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POVERTY: TEAR AUSTRALIA'S NEW CAMPAIGN TO HELP THE WORLD'S WOMEN AND USHER IN A BETTER TOMORROW
The statistics paint a picture of hardship: about 70 per cent of people living in poverty around the world today are women; they also make-up two thirds of the world’s illiterate population, do two-thirds of the world’s work yet earn less than 10 per cent of the world’s wages while a women dies in childbirth every minute with around 20 more suffering injury, infection or disease, and, perhaps most horrifying of all, for women aged between 15 and 44, violence accounts for more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.
Recounting the data sourced from the UN and World Heath Organisation, Paul Flavel, Australian program co-ordinator at TEAR Australia, says that while the statistics are horrific by any measure, what he finds incredibly sad about that is that many Christians in Australia are simply unaware of the hardships women face.
“The Australian Christian community doesn’t realise this...and so we would really like the Australian church to understand that, appreciate that and then find different ways to partner with us an others who are working to alleviate poverty...with women particularly.”
DAVID ADAMS reports on TEAR Australia's forTomorrow campaign... | more... |
DID YOU KNOW? NEWS REPORTS...
PEOPLE IN SYDNEY AND BRISBANE MOST BIBLICALLY ENGAGED IN AUSTRALIA, RESEARCH FINDS
Sydneysiders and Brisbanites are Australia’s most Biblically engaged people, according to an analysis of online visits to the world’s largest Christian website, Biblegateway.com.
Data released by McCrindle Research shows that people living in Sydney and Brisbane visited Biblegateway.com more than those in other cities, recording 2.67 and 2.54 page views per resident respectively while those in Adelaide were next, recording 1.62 page views.
Yet while Melbourne was well down the list, coming in at sixth with 1.52 page views per resident, it was the location of the two suburbs with the highest engagement on the website.
WORLDVIEW: AUTHORITIES IN VIETNAM ALLEGED TO HAVE INCITED VILLAGERS TO ATTACK CHRISTIAN CONVERTS
Inciting social hostility appears to have become a key way government officials in rural Vietnam try to contain, or at least slow, the growth of Christianity among ethnic minorities, sources said.
Ethnic Hmong Christians were the targets of two incidents the past two months in Vietnam’s northwest. Village officials in Son La Province dragged a couple from their home in late March, and the previous month authorities in neighboring Dien Bien Province incited a mob to beat a Christian family – including a nine-year-old girl – and drive them from the village.
In the latter case in Dien Bien Dong District, Public Security officers Hang Da Sinh and Cu Ninh Vang recruited some 30 villagers of Trun Phu Village, Na Song Commune, to accompany them to the home of Hang A Khua the evening of 26th February, according to Khua. Backed by an intimidating mob, the officers ordered Khua and his family of nine to recant their Christian faith and immediately and publicly signify their sincerity by re-establishing a family altar and worshipping their ancestors.
SIGHT SOAPBOX: 12 YEARS A SLAVE ALL A BIT "CLOSE TO HOME"
25th March, 2014
12 Years A Slave was an exhausting journey to watch. That is not to say it was not gripping as well: it certainly was.
But it was also tragic from start to finish. And by the time the end comes you are not satisfied. Justice is not served. The perpetrators of the kidnapping and enslavement get away with it. And the key man (who just spent 12 years as a slave) has missed out on watching his children grow up, marry and become parents.
It is not a feel good movie! If I was not a Christian I would have gone straight out and got Django Unchained to watch straight after it, just for the last scene where all the evil people get blown away by the fast shooting Django.
The reality is that real life (the movie is based on a true story) is not as fair or just as Hollywood movies much of the time.
JIM REIHER finds himself disturbed by what he sees are parallels between 12 Years A Slave and Australia's treatment of asylum seekers...| more... |
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ESSAY: CHRISTIANITY AND GENOCIDE?
In the lead-up to Easter, UK Prime Minister David Cameron committed his government to fighting the persecution of Christians abroad, saying no group is under more pressure for its faith.
Cameron is not alone in making the claim. In February, US Congressman Chris Smith said "The global persecution of Christians has gone from bad to worse." In November 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "Christianity is the most persecuted religion worldwide." In January 2011, former Lebanese President Amine Gemayal said "What is happening to Christians is a genocide."
