24 July 2011
John Cook, one of her band members, became alarmed when she didn't show up for the recording session the next morning, and after unsuccessfully trying to reach her by telephone, he went to the hotel, broke down the door and found her dead. She was 27 years old.
How similar will the story be when it's all told of Amy Winehouse, who died today at 27 years of age. CBS News (USA) reported, "Police confirmed that a 27-year-old female was pronounced dead at the home in Camden Square northern London; the cause of death was not immediately known. London Ambulance Services said Winehouse had died before the two ambulance crews it sent arrived at the scene.
"I didn't go out looking to be famous," Winehouse told the Associated Press when "Back to Black" was released. "I'm just a musician."
But in the end, the music was overshadowed by fame, and by Winehouse's demons. Tabloids lapped up the erratic stage appearances, drunken fights, stints in hospital and rehab clinics. Performances became shambling, stumbling train wrecks, watched around the world on the Internet."
Think of Jim Morrison. This report from his Wiki page: "Morrison flew to Paris in March 1971, took up residence in a rented apartment on the rue Beautreillis on the Right Bank, and went for long walks through the city, admiring the city's architecture. During that time, Morrison shaved his beard and lost some of the weight he had gained in the previous months. The last studio recording was with two American street musicians — a session dismissed by Manzarek as "drunken gibberish". The session included a version of a song-in-progress, "Orange County Suite", which can be heard on the bootleg The Lost Paris Tapes.
Morrison died on July 3, 1971. In the official account of his death, he was found in a Paris apartment bathtub by Courson. Pursuant to French law, no autopsy was performed because the medical examiner claimed to have found no evidence of foul play. The absence of an official autopsy has left many questions regarding Morrison's cause of death."
Who else died in their 28th year? Brian Jones, Rolling Stones founder and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist. July 3, 1969. Drowned in a swimming pool. The coroner's report stated "death by misadventure."
Jimi Hendrix. September 18, 1970. Autopsy showed he asphyxiated on vomit after combining sleeping pills with wine. Pioneering electric guitarist, singer and songwriter for The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys.
Kurt Cobain, April 5, 1994. Ruled as suicide by shotgun. Founding member, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Nirvana.
Other famous, but not musical people, who died at 27 include: Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga (13 March 1967 – 2 July 1994). Colombian soccer player.
Shot outside a bar in a suburb of Medellín, Colombia, possibly in retaliation for scoring an own goal in a world cup match.
Ghazi bin Faisal (21 March 1912 – 4 April 1939). King of Iraq 1933 – 1939.
Ghazi was born in Mecca (now Saudi Arabia) to King Faisal of Iraq. He became king on his father’s death in 1933. He opposed British interests in his country, was rumored to harbor sympathies for Nazi Germany and put forth a claim for Kuwait to be annexed to Iraq. His reign was characterised by tensions between civilians and the army, which sought control of the government. He died in 1939 in a mysterious accident involving a sports car he was driving.
"Bobby" Robert Gerard Sands (9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981). Irish Republican Army volunteer, prison hunger striker and member of the UK parliament.
Died of self-imposed starvation in HM Prison Maze, also known as Long Kesh.
Jesus died at the age of 33, dying on a Roman execution cross. And although his life's ending was tragic, that was not the entire story. The Bible reports that he rose from the dead and lives forever. That's better than any Nirvana or any Nirvana song. It's eternity with the Father, God Himself, and that's a permanent rehab, that you should not say "no, no, no, no" to. Life with God is better than any Doors or Stones hits. You will have eternal satisfaction if you give your life, at 27, at 2, at 7 at 72, whenever... to the One who gave His life for you.
Then you will rest in peace. RIP... eternal peace.
23 July 2011
I'm a twice-born child of Abraham. Those words begin the song "Abraham" by Stuart Dauermann. It's a classic. It's online in many places. Try this one: http://new.music.yahoo.com/liberated-wailing-wall/tracks/abraham--56480721
And the song is about covenant, and God making covenant with us, in circumcision and in the circumcision of our hearts. So here we have our family, a covenant family to be sure, celebrating the day of my new (and first) grandson's circumcision. It's in Kansas City and took place in the messianic congregation building at Or Haolam on Metcalf.
We have so much to celebrate in life. It's right to pause and memorialize those things. The Bible is actually a memorializing of God's intersections with mankind, over and over. And his loyal love is exposed on every page.
I'm grateful being a twice-born child of Abraham. Thanks be to God for His choosing us and His keeping us. For Himself.
19 July 2011
The scandal has spread from Murdoch's media empire to the top ranks of the British police force and even into the prime minister's office.
