Monday, 30 March 2009

New bike

From Fifi, for my birthday, just collected it yesterday.

It's terrific!

Will it be ridden to work tomorrow? Only time will tell.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

A scary question with the right answer

Here is a wonderful story from Trevor Cairney about a tricky ethical question he was asked at a recent conference:

"What would you do if you were a doctor and a baby was born and it didn't breathe for 20 minutes."

I gulped and said:

"Darren, that's a very hard question, even for a doctor, and I have no medical training. Without knowing how long doctors wait before declaring a child brain dead, and without knowing case history concerning revival rates after 20 minutes, I guess, I'd want the doctor to keep trying to resuscitate the child until such times as they knew it would be impossible to revive him."

Darren slapped his hands together and cried out with great enthusiasm:

"That's the right answer. And you know why I know that?"

I replied, "No Darren, why?"

"Because I was that baby."

Read the entire useful post, "Christian Perspectives on Life and Death", here.

Trevor is doing a great work with CASE.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Powerful speech

Holy cow. Who says the art of speechmaking is dead? You don't have to agree with the message to think that the tirade from Daniel Hannan against the British Prime Minister is a tour de force of the art of speechifying.

16th century expletives

Got me thinking now. What would they be?

I reckon 'Avast ye landlubbers' would have to be up there with them.

Please feel free to contribute your own suggestions.

21st century expletives will of course be deleted.

What is the significance of Thomas Cartwright to 21st century evangelicalism?

To the astonishment of many, I actually graduated last night with an M.Th.

Upon letting the world of facebook know, my good friend Ed (with whom I went to college) commented:

On Thomas Cartwright, yes? What is the significance of TC to 21st century evangelicalism, btw?

It is a fine question.

The 100 words or less answer is that when you read him, you get reminded of what the big issues were.

They are still big issues, like why Roman Catholicism is [insert 16th century expletives here], and how we rebuild our church once we've given the finger to the old way of doing things.

You can actually figure this out for yourself with a Bible in your hand, without needing to progress your way through an arcane question at the rate of 1500 words a year, or 75 words a week. Here, I believe, are the two keys:

1. You don't need a priest, you need Jesus. Insert 5 exclamation marks here.

2. <---

Thursday, 26 March 2009


I keep forgetting to eat it over the past few weeks, along with breakfast.

Thankfully, there are usually enough leftovers in the fridge for a substantial morning tea.

How to freak out your church treasurer

I've posted on this today at the Sola Panel.

If you even feel the slightest hesitation about the truth of what I've said, then your sin has been identified as such. ;-)

The hattrick!

Yep, the third post in three days on the Support Gordo at Cumbo blog. It's a bit embarrassing but.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Scripture at school

Really thankful for this opportunity. Today we reviewed the prediction of Jesus' suffering, his death, and his resurrection, and got a wonderful opportunity to explain how Jesus' death deals with the sin that separates us from God. Jesus deals with sin, we explained, by taking the punishment that we deserved.

One of the infants kids, whose mum has recently become a Christian from a Roman Catholic background, was able to explain this in his own words. How exciting is that! The angels rejoice.

Twice in a row!

I actually updated the 'Support Gordo at Cumbo' blog two days in a row!

Check it out for today's prayer point, about common lunch hour. It would be great if the campus authorities enforced this, so that students were easily able to meet each other for purposes other than just study.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Brilliant opportunities

Like my support raising, the 'Support Gordo at Cumbo' blog has got off to a slightly shaky start. But it's going now, and I will be trying to update it every day or two. Today I'm posting about the most wonderful opportunity, one of many.

Worst sermon I ever heard

The genealogy in Genesis 5 was once used as the basis of the worst sermon I have ever heard, back in 1986. A genealogy has a direction, you see, a purpose. We all need direction and purpose. If you have direction and pruprose, you will get somewhere. If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it.

That was the sum total of the message.

There is a grain of truth there, however. Genealogies do have direction and purpose, but they are God's purposes, not ours. The growing and multiplying of the human race fulfils the command of Genesis 1:28. The endless repetition of the phrase "and he died" fulfils the promise of Genesis 2:17.

More to say, but I better go and say it in the talk I'm giving at 12.00.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Pray for Pakistan

and any friends you have there:

Put simply, Pakistan represents the first realistic prospect for a jihadist movement to capture a nation-state, or at the very least to control large parts of it. It would, in effect, mean that militants would have something approaching a mini-state within the country where the central government's power and influence would be non-existent, and from which they could plan and launch attacks beyond its borders. And Pakistan is not just any nation-state at threat from militant groups, but one that has nuclear weapons, a large population and economic resources; one that borders a vulnerable failed state in Afghanistan where tens of thousands of Nato forces are stationed; and one that also has as its neighbours two emerging economic superpowers, China and India. What is more, Pakistan has a long coastline open to the most economically important stretch of waterway in the world, the Gulf, from which hundreds of tankers supply oil-hungry economies. It is a nightmare scenario from which no country is immune. None of us will escape the consequences of a situation where large parts of Pakistan are politically, militarily and economically controlled by jihadists.

