What’s it all about, Jesus?

Christmas 2015
What’s it all about, Jesus?
Writing in November 2015 reminds me of many soulful events in Novembers past:
Only a few weeks ago, on Friday November 13th the so called IS state orchestrated a series of random killings in Paris. Are the IS State Muslims?
No. They ain’t no Muslims. They’re an embarrassment to Muslims. 

So why does Presidential candidate Donald Trump call for a ban on Muslim immigration to the USA. And why does Billy Graham’s son Franklin agree with him.
Both are an embarrassment to Christianity, and to the spirit the USA embodied in the Declaration of  Independence, that all men are created equal.

Soulful November.  In 1963 President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, and in 1989 The Berlin Wall, an icon of the Cold War for 28 years was torn down.
And on the third Thursday of November the USA celebrates the safe landing of Pilgrims and the bountiful harvest at Thanksgiving time, far from an intolerant Europe.

But more than any of these November events I will forever remember that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918, the most destructive war the world has ever seen, which took 18 million lives, ended.

They are all soulful times. So what’s it all about Jesus?
As a boy I used to chant “Remember, remember the 5th of November” in the days leading up to bonfire night, because for me and many English children November 5th was, next to Christmas, the biggest event of the year. 

The 5th of November will forever remind me of my brother Malcolm, born in November 1935, died of cancer in the run up to Christmas last year, following two years of misery.
An explosives expert, those who knew him only from a distance saw him as someone whose life revolved around Bonfire night. But Malcolm wasn’t a one trick pony.
A deeply religious youth he felt the call to Christian ministry until conscription took him into the army in 1953 and changed all that.

Bear with me if you suspect this message is only about my big brother! 
As big a character as he was, it’s not. It’s more about eternal matters, as befits ramblings at Christmastide.

And it begs a few questions of Jesus and Mohammed, and Allah. 
Some people do evil in the name of  the Church, the Mosque, and the Synagogue, and have done since God was a boy.

So what’s it all about?
In 1605, 330 years before Malcolm was born, Guy Fawkes was part of the Gunpowder plot, a scheme to unnerve England’s ruling class by setting fire to Parliament.
36 year old Guy, a headstrong Yorkshire Roman Catholic, stool pigeon of the conspirators, was caught, tried and took his last breath seconds after he threw himself head first from a tall scaffold erected opposite the Houses of Parliament he’d planned to burn down.

So instead of being hanged to within an inch of his life Guy Fawkes died by breaking his neck, avoiding the agony of a part hanging, followed by castration and disembowelment which minutes before he’d seen fellow co-conspirators endure.
The head of the Church of England, King James 1 (sponsor of the most widely read English language read Bible) witnessed it all through a peephole in the fence.

I don’t know about you, but learning of this made me weak at the knees.

As a left footer, Guy’s Catholicism didn’t cut with the Protestant ruling class in England – one of many incidents when religious intolerance leads to inhuman ends.
Look at the conflicts between catholic and protestant “Christians” in Ireland, and between “Muslims” and “infidels” worldwide.

Truth is that thugs often use religion to excuse their violence.
So on November 13th thugs wearing the badge of Allah murdered +100 in Paris.
Mohammed wasn’t there, for he was in tears with both Jesus and Buddha.
Love is the cornerstone of Mohammed’s, Jesus’ and Buddha’s philosophies.

But not all followers read the fine print of what they signed up to.

The importance of Kindness 
What more can be added (see hyperlink), apart from Mohammed’s endorsement  that “Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith”

Let me give you news of our 2015
Earlier in this piece I wrote that it’s been a year since my multi-millionaire brother died of cancer. His death preceded cousin Lydia’s by days. 
She’d also succumbed to cancer in her journey to Glory.

So it’s a joy that a breakthrough in Leukaemia was announced in November. Research will surely continue until all cancer is eradicated.

But what then? After all everybody needs to quit this mortal coil somehow!
It’s a 1 in one statistic.

