OUTREACH: WHEN 30 SECONDS MAY MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE - ONE EVANGELIST'S QUEST TO SHARE THE GOSPEL OVER THE AIRWAVES

 

Shane DegenQueensland-based Christian evangelist Shane Degen has a dream: to see the Gospel message broadcast in a 30 second message on all major network TV stations in Australia simultaneously, watched by a potential audience of three million.

     “A person really only needs to hear 30 seconds of a succinct Gospel message that really hits the nail on the head…” he says. “Thirty seconds is so effective and people are so hungry for the truth - I just don't know that a lot of Christians understand just how hungry people are for the message of Jesus. They are so open to it – yes, it mightn’t be everyone but there is a large percentage that are open to sitting down and listening.”

     Mr Degen and a group of evangelists from across denominations he’s working with under the banner of the recently formed Love Ablaze Ministries are seeking $210,000 to pay for the TV airtime and the production of the 30 second message as well as funds to build an associated ‘discipleship’ app and a website that will point people to churches across the country.

     Mr Degen, who has been a “full-time evangelist” for about five years, says the idea came after he observed that people often only needed a 30 second message to respond to the Gospel.

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



 

NEWS REPORTS...

3rd March, 2015

AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIANS MOURN 21 COPTIC CHRISTIANS MURDERED IN LIBYA

Christians in Melbourne gathered last week to mourn the lost of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded by the Islamic State in Libya last month.

Bishop Anba Suriel, head of the diocese of Melbourne and affiliated regions, told the congregation at St Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday night that from the 21 “martyrs”, “we have learned an amazing lesson about what it is to be a Christian”.

“Let us not be ashamed of our faith but instead draw courage and faith from these men, who will be a light for the whole world - canonised as saints by our Coptic epistles,” he told the ecumenical service which was organised by the Coptic Church and Victorian Council of Churches.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |



THE DAILY STATISTIC:

6th March, 2015

Number of Australians expected to be aged 100-years or over in 2054-55 compared to 1974-75:

About 40,000/122

Source: Australian Treasury - 2015 Intergenerational Report

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

NEWS...

• Hungary: ICC asked to probe 'Islamic State' attacks against Christians... |  more... |

• India: Police beat Christian evangelicals, says human rights group... |  more... |

• Indonesia: News Bali Nine pair Chan and Sukumaran have been moved to island of execution greeted with dismay in Australia... |  more... |

• Australia: NSW Premier and Opposition Leader address "Christian constituency" in lead-up to election... |  more... |

• Australia: World Vision welcomes Opposition proposals to crackdown on multinational tax avoidance... |  more... |

| MORE NEWS...|

 

2nd March, 2015

WORLDVIEW: AMNESTY CALLS FOR WORLD LEADERS TO TAKE "IMMEDIATE ACTION" TO PROTECT CIVILIANS AFFECTED BY CONFLICT

Governments around the world need to take steps to make a "fundamental change" in the way they respond to global conflicts if civilians are to be better protected from violence, the worsening refugee and humanitarian crises are to be addressed and the right of freedom of expression is to be upheld.

     That's according to human rights organisation Amnesty International which last week launched its annual report assessing the state of human rights across the globe.

     Writing in the preface to the report - which covered 160 countries, Amnesty's Secretary-General Salil Shetty said the past year had been "devastating" for those suffering in war zones, citing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, Gaza, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan as just some of those in which "civilians bore the brunt".

     She said that as well as preventing mass atrocities, governments have also denied direct assistance to millions who have fled towns and villages affected by violence.

DAVID ADAMS reports...  |  more... |

 

SIGHT SOAPBOX

SUPPORT RED CROSS CALLING

19th February, 2015

     TONI ASLETT, executive director (Victoria) for the Australian Red Cross, is calling on all Australians to support Red Cross when they come knocking in March...  |  more... |

"HEART TRANSPLANTS" NEEDED IN PLACES OF POWER

16th February, 2015

     BEV HOLMES-BROWN says the response to the recent Australian Human Rights Commission's report on children in immigration detention shows "heart transplants" are needed in the halls of power...  |  more... |

FOR MORE OF THE SIGHT SOAPBOX...  |  more... |


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SYRIAN CRISIS: ISLAMIC STATE RELEASES FOUR MORE ASSYRIANS, INCLUDING SIX-YEAR-OLD MARIANA

 

Six-year-old Mariana Mirza, was freed on Tuesday by Islamic State (IS) fighters, two days after her parents were released by the same group in Syria.

