An Ezra Fast
Some people called for an Ezra Fast for the eight
Christians that are held by the Taliban in Kabul,
and that many Pastu will come to know the Lord.
Earlier this years there have been revelations
suggesting that God might bring a large revival
under the Pastu and take away the dark clouds that
have been above Afghanistan for so many decades.
I decided to join in with this fast and not to
eat anything. It was only after noon that I started
to feel a little light in my head due to low
blood sugar levels. When I went home the desire
for eating became very strong. Biking home was
not easy. But it was also then that I realized
the focusing power of a fasting. It is impossible
to forget the reason that you have decided to
In the evening, I joined a prayer meeting at our
church. At the end of the evening I really felt
weak. Sometimes my stomach would hurt from the
hunger, but then at other times would not
feel anything at all.
In the city
I woke up at 5:41 this morning. After I drank some
water, I felt much better. In the afternoon, I
was really doubting whether I should continue or
not. I decided to go into the city with the rest
of the family, but that I should not have done.
At one point I felt very week, and I decided to
eat some raisin buns. If I would have stayed home
in bed, I might have continued. In a certain way,
I felt like a failure, because I had intended to
fast till tomorrow afternoon. But on the other
hand I did learn some lessons. First of all that
a fast should not be taken lightly. I also realized
that it is not easy to fast on your own. I should
have contacted others joining in this fasting.
(At least, I did enjoy the curly kail
hotchpotch that we ate in the evening.)
Three hundred million Outcast Hindus, tired of being
outcasts, are considering to change religions. Today
there seems to be a meeting where representatives
from several religions to present their fate to
a large group of Outcast Hindu leaders.
The SGP is one
of the oldest political parties in
the Netherlands. At the moment it is under attack,
because they do not allow women to become a member
of their party. They are not against women voting,
but they feel women should not be candidates for
political positions. Even some organisation of
the United Nations has declared that this is violating
the human rights for women. Surely, this is not the
case, as they are not saying that no woman may be
a member of any party. There are enough other parties
women could become a member of, if they wished. And
really, what is the point, currently only a very
small fraction of the population is member of a
The GSP bases their opinion on the Bible. During a
news program, they showed the verse in Ephesians
which starts with "For the husband is the head of the
wife". But they did not show the rest of the verse,
nor any of the following verses. They did not quote:
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved
the church, and gave himself for it". Yes, you could
conclude that wifes should submit unto their husbands,
but then you should also conclude that husbands
should be ready to sacrifice themselves for their wifes.
In the same news program, there was also an item
about Kabul in the seventies, before the sovjets
waged war against it. There were pictures of women
in colourful skirts. Kabul used to be such a
beautiful city with roses everywhere in the parks.
Afghanistan was a country with religious freedom
were woman studied medicine and worked as doctors.
First wet snow
Octomber was the warmest month ever recorded in the
Dutch history since the begining of the seventeenth
century. I think it was also the first time that
the month of October was warmer than September.
(World wide it was also warmest October on record.)
Today, the warm weather is gone for sure. It was a rainy day
with some hail and wet snow. Some people reported even
having seen some wet snow on cars. In the middle of
the country it seems that there was even some more
snow. I personaly did not see much of it.
Today, is a again palindrome date
according to the day-month-year date notation
used in the Netherlands, and some other countries
as well. The Chinese write this date as 01.11.10.
Bin Laden admits his involvement
The Sunday Telegraph
reported yesterday that there circulates a
video among the followers of Bin Laden in which he
states the WTC was a legitemate target. There also
are reports with links to Iraq.
The Talibal retreat from Kabul
Last night, the Talibal unexpectedly retreated from Kabul,
but they took the eight foreign aid workers with them.
(Full story by CNN)
Today, it was announced that the U.N. thinks sending a peace keeping
force to Afghanistan consisting of troups from Indonesia, Bangladesh,
and Turkey. I also received a message through another channel, that
right at this moment a group of 50,000 Christians in Central Sulawesi
are surrounded by heavily armoured Jihad fighters in Indonesia
who are treating them with masacar.
Why is Indonesia allowed to help with a peace keeping operation in
Afghanistan, when it cannot even control the same kind of fundamentalistic
forces in its own country. Why is the Indonesia government allowing
Jihad fighters to go from island to island killing peace loving Christians?
Why is the U.N. not doing anything about this?
next of Afghanistan, and
next of Indonesia)
I arrive a little late home this evening. But I was happily surprised
to see that Li-Xia and her mother had perpared some curly kail hotchpotch, one of my
favourite dishes. It looks like Li-Xia's mother also does like it.