In May 2013, Christian Solidarity International an international human rights organisation issued a Genocide Alert for Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Egypt. (See the United Nations definition of genocide here.)
On 12th April, the day before Cameron’s announcement, Lord David Alton, of the UK’s House of Lords, spoke at a Lenten Vigil dedicated to the suffering church in Syria and the Middle East. During the service, Alton highlighted the systematic killing and outright persecution of Christians, which he said "takes place without hardly a murmur of protest."
LAUREN GUNIAS, of the World Watch Monitor, looks growing concerns over the persecution of Christians - and members of other faiths - around the world... | more... |
"Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed."
- Isaiah 53: 4-5 (NIV)
May you have a blessed Easter!
PICTURE: ANN WOJCZUK
EASTER MESSAGES OF AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN LEADERS
Easter: the time to celebrate new beginnings.
"After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He has been raised, as He said. Come, see the place where he lay'." (Matthew 28:1-6)
Easter is the time to celebrate new beginnings. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is the most significant Christian celebration. It is the time that is at the heart of Christianity. Good Friday recalls the death of Jesus on a cross and then being laid in a tomb. When His closest friends went to the tomb very early on the Sunday morning they encountered the unexpected and the news that Jesus was not there. Jesus had been raised from the dead.
To read the rest of this Easter message from Rev Tara Curlewis, general secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia, and other Australian church leaders, follow the link... | more... |
NORTH AFRICA: ALGERIA'S POTENTIAL 'ARAB SPRING'
The so-called Arab Spring has seen the overthrow of several presidents across North Africa: first in Tunisia, then Mubarak in Egypt, followed by Gaddafi in Libya and finally a second ‘overthrow’ in Egypt: of President Morsi.
However, in neighbouring Algeria, the incumbent president has stubbornly clung onto power. This despite a lively opposition movement called "Barakat!" (‘Enough!’), started a day after the announcement that the 77-year-old president would now run for a fourth term.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been in power since 1999, but on Thursday, 17th April, Algerians have the chance to vote for a new president from among six candidates.
Many feel almost insulted by Bouteflika’s candidacy: he is said to be seriously ill. They doubt his physical and mental capability to lead what (since the division of Sudan into two) has become the biggest country in Africa.
The World Watch Monitor takes a look at the upcoming elections in Algeria and what they could mean for minority Christians... | more... |
EASTER: CELEBRATING PALM SUNDAY IN RAIN-SOAKED SYDNEY
Hundreds turned out onto Sydney's rain-soaked streets to watch a re-enactment of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday last weekend.
The re-enactment saw 24-year-old Christian Berechree stand in for Jesus as he rode a donkey around Circular Quay towards the Sydney Opera House, his arrival met with people waving palms and singing. The procession then headed back across the quay to First Fleet Park where children enjoyed face painting and other activities.
Rev Dr Keith Garner, superintendant of Sydney's Wesley Mission - organiser of the event, said God's love "shone through the rain".
"It was a wonderful public witness," he said. "Few could have seen the event without asking: 'Who is this man?'"
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THE SIGHT BOOKSHOP
Come and have a browse through the bookshop and let us know what books you'd recommend...|
D V E R T I S E M E N T
SIGHT-SEEING: HOW THE STORIES OF JESUS GUIDED ME THROUGH REDUNDANCY
In 27 years since leaving university, I have never been unemployed.
It all changed one Tuesday last month when my bosses informed me that, because of the continuing contraction of the market, they had taken the difficult decision to make my position redundant.
Where do I go from there? Was it something I said? Something I did? What about the new guy, who transferred in from another office three months ago?
The inescapable fact was that the river was running dry. Some of us who fished there had to go. That Tuesday it was my turn.
I was shocked, worried, destabilised, disorientated, lost. All these reactions were expected. One reaction I did not expect to see in myself was a re-awakened instinct to read Scripture, reflect and pray. I say this because I knew that these are things that I ought to do as a believer, but they never came to me instinctively Contrary to modern secular myth, my trials pushed me towards God, not away from Him.
When I joined the company, and before that, I determined to model my working life on the way Jesus went about His work. At the start of my job, I stood before all the bosses to give a five minute introduction of myself. I spoke about the value of humility and the benefits it brings to our working team environment. Jesus was my exemplar.
