CAR: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM A "REALITY" IN RECOVERING WAR-TORN NATION

 

CARThe Central African Republic (CAR) is gradually recovering from the two-and-a-half-year crisis which ravaged the country, according to its top three religious leaders.
      World Watch Monitor spoke with the clerics  - Rev Nicolas Guérékoyamé-Gbangou, president of CAR’s Evangelical Alliance, Monsignor Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Catholic Archbishop of Bangui, and Imam Oumar Kobine Layama president of CAR’s Islamic Council – during their visit to Switzerland last week, where they received the 2015 Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize at the UN office in Geneva.

     Named for Sergio Vieira de Mello - the UN’s Special Representative in Iraq who was killed when the UN headquarters in Baghdad was bombed in August, 2003, the award is presented every two years to an individual, group or organisation that has done something unique to reconcile people and parties in conflict.

     ILLIA DJADI, of the World Watch Monitor, speaks with three of the Central African Republic's most prominent voices for peace... |  more... | 

UNICEF WELCOMES LATEST RELEASE OF CHILDREN

UN child focused agency UNICEF last week welcomed the release of 163 children by an armed group in the Central African Republic but noted that thousands of boys and girls are still serving various militant factions as combatants, cooks and messengers.

   DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

FOR PREVIOUS:

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - A FORGOTTEN CRISIS

  World Watch Monitor reports on the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic...  |  more... |

 

 

 

NEWS REPORTS...

1st September, 2015

HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SOMALIA WORSENING, SAYS FAO

As many as 855,000 people are facing "acute food insecurity" in Somalia following poor harvests, rainfall shortages and civil strife which has disrupted trade and caused population displacement.

The Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia, released by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday, shows the number of people who face a food crisis or emergency has increased by 17 per cent over the past six months, from 731,000 to 855,000 while the number of people in food-stressed situations remained steady at 2.3 million.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |



THE DAILY STATISTIC:

2nd September, 2015

Number of Chinese who travelled outside China in 2014:

107 million

Source: China Tourism Academy report

For more of The Statistic... |  more... |

NEWS...

• Myanmar: Christians denied aid after heavy flooding, mission group says... |  more... |

• Somaliland: Somali Christians fleeing Islamic extremists lose family, fingers... |  more... |

• Nigeria: Plateau State Christians protest in Abuja... |  more... |

• Nigeria: Activists mark 500 days since kidnapping of Chibok schoolgirls... |  more... |

• Pakistan: Christians charged with blasphemy after calling late pastor a Christian "prophet"... |  more... |

| MORE NEWS...|

 

MOMENTS

2nd September, 2015

STRANDED: Hundreds of migrants and refugees after police sealed off the Keleti railway station in the Hungarian capital of Budapest to prevent them travelling further into the EU.

1st September, 2015

DECLARED: "(N)ot adequate, appropriate or safe", conditions and circumstances for asylum seekers at Australia's regional processing centre on Nauru by an Australian Senate Committee.

31st August, 2015

SENTENCED: Australian Peter Greste, Canadian Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were sentenced to three years prison for broadcasting "false" news in Egypt; a ruling which has provoked international criticism.

FOR MORE OF MOMENTS... |  more... |

 

31st August, 2015

WORLDVIEW: STUDY FINDS US HAS ALMOST A THIRD OF WORLD'S MASS SHOOTERS DESPITE BEING HOME TO ONLY FIVE PER CENT OF POPULATION

The US has been the location of 31 per cent of the world's public mass shootings over the 46 years to 2012 despite only hosting five per cent of the world's population, according to new research.

     Dr Adam Lankford, professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama, said his research shows that in the period between 1966 and 2012, the US had 90 "public shooters", well above the totals for next two countries on the list - the Philippines (18) and Russia (15) - combined.

     He said his research - which assessed 171 countries - provided empirical evidence of a "positive association" between firearms and public mass shootings.

     "The United States, Yemen, Switzerland, Finland, and Serbia are ranked as the top five countries in firearms owned per capita, according to the 2007 Small Arms Survey, and my study found that all five are ranked in the top 15 countries in public mass shooters per capita," Dr Lankford said. "That is not a coincidence."

