Author Archives: courteneyact@sky.com

TONIGHT, WE WILL FAKE LOVE.

Kissing couple Stock Photo

Ah, that’s got your attention.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view,  I’m not going to try and sell you

a libido raiser, or any form of marital aids from plastic dolls to  Anne Summers devices.

Way back in the early 1970s Steve Turner wrote a poem about faking love. In 2013, a blogger

called ‘Fuller’ thought that “Turner captured the essence of the modern world. Many men look

for sex and many women give sex, hoping for a lasting relationship – both faking love to get

what they want. Maybe both are just lonely, empty or sad inside.”

Faking is everywhere, footballer’s injuries, fake jewellery, watches, money and many other

things . Web sites offering ways to find love are all over the Net and I’m glad to say that some

people have found that ‘special person’ by means of a dating site. Some sites, however, are

nothing more than con artists drawing on your desperation. This is what bothers me. The

manipulation of people’s desires for many things by adverts that are just not right or plain

misleading. Bob Dylan in his brilliant song, ‘It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding’ sang;

Advertising signs they con,

You into thinking you’re the one,

That can do what’s never been done

That can win what’s never been won,

Meantime life outside goes on all around you.’

My concern is about some adverts that claim certain things/products have many properties

(rather like the people that sell them) but in essence have no real value at all.  Getting rich from

fake products is nothing new. Quack doctors have been selling remedies for hundreds of years.

Pills or potions that will cure this or that, or improve your sex life are rampant even today.

Emails spamming us with ways to enhance our bodies are a curse for most of us. Most are

ignored but occasionally some hit the mark and the mark is drawn in. (And don’t get me started

on the friendly Nigerian man who will give me £30,000 just to put his funds into my bank

account.)

People who suffer from ‘chronic suggestibility’ are most at risk. Particularly with the new scams

where having bought an item the buyer is on a list for further more insidious scamming. The

fake ‘refund’ is currently popular with thieves. This usually is instigated by a phone call or email

telling you that you have overpaid for the item and that you are entitled to a refund if you

provide certain details of the payment. Sometimes the fraudster will actually call at the house of

the victim and check the bank or credit card details and then craftily not give the card back.

When challenged, the faker will pretend that it has fallen into the lining of the jacket he is

wearing and cannot get it out without damaging the jacket. Assuring you that he knows a tailor

very near who can skillfully remove it from the lining he promises to come back within half an

hour. Of, course he never does and by the time the victim realises what has happened the card

has been used to the limit with purchases and cash withdrawals. You might not believe this can

happen but it does and the victim usually lives alone and is elderly.

A David Bowie song, ‘Changes’ reminds me of another kind of fakery. The shop mirror designed

to make you look good when trying on clothes.  He sings,

So I turned myself to face me, But I’ve never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker.”

What is it with some shops that their mirrors and lights make you look different or worse than

you imagine in your mind? I think the mirrors are meant to flatter your image but, in my case,

they seem to do the opposite. Is this fakery gone wrong? (I’m looking at you, M&S.)

This is the age of fake news, fake photos and vanity. All is vanity. People striving to see

themselves on television or in media. I have never understood the current obsession with

‘selfies’ and then posting them everywhere so people can see your face. What’s wrong with

mirrors?  Are their memories so bad that they need photos to remind them of how they look?

The odd photo with a so called celebrity I can understand, but using a Selfie Stick to take a

photo of yourself is crazy in my view.

As Ali G says, ‘Let’s keep it real’.

 

K.L.F.

WINNERS & LOSERS….AGAIN.

battle

Another British General election is next week. (Really? Someone should have mentioned it in the media.) Last night there was a debate on the BBC between the relevant leaders of their parties, although the Tories and the SNP sent deputies, with consequent derision from the others.

As I said in a blog last year, if there is one thing I have learned from the last Election and the Referendum, it’s that you cannot air political views on Facebook or other websites without finding you are suddenly in a battle. Why people bother to do this is open to debate because all those posts advocating the qualities of this or that politician rarely change people’s minds but just breed resentment. These days everyone seems to have an opinion that’s right and use (anti) social media to promote it.

