Showing posts from December, 2010

Pick a little, talk a little

Today's Melbourne Age newspaper reported, "Melbourne's Catholic Archdiocese has failed to announce or fully implement changes requested by Victoria Police to the church's sexual abuse inquiry process, more than a year after serious deficiencies were exposed. The failure has sparked fierce criticism from victim groups and lawyers and comes with police recently launching two separate investigations into sexual abuse involving a serving and a former Victorian priest." (More in The Age here )

I'm pretty upset about any abuse to anyone. The Church, and any group in society has to protect its most vulnerable. Wives, children, widows...the Church needs to be on their side long before it's ever on its own protectionist path. Silence about this is not golden.

Ricky Ponting continues to insist the video umpire was wrong not to award Australia the wicket of Kevin Pietersen in the Boxing Day Test incident that prompted his $5400 fine yesterday. The Australian captain…


Photo of Adoration of Magi by Murillo.

The New York Times this morning reports about Iraqi Christians living in terror. Many are fleeing. The official numbers of Christians are down from 1.4 million (in a population of 30 million in country) to 500,000. What prompts this? The siege and bombing of a church in October during a service... and now some mis-information from a church in Egypt with Islamic threats.

The article is in full below:

Last night in Sydney, at our little Anglican parish, the assistant minister shared about a couple contrasts. One between a set of wise men viz other wisdom and the other contrast between two kings, Y'shua and Herod. I liked his sermon and the information.

One of his minor points was that the wise men of the story, the magi (See Matthew chapter 2 in the Bible) were not necessarily wise or royal men at all, but that they were prominent men who took a journey of hope.

Here's what it says, "Now after Jesus was (A)born in Bethlehem of Judea in…

Computers really do tell us what to do

I found this review (below) from a book I read in the 1960s. The book entitled Colossus by DF Jones, featured the first computer [used in WW2] which ends up dominating the world. [More on that computer below] Back in the 1960s people used mail and spreadsheets and designed artwork, all by hand. Mysteriously there was an electronic possibility called the computer, then only known to governments, military and mathematical and engineering university students and faculty. I learned computers at the University of Kansas, and taught computers in the 1970s in a high school outside Kansas City. Then it was Fortran and Cobol and BASIC languages and a bit of batch work that would take hours to formulate and moments to execute. It was all so unknown.

What prompted my recall of this book today was an online article in the New York Times. Found here The article "Wall Street Computers Read the News, and Trade on It" was written today by GRAHAM BOWLEY.

In the article Bowley reports, "…

12 days of Christmas...the back story

12 days of christmas in books
Originally uploaded by bricolagelife From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was the Messiah Y'shua. (Whose birth is the centre of this day)
-Two turtle doves were the Older and Newer Testaments (the Whole Bible). (which testify of the true faith)
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love. (See the chapter in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13.)
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. (calling for our response in faith)
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Pentateuch, the first five books of the Older Testament.
-The six geese a-layi…

Clarifying video

Do you know Him?

(Facebook folks: Click on "View original post")

A Social Network Christmas

1 in 7 people on the planet are on Facebook.
Not very many really know the Christmas story.
But put this on, listen carefully, and then you will both understand Facebook and Messiah-mas.

Good work Igniter!

Celebrit-ism and cashing in on Oprah

Walter Cronkite was the newsman who brought me evening news when I was a child. Every weekday at 5:30 pm, after the school day faded into afternoon frivolity, Hebrew classes or quick school studies, I stopped to watch the CBS evening news with this icon of American journalism. We found out about international and national news from this trusted man. Never a whimsical sort, and always full of information that seemed reliable. That was news.

That, however, is not the way things are done anymore. Katie Couric, formerly of the NBC Today show, joined CBS and reads the news nightly. Her perky style and loyal following on the morning show gave CBS executives great hope that she would bring a boost in the ratings to the tired CBS program. That worked for a while, and whatever the numbers are today, this spoke to me those years ago when Katie jumped ship. And now things are even clearer.

I live in Sydney, home for the last 12 days of Oprahmania. I'm weary. It's almost like a hangover fro…

Israeli causes panic in New Zealand

A ferryboat captain called police after spotting a man described as wearing "boxes" with "wires taped to his leg and forehead."

An Israeli tourist visiting New Zealand caused a minor panic on a New Zealand ferry on Sunday after the captain reported to police that a passenger was carrying a "suspicious article," NZTV reported.

The incident happened on Sunday as the Interislander ferry Kaitaki sailed across the Cook Strait from Wellington to Picton. Some media in New Zealand even reported a hostage situation aboard the ferry, even though the passenger was cooperative with police, according to the report.