The scandal, which began over the phone hacking of celebrities and a royal aide, sparked international outrage amid allegations that the voice mail of a 13-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered was hacked. Since then, the scandal has spread into charges of corruption, with the tabloid paying police for news tips, and further hacking cases involving the family of British soldiers killed in action.
Among the resignations: The commissioner of Scotland Yard and his second-in-command; Rebekah Brooks who is pictured above, who was editor of the News of the World at the time of the hacking and later became CEO of News International, the British arm of the Murdoch empire, and Les Hinton, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, another Murdoch property.
In addition, Brooks has been arrested as has another former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, who was forced to resign as Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications.
In a further twist, a former News of the World reporter Sean Hoare who helped blow the whistle on the scandal was found dead Monday in his home, the Associated Press reports. Police said the death was "unexplained" but is not being treated as suspicious. A post-mortem was being conducted Tuesday. Hoare was in his late forties.
Brooks' spokesman, David Wilson, said police had been handed a bag containing a laptop and papers that belong to her husband, former racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks. Wilson said the bag did not contain anything related to the phone hacking scandal and he expected police to return it soon.
The bag was found dumped in an underground parking lot near the couple's home on Monday, but it was unclear how exactly it got there. Wilson said Tuesday that a friend of Charlie Brooks had meant to drop the bag off, but he would say only he left it in the "wrong place."
This is stuff we in Australia saw in Underbelly, and regularly watch on NCIS or CSI, but in real life? Maybe a Grisham novel or the latest Johnny Depp or Matt Damon movie, but come on, real life?
Yup, this is not to be missed. Who else will fall? Who else will stay standing?
Listen, the best thing if I can recommend anything is for you and for me to be honest. Let's tell the truth as early as possible in every situation and live in the consequences of that. It's safer there. It's holy there. It's often lonely there. But it's right.
15 July 2011
The pro-Palestinian activists, former Greens NSW MP Sylvia Hale and spokesperson for Jews against the Occupation – Sydney, Vivienne Porzsolt, were arrested upon arrival by immigration personnel. They were scheduled to be flown back to Athens after their detainment. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed that the pair has been visited by a consular officer who “advised they were being treated well by Israeli authorities”.
Hale and Porzsolt had reportedly planned to travel on a flotilla attempting to break the naval blockade in Gaza, but when Greek authorities stopped their ship from leaving Crete, they instead boarded a flight along with dozens of other activists on the “Welcome to Palestine” initiative. The two were said to be attempting “to draw attention to Israel’s policy of denying Palestinians the basic human right to receive visitors from abroad”.
Hale was going to 'bring greetings' from Marrickville (NSW), a sister city to Gaza. Porzsolt is a self-described secular Jew originally from New Zealand.
On Wednesday, an Israeli court overturned their deportation orders and as soon as the paperwork is translated into English, the duo will be released. Maybe by this morning that's done.
Their attempted fly-tilla is another embarrassment to Australians. These two are trying to bring global attention to 'the situation' and the plight of the Palestinians who are without basic human rights. I'm gobsmacked. And embarrassed. The floatilla is a sham. The attacks last year and the attempted missile-of-a-ship again this month is simply not on.
Weapons, security, those are the issues, dear ladies. It's not about aid and relief. If bleeding hearts really want to fix things, send supplies like food and clothing and travel to help people build infrastructure in walled areas. Stop being used as pawns in the bigger game of global media assault on Israel. Don't let ships carry weapons to untitled soldiers in Gaza. Send food, help the poor, no one will bother you. It's when guns and military weaponry are conveyed...that's when Israel prevents ships from entering. It's simple... you want to help. Send stuff that helps.
13 July 2011
The other photo below is the look of my tooth after an encounter with my tennis racquet last weekend. This is the photo after the dentist repaired me today. Fantastic work!
Dr Z and I speak every time we meet about Y'shua. And today was no different. We spoke about the creationist movement for a moment. Of course we also talked about davening and the birth of my new grandson, but we'll get to that on another blog.
Creationism is the belief that what God said in the Bible is true, that He created the world in 6 days, and that it was about 6,000 years ago.
One of the 'proofs' of that theory is the notion of apparent age. By that I mean that when God made the world, He made it to look a certain age. It was not 'brand new' although in years, it was. Maybe an example would help.
The first miracle that Y'shua performed according to his friend John, was turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Pretty amazing, eh? OK, so how old is good wine? However long you answer, it's aged, to be sure. Yet, when Y'shua made it technically it was 0. It was brand new. So it had 'apparent' age.
