9.7.04

I find this quite awful. The Herald reports,"In November 2002, Matthew Curran was convicted of the aggravated indecent assault of an 11-year-old girl at Blacktown, in Sydney's west, on May 5, 2002.

Curran appealed against the decision to the NSW District Court.

In February 2003, Judge Helen Morgan overturned the conviction "on the grounds that, by reason of his self intoxication" she was not satisfied he "had formed an intention" to lick the girl's breasts.

However, she did find the "facts of the assault proved"."


However, the man concerned will remain free because the appeal against the overturning of the original conviction was not lodged in time. Tonight's news suggested that the legal points involved in this outweighed any feelings the girl might have. I understand about points of law etc. However, how was it decided that these outweighed any feelings the girl might have? It seeems like comparing apples with footballs. Two quite different things. Have arrangements been put into place to stop this sort of thing from happening again?

I hope that arrangements have been made for the poor girl to have counselling. Nothing has been been mentioned about this. She's eleven. The man who assaulted her is free and remains without a conviction. She, however, will have that memory for a very long time.

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8.7.04

the drought closes in
Most of the state is drought declared and the level in our dams continues to fall. There are heavy water restrictions in place allowing watering three times a week in restricted hours, but I have adopted the policy of letting my plants tough it out. I do water the pawpaw trees. They have had a bucket of water each this week, the first I've watered them for probably four months. The pots on the back deck get the rinsing water from the kitchen and occasionally a bit more.

I came past the park in Burwood this afternoon. There were several dozen cockatoos tearing at what used to be grass in the park. I think it may get an occasional watering as it is slightly greener than the grass in the picture from several entries below. I have noticed more native birds arund my place. They seem to be moving into the city in serch of both food and water.

A woman in Canberra was attacked by a kangaroo as she exercised her dog. Kangaroos are reasonably common in our national capital. After all, it is in the country. Most suburbs there do not have front fences for the houses and there are many parks. She was on the outskirts of the city and in a paddock with several kangaroos. Her dog was running off the leash and the 'roos apparently felt threatened by its presence. More roos ahve come close to the city in an effort to find food.

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Bene, is this for real??
I just found this. I tried a couple of searches of the paper concerned but could find nothing. Perhaps Bene or one of the other Canadian bloggers could check it out.

OK. I searched a bit more and found this report. Officialdom and political correctness gone mad. I'll not comment except to say that we have such madness here from time to time too.

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6.7.04

the tale of two brothers

Tim and Peter Costello are both in the news today. Peter is the deputy leader of the Liberal party, and is our federal treaurer. He is also waiting around to follow john Howard as Prime Minister, although that possibility seems to be receding as Howard refuses to retire. (Aside: who knows? This coming election may force the issue for him.) Both are christians.

Hillsong, the largest church in Australia, has a week long conference each year. It now draws over 20,000 people to it. Hillsong is situated in what passes for the Bible belt in Sydney. It's well known for the CDs it releases regularly of music, some of which is good, some mediocre and some downright dreadful at least as far as lyrics are concerned. It is promoted as the centre of the prosperity doctrine here. Its adherents would dispute this saying God wants his people to prosper. This may be so, but they take a very onesided view of what to prosper means.

Last night Peter Costello opened the conference. His brother, Tim, has headed up many organisations which promote work from the other side of the christian tracks. He speaks out against gambling, supports the homeless etc. He has just become the head of World Vision.

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not always true
I went to the wedding of two young friends at the weekend. As I entered the church hall later, I saw a laminated poster on the notice board. It had two faces drawn, one glum, the other cheerily happy. Against the glum face were the words life without Jesus while across the happy face it said life with Jesus.

I find this more than misleading. I think it is actually wrong to promote such a viewpoint. In the very long term, such may well be the consequences of living with or without Christ. However to promote Jesus as a panacea for all ills is false. I can't find anywhere the assurance that life will be absolutely trouble free and wonderful since I am a christian. Mine certainly isn't. I do know a few people who think that way. When trouble strikes, they are unable to understand it. "How can God let this happen to me?" is what I hear from them. Being a christian is no guarantee of a trouble free life.

On the other hand, there are many people who would refute the glum side of things. While some do struggle to find answers, many lead rich, fulfilling lives with little if any spiritual input. Some would argue that this is not really a fulfilled life and that there is a void. Perhaps so, but many have no sense of that void and to preach that their lives are glum is ridiculous.

Knowing that particular church, I was surprised to see the poster which presents something so contrary to what is in scripture. What we do have when we have Jesus in our life is a resource which helps us to deal with whatever life throws at us. I don't use the word "resource" in any shallow or disrespectful way. I'm sure those of us who have had major problems or sorrows know that while we still feel these keenly, we have in Jesus, a comfort, help, a depth of understanding and much more which helps us to deal with life.

As I thought about the view that the poster promoted, I was reminded of a quote from C.S.Lewis( I think). I haven't had the opportunity to check yet. He suggested that we often play with mud pies while we could be eating chocolate cake.

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This is frustrating. BLOGGER has been very temperamental for several days. Can see a blog, can't see it. Can post, can't post thirty minutes later. Can see my blog, then can see it only through the dashboard. And so on. GRRR!

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5.7.04

There hasn't been much of either quality or quantity from me for a while. A week ago, I caught some virus going around and was quite sick, slept for 18 hours straight. I still feel washed out, lethargic and somewhat down. I think my immunity has been down and I was an easy host. The week before I was sick was dreadful. A death, a funeral, three more deaths of people I knew but hadn't seen for a long time, two sons moved house. One move had everything possible go wrong, including having to unload a truck at 3:00 am. DIL who was 28 weeks pregnant had a major scare with the pregnancy. There have also been immediate family problems and something between my mother and my sister which I was drawn into. I have refrained from taking sides, much to the annoyance of both of them. I know where my feelings lie but haven't expressed them. However, it has been one more thing on my plate. All this in six days.

However, today is beautiful. I intend to sit in the sun, read, pray and sleep.

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