Saturday, 31 December 2016

A Review of 2016

        Friends and Readers,

        As I reflect upon the 366 days(yes, it was a leap year) of this past year now gone, I am reminded of the many blessings bestowed upon me by the Lord, and the many ways he has brought me, a wayward sinner, back to himself.  I do not have time to write much about them all, nor do I feel I could rightly put what is on my heart appropriately down on a blog.  Despite my failings as a son, brother, and Christian, I know that God abundantly pardons those who repent of their sin and place their whole hope of salvation in his Son, Jesus Christ.

        And rather than writing about some of my favourite recollections of this past year, here is some of my year in picture form.  Happy New Year!

Early January Sunrise over Lake Ontario

In March I traveled to England
with this great bunch of folks.

We floated down the river Thames -
far north of London, in Cambridge.

In June I took a flight in a very small aircraft.
See the movie I made about it HERE.

In the summer my sister(third from left) and
I visited some good friends in Connecticut.

And I set foot in the eastern edge of the
Atlantic Ocean while in New England.

My family and I moved house for the first time in over 15 years.

We also remembered the courage and
sacrifice, heroism and daring of the many
men of past wars who fought for freedom.

D-Day, June 6, 1944.  Normandy, France.
(Read more by clicking here.)

I kept up my photography - but I only post my good pictures!

And we finish with the moon setting in conjunction with 
Venus over a lake in the Algonquins taken when on vacation.

Photographed, Written, and Posted by William A Moore

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas & "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

        Merry Christmas!

        It has been a season of somewhat infrequent blog posts on here, but I wanted to make sure that I wished everyone a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.   In past Christmases I have done a series of Advent posts looking at different Christmas carols and hymns. This year I could not put the time into something like that, so if you want to read previous years posts click HERE.

        Instead, this year I have spent time composing an arrangement of one of my dearly loved Advent hymns for piano.  Thus, below is a recording of my arrangement of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel".  It is one of my favourite Christmas hymns. I hope you enjoy it!

        Merry Christmas and may you all have a Happy New Year!

                                             ~ William A. Moore

Friday, 25 November 2016

Recollections of War: The Sinking of HMS Barham

        75 years ago today, the British Royal Navy lost their only battleship to be sunk in the Second World War.  Built in 1910, H.M.S. Barham saw action with the Royal Navy in both World Wars.  Having been part of the Battle of Jutland in WWI, she now shepherded supply convoys during WWII.  Sailing with a fleet in the Mediterranean off the coast of Egypt, the battleship H.M.S. Barham was identified by a German U-Boat on patrol, and suffered hits by three torpedoes.  Within minutes her magazines, which contained tons of high explosive, exploded.  859 men went down with her.  This was only British battleship which fell to the Germans during WWII.  It is fitting that we remember all those who have fallen serving at sea on the anniversary of the sinking of H.M.S. Barham.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Recollections of War: We Will Remember Them

        Today is Remembrance Day.  It has now been 98 years since the end of the First World War.  All of those who fought on both sides of the Great War have died.  Now it is left to us, as those who are still on this earth, to remember this history - and those who played a part therein.

        My family and I have a tradition of attending a Remembrance Day service in downtown Toronto most years.  It is very special to me as my grandfather attended with my father, I now attend with my dad, and God willing I will take my son one day too.

        So, to commemorate this Remembrance Day, here are some pictures from the ceremony and place where it was held.  As the poet says:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Soldiers Tower, University of Toronto.

It is solemnly wonderful to see upwards of a thousand people
gather to remember those who have passed on before.

The writer of the famous poem, "In Flanders Fields",
John McCrae, was a graduate of the University of Toronto,
and his name is commemorated on the wall.

Some of the many wreaths laid by the wall of names
to remember those who fought and died.

A sobering remembrance of those who have died
fighting so that others may have life.

"Their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth,
but lives on far away without visible symbol,
woven into the stuff of other men's lives."

Written, photographed, and posted by William A Moore

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Return of sorts . . .

        Friends and Readers of this Blog:

        Over the course of the past few years of writing this blog, I have taken some breaks from posting.  One of those breaks, whilst broken by this post, is somewhat permanent.  I now have a full time job, and am moving forward toward certain life goals, many of which preclude regular posting and writing on blogs.

        However, there may be a few infrequent posts still left to write.  I still maintain a love for history, music, and writing, and when I have time, quite possibly will post a few things now and then on this blog.  Speaking of which, Remembrance Day is tomorrow - and I hope to commemorate it in a small way later on Friday evening.

        I pray that what I have written in the past, and may write in the future, proved interesting and edifying.  Thanks for following along with me as I remembered many historical events, thought about current things, and wrote about many other subjects.  Many blessings to my readers, both from the start of this blog, and those who find these posts on the web in time.

        I Gogoniant Crist,
      (For Christ's Glory)

      William A. Moore

Friday, 8 July 2016

Music of Scotland: Highland Cathedral

        Over the course of my adventures in music, both in playing and listening, I have always returned to one piece in particular.  This piece has always been a favourite, and I never tire of it. Its title is "Highland Cathedral."
        Recently I recorded a cover of it, and now I embed below my recording for you to listen.  I played a backing track of guitar, and added an Irish whistle track for the melody, for which I also was the musician.  I hope you enjoy!

