31.5.03

Does God ever put gender as a prior requirement for gifting? What does it mean to look to biblical revelation for authority when the texts do not specifically speak in advocacy of a specific issue? We must learn to differentiate between prescriptive and descriptive texts. The NT is ambiguous in many areas of church structure. Fee states that Spirit-gifting precedes all issues of structure and gender....

This is the start the rest of Gordon Fee's lecture here in Sydney yesterday.

Have a look here for the rest of Gordon Fee's lecture.

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30.5.03

Today I attended a lecture by Dr Gordon Fee. He spoke on Spirit gifting as against offices in the church. I'll write more over the weekend. I'm now off to a Swords and Sandals evening for the Macquarie Ancient History Association. Last one was a film, The Revenge of Hercules. The previous similar evening was another film, The Fall of the Roman Empire with David Niven, Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif. A great, fun way to end the week.

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There was an article in yesterday's Herald about the Sabian Mandaeans. Here's a reference to a similar article in a Melbourne newspaper/Baptism of fire for believers. They follow the teachings of John the Baptist. Tthe only references I could find in a search were all to Australian newspapers about this incident. I know nothing about them. This link is a reference to the terrible times some experienced in a detention camp at Woomera - The Worst of Woomera.

Our Prime Minister refused to release refugees before the Iraqi war from detention centres. After the war, he spoke of the torture Saddam had carried out on his own people. He had discovered that much of what they said was true. Did he release them? No! I don't believe that many of these are anything but refugees. Yes, investigation needs to be done into their background, but keeping tehm in a detention centre? He may well find that conditions in Iran are as they claim. Why not release them to their community with safeguards such as reporting to the police or the wearing of electronic tags which track their movements. I've visited in a detention centre in Sydney and frankly, could hardly wait to get out. Here whole families are imprisoned with disastrous results to them.
I feel shame this happens here.

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Check out Rachel's collage here at cre8d : journal. Lots of bloggers. Mouseover will give you a name and link.

Thank you Rachel, for doing this. Lots of fun to try and guess names to faces.

After I had a look this morning, I realised that I didn't have any of the thoughts I sometimes have when I see a picture of someone I have only imagined till then. Does anyone else have this happen to them? I read a book and have a mental image of the author. Then that image is blasted by an actual photo on the back of the next book. Some amazing childhood adventure story has been written by a weedy little wimp. I've done this all my life, only to be disappointed by reality. I think this happens because of conditioning by society of how people should be. Not that I have any real ideas of how some German theologian really SHOULD look. (Or Methodist minister, Canadian journalist, university lecturer et al. should look.)

I didn't have that happen this time. All I thought was something along the lines of the diversity of my fellow bloggers. God has chosen each of us, each one different and each expressing faith in different ways. Yet there is a sense of community, oneness, whatever name you put to it, among us. And we are just a microcosm of millions of others. Amazing!

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28.5.03

Had a bit of time to myself this afternoon and have finally re-installed my blogroll which disappeared from my template some time ago. Don't know any cause, but then with BLOGGER is that surprisng? I've put it back and will add to it.

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Perhaps I'm just being crabby or far too picky. I wrote a few days ago of people being invited for lunch on Sunday and none turned up. Earlier I had written of just general "bad manners" I had seen around me. It has happened again.

Last night I was expecting six people for dinner. Invited by my husband, they were eager to attend. Only three arrived and I still haven't heard from the others. Sound familiar?

I had gone to some trouble over dinner and am now left with a lot of food. I can freeze most of it, and I gave some away, but that is not the point. Perhaps I am just expecting too much.

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27.5.03

Bene Diction writing at connexions: weblog of theConnexion.net Memorable Picnics, asks for memorable picnic memories.

That's easy for me. Our family was a picnic family and my father had a strong interest in early Australian history. We often went driving to places near us with an historical interest. I could easily write about them.

Not so memorable were Sunday School picnics. I hated them and still do, even though I catered for them for many years. I am not a fan of big, organised picnics at all. I'm not a fan of much big, organised stuff, whatever it might be.

What I do remember were the picnics on our holidays. We used to spend three weeks every year just after Christmas at the beach. This was a small, unspoilt little beach about an hour north of Sydney. It remains that way even today. The road ends at this place, so there was no through traffic to bring the delights of civilisation to it. About the closest it got to crowds were the large number of Uni science students who came to study the plants collected at the Arboretum or to study the marine creatures on its rockshelf.

It was this rockshelf which was the scene of our picnics. About a kilometre long and easily accessible , facing the ocean, although in Broken Bay itself, it had several layers, some of which were only exposed at the lowest of low tides.

We spent all morning at the beach and returned home for lunch. Everyday while we were having our compulsory rest after lunch, Dad would prepare our picnic meal. It never varied and I can see it now, almost smell it. Sandwiches of fresh bread, thinly sliced onion, tomato and garlic sausage. We always sat downwind from our friends who hated garlic - Australia wasn't quite so cosmopolitan in those days. Sao biscuits sandwiched together with a good cheddar cheese in between and a juicy orange so we did not need to carry liquid.

