PERSECUTED CHURCH: HUNDREDS OF AUSTRALIAN YOUTH TO STOP SPEAKING IN SUPPORT OF SUFFERING CHRISTIANS OVERSEAS

 

 BlackoutIf you happen to speak to Angelica Katsolos on the weekend of 19th to 21st June this year, don’t expect her to answer.

     The 18-year-old from Sydney’s Sutherland Shire is among hundreds of young people taking part in Open Doors’ youth-oriented event, Blackout, which encourages participants to give up at least one form of communication for 48 hours over the weekend as a means of raising money for and showing support of the persecuted church around the world.

     Angelica, who – as she has since 2013 – will be giving up her phone, social media and speaking, says she starting taking part after having heard about the work Open Doors does in supporting persecuted Christians around the world in 2012.

     “Blackout seemed like the obvious next step into taking action and speaking up for the people that had radicalised my faith...” says the student who is this year running the event in her church youth group.

      “(T)his will be my third year in partnering with the persecuted church, to ensure that their silence will be heard in a society where persecution, suffering and hardships for the Gospel are not commonplace, but where Christians must learn to stand united as the Body of Christ and support one another in any way possible...”

     DAVID ADAMS reports on the upcoming Open Doors' event, Blackout, aimed at raising support among Australia's youth for the persecuted church... |  more... |

 

 

 

NEWS REPORTS...

29th May, 2015

ESTIMATED 250,000 TO TAKE PART IN AUSTRALIA'S NATIONAL DAY OF THANKSGIVING

An estimated 250,000 people across 1,600 communities in Australia will take part in the National Day of Thanksgiving on Saturday.

While the day, which was first held in 2004, is about saying thankyou to anyone whose made a difference in people's lives - whether a parent, pastor or friend - each year has a particular focus with this year's focus being on fathers, father-figures and mentors as well as people working in the finance industry, particularly those working in the finance departments of non-profit organisations.

Brian Pickering, one of the day's organisers and national coordinator of the Australian Prayer Network, says that the day is about getting churches of all denominations involved in the community.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |



THE DAILY STATISTIC:

29th May, 2015

Number of suicide attacks carried out in northeast Nigeria during the first five months of 2015 (compared with a total of 26 in 2014):

27 (with women and children used to carry them out in an least 75 per cent)

Source: UNICEF

For more of The Statistic... |  more... |

NEWS...

• Sudan: Aerial bombing kills three-year-old girl, wounds mother in Nuba Mountains... |  more... |

• Australia: Christian leaders join calls for higher emissions targets... |  more... |

• Australia: ACL head "disappointed" at Shorten's move to introduce private members' bill legalising same-sex marriage... |  more... |

• Syria: Assyrian villages liberated but more than 220 remain captives of IS, says report... |  more... |

• Nigeria: Boko Haram suspected of killing 29 people, mostly Christians.. |  more... |

| MORE NEWS...|


MOMENTS

25th May, 2015

BANNED: The death penalty, in the US state of Nebraska, on 27th May, making it the first US state to do so sine 1973.

28th May, 2015

INDICTED: In the US, 14 figures from world soccer, including FIFA officials, on charges of racketeering, bribery, fraud and money laundering.

26th May, 2015

NAMED: Greg Moriarty, former Australian ambassador to Indonesia, as Australia's first anti-terrorism coordinator on 24th May, 2015.

FOR MORE OF MOMENTS... |  more... |

 

28th May, 2015

WORLDVIEW: CHINA'S TOP BODY WARNS COMMUNISTS AGAINST CHRISTIANITY, RELIGION

China's top anti-corruption body has warned Communist Party members - the elite of the nation - that they must refrain from religious activities amid concerns over the rapid spread of Christianity here.

     The warning, seen by critics as an ominous sign for religious freedom in China, was published in the official newsletter of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, BosNewsLife established.