      DAVID ADAMS reports on the findings of new research showing the US is number one in terms of the number of mass shootings around the world...  |  more... |

 

SIGHT SOAPBOX

MANY DOING IT TOUGH THIS WINTER

21st May, 2015

A growing number of our neighbours will face a lonely winter this year with as many as seven per cent, or 1.5 million Australians predicted to be considered isolated or very isolated this year.

     ROBERT TICKNER, chief executive of Red Cross Australia, appeals for people to dig deep for some of Australia's most vulnerable this winter...  |  more... |

THE SIGHT SOAPBOX...  |  more... |


To have Your Say on the Sight Soapbox, send submissions to editor@sightmagazine.com.au

FOR THE ISSUE/YOUR SAY... | more...|

 

  SIGHT'S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WALKS

Melbourne

Join Sight's editor David Adams for two hour walk around Melbourne's CBD looking at some of the city's rich Christian heritage.

Next walk is on 5th September

FOR BOOKINGS AND MORE INFORMATION,

VISIT SIGHT'S WALKS PAGE... | more...|

 

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Living Life At The Top

 

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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ART: "A JEWEL-LIKE OBJECT OF EXTRAORDINARY BEAUTY" - 500-YEAR-OLD ROTHSCHILD PRAYER BOOK GOES ON SHOW IN MELBOURNE

Christianity and art have long between intertwined and this week a new exhibition has opened in Melbourne celebrating that connection.

     Centred on the 500-year-old Rothschild Prayer Book, the exhibition at the University of Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art features more than 60 works from medieval and Renaissance Europe, all of which form part of the collection of Australian businessman, Kerry Stokes.

     DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... | 

 

 

AFRICA: MERCY SHIPS' AFRICA MERCY TO RETURN FOR SECOND STINT IN MADAGASCAR

 

Africa MercyThe world's largest civilian hospital ship - the Africa Mercy - returns to Madagascar this week to commence a 10 month stint in what is one of the world's least developed nations.

     The ship, owned by global Christian organisation Mercy Ships, was last in Madagascar off the south-east coast of Africa in June when it completed a nine month stay aimed at helping local people with a range of medical issues before heading to the South African port of Durban for its annual regime of repairs, inspections and maintenance.

     Alan Burrell, the managing director of Mercy Ships Australia, said Mercy Ships decided to accept an invitation from Madagascar's Government to return to the island nation thanks to the ongoing need for surgical and general healthcare.

     It will now stay 10 months in the port of Tamatave during which time the volunteer crew is expected to provide more than 2,200 on board surgeries to adults and children for a range of conditions, including cleft lip or palate, facial tumours, club feet and broken limbs, cataracts and childbirth injuries. The surgery is provided at no cost to the patient.

     DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... | 

 

 

ETHIOPIA: ORTHODOX LEADERS JAILED AFTER PROTESTING ABOUT PERSECUTION

 

Ethiopian churchA district court in Ethiopia has charged six members of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) with inciting public disturbance, destroying public trust in government officials and spreading hatred after it surfaced in the media that official complaints were made to the government about increasing persecution of Christians in a Muslim-dominated area in the south of the country.

     The court found the men guilty on 7th August and sentenced them to between five and almost nine years in prison.

     The men were members of St Mary’s Orthodox Church in Kilto, 180 kilometres south of the capital Addis Ababa in the Silte zone of SNNP state. Silte is a Muslim-dominated zone that came into existence after the Silte people unanimously chose to form a separate zone in a referendum held in 2001.

     A number of Ethiopia’s prominent Muslim politicians come from Silte, including the current Minister of Defence, the Minister of Communications and the current caucus leader for women’s affairs in the federal parliament.

      The World Watch Monitor reports... |  more... | 

 

 

SYRIA: BISHOP FEARS FOR LIVES OF KIDNAPPED CHRISTIANS; CONDEMNS MONASTERY DESTRUCTION

 

One of Syria’s most respected church leaders has condemned the destruction of an ancient Catholic monastery by the Islamic State (IS) group and expressed concern that hundreds of kidnapped people, many of them Christians, may have been killed.

     Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo Antoine Audo spoke hours after news emerged that IS had destroyed the monastery in the Syrian town of Qaryatain dating back to the 5th century after Christ, and is located in central Homs province.

     He told Vatican Radio that IS militants wanted to send a message of “violence and intolerance” by destroying this symbol of Christianity and encourage Syria's Christians to flee their homeland.