Now, I am no stranger to a frank exchange of views or sometimes giving a robust defence of my position but the amount of vitriol expunged from people liking opposing Parties is at times frightening. Last time, ‘Victors’ were crowing and ‘Losers’ feeling ill.

I suppose it is hard to see an opposite view and accept it. Some were accused of being ‘bad losers’. I always think that’s a bit strange as if you were a ‘good loser’ that would imply that you lost so often you were quite accomplished at it. What they mean is that some people are ungracious in defeat but that would depend on the nature of the defeat and the respect for the opponent, I assume.

If you were uncharitable you could think that people who are writing with a poison pen about you are using up precious moments of their life dwelling on yours.They will never get those moments back. Is that a comfort?  Far be it from me to think that it is…..although I am sure I can reach it if I try.

It is so different than a face to face discussion. There is no compensatory twinkle in the eye, grimace or smile to soften the verbal blows. Although someone may say or write, ‘No offence’ after a statement, there is always an offence. In legal terms, there has usually been mens rea, or guilty intent. The barb has been thrown and often sunk deep in the psyche of the recipient. On newspaper websites, it seems the anonymity gives the ‘courage’  to be as hostile, foul-mouthed and bad mannered as anyone likes. Often you hear or see the expression, ‘It’s a free country and I can say what I want’. No, you can’t, not if it causes deep offence to another. Or, the other favourite is, ‘I know my rights.’ Do they really? If they do, they certainly don’t know their responsibilities, which usually appear absent.

Whatever the result will mean for you though, it is obvious we need opposition in politics. It is not good for one Party, whoever they are, in my opinion, to always rule unless inter alia they have these aims:

1) Have a desire to help the poorer people keep healthy, fed and sheltered, even at the expense of an elite small percentage that has everything and thinks they are superior because they have more money; and that if others haven’t any it is always their own fault.

2) A proper acceptance of Human Rights and not just the rights of rich corporations.

3) Make a real attempt at keeping our planet from dying through the excesses of our greed. Showing love for our fabulous environment that anyone can enjoy for free by just walking or being in it.

These are my ideals. If you don’t share them, why not? Surely the morality is unassailable?  Yes, good housekeeping is important but not at the expense of people’s lives.

To anyone who feels that the Election did not go their way and feel they lost, remember the words of Marilyn von Savant – ‘Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.’

It is said that Time is a great healer. Let’s hope it’s a fast worker.

LIFE OVER DEATH.

golgotha_by_v_k_s

As usual at Easter, I am musing on one of history’s famous traitors and other often mistaken aspects of the crucifixion. Easter reminds us of the fact we should celebrate the victory of life over death.

Firstly, every Good Friday preachers will usually refer to the darkening of the sun at twelve noon on the execution day as an eclipse of the sun. It wasn’t. Solar eclipses don’t last three hours. Totality is only for some minutes. So what caused the darkness?

Moreover, the crucifixion was at the time of the Passover Festival. This was always held near a full moon. It is scientifically impossible to have a solar eclipse when the whole of the Moon’s face is towards us as the Sun would be behind the Earth shining on the lunar surface. The moon has to be between us and the sun for an eclipse.

When Jesus was crucified a hardened Roman Centurion was moved to say, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God’, as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. It wasn’t just some sarcastic response to Jesus hanging there. He knew something strange was going on; as darkness is said to have covered the land for three hours.

So, what caused the darkness? Those that say it was just an ordinary eclipse still have darkness covering their minds.  What puzzles me is why many people, including Christians, try to explain away the supernatural with natural occurrences. Surely, the fact that a man came back from the dead is the most supernatural and important thing? If we can accept that, then why can’t we seemingly accept other supernatural events without rationalising them? And that really is the crux of the Christian faith. Either Jesus rose from the dead or He didn’t. If He did not, then all bets are off and you can throw the whole of the Bible and faith in God out of the window. But if He did, then everything is possible and real. He must still be alive today. Just think on that.