     It cited conditions in Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province, sometimes known as the new “Jerusalem of China”, because of its growing number of believers in Jesus Christ. Since late-2013, officials have been ordering the removal of crosses from churches saying they “violate” building codes.

     Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper said some cadres had abandoned Communism’s core doctrine of ‘dialectic materialism’ and turned to religion instead. Getting rid of such officials “whose thoughts are not on the party,” and bolstering party ideology had become important issues, the paper commented.

     MARTIN ROTH, of BosNewsLife, reports...  |  more... |

SIGHT SOAPBOX

MANY DOING IT TOUGH THIS WINTER

21st May, 2015

A growing number of our neighbours will face a lonely winter this year with as many as seven per cent, or 1.5 million Australians predicted to be considered isolated or very isolated this year.

     ROBERT TICKNER, chief executive of Red Cross Australia, appeals for people to dig deep for some of Australia's most vulnerable this winter...  |  more... |

THE SIGHT SOAPBOX...  |  more... |


To have Your Say on the Sight Soapbox, send submissions to editor@sightmagazine.com.au

FOR THE ISSUE/YOUR SAY... | more...|

 

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Church steepleWe've created a page where you'll find a range of resources tailored specifically to help churches in their mission of sharing the Gospel with their communities whether that's in Australia or anywhere around the world.

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SIGHT'S CHURCH RESOURCES PAGE... | more...|

 

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INDIA: CHRISTIANS REMAIN CAUTIOUS ABOUT MODI

 

Protest of bishopsTo mark the first anniversary of his government, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26th May declared the world is “optimistic about India and is enthusiastic about exploring the opportunities India has to offer.”

     To which one leader of India’s churches replied: "We have nothing to celebrate. Rather, we have reasons to be concerned," said Rev Roger Gaikwad, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in India, a coalition of Orthodox and Protestant churches.

     "One year of Prime Minister Modi rule does not augur well for the four years to come,” Gaikwad told World Watch Monitor. “The last one year has been a quite challenge to the (religious) minorities."

     Modi took office on 26th May, 2014, after the Bharatiya Janata Party dominated national parliamentary elections. The BJP platform is built upon the concept of Hindutva, a vision of India as culturally and historically Hindu.

     ANTO AKKARA, of World Watch Monitor, reports on a challenging year for Christians in India... |  more... |

 

 

ESSAY: NEW HUMANITARIAN PLEDGE TO BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS ADVANCES AS TROUBLED TREATY STALLS

 

Atomic Bomb DomeFour weeks of negotiations on nuclear weapons came to a close on Friday 22nd May, 2015, as the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended without a formal agreement. Despite the outcome, a bright new prospect towards a world without nuclear weapons has emerged in the form of a Humanitarian Pledge, now endorsed by 107 states, which promises “to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons”.

     As the few states with nuclear weapons worked to complicate, and many critics say weaken, the NPT review process, more and more governments without nuclear weapons endorsed the new pledge.

     Members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), including the World Council of Churches and some of its member churches, are promoting the pledge in every region of the world.

     The divide between nuclear and non-nuclear nations was apparent throughout the NPT conference at United Nations headquarters in New York. A large group of reform-minded countries told the final session there was “a reality gap, a credibility gap, a confidence gap and a moral gap”.

     In an article first published on the World Council of Churches' website, EMILY WELTY and JONATHAN FRERICHS reflect on the outcomes of the recent month-long negotiations on nuclear weapons... |  more... |

 

 

NEPAL EARTHQUAKES: ONE MONTH ON

 

FEARS OF DISEASE AS RAINS COME AMID ONGOING AFTERSHOCKS

Nepal ruinsA month after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused widespread devastation in Nepal, aftershocks continue to cause panic and damage amid growing concerns the coming monsoon rains could cause disease outbreaks among the thousands still living in the open.

     More than 8,600 people have died after the initial earthquake struck on 25th April followed two weeks later by a second, 7.3 magnitude quake, on 12th May.

