Something new

Sep 3, 2020 by Pat Marrin Pencil Preaching


“New wine must be poured into fresh wineskins” (Luke 5:39).

1 Cor 4:1-5; Luke 5:33-39

The practice of fasting was part of Jewish tradition touted by the scribes and Pharisees, and they were quick to criticize Jesus for not ordering his disciples to do it.  He reminded them that during a wedding celebration people were not required to fast, comparing his presence to that of a bridegroom and his announcement of God’s Kingdom as a reason to rejoice. It is a lively metaphor that contrasts their penitential tradition to his exuberant revelation that something new and wonderful was happening right before them that they were failing to recognize.

Two other images convey the energy of expansive new life. Patching an old cloak with new cloth ensures that the patch will tear away when it shrinks.  Putting new wine into old skins ensures that the fermenting wine will burst the skins.  It was a perfect way to describe the need for new structures to accommodate new ideas or risk the destruction and loss of both. Jesus’ message was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah: “Behold, I am doing something new; it is springing forth, do you not perceive it?” (43:19).

The idea of tradition offers people who fear change a sense of security, and leaders who appeal to the past and promise to keep things unchanged appeal to that fear.  But it is a false security because life and change are inevitable. Tradition itself is a living reality whose values must be “handed on” (traducere) to preserve them in new circumstances. What does not evolve does not survive and attempts to halt this life process only destroy its vitality and adaptability.   

Jesus’ image of a wedding reminded his critics that the purpose of all their rituals and traditions was to enhance the Covenant, which ties directly to the Great Commandment of love, God’s nuptial with his people. While they go about fasting with long faces, judging others for offending God, they were missing the wedding.  So, with the fearmongers and those who barricade themselves from anything new or different. What are they missing?  The real world, the chance to learn and grow, the mystery of life no one can control or stop. “Behold, I am doing something new. Do you not perceive it?”

Long Queues at Hospitals, Apartment Lockdowns in Wuhan as Some Suspect Virus Resurgence

Residents wear masks while walking through the entrance of the Wuhan Beer Festival in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, China, on August 21, 2020. (Getty Images)

Residents wear masks while walking through the entrance of the Wuhan Beer Festival in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, China, on August 21, 2020. (Getty Images) China Society

By Zhang Bei September 2, 2020 Updated: September 2, 2020 The Epoch Times

Hundreds of patients are queuing outside the infectious disease department at two of Wuhan’s largest hospitals, while some outdoors markets were shut down and several residential complexes resumed lockdown policies—leading some residents to suspect a resurgence of the CCP virus in the city where it first emerged.

In a phone interview, a resident in the central Chinese city of Wuhan divulged more information to The Epoch Times about what is happening there.

Long Hospital Queues

According to official data from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, apart from a total of 4 new imported cases on Aug. 1 and 7, there were no new local COVID-19 cases in Wuhan throughout August. On Aug. 15, the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park held an electronic music pool party, reportedly attended by 3,000 people. The audience was packed, with no face coverings or social distancing rules in sight.

But a Wuhan resident Wang Yuan (pseudonym) said he made observations that suggest the outbreak is still severe. Hundreds of people have lined up every day outside the infectious disease clinics of the Tongji Hospital and Union Hospital. “Right outside the hospital on the main street, you’ll see the queues. You can see them and take pictures at any time,” Wang said.

Wang also said some hospitals would not give a diagnosis to patients. He shared that a local community clinic doctor made a social media post on August 25, discussing a patient his clinic received that day. The post stated that the patient was a 31-year-old woman who became short of breath when she got out of bed on Aug. 22. The woman said she felt better after about 30 minutes. But she continued to have the same symptoms every day.

On Aug. 24, she went to the hospital for treatment. A CT scan revealed a common symptom of COVID-19: her lungs had ground-glass opacity in several areas. The electrocardiogram also showed a faster-than-normal heart rate. But a nucleic acid test and COVID-19 antibody test both turned up negative. The clinic said she may be suffering from a viral pneumonia, and the possibility of COVID-19 could not be ruled out. The doctor recommended that she take nucleic acid and antibody tests three days later and to self-quarantine at home.