The man was described as wearing what appeared to be "boxes" with "wires taped" to his body. "One individuals had two boxes attached, one box taped to his leg and one box seemingly taped to his forehead," a transportation services spokesman was quoted as saying in the report.

Jewish websites described the man as having worn his te…

Build bridge, then cross it

Step one: Develop Design
Step two: Gather materials
Step three: Gather helpers
Step four: Build bridge

For many folks, that's enough. They have noted a great gulf and they want to repair the separation. The chasm is a hindrance to relationships and they want that hindrance removed. I say, good for them!

Those who know about my life or things about which I write will know that bridge building in religious terms is often related to people on apparently opposite sides of a particular issue. In my world of Jews for Jesus, it's usually related to those who are labelled Jewish and those who are labelled Christian. Of course, I never know on which side of the proverbial fence people would want me to reside. But that's for another blog.

The Great Divide of Jewish and Christian dialogue is a function of ruined relationships over nearly two millenia of religious conflict and warring. The bloodshed throughout history of one religious mob taking on the religion and the leadership of another…

WikiWhispers and Truth telling

Once again I'm happy to report on reporting and the desire of people to know truth. Of note this week is the chase for "Catch me if you can" Julian Assange. The Sydney Morning Herald this morning reported that the hiding Aussie is not welcome back in his native Australia. He said in a live Q and A session yesterday 'However … the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, have made it clear that not only is my return impossible but they are actively working to assist the United States government in its attacks on myself and our people.''

Alas, he still calls Australia 'home' but is not welcome. What's the problem?

Something about 250,000 documents that were classified as private, or top secret were leaked via Assange's website Wikileaks. The WikiLeaks drop has caused enormous diplomatic problems for the US, with Senator Clinton describing it as ''an attack on the world''. Some senior …

Look Who's Coming!

The Big O could be a slur if she were still a large woman, but the larger-than-life appearances of Oprah Winfrey to Australia will leave her 'Big O' all over Sydney beginning in just 13 days. Amazing how much global awareness is centering on this American fixture of Daytime television. The Oprah Winfrey Show will be filmed for 2 days running at the iconic Sydney Opera House. New South Wales premier Kristina Kenneally said, ""We are delighted that The Oprah Winfrey Show has chosen NSW as the location for their ultimate adventure and Sydney's most famous icon will become known by Oprah show fans around the world as the Sydney Oprah House." Oy.

It's not the 300 fans whom Oprah is bringing with her that is causing all the chaos. It's the millions of loyal fans to the show and the generated income for tourism which is making us give up so much of our traffic ease and convenience to welcome the Queen of US Daytime TV to our shores. Macquarie Street will be …

What about Bob: The Life Story of a Jew for Jesus

Now the 12 minute version of my personal story of faith. Hope you enjoy!

A bit of photoshop fun

Originally uploaded by bobmendo What makes Hanukkah so fun is the latkes and the doughnuts and the dreidels and today, a bit of photo humor. I hope you smile as you find the menorah in the stripes and remember that God does miracles.

Even though the zebra has been photoshopped, God really does and did miracles for the Jewish people at this time of year. In about 168 BCE, the Syrian Greeks were having battles with the Ptolemies of Egypt. Their battlefield? What we know today as the land of Israel. A football pitch if you will, with the likes of Antiochus Epiphanes leading the charge.

One day a crew of the Greek king slaughtered a pig in the sacred Temple of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. That made a lot of Jewish people upset and over in Modi'in, a small village about 30 km from Jerusalem.

Here's the rundown from Wikipedia. (Seems like wiki everything is in our news each day): From the Hebrew word for "dedication" or "consecration", Hanukkah m…

Propaganda, Nuclear Energy, and Pop Culture

I enjoy listening to the radio on the way to the office of Jews for Jesus in the mornings. And usually I'm tuned to FM103.2 in Sydney, listening to Aaron and Dan. Today was no exception and their comments about nuclear energy spawned this blog. I had already heard Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson talk about the proposal by some in the ALP to put nuclear energy on their conversational docket in their 2011 caucus.

The Brisbane Courier Mail reports this morning, "Prime Minister [Julia Gillard] is under pressure to put the divisive issue [nuclear energy] on next year's ALP national conference agenda with MPs claiming voters care more about rising power bills than gay marriage."

Several people are cited including WA former frontbencher Mark Bishop, MP Chris Hayes, and Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson who said "those advocating nuclear power had as much right to have the issue debated at the showcase event as those backing changes to gay marriage laws."…