7.3.03

Using three sports stars as examples, Martin Roth looks at conscience, confession and cognisance of wrongdoing.

|

Sight of the day
One middleaged man, fairly bald, was standing at the station. He had attempted, as many like him do, to camouflage his baldness by growing the hair very long on one side of his head and combing it over bald patch. This rarely works and looking pathetic is the result. This was worse than pathetic. A puff of wind had blown the long hair completely back so that it cascaded over one shoulder with just a few wisps remaing to hide the bald patch. He seemed oblivious to his new hairstyle.

But then, we all practise some camouflage or other...

|

5.3.03

Speaking at a missionsfest in Vancouver, Campolo calls evangelicals to 'face facts' about Middle East. Whether or not you agree with Campolo, this is worth a read.

|

Oh dear! Postal officials here in Sydney have intercepted many bags of mail which represent a new mail scam. A cheque is made out to the recipient to be activated after $60 is sent to head office. More from Nigeria? No this comes from Canada!

|

Interesting news in the paper this morning. A report says that the movement of the tectonic plates could cause Java to hit Port Hedland in Western Australia. There will be a new mountain range with good skiing created. The time frame? I don't think any of us will have to worry about it - approximately 20-25 million years away. Then again, perhaps the government had better start planning now. I don't think the current detention centre already at Port Hedland for illegal immigrants, ( read "refugees,") will be quite big enough.

|

Quote of the day
"If George Bush works in the Oval Office, how come he has backed himself into a corner?"

|

4.3.03

I was reading this morning of Fred pondering the history of some of the pieces in his woodpile. I've been there as well. (Here's a chair leg from a chair broken beyond mending by one son. There's a piece of that old frame.) I like wood heat. There's nothing quite like it and its soft enveloping warmth and I regret our switch to gas heat when we had great difficulty accessing wood. I miss the time spent cutting wood. The boys would forage through the bush and soon learnt what was worth burning and what wasn't. I don't really miss stacking the trailer or unloading it and stacking it at the other end of the journey. I do miss the cosy warmth, the aroma of the different types of wood.

Here in suburban Sydney, we also had a slow combustion wood stove with a wetback to heat our water, as well as a slow combustion heater in the living room. I loved cooking on that stove. I've had a fair bit of experience of such stoves. I remember the bread which rose so high that it stuck to the roof of the oven. Cheesy topping was hard to clean! I remember coming downstairs to a warm kitchen and opening the stove up to wake it from its night burning. Casseroles and soups cooked on the side of the stove were delicious and so easy. Great too when my husband came in late. The second oven in the stove was a great place to put the bread to rise, or to keep a dinner warm on a plate. There was always hot water from the cast iron kettle on the stove, with its marbles in the bottom to warn me it was getting empty. Pancakes and crumpets were cooked on the heavy plate which was part of the stove itself. All this sounds like a century ago, but we got rid of that stove only two years ago when we modernised the kitchen. It was falling apart and was also a casualty of lack of available fuel.

Jill Dupleix has written a book called, I think, Slow Food. It extols the virtues of food which takes a while to prepare and cook. We are often in too much of a rush these days. I taught my sons to cook on this stove and today they are all good cooks. None of them is a fan of fast food. When they were small we had little money to spend on McDonald's, KFC etc. We packed our picnics with food from home. I do remember one disastrous trip home when on holidays. It was late,dark, cold. We had three small boys, all hungry and a two hour trip home in the car. We stopped at the KFC in Bathurst. I won't go into details except to say it was a very long trip home that evening and KFC has since been known in our family as "chucky chicken!"

The fast food concept has entered our lives in other ways too and I'm not sure it is always to the good. How about the One Minute Bible? There used to be a book called Thirty days to Understanding the Bible. So what is wrong with me that I still struggle? People want to be in and out of church. They don't want sermons with teaching. That takes too long. Good books are condensed. And so it goes. What I say is nothing new. You've probably heard it all before. This entry may seem pure nostalgia, we can't go back to those conditions even though they are fairly recent. We can however still stop and consider our priorities.

|

New South Wales is having a state election in a couple of weeks. I've been intrigued to see in the press, photos of our Premier, together with his wife. Bob Carr is a bit of an enigma. He's an intellectual sort of man who belongs to the Labor Party. Until recently, that would have generally been a contradiction. He's a bushwalker and hold views similar to many Greens.

However, his wife is usually well in the background, with her own career. Perhaps Carr needs a gentler face in the eyes of his spin doctors. Yesterday, they were admiring the spectacular view from a lookout at Dorrigo. Out to sea, past mountains, bush and farms. The day before they were with a group of teenagers. Today they are holding hands and are pictured at Newington Public school with a group of youngsters in the background. Surpise, surprise - he announces his education policy, giving $700 to teachers annually to pay for professional development. Or am I just too cynical?

Bob Carr is usually accompanied by Laura Norder, (say it aloud) who is considered very important to voters. Unseen, she opens police stations and walks with local police on the beat in trouble spots. She also is found at the scene of drug busts and brothel closures.

|

The death is reported of Malcolm Williamson, the Australian born Master of the Queen's Music. Although Britain was his home for more than fifty years, he said that he tried to convey the "brashness" of Australia's cities in his music. "The brashness that makes Australians go through life, pushing doors marked 'pull,' " was how he put it. Prhaps he hadn't been in Adelaide where I'm sure they would never do such a thing. Sydney, definitely.

|

3.3.03


manila
You are a very conservative and introverted person. You live in your own world and you're not very easy to approach.