After our afternoon time at the beach, we headed to the shelter shed to change. It was my job to fill the billy at the tank at the shed and to carry it around the point. There were at first three families together, although one dropped out after some years. Adults and children would head around the point, climbing past the fishermen who were rockfishing from the flat rocks just past the pool. Around the point and into the southerly breeze bringing relief from the heat of the day. We had several favourite spots for our picnic, depending on the weather.

Our first job was to collect some wood for Dad to boil the billy in a niche in the rocks near the sea. Once it boiled, he would add the tea leaves and carefully but theatrically swing the billy can with no lid in an enormous circle up and over his head. Not once, but several times. "To settle the tealeaves," he always told us, but secretly I think there was display of showmanship. We had to sit down to eat and we all chose our spots on the rocks carefully. Some were better than others with little hollows to sit on and a backrest of sorts.

We would sit and watch the waves, often betting as to where they would wash to. We would look at Lion Island from the lion side, and try to choose where we would land and picnic if we ever had the opportunity. My mother would invariably mention the snakes that were supposed to infest it. She was terrified of snakes, although we grew up with just a healthy respect for them.

The meal over, we were free to explore. Rock pools and their inhabitants were our delight. We prodded sea anenomes with sticks to see them close and the really brave used their fingers. We threw dead crabs back into pools and tried to dislodge the chitons and limpets. Seaweed thrown onto the rocks was thrown at the nearest person or the little bubbles were squeezed onto some unsuspecting neck. We would go along the shelf, crunching the periwinkles with our sandals, to see what was new from the previous day and to look at what the high tide had cast up. We also climbed higher up into the caves at the back and actually found one year that one cave was inhabited for the summer. Other caves were also used for other purposes and we surprised one young couple once. We were young and naive and had no idea what they were doing.

With no daylight saving then, the evening drew in early. Once we were able to clearly distinguish the light from Barrenjoey Lighthouse over the bay, we knew it was time to pack up. Sometimes we would leave earlier as we could see the signs of an approaching southerly buster, an extremely strong southerly wind which can sweep through at the end of a hot day, dropping temperatures by 10-15 degrees in a few minutes. Back around the point, past the fishermen, up the beach and home. The evening would end, not with TV, but a competitive game of Monopoly or Scrabble, both of which could last for several hours.

Then into bed, to repeat it all the next day.

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Peter Hollingworth will leave Government House in Canberra by the end of June. His replacement has not yet been announced, or even perhaps decided. He will receive a pension of Aus$185,000 per annum which is the standard rate. He will also have free air travel, a commonwealth car and a full time assistant. Again, these are standard perks for the job. It is not known whether he took his entitlement of superannuation from the Anglican church on becoming Governor-General, but that could also be available to him. He will not exactly be on the bread line. He owns a unit (leased out) in Melbourne and a holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Our Prime Minister is still standing by him. Howard said he had committed an "error of judgment." I feel that is putting it far too mildly. He basically sheltered those who preyed on children in their charge. That is what it comes down to. Unfortunately, his personal reputation is now affecting his office, even if that office has had no connection with what happened when he held office in the Anglican church. The press has hounded him and would have continued to do so while he remained Governor-General. He had little option but to resign.

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....you look for humanity, humility, a liberal intellect and a nice person.

I'd rather not see a Governor-General, I'm a republican.

The job should be obsolete.

Someone utterly independent of the whims of the government..

...not an appropriate position for someone like a popular comedian or sports personality


These are just some comments on the role of the Governor-General from the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today.

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26.5.03

Come and live in Paradiso at Radio National: Re-imagining Utopia. While this can't be done here on earth, there are some interesting scenarios raised in this simulation.

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25.5.03

Sad news tonight. The Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, has announced his intention of resigning. I really feel that this was inevitable, given the witch hunt conducted by the media. While I did not believe him guilty of the rape allegations made against him, I feel that immense harm has been done to the office by the outcry in the press. I can't really see any any to stop this other than his resignation. As I said before, I am no fanatical monarchist, but I do uphold our current institutions and will do so unless they are legally changed. In one sense, he has done nothing specifically against the duties of the office. However, he certainly appears guilty of gross misjudgment ( at the least), in the sexual assault cases against children which he knew of in the church. I find that totally repugnant and shudder to think of the harm being done as the press digs out yet another alleged case. I think the only way now to hopefully stop this is for him to resign. This is a sad end to a career of service, particularly to the poor and marginalised in our society. What is left for him, I do not know. He still has the office of a Bishop in the Anglican church. Is there a diocese who would take him now? As I said, it's very sad.

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Brian, the Kairos guy, complained of the lack of manners when he invites peopple for a meal. I wrote an entry on poor manners, a couple of weeks ago. Last week we invited four people from church for lunch today. Not one of them turned up and no one telephoned to apologise. As he said, it sometimes feels that an invitation is accepted so there is somewhere to go. However, that invitation is forgotten when something else turns up that is considered better. I really think this is just plain rude. Unfortunately, it has happened to me many times. When we were in the Brethren Assembly, we often used to invite people home for a meal. When we left and moved to a different environment we continued the practice and would usually have between 15-25 people for Sunday lunch. However, again many would accept an invitation, would be at church and then would not turn up. Very disappointing. It still goes on.

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