When MARTIN JACOBS lost his job at an engineering firm last month, he turned to Jesus for help. Here he writes about how the example of Christ has guided him through the process...|
OPEN BOOK SPECIAL - HUNCHES ABOUT JESUS: JESUS ARRANGES HIS OWN TRANSPORT
On a hot and humid day you just know when it is about to thunder and pour down. You wait. You just know it's going to rain. But have you ever waited like this and the rain doesn't come? Has that ever happened to you? The humidity gets worse. Your body tells you it's going to rain and...it doesn't rain?
Was this a bit like the suspense of the disciples when they arrived at the outskirts of Jerusalem? They were expecting things to get clearer. Jesus would do what He had to do. He had been teaching many things. They sensed a storm was coming. It seemed pretty close. This was the final stage. But what happened? No storm. Instead, Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey!
Some thought that Jesus would lead a political uprising. When such followers heard His teaching, they didn't stay around for too long. But now crowds of ordinary people gathered at His arrival to the twin cities of Bethphage and Bethany, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The good and righteous Rabbi sent by God had arrived. They were glad to be in His procession. Some may have sensed it was an important historical moment in God's dealings with His people. But there's something else to take from this passage.
Easter has just passed for another year but as part of his series looking at the Gospel of Mark, BRUCE C WEARNE looks at Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on what is now known as Palm Sunday... |
THIS LIFE: OUR CHOICE; OUR REWARD
I had a dream last night in which I was reflecting on Jesus death and resurrection and the part Mary Magdalene had in heralding Jesus resurrection. When I woke up this morning it still made sense...so here it is!
Mary was a woman who had been deeply touched and healed by Jesus. She had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus and then she chose to devote her life to taking care of Jesus and the disciples.
But imagine. She had just watched this magnificent one die the most hideous of deaths. She had seen his closest friends flee in fear. She had stayed to minister to her Teacher in death along with the other women. The grief would have been overwhelming, the confusion all consuming. This was not the end she had envisioned.
Mary had a choice. She could have looked at the evidence before her, the circumstances looked dire. Had I been Mary I would have been expecting a knock on the door from authorities and a public execution.
RENEE RUTHERFURD reflects on the actions of Mary Magdalene towards Jesus... |
POSTCARDS: LOUISIANA CITY FINDS NEW HOPE FROM A "GOOD SAMARITAN"
Like Israel’s King David who slew the Philistine giant Goliath with a sling and a stone, spiritual and civic forces in Lake Providence, Louisiana, are counting on words as weapons in the city’s battle with foes who’ve hurled verbal abuse for too long and too many times.
The words love, hope, believe, respect and others are uniquely uniting black and white citizens of the north-east Louisiana city against outsiders who’ve labeled their community the poorest and most unequal place in the United States with a national news magazine article and a cable television network documentary.
Lake Providence and its allies are fighting back with a medium of their own: A larger-than-life crossword puzzle and professionally painted scenes and symbols of life in the picturesque southern city surrounding a six-mile oxbow lake in East Carroll Parish.
Not only are the words rallying cries for blacks and whites who are upper, middle and lower income wage earners, but there are signs that the destiny of Lake Providence is brighter than the bad press its citizens have battled since 1994 when Time magazine infamously called the city America‘s poorest.
STEVE REES, in an article first published on ASSIST News Service, writes of how a church is helping to bring new hope to the US city of Lake Providence... |
THE WORD: RECONCILED
In Eden, Adam and Eve walked with God. In a sense they stepped alongside Him to walk the paths He chose so as to be with Him. Living in God’s house, Eden, they were immersed in the task of coming to grips with the world and life they had received, through experience and conferring with God "in the cool of the evening".
Then along came sin.
Their personal and dynamic relationship with God, their creator, unravelled and they tried to hide from Him rather than be with Him.
Their fractured relationship cried out for healing and restoration.
This is the context for all discussions of reconciliation in the New Testament.
In essence, mankind once stood face-to-face with God (an aching desire sung about in the Psalms and given further voice in Old Testament prophesies, New Testament letters and Revelation visions).
Sin was an about face.