The doctor pointed out that her symptoms of this case are highly consistent with COVID-19, and added that the accuracy of nucleic acid tests is low. Meanwhile, antibodies may not appear during the early phase of infection, or the patient may be asymptomatic for more than ten days.

The doctor wrote, “The superiors wouldn’t even dare to put down the diagnosis of viral pneumonia on the CT report,” adding that two top hospitals, Wuhan Puai Hospital and Wuhan Union Hospital, took no further action on this patient.

Market Closed

The Hankou Gusaoshu Fruit and Vegetable Market is within 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles) of the Huanan Seafood Market, which local authorities initially said was the source of the outbreak. Wang Yuan disclosed that the Hankou market was also a hard-hit area during the pandemic. On Aug. 30, the market was shut down by authorities, with a notice posted outside that said it would be renovated.

Wang explained that the market was opened for a few days after the citywide lockdown was lifted in April. But then authorities closed it down and set up a temporary street market outside. On Aug. 30, the temporary market was demolished. He suspected it was because shoppers were coming into close contact with each other and spreading the virus.

Lockdown at Apartment Complexes

Wang also said some communities have experienced more and more stringent containment measures. “Half a month ago, a complex near Daishan village resumed containment measures. You must wear a mask when entering and leaving, and you must take your body temperature,” he said.

The Epoch Times could not independently verify the information.

He also said if residents use their health insurance card to buy anti-fever medicines at local pharmacies, community officials would soon contact them and inquire about whether they are suspected to have COVID-19. “The big data is powerful,” Wang said.

“The pandemic is recurring all over the world. How can this place be over with it just like that?” Wang opined.

Chilling: Forced Abortions and Removing Wombs: A Uighur Doctor’s Chilling Account of What’s Happening in China

The doctor said that she performed hundreds of forced operations on Uighur women in China before fleeing to Turkey.HCby Heather ChenSeptember 3, 2020, 9:08am

A woman walks past a banner pasted by members of a collective against violence towards women in support of the Uighur population on a wall of China’s Embassy in Paris on July 30, 2020. Photo: AFP / GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT

One Uighur doctor in exile recalled the horrors of forcibly performing operations on women in China as part of the country’s attempts to control its ethnic Turkic minority population. 

The Uighurs are a mostly-Muslim minority group that largely lives in China’s northwestern autonomous territory of Xinjiang. About 11 million Uighurs live in Xinjiang, and researchers estimate that over one million of them are being held in “re-education” camps likened to detention centers. Advertisement

Reports from inside Xinjiang reveal widespread government surveillance and religious crackdown, and those inside the camps have reported being subjected to forced labor and political indoctrination.

In an interview with British television network ITV that aired on Thursday, September 3, a Uighur doctor revealed that she had performed “at least 500 to 600 operations” on Uighur women, including forced sterilizations and abortions, on behalf of the Chinese government. 

“We’d go village to village to gather all the women and herd them onto tractors,” she said. “Young women were fitted with contraceptive devices, pregnant women would have to have an abortion, then sterilization. We even inserted birth control implants into women’s upper arms to prevent pregnancy.” 

This also included a forced removal of wombs, the woman told the outlet.World News

US Hits China with Sanctions Over Uighur Detention Camps

Gavin Butler07.10.20

“This is how the government persecuted Uighur women,” the doctor, who did not reveal her face or name on camera, told ITV correspondent Emma Murphy. 

“The clear intention was ethnic cleansing,” she said. “We were asked to believe this was part of the Communist Party’s control plan.” 

The woman, who performed these operations for 20 years before fleeing to Turkey, said at the time she felt it was “part of her job.” Now, she says she feels “such regret” and recognizes the damage caused to the Uighur population, whose birth rates have reportedly plummeted over the past few years. Advertisement

Other Uighur women in exile featured in the ITV report supported the doctor’s statements. They described being forced to take birth control or hide their pregnancies to avoid forced abortions. 

Previous reporting has also detailed forced sterilizations and large fines for Uighur families that have more than two children. 

U.S.-based Uighur exile Mehrigul Tursun spoke out at a human rights event hosted by Amnesty International in 2019. While in the U.S., she underwent a medical examination and learned that she had been sterilized during her time at a detention center. World News

China Is Celebrating ‘Victory’ Over COVID. But It’s a Different Story for Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Heather Chen09.02.20

A report released by German scholar Adrian Zenz in June 2020 also discussed forced sterilization of Uighur detainees in the camps. 