     Mariana's parents, who were from Tel Goran, Syria, had also been captured and were released on Sunday, but IS didn't release Mariana at that time.

     “Because her mother was pregnant and expecting, she was forced to leave, but Mariana's father's aunt, Bobo Mirza, who also has now been released, stayed behind with Mariana,” said a spokesperson for the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA).

     At the same time, the terror group freed two other Assyrian captives, who were captured in the initial attacks on the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur River, in the Hasaka province of Syria.

    DAN WOODING, of ASSIST News Service, reports (with additional reporting by DAVID ADAMS)... |  more... | 

 

A PERSONAL PLEA OF SUPPORT FOR ASSYRIAN CHRISTIANS FACING PERSECUTION AT THE HANDS OF IS

Sue IsmielSydney-based businesswoman Sue Ismiel gets emotional as she talks about what’s been happening across the other side of the world in the Syrian village where she spent the first 15 years of her life.

     An Assyrian Christian, Ms Ismiel – who launched the now global personal grooming brand Nad's in Australia in the early Nineties - was born in Tel Tamer, one of a string of villages in Syria’s north-east from where members of the so-called Islamic State (IS) kidnapped more than 200 people last week.

     “It’s just heart-breaking for me to hear about the recent crisis, the abductions,” she says.

     While there was some good news earlier this week with reports that 19 of those abducted had been released, the majority of them remain captives.

     The raids also caused thousands of people to flee their homes in the villages with many seeking shelter in St Mary’s Cathedral in Hasaka.

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

 

NINETEEN ASSYRIANS RELEASED BUT HUNDREDS REMAIN CAPTIVE

Nineteen Assyrians that were captured from the Syrian village of Tel Goran, have been released by Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and have arrived safely at St Mary's Church in Hasaka, Syria.

     According to the Assyrian International News Agency, negotiations for their release had been ongoing for three days and were mediated by local Arab tribal leaders.

     “Of the 19 that were released, 17 were women and two were men, said a spokesperson for AINA. “But not all who were captured from Tel Goran were released. One of the hostages, an elderly woman, said that ISIS did not release her son and two other men who were guarding the village.

     “ISIS also refused to release a six-year-old girl. According to reports from the released hostages, Islamic State (ISIS) said it plans to use the girl as a bargaining chip. The girl's mother was released but would not leave her daughter behind and stayed with her.”

    DAN WOODING, of ASSIST News Service, reports... |  more... | 

 

SCORES ABDUCTED AFTER IS RAIDS ON CHRISTIAN VILLAGES

Updated 8am, 26th February, 2015

Scores of people have been abducted after members of so-called Islamic State raided a series on Christian villages in north-eastern Syria this week.

     As many as 35 villages near the town of Tel Hmar were raided in the pre-dawn offensive on 24th February, forcing an estimated 3,000 people to flee their homes. The Assyrian villages had been held by Kurdish forces who also hold part of the nearby city of Hasaka.

     The World Watch Monitor reports that as well as seizing an unconfirmed number of Christians from Assyrian families - initial estimates from the UK-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights suggested at least 90 while other activists have suggested the number is more than 150 and a report in the World Watch Monitor puts the figure at more than 200 people from 72 different families - a teenage Christian boy and four Assyrian militia fighters were reported killed in the first day of fighting.
     WWM reports that, according to a Christian source in Hasaka who spoke with Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana, of the Assyrian Church of the East, hostages were taken prisoner in Tel Shamiran, Tel Goran, Tel Jezirah and Tel Hormizd (churches in two of the villages were reportedly set on fire). In these four villages, the source said, the IS militants separated the captured men from their families, leaving the women and children under guard in their homes.

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

 

 

COLOMBIA: A GROWING CHRISTIAN PRESENCE WITHIN FARC

 

FARC MeetingAfter a half-century of continuous civil war in Colombia, a new story is beginning to emerge: Guerrillas in half of the fronts of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, can be openly Christian and not killed for it.

      FARC leadership allows its militants to listen to Christian radio stations operated by the Bogota-based ministry, Colombia for Christ.