LLOYD HARKNESS says that while Jesus having already exercised "all the initiative" when it comes to reconciliation, the question remains whether we will choose to be reconciled with God... |
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28th August, 2013 My son and I met someone on holidays who was in a wheelchair. He was paralysed on the left side of his body due to a virus that effected his brain.
He told us that he could have been healed if the doctors had diagnosed his condition within 72 hours but they were not able to. He had since been in a car accident where he was hit head-on by a drunk-driver, an accident which caused further permanent health issues.
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!
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BOOKS: REDISCOVERING THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD'S CITIES
If you wanted to attend a conference on mission in the last year and either did not make it or came away looking for more pieces to fit a mission picture for you then read this book.
It is a series of papers, sprinkled with personal stories and experiences, delivered at the 2013 ISUM Summit in Bangkok. This organisation was formed in 2012 to "seek God’s Shalom in cities, especially in the Majority World, and to come together to seriously grapple with issues of urban poverty".
The book’s twin tablets are: maintain a presence and work for justice as you live and share the Gospel. Their theme was working with God in mission requires "compassionate service, advocacy for justice, faith-sharing, church planting and care for creation".
The opening paper stresses the need to dwell with God and with others. One thought that caused me to pause was: Whatever urban ministry we are in, whatever work God has for you, you are challenged to remind yourself about not whining, not complaining, not pointing the finger, but to live and exemplify in word and service the peace of Christ, even among those people with whom we do not get along. In these small acts of faithful speech and true worship, in doing justice, and sharing bread, God’s promise is that God’s people will shine like stars.
LLOYD HARKNESS takes a look at a book reflecting on what mission is all about in the urban context... |
THE LEGO MOVIE MEETS BUILT-UP EXPECTATIONS
First up - a confession. I have enjoyed Lego ever since I was a child and have passed on that same enjoyment to my two children. So this movie was one the three of us had been long anticipating.
It didn’t disappoint. This, the first ever full-length Lego feature (there have been some shorter releases) follows the story of an unlikely hero – a construction worker called Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt of Parks and Recreation fame) – who lives in the highly regimented and extremely happy Lego city.
Emmet’s done his best to fit in – watching the endlessly ridiculous TV show Where’s My Pants? – and joining in robust choruses of Everything is Awesome (try to stop singing that when you leave the cinema) but something’s missing. He doesn’t quite fit and he soon finds out it’s all because he’s rather special – in fact, The Special.
Encountering a rather odd band of allies including Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), a wizard called Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and the very odd Unikitty (Alison Brie), Emmet must embark on a perilous quest to free the Lego world in which he lives in – as well as the myriad other Lego worlds - from the control of the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell).
Covering some 100 sites in the Holy Land, this website was created in 2010 by retired New Zealand journalist Pat McCarthy to encourage pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The website comes an alphabetical index of sites of interest, grouped according to their location. While the focus is largely on New Testament sites, the locations featured include everywhere from Akeldama, the Field of Blood where the Bible records that Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, died, to the cave on the northern slope of Mount Carmel where the Old Testament prophet Elijah is believed to have meditated before his encounter with the priests of Baal
DAVID ADAMS on a website that's all about exploring the Holy Land... |
PHOTO EDITING WITH A DIFFERENCE; AND, HOW NOT TO LOSE YOUR CAR
There are mobile photo editing apps available in abundance and they basically do the same thing. Instaflash is a photo editing app with a difference. So named because you can add a 'flash' effect to a photo after you've taken it, Instaflash has many other features that are worth a look. If you've taken a photo where the background is light but the subject is dark, you can lighten the subject and darken the background. You can also increase or reduce shadows, highlights, contrast and individual colours. With its intuitive controls, Instaflash makes photo fixing easy.
ALAN TAYLOR looks at Instaflash and Find My Car... |
THE TCM UPDATE: EASTERFEST, AND THE RETURN OF NATURALLY 7
Toowomba is getting set to ‘wow’ the crowds attending this year’s Easterfest.
The festival – held in local parks, pubs, shopping centres, theatres, restaurants and main streets – reportedly attracts around 30,000 to 40,000 people annually.
And this year, there’s a real ‘buzz’ about seeing the return of Hawk Nelson, Jars Of Clay, and Jimmy Needham.
Hawk Nelson’s lead singer Jon Steingard says the band is looking forward to coming back.