     World Vision Australia worker Kayla Robertson, who arrived in Nepal on 11th May - a day before the second major quake shook the country, says that with as many as 3.4 million people’s homes affected in the two quakes, many of them are still living out in the open.

     “You can’t walk around Kathmandu or any of the rural areas without seeing people that are living out in the open,” she says. “So one of the most urgent and pressing needs here is emergency shelter, particularly before the rainy season starts so we’ve been distributing emergency shelter kits – tents, tarps and other forms of shelter to try and protect people from those rains that are coming. But a lot of people are still sleeping out and they’re sleeping rough.”

     DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

 

ESSAY: ALMOST A MONTH SINCE THE FIRST OF TWO DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKES IN NEPAL, THE LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN

NepalWithin a few days of the first Nepal earthquake of 25th April, I found myself with World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello in a small mountain village called Paslang, close to the epicentre of the quake.

The village was in ruins, piles of rocks bearing no resemblance to the homes they were.

     It was not long before our attention was directed to a young man by the name of Bhoj Kumar Thapa who was picking through the rubble wearing a cap that said “I love Nepal”.

     Bhoj, 30, is a soldier. On the day of the earthquake, it took him 12 hours to return to his village. It was dark when he arrived and he picked his way through the rocks by torchlight to the place where his wife Sushila was found dead. Sushila, 26, was eight months pregnant.

     As we sat on the rocks together, talking quietly, his friends one by one coming to sit by his side, he said he felt lost, “like I was in another world”, and that something within him had also died. He hoped that time would give him a way to move on.

     STUART RINTOUL, of World Vision Australia, writes of how, in the midst of grief and amazing stories of survival, the long, slow and painful process of rebuilding Nepal has only just started... |  more... |

 

 

MYANMAR: HUMANITARIAN AND AID GROUPS PLEAD FOR UN SECRETARY-GENERAL TO NEGOTIATE ACCESS TO ROHINGYA CAMPS

 

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is among group of more than 25 international humanitarian aid and advocacy organisations who have written an open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging the international community to take steps to address the humanitarian crisis facing the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.

     The letter, which was published yesterday, urges Mr Ban to use his personal influence to urge the government of Myanmar (also known as Burma) to allow increased access for aid to Rakhine State (also known as Arakan).

     The organisations - which also includes Refugees International, the US Campaign for Burma and the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network - say that humanitarian access to temporary camps where at least 140,000 Rohingya have lived since fleeing their homes following "horrific violence" in June and October 2012 is "severely limited" thanks to the policies of the government and their "failure to ensure a secure environment for the delivery of aid".

     "At least 80,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar by boat, facing an extremely precarious fate at sea because of the desperate situation they face in their own country," they write.

     Against the backdrop of the current refugee crisis taking place off the coast of South-East Asian nations, DAVID ADAMS reports on urgent calls for international humanitarian access to be granted to camps in Myanmar housing the Rohingya people... |  more... |

FOR MORE FEATURES... | more...|

 

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REGULAR COLUMNS

 

OPEN BOOK: LUKE'S PROCEEDINGS AND NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY

ActsCan it be said that the New Testament is an indispensable revelation for all the peoples of this earth? Is it true to say that it is a coherent revelation of something that is not merely interesting but tells us of what God has truly done among people believing in Jesus of Nazareth? Are the so-called "canonical books" (the Gospels, Acts, Paul's letters, the letters of John, Peter, James, Jude and of the writer to the Hebrews as well as the Book of the Apocalypse) unified in what they reveal? Clearly, one hardly affirm all this without also making a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

     What I have concluded from my reading and re-reading of the Book of Acts - I call the book, the Acts and Proceedings of Jesus' Apostles - is that Luke's account to Theophilus in this and in his other book (that is, the Gospel of Luke) describes the context in which Christianity was called forth and then sprung to life. Without its account the other New Testament writings would not very easily make sense. The Acts of the Apostles, with the Gospels, now received by Christians as the historical account of the earliest years and decades of the so- called "Christian era", gives authoritative expression to how the Word of God was at work in the midst of His people during and just after the time of Jesus' earthly ministry.

