Showing posts from February, 2014

Children upgraded

12-5292-EMBAGRAD-588, a photo by BU_EMBA on Flickr. I spent the evening with some people in Sydney from our tennis club. The discussions are always lively about religion and Australia and tennis and global warming and tonight we spoke for a bit of time about authority. It actually arose from a discussion about social media and how useful it was in finding my camera some weeks back.

One of the ladies suggested that she saw no real purpose for Facebook and hashtags and such. One mentioned one thing that was a benefit; another piped in and around the table it went.

When I was a kid, we had authorities. You know, when you wanted to know something about a medical condition you had to go to the chemist (pharmacist) or the doctor. When you wanted to know something you went to the encyclopedia or the librarian. If the librarian didn't know, s/he would know whom to call and where to hunt. The rabbi had authority at synagogue; the teacher had authority at school. And this idea of an authority…

Good grief?

Grief, a photo by OnTask on Flickr. GOOD GRIEF

Given at One New Man
Sydney, February 2014

When a man plans a talk to be given at a gathering like this, our monthly One New Man meeting, a wise man would always choose topics that are uplifting, like joy or happiness, like love (especially since this Friday is Valentine’s Day) and faith or hope. See? Sound good, right? So, when I tell you that tonight’s topic is “Grief”, your first thought is … what? Despair. Sadness. Death. Loss. Second thought: What a downer! What else can I be thinking about rather than what the guy up front is addressing?

But I promise, if you listen with your heart, and open your Bibles and read along, if you take on board what God has to say about grief, you will be upbeat when you leave. You will be a better person. You will be improved. And that is why you attended tonight, right?

Take a look with me at some photos. This first one was taken in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, LA. One of the most photographed a…

Why would we use the term "Jew?"

Brooklyn Jew 2, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. I don't remember being so surprised. The man was a gentle man, kind, and apparently supportive of what we do. "Praise the Lord!" he said when he came into the book shop. He said how he enjoyed seeing our testimony boldly proclaiming Jesus in the midst of a fairly secular area. He liked the name "Jesus" on our signage. He was perplexed however, and expressed it this way.

"Why would you use the term "Jew" in your signage?" I thought, surely he understood we were actually Jewish people and had come to believe in Jesus as our Messiah. Right? So the question surprised me. I tilted my head a little and answered, "Because we are Jews, I guess." That should have satisfied him.

But his response was jarring.

"The word 'Jew' means 'miser', so why would you want to use that word in your name?"

Wow, I don't know that I'd ever heard that. 'Jew' of course …

Warning signs and Aussie flag bearer at Sochi

Beware, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. My friends Trevor, Rod, and Phil had some fun at the North Ryde Golf Club when we saw this warning sign, "Beware of golfers on tee." Not sure why golfers on tees are dangerous, they struck a pose of possible impending doom. Trevor's nose caught the brunt of the intimiphoto.

The other day at our office one of our workers erased a large batch of data by ignoring a warning that the computer gave. I've noticed that we often zoom past warning signs and computer prompts on a regular basis. We simply don't have time or interest in insignificant information. It may be significant after all, but we don't give it much mind.

There is great worry about terrorism in Sochi. This morning snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin learned he will carry the Australian flag at Friday night’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony - and then said the sight of warships off the coast as he flew into Sochi heartened him that he would not be at the centre of a t…

Coming up short

The long and short of it, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. The Super Bowl was a bit of a bust, as far as a competitive contest goes. The Seattle Seahawks were dominant from the beginning, never looking back, and trouncing the Denver Broncos 43-8 in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Denver Broncos came up short. Way short. And it may have been Peyton Manning's worst defeat in like forever.

The quarterback for the Seahawks is Russell Wilson, an unlikely hero for his stature. He's 5'11" short and was drafted #75 overall in the 2012 draft.

Not a single quarterback under 6’0” has been drafted in the first two rounds since the 5’10” Ted Marchibroda went No. 5 overall to Pittsburgh in 1953. The average height of the 2014 quarterbacks is 74.6 inches, or just over 6’2”.

Short is not a good commodity in NFL quarterbacks to be sure. But Wilson did great in the Seahawks victory.

But wait, Bruno Mars was the celebrity performer at the halftime show of SuperBowl XLVII (4…

Football: the game of life

Sweep for a TD, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. My friend Tim Calcara in the US wrote this today. Fitting as the SuperBowl is about to take over our airways even as far as Australia.


Are you ready for the big game? I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. I mean the game of Life for a child of God. The game begins once we first believe and resolve to follow him all of our days. But let’s never forget that believing is kind of like the opening kickoff. To stay effective for the duration of the game, it requires daily training, preparation and focus.

And don’t forget. It actually depends upon a world class coach to lead us to victory.

Fortunately, you have that world class coach - the Holy Spirit - who promises to lead us and help us until the final minute of play.

When we watch the Super Bowl, we may have a favorite team that we’ll whoop and holler for but let’s face it, it is just a game, right? And you and I are mere spectators.

On the other hand, you and I are much more than spectato…