July 18 - July 22, 2002
Monday 22nd July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
The Leaderboard has been updated.
If you are discouraged about blogging this
short little post may lift your spirits.
CROSStian looks at the AIDS crisis and the compassionate response.
Fragments from Floyd has had some contemplative posts lately and some
Life on Wheels has a new look and a new slogan.
Touchstone on the basketball priest and the personality cult.
TallSkinnyKiwi is still looking for wheels after the RV gave out on the
size of eggs have killed 22 and injured over 200 in the Chinese province
volunteers for World Youth Day gathered for mass in Toronto.
There is a tiny
glimmer of hope in the 19-year-old Sudanese war as both sides agree to a
framework of negotiation.
Will WorldCom’s mismanagement
shut down parts of the web?
Three popular war bloggers are interviewed in this San
Francisco article on the
phenomena of blogs. Link via
The Rudest Tourists
The British? Canadians don’t be pleased with their rating.
email study findings are obvious, it bears repeating.
-posted 8:30am, by Bene Diction
Saturday 20th July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
G’day and bonjour to the new kids on the blog!
Looking back…looking forward
Blessed are the Hungry
Petals on a wet black bough
This is the type of email Martin gets from bloggers
wanting to be on the Semi-Definitive List of Christian blogs.
Would you please list my blog
Greatest Jeneration on your list of Christian blogs? I am so glad to
find you - for a while it seemed like every blog, except mine, was being
written by atheists! Thanks for all your hard work getting the cyber
"church" and the Community of Christians online together! God bless you,
No, you are not alone, and God bless you too. It is our
joy to help you connect. Instead of me writing a blog watch today, I suggest
you link to our new kids and older kids on the blog and get to know them.
David Warren says Iran has reached a boiling point.
More truths are
reaching westerners about atrocities in North Korea.
Here is a
weblog 101 for journalists.
Roll Up TV
Manufacturers are getting ready to launch TV’s so thin
roll them up and tuck them under your arm.
Why God Enjoys Baseball
Christianity Today reviews
Richard Mouw’s book that helps us think of all the good things that
happen through unsaved people.
Tour de France
Lance Armstrong is
still going strong.
Don’t have a Cow
Homer Simpson is Canadian.
-posted 9:50am, by Bene Diction
Friday 19th July, 2002
Martin Roth Christian Commentary
A Conversation with Michael Graham
Michael Graham spent 28
years at the heart of Indian religions before becoming a Christian, about
five years ago. Exceedingly articulate about his experiences, he has spoken
widely at churches throughout his native Australia. Now, with a book just
published about his journey, he is off to the United States for a period of
teaching and lecturing.
Here is what I wrote
a couple of years ago when I interviewed him:
Many of the young Western spiritual
seekers who flocked to Indian religions during the idealistic 1960s and
1970s became familiar with a mild-mannered Australian named Michael Graham.
For Michael, who had embarked on an intense and far-reaching spiritual
journey from the time of his graduation from elite Geelong Grammar School in
the mid-1960s, came to find himself at the forefront of the great migration
to the West of Indian religious teachings and practices.
As one of the first Western disciples of
Swami Muktananda Paramanansa, who was to become a leading figure in America
and elsewhere with his teachings of Siddha (perfect being) yoga, Michael
helped manage his ashram (spiritual centre) in India, with up to 2,600
Westerners there at one time. He also became deeply involved in Muktananda’s
American activities and energetically promoted his teachings in Australia
Yet today Michael is on a different
mission. In 1997 he became a Christian, after being convicted with the
realisation that his 28 years of spiritual practices and experiences
amounted to, in his own words, “a big fat zero” - and he is now working to
persuade other idealistic spiritual seekers that their needs are simply met
by the figure of Jesus, “the fulfilment of all spiritual paths”.
On the eve of his
departure for the United States I asked him for some further reflections.
“A feature of the
American culture is that people tend to be more engaged and interested in
spiritual possibilities than in Australia,” he said. “There is a natural
curiosity. I hope to get as many chances as possible to talk of my 28-year
odyssey, and the renewal and rest I found in Christ. It was so unexpected.
It would have been the last place I’d have looked if Christ had not sought
How does he compare
today’s New Age spiritual seekers with those of his youth?
“There is not so much
interest in Indian religion now,” he commented. “There is a lot of
dilettantism, but not much rigour or discipline. Today you get pop Buddhism
through the Dalai Lama, mixed up with astrology, psychic readings and so on.
It’s Marie Claire spirituality now.”
In his talks to church
gatherings Michael finds widespread interest in his experiences, coupled
with concerns about the inroads that New Age spiritualities seem to be
making, even among some Christians.
“People often ask me of
the dangers involved in alternative spiritualities,” he said. “For example,
they ask if it is okay to meditate. People need to be reminded that in Jesus
we have our sufficiency. We don’t need ‘Jesus plus some kind of
supplementation’. We need to rely on Him intellectually, emotionally and
“But it seems that many
people don’t get this. And that stands in the way of their getting what they
might from God’s grace.”
Many Christians are
discovering meditation. What does Michael think about this?
“Eastern meditation and
Christian meditation are quite different,” he said. “Most forms of Eastern
meditation have to do with creating conditions for stopping mental
processes. Christian meditation, by contrast, penetrates the meaning of
scriptural verses through deliberate contemplation that can also lead to
* Michael is available to
talk to church and other groups in North America, and can be contacted
here. You can read more about him at
Thursday 18th July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
Mark Byron’s second
post on managing our modest abundance is up.
Culture Curve and
Spudlets weigh in.
Junk Yard Blog - I like the new graphic. Good post on Al Qaeda’s
HealYourChurchWebsite comments on the Gallop poll I mentioned yesterday.
G’day and bonjour to the latest new kid on the blog!
Krazy Celtic’s Hideout.
weblog has lots to link to today.
Steven Den Beste and
Redwood Dragon have had another interesting and fruitful exchange.
Joyful Christian also weighs in.
Blocking Internet Access
have shut down a Palestinian ISP.
A British judge is going to need the wisdom of
I Kings 3:16-28.
Pope John Paul 11
Canadians put the finishing touches on preparations for
visit of the Pontiff. For those of you
unfamiliar with Canada, Toronto is on Lake Ontario, and is the
capital of the province, not the country. For great links to a Canadian
view of the Popes visit, head to
I have no idea how to comment on
Crazy Christian Record Covers
Ookaay. There are even some sound clips.
-posted 2:35pm, by Bene Diction