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Showing posts from October, 2015

Sneaky, deception and magicians...is there hope?

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Sleight of hand is a remarkable visual and sometimes audial trickery that most of us admire. We watch David Copperfield and generations ago watched Harry Houdini, and we are amazed and scratch our heads. “How did he do that?” when he saws a lady in half or makes an elephant disappear. Even those magician shows we watch, when they slow down the trick… most of the time I don’t see how they do it.

I watch the football here in Australia and am constantly amazed when I see what they call a ‘dummy’ play. This is where one player pretends to offload the ball one way or another and ends up with almost-Copperfield-like sleight of hand and moves the ball forward with rapid-fire trickery. We applaud that play and wonder why the defense doesn’t know what he will do. Of course, no one knows what he will do, and perhaps even the offensive player doesn't know what he will do, until he sees the defense react one way or the other.

This is true in many sports and many situations of life, but …

Removing enemies

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By Bob Mendelsohn
Given in Lane Cove, NSW
From Judges 1-2, Joshua 23
25 October 2015

Introduction
Thanks to the band for great music today, and to Darren and the staff for allowing me to speak today. Those regulars here know that I have been with Jews for Jesus for a few decades, since 1979 actually and you will get a chance to support that missionary organization today and my work in it particularly using those white cards inserted in your news sheet, or donate up the back at the book/ resource table in the hall.

Music and rhythm
I really like the music of church, in fact, I like a wide variety of music, and find myself tapping along on the back of a pew or the steering wheel of my car quite often. It’s the rhythm which I pattern. The book of Judges has a rhythm all its own. Let me give that to you right away so you can recognize it throughout the teaching series at church, or whenever you read the book.
The rhythm is
1) Israel is disobedient
2) Israel cries out for help
3) God d…

To stir or not to stir...good question

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I enjoy cooking, and find all kinds of reasons to include sauces and spices in simple vegetable concoctions. Mustard and raisins and chia seeds...they can all make their way into the least likely main dishes. And I like the idea of stir fry. Now I'm sure there are times when real chefs tell us not to stir, as the result will be too thin or too mushy or too something. OK, I get that, but generally my meals are better served if the flavours are allowed to blend.

Here in Australia, we have a national commitment to stirring. By this I am not referencing the culinary arts, but rather the troubling kind. You know, someone who stirs up situations only to 'get a rise' out of someone or some group. "He's just a stirrer" is a brand of commendation in Oz. So as a messianic Jew, this comes naturally to me. I was always a bit of a rebel, and an activist, especially in my later teens, and that has stayed with me through the decades.

But what about troubles that really d…

Making choices....whom to follow

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The Bible says, "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith." (Hebrews 13.7)

This could be a little confusing. Basically the writer of the Newer Testament book of Hebrews is saying this, "If you want to make good choices about theology and about life, look to the people who taught you things, and go with the guys who have a good end-game, whose lives and teachings match where you want to land. Don't follow false teachers. Don't be tricked by your own itching ears. Consider the end, the result, the final landing zone of the teacher... and go with the people who will get you there also."

I know, those aren't the translations, and not the actual text, but it might help someone today who is caught in the either/or place of discomfort brought about by anti-missionaries whose apparent only care for Jewish souls is after they have come to faith in Jesus. I've never seen a…

Who bears the guilt for the death of Jesus?

Published in Eternity website in Australia: here During the 2015 Hillsong Conference, Jarryd Hayne, the former Parramatta Eels rugby league star and now running back for the San Francisco 49ers, sent out a tweet to his followers: “Jesus wanted to help people but was killed by his own people.” The next day after being challenged by one of his followers that Jesus was killed by the Romans, Hayne wrote, “The Jews were the people who took him to the Romans n [sic] forced them to give the order because they couldn’t.”

Because of the tweets, Jewish representatives immediately launched a counter campaign. Hayne subsequently removed the two tweets.

Michael Koziol of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote about the Jewish reaction, quoting the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Dvir Abramovich, who said he was deeply concerned by Hayne’s tweets and labeled them “damaging, painful and irresponsible”.

“For thousands of years Jews were held in contempt and were persecuted and …