Fitness basics

Getting and staying fit is fundamental to physical, mental and even spiritual health. For the Christian it is wise stewardship of his/her body. Whatever level of health you possess you can always improve it. Exercise, like Bible reading or prayer, needs to be part of our daily routine. A combination of aerobic and resistance training is best. Most sports and games combine the two e.g. badminton, tennis, squash, walking, football etc


Type of training Cardio Resistance
Aerobic Weights/resistance
Effects Increases heart rate
Increases breathing
Improves Stamina/endurance Strength
Burns calories
Best for weight loss Builds muscle




The Spirit’s Means of Grace

The primary* means of grace in the church that give us faith, sustains faith and strengthens faith is the preaching of the word of God by a man lawfully called, faithfully proclaiming the true Gospel, the word of God, supported by the sacraments properly administered. Both preaching and sacraments point to Jesus  Christ and it is he who speaks and signifies to us through them by his Holy Spirit.

*Prayer, Bible reading, study and memorisation, godly fellowship and faithful witness are secondary means.


Joshua Engelsma, Doon PR Church


Now two weeks post-op and clips out…

Still having to wear a splint most of the time to keep knee straight, bending starts next week for 3 weeks. Physio exercises started. Ought to be walking by early/mid January and hoping I’ll be able to cycle and row again on gym machines thereafter. Still aches a bit but it is just like a broken bone healing. OSTEOTOMY-An osteotomy is a surgical operation whereby a bone is cut to shorten or lengthen it or to change its alignment.

wear on outside….wedge taken out…plate inserted.

Please Lord may it be successful!

Feast of Tabernacles

Sung Psalm 29:1-6 (apparently sung at this feast)
Reading Leviticus 23:34-44
Other readings Ex.23:16, Ex.34:22, Num. 29:12-40. Note progressive revelation.
Date/duration: 7th month (Tishri) 15th-22nd around our Sept/Oct.
Names: Feast of booths. Ingathering. Jewish Sukkot.
Nature: Redemptive (remembering 40 years in wilderness in tents)
Agricultural (ingathering and thanks for harvest). A joyous feast.

Excellent message

Notes from message:


  • Remembering-temporary, makeshift shelters made from ornamental trees, God’s provision (manna and water) and protection, preventing them becoming too content.
  • Rejoicing-in the fulfilled rest in Christ, going up to Jerusalem, Philippians 4:4, covenant (7th feast, 7th month, 7th day-7 bullocks).
  • Anticipating-final fulfilment in new heavens and earth when God dwells with man.

War of Words (12)

War of Words

Chapter 12

Winning the War of Words

“Our words are the principal tool God uses in the work he does through us.”

Hence the need to choose when or when not to speak (or write) and to choose our words carefully.

We must refuse to let our words be governed by passion or personal desire.

If our conscience pricks us we should apologise to the one offended even if it is just to admit to a sinful attitude. It is also often helpful to others if we humbly confess our need and personal struggles.

The purpose of all human relationships, especially in the church, is to rescue people ensnared by sin, reconcile people to God and restore them to the image of Christ. This alongside edifying them and seeking unity.

The key considerations in winning the war are:

  • Recognising the destructive power of words
  • Affirming our freedom in Christ
  • Saying no to the sinful nature
  • Speaking to serve others in love
  • Talking in the Spirit
  • Goal to restore

We shared about our personal battlegrounds which are usually are in the family with anger and irritation being the principle sins. Sadly our words may fall on deaf ears but we have done our duty if we have confronted the sin (as Isaiah 6:9,10).

We referred to recent article in saltshakers, “Speaking the truth in love and boldness” by Jonathan Langerack which emphasised that loving the truth (The word/Gospel) is loving God and which will necessarily mean our speech loves our neighbour but also our need to respectfully and clearly confront them (Lev.19:17) as Paul did in I Corinthians and Galatians.


Next BS (DV) December 30th 8pm last chapter of War of Words ” Choosing our words.”

Next year (DV) we start study guide on Acts by Mark Hoeksema (RFPA)

Speaking the Truth in Love and Boldness

Jonathan Langerack Jr

First class article on what it means to speak the truth in love and boldness.

Salt Shakers

Ephesians 4:14, 15: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

The voices of the reformers whom God used in the sixteenth-century Reformation of the church call down the centuries to Reformed churches today to speak the truth of God’s Word with love and boldness. First among these voices is the thunder of the man whom God used to begin the Reformation on October 31, 1517: Martin Luther. The truth of God’s Word that Luther recovered for the church is summarized in what we as Reformed people know and call the “five solas of the Reformation” or of the Reformed (biblical) faith: salvation…

View original post 3,360 more words

Passover (10) Conclusion


Sung Psalm 34:14-20

Read John 6:11-15 (v4 Passover)

Four types of bread mentioned or alluded to  in this chapter:

  1. Unleavened bread (Passover).
  2. Barley bread (leavened)-eaten and left over (v9)
  3. Manna -bread from heaven (v32.
  4. Bread of life-Christ (v51).

Christ was present at three Passovers:

  1. John 2:13
  2. John 6:4

Between these we have Tabernacles (7:1) and dedication (10:22).

  1. John 11:55
  2. John 13

More allusions to Christ being the fulfilment of Passover:

He is called the Lamb of God (John 1:29), and the spotless lamb without blemish (I Peter 1:19), without broken bones (Ps. 34:20) and our Passover (I Cor.5:7). Also noteworthy that in contrast to the yearly Passover, Christ was offered ONCE for all (Heb.10:14).

P.S.  There are 27 references to the lamb in Revelation, the vast majority of all the NT rerefences. It is as the Lamb slain but now ruling that Christ opens up and brings to pass God’s eternal decree (5:1), causes terror and pours out his wrath when he judges all men (6:16,17), cares for his own (7:17), triumphs over evil and all his enemies (17:14), and marries his blood-bought bride (19:7). Hallelujah!

There are thirty seven references to blood in Hebrews (20) and Revelation (17). Christ was the lamb without spot (Heb.9:14) whose blood was sprinkled on all his people (Heb. 11:28, 12:24, I Peter 1:2) just as its type was sprinkled  over the Jews’ doorposts, but his is the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb.13:20), the bloody covenant, which is signified and sealed in the Lord’s Supper and the redemptive means of the salvation of the church in all ages.

Days 7 and 8 Operation trip

Spent hours this morning cancelling and re-booking flight back to Belfast. Flybe’s Bombardier turbo prop planes cannot accommodate anyone with a straight leg….

so had to switch to Easyjet …..

but it’s earlier (0830) and gets into Antrim. Bonus is being back for church Bible study at 11am! Managed about a mile on the crutches plus other exercises.

Day 8. Made it home after taxi drive hotel direct to airport. Assistance staff very good. Plenty time. Lorry lifts. Legroom still a problem but thankfully small gap between forward partition and front emergency exit through which I stuck my right foot. The week has been a catalogue of God’s good provision for every need-never doubt him saints, he is faithfully good to his people!