     “As usual for us Christians, it is a message of violence and intolerance, a message to spread fear everywhere,” he said. The destruction of the monastery came after IS kidnapped some 250 people in Qaryatain earlier this month, including at least dozens of Christians.

     It was “possible” that the hostages has been killed as IS had “no conscience or morality” and “they are able to do anything,” warned the bishop.

      BosNewsLife and DAVID ADAMS report... |  more... | 

FOR PREVIOUS:

SYRIA: JIHADISTS RELEASE PRIEST FOLLOWING EARLIER RELEASE OF 22 ELDERLY ASSYRIANS

BARBARA G BAKER, of the World Watch Monitor, reports on the release of some Christians held hostage in Syria - and the ongoing captivity of many more... |  more... |

FOR MORE FEATURES... | more...|

 

SIGHT'S CHURCH RESOURCES PAGE

 

Church steepleWe'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.

It's a one-stop shop for church leaders!

SIGHT'S CHURCH RESOURCES PAGE... | more...|

 

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Directory
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EXPLORING LONDON

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!

 

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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.

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• SURVEY PARTICIPANTS NEEDED: HOW DOES MINISTRY AFFECT THE FAMILIES OF CHRISTIAN CLERGY WORKERS IN AUSTRALIA?

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Come and have a browse through the bookshop and let us know what books you'd recommend...  | more...|

 

REGULAR COLUMNS

 

POSTCARD: GIVING HOPE IN GUATEMALA CITY; CLINIC IS LAST HOPE FOR SERIOUSLY ILL CHILDREN

Dr Ligia FigueroaDr Ligia Figueroa was speaking with a visitor when an associate knocked on her office door. Invited to enter, the colleague presented her with a beautiful vase of fresh-cut roses.

     “These are from a patient’s mother. She wanted to give them to you as a way to say thank you.”

     Such a humble expression of thanks as a payment for the surgery a child received is common at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in this sprawling Central American city.

     “They don’t have to give us anything, but they try to say thank you with what they have or produce or sell. We have received fresh bread, eggs and other products,” she reflected.

     Dr Figueroa is the medical director of the hospital that is owned and operated by The Shalom Foundation, a Christian organisation in Nashville, Tennessee.

     The clinic treats hundreds of children each year for medical problems such as tonsils, adenoids, cleft-palete, club feet, poor eyesight, tooth decay and muscular/skeletal issues.
    In an article first published by ASSIST News Service, KENNETH D MacHARG writes about the amazing work of the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatamala City... | more... |

 

THIS LIFE: LIFE, DEATH, LOVE, AND GRIEF

JesusA former colleague and friend of mine died recently. She was too young, and left behind a husband and two kids.

     People who were closer to her than I was have been comforting each other during the past week in their grief. It has been terribly sad to witness.

     The times in my life when I have known people who have died have been times of bonding with other loved ones of the deceased. It is not shared experiences necessarily or shared happiness that bonds people. It is shared suffering. When you grieve together over the suffering of a loved one, love comes to the fore.

     It's ultimately what life is about, really. Life is primarily about the experience of loss, ultimately to the loss of our life. 

     Martin Luther King, Jr said once that suffering is redemptive. What he meant by that is that it is not meaningless. In a friendly universe, where the moral arc bends towards love, suffering can always be turned into good.

    NILS VON KALM reflects on the fact that our suffering, just as that of Jesus, is not without meaning... | more... |

 

OPEN BOOK - HINTS FROM THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS: THE GOOD NEWS COMES TO THE TEMPLE

St PeterA man, lame from birth, had been healed. Peter took him by the hand and had him stand. John was the witness. This was a healing in the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

     A crowd of the worshippers gathered to see the man and Peter addressed them. This was to have been their time of prayer. Peter informed them why they should be praying, why they should repent and rejoice in the grace and love of God Almighty.

     Peter was aware that by teaching in the temple he was following Someone who taught in that same precinct not so long before. He knew that God's mercy had triumphed over guilt and judgment.

     The people there who had heard Jesus teach had not lifted a finger to prevent His execution; in fact they had cried for His blood. When the Roman governor had announced His innocence, they had used what political power they had to demand His death. Though judged innocent they consented with His crucifixion.

      BRUCE C WEARNE looks at what Peter says in the temple in Jerusalem after the healing of a lame man in his ongoing look at the Book of Acts...  | more... |

 

CONVERSATIONS: SCOTT HIGGINS, FOUNDER OF A JUST CAUSE

Scott HigginsWhat was your background prior to founding A Just Cause?