Unlike beloved cousin Lydia, who was protected by a close caring family, gold diggers were attracted like bees round a honey pot to Malcolm’s wealth.
His money should of course have been given to the NHS, to help eliminate cancer.
Instead the gold diggers have it…
Hey ho!
It is of course shameful that with so much  want in our world this is allowed to happen.

At the risk of alienating you, I recommend that at the end of your days you pass your left over shekels to the NHS, as will I.

On an earlier leg of life’s journey, son Edward this year opened a classy bar-eatery Ninth Ward, London in central London, . 
He and his team hope to make a successful business of it, and if energy and creativity are any judge of success the venture Lynne and I saw when we were there in late October is truly a winner. Adjacent is one of its statues of The Lady of the Night.
Embarking on a not dissimilar venture in the mid Pyranees. Lynne’s daughter Carolyn and hubby Robbie are as I write hosting a new neighbour welcome party in their new home in the French Pyrenees, in Najac.

Adjacent is Lynne’s pen and ink of part of Najac, which she visited in October with daughters and granddaughters.
Wish both ventures well. They all jumped off the gravy train to get going. Check out the hyperlinks.

My other beautiful son Jonathan is enjoying a third year in NYNY with lovely bride Alice. They’ve been married +18 months.
Lynne’s two other daughters, my step daughters, are resident locally:
Beautiful Claire in Chorley with Captain Den
And the gorgeous Rachel in Accrington with my adorable granddaughters Verity and Harriette, as well as “a gud’n of a partner”, Brian.
…they’re all at the start of life’s journey.
At the other end of the spectrum those who ended their days on earth in 2015 and who meant something to my own growth, and possibly to yours included:

Name                Age  Known as/for                 Cause
Denis Healey         98  senior cabinet minister lampooned by Mike Yarwood 
                               (“what a silly billy”)         heart attack
Tom Graveney         88 English cricketer         Parkinson’s disease
Geoffrey Howe         88 Cabinet minister who rid
                        us of monster Thatcher heart attack
Omar Sharif         83 actor                                 heart attack and Alzheimer’s
Leonard Nimoy         83 Vulcan cosmonaut Spok chronic pulmonary disease
Colin Welland         81 Actor and screenwriter (Kes, Straw Dogs, Chariots of Fire)
Gordon Honeycombe 79 Newscaster, author,        Leukemia
Michael Meacher 75 MP for Oldham West
Cynthia Lennon         75 first wife of John Lennon cancer
Percy Sledge        73 “When a Man Loves a Woman” cancer.
Cilla Black                72 Singer and TV presenter A fall during a stroke.

And an addition who has overwhelmed me, as all infants do, Athena Grace Wade

Life on earth is temporary. 
The three score years and 10 are stretching out a tad.
But of course eventually we all die. So prepare to meet your maker, as you may read my 1916 message in Heaven’s Times.

In the last 12 months my brother and Cilla Black, both Tory supporters, died.
Neither had politics that in the long run are useful for the world.
I put it down to the fact that their good fortune masked the harsh reality of the world we choose to live in, where not everyone can survive without food-banks.
But both, I believe were at heart good’uns.
It’s a pity that many good’uns come to the wrong conclusions in life.

I end this newsletter based loosely on the words of a song written by Burt Bacharach and sung by Cilla Black, and others.

What’s it all about, Mohammed?
Is it just for the moment we live
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Jesus
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind, Mohammed
Then I guess it’s wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Jesus
What will you lend on an old golden rule
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Mohammed
I know there’s something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love, Jesus
Without true love we just exist, 
Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, Mohammed
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you’ll find love any day, Jesus

Out of all these words I think the most apt at Christmas are these:
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above
I know there’s something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love
Without true love we just exist
Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you’ll find love any day
Happy Christmas

Published by Rob

Now 70, I'm getting back into website development and brand protection, as well as showcasing the delightful artistic talents of my beautiful wife Lynne. My projection will encompass a lifetime of database marketing, as well as the Christian democratic socialist ideals of my wife and I.

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