Baby heart transplant



Some thirty years ago one of my first hospital jobs was as a junior in cardiothoracic surgery under Professor Philip Caves in Glasgow Royal Infirmary. This man was doing major surgery on new-borns and I feel sure had he been spared*, he would have been the first to transplant hearts in new-borns. He was an Ulsterman trained at Queens and also under Shumway at Stanford in the USA. He was a shining example of a Christian clinician with high standards. The most recent case Charlie had a single ventricle, a sure early death sentence in the 80s.

Prof. Philip Caves

Heart transplants

  • Caves died on the squash court age 37 in 1978, only a year after I worked for him.
  • Wikipedia

Day 6 Operation Trip

Premier Inn guarantee of a great night’s sleep was upheld again though woke very early at 0530,11-0530,0530-0830 total 9 hours! PTL.

Room                                                     Hotel                                                                             Pub for food next door.

Looing forward to CPRC live  streaming today. Got it on phone rather than laptop!

The wonder and power of the Resurrection of Christ.

Three quarters of a mile  on the crutches, equivalent to walking on your hands!


Oak tree with all acorns gone! Roman road commemorated.

The receptionist calls me ” Love” and “Lovely”…rather sweet!

Want to be prepared to witness? Listen to or read these messages: from Reformed Witness Hour

#3187 02/01/2004 The Faithful Witness: (1) Our Calling
(Acts 1:8) Rev Carl J Haak
ram rm
#3188 02/08/2004 The Faithful Witness: (2) Our Motivation
(Isaiah 43:12) Rev Carl J Haak
ram rm
#3189 02/15/2004 The Faithful Witness: (3) Our Limitations
(Ephesians 4:17-18) Rev Carl J Haak
ram rm
#3190 02/22/2004 The Faithful Witness: (4) Our Tools
(Romans 10:1) Rev Carl J Haak

Day 5 Operation Trip

Slept better PTL. Caught up 2 hrs this am. Kind receptionists got some provisions.

Listened to this new Pastor elect Brian Feenstra (Lacombe, Alberta) whose message on Revelation 5  shows Christ is working out all the history of the world to serve his covenant and my salvation…


Conservation of Siberian tigers documentary.

Managed about half a mile in the park on crutches.

Wales v South Africa Rugby Union.

Second incumbent new PRC pastor Stephan Regnerus ((Lynden PRC)

The Sin of Sodom

Ezekiel 16:49

We usually associate Sodom and Gomorrah with the sin of homosexuality but this verse shows that at base pride and intemperance lay behind that perversion. ” Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom,…. pride; which was the sin of the devils, and the cause of their ruin; the sin of our first parents, by which they fell, and destroyed themselves, and their posterity; and is the prevailing, governing, sin of human nature: it has been the ruin of kingdoms and states, of cities and particular persons; a sin hateful to God, and destructive to man: fulness of bread; the land of Sodom was very fruitful before it was destroyed; it was like the garden of the Lord, Genesis 13:10; it brought forth plentifully, so that there was great fulness of provision, of all sorts of food, which is meant by bread: this, considered in itself, was not sinful, but a blessing; it was the Lord’s mercy and goodness to them that they had such plenty; but it was their sin that they abused it; luxury and intemperance, eating and drinking to excess, are here meant; which led on to that sin, and kindled the flames of it, and were the fuel to it, which has its name from them; and, besides, this fulness of good things enjoyed by them was the source of their pride, and served to increase that, as before mentioned: and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters; prosperity and ease, security and quietness, at leisure, and without labour; two words are used to express the same thing, and to denote, as Kimchi observes, the abundance of it: sloth and idleness, as they often arise from the goodness and fruitfulness of a country, said fulness of provision, so they are the cause of much sin and wickedness; for, if persons are not employed in some business or another, either of the head or hand, they will be doing evil:
neither did she strengthen the hands of the poor and needy; though she had such abundance of food to supply them with, and so much leisure to attend to their distress; but her pride would not suffer her to do it; and she was too idle and slothful to regard such service; perhaps more is intended than is expressed; that she weakened the hands of the poor and needy, and cruelly oppressed them; which is often done by proud men, in great affluence and at leisure, which they abuse to bad purposes.” John Gill

Day 4 Operation Trip

Operation findings: high grade lesion (loss of Articular cartilage) lower lateral Femur 1.5x2cm repaired. Osteotomy performed (5mm wedge removed distal medial Femur) to correct leg alignment.

Arthroscopy.                                                        Arthritic lesions with loss of shiny articular cartilage.

Osteotomy. That was Wednesday.

My actual cut and fixation, taken during operation.

Last night Thursday ,barely slept with the throbbing pain, needed to apply cold cuff repeatedly for any relief.

Done up and downstairs with physio.

Discharge 4pm to Premier Inn just down the road. Getting taxi from Ali (who ferried me previously) from Afghanistan who as a Muslim and is praying at 2pm-pray for his reception of a Farsi Bible (language of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan) I got from TBS.

Looking forward to visit from Justyn Perry, friend from Manchester, this evening.

Who are in the image of God?



All men are the image of God according to modern woolly evangelical theology. Is this Biblical? It is the view of many organisations like the Christian Institute, Christian Concern and Answers in Genesis. But for starters fallen mankind makes images and worship them (Rom.1:23)!

We must first define the image of God.

 The image of God according to Scripture is firstly Jesus Christ (II Cor.4:4, Col.1:9, Heb.1:3) secondly pre-fall humanity (Gen.1:26-27, Gen.9:6) and thirdly all believers renewed in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness (Col.3:10, Eph.4:24, Rom.8:29). The image of God equates to the likeness of God (I Cor.11:7, Col.1:15) and the glory of God (I Cor.11:6)! Unregenerate man is totally depraved and in the image of the devil, God’s image having been totally lost in the fall.

It is not morality, rationality, personality, spirituality, language or memory, intellect, will and conscience, or power over creation. These are the characteristics of man (in distinction from the image of God or the qualities of animals) and, even Satan and the fallen demons have these endowments! Are they the image, likeness and glory of God? There is no scriptural basis for these qualities being the image of God.

Totally depraved fallen man does not possess the knowledge of God which Christ defines as having eternal life (John 17:3) and for sure, fallen man does not possess righteousness or true holiness, in fact unregenerate wicked man hates God….can we rightly say he is in the image of God…absolutely not! Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Dawkins?

All those bearing God’s image are sons of God-the incarnate Son, Adam God’s first human son (Luke 3:38) and believers as adopted sons (I John 3:1).

To believe in an image of God in unregenerate man usually is held alongside a common grace for all men which is also erroneous.

For detailed proof of the above: 

Standard Bearer May 15th 2017 p376

Excellent message

Q/A session addressing controversial passages used to support a universal image of God:

Article on the controversial passages:

Day 2 Operation trip

Having overshot Warrington and left my cosy hat on the train, I hoped that was the end of my minor mishaps. One of the best meals of my life, the best beds I’ve ever slept in, and the best showers I’ve ever taken, followed. Stretton is definitely part of England’s “green and pleasant land”, lovely walks round about, nice brick houses and old churches, inns and pubs.

Here’s the hospital frontage and a look inside the operating theatre at an arthroscopy of the knee, one of the procedures I’ll be undergoing.

Back in ward bed after op. Awaiting feedback. Not much pain PTL.

