MARRIAGE: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR "RESPECTFUL, CONSTRUCTIVE" DIALOGUE ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BEFORE ANY CHANGES TO MARRIAGE ACT

 

Wedding in a churchA “respectful, constructive” discussion concerning religious freedom and how it looks should same-sex marriage be legalised needs to take place before any such change occurs to ensure the issue is properly taken into account, according to Australia's Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson.

     In an interview with Sight, Mr Wilson says that one of the challenges of the debate over same-sex marriage to date has been with engaging those who are opposed outright to changing the definition of marriage on what religious freedom should look like if the change takes place.

     “If your starting point is you won’t support a change to the law, it’s very difficult to then say this is how we want to preserve and protect religious freedom,” he says.

     “And what I think the experience in the United States recently has shown is when you aren’t active participants in discussing how to preserve religious freedom, the law will be changed and it will not be overly accommodating."

     DAVID ADAMS speaks with Australia's Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson about the issue of religious freedom in light of the same-sex marriage debate...  |  more... |

FOR PREVIOUS:

ESSAY: OF CHURCH, STATE AND MARRIAGE

In an article first published in The Age newspaper, Archbishop Philip Freier, Anglican Primate of Australia, gives his view on the role of church and state in the context of the current debate over same-sex marriage... |  more... |

 

 

 

NEWS REPORTS...

22nd July, 2015

AUSTRALIAN CHURCHES URGED TO CELEBRATE MARRIAGE AS CHRISTIANS JOIN IN 21 DAYS OF PRAYER AND FASTING

Churches across Australia are being urged to take part in a national day of celebration of marriage.

The day - to be held on Sunday, 9th August - is being promoted as the conclusion to 21 days of prayer and fasting "for a miracle for marriage" which has been organised by a range of groups including the people behind the National Day of Prayer and Fasting (NDOPF) held each February and the Australian Prayer Network.

More than 10,000 Christians from various denominations are believed to be taking part in the 21 day event, which kicked off on 20th July, using a prayer plan and devotional guide found on the NDOPF website.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |



THE DAILY STATISTIC:

29th July, 2015

Estimated number of people killed in the five year conflict in Syria:

220,000

Source: UN

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

NEWS...

• Nepal: Children continue to suffer three months after earthquakes, says UNICEF report... |  more... |

• Australia: ACL calls for defunding of schools' program it says promotes "radical sexual experimentation and gender theory"... |  more... |

• Japan: Church leaders to make pilgrimage to mark 70th anniversary of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki... |  more... |

• US: About half of church fires intentional, Pew analysis finds... |  more... |

• Malaysia: Government gives back 'Allah' CDs... |  more... |

| MORE NEWS...|

 


MOMENTS

29th July, 2015

ADDRESSED: The African Union, by US President Barack Obama, the first sitting US president to do so, in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

28th July, 2015

DECLARED: A "de facto end" to the Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS) crisis in South Korea, by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, after 23 days with no new infections.

27th July, 2015

TARGETED: More than 200 lawyers and associates in China in a government crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists since early July with 22 still detained, according to Amnesty International.

FOR MORE OF MOMENTS... |  more... |

 

27th July, 2015

WORLDVIEW: ONE PERSON FORCED TO FLEE THEIR HOME EVERY SECOND BECAUSE OF DISASTERS DURING 2014, SAYS REPORT

More than 19.3 million people in 100 countries were forced to flee their homes due to disasters in 2014 - a figure which equates to one person every second, according to a report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

     The Global Estimates: People displaced by disasters report, issued by the centre - an arm of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) - last week, said 17.4 million people were forced to flee due to weather-related events, such as floods and storms, and a further 1.7 million due to geophysical hazards such as earthquakes.

     The biggest displacements of people in 2014 occurred as a result of Typhoon Rammasun and Typhoon Hagupit impacting The Philippines (2.99 million and 1.82 million people displaced respectively), the Odisha floods in India (1.07 million), and the Iquique earthquake and tsunami in Chile (972,500). Asia, home to 60 per cent of the world's population, accounted for 87 per cent of people displaced by disasters worldwide last year.

