of
Halloween can be traced back before medieval time to to the Celts. Spring and summer were thought of as the 'light'
half of the year, and the autumn and winter months when days are shorter and nights are longer, the 'dark' half!
During the October/November lunar cycle, the Celts celebrated the end of the light half with a festival called Samhain,
where dressing-up and treats were all a part of the celebration. The four centuries of Roman rule in Britain
(43-410 AD) had their influences on Halloween 'goings on'. For example, Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruit trees. Her symbol
was an apple, which may explain how candied apples and bobbing for apples came about. Bringing some order to affairs
with the Roman conquest of Britain, the Julian calendar fixed the date of the Samhain festival to November 1. Pope
Gregory dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to “all saints, and so November 1 became All Saints Day, otherwise
known as All Hallow’s Day. The night before became All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween.
As Christianity spread throughout the world, Samhain was absorbed into Halloween. Costumes, gifts and bobbing for apples were preserved,
and incorporated into a new holiday. So is it acceptable for us to dress the house in spiders webs, and for the Catherine
and Hannah to dress up as witches and ghouls? WELL.. some of the Halloween traditions do have pagan origins, and certain
biblical principles surely must apply. Certainly all pagan practices are to be avoided. Witchcraft, occult practices,
sorcery, etc. are strictly forbidden in the Bible. So what is a biblical stance on Halloween? WELL (again) Halloween is something
fun for the children, but we make sure they are kept far away from the evil aspects of it, in fact it is a
“hands on” learning opportunity about God’s control over Satan and the fallen angels. God keeps them held
powerless according to His will. Christian Halloween and All Saints Day come together in purposeful unity as the one protects
and covers the other. It is a time for the Gospel to devour the ghouls.
If you've never heard our daily broadcasts on Swiss radio you might be interested to hear this example. First broadcast
on Radio BeO on 4th and 5th October 2009 it's a piece about St Beatus, monk and hermit of caves above Lake
Thun in the wonderful Bernese Oberland.
In so much of Europe, as with the States, Easter is sadly marked by growing commercialization, the religious
aspects taking a backseat. Creme eggs, chocolate bunnies, and special Easter cakes are stacked up in the shops, Good
Friday has been renamed Bank Holiday Friday, and the most important thing about Easter Sunday is the Easter-egg hunt. Well it is evident that Easter has been full of pagan traditions, so what of the dying Christ?
Well It taken me over 4 decades to get my head around it. Adapted from the Jewish Passover, each
spring Christians used to observe Pascha or Christian Passover, which commemorated the crucifixion
and resurrection of Jesus as a means of expression of God's grace. By the fourth century, Easter had become more
of a Christian celebration of the Resurrection, with a distinct Good Friday commemorating Jesus’ death.
The date of Easter is not fixed of course, being sometime between March 22nd and April 25th and celebrated
on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the sun's path crosses the equator, making days and nights of
equal length. The church calender has Eastertide as a seven-week period, fifty days from sunset the evening before
Easter Sunday covering the following six Sundays until Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles. The 40th
day after Easter Sunday, a Thursday, is Ascension Day, commemorating Jesus' ascension to heaven to sit at the right
hand of the Father, but I guess for convienience, the church seems to push it to the Sunday. Switzerland celebrate
a Thursday Ascension day big time, even Infotourist is off the air in favour of religious music. Well Easter
is a sacred time, from Lent, the time of preparation, through witness to the resurrection, to Ascension
to Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the building of the church. In Switzerland,
'weeping women' carry scarlet cushions through the streets bearing the symbols of Christ's passion - the nails used in the
crucifixion and the crown of thorns. I can't help thinking this is more a celebration of Christ than the chocolate egg
hunt around the garden..although both have their place I'm sure. It's just that the latter seems to matter more these days.
Way back in the 1890s Christian poet and Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe wrote his Paschal .. poems for PassionTide
Christmas 2008 Well here we are again, a very special time
of year. It saddens me that Jesus has got lost somewhere in the back ground of so many people's Christmas festivities. Catherine's
school, a good old standard British primary, does it's best to teach the kids, despite these days of political correctness
gone mad! Catherine's school carol concert held at our parish Church of St John was a joy, and 'Away in a manger' as
always did it for me!. You may not have considered it's exquisite lyrics. Written in 1895, it is nearly always the first carol
taught to children. It spent it's first 10 years without musical acompaniment, good enough reason I feel to
reflect on the words as they were written by that anonymous poet.. they are amazing!! And if you want get you PC
to play you the tune below then you can sing these devastatingly beautiful words!