Day 1 Operation trip

Flybe plane, made by Bombardier, Belfast.

Made it to Premier Inn, Stretton, South Warrington, Cheshire just a few hundred metres from Spire Hospital where the operation is scheduled for tomorrow (sign in 11am). Foolishly stayed on train too long and overshot destination and needed to retrace steps. Had a fantastic last meal at the Cat and Lion pub, next the hotel consisting 8oz rump steak, chips, peas and mushrooms followed by cookie dough cheesecake, ice cream and chocolate sauce, then a cappuccino-all for under £15. Haven’t had such in years! I commit myself to God’s care and secondarily the surgeon’s care. Good night.

Passover (9)

Sung Psalm 42:1-5 (note verse 4b true of Christ)

Reading John 2:13-3:2 (Christ’s first of three attendances at Passover)

Additional to last week’s O.T.  references Daniel 10:1-4 when Daniel prays and partially fasts took place during three weeks that included Passover.

Passover in N.T. Points to note:

1.       Passover was the most important feast to the Jews, and that included dispersed Jews and proselytes (Gentiles).

2.       Best attended (John 11:55, Luke 2:41 and Acts 2).

3.       Hard to find a place to keep the feast (Christ had pre-booked!)

4.       Opportunity to “fleece” people-moneychangers and animals for sale (Matt.21:12)

5.       Opportunity for Christ (and priests) to teach (Luke 2:46, John 3:3, Matthew 22-24).

6.       Degrees of holiness (John 11:55, 18:28, 19:31).

7.       Singing (Psalm 114-118, Mark 14:26).


Practical Christian Love

Christian love

Christian Marriage ought to be the prime example of Christian love.

I find so many writers don’t really define what love is. If we want to exhort people to love we need to clarify just how they do that. The qualities of it are all in I Corinthians chapter 13, but what I have grasped over the years are these characteristics:
1. Love is outgoing, away from self to others in all situations. It is looking not on one’s own things/concerns but that of others (Phil.2:3,4-vital in conversation and fellowship).
2. Love serves others and takes the lower station if need be to help practically. Like Paul gathered sticks in Malta, Christ washed disciples feet. It is sacrificial of time and energy and money. Christ so loved that he came down to the lowest depths (Phil.2:5-9).
3. Love wants the best for the other and wants to bless them. That may mean a rebuke but is often encouragement from Scripture or experience. It builds up/edifies.
4. Love aims at God’s glory not self-glory.
5. Love is lifelong.

I hope this is a help and practical.

Reformed Christian thinking.


…if we turn now to the unfolding of the excellence of Reformed doctrine, let us take note of the principle of the Reformed faith, which is to exalt and to glorify God to the very highest, and to humble man to the deepest depths. We see then immediately a most noteworthy difference from all other teachings outside the Reformed faith, since they all, no matter how in principle they may differ, agree in this one point: they seek the ability to draw near to God from a power in themselves, while the Reformed faith supposes as a principle an immediate work of God in man for him to come to God. Because of this, it is also true that all who cleave to doctrinal teachings outside of the Reformed faith, including those who only in name are affiliated with the Reformed system, discover that they are compatible, and having a similar outlook, they can unite; but they always are opposed to the true confessors of the Reformed worship of God, because Reformed believers start from a principle that diametrically contradict theirs.
And now proceeding from this eternal principle of God, the true member of the Reformed church confesses an eternal, triune, covenant God as the one principle of his salvation. He confesses that the triune God through mutual consultation, in eternity past, without beginning, has determined the salvation of everyone who will be called in time. He confesses that it is the Holy Spirit, through the application of the elective grace of the Father and the Son’s blood of reconciliation, who brings that salvation to his heart. The person called of the Lord senses that he has been translated into a new life through the powerful and irresistible working of that Spirit. Having been transported into the new life in that faith, he by that faith receives the assurance of this salvation and realizes that in fact he has been purchased by the Lord Jesus Christ and belongs to Him.
He confesses that he has received peace with God through God’s work in him, that he may now worship God the Father as his Father, because he is covered by the surety-righteousness of his Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He confesses that, as a consequence of this abounding grace, he senses a strong inclination to glorify God continually through His law and His commandments, so that it is his desire to honor God above everything and to love his neighbor. He now feels that he is God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus unto good works, which were ordained for Him so that he may walk therein. Since he feels that the principle of his blessed hope is not in him or in anything from him, but is wholly derived from a power of God in him, he confesses especially that he has, according to the scriptures, an assurance of his salvation in Christ Jesus, because of which he, like Job, may say, I know that my Redeemer liveth (Job 19:25).
However, since God is his teacher who instructs him in true doctrine, and since he discovers nothing for his salvation in himself that is not of God, he discerns clearly that the doctrine in which he awaits his full salvation by God is the fundamental principle of the knowledge that will be revealed to him in eternity, that he may truly know God the Father in Jesus Christ whom He has sent. This causes him to be assured that the doctrine that is from God and returns to God and that he confesses by God’s grace is the one doctrine of God’s good pleasure.
It is superfluous to present more support for the excellence of Reformed doctrine, far above other teachings that are foreign to it, since it is sufficient to demonstrate its godly principle and to regard all competitors as having no value whatsoever. If we compare the doctrine the spirit of this age has produced with the Reformed doctrine as I have explained it, then it will not be difficult to apply to those who oppose this faith the saying of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning the doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees in His day: You are from below, earthly, while of the Reformed faith it can be said, You are from above out of heaven (John 8:23).
If we examine the development of these two diametricaly opposing principles, what do we see? That by the one, having been puffed up with the idea of his own worth, man is urged along in his sinful existence and all his actions necessarily are marked by this pride, while the behavior of him who is ruled by a godly principle is inclined toward the honor of God’s name and is always directed toward a sanctified purpose. If we proceed further and investigate how these two completely opposing principles exercise a powerful influence upon a whole nation, so that from the one nothing but the turmoil of the evil inclinations of man must be manifested and, no matter how covered up and hidden from view, the proud heart of man becomes the motivator of all its deeds, while the other principle, always leading to God and His commandments, works a quiet and peaceful existence of heart and spontaneously provides to everything the essence of what is just, holy, honorable, and fitting- having made that examination, it should not be too difficult to see how we have fallen away from our fathers and have become estranged from their virtues and values.

Marvin Kamps
1834: Hendrik De Cock’s Return to the True Church, pp. 88-91



Irish Provincial Rowing Championships (Report)

Very cold day with ice. Got to UL early (8am) after a poor sleep.

Weighed 9am (74.5Kg) PTL.

First race 1000m 0959 no one my age, pulled harder than Glasgow 3.35.1.

Watched racing*, went for walk by Shannon.*

Re-weighed 1330 same weight. Race* 500m 3.08pm. Got Christian Leonard to encourage beside me. Pulled hard but 1.35.1.

Presentations soon after events, Nice medals and T shirt.*

Chris O’Connor and I M60+ 500m

Home by walking along Shannon by 5pm. Helped make supper for Rev. McGeown.


