The boy in striped pyjamas

Not often that we get to the cinema, but Alison and I went to see this film tonight. What a powerful, moving, thought provoking movie. Not slushy or sentimental but extremely challenging, dealing with a very emotive subject.

A film about Nazi Germany and a boy in a concentration camp. I won’t spoil it by saying more than that, but what I will say is that this is an Oscar winning film that probably won’t even get recommended because it deals with a very dark subject.

Its the first time that I’ve known a cinema be completely silent at the end of a film. No one made a sound as we left; a complete silence that was almost tanbgible.

Anyone who is even thinking of voting or joining fascist (or communist) political movements ought to see this to see the evil of extremism; whether that be an extremism against Muslims, Christians, Gays, coloureds or whatever it is evil and God created people are damaged badly. What right do the extremists of religion or politics have that means that they dare think less of another human being.

If you get the opportunity go and see this film.

Rotary Conference 2008

Spent the weekend at our 37th District Rotary Conference at Scarborough; bit like the curate`s egg (good in parts). Entertainment on Friday night by “Beyond the Barricades” was excellent; Unfortunately because of the weather we didn’t make it to the Saturday night entertainment, but remained in our hotel instead and had a wonderful, fun filled, laughter filled evening with friends from our Rotary Club of west Ashfield.

In between the speakers were a mixed bunch. Very good speech by our new CEO and an inspirational speech by someone heading up a charity to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer (never thought I’d be treat to the suggestion of men standing in a queue at Tescos talking about their testicles !). A very encouraging presentation by two young teenagers who have won the Young Chef of the Year award, and gthey cooked a meal while being interviewed. 14 and 16 years old.

The GSE exchange programme was introduced and we had a presentation by the young people who went to Australia which was good. However there were some speeches that were dire and I have to admit the worship this morning wasn’t particularly inspiring. However the sermon was good.

Weather terrible, hotel good, food excellent. A mixed weekend but the best part of it all was spending some quality time with fellow Rotarian’s from West Ashfield who have become good friends, even if they did spend the weekend ribbing me about diesel fuel !!

What a Prat !

Wednesday gone; I’m at Sainsburys loading up with fuel, when I realised that I was putting petrol into a diesel engine !! Horrors; shop assistant advised I would be alright as long as I topped it up with diesel and in effect watered down the petrol.

I did this; got home no bother. On Thursday morning went to Codnor and various visiting culminating in a 15 mile trip to Chesterfield where the car decided not to go any more. One call to the RAC, an hours tow to Nottingham, two hours wait in the garage while the system was cleaned out and a hefty bill. All because of one piece of thoughtlessness. You can imagine the reception when I got home !

It does make me think however; how we have a choice between following God and `putting in the right info` or going our own way and fuelling ourselves with things that will harm us. God`s word contained in the Bible, the wise support of good Christian friends who will offer Godly advice (not pious) and a massive dose of prayer are the things we ought to be putting into our lives combined with love, care, compassion etc.

However we often fill our lives with things that give us a short term boost but not a long term satisfaction; things like fashion and the latest trends; the flattery of others and so on. Some will fill their lives with alcohol dependency, drug addiction, sex addiction etc. Others seek out sport, gardening and expect these to fulfill their spiritual needs whereas there is only one who can do this; Jesus Christ.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life; no~one can come to the Father except by me”. He also said “I have come to give you life, life in all its fullness.”

I urge all my readers to ensure that their lives are filled with good, wholesome Godly things because that’s when the engine of life runs smoothly.

Wed 1

Monthly Prayer meeting at Swanwick tonight. Their practise is to visit 8 streets delivering through letter boxes a card which says for a particular week that street would be held in prayer. The Churches are then encouraged to pray each week for two streets, and monthly the eight named streets are prayed for by Christians meeting from all three churches. Tonight was that night, under the name Wed 1 (1st Wed of the month).

It was good to hear from Christians who have been connected with Swanwick area far longer than I have some of the concerns as we prayed around the eight streets. It was a joy to meet in the Baptist Church simply as family together, rather than as folk from different denominations.

Does it make a difference ? Sometimes we can get frustrated because our prayers aren’t answered and so we think it doesn’t work, but when we meet and share stories like tonight it is encouraging to hear of people coming to Church as a result of the faithful prayer and witness of others. I can’t explain swhy some are healed, comforted, inspired whilst others aren’t, but this I do know; God wants to hear our care and he wants to know that we love those to whom we are called to serve. It may or may not change his mind or make him more inclined to get involved (that I don’t know), but I do believe that prayer is powerful in so much as it is a direct response to Christs call to have compassion in the way that he had compassion.

Work ? I wonder ! But I will keep on praying and trusting in a God who I KNOW cares.