Really? The Observer | International | Word is made flesh as God reveals himself... as a fish And I suppose some will believe it, because they saw it on the net. Perhaps this fish used to swim at Coogee Beach near the fence post which some say is really Mary. Strange how this vision appears only when certain conditions of the light and sunshine are met.


Here's a bit of light relief in these sad days - a site dedicated to toasters. You can even play a game of Toaster Concentration, not really my thing too early in the morning.



A day of prayer today. Link from connexions: weblog of theConnexion.net
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer



More on Friday, I hope. Away most of today and Thursday


Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men:”
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ‘tis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Isaac Watts, 1719



Congratulations to Malcolm and Linda on the birth of their third child, Micah. Praying for a quick recovery for Linda.



I watched a heartwarming programme last night on TV. I watch almost no TV but should make an effort to remember this one again. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation runs a regular Monday night programme called Australian Story. This looks in some detail at some Australian, some well known, some not heard of at all. The interviewer is not "in-your-face" like so many ABC interviewers are. Nevertheless, the subject opens up in an amazing way.

Last night's story was about Tony Lauer, who was a former Commissioner of police in New south Wales. It traced his rise through the ranks to the top job. He worked hard, long hours and the little time he had off duty was spent studying. He married very young. His wife had eight pregnancies, but only the first three children survived. She was desperate for another child, so when those children were adults, they adopted another girl. Eventually this girl took up drugs and has been in and out of institutions to detox many times. She has always gone back to drugs. She now has threee children aged, as far as I could make out, eleven, four and a toddler still in nappies.

Lauer's career and his time at the top was hard, as he worked against corruption in the force. At teh end, it was much harder because of his daughter's involvement in drugs. He and his wife looked forward to a less stressful retirement and travelling around Australia on his big motorbike.

What do they do? The Court has given them legal custody of their daughter's children until the children are 18. They are bringing up a family again. They obviously love it but it is also obviously having an effect on them. Not only is there the worry about their daughter, but they are now much older than they were when their children were young. The children seem to adore them and the eldest, now having some stabliity in his life, has settled down well at school instead of being a disruption in the class. I wish them well.


St Patrick's Day here today. A parade through the streets of Sydney was held yesterday to mark it. Today's paper has a piece saying "Forget St Patrick. The future belongs to St Cyber." Such a saint should be contemporary, said a lectureer at the Catholic institute of Sydney. The paper suggests a visit to Santi, beati e testimoni to take part in a poll for the patron saint of the internet. Warning: How good is your Italian? You might need to make use of one of the translation facilities.



And happy birthday to the other Richard at connexions: weblog of theConnexion.net Add birthday greetings to his comments.


My sympathies to Richard at looking back... looking forward. As a sufferer of ear infections from an early age, I know how just how horribly miserable they can make a person feel. Hope you are soon better, Richard.


If you have ever read the "Mystery Worshipper" at Ship of Fools, you would realise the importance many place on the after-service cup of tea or coffee.It has fallen to my lot to spend this afternoon making a roster for the goodies eaten at this time. I passed around a sheet of paper during church and then had to spend some time deciphering names, phone numbers and dates unavailable. Then some like to do the whole thing themselves, others would bring only sweet or only savoury food. And don't forget to balance things out for all concerned over the next three months!

Actually, one of the things which makes a favourable impression on me about my church is the generosity of the people there. I do not hear backbiting and gossip, although I suppose some must exist. People are incredibly generous with their money and with their time. For a small church, we average about 60 people, large sums are given. A spontaneous appeal for bushfire victims raised several thousand dollars. Mission work in China is well supported and other ad hoc appeals are also given generous attention. I do not think anyone there is wealthy. Several are quite "comfortable," but there are quite a few students and unemployed people. Some others have jobs but live very simply to enable them to give money away. There are things I don't like there, but this attitude of generousity is not one. I think it stems from a grateful heart. While I deciphered phone numbers, I too was grateful for the offers of help.