So to Judas: was Judas a traitor? Was he inherently evil or just misguided? I refer to Judas Iscariot who is described in the Gospels as having betrayed Jesus with a kiss on the Mount of Olives.

There have been many postulations of why Judas did this and his motives. I can add to those but what really arouses my interest is why was it necessary for him to betray Jesus and what drove him to so do?

John’s Gospel infers that as the treasurer of the band of disciples, Judas dishonestly misappropriated their funds but would that drive him to engineer Jesus’ death? I have my doubts.

Many think that Judas wanted to force Jesus into demonstrating his power against the Romans and that to me has some credence. My main reason for thinking this is the clue in his name, Judas Iscariot.

The word ‘Iscariot’ derives from the word ‘Sicarii’ which describes a group of rebels and assassins who used a special type of dagger. It comes from the Latin word ‘sica’ meaning dagger. In short, they were ‘Dagger Men’. Of course, some historians believe the Sicarii came a few years later but to my mind that does not negate the connection. When the Gospels were written, much later than A.D.33, it is reasonable to assume that the writers would label Judas as a rebel or terrorist by using the epithet ‘Iscariot’. Contemporaries would know what the writer meant.

For me, it’s a short step to believing that Judas was a member of one of the many secret organisations dedicated to overthrowing the Roman tyranny. In particular, this links him with the Zealots; zealous defenders of the Law and national identity of the Jewish people. They were the Sicarii. Did Judas have pressure exerted upon him to use Jesus for political purposes? Did the Zealots know of Jesus’ miracles and thought that if he was truly the ‘Messiah’, a warrior king, by orchestrating his capture he would destroy the Romans if he faced torture and death? It is quite possible that Judas’ political leanings would want him to bring the moment to the boil and that he completely misunderstood Jesus’ references to ushering in the kingdom of God.

So, we have a motive for Judas ‘betraying’ Jesus. However, why was it necessary to betray him at all? Why didn’t the Chief Priests and members of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council) simply arrest him in the daytime in full view? Simply, they feared a riot and Roman punishment as a consequence. Even though his reputation was bigger in the rural areas than the town, Jesus was popular with many and the noisy welcome for him on his entrance into Jerusalem would have been noted. If he was to be taken it had to be at night in secret.

Now, at Passover Jerusalem swelled to probably 400,000 inhabitants; at least double the normal population. There was never room enough for all these people to find accommodation in the city. Therefore, certain areas were designated to certain tribes for them to stay and pitch their tents or shelters. The Galileans stayed on the Mount of Olives which was where Jesus and his disciples made their camp. It was very dark at night in those days, so trying to find one Galilean on the Mount of Olives amongst thousands would be like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles.

That’s where I feel Judas comes in. He was needed for the clandestine arrest to be made. Nevertheless, was Judas predestined to make his betrayal, or did God just use that event from human choice to help His own plan? I prefer the latter.

Judas was necessary for God’s plan to work so Jesus could become the sacrifice by which all other sacrifices were redundant. The Passover lambs, raised on the hills of Bethlehem, killed by slitting the carotid artery and then hung on wooden posts to drain their blood and die, would never again be necessary. The symbolism is inescapable. No need for many lambs. There was now only one ‘Lamb of God’.

One final thing that is worth considering. When Judas realised his mistake and that Jesus was not going to be the type of Jewish saviour he thought, he returned the thirty pieces of silver given by the Sanhedrin and committed suicide. Was that the act of an evil man or one who was so contrite he could not live with what he had done?

Judas made a mistake and was clearly upset by it. Nevertheless, don’t forget that Jesus warned ALL the disciples that they would desert him and they did. They ran away and even Peter, The Rock, denied him three times.

History has Judas damned for evermore as unforgivable, probably because he failed to rectify his mistake later like the others did. However, what do you think Jesus would have done if Judas had gone to the cross and asked him for forgiveness? That really was Judas’ biggest mistake in my view.

Remembering that Judas was one of the twelve called by Jesus, I rather like the legend about Jesus going to visit Judas in Hell just before the resurrection. Satan asks Him, ‘What are you doing here?’ Jesus replies, ‘I am here to see my friend, Judas.’