From Rageh Omaar at

OK here are the photos.

Because you asked...

It was for the Leukaemia foundation.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Obama: perhaps not as nice as he seems

Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he’s gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.

He bowled a 129, the president said.

“That’s very good, Mr. President,” Leno said sarcastically.

It’s “like the Special Olympics or something,” the president said.

When asked about the remark, the White House had no comment.

Blogged in a few different places, like here, for example, where this extract was snipped from.

A relaxed moment, your guard is down, you say what you think.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Jesus' blood


Never failed me yet.


I'm working at Cumberland Campus of Sydney Uni, and I have a blog about it here. Check it out, I updated it today with an observation about Genesis, which is what I'm speaking on.

It is all overwhelming, but with the grace of God and my co-workers Tracey Gowing and Bon Waddell, along with many excellent other people, it is holding together. How wonderful to be able to walk around campus and talk to friends both Christian and non-Christian about the lord, Jesus.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A picture paints a thousand words.

Does anyone actually believe this?

If it is true, how would you draw a picture that illustrates the statement "A picture paints a thousand words"?

Well, go on then, true believers and finger-painters everywhere.

Given that the statement "A picture paints a thousand words" is only six words long, you really ought to have no trouble.

Draw your picture, scan it onto a blog, and give us the link.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Photos of shaven head

As I said, I rather unexpectedly got my head shaved for leukemia research.

Some of you, especially facebookers, have asked for photos. Fair enough.

Here's one (I'm the one on the right):

[edit: sigh. Trust me, there was a witty visual gag buried deep in here somewhere.]

I've decided to put the new look to a suitable use, and already I've completed some of my training; here's a short video.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Travel guru

I'm planning a trip to Sweden for my sister's wedding celebration. So thanks Craig for this, I will check it out on your recommendation!

An unexpected shave of the head

It was a bit unexpected but I got my head shaved today in support of Leukemia research.

Costello has the numbers

Looks like Peter Costello has the numbers to take the Liberal leadership.

I wondered this a while back.

He has time on his side, though. Why make a move for a year?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Some good advice

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

That's Matthew 6:34, and after this week—in fact this month—the verse has been particularly good to think about each and every single day.

I'm thankful to God for the way he provides enough to get through each day.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Buddhist police (my letter in SMH)

Got a letter in today's SMH:

Police karma

Police officer Jason Puxty ("Between Buddhism and hard yards of police work", March 12) does some good evangelism. But does he really believe that if he uses force in policing "there will be a karmic price to pay"? If so, why take the job on in the first place? Far healthier for a career in policing is an actual belief in integrity and justice. So let's hear from some Christian police as well.

Gordon Cheng, Gladesville

From here

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

It's just not that big an event.

Here's a letter from today's SMH:

The Herald has published the crowd estimate at the Mardi Gras as 300,000 people ("Heavenly night, hell of a morning after", March 9). This seems extremely unlikely. The City to Surf is the most easily measurable street crowd in Sydney, with all participants numbered. Is it believable that five times this number was squeezed onto the footpaths of Darlinghurst?

I drove across the Harbour Bridge in the early evening with far less traffic than one would get for a crowd of 20,000 at the Football Stadium or SCG. I was in the Darlinghurst area late in the night at a pub which was lively, but by no means crowded.

Did one in 12 people in greater Sydney really come to Oxford Street to watch this parade? The Herald should apply the same journalistic acid to these claims as it would to any other data. If it did, I would be saved from sending this same letter every year.

Andrew Coorey, Darling Point

As the man says, same non-story every year.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

"Believe that you have received it"

I appreciate reading John Woodhouse's blurbs at the beginning of the Moore College prayer diaries. Truth be known, I am more likely to read that bit that any other part. So I found an old envelope, opened it, and discovered these Woodhousian words:

It is important that those who pray believe in answered prayer (see Mark 11:24). This means to believe that God answers prayers. To pray, and yet not to expect God to answer, is hardly to pray at all.

OK, better pray then.

Monday, 9 March 2009

First things and Video Jesus

Met up with some members of my Bible study group on campus for the first time today, and then very soon will head off to lead some sessions at our Monday Night Training—Prepared to Serve. If I can find it!

The uni year has started off well, now to keep my head above water.