” You are what you eat!” is a relatively new saying with some truth in it, although I could name Olympic athletic medalists who loved “junk food.” Overweight is most often caused by overeating and/or under-exercising because if your food (calorie) intake exceeds your energy output then the excess will usually be laid down as fat. Belly fat is the most dangerous and probably the most common in middle-aged and elderly men. I am sure you are aware of the diseases associated with obesity. You should know what your ideal weight is. Overeating and gluttony are hard to differentiate. The Biblical truth is that  sowing to the flesh reaps corruption (i.e. degradation of the body in some respect) usually putting on fat.

Click on image to enlarge.

A BMI (Body Mass Index) is your weight in Kg divided by your height in metres squared. So mine is 75/1.75 squared=25. BMI of under 25 is fine, 35 is grossly obese. It is good stewardship of your body as a Christian to be a healthy weight.


If you are overweight you need to exercise more daily by aerobic (heavy-breathing exercise like walking fast, jogging, cycling or swimming) and simultaneously to cut down on heavy meals containing chips, buns, pies or cakes and eat more vegetables and salads. Leave the table with some room left inside and drink a beverage and have a small biscuit or drink water in between meals if peckish-the weight will soon come off.

I have to be 75Kg or less to qualify as a lightweight rower and I’m glad to report that I am presently 74.2Kg or 11 stone 9 1/2lbs, the lightest I can ever remember! A month ago I was 80Kg.

Irish Provincial Indoor Rowing Championships (preview)

This Saturday (D.V.) I compete in the 1000m and 500m sprint in the unofficial  autumn Irish championships at University of Limerick, combining the competition with a visit to the Limerick Reformed Fellowship and enjoying the hospitality of Pastor McGeown.


Where is Limerick?

University Sports Complex

In action 2016

Big screen



Last year’s sprint medallists M60 500m.


Both world powers have subverted democracy!


Augusto Pinochet assumed power in Chile following a United States-backed coup d’état on 11 September 1973 that overthrew the democratically elected socialist Unidad Popular government of President Salvador Allende and ended civilian rule.The military junta that took over dissolved the Congress of Chile, suspended the Constitution, and began a persecution of alleged dissidents, in which thousands of Allende’s supporters were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. Following his rise to power, Pinochet persecuted leftists and political critics, resulting in the executions of over 3,000 people, the internment of as many as 80,000 people and the torture of tens of thousands.


Margaret Thatcher’s support for Chile’s former torturer-in-chief General Pinochet is no secret; it was something she was proud of. Despite her assertion that “The United States and Britain have together been the greatest alliance in defence of liberty and justice,” Thatcher refused to back down in her support of a man who overthrew a democratically elected government. This was a man who initiated the notorious Caravan of Death, the army unit that travelled the country by helicopter, murdering and torturing the General’s opponents.

Pinochet’s rule was inhumane and brutal, but was it terrorism? In the words of a soldier in Chile’s Talca Regiment at the time of the abuses: “It seems to me that one of the reasons for the [Caravan of Death] mission was to set a drastic precedent in order to terrorise the presumed willingness of the Chilean people to fight back. But without any doubt, it was also intended to instill fear and terror among the commanders. To prevent any military personnel, down to lowest ranking officers, from taking a false step: this could happen to you!”


“For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.”

Passover (8)

The Passover before, during, and after, the exile.

Sung Psalm 42:1-5 (Psalmist is exiled from temple)

Reading Ezra 6:13-22

After the return of many from the Babylonian captivity and the rebuilding of the temple, albeit on a much smaller scale, it was dedicated and shortly thereafter a great Passover was celebrated, though the numbers attending and the number of sacrifices was a fraction of that in Solomon’s day. We believe there were no Passover celebrations in Babylon.

They had to be without blemish and roasted.

Isaiah 30:29 going back to the days of Hezekiah suggests a Passover celebration on the occasion of the decimation of the Assyrian army by the angel of death at night during the full moon (middle of month). 185,000 enemy were killed.

Ezekiel 45:21-24 (in captivity). The prince provides all the sacrifices (which is irregular) and they differ from what is prescribed in Numbers 28:19-22. The interpretation is that this is prophetic of the abrogation of the ceremonial Mosaic law and the coming of the New Testament age with the church as the new temple.

So much for common grace!


In his providence God provides for all his creatures (Acts 17:25). This means that God gives many good gifts to the wicked, including not only rain and sunshine, food and shelter, life and breath, but also a rational mind, a will, and a spirit.

Many conclude from this that God loves the wicked and is gracious to them. These things, they say, are God’s “common grace,” his grace for all, a grace that does not lead them to salvation but is nevertheless a testimony to them of God’s favor and love to them. A common providence, however, is not the same thing as a common grace, and the two should not be confused. Nor does the Bible ever use the word grace to describe these common operations of God’s providence.

This is not to deny that the gifts God gives the wicked are good gifts (James 1:17). But because God may give them good gifts does not mean that he loves them or is gracious to them. To say that God gives good gifts to the wicked still says nothing about why God gives those good gifts. The Bible teaches that he has other reasons than love or mercy for giving good gifts to the wicked. He gives them these good gifts in his wrath, as a snare to them (Ps. 11:5; Prov. 14:35; Rom. 11:9), for a curse (Prov. 3:33), and for their destruction (Ps. 92:7). By these gifts he sets them in slippery places and casts them down to destruction (Ps. 73:18 in the context of verses 3–7). This is clearly seen in the way the wicked use these gifts to sin against God and to make themselves worthy of condemnation.

This is so true that we are even commanded in Scripture to imitate God in our dealings toward our enemies—to do good to them, and to do it in the understanding that if they do not repent and believe, our good deeds will be for their destruction and condemnation (Rom. 12:20, 21). It should not surprise us that a gift that is in itself good can be given for such reasons. For a father to give to his infant son a razor-sharp butcher knife—something that is indispensable in the kitchen—would certainly lead us to question whether he was giving such a “good gift” in love and pity. The child will as certainly misuse it for his own destruction as the wicked do with every good gift God gives them.

Perhaps the greatest danger, though, in the teaching of common grace is that it destroys our comfort in God. If rain and sunshine, health and life, are in themselves grace, what are we to conclude when God sends us the opposite: sickness, poverty, drought, or death? Are these things his curse? Does he send them because he hates us? If grace is in “good things,” have we no grace when God does not gives us those good things? Are we not rather to conclude this: that all he sends us, his people, whether health or sickness, poverty or prosperity, life or death, he sends in his love and grace and for our good (Rom. 8:28), but that everything he sends the wicked, even though it be in itself “good,” is nevertheless for their condemnation. How else shall we be comforted in all our sorrows and afflictions?

Rev. Ronald Hanko

This article extract from “Doctrine according to Godliness” is posted with permission from its publisher, Reformed Free Publishing Association, Grandville, Michigan.


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Daniel 3:23-30 has to be one of the most exciting accounts in all the Bible. The three young Hebrew men refuse to be idolaters of Nebuchadnezzar’s image and are thrown bound into a fiery furnace but exit unscathed.