    DAVID ADAMS reports on what the latest world disaster figures reveal...  |  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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Melbourne

Join Sight's editor David Adams for two hour walk around Melbourne's CBD looking at some of the city's rich Christian heritage.

Next walk is on 1st August.

FOR BOOKINGS AND MORE INFORMATION,

VISIT SIGHT'S WALKS PAGE... | more...|

 

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NIGER: CHURCHES 'ABANDONED' AFTER CHARLIE HEBDO DESTRUCTION

 

Roundabout churchIn the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the churches in the predominantly-Muslim West African nation of Niger experienced the worst attacks in their history.

     On the weekend of 16th to 17th January, hundreds of angry Islamists attacked and ransacked dozens of properties and churches, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is the greatest”).

     Ten people lost their lives during that weekend; more than 70 churches were destroyed, as well as numerous Christian schools and organisations, including an orphanage. At least 30 Christian homes were also looted and burnt down.

     Six months on, the reconstruction work is moving slowly and proving very expensive. Most damaged churches and properties are still not rebuilt, and the financial support promised by the state is not forthcoming.

     In the heart of the capital, Niamey, the Baptist “Roundabout” church (founded in 1929) has long symbolised the presence of Protestant Christians in Niger.

     ILLIA DJADI, of the World Watch Monitor, reports on how Niger's churches are faring in the wake of the destructive violence which swept across the country in January...  |  more... |

FOR PREVIOUS:

NIGER: REPORTS OF MORE THAN 70 CHURCHES BURNED AND CHRISTIANS ATTACKED FOLLOWING ANTI-CHARLIE HEBDO DEMONSTRATIONS

DAVID ADAMS reports (with the World Watch Monitor)... |  more... |

 

 

PAKISTAN: ASIA BIBI'S LAST CHANCE FOR FREEDOM

 

Pakistani Christian Aasiya Noreen (known as Asia Bibi) has been allowed to take her appeal against her death penalty for blasphemy to Pakistan's Supreme Court in the capital, Islamabad. Until the Supreme Court reaches its final decision, Noreen cannot be executed.
     Commentators have praised the Supreme Court for its courage to hear the appeal in the face of strong public sentiment against anyone seen to denigrate Islam, with some calling it a “historic day for Pakistan”.

     Her lawyer, Saiful Malook, appeared in front of three Supreme Court judges at the first hearing yesterday (22nd July) in Lahore.

     After her appeal in Lahore's High Court was unsuccessful in October, 2014, this is now the last chance for them to appeal that her conviction should never have been allowed, due to inadmissible evidence.

     World Watch Monitor reports on news from Pakistan that Aasiya Noreen (also known as Asia Bibi) has been granted leave to appeal against a death sentence handed down for blasphemy...  |  more... |

 

ESSAY: DOES ASIA BIBI SEE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?

Asia BibiSome years ago, I visited a central jail in Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan during a local community project to spend some time with prisoners serving sentences, often deserted and sometimes forgotten by their own families and friends.

   For the first time in my life, I came to know the “life” behind the bars. While we were escorted through the small dingy cells reserved for solitary confinement with next to nothing sanitary system, damp and dark with only a window to give some glimpse of life outside, I began to think what it means to spend a single day in such conditions, let alone years.

     The lifeless existence of inmates with small and big crimes continue to haunt them day in and day out. The challenges they face behind the bars, are utterly unimaginable to the people in the outside world. My one-time glimpse into the prison cells in Pakistan, to this day still causing me to shudder me in the comfort of my home.

