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Weblog Archive 


July 15 - July 17, 2002


Wednesday 17th July, 2002


Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

Andrew Sullivan comments on the Canadian same-sex marriage ruling.


Little Green Footballs has been busy today.


Come to think of it, so has Holy Weblog.


Natalie Solent got hit with the same Klez variant on July 12th that Martin did on Monday. Here is the warning from Dawson Speaks. Heís right. This may be a blogger to blogger spread.


The Blogger achieve bug wonít let me perma-link to Kyriosityís problem with spam, posted on July 15th. Scroll down. This is the second Jesus blogger spam problem Iíve noticed posted this week. And while there, read the post on discipleship.


Thinking Out Loud asks did God die on the Cross?


Spudlets muses about a key theme in the book and movie, ďA River Runs Through ItĒ


Gíday and bonjour to the new kid on the blog! I am Frequently Asked Questions.


Jordon Cooper is getting uneasy about digital copyright, in his post The RIAA Prepares to Shoot Itself in Head. Here is a quote from another of his posts.


The more I read about Paladium, Digital Rights Managment, along with anything that has to do with RIAA, the more it becomes obvious that the church is going to get smoked up the side of the head if we don't enter this debate sometime. It could have an impact on how we preach, worship, learn, and publish. A storm is brewing on and offline and I can't help but feeling we are being swept along.

Mark Byron starts a series on managing our abundance.


This is a good way to end Blog Watch today. The consummate gentleman, Sand in the Gears, posts on taking care of your neighbour, in Aid versus Care.




Abu Sayyaf members are on the run, but the US warns conditions are ripe for re-organization.



Canada and Finland

Canadian police say the stabbing of a Jewish father is not a hate crime. And Finnish police say a car bomb at a Jewish synagogue is not related to terrorism.



No Big Surprise Here

Divorce doesnít bring happiness.



No Big Surprise Here Either

A new Gallup poll says trust in religious institutions is at a 30-year low.




The new version of XP aimed at a younger market, will turn the PC into a digital jukebox.




Some hacking clubs work to stop oppressive censorship. And web portals that want to do business in China have agreed to follow the Communist Party rules.




Keeping a web-log is proving beneficial to people with Alzheimerís.




Thieves dressed as clowns terrify their victims.



Web Surfing

Does someone in the US Secret Service have a Britney fetish?


-posted 8:35am, by Bene Diction



Tuesday 16th July, 2002


Martin Roth Christian Commentary


The Pain of Becoming a Christian

There is rejoicing in heaven each time someone turns to Jesus. Christians rejoice too. Many Ė especially those of us in the evangelical stream Ė see it as some kind of vindication of all our efforts for the Lord, a sign of Godís pleasure. And we assume that the new convert is equally joyous.


But itís not invariably so. Gaining a new life in Jesus means abandoning an old life, and that is not always easy.


Recently I sat down for a chat about this with my friend Rabbi Harold Vallins. Several years ago, at the age of 57, he committed his life to Jesus, a pretty unusual occurrence for a practising rabbi.


I have written about him before, and have learned of some of the pain he felt. Here is what I wrote previously:


He was forced to resign his position, leaving many in his congregation feeling betrayed, and he lost many of his dear friends. His wife - pregnant with their second child - was devastated by the news, and the marriage collapsed.


His words now might cause some Christians to pause and think. In our zeal to make converts are we overlooking the fact that Jesus calls us instead to make disciples? And that is a lengthy process.


Here is what Harold told me, in his own words:


People say to me, ďIt must be so wonderful to have the experience of coming to the Lord. Most of us were brought up knowing the Lord.Ē


Which it was. That initial meeting with Jesus was a strong and earth-shattering moment, and what people seem to think is that meeting Jesus makes you aware of all there is to know about Jesus.


But meeting Jesus is only the beginning.


In unguarded moments I sometimes ask: ďIf I knew then what I know now would I so easily have come to the Lord?Ē Because life has been one long series of painful growth experiences after the other, often punctuated by strong periods of self-doubt, or doubt about whether this is worth it, or is this what coming to Jesus really means. I envy people who are certain or are sure and who walk every day with the Lord.


I find Iím constantly having to question and evaluate what Iím doing because Iím not sure if itís the right thing or the right path.


I guess thatís where faith comes in.


I was rejected by my family Ė my mother, sister, uncles, aunts and cousins. I was rejected by my friends and colleagues. I was rejected by my congregation. And I was rejected by my wife.


That was a rejection of everything I had been standing for or fighting for, for 57 years.


Whatís painful is if Iíd committed a murder or even a massacre my colleagues would have come to see me in prison. They would have given me some support. But not when I became a Christian.


I guess it knocks at everything they hold sacred Ė not the religious part of Judaism, but the identity side, the ethnic and racial side.


When youíre in a minority, identity is very important. You fight against anything that dilutes identity.


If a Jewish boy is in love with a non-Jewish girl, there is enormous pressure on the girl to become a Jew. Often the marriage is forbidden if the girl doesnít convert. Among some Jews Ė especially the Orthodox Ė there is a period of mourning if a son marries out. Itís as if he has died.


