Saturday, December 24, 2005
I have just been helping Naomi put links on her blog.
She has a great blog, well worth the read.
Check it out at charlottetown.blogspot.com
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas.
Will blog more next week.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Jesus was a young man of Middle Eastern appearance
Good isn't it.
Also heard that Jesus went to Cronulla on the sunday of the 'race riots' and got beaten up.
A young man of middle eastern descent whose name happens to be Arabic for Jesus.
Funny how we have stereotypes of people and then something happens to blow them away. Or hopefully something happens.
It is true of the "anti-Muslim" sentiment visible both within and without the church in Australia these days. In Australia it seems that anyone from the Middle East is deemed to be a Muslim, if not a muslim extremist.
Let us pause and consider this in reverse.
For alot of people in the Middle East, they view every American, Briton or Australian as being Christian.
They view Western society as being a 'Christian' society out to convert the world to Christianity.
As a Christian that view worries me. What worries me most is the view that Western liberal democracy and capatilism are viewed as being one and the same as Christianity.
Now when a bunch of year 12 students turn out in Lorne, or on the Gold Coast in Novemeber each year, why does the media not report it as "Christian teenagers on drunken binge"? Oh wait a minute, because they are not all Christians.
So why do we have the stereotype that all people of Middle Eastern descent are Muslims, if not extremists?
That is not to say that a large proportion of Middle Eastern people are not Muslim.
But it can be like Greek or Italian people who are Orthodox or Catholic Christians. It doesn't mean they attend church every week, or that they even represent the views of their religion.
Let us work to break down stereotypes.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
It has been hard work, but I hope it pays off.
I spent all of yesterday trying to avoid finding out the result of the Club World Championship Final (Liverpool v Sao Paulo) only to hear the result at the Victory practice match last night.
Liverpool lost. Victory won.
I don't have too much to say, so I am not going to write any more.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Look what I found
Went out Christmas carolling at 7am this morning.
Now that is early for me.
I am tired now.
The memorial service went well, thanks for asking.
I am sitting in my office, as usual.
For the last ten minutes I have been pressing that button on the top right corner of my blog, the one that says "next blog"
That button sends you to a random blog.
You know what I have found out in my 10 minutes of research.
I either need to stop blogging, or blog in another language.
Most of the blogs I came across in English were pure drivel.
The other ones were in Spanish or Malaysian or Japanese and they looked really interesting.
Oh the despair.
But wait, I have been getting a few people visiting my blog.
If you have a blog why not tell me (and everyone else here) why we should read it.
If I have a link to your blog on the left side of the page, that means I already read your blog, so you probably don't have to blow your own trumpet.
If your a first time visitor, why not take the time to tell me what you think would make this blog worth reading.
If you don't have a blog, why not put it on record as to why you don't have one.
Think there silly? Think there boring? Think they are a waste of space?
I do read some people's blogs, but they are all people I know.
I have not yet found a random blog that engages me.
OK, time to clock out.
Sleep is good
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I've been asked to do a memorial service for someone I have never met.
Someone who wasn't particularly religious.
Someone who ended their own life.
Baptism of fire?
So the rest of my day today will be spent preparing for that.
I don't have too much more to say.
What can one say?
Your thoughts and prayers for the family would be greatly appreciated.
Your thoughts and prayers for me would be greatly appreciated as well.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Racism rears its ugly head
"us and them"
politics of fear
I am so digusted.
This morning I went to a primary school for their assembly, they sang the national anthem and I reflected on the words of this most patriotic of Australian songs.
Perhaps the problem is that most people have forgotten the second verse which says
"For those who've come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share, with courage let us all combine, to advance Australia fair."
Racism and an us and them mentality should have no place in our country.
When are the media and certain politicians going to take responsibility for the inherently racist statements they have been spreading over the last 5 years and beyond.
Blame the Muslims (alot of Lebanese, the people targetted in Cronulla, are Christians).
Blame the immigrants.
Blame a social group.
When are we going to blame 'white' Australia?
When are we going to blame the Australia that divides rather than accepts.
Multiculturalism is inherently flawed.
It says I will practice my culture and you will practice yours and we will be happy together.
It is divisive rather than unifying.
I am not saying that people shouldn't be able to live out their own cultural identity, far from it.
However multiculturalism, which divides people based on culture is not healthy and the stupidity in Cronulla is the fruit of that.
Signs like "Free Sausages (No Tabouli)" highlight this flaw.
Sausage = Australian, Tabouli = Lebanese
This is never going to stop until we bridge the divide between cultures and social groups in our country and our world.
When was the last time you sat down for a meal with someone of a different ethnic group to yourself?
When was the last time you went to a cultural event put on by a 'migrant' culture? (remembering we have all migrated here)
Time for me to make up a sign for the front of my house.
"Racists not welcome"
Thursday, December 08, 2005
To Christmas, or not to Christmas
I don't go for the whole present thing. Having said that, this morning was the last morning for our preschool music program. I got given presents by a couple of the children (but I am pretty sure their parent's organised the presents). Now to me, those presents were about showing appreciation to us who work each week to put on an activity for these families. It felt pretty good to be given presents by these families. It made me feel good and appreciated.
But on Christmas morning as people around this country (and quite a few other countries around the world) rip open presents and are over joyed with the arrival of a new Playstation Portable, Barbie doll or Tonka Truck there will also be those who roll there eyes as they receive another set of jocks and socks, another spice rack or another tie.