     In an article first published by ASSIST News Service, SHAHID KHAN, vice-chairperson of a Glasgow-based human rights organisation, Global Minorities Alliance, says this week's decision has put some light at the end of a long, dark tunnel...  |  more... |

 

FOR PREVIOUS:

EU LEGISLATORS URGE WITHDRAWAL OF BLASPHEMY LAWS AS ACCUSED WOMAN ASIA BIBI LODGES FINAL APPEAL

DAVID ADAMS writes of the latest developments in the case of Pakistani woman Asia Bibi (with reporting from BosNewsLife)... |  more... |

 

 

ESSAY: HUMAN RIGHTS LOST AS FOCUS AS NUCLEAR AMBITIONS TAKE CENTRE STAGE IN IRAN DEAL

 

After nine years of talks, this month saw a deal finally reached between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of P5 +1 countries - China, France, Russia, the US, the UK and Germany - on nuclear and economic sanctions.

     As part of the deal finalised in Vienna on 14th July, Iran agreed to halt its nuclear enrichment program in return for the lifting of sanctions by the US, UN and EU that have been in place for the past nine years and that have isolated the country and negatively impacted its economy.
      Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the deal “historic”, while US President Barack Obama said that it would ensure that “every pathway to a nuclear weapon had been cut off” for Iran. While most of the international community was quick to welcome the deal, there seemed to be a worrying omission from the coverage - namely the issue of human rights in Iran. Perhaps this was convenient, given the fact that Iran’s poor human rights record has seen little or no improvement under Iran’s supposedly reformist president, Rouhani.

     KIRI KANKHWENDE, of UK-based Christian religious freedom advocacy, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, says the recent deal between Iran and world powers failed to address the country's deteriorating human rights record...  |  more... |

 

 

NIGERIA: HUNDREDS KILLED IN ANTI-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE

 

Islamic militant group Boko Haram is stepping up attacks in heavily Christian towns and village in Nigeria's troubled northeast, killing more than 750 people since 29th May, Christian rights activists say.

     News of the violence came after Boko Haram militants were pushed back by Nigeria's military when they tried to to gain access to Maiduguri, Borno State's largest city.

     "The increase in terrorist violence can be seen partly as Boko Haram's challenge to [Nigerian] President [Muhammadu] Buhari's campaign statement that he would end the insurgency within three months," said Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), a Christian aid and advocacy group.

     Now calling itself the 'West African Province of the Islamic State', this "terrorist group has also pledged allegiance" to Islamic State in March of 2015 - "responding to the call to 'make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidels'," VOMC told BosNewsLife in a statement.

     BosNewsLife reports on the ongoing violence against Christians in Nigeria...  |  more... |

FOR PREVIOUS:

NIGERIA: MILITANTS ATTACK EVANGELICAL CHURCH; AT LEAST SIX KILLED

BosNewsLife reports on the latest attack on a church in Nigeria... |  more... |

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

 

SIGHT'S CHURCH RESOURCES PAGE

 

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.

It's a one-stop shop for church leaders!

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

 

THE SIGHT DIRECTORY

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SURF HOUSE OCEAN GROVE

Surf House Ocean GroveSurf House Ocean Grove offers bed and breakfast holiday accommodation in the beautiful surf hamlet of Ocean Grove on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria. Owners Geoff and Leanne, who live on the premises, named the property "The Surf House" due to their connection with 'Christian Surfers', in Australia and internationally, and because most of their family are avid surfers. While surfers might even get a lift with Geoff to some of the local favorite surf spots, you don't have to be a surfer to enjoy your stay. Accommodation available in summer, autumn and spring periods. For more, see www.surfhouseoceangrove.com.

 

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Come and have a browse through the bookshop and let us know what books you'd recommend...  | more...|

 

REGULAR COLUMNS

 

LIFESTORY - LIFE IN A CALIFORNIAN PRISON

PrisonI had just driven home from my daughter's school fundraiser. Four police cruisers were parked in front of our house - in a quiet neighborhood. No sirens; just silently waiting for me to arrive home. Neighbors peered out of windows or pretended to be busying themselves with gardening chores on their front lawns - at night!

     "Don't worry," said the officer, with a hint of kindness in his voice, "we just have a few questions for you." He slipped on the cuffs and escorted me to the back of his squad car, helping me inside. "Standard procedure," he stated. "We need to take you downtown for the interview."