“Documents from 2019 reveal plans for a campaign of mass female sterilization in rural Uyghur regions, targeting 14 and 34 percent of all married women of childbearing age in two Uyghur counties that year,” Zenz wrote. 

“This project targeted all of southern Xinjiang, and continued in 2020 with increased funding.”

Zenz added that his findings “raise serious concerns” as to whether Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang amount to genocide. 

According to ITV, the Uighur doctor now helps other Uighur women who fled to Turkey and is “trying to right the wrongs of her past.” 

“Many of the women don’t know what was done to them and need medical help,” the outlet said. 

China has admitted to the existence of reeducation camps in Xinjiang but has said that detainees are free to go after graduating.

China’s foreign ministry has slammed the allegations of sterilization and forced abortions among Uighur women as being “baseless” with “ulterior motives.”

In July, the U.S. imposed sanctions on several Chinese companies for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Russia Reports Turkey Sent 500 Syrian Fighters To Azerbaijan


by Tsarizm Staff September 3, 2020

Erdogan Looks To Recreate Ottoman Empire?

Russia Reports Turkey Sends 500 Syrian Fighters To Azerbaijan

Russian state-run media is reporting on Syrian mercenaries being moved by Turkey to aid Azerbaijan in its fight against Armenia over the ‘frozen Soviet conflict’ of the Nagorno-Karabakh border region. CDMedia reported on this situation in mid-July. At the time Baku and Ankara both denied the allegations. Turkey has also used Syrian Sunni fighters against Russian-backed forces in Libya

Several Telegram channels have reported that about 500 Turkish-backed troops previously stationed in Syria, namely fighters belonging to the Sultan Murad Division, the Free Syrian Army and Hamzat, have been deployed to Azerbaijan. Nezavisimaya Gazeta’s sources note that this information is pending confirmation, however, it is likely to be genuine. Baku held a protest several days earlier, calling on Turkey “to save Azerbaijan from the Armenians and the Russians.” They called on the government to place a Turkish military base on the territory of Azerbaijan and take revenge for the July clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, wrote Russian state news agency TASS.

Turkish TV showed footage from the demonstration, which later was picked up by several Russian media outlets. There is no official response from Moscow regarding this matter, and it is unclear whether Baku had allowed this protest to take place. Igor Dimitriev, an expert on the region, said on his Telegram channel that “the Turks have de facto built a military base in Azerbaijan.” “There are rumors going around claiming that after the drills [large-scale Azerbaijani-Turkish drills held in July-August 2020 – newspaper], Turkey left some of its troops in Azerbaijan, including F-16 jets with personnel in addition to a unit of Turkish drones,” the expert said.

Russia has long enjoyed a military base in Armenia, but has sold weapons to both sides in the conflict. Moscow has attempted to mediate the conflict in recent months as violence spiked in the South Caucasus region.

Turkey has strained relations with all its neighbors, including those in the NATO, with its oil and gas drilling in Greek commercial waters. Turkish President Erdogan seems to be attempting to recreate the Ottoman Empire. History is repeating itself in Central Asia

INVESTIGATION: Horror in Southern Kaduna: Untold story of endless massacres, plunder by suspected Fulani militia (Part I)

NIFERIA’s government and that of Kaduna State have done very little to halt the killing, maiming and plundering of communities in Southern Kaduna, North-west Nigeria.

Source: INVESTIGATION: Horror in Southern Kaduna: Untold story of endless massacres, plunder by suspected Fulani militia (Part I)  | International Centre for Investigative Reporting

The Things you Probably Didn’t Know About Communication




Communication; the building block to a long lasting and healthy relationship

What is communication?

Communication is an interaction between two people or more that leads to understanding. It is a means of expressing our wants, dislikes,needs and expectations to our partner. If there is no communication in a relationship, it will result to lack of understanding, silent treatment and harbouring of grudge. In a romantic relationship, where communicationbetween lovers isn’t good enough, one person may feel unloved while the other may feel misunderstood.