"I was a Baptist pastor from 1990 to 2005, working first as a youth pastor in Sydney and then being involved in a church played in Newcastle. In 2005, I went to work for Baptist World Aid Australia as their inaugural education and advocacy officer, and worked there for 10 years in a variety of roles."

     What was the reasoning behind the founding of A Just Cause?

"Over the course of the last decade, people in the Baptist movement across Australia have become very active in global justice causes, but the movement lacked the infrastructure for speaking out together on more domestic justice issues such as asylum seekers, reconciliation and homelessness. A Just Cause was founded to provide that infrastructure."

     A Just Cause was founded to “speak out for justice on issues such as refugees and asylum seekers, climate change, reconciliation, and homelessness”. Why these issues in particular – are they issues churches weren’t engaging with well?

"The key for us is addressing issues that relate to our life together as a nation. We distinguish between justice issues and virtue. Christians have particular views on what a virtuous life looks like, but in a liberal democracy it's not the role of government to legislate for those virtues.

    Scott Higgins is the founder of A Just Cause - a Baptist ministry which aims to resources churches to take action on "pressing issues of justice" both in Australia around the world. He speaks with DAVID ADAMS... | more... |

 

THIS LIFE: CAGED SILENCE

Google defines silence as “complete absence of sound.” Its verb is “to cause to become silent.” Silence is likened to stillness and quietness.

     Recently, I had an experience with the verb form of the word.

     In a concert held at the Albuquerque Museum of Art, the art-music ensemble, Chatter, performed two pieces that elicited a sublime hush and tranquility.

     Performing John Cage’s Fourteen and Thomas Albert’s A Maze (With Grace), Chatter set up in the lobby of the museum at various stations, keeping distance from one another, thereby creating space and atmosphere.

     Introducing the piece, Fourteen, associate artist director, James T Shields, described the composition as “delicate.” Beginning with a prepared piano (bowing the strings with fishing line), the ensemble set out on a 20-minute journey of muted sound. Incorporating instruments such as horn, trumpet, violin, bass, percussion, and bass clarinet - the ensemble used 14 instruments (hence the name of the composition) to form an atmosphere of ethereal tonality, an organised sound scape.

    In an article first published on ASSIST News Service, MARK ELLIS writes about the importance of silence... | more... |

FOR THIS AND MORE OF OUR REGULAR COLUMNS, GO TO OUR REGULARS PAGE here

 

IN HIS HANDS...

16th October, 2014
VenezuelaThis 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... | more...|

FOR MORE OF MYSTORY... | more...|

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 editor@sightmagazine.com.au 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.

Quality, timely content as simple as that.

To sign up for our church newsletter service or to find out more information, simply email subscriptions@sightmagazine.com.au.

 

REVIEWS

 

SIGHT BOOKSHOP

Help support Sight by visiting our bookshop here...

READ

BOOKS: INSIGHTS TO THE "SOMETIMES FRUITFUL AND OFTEN CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE OF URBAN MISSION"

Urban to the CoreMore people are moving into cities every year, but churches are often moving out. The year 2008 was the first time in history when more people lived in cities than not. The need for rethinking a theology of urban mission and reprioritising mission in cities, especially in inner-urban and inner-city areas, is more urgent than ever. I’m a pastor in an inner-suburban context, and work as a mission catalyst with a denomination that is eager to promote pioneering church planting and congregational revitalisation in inner-city areas, so I am always eager for fresh inspiration and welcomed Juliet Kilpin’s book.

     Kilpin has been working with Urban Expression since its beginning in 1997. In Urban to the Core she discusses Urban Expression’s core values and some of their stories and prayers. Urban Expression challenges Christians to relocate into marginalised city areas for mission.

     One hundred members in 20 teams in Britain, and others in Europe and the US, have committed usually three years or more to neighbourhood mission. They are rethinking their whole approach to church planting in ways that are more incarnational and committed essentially to community development.

      DARREN CRONSHAW finds mission inspiration in Juliet Kilpin's Urban to the Core...  | more... |

THE BOOK REPORT: HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN ARMY CHAPLAINS WINS 'AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR'

14th August, 2015

Captains of the SoulA history of Australian Army chaplains won the Australian Christian Book of the Year at an event in Melbourne last night.