        This is the first post in a gathering of posts profiling some of my favourite Celtic music.  I hope to share some more in the future.  Keep an ear out!

Played & Posted by William A Moore

Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Collection: June

Good Morning!

        Welcome to the fifth edition of The Collection: a monthly gathering of a few of the best things I have found on the internet from the past month. From the month of June I have selected three things to share with you: a short and well thought through speech on the recent exit of Britain from the EU, a beautiful arrangement of Gustav Holst's 'Jupiter', and a piece of WWII history from today. I hope you enjoy them!

        A Speech on "Brexit" - David Hannan, as result of the referendum, lost his job as a member of the EU parliament.  After watching this speech, one can see why it was such a socially, economically, and politically important vote.

        "I Vow to Thee My Country" - A beautiful arrangement of 'Jupiter' from Gustav Holst's 'The Planets' first played for the funeral of that great statesman and leader, Sir Winston Churchill.  It is paired with some contemporary scenes from that time (You will see that when his casket was taken by boat along the River Thames to his burial ground, one of the most striking things was when all the cranes along the London Docks lowered their jibs in honour of him).

        The Royal Marine from Colwyn Bay - More than seventy years after one British Royal Marine was killed in action in Holland in WWII, he was finally properly buried with full military honours.  This is the story.

        See you next month!
        The Collector

Friday, 24 June 2016

Make Britain Great Again: Thoughts Upon the British Referendum

All opinions and thoughts are only those of the author, who quite possibly may be wrong on many of his speculations.  Feel free to comment below with your thoughts. In any of what has been said, the author means no offence to any of the readers.

        Well, the polls have been closed, the voters have voted; the counters have counted, and results have been announced. And Britain has voted, by an ever so slight majority percentage, to take their leave as a member of the European Union (EU).  In a purely economic and political sense, I, despite not being a British citizen, am convinced it is the right choice for Britain to leave the EU.  One of my friends in the UK, a Scottish young man completing his studies with a degree in law, has evidently put some careful thought into his choice:

        "Let's think about this. Even the doomsday scenarios Remainers are touting say it's going to be chaos for ten years. In ten years . . . I'll still be a fair few years from middle age, and my extended family's next generation may be starting school. So, worst case scenario as per Remain, I and the rest of the 'future' will spend most of our lives in an improving, globalized and free Britain. So, flip that. Where will the EU be in ten years? Or twenty? Decades more tied to the economic dead zone of the world. Decades more of Brussels making more and more laws applying to our                                                                                          lives however we vote.

        "I'm one of those George Osborne says has most to lose. Young, no property, just entering the job market. I love traveling and international culture. But what is ten years of economic uncertainty compared to what others has sacrificed for our freedom, our democracy? Nothing. And let's face it. Everyone who's giving us these doomsday scenarios have been wrong before (*cough Euro*). The way I see it, the world is the UK's oyster. We've got links to many great nations, like Australia, Canada, and India. And most importantly we'll be free from the imposition of laws by people who we cannot vote out of power."

        Frankly, I believe the EU is an outdated system.  Brought into being in 1958 as the EEC: European Economic Community, to combat the Red Empire - the Soviet Union - it is no longer necessary to have so many rules, regulations, and restrictions on free countries.  Back then there was no mass production and shipment of products around the world, there was no internet, let alone Amazon.  So it was a good idea and help for the time; however, all of that has now changed.  The rules meant to help free trade, and govern imports and exports have done their job.  These rules, I would contend, hamper and tie the hands of not a few countries who are part of the EU.  And the big thing which I see as a large problem would be the introduction of an EU military force.  Britain would be no more than a servant of a governing body.  She would have to relinquish her currency, her borders, and her judicial system.

        Thus, in order to grow and remain a free country, Britain has made the right choice in leaving a system which serves her no longer.  And I believe that Britain will grow stronger once again now that she is free from restrictions governing her trade.  As my friend mentioned above, Britain has links to Asian countries, South American countries, and also her Commonwealth countries.  She can now have better interests and control of her own imports and exports with other non-European nations.  For those who are saying that now Europe will trade less with Britain, Europe will not want to stop Britain from purchasing, for example, their automobiles, which bring them millions in profit every year.

        But no matter how strong Britain grows in her economic prosperity, she will never become truly great again, unless one thing happens. The fact is that Britain, like almost all of the Western world, has sadly forgotten the founding principles which gave her life to become one of the greatest nations in history.  She has forgotten God.  And until she remembers her Maker, she will never be fully 'Great' again.  Britain, I wish you the best in your endeavours toward freedom and democracy.  Please, remember the words of your Christian King, Alfred the Great, who brought law, stability, freedom, and prosperity during his excellent reign:

        "For in prosperity a man is often puffed up with pride, whereas tribulations chasten and humble him through suffering and sorrow. In the midst of prosperity the mind is elated, and in prosperity a man forgets himself; in hardship he is forced to reflect on himself, even though he be unwilling. In prosperity a man often destroys the good he has done; but amidst difficulties he often repairs what he long since did in the way of wickedness."

Written and Posted by William A Moore

All opinions and thoughts are only those of the author, who quite possibly may be wrong on many of his speculations.  Feel free to comment below with your thoughts. In any of what has been said, the author means no offence to any of the readers.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Fly Fest 2016: Flying in a Royal Canadian Air Force 'Chipmunk'

        On the weekend I had the opportunity to take a flight in one of my favourite aircraft - a deHavilland 'Chipmunk' of the RCAF, now owned and operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum(CWHM).