1.       Christ was the fourth person with them in the flaming heat (Isaiah 43:2-4).

2.       They were not consumed because of their faith and God’s power over all of nature (Hebrews 11:34).

3.       God preserves us so we are not hurt in any wicked persecution (even though we may die we are alive with him forever). (John 10:28,29, Rom.8:28-30)

Furthermore Scripture teaches that:

4.       Fire may also be the means of our purification by God (I Peter 1:7)

5.       We will never be consumed by God’s wrath. He is a consuming fire (Heb.12;29, II Peter 3:7-12) but we are saved from it by our substitutionary Saviour.

What is a Protestant?

The answer really covers what it means to be a true Biblical Christian.

Covenant Reformed News

November 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 19

What Is a Protestant? (5)

Having seen what a Protestant is historically, theologically, creedally and ecclesiastically, we now need to consider this question: What is a son or daughter of the Reformation ethically? How does Protestantism influence one’s lifestyle? Many things could be said here but I will highlight just two points.

First, a Protestant loves and speaks the truth. Part of the background for this is historical. It is Jesuit teaching that it is okay, even virtuous, to tell a lie, if it serves the Roman Catholic Church. A degree of this moral ambiguity concerning the ninth commandment has hung over Roman Catholicism for many centuries. Think of the lies and cover-up in the Roman church, especially over the last several decades, regarding their homosexual priests who sexually abuse little boys.

Protestantism’s concern for truth flows from its solas or “onlys.” Sola Scripturadeclares, “thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Salvation is solus Christus for He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jehovah alone is glorified (soli Deo gloria) as the “God of truth” (Deut. 32:4) by our keeping the ninth commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex. 20:16).

Also the gospel truth of justification by faith alone (sola fide) also promotes honesty. In Psalm 32, David rejoices in the forgiveness or non-imputation of his sins: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (1-2). For believers, the non-imputation of sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness always go hand in hand (Rom. 4:6-8). Now notice what Psalm 32:2 adds: “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” One who is truly blessed because of the non-imputation of his sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to him by faith alone is honest before God, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Whereas fallen man instinctively and wickedly covers and hides his transgressions, the true believer confesses his sins, both for the first time and throughout his Christian life. Therefore, the child of God is honest, speaking the truth both to himself and to others, for in his “spirit there is no guile.”

Second, there is what has been called the Protestant work ethic. This too flows from the Five Solas or “onlys” of the Reformation. According to sola Scriptura, we must keep the fourth commandment out of gratitude, and so we labour for six days and rest upon the Christian Sabbath, which is called the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10), by spending the day in the private and public worship of God. We emulate our Saviour, Christ alone (solus Christus), who did the work His Father gave Him (John 4:34; 17:4). We are justified by faith alone (sola fide) and the faith which alone receives the imputed righteousness of God is also a faith that works, for we are justified by faith alone but not a faith that is alone. We are saved by grace alone (sola gratia) and so we do our work out of gratitude for a wholly gracious salvation. In keeping with the Reformation principle of soli Deo gloria, we labour to honour and serve the Triune God, and not merely man.

True Protestants believe that they ought to do honest and hard work, and they engage in it. Think of the French Huguenots and the terrible negative effect on France economically when they were persecuted and driven out of that country, especially through evil King Louis XIV’s Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685).

The Protestant work ethic is based on two other biblical and Protestant truths. The first is the priesthood of all believers. It is not only the case that the Christian minister’s faithful work is of value in God’s eyes; the work of all His people is holy when it is done out of faith and to please Him in Jesus Christ. The second biblical and Reformation truth that supports the Protestant work ethic is that of calling. It is not only preachers or elders or deacons who are called to their church offices. Instead, all Christians are called by God to work in whatever lawful employment He has given them in His providence. So it does not matter to the Lord how low paid your job may be or how menial and supposedly humble it is. No work is “beneath” you, when it is done to the glory of God. Our Saviour laboured manually for many years as a carpenter! This is an important point to make in our day when Western secularist ideas are degrading the good creation ordinance of work, and many people foolishly think that there is more dignity in being unemployed than in a low-paid job.

Listen to the refreshing biblical teaching of Colossians 3:22-24: “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” The motto of the Protestant work ethic is, in effect, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecc. 9:10).

So are you a Protestant? Doctrinally, do you hold to the Five Solas of the Reformation (Scripture alone, Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone and the glory of God alone) and to the great Protestant creeds? Practically, do you speak the truth, and believe and engage in hard, honest work? Historically, are you rooted in the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation, which is pure, apostolic Christianity? Then keep on witnessing to the truth of God, working for the ongoing reformation of the church and fighting the good fight of faith!  Rev. Stewart

If you are NOT a protestant then what are you? Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Muslim, Hindu, Bahai? If you do not believe and rely on the five solas are you a real Christian at all ? I doubt it!

Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships 2017




My account of SIRC (Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships 2017) at Ravenscraig Sports Centre, Motherwell.


The entrance, the sports hall and the screen and machines.

Got subway and train to Motherwell then taxi to centre. When I got there racing was underway. I went to weigh in and was 74.8Kg PTL no probs. First race, 10.10am mixed 1000m men over 40 just had Stewart Fleming to row against in the M60 lightweight category. Made a fatal error in the race looking at the screen and seeing Stewart was +10-14m, thinking that means he was behind me so did not row that hard, I was wrong (this was the equivalent of looking back in a running race). I was actually behind him and was shocked when he finished in 3m 34s and me 3 secs behind. I should have seen the 1 by his name and 2 by mine. Well, maybe we’ll renew our rivalry next year. Disappointing result considering I had rowed 3m30s not long ago!

Stewart and I.

Determined to make amends in the 500m sprint with a total of 5 men including myself but all 4 of them heavyweight and myself lightweight-I’d have to go “hammer and tongs” to get a medal. Well I did! Went off hard and maintained it steady through the middle 300m being 100m in second and then in third place, putting everything into the last 100m (see video) I crossed the line in 1m34.9, my best time this year and only 0.6s off Irish lightweight record-pleased to get bronze. Next weekend is Irish provincial Champs in Limerick-can I go faster? One thing’s for sure I will read the digital screen properly and know where I am in the race.
Results: M60 1000m Lwt 1st Stewart Fleming (Tay. R.C.) 3.34.9 2nd JK 3.37.4
127 Men’s Over 60 Sprint (Mixed)
1 500 01:31.8 Raymond McAvoy NMAC (Hwt)
2 500 01:33.4 Ken Cunningham St Patricks RC (Hwt)
3 500 01:34.9 Julian Kennedy Ballymena Runners (Lwt)
4 500 01:38.4 Roger Stainforth Durham Amateur RC (Hwt)
5 500 01:46.1 Chris Smith Tay RC (Hwt)


500m race and medallists.

During the race

Ken, Ray and I the medallists on right.


18th November 15.29 post.


The medals.

Thankful to God for an enjoyable day!

Next Saturday (DV) Limerick, Ireland



Good luck??

If you are accustomed to saying this to friends before a race or trip, think again!


Pic by Rod Bongat.


Another aspect of God’s providence is his government and rule over all things. That God does rule is clear from Scripture (Ps. 2:2–4). As the Ruler of all things and as the God of providence, he is the “blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). That providential rule of God is:

All-encompassing. There is nothing, not even Satan or sin, that God does not sovereignly rule (Job 1:12; Job 2:6).