    The judges described Captains of the Soul - written by Michael Gladwin and published by Big Sky Publishing - as a "history of national importance and an insight into the Australian character". They noted that while chaplains may be "increasingly unfashionable in some spheres of society", they continued to be valued "in proportion to the proximity to battle".

     In the book, Gladwin, a lecturer in history at the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University at St Mark's National Theological Centre, assesses the role Australian Army chaplains have played in conflicts and peace-keeping missions as well as in barracks and among service families.

     Read the Book Report here...   | more... |

 

WATCH

ON THE SCREEN: WAR ROOM, AN ENCOURAGING LOOK AT THE POWER OF PRAYER

War RoomThe latest film from the Kendrick brothers, creators of Fireproof and Courageous, War Room continues their pattern of presenting Christianity within the contemporary North American context.

     The film takes it's name from the prayer closet used by elderly "prayer warrior" Miss Clara (played by Karen Abercrombie) who comes into contact with Elizabeth Jordan (Priscilla C Shirer), a woman who seemingly is living the American dream but who in reality is struggling to hold together her marriage and find purpose in her life.

     Her husband, slick pharmaceutical salesman Tony (TC Stallings), is increasingly away from home as he chases ever higher bonuses to keep the money flowing (not to mention his wandering eye) and, as a result, is becoming more and more distant from both his wife and his daughter Danielle (Alena Pitts).

     DAVID ADAMS watches War Room, the latest offering from the Kendrick Brothers...  | more... |

 

CLICK

CASTING THE NET: BRITISH LIBRARY - DIGITISED MANUSCRIPTS

BLJust part of the British Library's rather vast website, we thought this aspect was worth a look in its own right. The site contains hundreds, if not thousands, of digitised versions of manuscripts held in the library's collection which have been placed on the web through a range of projects - the latest of which is an initiative, being run in cooperation with the National Library of Israel, to put an additional 860 Hebrew manuscripts held in the library's collection online (to add to the 1,250 already being digitised through an earlier project). Highlights among those manuscripts already scanned include the 8th century St Cuthbert Gospel - the oldest intact European book.

      DAVID ADAMS looks at a fascinating section of the British Library's website... | more... |

 

DOWNLOAD

APPS: ENRICHING YOUR PRAYER LIFE, AND, AN APP TO HELP MEN STEP OUT OF THE ORDINARY
AbideDo 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... | more... |

 

LISTEN

MUSIC: AUSSIE HOPE'S COMPILATION PROVIDES A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE - AND IT'S ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Aussie HopeSo, you want to hear the sounds of the future? Well, here’s a tidy new compilation album that will do just that! Aussie Hope has been put together by Aussie Christian Gigs, showcasing 13 fresh Australian Christian artists that are well and truly worth a look.

     Featuring only the cream of Australian Christian contemporary artists, Aussie Hope is sure to appeal to a wide variety of listeners and will be a solid addition to your collection. Every artist is very deserving of their place on this album, and the quality is such that you will be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like!

     The bookends of Aussie Hope are particularly strong. Press play, and you literally Hit The Ground Running with a bouncy, ‘get to your feet’, Luke Robinson song. It’s a quality opening track. At the other end, Bec Laughton’s soul/pop Holy Love 2 (wow!, wow!, wow!) rounds out the album with an absolute power show! She has a set of pipes on her and had me ‘popping’ the repeat button again and again. If you have not heard of this girl, Google her now!

      ROBBIE TOWNSEND listens to compilation album Aussie Hope...  | more... |

 

Dove Awards

Soundbite27th August, 2015

THE TCM UPDATE: DOVE NOMINATIONS; UNITED MILESTONE; AND, FOREST EDGE UPDATE...

To hear CAM WANT with this week's edition of The TCM Update, simply click on the link... | more... |

FOR THIS AND MORE OF WEBSITES, FILMS, BOOKS, COMICS AND MUSIC, GO TO OUR REVIEWS PAGE here


LIFESTYLE

 

SEE YOU THERE! SIGHT'S TRAVEL DEALS COLUMN

15th May, 2015

Daydream IslandQueensland's Daydream Island Resort, located in the Whitsundays at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is offering 20 per cent off a three day twin share package.

