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Coronanvirus: A Lament June 4, 2020

Posted by Phil Groom in Church, Current Affairs, Life, Prayer, Watching.
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I was sad when they said to me, “Let us go up to the House of the Lord,” for the great congregation was no more.

I looked and I saw empty spaces where the elders once sat; and widows and orphans sat apart in silence, alone they sat as tears ran down our faces. Together we wept as alone we sat. Loneliness and tears are now our companions, our only friends are sorrow and grief.

Where are you, O Lord God of our ancestors? Where is your great power? Why have you turned your back on your people, walked away and rejected our prayers?

Look with pity on your people, O Lord, and turn back from your rage. Speak, O Lord, into the silence that surrounds us; in the emptiness make your voice heard. We have heard tell of your great love and together we sang your praise; but now we sing alone and our prayers return to us unheard.

Our computer screens mock us and our phone batteries die; our eyes strain and our backs ache. Our minds grow numb and our hands tremble; over keyboards without words our fingers shake. Our mouths turn dry and speech flees from our lips.

Our leaders abandon your ways; lies and deceit spew forth from their mouths. Rules they make and break them saying, “We did the right thing.” Science is their watchword whilst the scientists go unheard; “We follow the data,” they say, whilst truth is twisted and truth speakers are silenced. Hypocrisy reigns and whispers behind closed doors echo across the land.

Surely sadness and grief shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of my sorrow for ever; and we of all the nations on earth are become the most to be pitied.

Selah.

What matters to the Tories: somebody fetch me a sick bag, quick! February 14, 2014

Posted by Phil Groom in Current Affairs, Life, Watching.
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I HOPE THIS makes you feel as angry and sick as it makes me…

So, here we are. Disabled people clearly don’t matter. Poor people clearly don’t matter. Older people matter a bit, but not enough to ensure social care is properly funded. But suddenly, after lots of people and communities have been suffering from dreadful flooding for many weeks, the Thames breaks its banks. As if by magic, the Prime Minister tells us “Money is no object. We are a wealthy country”. I feel sick.

When disabled people can’t get suitable housing, we have no money.

When we need accessible public transport, we have no money.

When poor families can’t afford both food and heating, we have no money.

When people who appeal an incorrect “fit for work” decision need money to live on while their decision is “reconsidered”, we have no money.

When those who care 24/7 for family members are penalised financially, simply to remain in their homes, we have no money.

When A & E departments are under severe strain and sick people are waiting hours even to get into the hospital, we have no money.

BUT, when homes in middle England are flooded, money’s no object and we’re suddenly a wealthy country. Sorry, but as I said, I feel sick 😦

Now we know. The shrinking of the welfare state is ideological. We ARE a wealthy country, and we need to make the right choices in 2015. Flooding is awful – but extreme poverty, isolation, freezing cold homes and hunger are as well.

Planet BB Needs You February 25, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Books, Knockabout, Watching.
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Planet BB

Planet BB - The Boys' Brigade Around The World

I confess that I know next to nothing about the Boys’ Brigade. I know that it exists and the odd snippets I hear tell me that it does a lot of great work with young people all around the world.

But the reason for this post is that my friend and fellow bookseller, David Chant, has this book coming out fairly soon. It tells the story of the Boys’ Brigade around the world and its aim is to help raise funds  for the BB in parts of the world where things are somewhat tougher than we have them in the UK: places like Africa, where organisations like the BB are a real God-send to young people.

Trouble is, David’s in a bit a trouble. He’s just celebrated his 100th birthday (born 23rd Feb 1910, according to his facebook profile, and I always believe what people write on their facebook profiles) so you’d think with that wealth of life experience he’d have life sorted. Maybe he has; but his publishers haven’t and they’re getting a tad nervous about demand for the book. Which means if you don’t put in an order for it, instead of it raising funds for the BB, David’s going to end up subsidising it. That’s gonna take a hefty chunk out of his pension, and he’s already having to subsidise his day job out of it; rumour has it the Aussies have made him take his hammock down from in the office and are expecting him to work for a living.

So do yourself, David and the world of the Boys’ Brigade a favour, please: if you’re a BB member or a fan, or know someone else who is, head on over to your nearest bookshop — ideally your nearest Christian bookshop — and order a copy.

Find Planet BB on facebook Follow Planet BB on twitter

Planet BB: The Boys’ Brigade Around The World
Compiled and edited by David Chant
9781858583334 | £12.95
Brewin Books Ltd

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