      BRUCE C WEARNE introduces a new Open Book series he's entitled 'Hints from the Spirit of Holiness' which looks at the Biblical Book of Acts...  | more... |

 

SIGHT-SEEING: PORN BITES BOTH WAYS

Eye“I couldn’t believe it and he denied accessing the stuff. I was disgusted, as this kind of stuff is abhorrent to me. I tried to justify it because I loved him so very much and didn’t want to believe it. I left him alone and never saw him again because I knew in my heart this is tantamount to child abuse. Do what I did, find a normal man; you will get over it in time”.
     The above advice was given online and is representative of how many women in a relationship react when they discover that their man is doing porn. Whatever the reaction, the fact remains that pornography hurts relationships. Some women are OK with their men doing porn while others react so badly that the relationship is instantly over.

     Porn will hurt whoever is close to you if it is not stopped but what I want to talk about is another side to how the effects of porn can set a relationship up for trouble. This is intended for both men and women but has a special emphasis for the ladies.

     DANNY BELL says women as well as men need to guard their hearts when it comes to issues like sexual immorality...  | more... |

 

THIS LIFE: DOES CREEPING FEAR DRIVE OUT PERFECT LOVE?

AustraliaYou know those annoying monologues that start off with "when I was young..."     Well, here I am reflecting on my own perceptions of how things have changed. Now I know this is risky territory - subjective, full of personal opinion - so I am acknowledging that right off the top. This is broad-brush and opinion, yet I do believe the conversation is worth having.

     There is something truly precious built into the DNA of Australian life. I remember, all through my teens, twenties and thirties, having a sense that kindness, sacrificial generosity and a simple, grounded courage were central to our Aussie community culture.

     I don't pretend that racism and narrow-minded bigotry were absent, they were very much in evidence too. Yet even without the rose-coloured glasses it was plain to see that there was a power of simple kindness and connection that brought us together. I lived in both rural and urban settings through those decades and it was equally evident in both in different ways.

     ANN WOJCZUK reflects on the national conversation Australia needs to have... | more... |

 

MY MISSION: CONNECTING FOR CHANGE - WAYS OF RECOGNISING AND CONNECTING WITH GOD'S DIVINE PURPOSES

Talking"Have you noticed any signs of spiritual awakening in this part of the country?" That was a question I asked a road worker who was directing traffic at a construction site. He responded by saying, “What do you mean?” I replied, “Have you noticed how many people these days are coming to an awareness of their need for the Lord?” The road worker said: “I don’t know about anybody else, but I know I need the Lord.”

     Well, that brief exchange opened up an opportunity for me to share the Gospel with the man and discover his eagerness to hear more about Jesus and what it means to know and follow Him. God had obviously prepared the man’s heart. I explained more about what it means to believe, confess and call on the Lord, from Romans 10. I sensed that the Holy Spirit was dealing with his heart, so I suggested that we include the Lord in our conversation and encouraged him to call on the Lord and confess his faith in Him, which he did.

     In an article first published on ASSIST News Service, JERRY WILES, president emeritus of Living Water International and member of the leadership team of the International Orality Network, writes about how God is moving through a back to basics approach to sharing the Gospel...  | more... |

 

LIFESTORY: ELENA DE PORRAS - CHRISTIAN HEROINE - WITH MORE THAN 1000 GIRLS AND WOMEN RESCUED FROM THE MEAN STREETS OF JUAREZ, MEXICO

Elena de PorrasThe Mexican hotel where 80-year-old Elena de Porras waged the most intense spiritual battle of her life in 1976 is gone, but memories of the Holy Spirit's profound presence and the words she uttered in response to the warfare one life-changing day still flood her mind.