In the meantime, here's my latest post for the sola panel, Video Jesus.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Herod's temple

Martin Shields, Old Testament specialist, has posted a picture of a model of Herod's temple that really is worth a careful look. Even non-historians will find this interesting.

If you're a storyteller, you could do worse

than have a listen to Ira Glass talking about stuff.

thanks to Justin Taylor.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Yes, I meant Pete

Go on, watch it. You can't not be cheered up by this.

Support Gordo at Cumbo

For regular readers, I am sorry for the spamulatory nature of these posts. I have a new job, it's an important job not because of who I am but because of what it is, which is telling the gospel that Jesus is Lord to whoever wants to hear it (and quite a number of people who mightn't), and basically, I need all the help I can get.

So this post is just to say that I haven't a clue about what I'm doing, and if you haven't a clue either but would like to help me pray about not having a clue, then there is a support supper for me this Thursday, and I've blogged about it here.

Please come, there will be people there like Tracey Gowing who actually do know a few things, and this is going to be a fun time and informative as well.

But if you are not interested in information or fun (believe me, I know how that feels, and it's *not pretty*, but I sympathize deeply), and just want to support, go straight here and pray.

Baby saved

This is a lovely story:

BABY Salma is too young to understand that she's made Australian medical history by being the first person to undergo a radical and extremely difficult operation to mend her oesophagus.

But her Jordanian immigrant parents Khanssa Ibraheem and Hisham Al-Theeb are overjoyed with pride following their daughter's complete recovery from a condition so serious and rare it was, until recently, considered impossible to cure.

(The answer was key hole surgery using mechanical means to encourage the oesophagus to grow, so that it could be stitched together. Cool!)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I wandered lonely as a Dud

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Got ten minutes? Check this.

If you like classical music, you will laugh.

If you like Tom Jones, you will laugh.

If you like William Wordsworth, you will HOWL with pain and horror at what they have done to one of your favourite poems.


The walk to school

The walk to school is 2.2 kilometres.

Lily Violet complains as soon as we turn the first corner that her legs are hurting.

I take her bag.

We walk up the hill.

We go along a flat bit.

We cross the road.

I take Ruby's bag, but Matilda refuses the offer. We walk up another hill, we cross another road. The bus driver waves us through.

We start to run. We run through the park. Lily comes first. Ruby says 'It wasn't a race'. Matilda, who has refused to run, catches up.

We cross the road and walk up another hill.

Lily runs down the hill a bit. We stop and cross the road. Lily runs down the rest of the hill. The Catholic kids are walking in to assembly. Catholic mums are dressed better, at least at this school. What is the need for toenail polish? I think you are showing off to the other mothers. K—— hasn't left home, so we are on time. Matilda asks if we are on time.

Up the hill a bit more. Lily, if your legs are hurting, then why did you do all that running? I don't think your legs actually hurt. Put your bag on. Have you ever heard the story of the Lily who cried wolf?

Then a series of traffic lights, and Matilda, who has said some things, and asked to turn right, now asks if she can go, kisses her sisters and runs the rest of the way. Ruby, Lily Violet and I walk on.



Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Genesis 1:28

And here, surely, is where creation is leading:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Marriage has a purpose; to fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion.

Genesis 1

It has a beginning, a daily rhythm and a pattern, and a climax that is reached with the creation of the man and the woman, or really I think with the seventh day, a day of rest.

First actual day at Cumbo

University doesn't start until Autumn.

Letters in the SMH

Jon Guyer, a friend, got one in on a similar subject to yesterday's post:

Bettina Arndt's study stumbles at the first statistical hurdle if her sex diaries are drawn only from couples who are happy for the world to have a window on their bedroom. Her predictable conclusion is that fidelity and honesty are out, and affairs and self-interest are in. It is surprising that the Herald gives such potential bias free rein - unless of course is about to launch a Sex Diaries blog. Then it all makes sense.

Jon Guyer, Croydon

Writing to the papers is a great thing to do; even the unpublished ones sharpen your own thinking.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Bettina Arndt on sex

She has some good observations about the difficulties facing some married couples.

But this this article by Paul Sheehan shows that she doesn't do so well when it comes to how to actually deal with the problems:

When relationships become sexless, Arndt's attitude towards infidelity becomes elastic: "If the sex supply breaks down, then fidelity seems a totally unreasonable demand or expectation . . . But it is heresy to suggest such a thing . . . Adultery always spells disaster for a marriage, or so everybody seems to believe."

Arndt, however, doesn't, quoted also in the article on how adulterous relationships can reignite the desire for sex, and how these relationships should be concealed from the spouse.

This is a terribly damaging view of what sex is about, elevating its importance to a level it should never hold, and effectively making it more important than the marriage (and therefore the family) it's intended to serve.