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POVERTY: CHRISTIAN CAMPAIGNERS WELCOME UN'S NEW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS' CONTINUATION OF THE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY AND INEQUALITY
Fifteen years after the unveiling of the Millennium Development Goals - a series of eight benchmarks aimed at everything from halving extreme poverty through to halting the spread of AIDS and achieving universal primary education around the world by this year, the United Nations last month adopted a new series of 17 goals with the aim of furthering and expanding upon progress made.
Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, the 17 new goals - which break down into 169 specific targets and come with the deadline of 2030 - will provide a new focus in the fight to end poverty and inequality and create a more sustainable world. "The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the UN's 193 member states adopted the goals last month. "It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms - an agenda for the planet, our common home."
One of the Christian organisations which has long been campaigning for the MDGs to be met has been Micah Challenge, an international coalition of churches and Christian groups.
Now relaunched as Micah with the aim of continuing to raise a “voice for global justice and a world free from poverty”, the organisation, says national coordinator Ben Thurley, is broadly supportive of the new goals which will continue to focus world attention on addressing poverty and justice issues.
DAVID ADAMS speaks with Micah's Ben Thurley about the new Sustainable Development Goals…| more... |
PRAYER VIGILS TO BE PART OF THIS YEAR'S VOICES FOR JUSTICE
Micah is holding its annual Voices for Justice in Canberra this weekend which will once again see hundreds of Christians gather from around the nation to speak with and lobby politicians.
This year, for the first time, the event will include a night-time prayer vigil on the lawns outside Parliament House as well as a series of prayer vigils being held at churches and other locations around the country at the same time.
“(W)hen we want to speak out, the first person that we cry out to for justice for the poor is to God, the God of justice and grace,” explains Micah’s national coordinator Ben Thurley.
AMNESTY RAISES CONCERNS OVER POSSIBILITY OF "BLOOD DIAMONDS" BEING EXPORTED FROM CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Human rights group Amnesty International has raised concerns over the possibility of blood diamonds being exported from the Central African Republic if restrictions banning the export of diamonds are lifted.
The organisation, which on Wednesday released a report highlighting the issue, said that since the export ban was put in place in May, 2013, diamond companies within the African nation have been stockpiling diamonds.
RELEASED: From jail, about 6,000 inmates by the US Justice Department from federal prisons at the end of October to ease overcrowding and rollback harsh penalties given to non-violent drug dealers, reports The New York Times.
6th October, 2015
AGREED: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade deal, between 12 Pacific-Rim countries including Australia in the US overnight.
5th October, 2015
WON: The North Queensland Cowboys over the Brisbane Broncos, in the National Rugby League Grand Final, by a "golden point", 17-16, on 4th October, 2015; and Melbourne side Hawthorn over the West Coast Eagles, in the Australian Football League Grand Final, 16.11.107 to 8.13.61, on 3rd October, 2015.
WORLDVIEW: INDIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS PROPOSE BAN ON CONVERSIONS
Two members of India’s ruling BJP party plan to introduce private member's bills - aimed at bringing in a national law against conversion from Hinduism - into the Upper and Lower Houses of India's National Parliament to force a debate over the issue.
The MP in the Upper House, Tarun Vijay, a former journalist, represents Dehra Dun in Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal) state on the northern border of India, between Himachal Pradesh and Nepal. Himachal Pradesh has already introduced a Freedom of Religion Act, which seems harmless in name but which seeks to regulate freedom to change one’s religion.
In an interview with The Tribune, he said the recently released Indian “religion” census had indicated that, “For the first time, the population of Hindus has been reported to be less than 80 per cent. We have to take measures to arrest the decline. It is very important to keep the Hindus in majority in the country”.
While at a funeral the other day, I found myself spiritually confronted.
Where is God in our grief if He is so busy everywhere else? Is anyone's grief worth more attention than others?
When an elderly man's life-long companion and wife passes away, is Jesus there still or is this considered less important than a parent praying for a sickly newborn, or a youth in hospital?
Truth is Jesus is omnipresent, God is omnipresent. I have to believe this, as I told a dear relative that he would see his loved one again.
Confronted with death, REBEKAH BLACKWOLF-MITCHELL looks for answers from Jesus...| more... |
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New! Sign up to be one of the Sight200 by giving at least $10 a month (via Paypal) and we'll send you a free copy of Sight contributor Paul Clark's book, Living Life At The Top: 100 Reflections on Abundant Life. While stocks last (and please remember to include your shipping address).