     So do the names and faces of the 1,032 women whose lives are the spoils of the victorious warfare de Porras waged on her knees in prayer and through a prophetic declaration that day in Juarez almost 40 years ago.

     Trophies of God's grace, the women are committed followers of Jesus Christ today, living productive alcohol- and drug-free lives as quilt makers, computer operators, cosmetologists and bakers, thanks to de Porras and Reto a la Juventud, a Bible-based rehabilitation center located in one of the world's most dangerous cities.

     Miraculous donations of land and money paved the way for Reto to move from two apartments it had rented since 1977 into a modern, dormitory-style building and chapel for 50 girls in 2000.

     In an article first published by ASSIST News Service, STEVE REES looks at the amazing life of Elena de Porras and the work God has lead her to in helping some of Mexico's most vulnerable... | more... |

FOR THIS AND MORE OF OUR REGULAR COLUMNS, GO TO OUR REGULARS PAGE here

 

IN HIS HANDS...

16th October, 2014
VenezuelaThis is the story of a very ordinary person with no claims to any special attributes or exceptional virtues but who is bursting inside to tell what the Lord has done for her.

I am recounting this with a heart full of deep gratitude. I am humbled by the fact that a spiritual being, maybe a guardian angel or the hands of the almighty God, saved me from serious harm on two occasions. I have remained silent for too long and it would dishonour and diminish the work of our Lord if I did not tell the story.

     I was 12-years-old, living in Caracas in Venezuela, when I joined the girl scouts, and remember vividly my first excursion. Armed with all the required scout “gear” - including a medium size machete - we set out to conquer Mount Avila, a 2,740 metre high mountain. In 1977, when this excursion took place there were no such things as mobile phones or GPS equipment.

     TANIA NEALE tells of two occasions in which she credits God with saving her life... | more...|

FOR MORE OF MYSTORY... | more...|

Looking to encourage or inspire others or simply share how meeting God has changed your life? We're looking for your story - perhaps the inspiring story of how you came to know Jesus or an incident in your life in which you saw God's hand at work. MyStory - an addition to our existing LifeStory column - is a new regular feature where we'll publish your story for the benefit of others. Simply write your story in 200 words or less and email it to editor@sightmagazine.com.au and we'll post it here under our MyStory banner. We're looking forward to hearing from you!

 


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Looking for something for your church newsletter? Sign up and we'll send you an email every Thursday morning featuring three short snippets from stories which have appeared on Sight during the past week which you can cut and paste into your newsletter.

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To sign up for our church newsletter service or to find out more information, simply email subscriptions@sightmagazine.com.au.

 

REVIEWS

 

SIGHT BOOKSHOP

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WHEN CHURCH IS MESSY - AN INDEPTH LOOK AT A FRESH EXPRESSION OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

Messy ChurchMessy Church is a creative, all-age, hospitable, celebrating expression of church whose time seems to have come. A decade on from its pioneering by Lucy and Paul Moore and team in Portsmouth, there are now 1400 registered messy churches in the UK alone, and Messy Church coordinators estimate 4000 Messy-style churches with 360,000 participants in the UK.

     It is the single most common and most rapidly multiplying expression model of the Fresh Expressions movement, and is connecting with un-churched, de-churched and marginally churched people. Its reach has spread across denominations and continents; the Messy Church website directory shows me there are 20 in my home city of Melbourne, including three within three kilometres of my house - Anglican, Uniting and Baptist!

     There are more than a dozen books on how to start and run a messy church with its crafts, cooking and conversations. What Messy Church Theology uniquely explores is where Messy Church fits theologically as ‘church’, where it is growing (or wants to grow) in disciple-making, and what other streams of the church and missional movement could learn from Messy Church.

     DARREN CRONSHAW takes a look at a book that examines the role and impact of the Messy Church movement...  | more... |

NEW! THE BOOK REPORT

25th May, 2015

It's Library and Information Week and the Australian Library and Information Association has released a series of lists of the most borrowed library books for the first quarter of 2015.

