don't trust all your eyes can see
Here in Sydney we have a TV advertisement for one of the flea treatments for cats. It shows a pill being forcibly spat out, a cat scratching off an insecticide treated collar and so on. Then it shows one person gently holding a cat while she squeezes an ampoule of fluid onto the skin at the back of the cat's neck. Cat sits calmly and remains on her lap.

Ha, ha! We have three cats and have tried various treatments. We used the collars for quite a while even though I really did not like the principle involved. Three or four months ago we switched to the ampoule. Frightfully expensive and it must be repeated every month, even during winter. We have three cats, (long story), so we mortgaged the house and bought some.

First month was not too bad. They didn't know what was coming. Second month they were much more wary, but I was the only one home that week and did it myself.

This morning we started with the one who objects the most. Several scuffles later, I had finally managed to get the liquid approximately where it was to go. Next was the mother cat who also was not happy. Finally the last and biggest cat. He didn't scratch, unlike the other two, but twisted and wriggled. We finally manged to get him in a headlock and apply the drug.

The three of them raced outside having decided that it was good policy to disappear for a while. Who knows what else we might decide to do? Even breakfast could wait. They sat and surveyed us with a scowl from the end of the yard.

I must try pointing out the good cat in the advertisement to them. I don't hold much hope of their learning from the ad.



I was at Australia's largest chain of Christian book retailers at the weekend, looking for a replacement for my NRSV Bible which is falling apart. Unfortunatley, they sell so few NRSVs that I couldn't even find the few they had without asking for assistance. They were hidden in amongst the Good News versions without a tag for themselves.

While looking I found the new version aimed at young teenage girls. I'd heard about it, but not seen it. I'm probably showing my age here but I thought this was YUK! Its publicity writers have had a ball. It's for real teenage girls with real lives? Now just what is that supposed to mean? Can you be a "real" teenager and have a different chronological age? And some have loves that are "real" and some have "unreal" lives? Never mind, it's just advertising.

I glanced through it. Hmmm, American spelling, not used here. "Mom," "Savior." Lots of trite advice aimed at a "one size fits all mentality." It was the sort of thing that might perhaps mean something at first reading, but which rapidly loses impact when it is there every time that page is opened. I have the same criticism of the feel- good articles in things like the Women's Devotional Bible with the contributions made by prominent women. Some of these are no longer prominent, some have died. Many have little relevance or influence in Australia.

I also am wary of the feeling that we need to rely on famous peole for advice. Paul writes to the Corinthians about this very matter, yet we succumb to the lure of popular culture.

This Bible addressed to teenage girls falls right into this trap. As I looked it seemed that there was more emphasis on how to fit into the culture rather than to be an influence on the culture. I'm sure that was not intended, but the very format of teh book suggests it. I'm no killjoy. Music, clothes etc are important. I'm not advocating that teenagers look like their grandparents did at the same age or that they never attend concerts etc. I am advocating that we need to educate young people into a biblical way of thinking, rather than encouraging them to join popular culture.

And that brings me to my last point. I do not see the compartmentalisation of the church in the Bible. We are all the church. Not children's church, not teenage girls' church , not youth church.

This Bible looks to me as if someone is trying to capitalise on yet another aspect of the teenage market. To me , it smacked of culture influencing us, rather than the other way around.


The joys of being a Bishop in the Roman Catholic church according to the Onion. The weary bishop recounts the trials of giving equal attention to all the churches in his care. His diocese may supposedly be in the USA but his picture comes straight from Sydney, Australia. It shows George Pell, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.



And we don't always want God to find us. We hide because sometimes we are afraid of God, that we are not worthy, that God might reveal all the ugly bits of our lives. We hide because we don't want to see the things that we suspect God will bring out into the light. We crawl back into our deep dark place, deeper into the tomb, and refuse to come out on Easter morning into the light of day.

This and much more worth thinking about in a post by Father Jake.


Sunday Brunch from Jeanne.

I always feel a bit odd doing these. They reach me on Monday.

Let's Go Shopping!

1. How often do you go grocery shopping?
Hopefully only once a fortnight, but usually my husband can find something he wants in the middle of that fortnight. I used to go once a month, and that was harder. Harder to think about, buy and store a larger quantity at the beginning of the month.

2. What is the last thing you bought for yourself?
A pair of good shoes for the coming winter.

3. What do you like shopping for most often?
Set me loose in a large bookshop or even better, a second hand bookshop, and I will be happily occupied for many hours.

4. Are you an impulse shopper?
The pair of shoes was sort of an impulse buy. I knew I needed them, had been thinking about it. However I was not specifically looking for them. I saw a woman trying on the pair and was captivated. Right style, size and more important to a person on a student budget, right price.

5. What is the last item you purchased?
Last item I bought? The Monday edition of the Sydney Morning Herald from the newsagent a hundred yards down the street.



A piece in the paper yesterday illustrates the differences between Australian and American culture.

The Passion of the Christ is in the top ten movies when judged by money taken since release in the USA. Down here, it has a long way to go to reach that. It has not yet made the top 100.


I need a new Bible. No, not one to justify some strange new teaching. My old one has started to fall apart. I picked it up yesterday and a large section came loose from the spine. We have a bookbinder around the corner who does good work, so I will get a quote to fix it.

However, I also checked out prices on line. This one is a Harper Study Bible, NRSV. I could quite easily do without most of the study notes, in fact I have a line through a lot of them. However, what I really like about it, is that the text is printed in a single column, like an ordinary book. Wide margins allow references to be printed in the outer margin of each page.

It seems that there are few of these on the eastern coast of Australia. On Tuesday, after the long Easter weekend, I'll ring Moore Books, the shop associated with Moore Theological College. I'm hoping they might have one, although their prices are usually much higher for most books than anywhere else around. Failing that, I'll have to pay the postage and have one sent from Adelaide's Open Book, the Lutheran's wonderful shop. I really miss the outlet they had in Sydney.

This Bible was a gift to me ten years ago from the seven o'clock congregation at Wesley Mission. I was given a substantial gift voucher as thanks for what I had done in that service during my college years. It's had a lot of use and is definitely the worse for wear.


There seems to be a bit of a problem with BLOGGER. I posted the words of "Low in the grave he lay..." quite a few hours ago now, but it's not showing up yet. Now watch it prove me wrong.


Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!


Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!


Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!