     FOR DETAILS OF OUR LATEST DEAL, HEAD TO OUR SEE YOU THERE PAGE... | more...|

 

TRENDSPOTTER: 'HOT-DESKING' FIRING UP IN OFFICE SPACES EVERYWHERE - THOUGH SOME WOULD PREFER TO GIVE IT THE COLD SHOULDER

DesksThe office workspace has gone through many changes in the past 20 years ago - remember when IT start-ups were introducing beanbags in the belief that a happy employee is a productive employee? Since then we've seen a number of innovations arrive at the office space, one of the most contentious of which is "hot-desking". Aimed at reducing costs and increasing efficiency, this does away with the idea every employee has their own, private desk and instead sees employees with different work hours sharing a single desk or simply using whichever desk is available when they arrive at work (the term "hotelling" is used for reservation-based systems). The trend is seeing cubicle walls being being torn down in favour of open plan workspaces so it's been goodbye to those private phone calls and no more photos of the kids cluttering up your desktop - one of the policies which often accompanies hot-desking is the "clean desk" policy which means that anything left on a desktop when the cleaners come is simply binned.

     It's seen in many offices around the world today but not everyone's a fan. DAVID ADAMS takes a quick look at the trend of "hot-desking"... | more...|

 

KNOW IT ALL: THE SPEAKER

Parliament HouseThere’s been a lot of talk about the Speaker of the House of Representatives recently, with the resignation of Bronwyn Bishop and subsequent election of Tony Smith, so we thought we’d take a closer look at the office, its role and its history.

     • The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives, meaning it is their role to oversee the running of the house, including determining which of the members may speak, and for maintaining order during debates. The Speaker does not vote except to act as a tiebreaker.

     • The Speaker has at their disposal a range of sanctions they can use to maintain order during debates. These include warning a member, ordering them to leave the house for one hour or ‘naming’ them and moving a motion for a member’s suspension (usually for 24 hours).

    DAVID ADAMS looks at the role of the Speaker in the Australian Parliament...  | more...|

 

SIGHT HELPDESK: THE YEAR OF FREE SOFTWARE UPGRADES

TimeThis year is a great year for the personal computer user. With Microsoft releasing Windows 10 last month, the company is taking a leaf out of Apple’s book by allowing a free upgrade to users of Windows 7 and 8.

     And Apple isn’t sitting still either. Its free upgrade, El Capitan for its Mac range, will be available in September. Sooner, if you sign up for the public beta.

     Both releases boast a ton of new features and, in Microsoft's case, the return of an old one. Still reeling from the public backlash after dropping the Start menu in Windows 8, Microsoft is bringing it back in Windows 10.

     While Windows 8 attempted to be all things to all devices, tablets and computers, Windows 10 will keep the two separate. That means if you install Windows 10 on a PC, you'll get the PC operating system. If you install it on a tablet, you'll have the tablet version. However, the operating system can adapt depending on whether it’s connected a to a monitor or keyboard and mouse. Microsoft calls this Continuum.

      Time to upgrade? ALAN TAYLOR gives an overview of some of the software upgrades available for your computer, tablet or phone this year... | more...|

 

NEW! INTRODUCING LIFETALK, A SPACE FOR EXPLORING MODERN LIFE

LifeTalk is a space for chewing over and exploring modern life. It is a room to enter with questions, a place to grapple with your real world, and allow for the mysteries and conundrums of life as we know it. Along the way we will explore human behaviour, Biblical wisdom and ethics, social codes and curiosities. I hope you will join in, comment and ask questions along the way.

     As a life design coach and a Christian, I am constantly working with people who are experiencing the shifting sands of challenge and opportunity. So many pathways, so many choices, fast-paced living, relationship changes, career pressures, changes in their circumstances, disappointments, amazing experiences, shifting responsibilities, transitioning from one stage of life to another, wanting to shake off old baggage, passing through unknown territory and/or stretching to be all that God has made it possible for them to be. Life is complex, often messy! It rarely falls in neat rows.

Ann WLife design coach (and long-time Sight contributor) ANN WOJCZUK introduces her new column, LifeTalk...  | more...|

 

FOR THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR LIFESTYLE PAGE here...

 

20/20

 

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... |

 

THE BIG PICTURE: WHY I BELIEVE

August poster

You might think statistics is the most boring topic on the planet. It really isn’t! As a lecturer in statistics at the University of Melbourne, I get to analyse and solve real world problems for doctors, engineers, politicians, architects, farmers...the list goes on. Being analytical has become a life habit - annoyingly so, according to some of my friends.
      Recognising bias is fundamental to statistics. So, although I grew up in a Christian family, I could never have stayed Christian out of convenience. I could never live with that kind of faith.
      I’d like to share some of the ways in which my work in statistics relates to the way I think about my Christian faith.

