Showing posts from October, 2011

On, off, on...what to do with cancellations

After labor talks between US National Basketball Association (NBA) players and owners ended Friday with no deal in place, the league cancelled games through Nov. 30. "It's not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now," commissioner David Stern, who added that the amount of money lost by both sides is "extraordinary," said after the meeting. The issue of how to split revenue remains the largest obstacle to ending the lockout.

"We made a lot of concessions, but unfortunately at this time it's not enough, and we're not prepared or unable at this time to move any further," union executive director Billy Hunter said.

Here at home Qantas has shocked the flying world and the business world and maybe your world, with the announcement that they grounded their entire fleet in light of the continuing union strikes. This happened while seventeen world leaders attending a Commonwealth summit in Perth were booked on Qantas flights and were…

5772 and welcomes!

This month we celebrated the Jewish New Year 5772. And we welcomed it with trumpets and festivities and holy crying and seeking forgiveness. And last week in Israel, Gilad Shalit, after over five years in a Hamas prison, was released to his family and waiting country. The welcomes pictured were overwhelming. And the exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners leaves much by way of controversy. Then this week we also welcomed Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch of England and the Commonwealth. She went to church today to a welcoming crowd and our comments are prompted by all these welcomes.
Hamas had demanded the release of about 1,000 prisoners held in Israel in exchange for Shalit's return, including some whom Israel considers "heavyweight terrorists," who were directly – and sometimes personally –involved in the planning and execution of dozens of deadly terror attacks against Israelis.

Finally last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Hamas had agreed to…

Beauty on beauty

Image, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. The British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II is in Canberra today and went along to the Floriade, the great display of thousands and thousands of flowers across the nation's capital.

A few years ago my wife and I went there to enjoy the same scenery the queen saw today. And I shot this photo to show beauty on beauty. Hope you like it.

And I hope you find things to give you a reminder of God's eternal love and his sense of beauty, too. We say 'our God is an awesome God' and we mean it. In nature and in life, we learn of him.

Prostitution back on the agenda in South Australia

South Australian Labor Backbencher Steph Key has stated her intention to introduce a private member's bill on the 20th of October to decriminalise prostitution. The bill aims to legalise street walking and the establishment of small brothels in suburban areas. However, under the model, no sex business can be carried out within 200m of any child-related centre such as a school or child-care centre, no people under the age of 18 are to be employed as sex workers and any conviction of a person for an offence relating to prostitution will be immediately "spent" and not retained on a person's record.

This will be the seventh attempt to change the state's prostitution laws in recent years. The latest attempt was defeated in the Legislative Council several years ago, where MLCs voted 12-7 to defeat the proposal. Since then, no one has been keen to tackle what is considered an issue which should be put in the "too hard" basket. All parties will allow a conscien…

Philip Jensen on 2 pastors and 1 silence

Philip Jensen is an Anglican minister in Sydney. He wrote this piece on his own blog. I liked it enough to share it with you today. Let's see to whom else we can pass this on.

What The Media Does Not Report

A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.

Originally Published: 7th October 2011 Tagged: censorship media

In the last year, two pastors have caused sufficient international concern that the White House has spoken about them. But only one has been mentioned in the Sydney media.

Both pastors profess to lead Bible believing churches. Both have come into conflict with Islam. Both have been criticised by their own governments.

Yet, in many respects, they are very different. One operates freely in an open society while the other is imprisoned by an Islamic regime. One is proud of the actions he is accused of, while the other suffers from trumped up accusations. One is an embarrassment to the Christian cause; the ot…

How many times?

Bob addressing the crowd, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. How many times?

Given at Yom Kippur 5772
9 October 2011
Sydney Australia

We’ve been here before, haven’t we? We’ve been together for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. We’ve celebrated Passover and eaten lamb and drunk four cups of wine. We’ve read the Al Chet and repented of our sins, year after year. We’ve sung the Avinu Malkenu (which is usually not sung on Yom Kippur when it falls on Shabbat until the Neilah service), and asked God to be gracious to us. We have done this before. And you have to wonder… did it work then? Will it work this year? When the shofar sounds at the end of our services, will we be forgiven? Will the sounds be muffled and repetitious like the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher in the television show or will we actually hear steadfast declarations of hope from the Almighty?
How many more times do we have to do this?
When I first pondered the title, “How many times?” I flashed on "How Many More…

Hooray for sales

Hooray for sales, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Sunday and Monday at our Jews for Jesus Book shop in Bondi Junction, is our annual Spring Sale. 9 a.m. to 5 pm both days. 9/10 October.

Everything is 20% off, and all music is 30% off!

I'm guessing that a lot of people will be in the shop both days and you might just see someone else you know, and wouldn't that be great?

Stock up on gifts for the holidays and pop on in for a visit at the very nice Jews for Jesus book shop. 576 Oxford Street, 100 metres from Westfield, (Beach end). Two little blocks from the bus and train interchange. Bondi Junction.

A fairly ornate synagogue

A fairly ornate synagogue, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. I visited Marseilles France in 2009, and went to this synagogue. The levels of beauty struck me, The generations of history were evident. Even though there are tens of thousands of Israel's enemies within a few kilometers outside, I felt safe. All told, this is good stuff. It was ornate and yet, something said, 'empty.'

Today is Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a day of solemn introspection. Or so it is for many. For others neither of those marker holidays has any meaning. For others it's that time of year when Jews get to have their 'day in the sun' but otherwise it's insignificant. For many, this is a holy time of year.

And this synagogue and so many like it around the world, where I've visited and where I haven't... all say to me in measure 'empty.' Where does that come from?

Jesus is recorded in the book of St Matthew: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who ki…