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SYRIA: CHRISTIANS STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE AMID TERRORS
His six-year-old daughter still wakes up screaming, more than three years after the sounds and sights of war first gave her night terrors.
At least a few times each week, she wakes up with her muscles clenched, her head thrown back and her mouth open, screaming. Her father, a pastor in western Syria, had already taken his family and fled to another city in Syria after her terrors began, only to find that the war followed them there. Now they live in the quiet – for now – city of Sweida, but the night terrors still come.
“Doctors told us this is just from the fear,” he said. “We rely on the Lord.”
The pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons, and his family typify the many Christians scrambling to survive in Syria. With an estimated 700,000 of Syria’s pre-war population of 1.4 million Christians having already fled, he too harbors the question, “Should I flee my country, and if so, when and where should I go?”
Morning Star News looks at the plight of Christian Syrians, including reports from Christian Aid of crucifixions and beheadings which took place in late August…| more... |
MICHAEL GLADWIN, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR OF CAPTAINS OF THE SOUL: A HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN ARMY CHAPLAINS, PART II
What, essentially, is the role of the chaplain? And how, in putting together the book, have you seen that change, particularly in the Australian context over the past 100 years?
“I did see it evolve over time...First and foremost, their key role is administering the sacrament, is burying the dead, it’s marrying the soldiers and their families, it’s that pastoral role as well as also the sacramental role (and) it’s also as preachers of the Gospel – they provide worship services, they provide Bible studies...
“Early on, there was no infrastructure for welfare or social workers; there were no psychologists...So chaplains fulfilled that broad role of being counsellors, they were looking after pastoral welfare, they were social workers – you had chaplains hauling young men out of brothels and visiting them in jail in the First World War when they got themselves into trouble...They were generally older than most soldiers so they were mentors and role models to these young men as well but their role went even further than that in providing recreation behind the lines...
Dr Michael Gladwin, a lecturer in history at St Mark’s National Theological Centre at Charles Sturt University, is the author of Captains of the Soul: A History of Australian Army Chaplains which recently won Australian Christian Book of the Year. Here, in the second part of a two part interview, he continues his chat with DAVID ADAMS about his insights into the role and life of military chaplains…| more... |
SIGHT'S CHRISTMAS CARDS ARE BACK!
LOOKING FOR A CHRISTMAS CARD THAT GETS TO THE HEART OF WHAT THE CELEBRATION IS REALLY ALL ABOUT?
Sight is once again offering a range of Christmas cards in the lead-up to Christmas this year. We're initially offering two different designs this year and will be hopefully adding a couple of further designs shortly...
Click HERE to see the designs and for ordering details...
IRAN: US-IRANIAN PASTOR ABEDINI'S ORDEAL IN IRAN TESTS AND BUILDS FAITH OF WIFE AND CHILDREN
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this week declined to meet with the wife of imprisoned US-Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini during his trip to the United Nations, days after the Christian’s wife learned he had recently been tortured.
Rouhani instead said in a television interview that releasing Iranian criminals held in US prisons would change the “atmosphere and environment,” hinting that such a change would be necessary for possibly freeing prisoners such as Abedini. The Iranians in question were sentenced to prison for violating the international trade embargo placed on Iran for trying to develop nuclear weapons, Rouhani said.
“There are a number of Iranians in the United States who are imprisoned, who went to prison as a result of activities related to the nuclear industry in Iran. Once these sanctions have been lifted, why keep those folks in American prisons? So they must be freed,” he said on 27th September on CNN through an interpreter. “If the Americans take the appropriate actions vis-a-vis Iranian citizens who are being imprisoned here, then the right atmosphere and environment will be created for reciprocal action perhaps.”
Rouhani left New York the following afternoon without responding to a request by Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini, for a meeting. She and lawyer Tiffany Barrans, international legal director for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), will remain in New York in hopes of meeting with Gholam Ali Khoshroo, the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations.
Morning Star News reports on the ongoing battle to free US-Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini, currently held in prison in Iran...| more... |
ESSAY: WHY NEPAL'S NEW CONSTITUTION RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF
Why does freedom of religion have such particular importance in Nepal at this moment? Well, until 2006, Nepal was a traditional Hindu monarchy but all that changed at the end of the 10-year war with the Maoist forces and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which set up an elected Constituent Assembly (CA) to agree a new Constitution "that fully complies with universally accepted fundamental human rights". The CA then took the decision to change Nepal into a secular democratic republic.
