There is a tab on my website titled “Links” (of websites I often refer to) that was last updated February 2018. I am amazed how much things have moved on in four years in terms of preferences. I am saving what I wrote then and will be shortly updating this to reflect the current situation. But here is what I wrote then …
I have included links to the websites that I frequently refer to that happen to be relevant to my work as a gospel preaching community activist and which I have found to be helpful in the past. In the main, much of the good stuff contained in these websites is freely accessible, is relatively easy to navigate and there is not too many irritating adverts that hinder one from getting what is wanted. I have also included some fun stuff relating to my other interests. I updated this page (07/11/14) to accommodate additional sites and no doubt there are many more worth visiting, but more than two years on (06/04/17) a further update has been undertaken (bringing the number up to 30 – plus a few extra that happens to relate for good measure) and now my latest update (01/02/18) to check links and make minor tweeks, although much of what I had prior to then still applies, even if certain links I don’t go to much these days. The main stipulation is the website is free, anyone can access it (at least in the UK) and that stuff it contains is helpful and does not contain stuff I deem harmful or rude. I try to be balanced but recognise my selection not only reflects my interests but in cases my biases also.
The BBC website contains many strings to its bow. Besides being able to keep up to date with its good coverage of world news and a wide range of sports, I find here I can watch or listen to TV or radio, live and archived. I don’t watch much TV and if I do it is usually from my desktop linked to the Internet. I watch some live sport and some favourites like “Strictly Come Dancing”. I listen to radio more, usually Radio 4, and while doing other things. regularly listen to the Archers and Test Match Special podcasts and have found myself recently listening to past episodes of “Desert Island Discs” and “In Our Time”, and occasionally radio drama, which is usually good.
Biblegateway is simply the best for providing a free online Bible (in most of the versions commonly used today) and Bible aids. As a preacher, I find this an indispensable resource e.g. word searches, and there are other resources e.g. commentaries and dictionaries that make life so much easier. I often read the Bible while listening to it being read same time. A recently discovered example of a free audio Internet Bible is the King James Version Audio Bible.
Brethrenhistory is one of a number of places I might go to pursue my interest in history, especially church history, of which a lot can be found on the Internet, and in this case the history of a group I belonged to for most of my life, albeit with mixed endorsement.
Chess.com is an online facility, which is free, where you can play chess, chat or use its many resources, although you can pay for some useful extras, and is one I use regularly to play games (around 12 at any one time), usually along 3 days per move correspondence lines, with people from all round the world (my tag is jrb136). I will accept challenges to play from readers who sign up. One of the helpful features of chess.com is being able to analyse moves. Another helpful site for analysing moves is chessnextmove.
Christian Concern is a great resource for alerting me to developments in our culture that ought to concern Christians, especially around culture war issues that we must not ignore. Other informative Christian sites that I find helpful are: Christian Institute, CARE and Evangelical Alliance, although I’m helped by getting weekly what’s new type of bulletins from these organisations.
The Drudge Report is a recent discovery and an important weapon in my trying to find balanced reporting, even though Matt Drudge is more aligned to the alt right. While he is often maligned, his website is more popular than many mainstream outlets. While he gives more credence to alternative news sources, many of his links are to mainstream media. It is no frills and Drudge has a remarkable knack of reporting stuff that matters.
Facebook along with Twitter is a popular social networking site. I have a Twitter account but hardly use it as most of my friends and followers aren’t avid twitterers. I do have my own Facebook account that I now find myself using this on a daily basis, and to notify friends of new blog posts on my website. It is useful for finding out what is going on in the world from a non mainstream media perspective, what some of my growing circle of “friends” are up to and are thinking and sometimes I have robust exchanges on some or other issue. I realise there is a danger of this causing us to escape from the real world and personal relationships, yet I acknowledge its power to get one’s message across. I do have qualms about Facebook being a monopoly and it does censor and share personal info.
Fox News is a recent discovery from when I was following the Trump campaign, and since my liberal friends were often not keen I decided to go to, although these days it is more via You Tube, checking the latest from the likes of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro. There are other US mainstream news broadcasters of course, that suit less conservative tastes, which I go to for balance, but Fox is my preferred choice.
Freedictionary is just that – great when stuck for a word or when I have a posh word but need confirmation on its meaning.
Focus on the Family is decidedly American but I like it because it deals with one of the important issues of our day – the family as well as a number of other matters about modern culture that I care about, and provides some helpful resources. I particularly like some of the daily half hour radio broadcasts, especially those that relate to culture war matters. I have to confess these days I don’t go there much but in the early days did so regularly.
The Guardian is a more radical source although still mainstream and it has now replaced the Daily Telegraph (affectionately referred to as the Torygraph for obvious reasons and once the newspaper I read each day) as the British newspaper I find my myself accessing online regularly for its helpful articles. Like most British newspapers it now has an online version. When it comes to blogging, I find I often refer here to articles, as I do the Times and Independent etc. While I regularly refer to these sources, I am often disappointed because of an inherent bias that fails to cover all that is pertinent or give credence to alternative views, some of which I hold. Bear in mind not everything on these news sites is free.
