Friday, June 29, 2012

'Help me!' he cried - and then. . .

Mechanic Bruce Van Natta was lying underneath a massive truck when the jack gave way and the truck fell on his stomach with the loudest noise he had ever heard.

Blood shot into his throat. He coughed and spat out a large blob. He was bleeding internally from major arteries severed in five places.

"Lord, help me!" he shouted out, twice. He saw that the left hand side of his body was only one inch thick, thinner than the thickness of his spine. The right hand side of his body was two inches thick.

The driver of the truck looked at Bruce and went into shock. The driver managed to call the emergency services and replace the jack, but only in an unstable position under one of the truck's springs.

Bruce pulled as hard as he could on the truck's bumper to pull himself clear, but passed out. "My spirit left my body," he said, "and went up in the roof of the garage. My spirit was up there looking down, at perfect peace."

Then he saw, he said, a huge angel on either side of his body, dressed in white. Their arms were underneath the bumper.

An air ambulance arrived, but could not winch his body up because there was no ambulance equipment below.

A woman knelt next to him and began slapping his face. "Bruce Van Natta, open your eyes," she said. "Bruce Van Natta, open your eyes." His spirit shot back into his body and he felt excruciating pain. Every time he closed his eyes, his spirit left his body and began to travel down a tunnel. Then the woman slapped his face and his spirit returned.

"Do you want to live?" she said. "Do you have a wife and kids?" He remembered his wife and four children. I can't die, he thought. I've got to be here for my wife and family. He decided he had to keep his eyes open.

It was more than two hours before he was in hospital. Three doctors attending to him got into a disagreement. The CT scan showed he should be dead, but his heart was still beating. "We couldn't make sense of it," said one. "We didn't know what to make of it."

They repaired the major arteries but attempted nothing more, convinced he would die within hours. Twelve hours later, his heart was still beating.

Bruce had five operations in the next 12 months, then 18 months of rehab. But there was still a problem. The average adult has 20 feet of small intestine. All but three feet of Bruce's small intestine had been destroyed, and that three feet wasn't working properly. The doctors could feed him intravenously for only a year and then he would die.

A man named Bruce Carlson heard of the problem from a prayer chain and woke up two mornings in a row feeling he had to go to the hospital to pray for Bruce.

When he arrived, he laid his hand on Bruce's forehead and prayed for the small intestine to grow. Bruce said he felt an "electric shock" and heard a snap. He could feel his intestines rolling around.

X-rays and CT scans showed his small intestine had grown an additional seven feet in answer to prayer.

Bruce left his business and is now engaged in full-time Christian ministry.

You can read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

'Terrible' threat to Britain's children

It seems to me that the Government has talked a lot about pornography on the internet and done precious little about it.

Sue Berelowitz, England's Deputy Children's Commissioner, who has been conducting research for a report due out in September, told MPs that sexual exploitation of children is happening all over the country, much of it fuelled by children accessing extreme pornography on the internet.

There were parts of London where children from the age of 11 expected to have to indulge in sexual activity with line-ups of boys for up to two hours at a time. It was "quite common" for girls to be lured via internet chat rooms to meet a friend, only to be met by a group of boys and gang raped in a park.

"What is being done is so terrible that people need to lay aside their denial."

She said children could get anything they liked on their mobile phones, which was affecting children's thresholds of what they think is normal behaviour.

A parliamentary inquiry revealed that almost one in three children aged 10 or under had seen sexual images online, and suggested that four out of five children from 14 to 16 access online pornography.

According to the Daily Mail website, hundreds of millions of pages on the web have sexual content, and British teenagers spend an average of 87 hours a year looking at internet pornography.

Only 37 per cent of families in the UK had set up any sort of parental controls on their teenagers' computers.

For the children's sake, something needs to be done about internet pornography. Now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This 'mad, terrifying obsession'

Melanie Phillips complains in the Daily Mail that the BBC is now "peddling the ancient racial libel that the Jews exercise a unique control over the levers of power," which she calls "unvarnished Judeophobia." You can read the details here.

She continues by pointing out that actors including Emma Thompson, Richard Wilson and Alexei Sayle have called for a boycott of Israel's Habima theatre which has been performing Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice - "oh the irony of it!" - in Hebrew at the Globe in London. This, she says,

. . . was on account of what they described as Israel's 'policies of exclusion' against the Palestinians and its 'human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land.'

Dear oh dear - does one laugh or cry at such mindless parroting of demonstrable untruths? Quite apart from the fact that Habima is totally apolitical and a call for such a cultural boycott is, as the author Howard Jacobson put it, Kafkaesque, have these high-minded souls called for a boycott of Lebanon where Palestinians are excluded from citizenship? Have they called for a boycott of Syria where countless thousands have been slaughtered? Have they called for a boycott of Iran for threatening a second genocide of the Jews and jailing, torturing, stoning and hanging its own dissidents, women and gays?

Have they indeed called for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority for censoring and intimidating Palestinian and western journalists, and for brainwashing Palestinian children with Nazi-style propaganda in order to raise them to hate and murder Jews and Israelis?

No, of course not. The only country they want to boycott is the one country in the whole of the Middle East that is a true democracy, that affords human rights to all its citizens, that allows freedom of worship to all religions, that treats women as equals and safeguards the welfare and liberties of gay people - and treats in its own hospitals, alongside its own citizens, Palestinians from these 'excluded' territories including those who are trying to murder as many Israeli citizens as possible.

This irrational obsession is madness. It is terrifying. And no one in the wider community is saying anything about it.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Just a few days left

The UK Government decided it would change the law in order to redefine marriage, thus allowing same-sex marriage in England and Wales (Scotland will make its own decision). It said there would be a consultation, but it would not be about whether or not it would happen, only about how it would work.

