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Showing posts from June, 2014

Through Satan's Glass

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Sin, when viewed by scripture light,
Is a horrid, hateful sight;
But when seen in Satan’s glass,
Then it wears a pleasing face. When the Gospel trumpet sounds,
When I think how grace abounds,
When I feel sweet peace within,
Then I’d rather die than sin. When the cross I view by faith,
Sin is madness, poison, death;
Tempt me not, ’tis all in vain,
Sure I ne’er can yield again. Satan, for awhile debarred,
When he finds me off my guard,
Puts his glass before my eyes,                                               John Newton (1725-1807)
Quickly other thoughts arise. What before excited fears,
Rather pleasing now appears;
If a sin, it seems so small,
Or, perhaps, no sin at all. Often thus, through sin’s deceit,
Grief, and shame, and loss I meet,
Like a fish, my soul mistook,
Saw the bait, but not the hook. O my Lord, what shall I say?
How can I presume to pray?
Not a word have I to plead,
Sins, like mine, are black indeed! Made, by past experience, wise,
Let me learn thy word to prize;
Taught by what I’ve felt b…

The fallen and the frail

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Seventy years ago today more than 150,000 men took to the shores of Normandy in France. They landed at beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Wind threw the landing crafts off course, and gunfire rained down as the allied troops advanced.  
Together with German forces and civilians, around 9,000 died that day.
D-Day was the culmination of almost a year's planning. Delayed first by the need for more landing crafts, and then again by high seas and fierce storms, in the early hours of 5 June General Eisenhower decided to launch the invasion.  
That day at a birthday party in Cosham two unlikely people, Harold Checketts and Jean Farren, knew what virtually no one else did. Both naval meteorologists, they had come off shift having plotted the weather charts for the next 24 hours. They knew what was coming. 
For days soldiers had waited in their forward positions along the south coast of England, prepared to move, but stalled from action. They had packed their bags, butto…