“We’re so excited to come back to Australia. We’ve been twice before. The crowds are so awesome. Something culturally reminds me of Canada (where I’m from). It’s weird to fly so far away to find a place that feels like home. So we’re really excited to come back,” Jon says.
CAM WANT with this week's edition of The TCM Update...|
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
SIGHT HELPDESK: AUGMENTING YOUR REALITY
Movies which feature robots or cyborgs as the main character often give a glimpse of the world through their eyes. Not only do they see a view of the world like us, but they also see an overlay of information which can include distance, altitude, identification, GPS information and other things necessary to perform their missions. One example is The Terminator movie, made in 1984, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
And while in 1984 it would have seemed science fiction, technology never stays still and we've been able to experience similar applications for a number of years.
The name for this technology is 'augmented reality'. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as "A form of technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the world."
Augmented reality is available on many smartphones via downloadable apps. They use the inbuilt camera as a live display, overlaying it with information according to the area. There are many augmented reality applications available and some are specific in their role.
ALAN TAYLOR takes a look at how the concept of augmented reality is becoming fact rather than fiction...|
ORIGINS: 25 YEARS SINCE THE CONCEPTION OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB
First conceived 25 years ago this week, the World Wide Web (or WWW as we’ve grown to known it), has changed the world in ways that we are still yet to fully fathom.
Its origins – that is, those of the WWW, not the internet as a whole; that was established some 20 years earlier - go back to 12th March, 1989, when British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, then working at European Organisation for Nuclear Research (known as CERN), put forward a somewhat brief proposal for a series of technologies that would make the internet accessible to anyone.
It took until Christmas Day the following year before the idea went live after Berners-Lee specified the fundamental technologies – they include the web addresses known as URLs, the link protocol known as HTTP and webpage “markup language” known as HTML - which still undergird the world wide web today.
DAVID ADAMS looks at the origins of the World Wide Web... |
KNOW IT ALL: THE WINTER OLYMPICS
The Winter Olympics are kicking off in the Russian resort of Sochi and so we thought it was a good time to take a quick look at some facts and figures about the 'other' Games...
• The first official Winter Olympics was held in the French ski resort of Chamonix in 1924.
• Held every four years, the Winter Olympics were originally held in the same year as the Olympic Games but this changed in 1992 when the Winter Olympics were moved to alternate with the summer games (they were next held in 1994).
• The only time the Games have been cancelled was during World War II - in 1940 and 1944 (the Games had been scheduled to be held in Sapporo, Japan, in 1940).
DAVID ADAMS looks at some facts and figures about the Winter Olympics...|
Ever watched a movie and seen the boom mike come into view at the top of the screen? Or noticed a wrist watch on a Viking or a TV aerial on an ancient skyline? There you were, caught up in the story, believing in great characters, transported by imagery and suddenly the new story is that the movie was badly made. Which is OK if the movie’s a bomb and you’re laughing with friends. Now you’ve got a bomb story you can tell.
But what if you were really into the movie and hoping for a satisfying end? That’s annoying.
Speaking of bad movies, if your life was a movie there’s no way you’d want it to show in public. Despite your protests, any quality director would ignore your good deeds and focus on the bad stuff - the moral scandals. It’s those shocking, debasing, disheartening, yet oh so interesting things that compel us as we soak in endless movies and TV dramas. And all of us have moral failures, even if they’re kept private in the mind. The recurring pattern in every human story is disappointment and regrets, feelings of shame for wrong things that we’ve said or thought or done.
To see Outreach Media's April poster and read the full text, follow the link... | more... |
WORDPLAY: REVELATION 22
It's always interesting to look at something from another angle and the Bible, with its layers and depths of meaning, always has more to reveal. Here's a word cloud of Revelation, chapter 22 - the final chapter in the whole of the Bible. Let us know below what insights you find... | more... |
We meet again.
Kind and generous,
Peaceful and serene.
The spirit alive
In all that is
And not what could be.
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THEY SAID IT
“It is a significant memory fail."
- Former NSW Prremier Barry O'Farrell, speaking on 16th April as he resigned from the office following revelations he had written a thank-you note after receiving a $3000 bottle of wine as a gift after earlier telling the Independent Commission Against Corruption he did not receive the bottle of wine (as quoted in The Daily Telegraph on 16th April, 2014)
For more of They Said It, follow the link... | more... |
THIS WEEK ON THE WEB
16th April, 2014
Buying last minute Easter eggs? Stop the Traffik has produced a guide to ensure your chocolate has been created without the involvement of trafficked children. You can download the guide (and see what other actions you can take to help make chocolate "traffick free") here...
