28 May 2016

VIVID this week

What's new?

An amazing selfie of sorts projects your image into Darling Harbour with the use of three super cameras. Eyes on the Harbour makes you the star of the show at the Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre. Using groundbreaking Intel® RealSense™ technology, your face will be projected on a giant waterscreen 20m above the surface of Darling Harbour, in the middle of one of Vivid Sydney’s most popular attractions.

Just step up to the Intel® booth and have your face scanned by Intel® RealSense™ cameras. Either go completely natural or choose one of five wild looks, and a giant image of your face will be projected high over the waters of Darling Harbour. You’ll even have a copy emailed to you as a souvenir.

Intel® Eyes on the Harbour rears forth every half hour during Vivid Sydney, in between the Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre shows.

The ever-popular Light Totem continues at Circular Quay and the Fountain is ongoing at Martin Place.

For more information about VIVID, check out our Resource page here

Michael Brown schedule is filling up

You can follow the preaching schedule of Dr Michael L Brown in Sydney and help us bring such men of God to our shores. How? Bring a friend or a busload to any or all of these events, make sure you bring a donation to help us pay his expenses, and let's honour the man of God in our places.

So far, his schedule is
Shabbat service/ seminar
Church in the Marketplace
400 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
9:30 to 12:30
Registration is payable online:
Click here on Rego

SUNDAY 19 June
Michael will be preaching that morning at the 10 a.m. service at
Awesome Church
223 Great North Road
Five Dock NSW 2046
Website is here
Bring an offering, please.

Michael will be preaching that evening at the 6 p.m. service at
Jubilee Church
30 Victoria Street
Waverley NSW 2024
Website is here

MONDAY 20 June to Thursday 23 JUNE
Michael will be teaching each morning (Tues, Wed, Thurs) at the morning gathering and each evening (Mon, Tues, Wed)
Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism conference (LCJE)
Lady Game Road
Chatswood NSW 2067
LCJE website is here

After that, he travels to Melbourne and will be preaching and teaching there.

FRIDAY June 24
Israel in the Line of Fire Conference
Clayton Church of Christ
23 – 25 Burton Avenue
Clayton VIC 3168

Beit Hamashiach Messianic Congregation
206 Bambra Rd
Caulfield South VIC

“Is Jesus Kosher for Jews?” Event
Caulfield Park Alma Bowls Club
280 Balaclava Rd
Caulfield VIC

SUNDAY June 26
Australia For Christ Church
1070 Stud Road
Rowville, Victoria 3178
9am, 10:30am, & 5pm

For ongoing connection with this Jewish man in his work in the US and beyond, check his website askdrbrown.org

27 May 2016

Light in the Darkness: VIVID 2016

According to their website, Vivid Sydney is a 23-day festival of light, music and ideas. Vivid Sydney features many of the world's most important creative industry forums, a mesmerising free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations and a cutting-edge contemporary music program.

Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect. It begins on 27 May and lasts until 18 June. Vivid Sydney was voted Australia’s Best Event in 2013 and Best Tourism Event in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

And each year the festival grows, in locations and in numbers of visitors. This year the talks in 150 sessions will range from Chatswood to Randwick to Marrickville and feature topics like "Turn Interaction Into Action: Daily Habits For Innovating" and "Creating a Sense of Place for Migrant Communities" Speakers include Kučka and Margaret Zhang, Tom Dawkins and Myf Warhurst.

This is obviously a great way to get Sydney-siders out and about during the chills of late autumn, to spend a bit of money on food and drink, and to enjoy our great city.

The evening arrives early in autumn and visitors can be treated to the light shows at the MCA, the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, and many other venues from as early as 5:30 pm. And what makes the viewing so good is that light shows up in dark places. It would make little sense to run Vivid at midday in Quito, Ecuador when the sun's rays are directly overhead. Light only makes sense in darkness, that is, it only shows up when around it is dark.

In fact, light and dark cannot coexist. The one diminishes the other. And if there were a real battle of sorts, then light would always triumph.

Maybe you want to read a bit more on this... I recommend the following:

On Hanukkah and candles Candles here
or this one on Law and Grace in the Bible
or this one which is the story of learning of the death of my grandmother, Bessie and reflections

Let me ask, what do you think? What will bring light to your darkened world?

03 May 2016

Broken hearted (Love, whose month is ever May)

It's a rather odd phrase-- broken hearted. There are medical influences that cause the heart of a man to tear, but that's not what anyone really means when they use this phrase. It has to do with pain and aches on the inside, perhaps regrets and suffering sometimes caused by others, and sometimes caused by ourselves. Usually this has to do with a situation of discomfort, and a desire on the part of the hearted to wish things could improve.

Some people really don't know how to handle other folks; most of us wish we did, but admit that we have a long way to go.
So what is a broken heart? It's used in reference to a state of extreme grief or sorrow, typically caused by the death of a loved one or the ending of a romantic relationship. As in "she broke my heart" or "that one is going to grow up to break many hearts" and such.

There is another use of the phrase, too.
The singing team from Hillsong in their song "Hosanna" wrote these prayer lyrics, "Heal my heart and make it clean; Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like you have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks yours,
Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause,
As I walk from earth into eternity

Of course, their use of broken heart has to do with being moved to be concerned about other things that matter. It reminds me of the heart-strings being pulled by the sight of a blind person with flies around his face, or a small child newly orphaned looking at her bombed village's hut with tears. So a broken heart can mean a heart that stops thinking about itself, and cares about others for just a moment.

No wonder there is confusion about hearts and broken ones at that. When we see a homeless war veteran, our heart ought to 'go out' to such a person and his family. I suppose that's the 'brokenness' that others reference. "That just breaks my heart to see him eating out of the rubbish bin by the cafe," we say.

In terms of God and His compassion for people, He especially cares about the widows and orphans and He especially wants us to care for them as well. A cursory reading of either Testament will highlight this concern. (e.g. Job 22.9, Isa. 10.2, James 1.27) We ought to care for those whom care forgot.

So may I aver that there are two uses of this concept and they really do overlap. 1) A broken heart is when someone experiences the pain of love lost. Shakespeare said in "As you like it" (Act 2): "If thou remember'st not the slightest folly that ever love did make thee run into, Thou hast not loved." He well knew the pain of wrongly placed love. He said in Love's Labours Lost "By heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy." (Act 4, scene 3)

But 2) the other use of broken heartedness is compassion. It's the concern we feel for the weak and the downtrodden. Our hearts break for them. And that's a good thing. So how do we dovetail these two thoughts?

Francesca Battisteri wrote this song:

Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I'm a mess and so are you
We've built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

Bring your brokenness, and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest
If we're honest

Don't pretend to be something that you're not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross, at the cross

It would change our lives
It would set us free
It's what we need to be
Bring your brokenness, and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest"
They used to say "God can heal the broken hearted, if we give Him all the pieces.' But now I think He can heal us if we just turn to Him and are honest. Lord, heal our sick and broken hearts. Make us ministers of your life and love. Give us compassion for the hurting. Others who are hurting much worse than us. And don't help us to help them SO THAT WE ARE BENEFITED. The issue is never us. Lord, help us to forget about ourselves and care for others, full stop.

No one knew that better than Yeshua. He was the Lord of life and love and we read of His broken heart for the Jewish people of His day with "Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd." (Matthew 9.36) And He knew the other kind of disappointing heart break with his friend and colleague Judas in Luke 22.48: 'Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" '

You want a model of broken heartedness that makes a difference in this world? Check out Yeshua. Best one to model, to be sure.