How many would refuse to accept the invitation of an offer to eternal life?

K. L. Freeman

POSTPONING PROCRASTINATION.

I am always putting things off. I have decided that I am going stop procrastinating…starting from tomorrow.

But first, apparently, I need a ‘tuit’. However, where do you get one from? Nothing on Amazon as far as I could tell. Are they only just the one shape? The traditional shape is something like a circle. You know, when you hear someone say, ‘I must get a round tuit’. I can hear the groans from here at that old joke. I’m sorry but it’s not easy trying to instil some wit into these posts. In fact, I am only 50% as witty as I used to be. I am now probably a half wit. (Family and friends are nodding agreement.)

‘Procrastination is the thief of time’, said the writer Edward Young in 1742 in his poem Night-Thoughts.  He goes on to say;

‘At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same.’

And he continues,

‘All men think all men mortal but themselves.’

Charles Dickens added to this thought in David Copperfield by saying, ‘Procrastination is the thief of time…collar him!’ But what does this expression mean? Well, the premise is that if you delay doing something, it will take longer later on. I’m not so sure about that. Something might take the same amount of time to do but, surely, what is stolen is the time taken worrying about doing it?

If there is a task I don’t really want to do, I invariably stall about doing it. I will much rather do something I like first. Mostly, it’s the boring things I delay. I have a great mountain of boxes I’ve kept in our garage for when I eventually get around to selling a load of unwanted items on eBay. It’s just that listing all those things, photographing them, checking current prices etc will take ages. I have a lot of stuff. Of course, once the things are listed and underway it’s quite exciting watching the bidding…or lack of it. So, to absolve some of the procrastination I filter a few things to Charity Shops or Church Bazaars. Even so, our garage is still completely full of junk. Erm, I mean really good bargains for somebody.

We are told that you should do the toughest tasks first as then the others will seem even easier. But what if doing the tough tasks means that the easy jobs don’t get done that day? Will we still have time tomorrow? Ah, ‘tomorrow (noun), that mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored,’ said somebody. I wonder how many miles that land is from yesterday? We could end up never doing the easy jobs.

What jobs are your worst for enabling procrastinating? Checking emails or reading posts on FaceBook? Watching television or making coffee? I would be interested to know. You can use the comments box.

I’ve always liked the maxim, ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow! But the trick is getting around to doing it today!

Unfortunately, often I find that for me, procrastination is the first thing on my ‘To Do’ list. And sometimes, it can take me all day to get nothing done at all.

So, stop reading this and get on with it.

 

K.L.F.

GET THEM QUICKLY.

THE FIRST GIFT by [Freeman, Keith]An Element Of Time by [Freeman, K]

As it’s my birthday, the prices on both my Kindle titles have been reduced for a very short time only to 99p each! Yes, I know, it’s ridiculously cheap. How can you resist?
So, If you haven’t already done so, download a copy of ‘An Element Of Time’ or ‘The First Gift’ while you can.

Head over here for ‘An Element Of Time’ on amazon.co.uk or here for amazon.com

If you want ‘The First Gift’, click here for amazon.co.uk or here for amazon.com

Hurry! These prices are for a limited time only and will revert to their normal prices next week.

Thanks to all readers who have purchased them already and so you don’t feel left out, my new novel ‘The Sword Of Facilis’ due to be published in a month or two, will be offered to you at a bargain price,

K.L.F.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

I have some friends who are atheists. ‘That’s amazing,’ you’re thinking. ‘He has friends?!’ Well, yes it is true and I have to say that some of them are more ‘Christian’ than some Christians I know… if you get my drift. Although we may differ in beliefs we generally respect each others’ views and have reasonable discussions about faith and that is fine.

What is not fine is the arrogance of certain celebrities taking to air their perceived ‘knowledge’ in videos and chat shows about there being no God. The latest is, of course, Ricky Gervais. He is always banging on about atheism and how wonderful it is and how anyone who has faith in God is at best just a simple minded creature who believes in fairy tales. Now he has released a You Tube video claiming there is no God…again.

