19.4.05

I have moved house!

I was heartily tired of BLOGGER's slow loading, time to update and its general temperamental outbursts.

I'm now to be found at

Shalom

Please update any bookmarks so you don't have to return here.

Still very basic, but am settling in.

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King Street in February
It was February. A typical February day in Sydney with the temperature in the early 30s and the humidity about 85 or 90%. The afternoon sea breeze had not yet arrived and possibly never would that day. The air was heavy and hung oppressively on everything. Those who could not escape to air conditioned bliss, or at least the comfort of a fan, were listless, overpowered by the heat and looking forward to March and the hope of some clear autumn days.

Jesus and his friends had spent the morning in the heat down near Tempe. Here the heat was aggravated by the noise of the planes landing and taking off at the nearby airport. The noise was deafening as the planes were often so low that some of them imagined they could see actual faces at the windows. Tired and cranky with the heat, they begged Jesus to let them go some place pleasant where they could relax indoors with a cool drink and some fresh seafood dish. Jesus had finally said yes, and they set off for North Sydney where there would be a variety of places to choose from. After walking along the noisy highway for a while breathing the diesel exhaust fumes from the many trucks, they decided to catch the next bus which came to take them right into the city. The bus was crowded but they piled on, heading to the Quay.

“Move down the back of the bus, pleeez!” yelled the driver. The group looked at Jesus and he nodded. They tried to obey the instructions but found themselves squashed between two students who would not move past the back door steps and the passengers who had just got on the bus. Judas turned, hoping for some more space, but the backpack swinging from his shoulder hit a seated passenger who scowled and then started muttering angrily under his breath. Jesus sighed and tried to look out the window over Peter’s shoulder. He could see some shops, so he pressed the button for the next stop. As the bus stopped, they almost fell out of it onto the footpath. At first, relieved to be out of its stifling atmosphere, they stretched. Then the complaints started. “I’m hungry,” “I’m tired.” “It’s been a long time since breakfast.” James and John started muttering angrily to each other and Jesus thought to himself that whoever had nicknamed them sons of thunder knew what he was talking about. A real thunderstorm would be welcome right now. It might cool things down in more ways than one.

They crossed the road, moving between the stationary bus and several cars. The highway had suddenly turned into King St., Newtown, where quicker progress could be made on foot than in a vehicle. Several eating places could be seen and again the bickering started. “There’s Gloria Jeans,” said one. “I really want Thai,” said another. “North Indian Diner’s up the road a bit,” was another suggestion. “How about African? Look over there!” Judas meanwhile was inspecting the menu pasted in the window of the closest shop. It was obvious they couldn’t afford to eat there. Iced coffee was $3.75 and the cheapest cake was $5.50, let alone a real meal. Multiply that by twelve and it was a tidy sum, more than was in the backpack. He’d forgotten Jesus again, make that thirteen. He muttered in Jesus’ ear.

Jesus called the group together and sent them, disgruntled, to find McDonalds. No one seemed to know that McDonalds had actually left Newtown several years before, unable to make a go of things in this area of greenies and health food freaks. He was tired and he sighed again. It was no easy job shepherding this bunch of guys who had such different backgrounds. Let alone trying to show them who he was.

He moved into the shade of the awning, not seeming to notice that he was outside a pub. Feeling the hint of cooled air coming through the door, he pushed it open, stepped inside, sat down at a table and looked around. It was then he discovered that this was probably not the usual run of the mill pub. At least, not for most of Sydney’s suburbs. Here in Newtown, pretty much anything goes as normal. Two women were kissing at one table and several of the guys at the bar were holding hands. He looked totally out of place in his top, once good quality but in need of a wash, and his dusty shorts which he had worn all week. On his feet were rubber thongs, not designer sandals. They were wearing thin, but Judas, as usual, was being careful with the money and wouldn’t let him buy another pair. Jesus sighed again. Perhaps he could find another pair in the Vinnies he had seen just up the street. It might be worthwhile looking in the bargain shop too. As he was, he was in need of a makeover from something like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

The young guy who had been wiping tables paused as he came past the table where Jesus was sitting. “Pretty hot out there, isn’t it? You look as if you could do with a beer. Want me to get you a nice cold one?”

Jesus contemplated his answer. “You know,” he said, “If you really knew who I am, you’d ask me for a drink for yourself, instead of offering to get me one.”

The young man stared at him. “Can’t see your esky or a bottle in a BYO bag. Having me on, are you, or do you think you’re better than me? I know your type. They cross the road to avoid people like me. Won’t have anything to do with us in case we contaminate them or give them AIDS or something else nasty..”

Jesus said, “Your beers won’t stop either of us from getting thirsty again. What I can give you to drink will be different. It will spring up from inside you, bringing life of eternal dimensions.” The young man was eager to receive this drink. “I’d rather be out of this place,” he said to Jesus, although he did not realise what Jesus actually meant.

“Go and get your partner,” he was told. “I don’t really have a partner,” said the young man. “You’re right,” said Jesus. “You’ve had five before this one, and this one is also only using you.”

“Who are you? A clairvoyant? A prophet? People like me have been around a long time, but you people always say that we have to do things your way, that you are the ones with true spiritual enlightenment.”