As a rabbi I had to officiate at many weddings where one side was not Jewish. The wedding dinner was always painful. There was no mixing. I canít tell you the number of times I heard the Jewish side saying their son had married a shiksa [an abomination]. I would say that 70% of these mixed marriages end in divorce, because of family pressures.


When a person does worse than marry out Ė turn to another religion Ė then itís devastating for that community. When a rabbi does it, itís more devastating still. Iím sure that is what stops many rabbis from contemplating that path.


I donít think I thought of all the consequences of what I had done. When you suddenly realise that youíre cut off from everything...


However, there is nothing that I would change. I have been inspired by the words of Paul: ďI can rejoice in my sufferingÖĒ I have come to realise that no-one can come to the Lord without paying a cost. Once I had been called by the Lord, there was no way that I would want my life to be different.


Through the pain and the loneliness that I have suffered, I have also grown, and, praise the Lord, become a deeper, more compassionate person. I truly believe that whatever one pays to come to the Lord Ė and make no mistake, there is a cost to pay Ė the Lord is always faithful, not only to restore whatever has been paid, but He restores much more.


Yes, I still continue to experience frequent moments of great pain and loneliness when thinking about my family and about my former Jewish friends and community. But my life is richer and more fulfilled, with more direction and purpose than I ever experienced before. I feel blessed that I can work for the Lord and that He faithfully cares for me every day.


* Harold is currently in North America, teaching and lecturing. You can find his schedule here, on his website.



Monday 15th July, 2002


Martin Roth posts:



I have just received the following email from ďPostmasterĒ:


The following mail can't be sent to

Subject: with the extra dimension provided by audio and
The file is the original mail


Thereís an attachment, which I have deleted. I have never sent anything to anyone at I hope viruses arenít being sent out under my name, and I apologise if they are. I never send attachments unless someone has requested a particular document from me.


-posted 9:50am, by Martin Roth



Thank you to Nathan Mates for the following advisory:


Your current top posting about things sent with your return address, that really sounds like the Klez email virus.  More info is available at:


The short summary of what it does is as follows:

Searches outlook, browser cache for 2 email addresses. It uses those as the 'From' and 'To' addresses, even though the From address isn't truthful at all-- it's spoofed. It sends the email, and if it bounces, it returns to the 'From' address, even though they never sent it.  A link to a free cleanup program is in the above page, which you may want to promote to try and get all readers cleaned up.


-posted 10:35am, By Martin Roth



Bene Diction posts:


Blog Watch

Daily Pundit takes down liberal blogger Brendan OíNeill.


Why is it that liberals tend to be four-square in favor of the "common man," until they actually have to deal with some of them? Then they quickly decide that what's needed is some central controlling authority, in this case in the form of a "sub-editor."


In case you were wondering, here is the difference between a blog journal, diary, and a weblog. I think all of us are responsible for maintaining balance in our lives and there are seasons to look inward and seasons to look outward. Iíve noticed most of the inward blog-journals are written by teens and 20ís ; a season in life where many look inward to clarify their place in the world. Every decade of our life poses unique challenges.  Link via Grace Awakening.


From the Middle of the Stormís Father Gallagher is posting over at Notre Bene for a while. Link via Relapsed Catholic.


Gíday and bonjour to the new kid on the blog! In the Shadowlands.


Stephenís Blog is now Emergesque.


He Lives has posted his link tracking ranking system, taking on The Leaderboardís creator Thinking out Loud. So far the rivalry is friendly and fun.


Wow, did Barlow Farms ever get a face lift!


Redwoodís Dragonís check of an atheist groupís registry is a chuckle, sort of.


A blogger named Scoobie Davis posed as someone else to score an interview with Ann Coulter. I think a lot of people would be surprised at the number of journalists that are stalked. It has happened to me, and it is frightening and disruptive to say the least.


A nerd test! In the interests of fair disclosure, I scored 399 and 85.44%.  .44%? Thatís nerdy.


/ben/ says he has received Christian spam and it was Martinís Semi-Definitive blog list. Contact Martin now Ben! Has anyone else had a problem?




World Health agencies are battling a cholera outbreak in the Afghanistan capital.

The cholera story made the front section of BBC Online. Meanwhile, Kenya has experienced 300 deaths from malaria in the past month.



Australian Mufti

Give credit where credit is due. The head of Australiaís Muslims has called rapists, well, rapists, and he wants all the young menís parents to stop their denials.



Jehovah Witnesses

The cover-ups of sexual abuse in this sect are crumbling.



Crime Watch

According to the UN, the United States does not hold the dubious distinction of being the most crime-ridden country in the West. These countries do.



Computer Viruses

How computer viruses/worm/trojans get their names.



Donít try this at home

Eating live octopus can kill you.



Donít try this at home either

Here are some rather obvious warning labels on different products. You have to wonder. Did people really try to use these products these ways?


-posted 8:10am, by Bene Diction