Sight now has a Pinterest page where you can see some of our images. To see it, head here...
MAN KILLED GOD (EASTER)...
15th April, 2014
Did you hear about the day man killed God?
Pretty interesting day; of course it was a conspiracy. The religious and authorities came together and conspired to get rid of this annoying little man.
Annoying because He was so good; helping, healing, talking peace, justice and freedom from the Establishment’s oppression.
It was obvious this man was God though. Who else could calm a storm, raise the dead and forgive?
Musings is a regularly updated, column featuring short snippets reflecting on daily life from a Christian perspective...|
Great grace, deepest love is carried into the world through the life of the Son of God. Great brokenness, pain, cruelty and evil is taken into that Son on the cross, great love, kindness and power are released into the world in His resurrection.
What an amazing, wise, loving, gutsy, inspirational man He was. What an awesome, loving, wise, inspirational, powerful King friend He is, and has been in my life now for 33 years.
WOJCZUK's blog about 'life, the universe and possibly everything' now has a new home...|
APRIL FOOL'S DAY SPECIAL - TWO-FOR-ONE FLIGHTS; EDIBLE PIZZA PACKAGING; SCOTLAND'S INDEPEN-
DENCE ODDITIES; AND GOOGLE'S PHOTO-BOMBING EXTENSION...
We'll kick off our round-up of April Fool's Day jokes with mention of travel company Student Flights which proposed saving money (and yet travelling in style) by sharing a top-to-tail business class seat-come-bed seat with someone. "Get up close and personal with your business class buddy for a budget friendly chance to experience the bells and whistles at the pointy end of the plane," says their website in a promo advertised on Facebook.
ADAMS writes about the odder side of life...|
BYZANTINE-ERA CHURCH DISCOVERED IN ISRAEL FEATURES BEAUTIFUL MOSAIC FLOORS...
Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed the remains of a 1,500-year-old church featuring beautiful mosaic floors including one featuring a symbol of Christ surrounded by birds.
The remains of the Byzantine-era church were discovered in the village of Aluma - about 50 kilometres south of Tel Aviv - during a salvage excavation prior to the construction of a new neighbourhood in the area. The Israel Antiquities Authority - which announced the find this week - has spent the past three months excavating the site.
THOUSANDS OF CHRISTIANS IN JERUSALEM FOR FEAST OF TABER-NACLES... Despite the recent tensions in Syria, over 5,000 Christian pilgrims from nearly 100 nations will descend on Jerusalem for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem's annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.
The festival began last Friday evening in Ein Gedi at the Oasis Hotel and continues to Jerusalem's International Convention Center for the remainder of the week of Sukkot. The weeklong celebration is expected to generate $US16 million in revenues, and is the largest annual tourist event to Israel.
Can you think of a time when someone has been brutally honest and vulnerable about themselves and it's taken you by surprise? For me it happened about 20 years ago at a church I had just started attending.
As I remember it, the person leading the service that day asked anyone to come forward who wanted to share what they thought God had been doing in their lives recently. One young guy got up - he was probably about my age at the time - and told about his relationship with his girlfriend and how he had recently gotten her pregnant, and how he had walked away from his faith. He then shared about the support he had received from the church community through his struggle.
NILS VON KALM'S blog on faith, life and how it all might fit together...|
OUT OF AFRICA: TAKING YOUR BLESSINGS FOR GRANTED...
I have been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I was living in Australia. Sadly much of that blessing was in a sense ‘lost on me’ because I didn’t see it for what it was. The longer I live here the more I realise the day-to-day difficulties people face in the majority of the world. I am amazed that people are able to keep their hope when so many things seem so difficult.
Things I have always taken for granted - access to water, nutritious food and good medical assistance - are, at times, just not available here. I am horrified at the number of times people come back from our local medical clinic saying that there is no medicine or even occasionally no doctor.
LENA JOHNSTONE's blog about life in Malawi, Africa, where she works with the Mphatso Children's Foundation...|
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