     To see what the most borrowed adult fiction titles were head to our new column in the Sight Bookshop...   | more... |

 

CLICK

HOMICIDE MONITOR

Homicide MonitorDescribed as an "online interactive data visualisation tool", this website does one thing and does it very well: present country-specific homicide data via an easy-to-use graphic interface. Simply click on any nation on the spinning globe and the data for that nation - homicide numbers, rates per 100,000 people and other pertinant information such as gender and ages of victims as well as weapon-types used - comes up on the screen (well, almost any nation - there are a number on the map for which no data is available). Based on information primarily drawn from UN documents, the countries can be browsed through with reference to a color key

      DAVID ADAMS finds a useful online tool for understanding homicide around the world... | more... |

 

WATCH

SCREEN SHORT: AVENGERS LATEST HAS ACTION APLENTY BUT FAILS TO WOW

AvengersThe latest in the growing and interconnected series of Marvel superhero films, Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t wow in the way some of the others have – yes, we love you, Guardians of the Galaxy. And if you haven’t been following the series assiduously, it starts off a little incomprehensibly before eventually settling into something of a standard format – the ‘good’ guys, aka the Avengers, battle it out with the ‘bad’ guy. In this case the latter is Ultron, a computer program (voiced by James Spader) who gains consciousness (thanks, of course, to the mischievous meddlings of Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr)) and decides that in order to make the world perfect, he has to rid it of humanity (yes, you have seen this before - remember 2004's I, Robot?).

     DAVID ADAMS looks at the latest Avengers film, Age of Ultron...  | more... |

 

LISTEN

Empires

Soundbite28th May, 2015

THE TCM UPDATE: UNITED LAUNCH EMPIRES...

To hear CAM WANT with this week's edition of The TCM Update, simply click on the link... | more... |

 

DOWNLOAD


A HELPING HAND TO FIND THE RIGHT BOOK FOR YOU; AND, GETTING A COLLECTIVE VIEW (WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS)...

BlinkistEach year thousands of books are published on leadership, entrepreneurship, science and a range of other nonfiction topics. But how do you know which ones are right for you? And who has time to read them all? Enter Blinkist. For a small subscription per month, Blinkist will give you access to their summaries of over 400 books with more added each month. The summaries highlight the major points in each book and provide a link to the e-book if you decide to purchase it.

      ALAN TAYLOR on a couple of apps that make life just that little bit easier... | more... |

FOR THIS AND MORE OF WEBSITES, FILMS, BOOKS, COMICS AND MUSIC, GO TO OUR REVIEWS PAGE here


LIFESTYLE

 

SEE YOU THERE! SIGHT'S TRAVEL DEALS COLUMN

15th May, 2015

Daydream IslandQueensland's Daydream Island Resort, located in the Whitsundays at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is offering 20 per cent off a three day twin share package.

     FOR DETAILS OF OUR LATEST DEAL, HEAD TO OUR SEE YOU THERE PAGE... | more...|

 

TRENDSPOTTER: FEELING STRESSED? JUST ADD COLOR

PencilsIt may have once been the case that coloring books were something you left behind in your childhood - much like Matchbox cars or games of hopscotch. Not any more. A growing number of adults are rejoining the ranks of the 'colorer-inners' as publishers rush to release an increasing range of coloring books aimed specifically at a more mature audience. Among them is Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford's much sought-after Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, which, filled with intricate pictures of the natural world just waiting for you to add color, has reportedly sold more than 1.5 million copies around the world (her sequel, Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book, is also doing well). Coloring books - and yes, the adult ones tend to be far more intricate than those aimed at kids - are being touted as a way to relieve stress and help people take time out in the midst of a busy world - in particular the ever present demands of 'always on' technology.