Report on Andy
Today, we talked with some people from the specialized
day care center that Andy is
attending during the weekdays. Last week we already
received a report about some test that was performed
on him. The test showed that Andy now has a development
level of 22 months. I found it quite shocking when I
read it. But, they told us that they were very happy
about Andy's progress, and that they have decided to
put him in another group as soon as their is place in
that group. For the moment he will be attending some
sessions in that group throughout the week. They told
us that Andy does meet all the requirements to make
more progress. He is open to others, has a strong
desire to make himself understood, although he does
not speak yet. He also adapts easy to changing social
settings. If a child lakes these abilities, it can not
develop any further. At this moment, Andy's most
important handicap is the fact that he cannot speak
well, although he tries hard. Luckily his language
understanding is good. He also is getting better
at relating pictograms with pictures, and important
requirement for being able to read. Altogether it
was good news.
When I went into the back garden to get my bike to
work, I noticed that some of leaves of
our Magnolia were all
covered with frost. Of course, I mediately
took some pictures.
Then when biked to my office, I noticed that everywhere
leafs were dropping from the trees. At some
of the frost covered lawns there were yellow circles
of leafs around the tree trunks. It seems as if many
trees lost many (or nor most) of their leafs this
morning. I think we should celebrate National
leaf dropping day, although it is maybe not a
happy thing to celebrate.
Today, I heard the great news that the eight Christian aid workers
have been released. Actually, it seems that they simply
have been left behind by the Talibal in some prison when
they were on the run from the Northern Alliance on the road
to Kandahar. Some Talibal spokesman said that they had
released them in exchange for something. Which to me seems
just another piece of propaganda.
Today, a local newspaper reported that a chestnut tree in
the center of the city collapsed after a light storm.
If I am not mistaken, it is the tree from which the
chestnut dropped that I walked around with.
In my search for more information about myelination, I found
interesting page explaining the nerve system with all its
Omega-3 fatty acids are said to have a positive effect on myelination.
Sending Annabel to China
In the afternoon, we discussed the possibility of sending
Annabel to China to stay with Li-Xia's mother and family for the summer holidays. But
as soon as Annabel realized that she had to speak Chinese
all the time, she did not want to go anymore. She said that
she liked to go, just for a few night. Maybe she changes
her mind after Li-Xia's mother has gone back to China.
Divorce within a day
With the new marriage law that became effective on
April first this year, it now also
seems to be possible to arrange a divorce within a day.
You can change your marriage into a registered partnership
by simply going to the town hall. Then the same day you can
undo this registered partnership with a public notary.
There are already notary offices specializing in this
kind of very fast divorces. Again it seems that the status
of marriage is being devaluated, if it can be terminated
as a formality simalar to buying a house. Some Christian
parties have urged the parlement to change the law to
avoid this unwanted side effect. Some even want to make
it more difficult for parents with young children to divorce
until the children are 12 years old. Seems to be a good
idea, but I think it will be very difficult to enforce in
When, I came home, there was a small surprise
for me waiting. Suddenly, this afternoon, Andy started to walk freely by himself bridging the
open spaces between the furniture. It made us very happy.
We both feel that we have to contribute this to the
omega-3 fatty acids we have been giving him since
In Pursuit of Simplicity
I found a wonderful page with the title
"In Pursuit of Simplicity",
which contains many manuscripts by the hand of
Edsger W. Dijkstra. And when it says manuscript, it
literally means manuscripts, because the page contains
scans of many of his handwritten articles and notes. Very
worth looking at, if it where only to enjoy his clear
and expressive handwriting.
I stumbled across some other interesting pages. It all
started with a page about
To my surprise, I discovered the page was written by a woman,
and when I read more about her, I became a little impressed.
It appears that we have many common interests, including
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,
formal methods, SF (although I did not find Dune
being mentioned), fractals, compiler construction,
and, last but not least, maintaining an extensive web site.
It seems that the prices of drugs are dropping in
the Netherlands. A Ducth policeman explained that
the reason behind this, is that the Northern Alliance
is dumping their opium stocks to finance their war.
It's not the Taliban, as some wants us to believe.
Now, also some women from the Dutch congress
are asking the government to take action
against the SGP because of their rules with respect
to women. The women were from all major
political parties, including the CDA, a
Christian Democratic party. They wrote a
letter to minister Korthals (of the department
of Justice) and secretary of state Verstand (of the
department of emancipation) asking if they
could force the party to allow women to
The secretary of state, Mr. Verstand, replied
that he would not do so, because it would imply
that he had to forbid the SGP. Something that he
considered to be undemocratic. The women found this
a rather weak reply, and said that they considered
it far more undemocratic that the party excludes
women from becoming active members.
Heather Mercer, 24, and Dayna Curry, 30, who were among the
eight Christians held by the Taliban,
arrived home yesterday. They were abandoned by their
captors in a prison in Ghazni, a town en route to Kandahar.
Locals and Northern Alliance forces discovered them on
November 15, and U.S. special forces
shuttled them to safety in Pakistan.
Mercer said the group passed the time in captivity singing
worship songs and praying. "That's how we got through," she said.
"We hope this whole situation brings awareness to Afghanistan,"
Mercer said. "We hope that out of this Afghanistan can be
rebuilt. We hope the people can have a season of peace."