Sovereign. God not only rules all things, but he rules them in such a way that they must do his will and serve his purpose. In the case of men, angels, and devils, his rule is not compromised by, or dependent on, the will of his creatures (Job 9:12).

Righteous. God rules all things in such a way that the responsibility for the actions of men, angels, and devils remains their own. He cannot be charged with the evil they do, though he is completely in control of it and even brings it to pass (Rom. 9:17–20).

Purposeful. God not only rules, but does so according to a perfect plan to which everything must and does conform. Nothing happens by chance. Nothing surprises God or causes him to change his mind or will (Ps. 115:3; Ps. 135:6; Rom. 9:21, 22).

Incomprehensible. So great is God as the Ruler over all that his ways are beyond our understanding (Job 9:10; Isa. 55:8). Though all things work together for the good of his people and for the damnation of the rest, it is not always possible for us to see that. We live by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

Gracious. God rules for the benefit of his people (Rom.8:28). All things do not happen to work together for good to those who love God, but they do so because he controls and directs them through Jesus our Savior. God’s rule is not, however, gracious to all. His rule over the ungodly is the opposite of his rule over his people. It is a damning rule, not only because they reject his rule and despise his gifts, but also because he actively rules them for their own destruction and damnation. This is not to deny that he gives them good things—life and breath, food and shelter, fruitful years, and all the rest—but never out of love or in grace. This providential rule by God must be believed, for what we see does not always appear to be under God’s wise rule. Instead of order we see disorder in creation and society; instead of justice we see injustice, chaos, and apparent disarray in history and creation. Faith nevertheless believes and confesses that God is in control, that nothing happens by chance, and that by God’s grace all is for good. Faith holds that all things must work for the good of God’s people, and that they must work together for that good, to those who love God.

Rev. Ronald Hanko

This article extract from “Doctrine according to Godliness” is posted with permission from its publisher, Reformed Free Publishing Association, Grandville, Michigan.

Did Christ die of a broken heart?

Some amateur well-meaning but fanciful armchair theologians have posited that the Lord Jesus Christ died of a broken heart because this would fit with him being our sin-bearer and the fact water and blood came from the heart (they assume pericardial sac) from the piercing soldier’s spear. This is confusing the emotional with the physical. A broken heart is what you get when you break up a relationship and this broken heart is a ruptured ventricle. Both are erroneous because Christ was not only in charge of his emotions but also the time of his death.  Scripture teaches  that he chose the time to die, he did not die of the physical punishment inflicted upon him, at least that was not the primary cause. The idea he died of a ruptured heart is supposedly the fact that blood and water (serum) issued from the spear wound in the text (John 19:34). But after death, the separation of the component parts of blood in the heart would give you blood (red cells and water (serum) in each chamber (biggest being left ventricle which most likely was chamber pierced). Scripture tells us Christ dismissed his spirit i.e he was the only human ever, to decide the exact time of his death, and was fully conscious when he did it-he could not have done that if he died of pericardial rupture so I would abandon that theory! He “gave up the ghost” is repeatedly said in the gospels e.g. Luke 23:46. He was sovereign in the voluntary laying down of his life for us- Hallelujah, glory to God!

Passover (7)

Sung Ps.132:1-9 (A pilgrim Psalm mentioning the ark)

Reading II Chron.35:1-19 (v18 ark)

Passover was the chief feast of the ceremonial law, the first to be celebrated, the first in order during the year and the last one ever kept 9BY Christ and the disciples).

Vv1-6  exhortation of Josiah to priests and Levites

Vv7-9 Gift of offerings

Vv10-19 Celebration of Passover

Ranked in order of greatness the Passovers after entry to the promised land were:

  1. Under Samuel *2
  2. Under Josiah (Judah only) *4
  3. Under Solomon *1
  4. Under Hezekiah (United Kingdom) *3

*Estimated rank of numbers

Why was Josiah’s so great?

Probable reasons: It reflected s real reformation of religion, it was done according to earlier revelation (Scripture), it was at the temple which was cleansed, the numbers of sacrifices were 37,600 lambs, it was well prepared (vv4,6,10,16), there were no irregularities (as when Hezekiah’s was done suddenly and many were unclean), significant preceding events (Hezekiah had temple reopened after wicked Ahaz had closed it; with Josiah book of law found….yet for all that Jer.3:6 suggests many of the people were pretending loyalty to Jehovah.


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Bahai star

The Bahá’í religion is relatively new being founded by Bahá’u’állah (name means the glory of God) in 1863 in Iran and like Islam believes he is the last and greatest prophet and manifestation of God, after progressive revelation through Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed etc.

    • The purpose of the Baha’i Faith is to unite all the peoples of the world in one universal Cause, one common Faith. Baha’is believe that all humanity was created by one God and all are members of one human race.
    • To be a Baha’i means to follow the teachings of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder. Baha’is believe He is the Promised One of all ages, and that His teachings enable humanity to build the peaceful and prosperous civilization which has been promised in prophesies of many religions.
    • The Baha’i Faith has an administrative order including elected nine-member assemblies at the local, national, and international level.
    • Baha’u’llah has revealed laws that Baha’is are expected to follow. These laws include daily prayer and daily reading of Baha’u’llah’s  Writings.
    • A key tenet is the independent investigation of truth; each individual is responsible to discover the truth for himself. This pertains to the process of becoming a Baha’i.

    Some of the above tenets are commendible (red) but there is much falsehood and much missing. Here are some major points:

    Bahauallah was not holy nor a divine luminary, he was a sinful man who died like the rest of us. Notice that nothing is said about humanity’s sin against a HOLY GOD.

    The Bahai faith states that God is unknowable and inaccessible but yet the source of all revelation (what a contradiction!). But God has made himself known in the incarnation and was ever accessible, even in our first parents (John 1:18).

    “The oneness of all religion. ” How can beliefs that are diametrically opposed be one? (Amos 3:3).

    “The essential worth of all religions.”  Surely there can only be one truth and what is false is not only unworthy of adherence but downright wicked and dangerous. Any religion that denies that God has become man in Christ is a lie ( I John 4:2, I Tim.2:4). Humans MUST HAVE a sin-bearing atoning mediator to approach Jehovah.

    Bahai website

Mary Mediatrix?



I Peter 3:18 states that Christ ONCE suffered for sins (hence the offence of the mass) that he might bring us to God. ONLY HE  atoned for the sins of his people and reconciles us to God-NOT Mary. The verse goes on to say that he was put to death in the flesh but quickened (resurrected) by the Spirit, ONLY HE DIED AND WAS RESURRECTED FOR SIN. Hence only he through his death can justify sinners. He is the ONLY mediator (I Timothy 2:4). Here is the link to a more full and comprehensive article to a devotee of Mary

British Reformed Fellowship Conference 2018


This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of 2018 if you can make it!