     DAVID ADAMS looks at the rise in popularity of coloring books - for adults... | more...|

 

KNOW IT ALL: CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Barbed wireCapital punishment has been in the spotlight over the past few months in Australia and other countries around the world following the executions of eight people, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, in Indonesia late last month. Here's some facts about the death penalty around the world...

     • In 2014, Amnesty International reported more than 607 executions were carried out in 22 countries - the number of executions was down 22 per cent on the previous year but the number of countries remained the same.

     • Among the top executing nations in 2014 were China (number unknown but believed to be more than 1,000 - some estimates put the number at at least 3,000), Iran (at least 289), Saudi Arabia (at least 90), Iraq (at least 61) and the US (35). (Figures for North Korea are not available).

     • Methods of execution used last year include beheading, hanging, lethal injection and shooting. Executions were carried out in public in Saudi Arabia (the only country that uses beheading as a method of execution) and Iran.

    DAVID ADAMS looks at some of facts concerning the use of the death penalty around the world...  | more...|

 

ORIGINS: HUBBLE MARKS 25 YEARS OF SPACE EXPLORATION

HubbleThe world's most well-known space observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, celebrates 25 years this month. But its history goes back far longer.

     The idea of a space telescope has been around for a long time - it was first proposed as far back as the 1920s.

     American astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr, again proposed the idea for a space observatory in a paper published in 1946 and it was his advocacy which helped to lead NASA to approve a proposal for a large space telescope in 1969.

     The project continued to gain momentum in the 1970s and the European Space Agency joined with NASA in developing the project with the US Congress approving funding for it in 1977.

    DAVID ADAMS takes a look at where it started for the Hubble Space Telescope...  | more...|

FOR THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR LIFESTYLE PAGE here...

 

20/20

 

THE WEEKLY SNAPSHOT

Guggenheim

         29th May, 2015

    Man's creativeness by BOB ZANKER

In Sight's Weekly Snapshot, we'll endeavour to publish an image from somewhere around the globe every week. To see this image in a larger scale and for details of how you can submit images, follow the link...  | more... |

 

WORDPLAY CHALLENGE #6

This wordcloud represents the words contained in a oft-quoted passage from the Bible (with the more frequently used words shown in larger type). The challenge for you is to identify the passage - which book and chapter does it come from... | more... |

 

THE BIG PICTURE: GOD IS COLOUR BLIND

May poster
There’s a Facebook video of a dog eating a bone. The problem is the dog’s left paw. It keeps creeping up to the dog’s head where it’s eating the bone. So, naturally the dog growls and snarls at the paw to warn it off. And occasionally, because the paw won’t listen, the dog attacks and savages it. Which is a shock because, well, it hurts. Chastened, the dog then goes back to gnawing its bone. Really, the dog has a kind of blindness. It can’t ‘see’ that its own paw isn’t an external threat.
      And racism is just like this. In fact, so threatened is the racist by a person that looks different that he or she is ‘blind’ to the striking similarities and common humanity that we all share. And the threatened racist is more vicious than any dog. ‘Look at their ugly faces!’ he snarls. ‘You know they can’t be trusted don’t you?’ he barks. And, ‘Of course, they’re an inferior breed’.

     To see Outreach Media's May poster and read the full text, follow the link... | more... |

FOR THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR CREATIVE

ARTS PAGE - 20/20 here


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RELAUNCHED! SIGHT BOOKSHOP

Bookshelf

We've relaunched the Sight Bookshop - you can also buy our Christmas cards and other items we release there.

The bookshop is now open. Click HERE to go there...

 

NEW! THE SIGHT BOOKCLUB

The Songs of Jesse AdamsThroughout the year, we'll be reading a series of books and then joining in a discussion about it - both among others within your church or small group and the wider Sight community.

For April-May, 2015, we're reading Peter McKinnon's novel, The Songs of Jesse Adams. To register your group (and receive our discussion notes via email) and for more details about how the club works, head here...