     That was the first of several lies, in order to secure my compliance. I was a first-time arrestee, oblivious to what was occurring. In shock. Thus I cooperated without any resistance.

     The back of his squad car was very small - worse than economy class airline seating! Knees twisting downward, half on the seat, half on the floor without support from my handcuffed arms, was very difficult to maneuver.

     "Why are you doing this?" I asked him as he sped away. "Aren't you supposed to tell me if I'm charged with something?"

     In the first of a four part article first published by ASSIST News, BROTHER NED reflects on how he came to be incarcerated in a Californian prison - and how God was with him throughout the journey... | more... |

 

MY MISSION: HOW ONE QUEENSLAND CHURCH IS SHARING THE LOVE OF GOD THROUGH PRACTICAL MINISTRY IN REMOTE PNG

GandepHumeRidge Church of Christ's “Gandep project” will provide improved access via air and road to support emergency medical, educational and trade outcomes.

     Gandep (pronounced 'Garn-dep') is the name of a neutral, multi-tribal, community meeting point and trading post for the remote villages in central north PNG on the Ramu River.

     I have the privilege with 16 other people from our church of serving on the project committee under the leadership of Jim West.

     Jim has been involved with the Gandep area for six years and is building on the life work of missionaries Frank and Ros Beale.

     I am able to contribute my civil engineering expertise in planning the construction of bridges, drainage structures, roads, swamp treatments, project management and documentation.

      PHILIP HUNT writes about how his Toowoomba church is involved in an ambitious project to transform a remote community in Papua New Guinea...  | more... |

 

OPEN BOOK - HINTS FROM THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS: PETER GIVES AN EXPLANATION

St PeterThis is a great sermon. I wonder how Peter prepared for it? Imagine the evening before with the apostles together reading Joel 2:28-32. It is getting late, near sunset. A few questions are asked but Peter says, "Well yes, it is very interesting and we must return to this after Pentecost. But now let's get ready for the celebration that is upon us." Well, Luke didn't say that. That's just my imagination. But Peter certainly had Joel on his mind that Pentecost morning when God's Spirit came.
     Peter, the Galilean, addressed his fellow Jews. They were from all corners of the world known to them. They were the historic sojourning people whom God had called to live by and obey His promises wherever they lived: "Salvation is for whoever calls on God's Name!"

     Remember the fig tree and what Jesus taught after He had cleansed the temple? So, He also forgave from His heart. And that meant Herod, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Judas, the lying witnesses, the priests, the Pharisees and the Sadducees? It also meant Peter. And you and me? Remember His prayer from the cross? "Father forgive them..." Remember the Lord's prayer. Since God forgives my sins I must forgive the sins of all who have sinned against me when I stand before Him and ask Him for His mercy and help.

      BRUCE C WEARNE looks at what Peter says in his Pentecost sermon as recorded in the Book of Acts...  | more... |

 

SIGHT-SEEING: CANNABIS DECISION BY DURHAM POLICE - NONSENSE

Cannabis"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense." So said the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

     Perhaps the leadership of the Durham police service have been reading a little too much Lewis Carroll of late.

     Durham police in the UK have announced a decision not to take future action against many private growers and users of cannabis.

     While most personal use of the Class B drug will remain technically illegal, the police will not employ their resources to prevent small amounts from being grown or used privately.

     This, they say, will free up time and money for the pursuit of those pushing harder drugs.

     Perhaps only someone unfortunate enough as to be a regular user of marijuana - or more potent forms of the drug such as skunk - will be irrational enough not to see flaws in the reasoning.

     First, there are obvious issues relating to who makes laws in the first place. Is it the police service, or the Houses of Parliament?

Mal FletcherWriting from the UK, MAL FLETCHER says the reported decision of Durham police not to pursue cannabis smokers and small scale growers raises many issues...  | more... |

 

SAINTS OF PAST AGES: JAN HUS

Jan HusThis month marks 600 years since the martyrdom of Christian reformer Jan (or John) Hus, a key figure in the lead-up to the emergence of the Protestant movement in Europe.