     To see Outreach Media's August poster and read the full text, follow the link... | more... |

 

THE WEEKLY SNAPSHOT

     31st July, 2015

    Warming comfort 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...  | more... |

FOR THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR CREATIVE

ARTS PAGE - 20/20 here


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RELAUNCHED! SIGHT BOOKSHOP

Bookshelf

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

Mere ChristianityThroughout 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 August-September, 2015, we're reading CS Lewis' classic of Christian apologetics, Mere Christianity. 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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if you'd like to support the work that we do, please consider paying an annual "virtual subscription" of just $26 a year - that's just 50 cents a week - or $52 a year - just $1 a week.

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We're always looking for volunteers so If you think you can help out on Sight,please let us know. Simply send an email to editor@sightmagazine.com.au

 

 

THEY SAID IT

 

 

"It was over the top and wrong because we would never stop people randomly on the street and demand their visa details."

- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott describing comments made in a Australian Border Force press release issued last week which stated that ABF officers would be "speaking with any individual we cross paths with" concerning their immigration status during a since abandoned

joint operation in with police and transport authorities in Melbourne (as quoted on SMH on 29th August, 2015)

 

"The situation of migration phenomena outside and inside the European Union has recently taken unprecedented proportions."

- The Luxembourg Government, current president of the EU, in a statement announcing emergency talks on Europe's immigration crisis will be held later this month (as quoted on the ABC on 31st August, 2015)

For more of They Said It, follow the link...  more...

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

24th August, 2015

ABIGAIL SANTAMARIA, author of Joy: Poet, Seeker and the Woman Who Captivated CS Lewis, writes of how Joy Davidson, best known as the wife of CS Lewis, came to Christ against the backdrop of the atomic bombings in Japan in 1945. You can read the article in UK's Premier Christianity magazine here...


For previous 'This week on the web'... | more... |

Sight now has a Pinterest page where you can see some of our images. To see it, head here...

 

 

MUSINGS   

 

 

RELIGION OR SUPERSTITION?...

1st September, 2015

PAUL CLARK

SuperstitionOne of the criticisms of Richard Dawkins to "religion" is that it stinks like superstition. I actually agree with him.
Much of what passes as religion today is superstition; irrational mumbo-jumbo.
Christianity, at its best, is not only anti-superstition; it is the end of superstition!
How can this be? Christianity understands God as the one who brought order out of chaos. The God who wrote observable laws and rules into the universe.

Musings is a regularly updated, column featuring short snippets reflecting on daily life from a Christian perspective...  | more... |

 

 

THE WORD EXPLAINED

 

 Wordle

Man of the cloth

(The) Redeemer

Godsend


| more... |

 

 

BLOGS

 


A TOILET EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER; A NEW FELINE STATION-MASTER; AND, 'MIC DROP' MAKES THE DICTIONARY (PICTURE US WALKING AWAY)...

It may not have felt funny at the time. A woman attending the Newlyn Fish Festival in England was 'teleported' across the site when she entered a portable toilet on one side of the town's harbour, only to find herself on the other side when she came out. But don't worry, there was nothing otherworldly about her transportation, the move reportedly happened when a forklift picked the toilet up and transported her across the site while she was inside.

DAVID ADAMS writes about the odder side of life... | more... |


STATUE FOR INSPIRA-TIONAL RUNNER TURNED MISSIONARY ERIC LIDDELL UNVEILED IN CHINA...
Eric Liddell, the champion British runner who later became a missionary, has been honoured in China with a statue of him erected in the city of Tianjin.

 Liddell, whose story was depicted in the film Chariots of Fire, set a new world record and won gold in the 400 metre race at the 1924 Paris Olympics after refusing to run in the event he had trained for - the 100 metres - because his Christian faith meant he could not run in an event held on a Sunday.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more... |

 


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...  | more... |


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'...
  | more... |

FOR SIGHT'S BLOG LINKS, HEAD TO OUR BLOGSPOT PAGE...    

 

 

SIGHT'S FORUMS ARE NOW CLOSED

 



     

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