Showing posts from December, 2014

#Ill Ride With You

According to new reports, the hashtag and the story of #IllRideWithYou was all made up by Rachael Jacobs. A clever and good thought, but not a real story that inspired her to invent the hashtag. As if Muslim women were the victims of the siege in Sydney last Monday. They were not the victims; innocent people in a cafe, and subsequent lockdown-causing-1st-world-problems... they were the real victims of the LoneWolf Muslim terrorist, Man Haron Monis.
Then a Kiwi woman has come up with "I'll walk" with you on New Brighton, New Zealand. Story here to help elderly and worried women not to feel isolated as they walk the beach. Again, another 1st-world problem. I pondered if Comanche or Wild Oats in the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race would have a flag that also parroted "I'll ride with you." I haven't seen it yet, though.

 So that got me thinking, as often happens, about the Lord of Heaven, who calls us to walk with Him. "Now when Abram was ninety-nine …

Hope, beyond today

The burnt-out world is so clearly in view-- the troubles of today, the situations which drive us mad-- all front and centre, like this broken pair of trees. Is there any hope for what's ahead? Is there really any reason to be optimistic?

Consider the Sydney Siege less than two weeks ago where two innocents were murdered, or the Pakistani village trying to sort out 140 murders (most of whom were children), and the 8 dead children in Cairns killed by a crazed mother. Is there really hope on Christmas?

According to my friend David Mistzal in Lane Cove, hope to be real and valid has to have an object, benefits, and a means. He said that all three are in view in the story of Simeon, the Bible character. Simeon, according to the story, is an old Jewish man, who was visiting or maybe even took up much time in the Temple in Jerusalem. When he was there one day, about 30 days after the birth of Jesus (which many celebrate today on Christmas), he said his famous "nunc dimitis." …


What's just around the corner for you? The sun is rising; the day is beginning; the hopes for the future, even though most of us think 'the future' at this point is only going to last 8 hours or so... it's all in view.

Alfred Hitchcock was the master of suspense and thrillers. He said, " There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it."

Aristotle said, "Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil."

So sometimes anticipation is good and other times, not so good.

What do you anticipate today? On what do you base that anticipation?

I look forward to meeting with Jewish people in the shop. I look forward to being used by God to bring peace and joy to others because of His love for them and His desire to meet them in ordinary life. I anticipate people scurrying to find gifts and to hurry to get to a break from work. I imagine that the world will be better because I'm still alive. This is, for me, "hope."

What d…

Purpose of the candles

We are writing today on day 5 of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Some wonder if Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas or Advent since there are candles and gift giving. Also they share the same time period most always falling in December. Also in public squares there are both Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs. There are 12 days of Christmas they sing, and 8 days of Hanukkah. Certainly there are similarities, right?

Quick history lesson: The Jewish people were suffering in the land of Israel back in 168 BC under the Syrian Greek King Antiochus. He made life difficult for them. He issued a series of decrees forbidding circumcision, the keeping of Shabbat, and the study of Torah. One day his people set up statues/ idols of Zeus throughout the land of Israel and made the people, including the Jews, bow down to them. He even went so far as to sacrifice a pig in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Not good for public relations with Jewish people. (Jews don't eat pig products and spilling wr…

Hanukkah - Dreidel - music video by Jewish a cappella group Shir Soul - ...

Hanukkah medley and sung a cappella by a great all-men quartet, with fun dreidel spinning to boot. 

Happy Hanukkah tonight everyone. Celebrate Light in the Darkness.

When is trauma 'terror?'

"A gunman is holding up to 50 people hostage at a cafe in Martin Place in Sydney. At least one offender took hostages at the popular Lindt chocolate cafe, which has several entrances, just before 10am. Some members of staff could be seen wearing their shop aprons and standing with their hands up at the windows. There is also a black and white flag being held up in a window. It is [believed to be] the Black Standard, a jihadist flag. The incident has not been branded a terrorist attack yet, but police have confirmed they have “moved to a footing consistent with a terrorism event” in their response.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters this afternoon it remained a hostage situation “but we are ready to escalate if we need to”. They did not have “direct contact” with the hostage-taker." (
This took place on the morning when further terrorist activities and raids happened in Beecroft in Sydney's northwest. This morning a Sydney man was taken …

To tell the truth

When I was a kid in the US, black and white game shows filled the afternoon and early evening time slots on the television. One of my favorites was a 'solve the mystery' game of choosing between two imposters and an honest person in a show called "To tell the truth." Bud Collier was the host, and sometimes (as in this episode) Merv Griffin sat in for him.Within 7 minutes the truth was revealed.

See the episode and guess who is the Aussie Reg Evans who saved President John F Kennedy back in World War 2.  To tell episode 1961 (Also in this episode is a set of twins who are bat boys for the new Minnesota Twins baseball team and a cattle photographer). Regular panelists during the 14-year run of the show were Don Ameche, Orson Bean, Johnny Carson, Ralph Bellamy, Polly Bergen, Kitty Carlisle, Peggy Cass, Bert Convy, Hy Gardner, Phyllis Newman and Tom Poston.

The great thing about this fact-finding game is that within 7 minutes you discover truth, the crowd applauds, pr…

Just for fun: a joke

Reunion Lunch
A group of chaps, all aged 40, discussed where they should meet for a reunion lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Scottish Arms Hotel because the waitresses had big breasts and wore mini-skirts.
Ten years later, at age 50, the friends once again discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Scottish Arms because the food and service were  good, and the beer selection was excellent.
Ten years later, at age 60, the friends again discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Scottish Arms because there was plenty of parking; they could dine in peace and quiet, and it was good value for money.
Ten years later, at age 70, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at the Scottish Arms because the restaurant was wheelchair accessible and had a toilet for the disabled.
Ten years later, at …

Democracy vs religion: Hand in hand or face off?

Clay Christensen has been on staff for 20 years at the Harvard (Boston USA) Business School and has conducted a TED talk, but nothing is as important as this 90-second message about a Chinese student and US, and how it all works.

 I hope you ponder the message, especially as religious conversation intensifies as if often the case in December with Hanukkah and Christmas among other events.

 For more info about Christensen, read below:
Before joining the faculty of Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1992, Christensen worked for the Boston Consulting Group and then served as chairman and president of Ceramics Process Systems Corporation (now CPS Holdings), a firm he co-founded with several MIT professors in 1984. In 2000, he founded Innosight LLC, a consulting and training firm which describes itself as "focusing on idea generation, strategy development, commercialization, and innovative process development." In 2005, together wit…

Identity confusion (Michael Brown, Baruch Goldstein, and you)

Michael Brown was the black man shot in Ferguson, Missouri. Some sorted out who he was just by the color of his skin. Racism works to no one's advantage or credit. He is not to be confused with Dr Michael L. Brown, the Jewish believer in Jesus whose website is here . I wonder if people have confused one Michael Brown with the other?

I remember back in 1994, when an American-born Israeli physician and religious extremist, Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Arab Muslim worshipers and wounding another 125. This was called the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron. At that time I had a former colleague whose English name was Bruce, but for 15 years he had gone by his Hebrew name, Baruch Goldstein. Was that the same? Nope...identity disparity. I'm sure my friend, who passed away a couple years ago, used to hear bad things about the other Goldstein who was killed by the rampaging crowd into which he was shooting.

Identity's a big deal in the world and a…