When I went to boil some water for my tea this afternoon, I
looked out the window facing the street, and saw an old man
walking behind a rolator. He was walking slowly, step-by-step,
holding onto his rolator, his click-on sun glasses flipped up,
watching straight ahead. Probably walking his daily round, not
because he likes it, but because it is good for his hearth.
For a moment, I saw myself walking there in about thirty
years, no longer thinking, just watching the cars pass by
as they come and go,
I received a questionair from Katrina Martincic
with some questions about writing an online diary.
I thought it a good idea to include the questions
and answers here:
- When did you start your Internet journal?
The first entry is of Monday, February 20, 1995.
(You could have looked that up yourself).
- Have you kept typical notebook journals before or was an Internet diary your
first attempt at journaling?
No, I started writing a personal journal on
December 5th, 1975. (That answer could also be
found on my web site)
- Why do you put your journal online for the world wide web community to read?
As away to share my thought, my observations,
my comments, my ideas, my compassions. But also
to record all these small things that happened
in my life, that mean a lot to me.
- Would you suggest Internet journaling to others?
Depends on who the person is. It takes a lot
of time, and you should be aware that you may
be talking to a large audience. Both friends
- Any words of advice or caution to new Internet diarists?
Do not write just to fill space. Think clearly
about what you write. If you make links, be
carefull to check them. Do not simply repeat
(or quote) what you have read elsewhere. Never
write anything that you might regret ten years from
now. (Your writings may be archived for eternity.
- What does putting your diary on the Web do for you (spiritually, mentally,
It has become part of my life. I think the title
of my web pages says it all "I write, therefore I am".
More and more, I come to the realization that the act of
writing is one of the key ways of expressing myself.
- Do you think the phenomenon of Web diaries will quit anytime soon?
No! There will always be people willing to
share their thoughts to the world.
- How did you get the idea of putting your diary online?
First of all, it is not my personal diary. I make a clear
distinction between my paper diaries and my online
diary. It all started very natural, when I started
to make my first web pages in 1995. Especially at first
it was more of a log of what I found while searching
the web, then a diary.
- Is there anything you don't put online in you journal?
Or do you treat your Web diary like a personal journal?
No. They a clearly separated. In my online diary
I only write what I like to tell to others. In
my personal diary, I write about my personal feelings
- Any other comments you can give on the subject would be very much
Would you object, if I put these questions
and anwers in my online diary? Are you going
to publish your findings on the Internet?
If, so, can I make a link?
Today, I received the following email:
Subject: URGENT PRAYER REQUEST FROM INDONESIA|
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 09:21:05 +0800
I am in Indonesia and have received first hand information from Central
Sulawesi (Poso and Tentena). There are 63,000 Christians who are in
grave danger. I am appealing to the Church worldwide to begin to pray for
miracle of protection for these our brothers and sisters in Christ.
These Christians have only 35 police to protect them from daily attacks
against their region. There is a force of about 15,000 well armed Jihad
terrorists who have surrounded the Christian villages. Entire villages
have been burned and people are being shot everyday. They are fleeing to other
villages in hopes of safety.
The Indonesian military have pulled out. The Police have only a few
weapons. The roads have been blocked by the Jihad terrorists. The
supply of food is dangerously low. These brave Christians have been the
target of the anger of the Jihad terrorist. The terrorists have publically
announced that they will make December a "month of blood" and by Christmas
they will have eliminated the "cross bearers" from this region.
The attention of the world has been on Afganistan. This crisis in
Indonesia may be the most serious threat to innocent people on earth at
this time. The terrorists have proclaimed they are followers of Osama
This is an urgent prayer request. Please send this to every praying
believer you know. The threat is real. These people have no voice of
their own. Please pray for our loving Father in Heaven to show His mighty
hand to protect.
Bear no fruit
And that which fell among thorns are they,|
which, when they have heard, go forth,
and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life,
and bring no fruit to perfection.
Luke 8:14 KJV
Just some quotes:
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- George Harrison, the lead guitarist in
possibly the most influential pop group of all time, The Beatles, has died
aged 58, his spokesman confirmed to CNN.
However, we should interpret the above with the following quote
Harrison died in Los Angeles at 1:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) on Thursday after a
battle with cancer, spokesman Geoff Baker said, but further details were not
Harrison's family issued a statement saying: "He left this world as he
lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace,
surrounded by family and friends. He often said, 'Everything else can
wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another."'
To many, though, he was an enigma -- John Lennon said of him: "George
himself is no mystery. But the mystery of George inside is immense."
He was the man who (egged on by his first wife, Patti Boyd) brought Indian
mysticism and the Maharishi to the Fab Four.
Harrison went on to become a devotee of the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness, to which he donated large sums of money.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Two Australian aid workers said Friday they held
no grudge against Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers who kept them in
detention for three months on charges of promoting Christianity.
"I feel sorry that many of the Taliban are dying," Diana Thomas told
reporters in the western Australian city of Perth.
"That's a bit upsetting ... the Taliban treated us very nicely. They were
very kind to us really," she added.
Peter Bunch said: "We don't hold anything against them."
October 2001 |