“We certainly have the way of enlightenment and fulfilment and I’m telling you that those who are enlightened will know both spirit and truth”

“I do know that all things will be revealed to us,” said the man.

Jesus said, “I am the one who will reveal all to you.”

Just then the rest of the group burst through the doors after their vain search for Maccas. They were surprised to find him in such a place, speaking to such a person, but no one said anything to him.



©2005

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31.3.05

I have moved house!

I was heartily tired of BLOGGER's slow loading, time to update and its general temperamental outbursts.

I'm now to be found at

Shalom

Please update any bookmarks so you don't have to return here.

Still very basic, but am settling in.

|

28.3.05

When a basketball hoop collapsed bringing down part of a heavy brick wall, a 10 year old boy lost both arms and a leg. However,doctors are confident that reattaching the limbs has been a success.

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27.3.05

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!

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Journey through the field of life by Adrian Plass. Courtesy of Tractorgirl.

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25.3.05

Good Friday

His be the Victor's name,
Who fought the fight alone;
Triumphant saints no honour claim,
His conquest was their own.


Through weakness and defeat
He won the meed and crown;
Trod all our foes beneath His feet,
In being trodden down.

He Satan's power laid low;
Made sin, sin's reign o'erthew;
Bowed to the grave, destroyed it so,
And death by dying slew.

Bless, bless the Conqueror slain,
Slain in His victory;
Who lived, who died who lives again
In glorious majesty.


S.W.Gandy. (d.1851)

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17.3.05

Here's a handy right click add-on for an image zoom for Firefox. Right click gives zoom in/out, reset and customm zoomoptions. Images only, not text resizing.

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I went last night to an exhibition, cubanos, of photographs of Cuba by an friend, Chris Bray-Cotton. It is on for several days yet at the Tap Gallery,Palmer Street Sydney. Darlinghurst really. Last night was opening night and what a cross section of society. All types of people there. Chris is now a student at Armidale but was a valued member of the Arts Cell group I co-lead till her move north-west.

I would have loved to have bought several of the photographs, studies in light and character. However, even at $200-300, they were beyond my purse. I was glad a lot of peope turned up. She was nervous about the whole thing, but by the end of the evening, several of the works had little red stickers next to them and she felt happier.

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I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spic-ed tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Attributed to St Patrick, 377-466

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14.3.05

Did you know that over 1000 Australians are diagnosed every week withAlzheimers disease? This startling statistic was published tonight on the ABC news tonight. Australia's population is aging and this is one aspect of this. Facilities to deal with those suffering from it are very stretched. Possible causes include diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking, although there is much research continuing into this. News coverage showed a room full of elderly people sitting in a circle around the edge of the room. They were playing a form of Follow the Leader and obediently stamped their feet or waved hands in the air at the leader's signal. Some were well groomed, right down to a tie and tweed sportscoat on one man. Others had the scruffy, vacant look of the advanced sufferer.

It is seven years in a couple of days since my father died of Alzheimer's at the age of 80 and I can testify to the cruelty of the disease. It is fatal and although medication can now help if it is diagnosed early enough, it cannot be stopped. My mother is now 85 and "as bright as a button" mentally. However, when he was about 70, Dad began to show signs of what would be Alzheimer's. He was an extremely intelligent man. In pre-computer days, he would regularly do the timetable for a large high school, integrating staff, subjects, rooms and pupils with almost no errors. He was always interested in horticulture and did the trade course recognised through Australia in his spare time, topping the year each time. He had no opportunity to attend Uni as he was an Intelligence Officer in the Army in World War II. He remedied this lack by gaining his degree through part time study after teaching all day.

When the disease first started, it bothered him. He would stare at his garden, willing himself to remember the name of some shrub or tree. He took to wandering at all hours of the day and night, often most inappropriately dressed. Doors had to be kept locked and the keys hidden. He would make coffee by putting the electric kettle on the stove. Obviously the brain still worked but came to the wrong conclusions. He saw friends in the flames of the wood stove and would sit and talk to these, unseen by all but himself.

Eventually my siblings and I were forced to put him in a nursing home to save my mother's health and sanity. I have seen such things as were on the TV tonight. The care was wonderful and the staff did all they could to preserve the dignity and qualityt of life of the patients but I have seen few things more pathetic than seeing Dad sitting in a room arranged much as those in tonight's newscast. Each person had some percussion instrument such as pre-schoolers would play. Maraccas, drums, cymbals. This intelligent man was keeping time to some march music by using a metal triangle with a wooden beater. I cried when I saw this.

As time went on,he was happy,even if we were not. He no longer knew us although he could speak of his childhood. Eventually he was in a wheel chair as Alzheimer's also shortens the tendons behind the knees and stops walking. This for a man who walked up to fifteen kilometres every day for years with his beloved dogs and then some more just for himself. It affects eye muscles so his eyes turned in different directions. In the last few months, he was bedridden. My most touching memeory perhaps, is of his being fed strawberry icecream by a nurse just hours before his death. She fed him with a teaspoon as I feed my baby grandchildren and carefully wiped up the dribbles. In three hours,he was dead.

And 1000 people are being diagnosed every week to a future like this.

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