British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference 2018: The Reformed (Christian) Family—According to the Word of God
21-28 July, 2018 at Hebron Hall, Cardiff, Wales
Six Main Conference Addresses:
1. The Divine Origin of the Family (Rev. A. Lanning)
2. The Authoritative Content of the Gospel (Prof. D. Engelsma)
3. The God-Fearing Man and His Virtuous Wife (Rev. A. Lanning)
4. The Reformed (Christian) Family: Parents and Children (Prof. D. Engelsma)
5. It Is Good to Be Single (Rev. A. Lanning)
6. Unbiblical Divorce and Adulterous Remarriage: A Scandal (Prof. D. Engelsma)
Saturday evening introductory speech: Rev. M. McGeown
Sunday services: AM: Rev. A. Lanning & PM: Rev. A. Stewart
Special lecture: Spousal Abuse in the Christian Community (Prof. D. Engelsma)

2018 Wales, topic: The Family

Where: Hebron Hall, Cardiff, Wales When: 21-28 July, 2018 What: The exact title is yet to be decided, but the topic will be the family Who: The main speakers will be Prof. David J. Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning More info to come!

War of Words (11)


War of Words Chapter 11

“First things First”

  1. This chapter is all about heart cleansing which underlies all we say. This is necessary so we can be used positively in the lives of others.

“ Ephesians 5:16 (and Col.4:5) Redeeming the time, Or “buying time”; it denotes a careful and diligent use of it, an improvement of it to the best advantage; and shows that it is valuable and precious, and is not to be trifled with, and squandered away, and be lost, as it may be; for it can neither be recalled nor prolonged: and taking it for an opportunity of doing good to ourselves or others, it signifies that no opportunity of discharging our duty to God and man, of attending on the word and ordinances of the Gospel, and to the private and public exercises of religion, of gaining advantage to our own souls, or of gaining the souls of others, and of doing good either to the bodies or souls of men, should be neglected; but even all risks should be run, and means used to enjoy it: and the reason the apostle gives for the redemption of time is,because the days are evil; as such are, in which iniquity abounds, and many wicked men live, and errors and heresies prevail, and are days of affliction or persecution;” John Gill

Similarly redeeming words buy them back from sin and bring blessing. In the case of Bob and Mary he needed to repent of his resentment against her and his hurtful words especially in front of the children. In his and most cases anger begets anger and James 1:20 states that the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.

  1. Stages in repentance: Consideration (of wrong done)

Confession (of sin/attitude)

Commitment (to change)

Change -it means putting off and putting on (Eph. 4:22-24)


  1. Wrong attitudes in relation to God/others which would negate any effort to help others:

Doubt, fear, anger (unrighteous), vengeance, self-righteousness, selfishness and hopelessness.

With Bob and Mary there needed to be soul-searching and heart preparation.

  1. Heart preparation (our attitude and putting on Christ) when confronting others:

Wisdom (pray!)

Mercy and judgment (like the cross)

Compassion (sympathy) and humility (we are all the same)

Kindness, gentleness, patience (impatience produces anger)

Forgiving (based on repentance)

Use the word of Christ

Forbearing (when provoked not to retaliate)

Love-willingness to sacrifice for the other, wanting their best.

Peace-inner rest and confidence in the power, rule and grace of Christ.

  1. We do this by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:13). We must never underestimate the power that is in us (II Peter 1:3)-we have the resources over and against our (and their) old totally depraved old man. We need to continually pray Ps. 139:23-24.


Next study (DV) Sat. Dec. 10th 8pm  Chapter 12  “Winning the War”



War of Words (10)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study
War of Words Chapter 10
On the King’s Mission
Readings Lev.19:15-18, Heb. 3:13, 10:24,25.
The subject once again appears to be mutual exhortation in the church, caring body ministry and confronting the sin of our neighbour (outside church).
God’s response to sin as in Eden is always judgment AND redemption.
We have to recognise our part in God’s redemptive plan for others (this should be the subject of constant prayer). We are to be conduits of his love (II Cor.5:20).
Wrong attitudes to sin among brethren:
Hatred, revenge, bearing a grudge
We have our part in the Great Commission, “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This means every believer ministry, exemplary lifestyle, concerns justification and sanctification, loving neighbour as self and remembering a rebuke is not condemnation but a call to follow the Lord.
Examples in Scripture of confrontation and a call to repentance: Nathan/David, Paul/Peter, Jesus/Peter. And of comfort and encouragement; Jonathan/David.
When troubles come pray, seek Scripture or recall promises and comfort. Consider what God is doing.
Don’t take it all personally and retaliate when annoyed, “A soft answer turns away wrath.”
View relationships as redemptive and an opportunity; be ready to be instruments in the repentance and obedience in others.
Don’t be put off by fear of offending, though you need wisdom whether you are the right person. Use discretion in waiting for the right opportunity. Remember we are unique and perhaps the one and only person fitted to be his mouthpiece e.g. George and his shooting friends, Julian and friends in gym/rowing/running.
Specially pray for those who are “on our radar” in this regard and never forget that the gospel is the power of God (Rom.1:16,17). Welcome and take every God-given opportunity.

Next study (DV) Chapter 11, “First things first” Saturday November 11th 8pm



Jerusalem sacked and genocide of Jews 70 AD.

Disobedience among God’s people, to the revealed word of God, will inevitably bring judgment. The Bible is proof. Time and again they were warned but they refused to listen. They were repeatedly overrun by their enemies in the time of the Judges, Jerusalem was sacked and they went into captivity in Babylon in 590 BC and after they rejected the Messiah their holy city was again destroyed and millions slain by the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 AD.

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” I Peter 4:17.

God chastises his disobedient children and will utterly destroy those who profess his name but are reprobate.

Communion with God (43)

The conjugal (marriage) love of Christ for his saints, consists in these four things:—

  1. Delight. 2. Valuation. 3. Pity, or compassion. 4. Bounty.

The love, also, of the saints unto Christ may be referred to these four heads:— Delight; Valuation; Chastity; Duty. Note two of these are of the same kind (delight and valuation), and two distinct; as is required in this relation, wherein all things stand not on equal terms.

Christ delights in us (Zeph. 3:17) and we delight in him.He is our joy, our crown, our rejoicing, our life, food, health, strength, desire, righteousness, salvation, blessedness: without him we have nothing; in him we shall find all things Gal. 6:14, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He has, from the foundation of the world, been the hope, expectation, desire, and delight of all believers. The promise of him was all (and it was enough) that God gave Adam in his inexpressible distress, to relieve and comfort him, Gen. 3:15. Abraham “rejoiced to see the day of Christ; he saw it, and was glad,” John 8:56; the thoughts of the coming of Christ, which he looked on at the distance of two thousand years, was the joy and delight of his heart.  Hence, Haggai 2:7, he is called “The Desire of all nations.” Him whom their soul loves and delights in, [they] desire and long after. So is the saints’ delight in him made a description of him, by way of eminence, Mal. 3:1: “The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in.” “He whom ye seek, whom ye delight in,” is the description of Christ. He is their delight and desirable one, the person of their desire. Song of Solomon is full of this attitude-JK. The spouse tells us that she sits down under his shadow with great delight, Song.2: 3.


High Heels


High heels have are bad for women’s posture and walking. More stress is put on lower back, the spine is overarched and the locking back of the knees predisposes to its degeneration. Narrow high heels usage is associated with osteoartritis of knee and hip, and pressure on the forefoot can lead to nerve entrapments in the foot and of course bunions.