     Currently, 29 comandantes - military commanders - are meeting for peace talks in Havana with representatives of the Colombian government. The talks began in November 2012.

     The guerrillas’ lead negotiator is its secretariat member, Ivan Marquez, who identified three among the FARC’s Havana negotiators as Christians, and told World Watch Monitor that people are free to follow the religion of their choice.

    DEANN ALFORD, of the World Watch Monitor, reports... |  more... | 

 

 

HIV: HOW ONE SOUTH AFRICA-BASED PROGRAM IS ADDRESSING THE THREAT THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRAINING

 

The idea that HIV is present in the life of every human being, regardless of their susceptibility to the disease, could be seen as shocking. It could even be offensive.

     But it is the premise behind a successful HIV training program, based in one of the societies with the highest HIV rates in the world, South Africa - that has sent out hundreds of educators and reached tens of thousands of people for more than a decade.

     Lyn van Rooyen, executive director at the Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa (CASBA), a partner organisation of the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy, says this provocative approach suggests everyone should treat HIV as a community problem.

     HIV education programmes are as good as useless – or even detrimental - if they add to the stigma surrounding the disease or approach HIV as someone else’s problem, she says.

    In an article first published on the World Council of Churches' website, SANDRA COX writes about the impact one education and training program is having on the way communities respond to the issue of HIV... |  more... | 

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

 

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REGULAR COLUMNS

OPEN BOOK - HUNCHES ABOUT JESUS: A PASSER-BY GETS INVOLVED

CyreneThis was a particularly gruesome method of execution. Have you ever seen a television account of someone being executed? It is awful. Roman execution was performed so all who wanted could see.
      I wonder how Mark learned about this event? Cyrene is in North Africa and that was the location of a Jewish settlement. Rufus seems to be mentioned in a list Paul gives us in Romans 16:13, and Simon, the father, was at Antioch when Barnabas brought young Mark there. Clearly Mark relied upon people who were known to him. He seems to be saying: "You can ask Rufus and Alexander about this; their father was there. Ask them. They'll tell you."
      It was all sport to most of the soldiers. By the time Jesus got out to the road they were impatient to have the whole thing over and done with. By this time Jesus was simply incapable of carrying His cross. They had entertained themselves with "dress ups" and couldn't help themselves. They had sunk their boots in. They had been brutal. It reminds us that this is what people do when they think they are in control; when soldiers prefer their own ways to God's justice, this is how people are treated. They think they are in control. But they are not.

      BRUCE C WEARNE takes at look at the verse in the Gospel of Mark that introduces the character of Simon of Cyrene as Christ makes His way to the Cross...  | more... |

 

MY MISSION: MOTIVATED BY THE 'GOLDEN RULE' TO SEE A ROOF OVER EVERY HEAD

Martin Thomas"Everyone – all of us, every last person on God’s earth – deserves decent shelter. It speaks to the most basic of human needs – our home – the soil from which all of us either blossoms or withers."

     - Millard Fuller, Founder, Habitat for Humanity

     I can be pretty selfish at heart. I focus on my own life and the everyday issues that crop up such as an unexpected bill, my car breaking down or a bad day at work can seem like big issues.

     It’s only when I step back and look at others that my worldview changes. And in my role that happens a lot.

     On a recent trip to Cambodia I met a young woman, Hatsavoeun, who for almost 13 years lived with her disabled husband and eight children in a makeshift home of palm leaves and rusty iron on a vacant block of land in Phnom Penh – ironically just across the road from the Australian embassy.

     When it rained, water poured into their home and the dirt floor became a muddy mess. As a result, the family was always sick and often unable to work or attend school.

     MARTIN THOMAS, chief executive of Habitat for Humanity Australia, talks about why he's working to see people living in adequate housing, both in Australia and overseas...  | more... |

 

SAINTS OF PAST AGES: CONSTANTINE THE GREAT

Constantine the GreatKnown as the Roman Emperor who made Christianity a state religion, Constantine – awarded the title ‘the Great’ (and that of Saint) - played a key role in shaping the early church, the ramifications of which we still grapple with today.
     Born in the Balkans some time between 274 and 288 AD, Constantine was the son of a rising Roman officer Constantius and his wife Helena. His father was elevated to the rank of Caesar of the West (a "deputy emperor") in 293, after which Constantine was sent east and attended the court of the Emperors Diocletian.

