Saturday, 30 October 2010


I have to give a kid's talk at church tomorrow on Halloween.

I've drafted a script:

Anyone here scared of spiders?

Hands up who wants to tell me what they're scared of?

I've got a scary joke book here. [visual aid: scary joke book. Read random joke]

I heard a programme on the radio this week where a lady said she was scared of lettuce.

Anyone scared of Pumpkins? [visual aid: Pumpkin]

Anyway it's Halloween time so there are a lot of pumpkins about, I hope you kids are going to be OK and that your parents will make sure that there are no pumpkins in your house or anywhere in the garden.

The Bible talks about scary stuff. Jesus actually met some of the things we're scared about. I can't tell you if he met any pumpkins, maybe after church some of you will be able to let me know about that. But he did meet a lot of other scary stuff. There was the time where he met a man who was full of demons.

(Insert summary of Mark 5:1-20 here. Punchline: 'You see how Jesus is much more powerful than even 2000 scary things?')

I guess if you see something scary today, which is Halloween, especially if something scary dressed like a pumpkin comes to your door, you get a choice of at least two things.

1. You can go out for pizza with your family. The pumpkin won't know where you are and will go to the next house. We do that quite a lot at Halloween, even though we sort of like pumpkins.

2. You can say hello pumpkin, have a lolly. Did you know Jesus is more powerful than any pumpkin, or any powerful thing in the whole world? Happy Halloween.

If you comment in the next 24 hours, you will earn another 300 points for the house of Hufflepuff.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Stalking my wife

Fifi follows all sorts of interesting blogs. Sometimes she shows them to me, sometimes I go online by myself and stalk her.

If you want to stalk me stalking her, you could do worse than start here.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Wind power, Christians, and good stewardship

Christians and right-thinking people everywhere should support renewable energy, correct? Because good stewardship and care for our world means limiting the use of finite resources, yes?

So to be a supporter of wind power should be an absolute no-brainer. Or should it?

Pastor Jay Dennis, who according to his byline is senior advisor to the Cornwall Alliance for Stewardship of Creation, explains why not.

From the article:

Wind turbine farms need ten times more steel and concrete than a nuclear, coal or gas power plant for the same amount of electricity. You also need thousands of tons of raw materials for the backup generators and the thousands of miles of new transmission lines to get the electricity to cities hundreds of miles from the wind farms. All these materials have to be dug out of the ground someplace.

All that mining and manufacturing is powered by fossil fuels, which requires more mining and drilling. The backup power plants have to be running constantly – and then roar to full strength every time the wind dies down. That’s like having to stop your car repeatedly for red lights along miles of highway: idling and then gunning it to 55 mph over and over. That uses huge amounts of fuel and emits enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and pollutants. In the end, we barely reduce America’s CO2 emissions – and may actually increase them.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Saints above (and below)

From the SMH today:

So Australia has its first Catholic saint. Yet we lowly Protestants in Australia have had millions of saints over the years - the Bible says every follower of Jesus is a saint. Most of the Apostle Paul's letters refer to believers as saints. Jesus himself taught believers to pray to God the Father, by the Son, through the Holy Spirit. It is a terrible offence to God to pray to (or through) a person other than Christ.

Edward Francis, Canterbury

See here.

The Roman Catholic idea of sainthood simply reinforces the Roman Catholic idea that simple trust in God is not sufficient to receive the full and free gift of his approval in Christ. No good work or miracle is sufficient to make us right with God, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). But here's the good news.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Petition on Freedom of Belief

Here's a petition to the UN Secretary General on freedom to believe without persecution.

The text of the petition reads:

To: The Honourable Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

We believe that 'everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.' (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18).

We are deeply concerned that the Defamation of Religions Resolution has the effect of severely restricting these foundational freedoms and undermines the right to religious liberty. We urge that everything possible should be done to ensure that the United Nations rejects this resolution.

I'm not much of a petition signer but I've signed this one; why not do the same?

Thanks to Craig Schwarze.

Huffington Post

I put this blog into google reader yesterday. It will appear in this blog's sidebar from time to time.

Here's something on family meals.

From the article:

The National Center for Addiction at Columbia University released a decade-long study in 2008 that remains true in showing teens who have dinner with their families fewer than three times per week are twice as likely to use tobacco and marijuana than teens who have more frequent dinners, and that infrequent family dinners raises the risk of depression and eating disorders.

(Even if that means eating leftovers in front of Junior Masterchef!)

NSW State Labor

They will be walking the plank at the next election. Everyone knows it, but when their own team sticks the boot in publicly, that's got to hurt.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Joan Sutherland

Died today.

Wisdom of years on euthanasia

From today's SMH:

During my early medical postgraduate years I was a strong supporter of end-of-life patient requests for euthanasia. Now, in my middle years, with more wisdom and having worked for more than 20 years in government health facilities, I am quite sure no amount of safety nets, protocols or regulations would protect patients from deleterious personality types that are not uncommon within the various professions.

Even one life ended by use of medical misappropriation, deception or abuse of power should remain unacceptable.

Dr Linda Mayer, Pyree

Very few people in the public debate take the idea of sin seriously. This letter at least begins to.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Back and check the sidebar

Back from a lovely week with family in Tathra on the NSW South Coast. I am now catching up on my blog reading.

If you read this blog via an rss feed or on facebook, Click through to my blog, look at the sidebar and check out a few of the many things I'm reading online. It's a bit like reading over my shoulder, only polite!