Nepal’s own Treaty Act of 1991 makes it clear that all its laws must obey the requirements of the international human rights treaties it has agreed to. Nepal has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), in which Article 18 guarantees a person’s ‘freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.’
However, the new constitution of Nepal, passed by the CA and signed by the President on 20th September, does not allow that freedom to choose one’s own beliefs.
The key passage of the Constitution, section 26, reads as follows: “Any act which may be contrary to public health, public decency or morality or incitement to breach public peace or act to convert another person from one religion to another or any act or behaviour to undermine or jeopardise the religion of another is not allowed and such act shall be punishable by law.”
MARTIN DORE, Nepal advocacy officer with religious freedom advocacy Christian Solidarity Worldwide, writes about why the organisation has concerns over Nepal's new Constitution...| more... |
We've created a page where you'll find a range of resources tailored specifically to help churches in their mission of sharing the Gospel with their communities whether that's in Australia or anywhere around the world.
Ever wondered about where Sherlock Holmes lived, who the real Dick Whittington was or the amazing story behind the discovery of the Cheapside Hoard? Each week, Exploring London takes an indepth look at London's history and where to find it as well as providing information on what's happening now for Londoners and travellers alike. Whether you're heading to the city for the first time or have worn through much shoe leather exploring its nooks and crannies, there's something on Exploring London for you. Head to www.exploring-london.comto find out more!
THE SIGHT NOTICEBOARD
Sight's Noticeboard is now up and running. If you have a classifieds ad, you can pin it to our noticeboard for as little as $10 a month.
• SURVEY PARTICIPANTS NEEDED: HOW DOES MINISTRY AFFECT THE FAMILIES OF CHRISTIAN CLERGY WORKERS IN AUSTRALIA?
Come and have a browse through the bookshop and let us know what books you'd recommend...|
THE WORD: EVIL
A standout verse for launching any consideration of evil is Jesus’ reference when teaching on prayer. His 'how to pray' includes the request "deliver us from evil".
Jesus identifies deliverance from evil as one area His disciples need to pray about and for.
The people He called, the people who loved Him, the people who gave up much to follow Him, are instructed by Jesus to seek deliverance from evil.
The political agitators who sought to violently overthrow Roman rule, the religious who sought identity in their traditions, the thieves and cutthroats who sought loot on the region's trade routes, and the tax collectors, prostitutes, Samaritans and other sinners and unclean who Jesus rubbed shoulders with are not the recipients of this instruction.
Followers of Jesus require deliverance from evil so it is important we know exactly what Jesus if referring to.
The Greek word for evil in this verse is poneros.Poneros refers more to our effect on others than to our essential character which is the Greek word sapros, meaning rotten, worthless and corrupt (not that our sapros has totally negated God making us in His good image).
LLOYD HARKNESS looks at why Jesus instructed His followers to pray for deliverance from 'evil'...|
CONVERSATIONS: ANDREW "FISHTAIL" FISHER, JESUS RACING TEAM
You recently had your 200th race start in the V8 ute championship (Andrew had previously raced in other categories). What did passing that milestone mean to you?
“When we started to race in the V8 ute, I guess we never thought we’d be still going after 200 races, so yeah, it was a great thrill for the team in terms of our longevity in competing in the ute championship.”
What led you into racing?
“I sort of fell into racing, I guess. I had some friends that were having a race and invited me along at one stage. So I went along, had a race with them and ended up going pretty well and it was then just a case of right place, right time - I had an opportunity to join what was then known as the Daewoo Series...and that’s where it all started.”
Why V8 utes?
“V8 utes was a deliberate choice because when we decided to start Jesus Racing, (it) was all about challenging people’s paradigms and what their understanding of the Christian faith is and the person of Jesus. And the roughest, toughest, argy-bargy racing in Australian motorsport is the V8 Utes championship...It was the least likely place to find the name of Jesus.”
Jesus Racing Team's Andrew “Fishtail” Fisher has just knocked up 200 race starts in his V8 ute. The 48-year-old veteran speaks with DAVID ADAMS about life on – and off - the track....|
OPEN BOOK - HINTS FROM THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS: THE HOLY SPIRITED BOLDNESS SPREADS
Here Luke tells us with great sensitivity how the Holy Spirit worked with the apostles. He was with them when they had to speak publicly before the Sanhedrin. They found they had the words and the confidence they needed. The Holy Spirit had made them bold with the Sanhedrin granted a glimpse of their hope. It gave these religious leaders cause to pause.