     Born in Husinec in southern Bohemia in around 1369, Hus, the son of a well-off farming family, travelled to Prague – now the capital of the Czech Republic – at a young age. From 1390 he studied at the university, graduating in 1394, earning his master’s degree in 1396 and being ordained a priest in 1400.

     Hus was appointed dean of the philosophical faculty there in 1401 and, that same year, he was placed in charge of the Bethlehem Chapel where sermons were preached in Czech, rather than Latin, in the spirit of a national movement of church reform which had been founded by priest Jan Milí? in the latter half of the 14th century and which the chapel stood at the centre of.

     Like other Czech nationalists at the university, Hus, who was appointed rector in 1402, was heavily influenced by the writings of English reformer John Wycliffe. Inspired by Wycliffe’s writings, he had from 1401 on, been preaching in the city demanding reform within the church and speaking against the moral failings of the clergy, up to and including the papacy.

    This month marks 600 years since the martyrdom of Czech church reformer Jan Hus. DAVID ADAMS takes a look at his life...  | 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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ENRICHING YOUR PRAYER LIFE, AND, AN APP TO HELP MEN STEP OUT OF THE ORDINARY
AbideDo you sometimes find yourself lost for words when you pray? Or know you should pray but circumstances have pulled your spirit down and you feel you can't? If so, there's no need to feel alone: the Abide team says that 75 per cent of Christians are unsatisfied with their prayer life. And the Abide Prayer app may be just what you need. There's a daily prayer to listen to and pray along with or there are topics you can choose from according to your situation. This app may be just the thing to start you praying regularly. Available for Apple and Android devices.

      ALAN TAYLOR looks at apps Abide Prayer and Uncommen... | more... |

 

READ

A TIMELY INDEPTH LOOK AT THE WORLD AT WAR

War or Peace?This work is a major project that Dr Alan Storkey, a British economist, sociologist and artist, has been working on in recent years. Evidently, as he has grown older, he has become impressed with the importance of telling this story, the first part of which we find in this document.

     It's subtitle - The Long Failure of Western Arms - along with the titles of the two volumes contained therein - Manufacturing the First World War and Pulling the Strings of Fascism - provide the gist of his narrative. And there is more to come in a second instalment, in which The Perpetually Armed World (Volume 3), and Keeping a Failed System Going (Volume 4) indicate his intention to bring us up to date, while also commending the cause of peace and disarmament.

     Storkey takes on his "storyteller" role in a style that can be easily and readily understood. He has also reckoned with the needs of readers - teachers and students - who might benefit from a highly condensed and summarised statement of what his work contains. He provides this in an appendix, the opening paragraph of which reads:

      BRUCE C WEARNE reflects on a monumental work which provides a much-needed overview of the world at war during the past 225 years...  | 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... |

 

WATCH

ON THE SCREEN: INSIDE OUT A "BREATH OF FRESH AIR" WHICH STANDS AMONG PIXAR'S BEST

Inside OutRanked up with the best that Pixar have produced, Inside Out is an insightful, fun and warm-hearted film that will delight kids and adults alike.

     Co-written and co-directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, the story largely unfolds inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) where we meet the five emotions that govern her responses to life - Joy (voiced in typically upbeat fashion by Pawnee's former councilwoman, Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith of The Office), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling of TV show Mindy fame).

     Life for Riley has been a series of poignant moments - which produce a series of key "core memories" instrumental to making her the person she is - until, that is, her parents make the move from their home in Minnesota to San Francisco.

     DAVID ADAMS finds Inside Out a highpoint for animation studio Pixar...  | more... |

 

CLICK

A LETTER TO THE FALLEN PROJECT

A Letter to the Fallen Project"To the Unknown Australian Soldier in Flanders Fields..." Launched with a letter from Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 30th March as part of the centenary commemorations of World War I, this website invites all Australians to write a letter to an unknown Australian soldier who died on "Flanders fields" during the conflict. Those who write may do so to a particular individual they know was lost in the Great War or are invited to assume the role of someone such as a mother or father who lost a son or the the son or daughter who never know the father that was lost. Suggested subjects including thanking the soldier for their sacrifice or simply giving them news from home.

