Showing posts from July, 2010

Kate and Jewish re-connection

It's all very premature. The Sydney Morning Herald today says that Kate has returned to Judaism. But wait, she's the daughter of Pru Goward, the little Anglican lady at the podium from Goulburn pictured here at the installation of the bishop Stuart Robinson last year. Ah, Kate's grandmother is Jewish, and her Hebrew (or probably Yiddish) name was Zipporah. So Kate's new name is Tsiporah Malka.

Wait, isn't that the Hebrew name of Tsipi Livni, the head of the Israeli government Kadimah party?

It's confusing. Just wait!

The Herald reports this morning, "The 36-year-old daughter of the NSW Liberal member for Goulburn Pru Goward has told friends she has converted to Orthodox Judaism." The former model, actress and Sydney socialite who once stepped out with actor Ben Mendelsohn (not to be confused with this Blogger Bob Mendelsohn) and was engaged to James Packer, has been missing from public view for some time now.

From Wikipedia: Kate Fischer, aka Katie Fisc…

Where is your end?

The small Jewish cemetery in Eudora, Kansas, near Lawrence, and just outside Kansas City, is pictured here. And the story in the Lawrence Daily Journal World says, "The modest burial ground was established in the 1850s, shortly after the first Jewish settlers arrived in the area." It's not very populated, as most Jewish people in the area choose to buy plots in Kansas City, but due to its being run by Reform Jews, and that it allows interfaith couples to be buried there, it might have appeal to the many messianic Jews who abound in the Midwest.

The Journal World reports, "The cemetery is meant for people who were members of the Lawrence Jewish Community Center at the time of their death. The cemetery operates under reform practices, meaning that people of other faiths who have a Jewish member in their families have also been buried there. If a Jewish person wishes to be buried there, but he or she is not a member of the Community Center at the time of death, the per…

Inception, a review

July 23, 2010

Inception Review by Rachel Friedlander

Filmmakers have found a new way to get rich without bumping ticket prices. Instead, they’ve created a movie that is so densely crammed with information and complexity that moviegoers need two screenings just to fully grasp the plot.

The story follows Dom Cobb, a master in his profession of extraction. To perform his job, Cobb delves into the subconscious of others as they sleep in order to learn of their hidden secrets. But when his mind tricks turn him into a suspected criminal, Cobb must perform one final job: inception. This seemingly impossible task involves planting, not stealing, an idea deep within the recesses of one’s mind. In order to accomplish this, Cobb must recruit an eccentric team of subconscious soldiers before the line between reality and fantasy disappears.

Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), has employed quite the motley cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Ken…

Crocodile feeding

Psa. 147.9 He gives to the beast its food

Let's see if I can put these stills into order. My wife and I were in Darwin, at Crocodylus Park, and the tour guide gave her the rod, like a fishing rod, to which he tied the chicken on the end, and she got to feed the 5 metre long croc. Too cool.

Feeding animals reminds me of the care that all the zookeepers and others who work at the park have for all the animals. I put a lot of the photos of the animals on my Flickr site. Emus and ostriches, tiger and lions, monkeys, you get it. The dingo was so domesticated that he preferred a tummy rub by the zookeep to a chase in the wild.

Even though there are 10,000 crocodiles in the park, and most are raised for products like belts and boots and handbags, I enjoyed being there and seeing them. They are ferocious though, and warnings abound about extending your body over the wrong edge.

Each croc can jump high out of the water. Amazing creatures. They can run at 30 kph, and dart out of the water to …

1 in 14 on FB

Is it true, is it really true that one of 14 people in the world is registered and is using Facebook? That would include all the poor people who don't even have electricity, those in Haiti, who lost so much, those in old folks' homes who are happy when someone brings either a book or a face to them, and everyone in between. Is it really true, 1 in 14?

So reported RTE Travel yesterday ( that Facebook has now registered 500 million users, which would mean 1 in 14.