I have always liked Gervais’ comedies like ‘The Office’ and ‘Extras’ and they are cleverly done, well acted and most of all, funny. However, he often seems to be the adopted persona of David Brent in real life with his sneering amiability tinged with a sourness about so many things.

He makes so many logically fallacious statements in his latest video that he is fast entering into the category described in the New Testament as, ‘Claiming to be wise, they have become fools’. His logic is so flawed it’s difficult to know where to begin in challenging it. So, you’ll be relieved to know that I don’t propose to expound on all his assertions. The danger is that on a certain cultural and intellectual level people will believe him. I hope those people will draw their philosophy from deeper wells than a comedian, otherwise, the joke will be on them. It’s still amazing that many do not realise that Jesus was a real, historical figure. There is really only one question to ask. Either Jesus rose from the dead, or He didn’t. If He didn’t then everything is out the window. You can forget everything in the Bible. But if He did…well all bets are on and all contradictions and arguments are nullified. What cannot die must still live.

For me, there are so many positive things rather than negative to show God exists even apart from Jesus’ resurrection and it baffles me why some cannot see it. Ricky must be just as baffled in the opposite camp. It’s the way things are. Ying, yang; positive, negative; black, white; dark, light and so on. As Isaac Newton’s Third Law states, ‘To every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction’. Although in a slightly different context, the premise still holds true. He was a scientific genius and a believer in God too.

One of the silliest things Ricky says is that if God created the universe, who created God because if believers say that God has always been around, then the universe must have also just been around? So, he is saying that we should ignore what science tells us about the universe coming into being and yet relies on that same science to refute God, who describes himself just as ‘I am’. Erm, not thought that one through have you, Ricky?

Our brains are not designed to understand a state of just ‘being’ in the same way we cannot comprehend infinity. Oh, you do understand infinity? Ok, let me ask you this. When you have gone out into space as far as you can, keep going, keep going, keep going until you cannot go any further. Now, what’s in front of you? You see, we cannot reconcile that state of affairs. It’s the same with someone or something just existing without the constraints of Time or with there being other dimensions. They may be invisible but many leading scientists believe they exist because of the physical bearing on other objects in the universe.

And that is really what faith is all about. Atheists believe there is no God. That’s all. They cannot prove there is no God or say it is a fact. They have a belief about no God the opposite of those who believe there is. There are many, what I call, Evangelical Atheists. They fervently try to convince people of their belief in the same way that Christians and Jews etc do. However, this is the spooky bit. Christians may have the prompting of the Holy Spirit to help their evangelising. But who prompts the fervour of the atheist?

K.L.F.

THE MIGRANT.

I came into this country on the 9th February many, many years ago. It was in a Nursing Home in the North of England. I couldn’t speak a word of English and had no money or clothes. Someone slapped me on the bottom and made me cry.

I was never forced to learn the language as it seemed to come naturally after a year or two. Later on, I migrated to the South with my parents who settled quite well in a house provided by the Local Council. I hadn’t paid into anything and yet obtained free Health Care and schooling.

Receiving a good education, I found a job, raised a family and they now contribute to society in various ways it was hard to imagine all those years ago.

Where I originally came from I don’t suppose I will really know this side of eternity but I have loved living here and am so grateful to have been accepted by the communities I have known over the years.

Are we all so different?

Just thinking out loud about the day I was born.

K.L.F.

RETURN OF THE MAGI – PART 2

I thought a change from my usual ramblings seemed appropriate this Christmas week. So, I am reprinting one of my favourite poems, by T.S. Eliot. Here, he retells the story of how the Magi travelled to Bethlehem from the point of view of one of them.

(Contrary to popular belief, nobody knows their names or how many there were exactly. Tradition assumes only three because there were three gifts but there could have been just two, or more likely seven, being the mystical number. It was dangerous to travel long distances in small groups in those days and often men were hired as protectors of the caravan. However, sometimes that manoeuvre backfired as the hired men could be part of a bandit gang , infiltrating the caravan to help rob it.)

