Showing posts from May, 2012

Signage in Ireland

Sean is the pastor of a Church of England parish on the Northern Ireland/ Southern Ireland border and Patrick is the priest in the Roman Catholic Church across the road. One day they are seen together, pounding a sign into the ground, which says:


As a car speeds past them, the driver leans out his window and yells, "Leave people alone, you Oirish religious nutters! We don't need your lectures."

From the next curve they hear screeching tyres and a big splash. Shaking his head, Rev. Patrick says "Dat's da terd one dis mornin'." "Yaa," Pastor Sean agrees, then asks, "Do ya tink maybe da sign should just say, 'Bridge Out?'"

Open House

Leigh Hatcher and me, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. We recorded a segment today for airing on Sunday night on 103.2 FM in Sydney. It will be broadcast across the nation on Sunday night, during the first hour of "Open House". If you want to listen, visit their website: and look for "Open House." If you find this blog after Sunday the 27th of May 2012, you might be able to visit their website and check out old shows, whatever they call it in those days.

The man who interviewed me is a pleasure to listen to on radio and to see on TV. His name is Leigh Hatcher and he was with Channel 7 in Australia for years and for the last few with SkyNews. I watch him most mornings for a bit of updates.

The subject this Sunday is Pentecost and Shavuot. Same holiday; two very different faith traditions, but there are similarities and I try to highlight those in this interview.

For more, visit my website after the C3 chu…

Distancing ourselves

Eugene Polley is pictured here, and he died of natural causes Sunday at a suburban Chicago hospital, said Zenith Electronics spokesman John Taylor. The former Zenith engineer was 96. So the photo was taken a while ago. As was the invention which brings up the reason for this blog.

In 1955, if you wanted to switch TV channels from one show to another, you got up from your chair, walked across the room and turned a knob. Clunk. Clunk. Clunk.

That's also the year that Polley invented a new product to go with a new Zenith television. They sold the tv with Flash-Matic tuning. The TV came with a green ray gun-shaped contraption with a red trigger. The advertising promised "TV miracles." The "flash tuner" was "absolutely harmless to humans!" Most intriguing of all: "You can even shut off annoying commercials while the picture remains on the screen." That became what we now know as the "remote control."

Polley was proud of his …


Iran's supreme leader recently said his country would help any Muslim nation or group that attacks Israel. He's called the Jewish state a cancerous tumour that will be cut out of the Middle East. With Iran's nuclear weapons program advancing daily, that goal may be in sight. This view of Jews as sub-human sounds a lot like Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, but it goes back much further. In author Andrew Bostom's book, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, he describes Islam's early conquests of Jewish tribes in Arabia. "Mohammed's frustrations in spreading his message were frequently recompensed by murderous attacks on the Jews," he told CBN News. Bostom explained that Mohammed demonized Jews because they rejected him as a prophet.

"Mohammed himself invokes some of these themes," he said. "For example, one of the punishments of the Jews is their transformation into apes, or apes and pigs, the verses that are commonly heard now." This &qu…

Judgment begins with the house of God… or does it?

This is part one of two parts on Judging The news today and these days continues with arrests and trials of lowlife criminals and larger-than-life politicians who seem to escape every bit of scrutiny. That is, for a while. Take the names of people we barely knew in Parliament like Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson. By the way, today Thomson wascleared of almost all allegations of dodgy election funding following an investigation by the Australian Electoral Commission. He still has to answer other charges and will do so on Monday, about using his credit card for personal and sleazy activities.[1] What’s even more fascinating is that Peter Slipper, Speaker of the House, who has stepped out of the Speaker's chair while sexual harassment and Cabcharge rorting allegations against him are resolved, is the one who will decide whether Craig Thomson should face a parliamentary privileges committee investigation into his declaration that the Labor Party paid his legal fees in the Health Service…

FedEx, the arrow and Jewish people and Jesus

FedEx, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. I often am asked about Jewish people. The questions include issues of messianic prophecies, eternal destiny, and personal evangelism. And often after I preach, and 'make it clear' to the church, I will get this question, "Why don't the Jewish people see the truth about Jesus? You make it so clear."

It's not that Jewish folks are ignorant; in fact, we are nothing close to ignorance. But seeing what you didn't see before; that's an issue of revelation.