     In 305, after his father was raised to rank of Augustus, the senior Emperor of the West, Constantine was recalled to the west where he joined his father on campaign in the western-most province of Britannia (Britain). His father died in 306 while still on campaign and so it was in the Roman town of Eboracum (now York) that Constantine was proclaimed Emperor of the West by the army.
     There remained unrest across the empire, however, and Constantine was soon embroiled in a series of civil wars against rival emperors Maxentius and Licinius which didn’t end until their final defeat in 324 when Constantine became the sole emperor of both the eastern and western empires.

     DAVID ADAMS takes a look at the life Constantine the Great, an instrumental figure in the development of the early church and the relationship between church and state...  | more... |

 

POSTCARDS: IS RACISM ON THE RISE IN THE UK?

LondonIs Britain becoming more racist?

     The question has arisen again on the back of a widely reported, racially inspired incident involving Chelsea football fans in Paris.

     A group of fans prevented a black man from boarding a Metro train, chanting: "We’re racist and that’s the way we like it."

     Chelsea football club has denounced this behaviour, as has the Chelsea Supporters Trust, which added that most of the club’s 2000 fans at the game were well behaved.

     Racist behaviour in football at home and abroad is, of course, nothing new. In recent years, some of the game’s biggest clubs and national authorities, as well as campaign groups like Kick it Out, have arguably made significant steps toward stamping it out.

Mal Fletcher


MAL FLETCHER looks at the issue of racism in the UK... 
| more... |

 

THIS LIFE: BELIEVE BIG

Believe bigCS Lewis in his book The Weight of Glory said: “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
      It is one of Lewis’ most thought provoking statements, and perhaps initially our eyebrows may be raised at such a bold idea. However, Lewis’ belief that as children of God we do not fully comprehend the riches that are ours is based in Biblical truth.

     I John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

      KRIS BATHER tries on a God-sized perspective... | 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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To sign up for our church newsletter service or to find out more information, simply email subscriptions@sightmagazine.com.au.

 

REVIEWS

 

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UnlimitedDVD -
UNLIMITED A STORY OF TRANSFORMATION AGAINST THE VIOLENT BACKGROUND OF A MEXICAN TOWN

A fictional story which interweaves partly with the real life story of pioneering NASA scientist, entrepreneur and orphanage founder Harold Finch, Unlimited is a tale of orphanages, drug-runners and sharing the love of God even in tough circumstances.
      Based on a book by best-selling author Davis Bunn and produced by Chad Gunderson (Midnight Clear, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry), the story starts with Simon Corwell (played by Daniel Owens) who heads to the city of El Paso in Mexico to bring his former university professor a component for device that has the potential to change the world.

     But things go awry from the get-go and Corwell is rescued from the clutches of Mexican drug cartel by Finch (played by Hollywood stalwart and US Senator Fred Thompson) and his colleagues at the orphanage.

     DAVID ADAMS finds Unlimited a solid film about one man's transformation which delivering a smattering of Harold Finch's intriguing real story at the same time...  | more... |

READ

BREAKING CALABASHES, A FIELD GUIDE FOR INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND A PERSONAL MEMOIR TO BOOT

Breaking CalabashesThe church tribe I belong to, the Baptist Union of Victoria in Australia, are exploring in 2014 and 2015 how we can be “Better Together”. Like many churches in the Western world, we desperately want to re-orientate ourselves around mission. We are coming to realise that any single local church, and any mono-cultural group, are unlikely to be able to face the challenge of mission on our own. We need one another. This is true of churches as we support and learn from one another. But we also need one another with our diverse cultural and other different backgrounds.

     Rosemary Dewerse is a Kiwi, or New Zealander, who enjoys an ethnically diverse marriage and family. She has worked in intercultural contexts including Central Asia and Maori communities, and is director of missiology and coordinator of postgraduate studies at Uniting College for Leadership and Theology in Adelaide, Australia.

     Dewerse has sought to identify the “calabashes” (a metaphor drawing from a Maori legend) that need breaking to form respectful and mutually enriching relationships with people who are culturally different. Her method was to seek out and learn from teachers who are epitomising the embrace of intercultural relationships, 18 of whose voices find their way woven into the book. 