As always with Eliot there is great imagery and meaning; especially the phrase ‘And three trees on the low sky’ in the second verse, that hints at so much more than a birth.

It’s been another circle around the Sun that’s maybe been accompanied by joys and sorrows. May your next one be peaceful and joyous. Happy Christmas to all of you.

The Journey Of The Magi

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

P.S. As a Christmas bonus, my novel An Element Of Time has been reduced on Amazon Kindle to only 99p for a limited period only. So, grab it while you can. It’s part of my Gold Of The Magi trilogy.

Please click here to buy straight from amazon.co.uk or here from amazon.com It’s also available as a paperback from both links.

No Kindle? No worries. Just download the Kindle App for your tablet, phone or computer and you can then read the books just as easily. 

An Element Of Time by [Freeman, K]

 

RETURN OF THE MAGI – A Force awoken?

Christmas-Star

Image result for star wars images

‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’, says the blurb. Well, Star Wars is great but it draws on a different story.

George Lucas throws more spiritual things into his Star Wars films than maybe many people realise. He falls short of actually sipping energy from the Holy Grail as a sort of ‘Lucas aid’  but he does utilise many religious things. Like Obi Wan Ben Kenobi’s resurrection, that makes him more powerful than when alive; the Dark Side and its occult practices; the Light Sabre which overcomes darkness;  and of course, The Force, a universal power akin to the Holy Spirit, if you like.

But instead of the Jedi, we remember the Magi at Christmas and their visit to the Bethlehem village, where Jesus was born to defeat the ‘Dark Side’.  There was a battle between good and evil then and it continues today. Many will probably scoff at the suggestion of an evil force. Isaac Newton would not agree with you. His third law of motion states that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and taking this literally, if there is a force for good there must also be a force for evil. That may not be a popular opinion today but there are enough things happening in the world to suggest that it is true.

In the book of Revelation chapter 12, John tells us that  a woman was due to give birth and that the Dragon, ‘that ancient snake called the devil, or Satan’ was going to catch the child. However, the child escapes to Heaven whereupon war breaks out between the Archangel Michael and the devil and his angels, who are eventually beaten and cast out to roam the Earth. As Ben Jeapes comments in his excellent article The Other Side Of Advent  ‘The phrase  that ancient snake suggests this is the snake from the Garden of Eden’. the age old adversary of mankind.

This compares to  the birth of Jesus who had to escape Bethlehem. The visit of the Magi was a force that awoke such a rage in King Herod that it resulted in him ordering children to be killed. History reveals that Herod the Great was at that time riddled with disease and completely paranoid about someone usurping his throne. He had already executed a wife and two sons and therefore ordering the death of innocents at Bethlehem would be entirely in keeping with his character, having been advised by the Magi that a king had been born there. He would have viewed that as a threat, especially when the Magi mentioned they were looking for the true King of the Jews. The first century historian, Flavius Josephus, records that Herod was deluded, violent and vicious.So, we can understand that he might well act in an extreme manner to squash any potential rival to his throne.

Being warned in a dream of this threat from Herod, Mary and Joseph escape to Egypt and I think that somehow this is the key to what happened at Bethlehem. If there had been no danger, Mary and Joseph would probably not have had to go to Egypt. and the  quotation from the prophet Hosea several hundred years earlier which states “Out of Egypt I have called my son” would not have been fulfilled.

Of course, this prophecy can refer to the people of Israel making the exodus from slavery under the Egyptians. Also, there are echoes of the story of Moses being found in bulrushes to escape being killed by Pharaoh’s soldiers. Nevertheless, it can also apply to Jesus. It is a different type of exodus but one more significant, with a new and superior Moses, and who applies to everybody and not just Israel.The battle between light and dark is clear and is still very prevalent today in not always obvious but more subtle ways. (People  trying to rename Christmas, ‘The Holidays’, ‘Chrimbo’ or Xmas or anything that removes Christ’s name from the service of Christ’s Mass.)