When the apostles were released they discovered another dimension of the Holy Spirit's work in their lives. Luke is careful to tell us about that, lest we form the impression that the Holy Spirit is given solely to confront the powerful. That's not right. Look at the love He had been busy nurturing between the apostles (the "sent-out ones") and all the other disciples! Luke says it plainly. "They went to their friends". That is indeed what Jesus had called them. That was what they were to each other. This was no formal business meeting. This was a joyful gathering of Jesus' disciples who had found that their lives were now being knit together in ways they had scarcely imagined previously.
BRUCE C WEARNE writes of how, in Acts 4, Peter and John and other believers joined their voices together in praying for boldness in their witness... |
POSTCARDS: INDONESIAN CHURCH HOLDS 100TH SERVICE OUTSIDE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
“I’m worshipping here in front of our presidential palace because the GKI Yasmin church in Bogor cannot worship (in its own building) on Sundays,” said Adhi Nugroho Chandra, a member of the church, which was sealed off in 2008.
The GKI Yasmin church has been meeting outside the president’s office in Jakarta since 2012. This month, it will hold its 100th worship service on the street. It holds them every two weeks at 1pm, come searing heat or torrential downpour: the two or three other Sundays it meets in a variety of places. Its building in Bogor city, in Jakarta’s suburbs, remains sealed in defiance of a Supreme Court order. The mayor of Bogor is under pressure from Islamist groups to restrict the congregation from using their place of worship.
“It’s very hard to be a minority in Indonesia, and we have to fight for our rights,” said Dwiati Novita Rini, a lay leader of the church. "It’s not easy but it will not affect my faith.”
While they are holding on to their faith in God, church members are now beginning to lose their confidence in the influence of President Jokowi, who will complete one year in office in October. VISHAL ARORA, of World Watch Monitor, reports on the ongoing struggles of the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor, Indonesia... |
THIS LIFE - THE BEAUTY OF VULNERABILITY - THE JATBULA TRAIL
Over Easter, 2015, I attempted the Jatbula Trail; a 63 kilometre hike located not far from Katherine, in the Northern Territory. It’s a traditional walking trail between Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls, used by the Aboriginal people of the area, and is one of the most well-known tracks in the region.
I love to hike and to be outdoors. I feel more at home in the wild places than in the cities. For those that know me, I also value quiet times to reflect, to sit, to just be. This particular track had been highly talked about in my circle, with many people living up here having completed it at least once. After a busy time at work, I was ready for a bit of time in the bush. Easter was coming up, which meant there also were a couple public holidays. Who doesn’t want to take advantage of a four day weekend?
Over the Easter break this year, JOSHUA ZANKER made a solo walk along the 63 kilometre-long Jatbula Trail in the Northern Territory - a journey which presented him with unexpected challenges and a new appreciation of what it means to be vulnerable... |
THIS AND MORE OF OUR REGULAR COLUMNS, GO TO OUR REGULARS
IN HIS HANDS...
16th October, 2014 This is the story of a very ordinary person with no claims to any special attributes or exceptional virtues but who is bursting inside to tell what the Lord has done for her.
I am recounting this with a heart full of deep gratitude. I am humbled by the fact that a spiritual being, maybe a guardian angel or the hands of the almighty God, saved me from serious harm on two occasions. I have remained silent for too long and it would dishonour and diminish the work of our Lord if I did not tell the story.
I was 12-years-old, living in Caracas in Venezuela, when I joined the girl scouts, and remember vividly my first excursion. Armed with all the required scout “gear” - including a medium size machete - we set out to conquer Mount Avila, a 2,740 metre high mountain. In 1977, when this excursion took place there were no such things as mobile phones or GPS equipment.
TANIA NEALE tells of two occasions in which she credits God with saving her life... |
Looking to encourage or inspire others or simply share how meeting God has changed your life? We're looking for your story - perhaps the inspiring story of how you came to know Jesus or an incident in your life in which you saw God's hand at work. MyStory - an addition to our existing LifeStory column - is a new regular feature where we'll publish your story for the benefit of others. Simply write your story in 200 words or less and email it to email@example.com and we'll post it here under our MyStory banner. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO PUT IN YOUR CHURCH NEWSLETTER?