'The number of people using Facebook has hit the 500 million mark, meaning one in every 14 people on the planet has now signed up to the online social-networking service. As of this morning, 500 million people all around the world are actively using Facebook to stay connected with their friends and the people around them,' founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post. To celebrate, the California firm introduced an application that lets members of the online comm…

Even Gold Coast Girls read our flyers

Even Gold Coast Girls read our flyers
Originally uploaded by bobmendo The week in Brisbane was marked with fellowship meetings and outreach events in the Gold Coast and throughout Brisbane. Churches welcomed us to preach on Sunday, we conducted a Jewish evangelism seminar and a pastors' breakfast, but for some reason, this photo has gotten the most notice of all we did. That is, on the Flickr site where all our photos are, the radio interviews, the advertisement, the Shabbat gathering...everything we did in a week, including some fun and rest at Noosa on Saturday... nothing has gotten the hits as much as these Meter Maids at Surfers Paradise.

Go figure.

The meter maids are receiving and reading our Gospel tract that we distributed at the University of Queensland, at the CBD in Brisbane and here in Surfers.

Our question to them was "Who do you think Jesus is?" Our question to you is..."who do you think Jesus is?"


Originally uploaded by Sir Mervs I'm writing from the Brisbane Airport at the end of a week-long effort of evangelism, recruitment, public relations, fun, and discipleship. And at the end, I think I've seen a dark side of something to which I've always given myself. It's something which is so deep in the craw of most people, that if I title it "a sin", or even error or wrong in the slightest, I will incur wrath from many, no doubt. And if that is so, for that wrath I apologize if for any undue reason I cause it.

However, if you can see what I saw, if you can see what God wants out of our relationships, if for any reason this makes sense to you, I hope that you will write/comment me.

This swimming photo is one I found on Flickr; I did not take this photo. But it's so innocent. It's a race, one with a youngster learning to keep her head in the water and her arms extended. And her family, no doubt, was cheering and enthusiastic and maybe even…

K.D. Lang, Leonard Cohen, and "Hallelujah"

[A little longer than usual, apologies, but you will see it's worth it]
I listened again to KD Lang's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. (Lyrics at the end). You might remember Lang performed the song for a live audience of 60,000-plus and some three billion television viewers worldwide at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The Vancouver Sun reported k.d. "reminded the world that she is one of the best in the business, with a stirring, spiritual rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' that literally hushed the crowd."

What is it about those lyrics, about that song which makes the world listen? At my squash club the other night, several guys were talking about Lang and her mesmerizing effect on them, especially "Hallelujah."

Maybe it's her soulful voice. Maybe it's Cohen's lyrics.

So I read them again. And again. And I hear references to the Older Testament. I hear references to modernism. I he…

Bob New Orleans Benediction

Bob New Orleans Benediction
Originally uploaded by bobmendo In 1987, some 23 years ago now this month, I stood with arms outstretched and blessed people whom I didn't know. Oh, I knew Vinson and Bill and many on the committee. I knew many in the Jewish stream, but hey, there were tens of thousands of people in the SuperDome that night. And no, I didn't know them. But I was convinced that God wanted to bless them and that I could act as a priest and bless them. The crowd was hushed.

I chanted the benediction (From the Bible, Book of Numbers chapter 6, verses 24 and 25). And then I translated it into English. And then all heaven broke loose. The crowd was released. The band struck up some Hebrew sounding, Jewish minor-key songs of praise and the people and the leaders on the platform and folks all over the place acted blessed. They shouted 'Glory!' and God was glorified. That sounds like blessing fulfilled.

Now it's 23 years later. I'm living in Sydney, Australia. I…

The 10 most pressing issues for evangelical theology today | Culture analysis |

The 10 most pressing issues for evangelical theology today | Culture analysis |

The 10 most pressing issues for evangelical theology today
Michael Jensen
June 29th, 2010

With a dash of hubris (why not, it’s a Monday morning) - here are the issues on which I think evangelicals have some work to do. Not that individual evangelicals don’t hold strongly to some of these - it is just that either the ‘traditional’ view is under challenge, or that there is a lack of consensus among evangelicals. This list is, like all lists, meant to provoke and challenge of course - it is meant (and I hope will be received!) in that spirit.

1 - scripture
How is inerrancy best to be understood and expressed - if indeed it is the most appropriate and useful word to express and uphold the highest possible commitment of the authority of scripture? Can we move beyond the use of the word as line in the sand and actually articulate what we mean by it in the midst of a post-biblical culture? Can evang…