Google has been my preferred Internet search engine of choice for some time now. While not telepathic, more often than not it comes up trumps even for the most obscure searches. My concern is its near monopoly position, its shutting down of those whose views are deemed unacceptable and its complicity in spying on users.
The Huffington Post is an interesting daily online newspaper with an alternative, radical feel, that I find I am often drawn to, although it often annoys because of its liberal bias.
Info Wars is a recently discovered website hosted by charismatic, conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, who is in the forefront of providing an alternative to mainstream media and presenting breaking news you might not get elsewhere, and if you can get past the rant, anger and waffle, often has something important to say, which often you can’t find out elsewhere or much later on. Unsurprisingly, Alex Jones is not popular with elements of the establishment. He does a four hour radio broadcast that can be accessed by YouTube.
Israel Today purports to be balanced but isn’t, but then what is? Nothing I have come across yet provides a fully balanced account of what is happening in Israel and the Middle East. Notwithstanding, its Zionist position, it attempts to be fair and does provide helpful reporting on what is going on.
Mental Health Foundation is as good as anywhere for getting free resources and information about mental health.
The Mind Unleashed is a recent discovery but often comes up with some amazing and disturbing revelations that I find myself checking out. I get most of my notifications via Facebook. Of a similar ilk is The Free Thought Project. While I do not agree with everything, there is a lot of material to give food for thought and challenge the official narrative.
Pink News provides news that may interest gay folk in particular or those following developments around these issues. Its reporting is just about fair and balanced and it offers a lively reader comments section (and they do), but not one for the faint hearted, especially if you believe that to be gay is NOT ok.
Poetry Foundation is a great resource for finding out about poets and their poems. Most of my favorite poems are there.
Providence Baptist Church like a lot of websites (sadly) has not been maintained for a while, but it is the website of the church I belong to and still contains useful information, including sermons, a few of which I have preached.
SAVS is the website of an umbrella organisation for the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in Southend and contains lots of up to date information to do with the local community.
Southend Borough Council offers something that these days is encouraged: electronic data sharing and provides lots of useful information and resources where the council are involved Add /SIWG2 to find out more about the Southend Interfaith Working Group, a group I happen to be involved with.
Southend Community-in-Harmony, Trust Links and Love Southend are three organisations I was involved with in my early days as a community activist and with which I still maintain links. Of the websites, the community-in-harmony has recently been removed as it is likely to wind down, although there are a number of other references on the web, including You Tube. Trust Links is fairly well maintained and Love Southend is sporadically maintained but contains lots of interesting historical data.
Southend Echo is the newspaper I read daily to be kept in touch with local news. This website is the electronic version of some of it. You can subscribe to free daily updates.
Thinkexist is about quotations.There are some amazing quotations around about many different subjects from a whole variety of people, past and present. This website contains a lot of them.
Time magazine is something that comes through my door every week. as it has ever since my college days, and it provides useful perspectives and reports on what is happening in the world, not always apparent in British media. Unfortunately, to get all the online content you have to pay. I mention this merely because I find Time magazine to be a helpful resource for news despite its globalist bias, although I have to resort to the paper version as unprepared to pay for online content. Strictly speaking, Time should not appear here given it charges but one thing is free are memes on its front cover, which I sometimes use as a starting point for my blogs.
Unblocked – not sure I should admit to this because of possible copyright implications, but I have discovered this resource where you can freely download old films. Anyway, last I checked, it is no longer there but I daresay there are replacements if I cared to look.
Wikipedia is sometimes wrong, shallow and misleading but other than that it is a great resource and normally comes in very handy for elaborating to sufficient depth on a huge variety of knowledge.
WordPress is where I went to produce this website. It is cheap (can even be free), easy to set up (although admittedly I needed the help of my then 15 year old son) and can easily be maintained. I like to think this website is a good example of what can be done!
Youtube, as I understand it, is where anyone can post audio-visual clips on any subject under the sun, within reasonable limits, and all sorts of people, some I know, frequently do. I often visit this site to listen to the music I like (I usually find what I want) or to view or listen to footage on some event or other and/or hear people talk about things that interest them and offer their perspectives (especially when at variance to my own). One venture was to watch all past episodes of “Highway to Heaven”, one of my all time favorite television shows. It is also useful for catching up on debates e.g. ahead of political elections. I have also heard some inspirational preachers as well as some I might be tempted to shoot. One recent discovery has been David Suchet reading the whole Bible (which like many discoveries is now removed because you have to pay). I still find it a great source for hearing / watching individuals with something to say (even if I disagree), and music of course.
last updated 1st February 2018