The Government was taken aback at the response, as a petition objecting to the proposed change gathered half a million signatures in a matter of weeks.

Despite what the Government had said, when the consultation document was published, it contained Question 1:

Do you agree or disagree with enabling all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony? (In law, there is not civil marriage and religious marriage, only marriage.)

And Question 2:

Please explain the reasons for your answer.

The consultation closes this Thursday, June 14. Homosexual activists and their supporters are pushing for all those in favour of same-sex marriage to take part in the consultation. It is important that people who believe the law on traditional marriage should remain unchanged should also have their say in the consultation, so that the Government should be aware of the strength of feeling on the issue.

Those who do not want the law to change can reply to just Question 1 and Question 2, which can be done in a couple of minutes. You can access the full document here, or a short reply form, with some suggestions for answers to Question 2, here.

Friday, June 08, 2012

A morality tale for our day

Once same-sex unions have been sanctified with the word "marriage," some homosexual couples will have children, writes Michael Cook at But where will they get their children?

All lesbian couples need is a sperm donor and possibly an IVF clinic. Male homosexual couples wanting children with some of their genes need a surrogate mother.

Surrogacy brokers are springing up wherever in the world there is poverty as well as sympathetic government regulation. advertise surrogate mothers from the Ukraine. Advocates for Surrogacy advertise the services of women in Guatemala. market surrogates in Greece, Panama and India.

Premila Vaghela, a 30-year-old Indian woman with two children of her own, died in the eighth month of pregnancy of unexplained complications after collapsing in her IVF clinic. Doctors there did an emergency caesarean and gave the  child to the American woman who commissioned it. "Premila paid the price of offering herself as surrogate with her life," said the Indian media.

(A Sunday Telegraph investigation claimed there are already up to 1,000 surrogacy clinics in India, all unregulated. There were an estimated 2,000 births to surrogate mothers in India last year, with up to 1,000 of the babies going to Britain. Couples and single people pay an average of £25,000 a time; the surrogate mothers are paid up to £6,000 to donate eggs and carry babies.)

The contracts the women sign are incredibly exploitative. They must agree to the most intrusive limitation of their lifestyle and to accept reduction of the number of foetuses in the womb (three embryos are transferred at a time) if necessary.

Reproductive tourism, says one Indian magazine, is immensely valuable, not only empowering the surrogates, but bringing a lot of revenue for the state. "Where the storks dare to fly. . . Bringing smiles to couples across the world."

Says Michael Cook: "Supporters of same-sex marriage have to face the stark fact that legislation  will mean misery for women in developing countries. Perhaps death will be rare. But it will certainly happen. Are gay couples ready to force women to have selective abortions? Are they ready to accept that some women will die bearing a child they paid for? Are they ready to accept the degradation and exploitation that are inherent in their dream of being married?"

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A very present help in trouble

William MacDonald tells* how during the First World War young men in an island community in the Scottish Highlands were being called up for military service in increasing numbers. Each time contingents of them gathered at the pier to sail to the mainland, friends and relatives assembled there and sang:

God is our refuge and our strength,
in straits a present aid;
Therefore, although the earth remove,
we will not be afraid:
Though hills amidst the seas be cast;
though waters roaring make,
And troubled be; yea, though the
hills by swelling seas do shake.

A river is, whose streams make glad
the city of our God;
The holy place, wherein the Lord
most high hath his abode.
God in the midst of her doth dwell;
nothing shall her remove:
The Lord to her a helper will,
and that right early prove. . .

That is, of course, the Scottish metric version of Psalm 46 - the psalm that begins "God is our refuge and strength." Psalm 46 prompted Katharina von Schlegel to write the hymn Be still, my soul, and Martin Luther to write the famous hymn A mighty fortress is our God. When discouraging news came - and Luther had his share of discouraging news - he would say to his friends "Come, let us sing the 46th psalm."

The days of the First World War were a more godly age. Nowadays many have turned away from God, and society is descending into chaos and disorder. But God is unchanging.

Psalm 46 continues: "There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God." That river speaks of God's peace, God's love and God's provision. These things are not pie in the sky, but real. Not everyone has them - but they are the daily experience of those who walk with Him.

God forces Himself on no one. But He is available for those who seek Him.

"If you seek him, he will be found by you."

"Seek, and you will find."

* Believer's Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995, p620f.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Britain's (almost unnoticed) record of shame

According to Government figures published this week, 196,082 officially sanctioned abortions were performed in England and Wales last year. There were a further 12,471 abortions in Scotland, making a total of 208,553 in England, Scotland and Wales. That's 17,000 a month; 4,000 a week; something like 600 a day.

Of the 196,082 abortions in England and Wales, 189,931 were on England and Wales residents. Of these, 98 per cent were carried out on the ground that the continuation of pregnancy would involve risk to the physical or mental health of the woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated. Of these, 99.96 per cent were on mental health grounds - despite the fact that there is no evidence that continuing with an unplanned pregnancy poses any greater risk to a mother's mental health than having an abortion.

Only one per cent of abortions were carried out because of the risk of the baby's being born handicapped.

Ninety-six per cent of abortions were funded by the NHS. Sixty-one per cent of abortions took place in private clinics under NHS contract.

Thirty-six per cent of women having an abortion last year had had one or more abortions previously.

When 49 children were massacred in Syria the other day, European countries expelled Syrian diplomats in protest. Yet when 208,553 unborn children were massacred in Britain last year, as some commentators are pointing out, scarcely anyone turns a hair.

Don't misunderstand what I am saying. The stabbing and shooting to death of innocent children in Syria deserves all the condemnation there is - but the deliberate killing of 208,553 unborn children in Britain while the authorities stand idly by?