July 22 -
July 28, 2003
Over at theConnexion.net, Pen, the
Gutless Pacifist, tries to muddy the water with some
acerbic comments about the over-the-top, less-than-biblical marketing
efforts of the Christian book industry.
tried the same, back in May last year, when my website was less than a
month old. Here’s how I began:
Keep it very, very quiet, but those
Mayday protestors demonstrating against McDonald’s, Nike and other symbols
of US-led globalisation have picked the wrong target. If you want to see
some local retailers where American hegemony reigns supreme, just check out
our evangelical bookstores.
I got no response at all, and it remains
one of the lesser-read commentaries on my site. Some water doesn’t want to
Sunday 27th July, 2003
Must Be a
Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
Ambassador released by rouge Filipino soldiers: report
It’s official. An Australian Stock
Exchange announcement, not online, announces that GOD has been “removed from
the official list”.
(GOD was actually the market code for the
stock Global Doctor, which has merged with another company.)
With my Jewish roots, and experiences in
Zen Buddhism, I enjoyed the list of “Jewish
Zen” precepts that a friend has sent me. Here are a few of the best. (I
don’t know where they originated. I will happily acknowledge the source if
someone can let me know.)
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single oy.
Take only what is given. Own nothing but your robes and an alms bowl.
Unless, of course, you have the closet space.
To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the
following: get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?
Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the
wooded glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with posture
Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip, joy. With the second,
satisfaction. With the third, Danish.
Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all
If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?
The Creeps of Modernism
Thank you to
Tom Graffagnino for making contact. Check out his website for examples
of his art, poetry and essays. Here’s an excerpt from “The Creeps of
We prefer all issues blurry....
Murky grays to black and white.
And relatively speaking,
We're not even sure that's right!
Compromise is our agenda.
"Maybe!" is our battle cry....
And for those Two Noble Virtues,
We're quite willing, Sir, to die!
On second thought,....well..."Maybe!"...
Er,...perhaps,... we'll reassess!
That "dyin' thing"'s so final!
It's not worth it then.....
It's hard to stand on Principle,
If all Principle's denied....
Who wants to die for "Maybe!"...
If there's no True Reason why?
Thursday 24th July, 2003
Passion – Spurgeon on Leadership
Does a 19th-century
Baptist pastor really have much to teach the modern church – and the world –
about leadership? Yes, definitely, according to Larry J. Michael, himself a
Baptist pastor and author of a new book,
Spurgeon on Leadership.
Larry kindly agreed to answer some questions about the book and about C.H.
Wednesday 23rd July, 2003
I’ve been reading two books from
Lilah MacKenzie. She’s an engaging writer, and I’ve been moved by them
The Blessing of Abraham Can Be Yours
is about the Holy Spirit. It’s a kind of series of Bible studies, roaming
through the Old Testament world of the Patriarchs and beyond. Lilah is an
excellent teacher, and, like a good preacher, she is also able to draw many
life lessons from these studies.
One of the greatest blessings God has
given to man is the ability to sleep and be renewed by rest, and the
physical body demands it. If physical rest is an essential blessing,
spiritual rest is even a greater blessing. God has provided both of them for
man. However, of the two, spiritual rest is far more important and needed.
We are living in a tired, restless age,
and men everywhere are uneasy, fearful and anxious. They are tormented and
burdened down with the condemnation of their sins. Mankind may well be
compared to the restless waves of the sea.
A Dream with a Message,
another series of Bible studies, emphasises the crucial importance of the
church for our well-being.
In this internet age, when everyone seems
to be publishing something, it’s hard to rise above the static and get
noticed. Lilah writes with passion and clarity.
She has something to teach us, and she is consistently readable. I hope
these books get the attention they deserve.
You can read more from Lilah, and about
Christian Music with the Colours
of the Antilles
I’ve long been a huge fan of what is
known as World Music – ethnic pop music from around the world. One of my
favourite styles is Zouk, Caribbean pop from the French Antilles. I even own
CDs by Kassav’, Jocelyne Beroard, Malavoi, Joelle Ursull and other Zouk
stars, that I picked up second-hand when I lived in Tokyo.
So I was very happy to receive an email
CL Productions in the French Antilles, asking if I might link to them.
The CL Productions website was created by performer Coique Lucien to promote
Christian music from the region. In his own words: “Christian music with the
colours of the Antilles”.
Turn on your speakers and you can listen
to their beautiful music as you navigate the site. I suspect some visitors
won’t want to leave.
Tuesday 22nd July, 2003
Climbing the Blogging Tree – When Do
Darren Rowse at
Living Room asks what a Christian blog would look like if we applied
Gospel principles. Among his concerns: should we buy into “climbing the
blogging tree” – that is, do we strive to be noticed and linked by other
Instapundit) in order to achieve recognition?
I’m a freelance writer, and
self-promotion is a necessary and natural part of my work. If I don’t get
recognised my family doesn’t eat. When I started my blog, in April 2002, I
devoted some effort towards getting recognised by other bloggers. I had -
and have – no qualms about that. It was my hope that I would have something
to say, and I saw little point in saying it if no-one knew about it.
But something happened along the way.
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