Consider the 'birth' of Adam and Eve. How old were they? If I remember right, the rabbis teach that Adam was 20 when he was created. So, how old was he? He was 0, but he appeared to be 20. See how this works?
So today my new resin and whatever else Dr Z put on my tooth made my tooth look 60, you know, rather old in the tooth. But that's how long I've had my teeth, and that's a good match. But in reality it was 0; brand new!
I wonder if you've ever thought about this type of answer to a biblical question before. And thankfully the good dentist was able to well fix me before my travels next week to the US to see my grandchild. More later.
12 July 2011
Wow, the world is a mess, with global financial crises, threatening Greece, Portugal, the EU, the USA with its deficit ceiling looming, but no dramas, we have Gaga. And she fights for equal rights for everyone.
Don't worry about the floatilla aimed at Israel from Greece or the smoky cloud above Chile, or the Japanese still climbing out of the earthquake, the tsunami and the holes in their lives these caused months ago. Phew, we have Gaga.
And how does she rate citizenship? OK, to be fair, she's playing a part, right? She doesn't really believe all this self-hype, does she?
The article in today's Sydney Morning Herald reported, "Yesterday (after a wait that would make Godot blush) Lady Gaga finally turned up to take receipt from Clover Moore of a framed honorary citizenship of Sydney. The document commended La Gaga-rina for her advocacy on gay and lesbian issues, as did the lord mayor, who offered tribute in recognising Gaga's ''unwavering support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities around the world''. ''Lady Gaga has been a powerful force for the gay and lesbian community in Sydney and we have a rare honour for people whose achievements embrace the ideals and spirit of our city - the title of 'honorary citizen of Sydney' - and today I am extending that honour to Lady Gaga," Moore said.
"As to what caused her Ladyship to tarry can only be a subject for speculation but we're game! Just possibly the news had reached her that she (and Beyonce) had been overtaken in the charts by (go on, guess!) Australia's Hillsong Church. Yup, according to an AAP report yesterday, Hillsong's latest album, God Is Able, released to coincide with the annual Hillsong conference, debuted at No. 3 this week, entering ahead of Beyonce's 4 and Lady Gaga's Born This Way, which stand at fourth and fifth respectively. It is the 10th Christian record to reach the top 10 since 2002."
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-diary/big-day-for-lady-gaga-20110711-1haqu.html#ixzz1RsQvxKYE
Wow, Hillsong should be given citizenship. Oh, wait, they are. The Sydney-based church, founded by the Houstons, Frank and later his son Brian, are a dynasty and an institution here in Australia. They bring in millions of dollars each year and spend as much on all kinds of helpful centres to assist people in various situations. They have worship gatherings in Bondi, in Crows Nest, Brisbane, even New York City, where Brian's son Joel is the leader. People from all over the world came together last week for their 25th Hillsong Conference at the Olympic Park and at their home facilities in Waterloo and out in Baulkham Hills (Hills campus). Controversial to be sure, but isn't anyone in the public eye?
Going ga-ga over Lady Gaga makes sense for tweens and teens who want to emulate the latest, the greatest, the noisiest, the splash of the moment. But for the Lady Mayor to reward this one...it's just not on.
The state of Queensland can give out keys to the cities for their Reds (Victors in the Super12 rugby championship) or their Maroons (victors in the State of Origin for the 6th year in a row), but hold off on citizenship. It's an entirely different matter, you know?
That said, I'm glad God extended His citizenship to me. The Good Book says, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus the Messiah." (Philippians chapter 3, verse 20). It's good to be home, and to have a home, and even a home away from home. All the while, our real home is in heaven with Messiah. I can't wait for that day when we'll be with him, and he gives me the keys and my official citizenship papers and the welcome that is out of this world.
10 July 2011
His full piece is online, and at the end of this blog.
I appreciate Bolt in a lot of little ways and some seriously big ones. He's not Jewish, but always seems to have a sensible view of our people. And of the situation with Jews in Melbourne where he lives and around the globe. You don't often get that from journos.
That said, the picketing of the Max Brenner Chocolate shops in Melbourne and Sydney by anti-Jewish people, well, that's certainly their right. But what's it about? Max Brenner. Who is he, after all? The company, Max Brenner was founded in 1996 in Ra'anana, Israel, by Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner using a conjunction of their names. Max Fichtmann is no longer associated with the company. Since 2001, the company has become a part of Strauss Group. Their chocolate pizza was featured on a February 2011 segment of Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate/Pizza.