Without the influence of the Magi Herod would not have killed the children, Joseph and Mary would not have gone to Egypt and fulfilled the ancient prophecy ‘Out of Egypt have I called my Son’. Why did that prophecy have to be fulfilled?  Well, I don’t really know. Did it need to link the connection with Moses escaping the cull of Pharaoh?  It does show the consistency of God’s plan to save us as a race from the evil within or around us though. Or was it that those events were going to happen according to the will of people and the prophecy was a reminder that all things work for God’s eventual plan even if some of it mystifies us mortals?

As I mentioned earlier, the Force in Lucas’ films is a very spiritual thing something akin to the Holy Spirit but not the same as Him. Luke is urged to ‘Use the Force’ but I’m pretty certain that particular instruction doesn’t appear in Luke’s Gospel. Which, in case you hadn’t noticed, is how you try to elegantly tie up disparate threads in a meandering article which anyway may have been destined to be  low on the scale of appreciation.

And so the Nativity tale will still  be shown in schools around the world despite attempts by the ‘Dark Side’ to stop it. The children may not always act according to plan in their plays but that sometimes brings more joy than what was meant to happen and makes us laugh. May the farce be with you!

P.S. As a Christmas bonus, my novel An Element Of Time has been reduced on Amazon Kindle to only 99p for a limited period. So, grab it while you can. It’s part of my Gold Of The Magi trilogy.

Please click here to buy straight from amazon.co.uk or here from amazon.com

No Kindle? No worries. Just download the Kindle App for your tablet, phone or computer and you can then read the books just as easily. 

An Element Of Time by [Freeman, K]

A TALE OF THE UNEXPECTED.

orion-2f

You know what it’s like. You suddenly wake up about 3.0 or 4.0 am with an urge to use the toilet. But it’s a very cold night and you don’t want to get out in the cold, especially if, like me, you don’t wear any pyjama top or T-Shirt. It’s cosy and warm in the bed. Perhaps you can drift off back to sleep? Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

So you lay there a bit longer and then you make the decision that you won’t rest until you attend to business. So you get out, hoping you don’t wake up too much and will quickly doze off when you get back in. That’s what happened to me the other night on one of the coldest nights we have had for a long time.  Fortunately, I haven’t reached that point in life where nocturnal rising is a common occurrence. It was 3.33 am. I crept out, hoping I didn’t disturb my wife and, having a love for the night sky, drew the curtains slightly apart to see what was on display. There was only one street lamp on (wish they would turn them off sometimes after midnight) yet despite that the sky looked deep and dark with an inky blackness that you only seem to get on a crisp Winter’s night. The air was clear and as I looked to the south west I saw it.

Rising above the neighbouring trees was the most majestic sight that always thrills me. It was the constellation of Orion, The Hunter. The four main stars making its rectangular shape sparkled with a great  brilliance containing the three stars forming the diagonal line called Orion’s Belt as you can see in the photo above (which does not do it complete justice). Dangling down from the belt was the more murky cloud of gas and stars which contain the nebula, a birthplace for other worlds.

I had observed this many times before but that night it seemed to be more brilliant, more powerful, more beautiful than I had ever seen it. In a world that some think is getting darker by the day It was like a sentinel that said don’t give up on this world yet, it’s still full of beautiful things. The universe, the whole of creation, is there for us to explore and love. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. According to the Gestalt school of philosophy, while each of the individual parts have meaning on their own, taken together, the meaning may change.  I just know that this world is not going to end anytime soon, probably not for thousands and thousands of years. Every generation thinks the end of days is going to be in their lifetime but they are always wrong! The New Testament tells us that it will come ‘Like a thief in the night’ and that nobody knows the date it will happen so why people waste time trying to predict it beats me. When it comes to the end of the world some people may think I’m apathetic… I don’t care.

So, in this Advent season, let it be a season of hope. The three stars in Orion, pictured below, shone so fiercely the other night that they seemed to me to be symbols of the Magi that gave the three gifts that first Christmas. I found something I wasn’t even looking for when I got up that cold very early morning. Something joyous out of the blackness.  It just goes to demonstrate what I have always said…that there are just as many unexpected joys as sorrows.

3-stars

K.L.F.