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The teaching was great, the worship was wonderful, the activities were engaging and absorbing, but what really characterised our five day stay in Sidholme hotel was the sense of safety and openness, with new friendships made quickly. Many were prayed for, many prayed for others and there were many breakthroughs, some quite remarkable! For a third-party evaluation, here is what one lady wrote:

This was my first Foundations gathering. I found there the kind of Christian fellowship I have waited my whole life for! There was so much love and encouragement which helped me to be set free to really be my redeemed self and express myself in worship with total abandon. I found a true Christian family. Everyone I spoke to was happy to share their life with me and talk about the Lord.  The worship was Holy Spirit led and anointed and truly from the heart. The teaching was anointed, prophetic and brought the Bible alive to me in a new way.  What a blessing to learn more about our Hebraic roots. The well-stocked book tables provided a wealth of resources to guide us in our Christian life. Lovely to see families with beautiful very well behaved children and a real highlight was when the family of 6 children sang their song Children are a Blessing from the Lord, and then exited the hall upstairs like The Sound of Music ! Loved the early prayer meetings and other times when I was able to take part as the Holy Spirit prompted me. The days flew by much too quickly and I really pray I may be able to go to Foundations again next year. I hope to become part of the Saltshakers Community and look forward to Sword magazine from time to time.”

This was one of many positive observations. Click here to see the full story.

If you want to see a very detailed and revealing report on the conference, I suggest you download Harriet's Journal - very eye-opening.

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This slim volume is a follow-up to Maltz’s last book, Into the Lion’s Den, in which he explored the origins and consequences of Cultural Marxism. 

‘Noise’ is a simpler book on the same topic, intended to be given away to anyone not yet familiar with the way Western society has changed so radically in recent decades - and why. As such it has a more evangelistic flavour to it. 

Confronting the ‘Data Infestation’

The title reflects the fact that today we are surrounded by a clamour of competing and distracting voices. This ‘data infestation’ hampers our attempts to find a true understanding of the world and our part in it. 

The book has seven chapters, prefaced by a short introduction which sets the tone in a straightforward but telling manner that makes you want to read on. Maltz argues that this is a time when “focus, reflection and deeper thinking is really needed” (p6) but instead we are assailed and distracted by noise of all kinds, visual as well as verbal. Our brains are “impressive organs, but they are not designed to cope with such a maelstrom and the outcome is confusion and a lack of focus” (p6).

Jordan B Peterson debates the psychology of religious belief with atheist academic Susan Blackmore in the first episode of The Big Conversation.

Click image to watch video

The cacophony that accompanies every upsurge in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can make it seem impossible for outsiders to sort out the facts. Recent events in Gaza are no exception. The shrillest voices on each side are already offering their own mutually exclusive narratives that acknowledge some realities while scrupulously avoiding others.

But while certain facts about Gaza may be inconvenient for the loudest partisans on either side, they should not be inconvenient to the rest of us.

To that end, here are 13 complicated, messy, true things about what has been happening in Gaza. They do not conform to one political narrative or another, and they do not attempt to conclusively apportion all blame. Try, as best you can, to hold them all in your mind at the same time.

1. The protests on Monday were not about President Donald Trump moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and have in fact been occurring weekly on the Gaza border since March. They are part of what the demonstrators have dubbed “The Great March of Return“—return, that is, to what is now Israel. (The Monday demonstration was scheduled months ago to coincide with Nakba Day, an annual occasion of protest; it was later moved up 24 hours to grab some of the media attention devoted to the embassy.) The fact that these long-standing Palestinian protests were mischaracterized by many in the media as simply a response to Trump obscured two disquieting realities: First, that the world has largely dismissed the genuine plight of Palestinians in Gaza, only bothering to pay attention to it when it could be tenuously connected to Trump. Second, that many Palestinians do not simply desire their own state and an end to the occupation and settlements that began 1967, but an end to the Jewish state that began in 1948.

highly-regarded adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury has quit the inner counsels of the Church of England in protest against an “agenda of revisionism” that she says is promoting “an ongoing and rapid erosion of faithfulness”.

Lorna Ashworth resigned from the Archbishops’ Council and General Synod, saying: “We have a liberal agenda because the church is not anchored in the Gospel. There is no more conversation about Heaven, Hell, sin, forgiveness, judgment.”

Her resignation illustrates the fissure in the church between liberals and traditionalists which is now threatening outright schism. The immediate flashpoints are gender and gay issues. Last July, the synod voted to ban sexual conversion therapy and to consider special services for transsexual people. A motion to permit the blessing of same-sex marriages has been submitted for next February’s synod but has yet to be adopted for debate.

This week, the church told its schools that pupils should be able to explore their gender identity and should be “afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence”. This muddled document seems to equate boys dressing up in a tutu and girls in a tool belt with psychological confusion over sexual identity, which is rare. Yet as is happening elsewhere, the church’s guidance risks confirming children in this confusion along ideological “gender” lines, while it denies it can be a disorder at all.

Ashworth’s protest, however, is a far deeper one about the church’s general embrace of secularism. The true message of Christianity, she says, risks being drowned out by people who prefer to discuss social justice because “if we talk about sin, then we have to talk about bad behaviour and people don’t want to be judgmental”....

Artless

Published on 3 Nov 2015
A re-imagination of Paul's time in prison & his letter to the Philippians as an office mock-umentary.
Meet Lucius Picardius, the fictional head roman jailor, and follow his story.

Hashkama

Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!

Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

When Britain first, at heaven's command,

Arose from out the azure main,

This was the charter of the land,

And Guardian Angels sang this strain:

(Chorus)

Middle East Report

Stories this week include: Fighting between Israel & Hamas has intensified over the last week, Israel's Bible Society reaches both Israelis & Orthodox Jews with the Word of God and Poll reveals 40% of British Jews are thinking of leaving UK over anti-Semitism.

Olive Tree

My guest today is Eddie Santoro who lives just outside Jerusalem where he is the pastor of a large Messianic congregation. In 2015, he had a huge shock when it was discovered he had a tumour on his brain.

Thinking Differently

In this clip Steve Maltz finishes talking about the re-launched Saltshakers website

Watching Over Zion

The Word:  Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. (Isaiah 59:14-15)