        Interestingly enough, as we were up in the air, my pilot and I heard over the radio from ATC(Air Traffic Control) about the CWHM Lysander making a forced landing in a field nearby after having engine troubles, and we flew towards the spot until a helicopter was sent out instead.  Everyone was alright, and the plane only sustained minor damage, particularly to its landing gear.  So my flight, though thankfully not having to ditch, still turned out to be quite an adventurous flight!

        Here is a short video I made using footage gathered whilst on the ground and in the air:

Written, Filmed, and Posted by William A Moore

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe' - Part Two

This is Part Two of a short look at the novel, Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe.  
Click HERE to read Part One.

        . . . . Perhaps most importantly Crusoe starts to recognize that it may be these calamities are God’s way of punishing him for his sins of rebellion and foolishness. Crusoe “had not previously considered that all this was the hand of God’s judgement . . . ‘that God had appointed all this to befall me, that I was brought to this miserable circumstance by his direction, he having the sole power, not of me only, but of everything that happened in the world’.” Crusoe now comes to see the how the hand of God’s Providence has been disciplining and prodding, protecting and guiding him to see his utter helplessness and thereby, his great need for forgiveness and reconciliation from and with God[1]. Defoe writes thus about Crusoe’s change of heart:

        “I was earnestly begging God to give me repentance . . . I cried aloud, ‘Jesus, thou Son of David, Jesus, thou exalted Price and Saviour, give me repentance!’ Now my soul sought nothing from God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing . . . for whenever men come to a true sense of things they will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction.”

Crusoe’s conscience awakened: he saw his need to turn away from sin and turn to the Saviour. He realized that nothing he did or could do would be able to save his soul. He might be able to survive on a deserted island, but it was God’s Providence which put him there in the first place.

        The change in Crusoe is one which is marked by a dependence upon God rather than self, and hope rather than despair. He renames his island the “Happy Desert” from its former name of the “Island of Despair.” And even when he comes across traces of cannibalistic natives who have come to his island, Crusoe, while sensibly taking such precautions as deemed necessary, is comforted by the protection of God and the hope of His blessing. His whole view of his world has changed: before, he was hopeless of ever getting off the island – but now he realises that the hand of Providence has placed him here for a reason, and he lives in recognition of that fact.

        It was mentioned earlier that Daniel Defoe published Robinson Crusoe a few years before the Great Awakening of the 1730’s and ‘40’s in the American Colonies. At the speed whereby books made their way from Europe to the New World, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe was beginning to be circulated in the Americas around the time of the Great Awakening. And there was a remarkable similarity between Robinson Crusoe and the culture in the Colonies at this time. People were living in relative security, with a burgeoning sense of independence leading to a forgetfulness of the power and providence of their Maker. However, there were threats of Indian and French conflict too, with many men joining the militia in preparation for war. At this same time godly men, such as George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards, were preaching the Gospel up and down the Colonies, calling people to repent and trust in Christ.

        The result of this bold preaching of truth, and the call of the Gospel, was that many people were convicted of their sin and turned in repentance and faith to Christ – just like Crusoe.  In fact, the story of Robinson Crusoe cannot be understood apart from the workings of God. Except for the workings of Providence, Crusoe most probably would have died. And when he trusted in Christ to protect him and save not just his body, but also his soul, Crusoe experienced great comfort and joy. And in the same way, but for the preaching of men like George Whitefield, many men’s souls would have been lost in hell. When they turned to the Lord and believed, they then had life in his name.

        One cannot help but see the relationships between religion, faith, providence, and hope in Defoe’s novel. It should remind us to not place our hope in things on earth, our own strength, or anything else in this fading world. And we also ought to see the many similarities between the fictional story Robinson Crusoe and the real history of the Great Awakening. In both cases blessing from God followed belief in the truth of the Gospel. This should encourage us to turn from our fear of men, and self-serving ways, and believe fully in the truth of God’s Word, namely, that as we trust in him, he will protect and save us to the end.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

[1] Douglas Bond, Guns of Thunder, P&R Publishing (2007), P. 74-75
All other quotations from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, published by Penguin Books, 2001.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe' - Part One

        Daniel Defoe, 1660 - 1731, was one of the earliest writers in the realm of fiction literature. In fact, he has been credited as one of the founders of the writing of modern novels. His book, Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, was the catalyst for many of the great novels and stories which are still read today. But no study of Robinson Crusoe is complete without a look at the theme of religion that is present throughout the book. It is referred to time and again by the author and his protagonist, and moreover, guides many of the twists and turns that occur. While Robinson Crusoe is a great and exciting adventure novel, it is also a purposeful and intriguing look at the place religion has in the heart and life of a man.

        The era of history in which Daniel Defoe was born and during which he wrote Robinson Crusoe was a period during which great religious upheavals and conflicts occurred. Defoe was born in the midst of the Killing Times in Scotland, when Royalist dragoons were hunting down non-conformist Presbyterians for seeking to meet and worship separately from the Church of England and its practices. But early in the 1700’s, when Robinson Crusoe was published, the tide of religion was seemingly at its ebb. However, as Robinson Crusoe was becoming more widely distributed and read in the 1730’s and 40’s, so also were the great revivals, both in England and America, and more commonly known as the Great Awakening, taking place. These were the times of Daniel Defoe and Robinson Crusoe.

        Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main character or protagonist in the novel is a man by the name of Robinson Crusoe, who after some adventures on the high seas, is shipwrecked on a deserted island somewhere in the Caribbean. Following the life of a shipwrecked mariner who lives in solitude on a single island may at first glance appear to be a boring storyline for a 200 plus page novel but as John Richetti, English Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, writes in his introduction to the 2001 Penguin Classics Edition of Robinson Crusoe:

                “The crucial narrative feature of Robinson Crusoe that makes it much more than a thrilling adventure, however, is the narrator’s retrospective and intensely thoughtful perspective on his life… …Looking back on his life, Crusoe will evoke an ambitious and aggressive younger individual but will tell his story from the perspective of a wiser and more mature man who has learned about the limitations on individual action and ambition and who has acquired the proper [recognition] of divine [and] providential arrangement in human affairs.[1]

In other words, the thing which takes Robinson Crusoe from being merely another adventure novel is his growth as a character throughout the story, and specifically the lessons he learns throughout his adventures.

        When we are first introduced to Crusoe, he is a headstrong, wild young fellow who runs away from home to satisfy cravings for adventure against the entreaties of his family, and disregards the prodding of Providence. We read on of “how unashamed he was to sin and how ashamed he had become to repent, how concerned he was with wealth and adventure… …how he was born to be his own destroyer with his fancies and ambitions, how those ambitions lead him on a slave-trading voyage, and how a violent storm arose, and, battered by treacherous seas, the ship ran aground, and how all seemed lost.[2]” Defoe emphasises the depravity of human nature in Crusoe – and thereby in all men – as he lives a life similar to that of John Newton before he was saved. Even when on the island, despite thanking God for the provision of food, and thereby acknowledging His presence, Crusoe still does not repent of his sin. Neither does he recognise his need for salvation, not just from past wrongdoing, but from himself. But very quickly certain things, and Crusoe’s heart, begin to change.

        Crusoe begins to realize that despite his fortitude and skills at surviving on the island, he is not in control of everything, and everything does not happen the way he expects it to. There is a large earthquake which terrifies him greatly, and “sunk my soul within me, for fear of being buried alive”. Yet, “All this while I had not the least serious religious thought, nothing but the common, ‘Lord have mercy upon me!’ and when [the earthquake] was over, that went away too.” Later on Crusoe falls seriously ill with a fever, and there is no one to help him. And at this point there comes a change in Crusoe’s heart.

End of Part One - Part Two will be published this day next week.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

[1] Richetti, John, Robinson Crusoe, Introduction, Penguin Books (2001), P. IX
[2] Bond, Douglas, Guns of Thunder, P&R Publishing (2007), P. 66.
All other quotations from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, published by Penguin Books, 2001.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

The Collection: May

Good Morning!

        Welcome to the third edition of The Collection: a monthly gathering of some of the best things I have found on the internet from the past month. From the month of May I have selected four things to share with you: a very thoughtful and beautiful look at who we ought to be, an interesting look at why old books smell nice, an epic collection of modern Celtic music, and a piece of WWII history. I hope you enjoy them!

        Who I Am - "My goal is to ultimately define who I am in Christ. To be a light to others. To find all of my fulfillment in my God and point others to Him for answers."

        Why Old Books Smell Good - A scientific look at the reasons why certain books have their own peculiar smells - and how you can tell the difference.

        An Epic Celtic Music Collection - Most of this selection is really terrific music, either to listen to while reading a good book, or when hard at work on an awesome project.

        This Month in Military History - A fascinating story of a time when German soldiers fought side by side with American troops against Nazi SS fighters.  Click HERE for a longer version.

        See you next month!
        The Collector

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Recollections of War: The Battle of Jutland

        On May 31 - June 1, 1916, 151 British and 99 German ships-of-war participated in one of the defining naval battles of the First World War, just east of the British Isles, off the coast of Denmark.  A huge assemblage of modern warships, Dreadnoughts, battle-cruisers, destroyers, and lighter ships gathered in one of the largest battles wherein modern warships have participated.  This was one of largest clashes of modern warships that the world has ever seen.  This is the story of the Battle of Jutland.

The British Grand Fleet
        The battle began with the one of the Admirals of the German Navy, Franz von Hipper, attempting to lure one of the Commanders of the British fleet, Admiral David Beatty, into a trap where Admiral Reinhard Scheer was waiting with his main battleships.  Despite Beatty's maneuvering, before he could react, two of his larger British battle cruisers were sunk by German gunfire.  However, with some quick thinking, Beatty turned the tactic around and drew the pursuing German Navy toward the Royal Navy.  Within a few minutes Hipper found himself in front of a formidable force of British warships.  Soon enough, Admiral Scheer also steamed up without realizing the danger in which he would be placing his ships.

The German High Seas Fleet
        Here the British made one of the most important tactical decisions of the battle.  Instead of heading his fleet of ships in line astern down the side of German fleet, British Admiral John Jellicoe turned his ships to port(left) and lead them across the front of the German column of ships.  This prevented the German fleet from bringing to bear the full power of their guns, and, in return allowed the British to concentrate their full firepower on the German battleships.  German Admiral Scheer realized the predicament he was in, and carried out a brilliant maneuver by turning all his ships away from the British fleet and laid a smokescreen for protection.

