1.8.03

Martin Roth tells of a different twist to the Nigerian scams. A lawyer who had "stolen $!0 million from a deceased client" was converted by watching Benny Hinn. Now he wants to give the money to Martin's ministry. He will email him his details because it must be genuine, just like the "healing and conversions on Benny Hinn's show." Nice try if you can get it to work. People have been gullible in the past. I'm sure some will be gullible with this take too.

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Please pray for Mark, Jennifer and baby son Micah as they face their ordeal with faith, love and courage. Details here, July 30 entry, although the last few weeks are all relevant.

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More on knitting which seems to having a small revival here. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation studios in Sydney this morning have hosted a large group of knitters. They make wraps and rugs which are distributed to the needy of the world. They even have a webcam so you can see their progress.

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At first I thought this item was another offering from the Ship of Fools. An English woman, influenced by the death of her husband, has knitted a portrayal of the Last Supper. It's almost two metres long.There are knitted plates, rolls, food, cups and characters. Jesus is all in white, while the disciples have colour co-ordinated outfits. I thought this could have been hung in the inflatable church, but she has donated it to St Peter's, Worcester.

Later...
I found this in the morning paper, but have since poked around on the Ship of Fools site, where it is also mentioned.

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Responsibility again
I blogged earlier about the student who was aggrieved at being penalised for plagiarism because his friend, whose work he had copied did not disclose it was plagiarised. Now another example of failure to take responsibility has been reported. A Norwegian who admitted being drunk while driving has been acquitted because he was drunk while making the admission.

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31.7.03

Over at the Livingroom,Darren has something to say about Greg who seems to lurk in the blog background, leaving comments on posts he disagrees with. He doesn't leave a valid email address, so cannot be communicated with directly. I've had comments from him in the past, but nothing recently. Greg has the unpleasant habit of leaving comments on other blogs warning against linking to those he considers liberal.

Actually, Greg, I feel sorry for you. My faith is not threatened by reading views opposing mine. In fact, I often go out of my way to read both books and blogs from different traditions to mine. I'm not going to have a faith meltdown if I read something which challenges me. It just makes me think more about what I believe and why. It seems to me, Greg, that you are so caught up in defending your idea of the truth, that you are unable to conceive that it may be able to be expressed in other terms than you use. If it's true, then it's true, regardless of our mode of expression. Is your God so small he cannot defend himself?

I'm not terribly keen either on the use of labels. They tend to categorise people into neat little boxes. I'm not so sure this can be done. I only have to look at myself to see that this is so. I have to be pushed very hard to put a label on myself.

All this may suggest that I too see Darren as a "liberal." I think my definition of this must be different to Greg's ideas. I see Darren as someone who is attempting to follow Jesus and Jesus' concern for those around him. He is struggling to find the best way of communicating that concern to those in his community. If following Jesus' words and example makes one a liberal, then I suppose Darren is a liberal. If that is the case, then he should wear that label with pride.

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30.7.03

Happy birthday to blogs4God and thanks to all who work there, Dean and the moderators. Thanks too to my fellow bloggers whose blogs have enriched and challenged me over the last year.

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According to the latest census data, the area where the church I attend is situated, has the highest population of those who say they are associated in some way with the arts in Australia. We have many gifted people at church and rely heavily on their gifts, including dance, music and drama. We now have a group which is looking to be able to interact in Newtown with these. There are many openings which we can make use of. Our arts people have friends and contacts amnogst those in Newtown. I've been asked to be part of this group. I can write although my other artistic talents are very limited in expressing what I may feel or imagine. I chose to go to this group and think my purpose is to make sure that the group doesn't go off track. Newtown also has a very large "green" population, several gay pubs and many are heavily involved in New Age activities such as the Body, Mind Spirit Festival. Quite a challenge before us.

For the last two weeks we have been looking at Paul's address on the Areopagus, found in Acts 17. I led a study and had written what I thought would have been a series of fairly easy questions. After all, several attending have studied at Wesley Institute, which offers degree, accredited courses in music, drama, dance and visual arts, as well as theology and counselling. I know this sort of thing is on the syllabus there.

Paul commends the Athenians for being religious, not a term we like very much now. I was reminded that it is said that God has put eternity in their hearts. He doesn't browbeat the Athenians, nor does he disparage their beliefs. He does not tell them that he knows the true God and that they are idolaters. He takes what they have, a statue to the unknown god and works from there. I know him, he says. I'll tell you about him. He has obviously been looking for a springboard into conversation with them. He is quite happy to observe their culture and to use what he can of it. He is not compromising in his beliefs, as can be seen from the passage. He doesn't water down what he presents.

I asked how we could do something similar, being "in" not "of " the predominant culture in our area. What sort of language should we use? Do we often come across as "superior" and above others? All questions we are still grappling with. Had I jumped in with what is Christian art , they would have parrotted back what they learn over three years of class. I still want to look at that question, but hopefully with some other discussion behind us, we will get some thoughtful answers.

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While waiting for some radiology reports to be written up this mornng, I had a flat white in a pizzeria just up the road from the centre. The coffee was great. I wasn't too sure whether I wanted to sample the rest of the menu. Would you eat pizza marinara - crab, vongole, calamari and muscles?

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Rachel and Regan still have some CDs (brand new) to clear. You can find the details here. Who else can help them out? Rachel has done heaps for many of us. Can we return the favour? Currency conversions available for help too.

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I've been quiet for a couple of days, dealing with some personal issues as well as some medical matters. I'm beginning to surface, I think.

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29.7.03

News this morning of the death of Bob Hope from pneumonia. I'm sure many will have happy memories of him.

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28.7.03

I haven't had problems with Blogger since they were taken over, but I certainly didn't post a blank entry. Perhaps by typing another, the blank will go. And I'm not sure about all teh space at the end of my entry on winter. How did that get there? Doesn't want to edit out.

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So who does own the copyright, if the author never existed?
As a protest against modernist poetry in the 1940s, two young Australian poets, James McAuley and Harold Stewart, persuaded Max Harris to publish the poems of Ern Malley in his magazine Angry Penguins. All people involved are now dead. All except Ern Malley who never existed and who was a fictional character invented by the poets. Harris was ridiculed for being duped by the poems and was also sued for publishing obscenity.

However, poems are to be quoted in several works in new books. There is some controversy as to who owns the copyright. There has been much discussion over the years but opinion now sides with the original McAuley and Stewart.

If you are interested in the hoax which is well known in Australian literature, here's a link: Ern Malley.

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Somewhat chilly here this morning. Of course, my northern hemisphere friends like Bene Diction will probably scoff at Sydney winter temperatures in disbelief, but today has been cold. I live in inner Sydney, fairly close to the water and our minimum last night was zero celsius. It's still only 10 and this is the warmest part of the day. State minimum has been down to about -13. We had some cold days at the beginning of June, but not much real winter since, so this is quite noticeable.

The problem with Sydneysiders is that they continue in their belief that Sydney is not really cold. People buy silly little blow heaters, have huge expanses of glass without doubleglazing and many have no insulation in the roof. Few houses are centrally heated. We used to have a wonderful slow combustion heater which we used to heat the living areas of the house. We now use gas which is quite good, but not the same.

My parents came from a very cold country town to the city and my mother bought her first coat when she arrived here. Some European students studying at Wesley Institute say they have never felt the cold so much. All because of our refusal to accept that it does get cold here and to make proper allowances for it.

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