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Shalom: What is it? Who gets it?

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Given at Wintonbury Church 15 September 2019 Introduction Shalom. That’s my usual greeting when I begin a sermon, but unusually today that’s actually the theme of my sermon. Peace. Thank you to Andre and Tom, Felicia, and all those involved in my coming today, and Ruth and Tim and so many over the years who have cheered me on, either as a champion or as faithful supporters of my work with Jews for Jesus. I’ve been with the organization for 40 years serving in NYC and DC, and then in 1998 moved to launch our work in Sydney Australia.  What is Shalom? Shalom. It can mean ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ because often we Jews don’t know if we are coming or going. But the main translation of Shalom is ‘wholeness’ and ‘peace.’ Two days from now in Israel another election will take place with almost as many candidates as the Democrats are running here in the US for the 2020 national election. And peace is a major issue to the Israelis. You cannot imagine, unless you have lived through a war, or served in on…

When Taking a Risk is the Only Way to Be Safe by Guest Blogger Rebekah Bronn

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“Mum, Mum!” six-year-old Michael was bouncing up and down on his chair at the dinner table in excitement. “Max is on the radio!”
His mum, Gwenda Johnson, stared at the little radio that sat on the sideboard. Her mouth hung open in shock, and her fork was suspended in mid-air as a voice announced that her sixteen-year-old son was the first person to climb the three central mountains in the North Island of New Zealand.
Gwenda shook her head, half in disbelief and half in despair. What was she going to do with this son of hers? The natural caution that most people are born with just didn’t seem to be a part of her boy’s DNA. This mountain climbing feat was not the first time Max had taken huge risks and she was sure that it wouldn’t be the last. But what could she do? It was just who he was.
My Greatgrandmother Gwenda had a right to feel worried about some of the downright hair-raising exploits of my eccentric Great Uncle, her son Max. Like the time he barely survived an avalanche at the to…

Starting well; ending well

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The biblical book of Judges ends with this sentence: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (21.25) You could read that everyone did the right thing, but that's not the language of the Book. It's actually a description of waywardness, that people were setting up their own morality in direct contradiction to the morality of the Almighty. It certainly sounds like our days.

Michael Youssef wrote this last year, "Life in that society was not so different from life in our own postmodern, post-Christian, anything-goes society. These days, people avoid words like sin or disobedience. They prefer to justify their actions with phrases like, "Everybody does it," or, "The old rules don't apply anymore," or, "Times have changed." It's true that times have changed, and not for the better. But God hasn't changed. He still says to us, "You cannot receive blessings from Me while you…

Has Allianz settled the score?

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Get ready for some serious head shaking.
Allianz is a German-based insurance company with offices worldwide.
During World War II, the company insured Auschwitz for the perpetrators of evil who ran the Holocaust. Yes, you read that right, Allianz insured the Nazis. 
But wait, there's much more.
The company also insured tens of thousands of German Jewish citizens.

In 2014, this article appeared during a golf tournament in South Florida. In it, Randall Lieberman, Staff Writer, quotes a White House number cruncher who says, "I figured out the worth of all the portfolios held by the European insurance companies. In today's value, Allianz's share of the Jewish claims would be about $2.5 billion, yet they've paid out only about $50 million."  Is that accurate? Who can make such claims and what is the company doing about those outstanding claims?  

Similarly in 2013, again as a result of the same golf tournament, this article was published. The life insurance policie…

The Scandal of Silence

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I was asked recently if I had a 'word' for the church where I was going to speak. The pastor didn't use phrases like "prophecy" lightly, but that's what he wanted. I hadn't really prepared for such, but in a heartbeat, God gave me some words for that congregation, and I wonder if what I offered might not be useful for others globally. Thus I share some of those thoughts here.

Three times in the last year Australian Christians have been given a chance to speak. The plebiscite about same-sex marriage, the general national election in which Liberals won convincingly over Labor and the many other lesser parties, and the issue of Israel Folau and his being sacked by Rugby Australia over comments about certain people going to hell.

In each case, and with great fanfare and public notice, individual Christians were asked to speak out. I read it online; I saw it in the newspaper. I overheard it in church after church that individuals were charged to speak out. 

My fr…

Bible Quiz Answers

Short answer:
1)Who is Hammedatha the Agagite? Father of Haman 2)How many children did Jacob the patriarch have? 13 (12 sons and Dinah) 3)What is the other name for the Hebrew month Nisan? (Aviv/ Abib) 4)The term “Rosh Hashanah” is used how many times in the Bible? (0) 5)What three Hebrew letters are the root of the word “atonement” (IN Hebrew) (Kaf, Pey, Reish).. 2 points if you wrote K,P,R 6)What is the name of the town witch in the story of Philip and the town of Samaria in Acts 8? (Simeon/Simon) 7)Four women approached Moses one day about land rights. What was the name of their father? (Zelophehad) 8)How many goats were killed on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 (the first one described in the Bible)? (1, the other was let go into the wilderness) 9)How many provinces were in Ahaseurus’s realm? (127) 10)Name the two conspirators in the Purim story: Bigthan and Teresh 11)Who was Ruth’s sister-in-law? Orpah. That was the name Oprah Winfrey’s mother was trying to give Oprah. She …

Bible Quiz

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Originally published in 2014...









Short answer:
1)Who was Hammedatha the Agagite? 2)How many children did Jacob the Hebrew patriarch have? 3)What is the other name for the Hebrew month Nisan? 4)The term “Rosh Hashanah” is used how many times in the Bible? 5)What three Hebrew letters are the root of the word “atonement” (In Hebrew) 6)What is the name of the town witch in the story of Philip and the town of Samaria in Acts 8? 7)Four women approached Moses one day about land rights. What was the name of their father? 8)How many goats were killed on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 (the first one described in the Bible)? 9)How many provinces were in Ahaseurus’s realm? 10)Name the two conspirators in the Purim story: B__________ and T_________ 11)Who was Ruth’s sister-in-law? 12)Goliath came out to taunt Israel for how many days before David stood up against him? 13)What do old men do in the prophecy of Joel about the last days? 14)How many days did God work in the creation story? 15)Wh…