      DAVID ADAMS on a website encouraging you to take part in the commemoration of the centenary of World War I... | more... |

 

LISTEN

AUSSIE HOPE'S COMPILATION PROVIDES A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE - AND IT'S ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Aussie HopeSo, you want to hear the sounds of the future? Well, here’s a tidy new compilation album that will do just that! Aussie Hope has been put together by Aussie Christian Gigs, showcasing 13 fresh Australian Christian artists that are well and truly worth a look.

     Featuring only the cream of Australian Christian contemporary artists, Aussie Hope is sure to appeal to a wide variety of listeners and will be a solid addition to your collection. Every artist is very deserving of their place on this album, and the quality is such that you will be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like!

     The bookends of Aussie Hope are particularly strong. Press play, and you literally Hit The Ground Running with a bouncy, ‘get to your feet’, Luke Robinson song. It’s a quality opening track. At the other end, Bec Laughton’s soul/pop Holy Love 2 (wow!, wow!, wow!) rounds out the album with an absolute power show! She has a set of pipes on her and had me ‘popping’ the repeat button again and again. If you have not heard of this girl, Google her now!

      ROBBIE TOWNSEND listens to compilation album Aussie Hope...  | more... |

Soundbite23rd July, 2015

THE TCM UPDATE: DAVID WILLERSDORF AND JOY WILLIAMS FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF AMY GRANT...

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

 

ORIGINS: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS MARKS 80 YEARS OF HELPING TO CHANGE LIVES FOR THE BETTER

AAMention the acronym AA and there’s a good chance people will know which organisation you’re talking about. For 80 years, Alcoholics Anonymous has been helping people deal with the issue of alcoholism through its famous “12 step” program.

     The organisation traces its origins to the emergence in the early 20th century of the Oxford Group, a religious movement popular in the US and Europe which had been founded by US Christian missionary Dr Frank Buchman.

     According to the AA's US website, members of the Oxford Group "practiced a formula of self-improvement by performing self-inventory, admitting wrongs, making amends, using prayer and meditation, and carrying the message to others".

     A New Yorker named Bill Wilson, once described as a “golden boy” stockbroker on Wall Street whose career had been ruined by alcoholism, was introduced to the group and its teachings but unconvinced at first by the group’s methods, he continued his struggle with alcohol.

    DAVID ADAMS looks back to where it all began for the worldwide Alcoholics Anonymous movement...  | more...|

 

TRENDSPOTTER: THE RISE OF OVERSHARING

MobilesIt's that awkward moment in a conversation where someone shares too much, telling you something about their personal life that you really didn't need to know. It's called oversharing (a word which was named Chambers Dictionary's word of the year in 2014) and while it's been around since the day dot, the trend does seem to have been exacerbated by the growing use of social media. After all, it's only since the advent of social media that we've been able to share images of our latest, half-eaten meal, before and after pictures showing how much weight we've lost, or the gory details of how our latest illness affected us.

     What is oversharing? DAVID ADAMS examines the trend... | more...|

 

KNOW IT ALL: THE MAGNA CARTA

Magna Carta• King John (1166-1216) agreed to the terms of the document in an attempt to put an end to a rebellion which had broken out among his barons over a long list of grievances concerning everything from taxation to land ownership and oversight of the justice system. The conflict had escalated in early 1215 and when the barons seized London, the king was left with no real options but to open negotiations with them - the result of which was the Magna Carta.

     • The idea for the Magna Carta came from an earlier document - the Coronation Charter which was issued by King Henry I in 1100 to address some of the abuses of his predecessor, King William (Rufus) II. It was apparently the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton - himself in a long-running dispute with King John - who presented the document to the barons, led by East Anglian lord Robert FitzWalter, and thus gave them the idea of writing their own charter (there's a copied version of King Henry's charter complete with additional clauses mentioning King John's name held in the national archives of France which is clearly a precursor of the Magna Carta).