They have 20 stores in Australia (ACT, NSW, QLD and VIC) and a few others in Israel, the US, Singapore and the Philippines.
Picketing a Jewish business because of alleged ties to the land, because of anti-Jewish rhetoric and hatred... that's just not on. As Bolt addresses in his article. The article of venom back in 2009 by the leftist group which incited this picketing action is here: Greenies target Brenner
The problem is that our (mis)understandings of others' situations are often amplified by distance and by the clogged mechanisms of journalists who want to vent their own ideas rather than report what is 'news.' Maybe that's why I appreciate Bolt so much. He does his homework. He does his research and he calls spades 'spades.' That's refreshing.
Maybe you will enjoy his piece as well. And feel free to write him or the Herald Sun and tell him so.
And maybe we should all go get a Euphoria Banana Split Waffle Sundae. Just to celebrate freedom of speech. And freedom to overeat.
An ill wind of change in Australia
By Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
Here are some things I never thought I’d see in this country I love.
I never thought I’d see people picketing shops because their owners were Jews.
But in Melbourne last Friday, 19 protesters were arrested as they tried to stop people from shopping at the Max Brenner chocolate and coffee store in Melbourne’s QV.
In Sydney last month, Leftist and Muslim protesters did the same to a Max Brenner shop in Sydney, claiming the Jewish-owned franchise company supported the Israeli Army.
I’ve seen pictures of Jewish shops being attacked before, of course, but they were in black and white, in another country at another ghastly time.
But this is Australia. Today.
Here’s another thing I never thought I’d see in this country I’ve loved for its fair go. I never thought I’d see academics sign a petition demanding someone be stopped from simply arguing.
But in Western Australia last week, that’s just what was done by 50 academics, from professors to a PhD candidate specialising in the representation of the Salvation Army in Finnish cinema, who demanded the University of Notre Dame stop warming sceptic Christopher Monckton from speaking there.
I’ve seen pictures of people being silenced for heresy before, of course, but they were in history books, drawn from inquisitions centuries ago, in another continent.
But this is Australia. Today.
Oh, and I never thought I’d see people getting doctorates in Australia on how Finnish films depicted the Salvation Army. But they do in the University of Western Australia, and, to be honest, that’s a first anywhere.
Here’s another thing I never thought I’d see in this country, which I’ve loved for those great home-making suburbs that artists once mocked for being boring.
I never thought I’d see parents killed after telling off naughty teenagers, or great masses of people brawling in our streets.
Yet this week, a Melbourne mum, with her 11-year-old daughter beside her, was stabbed to death after confronting youths who’d egged her house. Yet this week, 300 youths fought each other and police in a Melbourne suburb. Oh, I’d heard of such stuff about the meanest streets of the United States, years ago.
But this is Australia. Today.
Here’s another thing I thought I’d never see in Australia, a land I’ve long loved for its peaceful ways. I never thought I’d see clan members shoot at each other in road chases or kneecap each other, while their more glamorous members smiled for snaps in the society pages.
I never thought I’d see a man with a criminal record and links to the underworld given the honour of having his whitewashed memoirs published by a university.
Yet that’s what I have seen in Melbourne just last week, and in Sydney’s western suburbs for years. That what I have seen with Melbourne University Publishing, the preferred publisher of Mick Gatto. Sure, I saw such things in Hollywood movies about wild Chicago, and heard of them in the bloodier parts of the Middle East.
But this is Australia. Today.
Here’s another thing I thought I’d never see in Australia, a land I’d long loved for is sturdy good sense.
I never thought I’d see a government-funded arts festival treat a terrorist supporter as a hero and a former prime minister as a terrorist.
Yet at the Sydney Writers Festival last month, the audience cheered al-Qaida trained David Hicks and heckled John Howard. I’d heard of such insanities in Latin-American tyrannies, many years ago.
But this is Australia. Today.
Here’s yet another thing I never thought I’d see in Australia, where we have long loved to smell the air of careless freedom.
I never thought I’d see academics and activists agitate against democracy, while respectable journalists look away, too polite to protest.
Yet this week, 1000 Muslims met at a hall in Sydney last weekend, to hear a speaker tell them to reject democracy. Yet I’ve heard a former Greens candidate, Professor Clive Hamilton, suggest a “suspension of the democratic processes”, in case global warming got too bad.
I’ve read another professor, this time Emeritus Professor David Shearman, of Doctors for the Environment Australia, propose the world be run by “an authoritarian government” of environmental “guardians”. And last week I watched in amazement as Greens leader Bob Brown suggested we give up our sovereignty to a “global people’s assembly”.