     DARREN CRONSHAW on a book all about connecting with an intercultural community...  | more... |


LISTEN

CONCERT: THIRD DAY LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS AS THEY 'MAKE A DIFFERENCE'

First the bad news. Third Day's Mark Lee, it seems, is a Collingwood supporter (something that, as he discovered, divides an audience pretty quickly when in the AFL heartland of Melbourne).

     The good news, on the other hand, is that this concert was a delight. Consummate professionals, Third Day claim to be a band that are at their best on stage - and last night's concert at Festival Hall was no exception.

     Part rock concert, and as you'd expect from Third Day, part worship service, the band pulled out some old favorites as well as newer hits, the latter including numbers off their 2012 release Miracle and their shortly to be released Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship (their first worship album for 12 years).

      DAVID ADAMS was among those who enjoyed Third Day's Melbourne show...  | more... |

ALBUM REVIEW: MIRACLE KICKS OFF WITH ENERGY BUT DOESN'T PLAY A GREAT SECOND HALF

MiracleWith 11 studio albums and over 10 million(!) albums sold, countless awards, and multiple world tours, Third Day are one of the truly mega acts of Christian music. Hit play on a Third Day CD and you know you’re going to get confident strong music. Miracle is no exception.

     Opening with Hit Me Like A Bomb, Miracle gets off to a strong and energetic rock start - Australian listeners will likely recognise some Powder Finger-like similarities. But the album does then take a bit of an unexpected turn into contemporary acoustic pop with Kicking And Screaming and the worshipful Your Love Is Like A River. Neither of these songs are bad, they just sound a bit out of place after such a strong opening track.

     Up next is the title track I Need A Miracle which is drawn from a true story of a young man who drove into the woods to end his own life only to hear a ‘miracle’ song that made him change his mind. The story within this song is moving, and is testament to the power of music and how God can use it to speak deeply into the lives of people.

      Yes, Third Day are in Australia and about to release a new album. In the meantime, ROBBIE TOWNSEND takes a look at their last, Miracle...  | more... |

Soundbite6th March, 2015

THE TCM UPDATE: THIRD DAY, AMY GRANT AND DARLENE ZSCHECH REPACKAGED WHILE BRITT NICOLE RELEASES FIRST FULL-LENGTH REMIX...

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

 

CLICK

SOJOURNERS

SojournersThe home of national US Christian 'community' Sojourners, this website features a range of essays which sit broadly in line with their mission of "faith in action for social justice". The origins of the Sojourners ministries - which now claims to be the largest network of Christians in the US "focused on the Biblical call to social justice" - go back to the early 1970s when when a group of students at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School gathered to discuss the relationship between their faith and political issues, in particular the Vietnam War. They created a publication in 1971, then called The Post-American. In the mid-1970s, the group moved to Washington, DC, and was renamed Sojourners (the magazine was renamed to follow suit) and it's been there ever since.

     DAVID ADAMS on a website that draws on a long history of highlighting social justice issues... | 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

Danube20th February, 2015

Avalon Waterways is offering return flights to Europe from $799 a person when booked with any of its 2015 European river cruises. 

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

 

TRENDSPOTTER: WHEN THE NEED FOR SPEED BECOMES A SICKNESS

ClocksPerpetually feel like there's never enough hours in the day? That you don't ever seem to make much of an impact on your endless list of jobs? You may be suffering from what's called "hurry sickness". While the term was originally coined by two cardiologists as far back as 1959, time - and the rise of apparently time-saving technologies - seems to have only exacerbated it. Defined in a blog post on the Psychology Today website as “a behavior pattern characterised by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency" or “a malaise in which a person feels chronically short of time, and so tends to perform every task faster and to get flustered when encountering any kind of delay", it may be more common than you might think.

     It'll only take a minute! DAVID ADAMS takes a quick look at "hurry sickness"... | more...|

 

KNOW IT ALL: PLUTO

PlutoIn July this year astronomers will get new insights into Pluto as the NASA spacecraft, New Horizons, completes a fly-by. Given that - and the fact that 18th February this year marked 85 years its discovery - we thought it was time to take a closer look at what we know about the celestial body...

• Pluto was discovered in 1930 by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh while working at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the US.

• It was named by 11-year-old Venetia Burney of Oxford in the UK after the Roman god of the underworld (and not the cartoon dog!) The moons - see below - also bear names associated with the mythological underworld.