    It's 800 years this month (the actual date is 15th June) since the unpopular English King John put his seal to the Magna Carta (Great Charter in English) at Runnymede in England. DAVID ADAMS takes a closer look at the document and its history...  | more...|

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

 

20/20

 

THE WEEKLY SNAPSHOT

Cliffs of Moher

    12th July, 2015

    Cliffs of Moher, west coast of Ireland by DAVID ADAMS

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... |

 

THE BIG PICTURE: YOU KNOW GOD DOESN'T MIND BEING BOTHERED


If you’d like to insult a Christian then, ‘God botherer’ may well be the most withering putdown available. The clever person who thought up the term somehow managed to pack in an incredible amount of implication.
     First off - apparently God doesn’t care. There He is, up in Heaven, wincing and grimacing as yet another moaning Christian sends off another blathering prayer. 24/7 - unceasing, selfish, senseless requests. "Why, oh why, did I ever mention the idea that they could pray to me?" "Can’t they just get on with their lives and leave me alone?"
      The second implication is that these silly Christians are a little more excited about Jesus and heaven than God ever intended. And frankly, all this excessive enthusiasm is rather embarrassing. You know... evangelism...running around telling people they need to repent. "Frankly, it’s just awkwar"’.

     To see Outreach Media's July poster and read the full text, 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... |

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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

I Am MalalaThroughout 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. In June-July we're reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban, a memoir by Malala Yousafzai (with Christina Lamb), the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 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

 

 

"Kenya is at a crossroads, a moment filled with peril but enormous promise."

- US President Barack Obama speaking during his first visit to the African nation, the homeland of his father, since becoming president (as quoted on BBC on 26th July, 2015)

 

"I don't think that saying that I oppose turn-backs means that I am looking at people losing their lives at sea. I think there is another way forward of actually having a genuine regional processing situation, having open dialogue with our neighbours about how to deal with these people at source and at secondary countries so they don't have to get on a boat."

- Anna Burke, a Labor MP and former Speaker of the Federal Parliament, speaking ahead of a last weekend's national ALP conference at which delegates voted against a motion to reject a policy - currently in use by the Coalition Government - of turning back asylum seeker boats. (as quoted The Australian on 23rd July, 2015)

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

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

23rd July, 2015

ELIZA GRISWOLD, in an article in The New York Times Magazine, looks at whether the persecution of Christians by groups like the so-called Islamic State will mean the end of Christianity in the Middle East. You can see the article 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   

 

 

FREEDOM...

28th July, 2015

PAUL CLARK

FreedomFreedom is a buzz word. Something that stirs any crowd. No-one is against freedom.

But what is real freedom? Freedom is actually quite a hard to define.
Often by freedom we mean independence. 'I should be free to do whatever I want.' Is this freedom, or selfishness?

Is freedom about choice? Having endless options? Even with 265 brands of shampoo you're still buying shampoo.

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

 

 

THE WORD EXPLAINED

 

 Wordle

God-forsaken

God-fearing

Godhead


| more... |

 

 

BLOGS

 


ROCKET TO THE MOON IN JUST FOUR HOURS?; THE FRENCH-LANGUAGE SCRABBLE CHAMPION WHO CAN'T SPEAK FRENCH; AND, A BALLOONING RECORD..

Forget taking days to get there. A British inventor has developed a rocket drive which could get you to the moon in just four hours. While mocked when it was invented 15 years ago, the Electromagnetic Propulsion (EM) Drive - developed by Brit Roger Shawyer - is reportedly gaining the support of some scientists including those at NASA.

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


DECIPHERING OF BURNT SCROLL REVEALS IT TO BE OLDEST FRAGMENT OF BIBLE FOUND SINCE DEAD SEA SCROLLS...
Parts of a scroll damaged by fire about 1,500 years ago has been deciphered, revealing it to contain the oldest Biblical text to have been found since the Dead Sea Scrolls, experts announced in Israel earlier this month.

The burnt remains of the document were found inside an ark during excavations of a synagogue at Ein Gedi in 1970.

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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