The Battle of Jutland
        Yet for some unexplained reason, Scheer turned back to the British fleet and ran into the same problem.  Knowing that a smokescreen could not save him now, he ordered his destroyers to launch a full scale torpedo attack on the British warships.  Admiral Jellicoe, like many naval commanders of the day, was very cautious about torpedoes, and turned his ships away from the German fleet.  This ensured his ships would be less likely to be hit by torpedoes, but it also meant that now he could never win the battle. By turning away, Jellicoe let Scheer escape beyond range of his guns, and let the German fleet speed away to their home port.  Jellicoe gave chase, but both sides never came within range of the other again.

HMS Invincible moments before she sank
        At the end of the battle both sides claimed victory, despite each suffering heavy losses.  The British fleet however, may in hindsight have been the victors.  Even having lost three of their best ships, they had hit the German Navy hard enough that they never put out to sea again for the duration of the war.  But still, there was a terrible cost in lives on both sides.  The British Grand Fleet, having more ships than the German High Seas Fleet, lost proportionally more men.  There were 6500 casualties for the British, while the Germans only suffered 3000 casualties.  An equal number of heavy ships were lost on each side, with the Royal Navy losing a few more destroyers than the German Navy.  Despite all that, the German fleet had more ships seriously damaged then the British fleet, which reported 24 ships ready for action the following day.  Thus, Britain remained in control of the sea for the duration of the war.

        "World War One remains characterised by imagery of the trenches of the Western Front. Yet the sea was Britain’s lifeline and the supremacy of the Royal Navy was crucial to national survival. It is right, a century after Jutland – the largest and last clash between dreadnoughts – that we join together to remember those lost from both sides," wrote First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas during preparations for the 100th Anniversary commemorations.  As this post is being read, a few thousand miles away in Scotland, and elsewhere, services of remembrance are being held for those who died in the Battle of Jutland, and to commemorate the events of 100 years ago. May we never forget the bravery and courage displayed on both sides of the fighting these many scores of years past.

This post was also posted at the Discerning History Blog.  To read more historical posts like this, click HERE.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

Friday, 27 May 2016

Recollections of War: Sink the Bismarck!

"The pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck will remain one of the great sea-stories of all time, worthy to take its place with Salamis, Lepanto, the Armada, Trafalgar, Tsushima, Jutland, Midway, the Coral Sea." 
~ Sir Ludovic Kennedy

        One can read a history book or search the
 internet and learn much about the great and
 tragic story of the hunt and destruction of the
 WWII German battleship, 'Bismarck'.  News
 films such as the one below can show and tell us a lot  about what occurred back then through the eyes of the  participants.  History articles can also help us grasp the  historical significance and   importance of such events.

        But I submit that one thing a purely fact-
 telling and history-relating piece cannot properly and fully  tell us, is the personal and human side of the story.  The  personal decisions  and private struggles of the individuals who  took part in great deeds.  The emotions and feelings which these real people expressed during the event.  And I think that this is nowhere better exemplified than in the story of the Royal Navy's hunt for the German's largest battleship, 'Bismarck'.  A certain ship went here and there and a certain captain gave this and that order, write the history books, but we feel something is missing.  Then into the gap comes one of the best and greatest war films I have ever seen.

        'Sink the Bismarck!' while not as long as some films, nevertheless tells one of the most daring and heroic, victorious and heartbreaking stories from the Second World War.  And what better way to commemorate the 75th Anniversary (May 27, 1941 - May 27, 2016) of the sinking of the Bismarck than to watch this excellent film.

(Yes, I know it begins in German, but the rest of the film is in English.)      

        So why not sit down for an hour and half tonight, and relive, through real peoples eyes, the story of

'Sink the Bismarck!'

        I know what I'm doing tonight!

Written and posted by William A Moore

Thursday, 19 May 2016

'If' - Rudyard Kipling

        A month or so ago I posted a poem by the Victorian author and poet, Rudyard Kipling.  Here is another of his works.  It, like many of Kipling's poems, speaks with biblical wisdom to how we live on this earth.  

'If '

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

By Rudyard Kipling - 1895

Posted by William A. Moore

Saturday, 7 May 2016

The Collection: April

Good Morning!

        Welcome to the third edition of The Collection: a monthly gathering of some of the best things I have found on the internet from the past month.  From the month of April I have selected four things to share with you: a short but wise piece of encouragement for young men, a stunning video of Poland, and a piece of WWII history.  I hope you enjoy them!

        Young Men - Is This You? - In this short article, the author lists eight wise and godly traits that ought to characterise young men in a day and age when disrespect, foolishness, and laziness, are not called out and repented of.  I myself need to be reminded of them all.

        Holiday in Poland - A beautiful and epic journey through the skies of Poland.  Coupled with some good music, the cinematography in this video showcases the beauty of this eastern European country rather well.

        This Month in Military History: - One of the longest and harshest campaigns fought throughout WWII was the Battle of the Atlantic.  Lasting the entire war, this grueling fight was fought by the hardiest of men, helping to keep intact the vital supply-lines of the British Isles.

        See you next month!
        The Collector

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Conflict in Canada: A Brief Look at the French and British Wars in the New World (PART 2)

This is Part Two of this article - to read Part One, click HERE.