Away in a manger, No crib for His bed The little Lord Jesus Laid
down His sweet head
The stars in the bright sky Looked down where He lay The little Lord Jesus Asleep on the
The cattle are lowing The poor Baby wakes But little Lord Jesus No crying He makes
I love Thee,
Lord Jesus Look down from the sky And stay by my side, 'Til morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I
ask Thee to stay Close by me forever And love me I pray
Bless all the dear children In Thy tender care And
take us to heaven To live with Thee there
It accounts for one-fifth of the world's CO 2 emissions. The Government Eliasch
review believes that forest destruction could halved within 12 years and the world's forests could be carbon-neutral by 2030.
“Saving forests is critical for tackling climate change. . . Deforestation will continue as long as cutting down and
burning trees is more economical than preserving them. Access to finance from carbon markets and other funding initiatives
will be essential for supporting forest nations to meet this challenge.” But FoE comments: “Allowing rich countries
and businesses to offset their CO 2 emissions by buying up huge tracts of forest is riddled with problems and will do little
to tackle climate change. The industrialised world must rapidly cut its dependency on fossil fuels if we are to prevent catastrophe.
The Eliasch plan will simply create a smokescreen allowing us to carry on polluting – it's the climate equivalent of
sub-prime mortgages. Forests and forest communities urgently require protection. Financial packages are needed – but
we must also address the underlying causes of deforestation, such as biofuels, excessive meat consumption and industrial logging.
Memories of Christmas Past
I'm reminded of two amazing events in the Goss household in the lead
up to Christmas. On Wednesday 5th December 2007, the Mothers Union Church Crib was at our house for the night, as
it makes it's way around the parish throughout December. Catherine had set it all out, and later dropped her Peppa Pig soft
toy nearby. Peppas 'cross like' arm fell out of her jacket and below is the result exactly as she fell. Honestly this
happened! Absolutely amazing we think!
As well as this little 'miracle', Catherine had been playing Mary in her school Christmas performance. Below
she is chasing a big fat man with a beard... no not Dad!! The Rotary Club towed Santa up the road outside our house.
He'd stopped a few houses back to have a beer, and Catherine had gone to find out what was keeping him!! (Don't forget as
with any photo on the site you can click for the bigger picture)
My prayer for Harvest.
You made everything Lord, a perfect world that we have messed up. Please forgive us.
You give us everything, our life, our health, our food.. and all too often we forget to thank you. Please forgive
Lord, you have given so much and we want to give back to you the love of our hearts, and the service of our lives.
Be our bread.. our treasure.. our delight..
and bless the Lord!
on a timebomb
The US Department
of Energy has now raised the estimated cost of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada – including research,
construction and operation up to 2033 – to $96.2 billion, replacing their 2001 estimate of $57.5 billion. Work on Yucca
Mountain began in 1983 and has already cost $13.5 billion although the earliest opening date will be 2017. The campaign group
Beyond Nuclear comments: “To spend nearly $100 billion on a hole in the ground guaranteed to leak deadly radioactivity
into the drinking water supply over time would represent the biggest boondoggle yet of the Atomic Age. Sixty-six years after
Enrico Fermi first split the atom, we still don't have a solution for the first cupful of high-level radioactive waste generated.”
Greenpeace commented: “Once touted as ‘too cheap to meter', nuclear power and the cost of storing its wastes have
become too expensive to really matter. We need real solutions to our climate and energy problems that are fast and affordable.
Nuclear is neither.”
A short prayer for the worsening UK financial situation Summer 08
Father God, creator of all things, I pray for all those who are sick or unhappy because of financial problems,
for the many who are trapped by growing burdens of debt, those who see no way out, and those who despair for their future.
Please Lord, give them courage to tackle the problems
they face, clarity in taking decisions which will
turn their situation around, and faith that, as they
cry to you in their troubles, you will deliver them
from their distress.
Sometimes the way is lonely, steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
cry to Jesus and live!
The question has been raised, is the Pope Green?
Gazing out of the window on his flight to Australia the Pope had 'been filled with introspection about the
plight of the environment.' Pope Benedict is gaining reputation as a green Pope. Vatican buildings now sport solar
panels, and thanks to the Vatican Climate Forest in Hungary's National Park, Vatican City says it is the only sovereign state to have zero carbon dioxide emissions. Ecological
offences are counted as 'new forms of social sin'. 'Travel lightly', the church urges: 'use public transport, carry
less luggage and do everything you can to make your holiday environmentally friendly'. Martin of the CEL Prayer Group captured
this amazing vapour trail photo. I don't think it was the Pope's aircraft, but God's at work here without a doubt!
Spring 08 Feeding the multitude It happened in Spring, the place
was lonely, but the grass was green. This is the only miracle mentioned in all four Gospels, apart from the resurrection,
so it's 'top banana', lets try and work out it's meanings!! You're getting used to my plea to 'click,
play and pray!!'
The logo of my church.. to know God in Christ and make him known