Good communication is necessary in every relationship to build trust,understanding, love, and bring satisfaction. Communication helps us express our feelings and desires to our partner, helps us to be understood, and makes us stay connected in our different relationships. Communication Helps a relationship grow and last longer.

Types of Communication

Communication is divided into:

  • Verbal
  • Non verbal

In verbal communication, we express ourselves by talking, saying how we feel, what we want, what we don’t want, things we enjoy and things we don’t. We talk about ourexpectations and experiences.

In non verbal communication, we express ourselves using body languages. It can be in form of facial expression or body movements. All these convey important messages to our partners.

How does communication play a role in building a long lasting and health relationship?

• When we communicate, it’s a form of intimacy. We are sharing a part of ourselves to our partner. We’re been open to them. We’re letting them, giving them a glimpse into what we feel and how we want to be treated.

• When you communicate in your relationship, you’re passing a message which your partner may not supernaturally know unless you say. People who communicate reduce chances of bearing grudges and keeping thoughts to themselves or staying angry at each other. When you’re able to tell your partner what he/she has done wrong to you, which he/she may have done unintentionally or intentionally without knowing the effect on you, you’re creating room for apology and forgiveness, and this will leave both of you satisfied and happy in your relationship.

• Communication reduces the chances of long term misunderstandings. Individuals judge or consider situations differently,therefore, when you communicate, you clear the air of misunderstanding by explaining to your partner how you perceive a particular situation. This will remove a feeling of resentment or hurt because both parties communicated their different views.

• Communication helps in resolving issues; sometimes one party may have pressing issues, if he/she doesn’t communicate to his/her partner, the issue may remain unresolved. When there is communication,both partied will bring solutions to a problem and agree unanimously on whatto do, by this, trust is solidified andreliability is established on both sides.

• Communication helps in conflict Management. When both parties are willing to talk about what happened without resorting to silent treatment, theyare one step ahead in settling their conflict

.• Communication helps to shape our expectations. You may have certain expectations from your partner, if you haven’t communicated them, your partner may not know what is expected from them but if you clearly state what your expectations are then your partner will be able to act according to your expectationsand if for any reason they can’t, they also are in the position to communicate back to you. When expectations are clearly stated, it is easier to meet them or give reasons why they can’t be meet and when such reason are given, you owe your partner the responsibility of understanding or making it clearer to him/her the importance of your needs.

• Communication will help your partner to know set boundaries which they shouldn’t exceed. When you’re able to communicate with your partner, you can openly tell them your likes and your dislikes. If you don’t say, they may never know. But when there is communication and both parties know their boundaries, they will be able to keep to it thereby promoting respect over their partner’s wishes.

• Communication helps partners understand themselves. If you don’t speak out, your partner is likely to misunderstand you or your actions. Communicating with your partner will help them understand you better and know how to respond to you in certain situations.

• Communication brings unity. Couples who communicate stay united because they are able to express themselves to each other.

How to communicate;

Sometimes the tone of your voice or your body language or facial expression might be a turn off to your partner while you’re trying to communicate. Your partner may be someone who finds it difficult to speak, he/she may be more of a listener than a talker, whichever, there are ways to communicate our needs,fears and desires without seeming paranoid or rude. Sometimes people find it difficult to communicate because they are scared of been misunderstood or rejected.

1. Be willing to listen.

Listening is the most important part of communication. Don’t listen to reply rather listen to understand. When you’re a good listener, you’re encouraging your partner who may not be much of a talker to express his/herselfopenly.

2. Let your partner speak without interruption.

Let your partner speak without interruption. Don’t cut your partner short whilst they are still talking; allow them to conclude their statements before you beginyours.

3. Maintain good eye contact…

show interest and attention. Avoid every form of distraction and try to be open- minded when communicating.

4. Be cautious of the tone of your voice.

If you’re very angry, take deep breaths before you speak. Try to be very calm before addressing an issue to avoid uttering words that may hurt your partner.

5. Be cautious of the tone of your voice…

and try to consider the effect of your words on your partner, at the same time,say your mind and how you really feel but be careful in your choice of words.

6. Make your thoughts very clear to your partner…

and give room for questions so he/she will be able to understand you.