        The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, as it came to be known, was the last major military engagement between the opposing forces of the French and British colonies on Canadian soil. General the Marquis de Montcalm commanded the French troops, while the attacking British regulars were led by General James Wolfe. On September 13, 1759, the fate of French Canada was decided. After cutting off French supplies and threatening connections between Quebec City and Montreal, General Wolfe scaled the cliffs below Quebec City and by 0800hrs had assembled his entire force of over 4500 men on the Plains of Abraham below Quebec City. General Montcalm had no choice but to fight. He quickly arranged his army, which was of similar size, and advanced upon the British lines. The British stood firm until the French were no more than 40 yards away and then poured in their devastating volleys(1).

        The French retreated, disordered and broken, but not before both Wolfe and Montcalm were killed. The British laid siege to Quebec City and captured it before winter. Next spring the British advanced upon Montreal and captured it too. With both major cities of Quebec in British hands, the French surrendered Quebec to the British, and with the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Quebec was officially ceded to Britain. Over the next few scores of years there would be more hostility, with the American Revolution and the subsequent migration of the Loyalists to Canada, and also the War of 1812-14 which, had the British and Canadian militia not secured and protected Canada’s borders, would have made Canada the 52nd State. Through all this the British presence remained in Canada, and guarded the country until Confederation.

        The conflicts between the British and the French have decidedly shaped Canada into the country we know today. From the early rivalries of the fur traders – the North-West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company – to the great military offensives on the east coast, the French and British conflicts have left their mark. The French colonization of Quebec and settlement of towns such as Montreal and Quebec City have bestowed a rich heritage upon the population of Canada, specifically Quebec, even until now. The British presence and military events which took place over the years in Ottawa, York, Niagara, and Kingston are still recognized and commemorated two hundred years later. Even now, in the 21st century, French sympathy runs quick in the blood of French-Canadians, while strong loyalties remain in the hearts of descendants of the early English pioneers.

        There are still conflicting interests between French-Canadians and English-Canadians. But even though the use of politics, not open war, is the way things are fought about nowadays, tensions still flare-up between the mostly French Quebec and the rest of Canada. The Quebec Referendum of 1995 was proposed by those who wanted Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada and become its own independent country. The vote was taken and 49.5% of Quebeckers voted to separate, while 50.5% voted to remain in Canada. Despite many vocally advocating Quebec should be a separate country, it is interesting to note that the majority still want to stay in Canada. The benefits of being a province were considered to outweigh the benefits of separation.

        In conclusion, through the British and French interests in the New World, and in particular Canada, there has arisen a great and long-lasting history of conquest and settlement, war and conflict, peace and justice. From the early First Nations and the French fur traders, to the British colonials and the early English pioneers, to the people who make up the population of Canada today, we can see the rich history which has shaped this land. This is my country. This is Canada.

Written by William A Moore

(1) ‘Battle of the Plains of Abraham’, Tabitha Marshall,, August 2th, 

Recommended Reading:
   ~ Bond, Douglas, Guns of Thunder, P&R Publishing Co., 2007
   ~ Marshall, Tabitha, ‘Battle of the Plains of Abraham’,, Published August 2nd, 2006
   ~ Morton, Desmond, A Short History of Canada, McClelland & Stewart, 2006

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Conflict in Canada: A Brief Look at the French and British Wars in the New World (PART 1)

        From the time that the land we now know as Canada was first discovered and settled, there have been many major wars and minor conflicts that have occurred throughout the centuries on North American soil. Almost all of these were related in some way to the British and French interests in the New World as they vied for supremacy for over 150 years. Even though these wars were fought more than 250 years ago, the effect that these conflicts had on the shaping of the country of Canada are still visible today.

        There were three periods of conflict that successively followed each other from circa 1610 to 1762. The first period of conflict was the French and Iroquois War, also known as the “Beaver War”, which lasted from the early 1600’s until the beginning of the 18th Century. French interests in the New World created factions and alliances among the native tribes. The French sided with the Huron-Algonquin alliance and defeated the Iroquois Confederacy in the beginning. However, the Iroquois soon began to use guerilla style warfare tactics, and with their skill in the use of rifles they soon gained the upper hand. A treaty signed by the French and Iroquois in 1701 put an end to the conflict.

        King William’s War, which was fought from 1688 to 1697, followed next, with two expeditions sent by British and the American colonies against Montreal and Quebec in 1690 following the successful capture of Port Royal in Acadia from the Acadians. Both offensives were forced to withdraw, and did not succeed in their objectives; the Montreal venture had to return because of disease and lack of supplies, while the Quebec mission was forced back by French defenders. The French hold upon a large part of North America was strongest at this time. But with the turn of the century, the major French and British hostilities were just beginning.

        The French built the Fortress of Louisburg in 1720, and began to build up their military strength in Canada. The British were somewhat concerned with the French army being built up in Canada fearing that it might possibly lead to a controlling French presence in North America. But the French were stretching themselves thin around the world, leaving many small garrisons spread far apart which were vulnerable to attack. Soon the British had captured many positions from the French forcing them to regroup and defend themselves in Quebec. But the French still had control of much of the eastern seaboard. This began what was known as the War of the Austrian Succession.