Which Blogging Tool Are You?



Link from Jen at Meditatio

|

The forward spies had reported that all was in place for the attack. Prior reconnaissance had allowed the plotting of the target with a high degree of accuracy, according to reprts emanating from the highest level. True, there was always the possibiblity of something not going entirely according to plan, but then some "collateral " damage had to be expected in such a campaign. The troops from the homeland and from allies over the water had been readied. They had been waiting the word for some time and were eager to move. They knew their target was expecting an attack, even if he was not entirely sure of its timing. No matter what he did, it seemed inevitable.

The attack was launched. Wave after wave of bombers sped stealthily through the night and pinpointed their target with a high degree of accuracy. Defence forces reacted as expected and there were some casualties. Still, what did they matter in a war like this? It was only to be expected with a tyrant such as this. After repelling the attack as best he could with normal means, the chemical counter attack was launched. This was again only to be expected.

Notes from the frontline in Iraq? No. A description of the nocturnal war between my husband and the mosquitoes which have sprung to light after some rain. He is convinced, in his insecurities, that they lie in wait for him wherever he goes. At night they wait till he is almost asleep and then launch their attacks. He is convinced he is their only target. They don't attack me generally. Even with screens on most windows, this old house still allows them in. Last night he finally got up and activated the chemical zapper after I had complained that he was causing more disturbances in the new bed than in our old waterbed, as he tossed and turned and made sudden sorties from beneath the sheets to hit wildly at what he saw were hordes of the enemy, intent on persecuting him.

|

2.3.03

It was an interesting time at church today. I think I mentioned once that we meet in a school at North Newtown which is a fairly "trendy" inner city suburb. Lots of greenies and followers of alternate lifestyles, as they are called. Plenty of drugs and some down and outs whose lives have been shattered by alcohol. The school community reflects all of these, except perhaps the old down and outs. Today they had a market place at school. We had not been told this was on and arrived to find the teachers' carpark fairly full. Stalls were just being set up and I wandered around. I bought a complete copy of Winnie the Pooh, the proper version with original illustrations, not the awful Disneyfied ones with gophers of all things. Also found a copy of Wind in the Willows and a book by Thomas Keneally. I paid $2.50 for the three.

After our time of singing, Peter, the pastor was giving the notices. He then suggested that as we were part of the community, we should show ourselves to be so. So we were dismissed to go and wander the stalls, to spend our money and to say that we came from the church meeting in their hall. This lasted quite a while. When we reassembled, some people from the school and some of their children had joined us. I could tell that Peter had departed somewhat from his intended sermon. He was preaching the gospel to them, in terms they could understand. Now I often have problems with Peter's sermons: he's no exegete and it really shows and I miss solid teaching. He is, however, a journalist by training and a communicator. He did a fine job this morning and at the end of our meeting, one of those who had come in expressed great interest in what he was saying and went forward for prayer.

I needed to be home to have lunch so I could go out to my conference meeting. We then found we were well and truly parked in. Fortunately my friend was able to come by the school, so we were delayed by only about ten minutes. I have no idea what time my husband was able to leave. Parking in the carpark and the glorified lane behind the school was fairly chaotic.

|

I have my first meeting for our Scripture Union July Conference this afternoon. This is a week long, residential conference and I have been a member of the team for many years now. For the last two years I have been the main speaker. This year's theme is "In Christ, a new creation." The director and I have both been influenced by the broad ranging view of Geoff Bingham, one of Australia's leading theologians. This means that we try to make our talks somewhat wider than just picking a passage and saying, "This is what it says." eg 2 Corinthians 5:17. One of the basic rules of exegesis is comparing scripture with scripture so we try to look at bigger themes even with young people. It's never to early to get them looking at the big picture.

So our new creation theme will refer to Genesis and conclude with God's telos, goal or purpose for the creation. All in a week! I'll have some studies to write as well. This year's conference team has quite a few younger members whom we will train as leaders. Their churches benefit from their participation with us. Even now, I meet people in their twenties whose names I can't recall although they remember mine. They tell me that conference for them was a life changing event. This makes our time consuming preparation and the sacrifices of holidays by many, all worthwhile.

|

Managed to sort out my computer. One of my sons talked me through the problem on the phone and now it's all working again. Different sort of telephone counselling perhaps? I'm grateful for their assistance, Many years ago, I could fix most things myself. Now hoever it's a different story. We've had computers in this house for well over twenty years. We even had a printer when they were few and far between. One of those noisy, dot matrix types with only a few dots per letter. Then we graduated to one with more definition. That was luxury. Now I have one about a third the size, with colour options. Quiet, streamlined. I pay for the progress by my lack of ability to fix problems. With two sons in the industry, one of whom is one of the top consultants in Sydney, I now have my own built-in helpdesk. One son could have a job anytime he wants it with a major USA company which deals in basically network software. He would be looking after their Southern Hemisphere operations. The other works for a major telecommunications company, on a good salary too. He was consulting but is currently an employee. My third son is an employment consultant for a large company. He specialises in " work for the dole " type stuff and is currently looking to find some ways of helping my church to set up a programme for the unemployed.

|