Looking for something for your church newsletter? Sign up and we'll send you an email every Thursday morning featuring three short snippets from stories which have appeared on Sight during the past week which you can cut and paste into your newsletter.
Help support Sight by visiting our bookshop here...
BOOKS: REFRAMING CHURCH WITH AN EYE TO MISSION
Mission-Shaped Church (2004) is the Church of England report that called for Fresh Expressions of church to respond to a changing cultural context and networked society. It urged championing an innovative range of different ways of doing church in a “mixed economy” alongside existing parishes, training a new breed of pioneering leaders, and making church accessible to unchurched people.
For the Parish (2010) is a critical response that defends the parish church as a basis for mission and upholds the importance of inherited worship patterns. The debate can be polarising and adversarial, often along evangelical-catholic lines. This volume calls for a more generous approach in appreciating the need for ecclesiology and missiology, inheritance and innovation, redemptive and incarnational theology, and engagement with liturgy and the world.
Ten diverse writers grapple with issues raised by Mission-Shaped Church and For the Parish, drawing on their experience in parishes, diocesan leadership, Fresh Expressions and chaplaincies. Stephen Conway advocates a refocusing of the bishop’s apostolic-prophetic role in mission for the sake of those in the diocese outside church circles, and not being preoccupied with administrative and maintenance matters. We need this reframing not just for Anglican bishops but for leaders of other denominations and networks.
While of particular interest to Anglicans, DARREN CRONSHAW says Generous Ecclesiology has insights for all leaders of all denominations... |
ON THE SCREEN: THE MARTIAN A TENSE AND COMPELLING SURVIVAL STORY
The makers of The Martian must have been delighted with this week’s announcement of evidence pointing to the presence of liquid water on Mars, an announcement which put Mars once again firmly in the spotlight of the world’s attention.
Particularly given, in a similar vein to Gravity, The Martian represents an attempt to make a “realistic” film about space exploration (that is, not one about nasty aliens invading) which celebrates man’s resilience in the face of overwhelming odds and in the most unlikely of circumstances.
In The Martian, Matt Damon stars as astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, part of a mission charged with collecting samples on Mars when a storm sweeps over their part of the planet, forcing the team, led by Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain), to evacuate. Needless to say, Watney gets left behind after he is struck by debris and thought to be dead.
DAVID ADAMS says The Martian is a "return to form" for director Ridley Scott... |
CASTING THE NET: THE TRUE SIZE OF...
There's nothing too complicated about this ultilitarian website - it has a single purpose and performs it very well. Based on a global view of the world supplied by Google Maps, it allows the user to compare the geographic size of any country in the world with that of any other country. Simply enter the name of a country into the search box and it's position on the map will appear outlined in bold. You can then simply click and drag the country outline onto any other country to compare their sizes (and repeat the process as many times as you like before restoring the map to how you found it at the touch of a button). But wait, there's more.
DAVID ADAMS finds a website with a simple but very useful function... |
MUSIC: CHERI KEAGGY'S NO LONGER MY OWN - VELVETY MELODIES AND A "MINISTRY OF HOPE AND HEALING"
No Longer My Own is the latest in a long list of quality releases by adult contemporary artist Cheri Keaggy. Dare I say it, she is now pushing into ‘veteran’ territory – but there is nothing bad about that especially when the new stuff is as good, if not better, than the old! The velvety alto vocal and piano-based melodies ooze the maturity we have come to expect from Keaggy.
Self-produced, No Longer My Own hits a lot of ‘pop’ notes with a bit of Gospel (Lead Me To Your Love), and even a peppy touch with Lucky To Be Breathing Your Air.
Seeking to "embolden fellow sojourners of the faith to live more fearlessly for Christ", No Longer My Own is all about a willingness to surrender fully into the arms of Jesus whatever the joys and pains life brings our way.
ROBBIE TOWNSEND listens to Cheri Keaggy's latest album, No Longer My Own...|
1st October, 2015
THE TCM UPDATE: NEW EMPIRE'S FINAL AUSTRALIAN TOUR AND HILLSONG TO RELEASE NEW LIVE WORSHIP PROJECT...