        In 1744 part of the French forces based at Louisburg launched an attack on the more southerly town of Canso, which was controlled by the British. The French captured the town and took prisoner about 100 British soldiers after a short but fierce fight. The objective in attacking Canso was supposed to guard the supply lines from nearby settlements, and stop the British from using the town as a staging point for an attack on French Canada. The British reacted quickly to this military move and gathered together an army of Colonial militia commanded by British regulars. In the spring of 1745 the combined British and American colonial armies sailed for Louisburg.

        Despite setbacks caused by foul weather and partially trained soldiers, the fleet of ships arrived off Louisburg Harbour and landed their troops with few problems. The French defenders of the beach were beaten back with few casualties on the landing forces, and the attacking forces made camp. For a few weeks a stalemate ensued; then, without warning or negotiations, the French marched out of the citadel – and surrendered. Louisburg was now in British hands and the French hold on the New World was greatly relaxed. But through the strange twisting of political intrigue, only a few years later, in 1748, it was returned to the French in exchange for towns in Belgium, ending the War of the Austrian Succession(1).

However, once again, the British saw reason to attack Louisburg in 1758 and stop the French from forever having a major portion of the North American continent under her control. Under the leadership of Sir Jeffery Amhurst and General James Wolfe, Louisburg was wrested from French hands forever. The final capture of Louisburg, and subsequent retreat of the French to Quebec, was a major point in the beginning of the Seven Year’s War, sometimes known as the French and Indian War – with the British siding with the Indians, leaving the French with little support in Canada. Slowly the British took control of much of the French holdings in Canada, leaving the French with just Quebec. The final showdown between the British and the French occurred in 1759 in Quebec, just outside Montreal.

This is the end of Part One.  Please click HERE for Part Two.

Written by William Moore

(1) ‘Guns of Thunder’, Douglas Bond, P&R Publishing, 2007

Friday, 15 April 2016

On "Out of the Silent Planet" by C. S. Lewis

        Out of the Silent Planet, by C. S. Lewis, is a remarkable book. It charts some of the adventures of Dr. Elwin Ransom, a philologist, who, when on a walking tour in England, was abducted by an old schoolfellow and his partner in devious deeds. After managing to land in a spacecraft on a planet, his two companions try to give him as an offering to the inhabitants of the strange world – but Ransom escapes and runs away. In his exciting and mysterious travels he meets many sorts of creatures, and learns that the planet he is on, known as Malacandra, is actually Mars. He then receives a summons to come to someone called Oyarsa, who rules over the world. When he gets there, there is a very intriguing confrontation between Oyarsa and Ransom and his two companions – which serves well as the climax of the book. This book is a well written story of a world which acknowledges its need for a Saviour – unlike our world, which needs to read this book.

        There are many good things regarding this very engaging yet thought-provoking novel to be pondered, studied, and discussed. In reading Out of the Silent Planet, there are two things which probably stand out the most to any reader. One is the corruptible nature of mankind and the solution for him; the other is the remarkable contrast between our world and Malacandra. The corruptibleness of man might seem a little too obvious to some, but there is a hidden element. Even though it was in God’s plan that man would fall, it was not the way man was created to be.

        Man was created in the image of God, to be his image bearer and dominion-taker over all of His creation. But very soon man fell, bringing down with him all hope of being a friend and servant of God – or so it seemed. The relevance of this in Out of the Silent Planet in singularly striking. When Dr. Ransom was kidnapped, who kidnapped him? His old schoolfellow and his friend who were what? Partners in crime. Then when they take Ransom to Malacandra they want to sacrifice him to the creatures there. Who in his right mind would do such a thing to a fellow human being? Only those who are depraved.

        In the book, those who are depraved are called ‘bent’ by the creatures that live on Malacandra. Ransom, in his talking with the creatures, finds out that there is a bent Oyarsa ruling over Earth. That is what makes the men of Earth so evil. The same thing had happened to the world of Malacandra, but Maledil, the Son of the Great One, who created all the worlds and their Oyarsas, had sacrificed himself to free the world from the power of the bent Oyarsa, and banished him to rule only within the Moon’s orbit. This does sound familiar, especially when you understand that the Great One is God, the bent Oyarsa is the Devil, and Maledil is Christ.

        The second theme which is very evident is the contrast between our world and Malacandra. The worlds themselves, not just the life on them, are extremely varied. On Malacandra, the atmosphere lies far down in the deep valleys and never reaches the heights. The water is perpetually warm, not normally cold as it is on earth. The colours are all, according to our view, ‘wrong’. Rock is pink; plants and trees are green – and any other colour as well. But perhaps the most striking element, as on any ‘other world’, is the creatures and beings.

        There are three main ‘races’ of sentient living beings on Malacandra: the Hrossa; the Séroni; and the Pfifltriggi. These three each contribute to the technology, agriculture, and scholastic learning of Malacandra. Each of the races lives in harmony with each other – which is more than we can say who live on earth! Each of the races knows that they cannot survive without the help of one another. So they work together to live in peace and harmony.

        This is in direct contrast to our world. There may be some alliances between nations on earth, but they are tedious at best. The creatures of Malacandra are a great example of the peace and unity which comes from a civilisation that recognizes its Creator. On Malacandra, the creatures have been rescued from their Fall and live according to the moral code of the Great One, God. Our earth does not recognize that we need a Saviour – which is a terrible mistake. The contrast between Malacandra and Earth should make us want to change all that and preach the Gospel to our fallen world.