• Pluto, which is believed to have a rocky core surrounded by a mantle of water ice, is located 7.3 billion kilometres from Earth and is part of  a group of "objects" which sit beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt.

    With the world set to have a view of Pluto later this year, DAVID ADAMS takes a look at what we know about the dwarf planet...  | more...|

 

ORIGINS: SOLD! MONOPOLY CHALKS UP 80 YEARS!

MonopolyThe iconic global board game Monopoly is celebrating its 80th birthday this year and so we thought it was timely to take a look at where it all began for the game.

     The origins of the game Monopoly remain a matter of some dispute. The commonly held version is that the game was created by Charles B Darrow, of Philadelphia, who first made a prototype using materials from around his home in 1933.

     But others claim that Darrow's game - which featured streets from Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he used to spend holidays as a child - was in fact based upon another, The Landlord's Game, released by actress Lizzie Magie in 1906 (there's an indepth article in Harper's Bazaar on this subject).

    DAVID ADAMS on the origins of Monopoly and how it's changed since...  | more...|

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

 

20/20

 

THE WEEKLY SNAPSHOT

     28th February, 2015

    Cruise Ship 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: SATISFY YOUR THIRST

Feb poster
Those crazy Finlanders! If hubby is strong and wifey weighs more than 49kg they can enter as a team in the 'Wife-Carrying World Championships'. The rules are simple: carry your wife along a 253-metre obstacle course traversing land and water. The first couple to the finish line (hopefully with marriage intact) is crowned winner. The prize? The woman’s weight in beer!

     What a way to quench a thirst!

     Whether it’s sporting glory, money, marriage, holidays, a successful career, a nice home or even just good health, we all thirst for something, don’t we? But have you ever stopped to think if you can be truly satisfied in life? Or will you spend the rest of your years running an obstacle course, always chasing happiness?

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

 

WORDPLAY CHALLENGE #5

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

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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

Vanishing GraceThroughout 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 February-March, we're reading Philip Yancey's latest book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened To The Good News?

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

 

 

"Boris Nemtsov was a stark opposition leader who criticized the most important state officials in our country. As we have seen, such criticism in Russia is dangerous for one's life."

- Opposition activist Ilya Yashin speaking after the assassination of Russian Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down in central Moscow on 27th February, 2015 (as quoted on BBC)

"Our hearts were broken when these artefacts were broken in Mosul."

Qassim Sudani, a spokesman for Iraq's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, speaking after Islamic State members were shown in a video destroying ancient Assyrian artefacts in a Mosul museum. (as quoted in the Washington Post on 28th February, 2015, in a story about the opening of Iraq's national museum in Baghdad)

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

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

20th February, 2015

ZVIKA KLEIN, a report for Israeli news website NRG, spent 10 hours wandering around suburbs of Paris wearing traditional Jewish dress. The video, which has been watched more than four million times on YouTube, shows some of what he encountered and closes with data on the rise of anti-Semitic attacks in France. You can read the report and find a link the video 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   

 

 

PRIORITIES...

6th March, 2015

PAUL CLARK

PrioritiesThe people who come to us for food are in desperate situations, and we want to help. But we are often shocked to see they have the latest technology in their pocket.
There is terrible social pressure in our world to have the latest gadget; if you don't have the latest ithingy you don't exist!
What an irony; many are walking around with first world technology in their pockets, but living in third world conditions.

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

 

 

THE WORD EXPLAINED

 

 Wordle

Essenes

Donkey

Denarius


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BLOGS

 


SELLING SNOW; CELEBRATING NINJAS, AND, A BOUQUET-CATCHING RECORD...

Making the most of the snow in his front yard, a man in Massachusetts in the US has reportedly started a new service selling and then shipping snow out to people who live in warmer areas. Kyle Waring, of the town of Manchester-by-the-Sea near Boston, launched ShipSnowYo.com earlier this winter.

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


TEXT FOUND ON MUMMY'S MASK MAY PROVE TO BE OLDEST SURVIVING GOSPEL FRAGMENT...
Containing a fragment of what may be the oldest surviving copy of the Gospel, a text which was written on papyrus and reused in the making of a funerary mask for a first century mummy in Egypt is set to be published, according to a reports.

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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