Saturday, 8 September 2007

A blow for dwindling human compassion?

Catching up on the morning news and the headlines lead with the continuing sorry story of Madeleine McCann.

Guardian coverage
BBC coverage

As the distressing story of the missing 4 year-old unravelled even I, who pride myself on being somewhat emotionally detached from the world, could not fail to be touched- having four children aged under six, I could easily empathise with the case. As I caught check of my emotions, I saw something almost wonderful unravel.

I watched with interest and satisfaction at the world’s reaction. At a tine where we are shocked so frequently by the many evils that are being performed, it has been refreshing to see a community attitude of compassion and love be focused by a body of people so diverse and extensive, across all ideologies and geographies. The responses by the widespread community have been a credit to civilisation.

And now this has the potential to be dashed to pieces- not just the McCann following but also any hope that a future movement will occur.

Of course I am shocked that parents could kill their child. If truly accidental, I am astonished that a parent could hold themselves together to such an extent that they could lead a deception for so long. But this is the small picture.

If this case should conclude with the charging of the McCann parents for a part in the death of the child, the world will become a little darker. Those naturally loving, trusting and empathetic (like my wife) will become harder and less trusting, retreating into themselves in embarrassment at having been taken in and used, especially for such a nefarious cover. Those cynical individuals will be exalted in their hardness, reinforcing their steel while lauding their “I told you so” over those that had conviction in the Madeleine story and sought to help wherever they could.

The world will become dimmed at the hope and trust that will have been killed in the hearts of so many. Those that require the assistance of others in the future will find it more difficult to obtain support and find more hindrance that previously would have remained unvoiced.

I am saddened that the world could lose a little more hope and humanity.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Samuels first testimony!

As practicing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we attend church each Sunday. The first Sunday of each month is designated as "fast and testimony meeting". Members fast for the period of two meals and donate the money saved (we are counselled to be generous in this respect) to church humanitarian projects. The main Sunday service is open to the congregation to "share their testimony". This entails sharing their thoughts, feelings and experiences associated with their personal beliefs of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the entire congregation (the meeting in which this happens is called "testimony meeting").

description of "testimony" from

Each testimony meeting, Sammy normally expresses his desire to get up and share his testimony. Normally though he gets nervous and changes his mind. Today though he surprised us all when he told mummy that he wanted to go and then jumped up and walked to the front. After a bit of a pause (like a stunned rabbit in headlights) he whispered to daddy that he wanted to bear his testimony and asked for some help. Daddy then asked him some questions to prompt his response. Firstly that he liked going to church; that he loved his family; that he loved Jesus and that he was trying to be good. He then closed in the proper way and sat down.

Needless to say we are very proud of him- it is a big thing to be willing to stand up in front of a congregation and talk. Hopefully we can continue to foster a desire to grow and progress and keep him growing in the church.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Twice in a week!

Firstly check this out. It is quite amazing... Perfect eutopian web 2.0

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We have booked our October Holiday- we are off to the Lake District for a week or so.

We are just starting to get together activities and walks that we can all do. We will be starting at the Preston Temple for a weekend (about the halfway point) then heading the rest of the way for a week on Windermere. Hopefully the weather will have stabalised by this point so it will be comfortable. We are all kitted with wet-weather gear though so we should be OK whatever the weather.

Does anyone have any suggestions for some good walks suitable for young children? Micah will be on David's back but Lara and the other boys will be strolling alongside. Because of this, we need something with great views but not too challenging. Scafell is probably out...