I’d heard of such things in pre-Nazi Germany or the more oppressive Muslim theocracies, or read them in the pages of the wildest-eyed dreamers of a century ago.
But this is Australia. Today.
And one last thing I thought – hoped – we would not see in this country, which I’ve loved for insisting that we see each other as individuals, not marked off by birthplace, ancestry, wealth and, in particular, the absurdly trivial distinctions of “race”.
But stop. On legal advice, I must not comment one word further on this issue.
And of all the things I thought I’d never see in Australia, today, it would be this: that even I have been made too scared to speak.
In other places, maybe. In desperate times, long regretted.
But this is Australia. Today.
Hugh Stowell says, "The redemption of the Jews is the hinge on which revolve the destinies of the human race." Wow, that's a massive statement, and Marks quotes this as part of why he wants to share his own story with us.
The language is archaic, and proper and formal. And yet it speaks to us today, if we have ears to hear. The entire testimony is free as a Google Book, and if you are in the US you can add Google Books for free to your iPad. We cannot do so here in Australia, but the web site Marks book here allows us to read it on our computer.
165 pages. Originally published by Thomas Printer, Eastgate Street, Chester. (UK) Written in December 1837.
OK, it's old, but let's not forget, we didn't start this messianic movement, and we probably won't be the last in it. We stand on the shoulders of many, thousands of others, who went on before us, and who made the way easier for us. Who prayed for us, even as we pray for those who will take up the mantle long after us.
Or are you praying for your replacements? I am! God, give them a heart of compassion for the Jewish people. God, give them grace and strength to share relentlessly and passionately the truths of the Truth. And make them pray-ers, who will pray for those who follow them in this work, as well.
09 July 2011
Actually this is several conversations, all going on at once. The man in the blue shirt of course, is sharing his opinions with the man in the Jews for Jesus t-shirt on the streets of Manhattan, New York City.
The man in the gray shirt is overhearing what the two are saying, and he's an active listener to the goings-on.
The man in the kippah walking past has been seeing/hearing it as well, and has to return to work. But he was 'involved' in the chat.
And everyone who notices the green t-shirt, is being invited to consider the message. Who is Jesus? That's the underlying theme of this July outreach in NYC. And if we had to choose one, it's the ever-underlying theme of everything that goes on in Jews for Jesus.
We meet up with enquirers to invite them to consider that theme. Who do you think Jesus is? We meet with believers to encourage them to continue in that consideration. We preach in churches and bring back to mind the reality of the Jewish Jesus, and His Lordship and salvation.
At staff meetings we pray, reminding ourselves of the One who bought us with His blood and brings us back into relationship with the Father.
Who is He? Who is Jesus? That may be the single most important question you ever have to answer.
03 July 2011
It's not what is seen that makes a bridge. Most of the folks who travel this bridge coming into or out of Brisbane Queensland are simply looking at the signs, determining their lane of choice, and hurrying to their destination.
But deep below and years before, before this mindless driver makes up his mind, engineers, politicians, shop keepers, and thousands of others make up their minds about the project of funding and placing a bridge here.
The impact is not momentary, although the vote might be. The effect is not temporary, although the discomfort might be. All done, the bridge accomplishes its intent. It allows drivers and pedestrians and cyclists to make their way easily and smoothly to their destination.
Those of you who read my blogs know that I'm keenly involved in the continuing explanation to Jewish people of the Messiahship of Jesus. And some describe what I do as bridging the gap between Jews and Christians. That's not a term I use, but some use it.
If they are right, then the depths of explosive ground preparation, the years of approval gathering, the organizing of the cement and other materials...all play into the final situation...the crossing of the bridge itself.
Below bridges...not a usual view, not a pretty view, certainly not compared to the beauty or fame of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, the invisible one of Indiana Jones, the one over the River Kwai, Alcántara Bridge, Pont du Gard, Pont d'Avignon, The Chapel Bridge.
I like this one: The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, is the longest suspension bridge at 1,991 meters (6,532 feet) in the world. It spans the Akashi Strait in Japan connecting Kobe on the mainland and Iwaya on Awayi Island. The bridge took almost 12 years to build and was opened for traffic in 1998. The central span was originally only 1,990 meter but the Kobe earthquake on January 17, 1995, moved the two towers so that it had to be increased by 1 meter.
All that said, bridges are intended to get things from one side to the other. So let's be honest about 1) what it takes to build, and 2) the intentions of our actions.
I invite any Jewish person to discuss with me the issue of Y'shua, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and to determine what we will do with this bridge that is in our way.