 

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THEY SAID IT

 

 

"A crime is a crime is a crime. If you go abroad to break Australian law, if you go abroad to kill innocent people in the name of misguided fundamental extremism, if you go abroad to be an Islamist killer, well we are hardly going to welcome you back into this country."

- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in comments referring to Australians who have joined Islamic State and then, remorseful, find they want to return to Australia (as quoted on SMH on 19th May, 2015).

 

"What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force."

- US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, speaking after IS forces took the city of Ramadi in Iraq last week (as quoted on the BBC on 25th May, 2015

For more of They Said It, follow the link...  more...

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

25th May, 2015

Ethiopian Jews, who recently clashed with police in Israel, suffer from the highest poverty rate among the Jews in Israel, and suffer much higher levels of police stop-search, arrests and incarceration, according to YOSSI MEKELBERG, professor of international relations at Regent's University London and associate fellow, Middle East and North Africa programme, at Chatham House. You can read his article - The plight of Ethiopian Jews in Israel - looking at the background of Ethiopian Jews, in an article published by the BBC here...


For previous 'This week on the web'... | more... |

Sight now has a Pinterest page where you can see some of our images. To see it, head here...

 

 

MUSINGS   

 

 

LOVE GOD...

26th May, 2015

PAUL CLARK

As a minister I have done quite a number of funerals. Through this process you build up pictures of people and also the trends of generations.
My grandparent’s generation would say the key to life is; ‘Love God, love your neighbour and love yourself.’ They were a generation with principals, values and virtue.
The next generation have dropped God and summed up the key to life as, ‘love your neighbor and love yourself.’ That has been near enough to get them through.

Musings is a regularly updated, column featuring short snippets reflecting on daily life from a Christian perspective...  | more... |

 

 

THE WORD EXPLAINED

 

 Wordle

Scapegoat

Wanton

Son of David


| more... |

 

 

BLOGS

 


SMILING REQUIRED FOR OXFORD'S BUSKERS; WAFER-THIN TVS; AND, A NEW WORLD PLANKING RECORD...

Buskers in Oxford, England, have been warned - keep a smile on your face or run the risk of a £1,000 fine. The city council is reportedly bringing in a 'Public Space Protection Order' which instructs buskers to "smile, enjoy yourself and entertain others". But while the rules have been in place for some time, the new order would fall under anti-social behaviour legislation meaning those breaking the code could face £100 on-the-spot fines or as much as £1,000 if the matter goes to court.

DAVID ADAMS writes about the odder side of life... | more... |


SHROUD OF TURIN GOES ON PUBLIC DISPLAY FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2010...
The fabled Shroud of Turin - which some believe bears the image of Jesus Christ and others say is a medieval forgery - has gone on display in the Italian city whose name it bears.

The 4.4 metre long linen cloth, which bears the image of a crucified man and was last publicly seen in 2010, is on show in a free exhibition in the city's cathedral until 24th June.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more... |


CHRISTIAN GENERAL RECALLED IN JERUSALEM EXHIBITION...
The World War I British officer who gave the order to lay down arms in 1918 is the subject of a year-long exhibition in Jerusalem opening this week.

On the 50th anniversary of his death, Lt Gen Sir William Dobbie's life is being celebrated at Christ Church, an Anglican community with strong links to the family and located within the ancient walls of the Old City.

CHARLES GARDNER, of ASSIST News Service, reports...  | more... |


AN END...AND A NEW BEGINNING...

What's on my mind?... Thanks for asking, Facebook.
Time to say goodbye to Just Been Thinking after many years, stops and starts. Thank you for your attention over the years, readers. Thank you for your endless commitment, encouragement and patience, David Adams- editor extraordinaire.
And now...I migrate back across to sightmagazine.com.au to begin a Coach Column, sharing insights in the area of human behaviour and life design.
 The final instalment in ANN WOJCZUK's blog about 'life, the universe and possibly everything'...
  | more... |

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SIGHT'S FORUMS ARE NOW CLOSED

 



     

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