Adapted from Dirk Smit, an osteopath in Chatterbox newspaper.

Communion with God (42)

Heb. 10:19; it is “by the blood of Jesus:” so Eph. 3:12, “In him we have boldness, and access with confidence;” — not standing afar off, like the people at the giving of the law, but drawing nigh to God with boldness; and that upon this account:— The dread and terror of God entered by sin; Adam had not the least thought of hiding himself until he had sinned. The guilt of sin being on the conscience, and this being a common notion left in the hearts of all, that God is a most righteous avenger thereof; this fills men with dread and horror at an apprehension of his presence, fearing that he is come to call their sins to remembrance. Now, the Lord Jesus, by the sacrifice and the atonement that he has made, has taken away this conscience of sin; that is, a dread of revenge from God upon the account of the guilt thereof. He has removed the slaying sword of the law, and on that account gives us great boldness with God; discovering him unto us now, no longer as a revenging Judge, but as a tender, merciful, and reconciled Father. Moreover, whereas there is on us by nature a spirit of bondage, filling us with innumerable tormenting fears, he takes it away, and gives us “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father,” and behave ourselves with confidence and gracious boldness, as children: for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” 2 Cor. 3:17; that is, a freedom from all that dread and terror which the administration of the law brought with it. So now there is no grace more acceptable to him than that boldness which he is pleased to afford us in the blood of Jesus.


The end of God is the advancement of his own glory; none can aim at this end, but only in the Lord Jesus. The sum of all is, that the whole wisdom of our walking with God is hid in Christ, and from him only to be obtained.

Communion with God (41)

I continue excerpts with adaptations from Owen’s monumental work:

OK so agreement is made, acquaintance given, and a way provided; yet if we have no strength to walk in that way, what good will it do us? Of ourselves we have no strength, Rom. 5: 6, — poor weaklings, not able to go a step in the ways of God. We either throw ourselves down or fall down, or temptations cast us down, and we make no progress: and the Lord Jesus tells us plainly, that “without him we can do nothing,” John 15: 5; nothing we do is acceptable to God. Neither can all the creatures in heaven and earth give us any assistance. Men’s contending to do it in their own power, comes to nothing.

The answer?

All strength to walk with God is from him. “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me,” saith St.Paul, Phil. 4:13, who denies that of ourselves we have any sufficiency, 2 Cor. 3:5. We that can do nothing in ourselves, we are such weaklings, can do all things in Jesus Christ, as giants; and therefore in him we are, against all oppositions in our way, “more than conquerors,” Rom. 8:37; and that because “from his fullness we receive grace for grace,” John 1:16. From him have we the Spirit of life and power, whereby he bears, as on eagles’ wings, swiftly, safely, in the paths of walking with God. He first takes us by the arm and teaches us to go, until he leads us on to perfection. He has milk and strong meat to feed us; he strengthens us with all might, and is with us in our running the race that is set before us. HALLELUJAH!


Communion with God (40)

3. A  way.

The broad and narrow ways (Pilgrim’s Progress).

We are assigned a new way to walk in if ever we think to hold communion with God. It is hid in Christ. All the world cannot, but by and in him, discover a path that a man may walk one step with God in. And therefore the Holy Ghost tells us that Christ has consecrated, dedicated, and set apart for that purpose, “a new and living way” into the holiest of all, Heb. 10: 20; a new one, for the first, old one was useless; a living one, for the other is dead: therefore, saith he, verse 22, “Let us draw near;” having a way to walk in, let us draw near. And this way that he has prepared is no other but himself, John 14:6. In answer to them who would go to the Father, and hold communion with him, he tells them, “I am the way; and no man comes to the Father but by me.” He is the medium of all communication between God and us. In him we meet, in him we walk. All influences of love, kindness, mercy, from God to us, are through him; all our returns of love, delight, faith, obedience unto God, are all through him; — he being that “one way” God so often promiseth his people: and it is a glorious way, Isaiah 35:8, — a high way, a way of holiness, a way that none can err in that once enter it; which is farther set out, Isaiah. 42:16 (Where Christ is called the covenant i.e. our divine friend who walks with us-JK). All other ways, all paths but this, go down to the chambers of death; they all lead to walk contrary to God.

Adapted from John Owen.

The Right Knee saga-no more running!


I have gone back to rowing as I always need a physical challenge and competition v self or others. As long as I don’t fully flex knee it ought to not be damaging impact. The brace has certainly eased the pain and may be a good stop gap between now and operation to permanently realine.

Proverbs 19:21 “ There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”

Proverbs 20:24 “ Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?”

Psalm 37:23  ” The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21). I have enjoyed running of all kinds over the years and even toyed with the of the idea of one last decathlon. But it is to be as the outside semi-lunar cartilage is almost  worn away, torn and loose, plus the cartilage on the end of my thigh bone is badly worn (pic. 2). Part of the reason for this is a slight misalignment leg at knee level (see pic. 1). Surgery is planned to augment the cartilage withn artificial spacer (pic. 4)and supplement that on the bone end along with a slight realignment of the by an osteotomy (bone cut-see pic. 3). After this, all high impact activities will be prohibited because they could undo all the work. So running, jumping and rowing (extreme flexion) are over. Cycling and walking should be ok. God is good and he knows what he is doing (Psalm 138:8).  


Pic.1 Normal alignment left, abnormal right (weight through outer aspect of knee). Correcting osteotomy with plate.

Pic. 2 Semi-lunar cartilages (menisci) yellow, hyaline (glass-like) articular cartilage grey (in my case all are badly worn).

Pic.3 the misalignment and it’s correction by taking out a wedge of bone from the distal femur.

Pic.4 artificial spacer put in place of meniscus.

The proposed operation



and more

and more

and even more

more yet




Cartilage regeneration


Patient experience

Total Knee Replacement


Sport after TKR

Rowing after Total Knee Replacement?

Re: Knee Replacements

Postby wsmith » August 6th, 2011

i am an orthopedic surgeon with a hip replacement. rower is good for hip and knee surgery but for knee should wait until swelling is down and start with easy, smooth rowing to gain motion and flexibility (prolonged knee inflammation can lead to decreased long term motion). probably will need to wait 4-6 months until it is good to train hard, i.e. intervals, etc. getting as full motion as needed for a complete catch may be difficult and take 9-12 months. but the motion and training from early on will be good for you and good for your knee. how things will end up will depend on previous training history, age and how long and severe the disablement was from the knee arthritis. good idea to discuss with the surgeon. nowadays, high levels of exercise are usually encouraged. probably you will be amazed at how good things will feel. the rower lets joint replacement patients potentially reach tremendous fitness levels in a safe, sustainable manner: ideal in many ways. you may not achieve previous speed levels due to some decrease in motion, but won’t it feel nice to train hard without the joint pain, even if it is not perfect? hss is a good choice with a proven track record of excellence in joint replacement surgery. the type of knee is not a important as everyone makes out. many surgeons have financial interests and you should ask: “why this particular company?” what is important is that the particular knee design is not brand new, has a proven track record and the surgeon does at least 100″ish” such surgeries per year. good luck. wade smith md