For instance, do you see the arrow on the FedEx logo? You have seen the trucks and vans pass you for years, and subliminally the arrow points the way, but most folks never see it.

I'll show you a couple more shots, and then you will see it.

Once you see it, you won't not see it.

I suppose that's the way it is for me and for many of us Jewish people in our discovery of Jesus. We saw him, we heard about him, we heard parts of the story, but we never really saw …

122/ 366 Too cool

122/ 366 Too cool, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. I have no reason to use this photo to write a blog. Actually I have only one reason to use this photo. I'm so delighted to show off my grandson who lives in the US. Isn't this a great shot? Doesn't he seem like a cool cat that Paul Schaeffer would welcome to the CBS orchestra?

Reunions (Part 5 (of 5!)) How to remember and Mustard Seed Beginnings

How are we to remember?
By two things. First, by musing. Pondering, considering the history you remember. The opposite of muse-ment is ‘amusment.’ It’s the entertainment of ourselves with tv and movies, with endless sport and endless noise which does not allow us to think, quiet our souls and really think. So first thing to do is muse. Psalm 77 shows us King David doing this pondering, meditating:
"Then I said, “It is my grief, that the bright hand of the Most High has changed.”  I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will meditate on all Thy work, and muse on Thy deeds. Thy way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God?" (verses 10-13)
Second, we remember by the telling of tribal stories. Do you realize that the Bible is one long tribal story? It’s the telling of what God did and what we did and how it has all worked out so far. And thus we need to be telling tribal stories. Tribal stories are truths of actual events and actu…

Reunions (Part 4)..What to remember

Yesterday we looked at some Bible passages about memory and remembering. We saw that remembering is actually a defense against idolatry and human self-aggrandising. Pride causes us to reject all of the past and not to remember at all.

Today we look in more outline form at what we are to remember. After all, not everything can be substantially useful to remember, right? So what are the guidelines in memory? What ought we to remember?

First, we remember who God is.  He is the Creator and Redeemer. He is the Sustainer, Deliverer, Friend, Lover of our souls and Saviour. Remembering who God is and was and will be is strengthening for us, to be sure. Ponder each of these aspects of God's nature, and rejoice in His person. Love Him for who He is.

Secondly, remember what God has done. Not only for the planet in creation, but in human history, in Jewish history, in your history. He made covenant with you. He has forgiven us of our sins. All our sins are forgiven. When He sent Y'sh…

Reunions (Part 3)

118/366 Group Photo, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Yesterday we wrote about reunions, memories and memory. And about the national day in Australia entitled "Anzac Day." It's a day of honoring the military heroes of the past. And the phrase “lest we forget” is central to the commemorations. The phrase is actually biblical and is the main focus of our Bible study in this blog.

“Give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” (Deuteronomy 4.9)

We are told to individually guard our soul, and to remember things we saw and keep them in our heart forever, and to teach them to our kids and grandchildren. Does that sound like what we are doing this weekend? This ought to be every reunion’s theme.

But for many it’s only going down memory lane; it’s old tapes. It’s old school and retro, but it’s no…

Reunions (Part 2)

“Then and Now(…and then): A study in Forgetfulness and Memory” [Part 1] Last weekend I attended the 40th anniversary reunion of the Mustard Seed Church, a congregation I started in January 1972 in Lawrence Kansas. The joy of gathering together with those from those earliest days and from the current church gave occasion for dozens of stories, most of which began “I remember…” or “Do you remember…” Memory and memories is my topic today. What is the point of remembering? What should we remember and what should be relegated to the world of forgetfulness?

When we were in college, many of us quoted three favorite Bible texts just before we took examinations and quizzes. Prov 10.7 “The memory of the righteous is blessed.”
John 16.13 “Spirit will disclose to you what is to come” and John 14.26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” We counted on that ‘bring to your rem…

Reunions (Part 1)

It won't be long and high schools and universities will be gathering folks from the past (alumni) and toasting their successes and their durability. In the next few blogs I'm going to be musing on the tradition of reunions and considering why we look backwards at all. And the biblical theology of memory itself, and what are we to remember, and what are to forget. Stay tuned!