To hear CAM WANT with this week's edition of The TCM Update, simply click on the link... |
APPS: ENRICHING YOUR PRAYER LIFE, AND, AN APP TO HELP MEN STEP OUT OF THE ORDINARY Do you sometimes find yourself lost for words when you pray? Or know you should pray but circumstances have pulled your spirit down and you feel you can't? If so, there's no need to feel alone: the Abide team says that 75 per cent of Christians are unsatisfied with their prayer life. And the Abide Prayer app may be just what you need. There's a daily prayer to listen to and pray along with or there are topics you can choose from according to your situation. This app may be just the thing to start you praying regularly. Available for Apple and Android devices.
ALAN TAYLOR looks at apps Abide Prayer and Uncommen... |
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SEE YOU THERE! SIGHT'S TRAVEL DEALS COLUMN
3rd September, 2015
Explore the wonders of ancient Turkey and cruise the Mediterranean with a new cruise-fly-stay package from Cruise1st.
FOR DETAILS OF OUR LATEST DEAL, HEAD TO OUR SEE YOU THERE PAGE... |
KNOW IT ALL: THE UNITED NATIONS
This year marks 70 years since the United Nations was founded. So here we delve into some of its history and facts and figures which go some way to explaining what the global body is all about...
• The first international organisations were aimed at encouraging cooperation on specific issues - such as the International Telecommunication Union founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union (and now a UN agency) - but the true forerunner of the UN was the League of Nations, established after World War I in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles. It ceased its existence after failing to prevent World War II.
• The term "United Nations" was coined by US President Franklin D Roosevelt and was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1st January, 1942, when, during World War II, representatives of 26 nations pledged to continue fighting against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers.
As the United Nations marks its 70th anniversary, DAVID ADAMS takes a look at what it's all about...|
LIFETALK: THE POWER OF CHOICE
"So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.'"- Deuteronomy30: 19-20
‘Destiny’. ‘Calling’. ‘Purpose’. Do these words make your eyes roll? Do they fill you with a surge of energy? Do they make you squirm - or do your eyes sparkle with anticipation?
We all have different responses to these very familiar words. We all have different experiences of what these significant words mean. For some they represent hope, challenge, fulfillment; for others, disappointment, frustration or perhaps sadness.
The tantalising concept of being individually and lovingly created by God, the Designer and Builder of all that is, throws up many questions about how our Creator is involved in the choices we make, the directions we take and the lives we live. The Bible itself is a huge collection of writings detailing the interactive relationship of God with man and man with God.
Life design coach ANN WOJCZUK looks at the power God gives us to choose our own destinies - to choose life - or death... |
ORIGINS: A CENTURY ON, THE PANAMA CANAL CONTINUES TO PROVIDE A VITAL LINK BETWEEN OCEANS
The Panama Canal last year marked the 100th anniversary of its official opening so we thought it was time to take a look at how a project, frequently hailed as one of the world's greatest engineering feats, came into existence.
There had for centuries been talk of digging a canal across the narrow isthmus linking north and south America, providing a means for ships to pass from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean (and vice versa) without having to take the rather lengthy and dangerous trip around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America.
But it wasn't until 1881 that France began work on such a structure. But ongoing engineering problems and a high death rate thanks to disease and wildlife including snakes, spiders and insects led to them to eventually abandon the project.
Having celebrated the centenary of its opening last year, DAVID ADAMS looks at the history of the Panama Canal... |
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THE BIG PICTURE: MORE THAN THE SUM OF OUR PARTS
If you lose a hand or foot or even an arm or a leg the strange thing is that, somehow, you’re still here. The hand or leg wasn’t you. So where exactly can ‘you’ be found? Most people today would say that ‘you’ are in your brain. So, whatever is happening inside the brain adds up to whatever or whoever ‘you’ are.
If that’s true, then it makes sense that when we die our consciousness dies too. Which means ‘You’ will never think again. No thoughts about friends or loved ones, no anger or sadness, no hopes for the future. Nothing will ever animate your mind again because your mind has disintegrated like a sandcastle on a beach. This is the view of the materialist. Materialists believe there’s nothing in existence except material things made of substances which, in turn, are made of basic elements.
To see Outreach Media's October poster and read the full text, follow the link... | more... |
THE WEEKLY SNAPSHOT
18th September, 2015
Cross by BOB ZANKER
In Sight's Weekly Snapshot, we'll endeavour to publish an image from somewhere around the globe every week. To see this image in a larger scale and for details of how you can submit images, follow the link...|
WORDPLAY CHALLENGE #6- AND THE ANSWER IS...