How many of us will admit to buying a Christmas present for someone just because they bought one for us? How many of us will admit to going and buying a cheap token of a present for someone knowing that they will probably never use it? How many of us will admit to returning to the shop Christmas presents that have been given to us? How many of us will admit to rewrapping Christmas presents and giving them to someone else? (Not I!)
Yes I think Christmas is a time of rampant consumerism. There I said it. Happy now?
It is just another time of the year when we are made to feel that we have to buy more, consume more (don't get me started on Christmas dinners) and use more.
This year I have been pumping TEAR's (www.tear.org.au) "The World's most useful gift catalogue" where you can purchase presents for your friends. The catalogue includes such treasures as a goat, a toilet, primary school education and clean drinking water for a community. That is right, you buy these things as a present for your friends. But instead of your friend getting a goat, TEAR is nice enough to send it to someone who actually needs a goat to survive.
Then there is all the other trappings of Christmas, the decorations, the silly shirts (I am wearing one at the moment, because I was told I had to for the preschool kids) and all the rest of it.
The problem for me is that I get so anti-Christmas that I end up not enjoying the real significance of the event.
I find the glitz and glamour, the flashy lights and all the consumerism distracts me from the simple message of Christmas.
It is not just that we celebrate that God become a human being. We also celebrate how he became a human being.
Rather than coming to earth as a king, with flashy lights, newspaper interviews and silk sheets.
Jesus came to earth in a stable, the son of very common people.
Does our celebration of Christmas, even besides the consumerism I am so against, really reflect the baby lying in a manger, the feeding trough of smelly animals?
I am praying that this year I can just look at the little baby in the manger and not get distracted by the flashy lights of the Christmas tree.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Here is an issue that should mean alot more to us than it does.
FACTS FOR YOUR INFORMATION:
It is estimated that over 2 million people are trafficked every year
1.2 million children are affected by trafficking – ¼ of a million in Asia/Pacific region
Human Trafficking is a lucrative worldwide business of over £6 billion per year
Over 50,000 Filipino children have been forced into prostitution
In Thailand: 60,000 children sold into prostitution.
In the former Soviet Union: an estimated 10,000 women were forced into prostitution in Israel.
In North America: Asian women are sold to brothels for $16,000 each.
In the UK: trafficked women are forced to see around 30 – 40 clients per day.
Check out www.salvationarmy.org.uk/internationaldevelopment for more info.
Australia is actually one of the largest receivers of sexual slaves in the world.
It is happening in our city, what are we going to do about it??
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
A long line and a whole lot of patience .....
Well, here I am.
It is 9:45 and I have been standing in this line for an hour.
The line snakes out the door and down the car park. In
the hour I have been standing here almost as many people
have come and joined the line behind me as there are in
front of me.
Now I am contemplating whether I should have followed the
advice given to me.
"I would get there at 5 o'clock"
If I had have gotten here then I would have been one of
the first in the line. But it would have been 5am, and I
would have had to wait 4 hours, atleast I would have bought
So as I stand and wait I ponder if the prize will be worth
the wait. Will my patience be rewarded?
Yesterday I had a very rewarding experience. 'The Long Walk'
Michael Long, an Indigenous Aussie Rules Football player,
earlier this year walked from Melbourne to Canberra to ask
John Howard a question. He went to ask Johnny "Where is
the love?" Where is the love when Indigenous Australians
live on average 17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians?
Where is the love when Indigenous Australians have an infant
mortality rate 3 times that of non-Indigenous Australians?
Where is the love when Indigenous Australians constitute
2 per cent of the population yet 20 per cent of the prison
Yesterday I joined with Michael Long, Cathy Freeman and
thousands of Australians to show that there is love here.
Patience. The Aboriginal people don't need patience, they
I however need patience. The rumours are already heading
down the line. "There are none left" "all the cheap ones
are gone." Yet the line remains. There is still hope.
Hope that this will indeed be 'even better than the real
11 o'clock. The line is getting agitated. Not too far for
me to go now. I look at the little kids standing with their
parents, I admire their patience.
11:12 - they have sold out. But wait, there could be more
in 10 minutes. More hope. More tension, how will it end?
Well, at 12:15 they have come out and informed us that our
wait has been in vain. No more today.
I guess I will just have to be patient, wait till they come
out with more and then line up again.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Tonight Melissa and I went to a meeting with the Youth Services
people from council.
We both volunteer with the Council Youth Service's Youth
Once a month Melissa and/or I travel around the area with
the council youth workers. We chat to young people, asking
them questions about themselves and their community. We
then share information with them about what is happening
around their community.
I enjoy getting out on Outreach with the council. It is
an opportunity for me to get out amongst young people in
the community. I get to meet young people in a different
context. I also get to meet young people without the baggage
of being a 'Christian' Youth worker.
I think that is a great reason for me to be involved. It
is possible to interact with young people without the stigma
of being a Christian and all the stereotypes that are associated
So what about you?
I and others who read my blog (Hi Mum!!!!) would love to
hear about how you engage with people in your community.
How do you get out there without being a "Christian on
outreach"? Do you get out there in any capacity other than
as a Christian?
P.S. My mum isn't around this week, she is chasing Possums
around Gelantipy with the field naturalists.
Although she is due back today. Lets see how long it takes
her to respond to my attempt to make her famous. :)