        And here we must end this look at Out of the Silent Planet, but it is certainly not the end of the story. The adventure may have finished for now, but the message ought to be remembered in the minds and hearts of those who read the book. C. S. Lewis, in subtly writing the history of our world into the amazing story of Dr. Ransom’s adventures, points out that the only way to be rescued from our bent condition is to trust in Christ alone for our salvation.  And that is the remarkableness of Out of the Silent Planet.

Written by William A Moore

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Oxford, England: A Pictorial Visit

        Many of you who read this blog mostly likely know that I recently returned from travelling in England, having gone to study the history and the craft of writing with author Douglas Bond and seven other writer-friends.  It would take too long to tell about all the places we visited, and the people we learned from, and the fun we had, and of course all of what Mr. Bond taught us, but below is a selection of my best photos.  In the future I plan on recounting some of what we did and certainly some of what Mr. Bond taught us.
        Eva, Rachel, Caitie, Faith, Alisa, Justin, and John -  if you are reading this, know that I considered it a great blessing to travel, learn, and explore with you.  God-speed all of your writing adventures!

Oxford, England, home of many great writers, poets, and Reformers.

Baliol College, where John Wycliffe studied.

Pembroke College, Oxford

Writing on location in the Bodlian Library, Oxford.

King's College, Oxford

Banbury Hill Farm, where we stayed.

The village of Olney, where John Newton & William Cowper lived.

Standing in front of Magdalen College, where C. S. Lewis lived and taught, and the 
Martyr's Monument, where the lives and death of Cranmer, Latimer, & Ridley are remembered.

Magdalen College, Oxford

 Walking 'Addison's Walk' where C. S. Lewis heard the
Gospel from his friends J. R. R. Tolkien & Hugo Dyson.

 The grave of C. S. Lewis & his brother in the 
churchyard of Holy Trinity, which Lewis attended.

Keble College, where Lewis trained for military service in WWI, and where a 
long forgotten photograph of a younger Lewis was recently discovered in the archives.

The last night - Sunset over the Cotswolds, Middle England.

Many more photos can be found on my Facebook profile: click HERE to view my complete album.

Here are links featuring some of my fellow author-traveler's websites:

Mr. Douglas Bond's website.

It truly was a magnificent trip!

I Gogoniant Crist,
William A. Moore

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Collection: March

Good Morning!

        Welcome to the second edition of The Collection: a monthly gathering of some of the best things I have found on the internet from the past month.  From the month of March I have selected four things to share with you: a remarkable giant music-box, a very encouraging blog post by a friend, a stunning video of Iceland, and a piece of WWII history.  I hope you enjoy them!

        The Music Marble Machine - A music video showcasing an amazing piece of work: a wooden contraption that plays a tune using marbles to hit notes.

        The Golden Chisel of Sorrow - A sincere and encouraging reminder of the role that grief and suffering play in the life of a Christian written by a friend of mine.

        Odessey: Midnight Sun - A breathtaking video of the wondrous beauty of Iceland captured this past winter.

        This Month in Military History - A very good article explaining the beginning of the British Commando raids on Occupied Europe during the Second World War.

        See you next month,
        The Collector

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Why I am a Christian

                ‘Always be ready to give a [reason] for the hope that is within you’, says the apostle Peter in his first epistle. This is a very wise admonition for the Christian, as I have found through experience that one of the least encouraging positions to be in as a Christian is the place where you know you are saved, but when someone asks you, ‘Why?’ you are at a loss for words. The answer is not just, “Because I am a Christian!” It is because of the great and marvelous work of Jesus as shown below.  
                As a Christian I am saved from judgement by a holy and righteous God. Thus, I am saved from the just punishment my sins deserve: death. Because of God’s love for those whom he would call to be his own, he saved me through his great mercy. It was not because of anything that I did which caused God to look upon me favourably. It was because of his great love which he had for me that he sent Christ to die upon the cross in my place, taking the wrath which my sins deserve, and now accepts me because of the Lord Jesus’ righteousness.
                But being a Christian is not just about being saved from eternal punishment, even though that is a large part of the process of salvation. I am saved from hell, but what am I saved for? I am saved for the ultimate glory and honour of God. I am saved to be his servant and to do his will.  I am saved to serve and bless others.  I am saved to bear witness about the life-giving work of Christ.  Therefore, I must live my whole life in submission to his commands, and strive by his grace to live in such a way that will bring honour to his name.

                I am a Christian so I can be saved from judgement and death.

                I am a Christian so I can live for Christ’s Glory.

Written and Posted by William A. Moore

Saturday, 19 March 2016

'The Gods of the Copybook Headings' - Rudyard Kipling

        It has been a while since I last posted a poem.  Thus I now share a favourite poem by Rudyard Kipling which shows the flaws of upcoming post-modernity, and the timelessness of true Christian wisdom.  Kipling wrote this just after the end of the First World War, in which he had lost his son fighting for the British Empire.  His editor said it contained 'age-old, unfashionable wisdom' that Kipling correctly recognized as having been lost in 'habits of wishful thought.'  Read the poem for yourself below.

"AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

"We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

"We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

"With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

"When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know.

"On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death.

"In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, 
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; 
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, 
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die.

"Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

"As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. 
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, 
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

"And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, 
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, 
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!"

by Rudyard Kipling - 1919

Posted by William A. Moore