This wordcloud represents the words contained in a oft-quoted passage from the Bible (with the more frequently used words shown in larger type). The challenge for you is to identify the passage - which book and chapter does it come from. Follow the link to see the answer... | more... |
Sight+ is a new benefits program we've launched to reward people who have supported us with annual donations of $26 or more. To find out more about Sight+ and how you can support the work of Sight, head to our Sight+ page.
We've relaunched the Sight Bookshop - you can also buy our Christmas cards and other items we release there.
The bookshop is now open. Click HERE to go there...
NEW! THE SIGHT BOOKCLUB
Throughout the year, we'll be reading a series of books and then joining in a discussion about it - both among others within your church or small group and the wider Sight community. For October-November, 2015, we're reading Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 book Unbroken, the amazing story of Louis Zamperini which was made into a film in 2014. To register your group (and receive our discussion notes via email) and for more details about how the club works, head here...
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THEY SAID IT
"There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds. MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation."
- Christopher Stokes, general director of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in a statement on 4th October, referring to the deaths of at least 22 people, killed on 3rd October, 2015, when one of its hospitals in the Afghan city of Kunduz was bombed in what is suspected to have been a US air strike aimed at insurgents (the US has not admitted the air strike on the hospital).
"It was doubly shocking because it was perpetrated by a 15-year-old boy and it underlines the importance of families, communities, leaders being very aware of whether young people are becoming radicalised."
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, speaking after police accountant Curtis Cheng was shot dead from behind at point blank range outside police headquarters in Parramatta, Sydney, at about 4.30pm on 2nd October, 2015. The shooter, since named as 15-year-old Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad, was subsequently killed after he shot at police who then returned fire (as quoted on ABC on 4th October, 2015)
For more of They Said It, follow the link... more...
THIS WEEK ON THE WEB
5th October, 2015
Following another mass shooting in the US late last week, US President Barack Obama said the country's "thoughts and prayers" were not enough and intimated it was time the country take action to prevent further gun deaths. You can read his entire speech here...
Sight now has a Pinterest page where you can see some of our images. To see it, head here...
'TEACHER OF THE MASSES'?...
1st October, 2015
When you hear your own voice on radio giving people advice, you can quickly begin to think you have arrived, that you have made it and should be known as the Teacher to the Masses.
Fortunately life, and my wife have a way of reminding me that I am really just part of the common crowd.
Jesus famously said that we shouldn't call anyone teacher - not because He was against titles or teachers, but rather, because He was against anyone thinking they had made it.
Musings is a regularly updated, column featuring short snippets reflecting on daily life from a Christian perspective...|
OF 'EXTREME PHONE PINCHING'; TEDDY BEAR THEME PARKS; AND, SANTA CLAUS RUNNING FOR OFFICE IN NORTH POLE...
It's among the latest viral trends to sweep over social media and takes oddness to new heights. Called 'extreme phone pinching', it involves holding your mobile phone by pinching it between just a thumb and finger and dangling it over some perilous location whether that be a cliff, a drain, over the side of a tall building or even a toilet.
ADAMS writes about the odder side of life...|
ARCHAEO-LOGISTS HUNT FOR THE TOMB OF THE MACCABEES...
Archaeologists believe a mausoleum unearthed near the ancient city of Modi'in in Israel could yet prove to be the long-lost tomb of the Maccabees, a Jewish family which led the uprising against Greek rule in the second century BC.
The Israel Antiquities Authority has been conducting an excavation of what is known as the Horbat Ha-Gardi site to determine whether stories claiming it is the location of the tomb of the Maccabees are true.
CHRISTIAN GENERAL RECALLED IN JERUSALEM EXHIBITION... The World War I British officer who gave the order to lay down arms in 1918 is the subject of a year-long exhibition in Jerusalem opening this week.
On the 50th anniversary of his death, Lt Gen Sir William Dobbie's life is being celebrated at Christ Church, an Anglican community with strong links to the family and located within the ancient walls of the Old City.
CHARLES GARDNER, of ASSIST News Service, reports... |
AN END...AND A NEW BEGINNING...
What's on my mind?... Thanks for asking, Facebook.
Time to say goodbye to Just Been Thinking after many years, stops and starts. Thank you for your attention over the years, readers. Thank you for your endless commitment, encouragement and patience, David Adams- editor extraordinaire.
And now...I migrate back across to sightmagazine.com.au to begin a Coach Column, sharing insights in the area of human behaviour and life design.
The final instalment in ANN
WOJCZUK's blog about 'life, the universe and possibly everything'...|
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