EASTER 2014

Cross

 

"Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed."

- Isaiah 53: 4-5 (NIV)

May you have a blessed Easter!

PICTURE: ANN WOJCZUK

 

 

EASTER MESSAGES OF AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN LEADERS

Easter: the time to celebrate new beginnings.
"After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He has been raised, as He said. Come, see the place where he lay'." (Matthew 28:1-6)

     Easter is the time to celebrate new beginnings. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is the most significant Christian celebration. It is the time that is at the heart of Christianity. Good Friday recalls the death of Jesus on a cross and then being laid in a tomb. When His closest friends went to the tomb very early on the Sunday morning they encountered the unexpected and the news that Jesus was not there. Jesus had been raised from the dead.

     To read the rest of this Easter message from Rev Tara Curlewis, general secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia, and other Australian church leaders, follow the link... |  more... |

 

 

DID YOU KNOW? NEWS REPORTS...

PEOPLE IN SYDNEY AND BRISBANE MOST BIBLICALLY ENGAGED IN AUSTRALIA, RESEARCH FINDS

Sydneysiders and Brisbanites are Australia’s most Biblically engaged people, according to an analysis of online visits to the world’s largest Christian website, Biblegateway.com.

Data released by McCrindle Research shows that people living in Sydney and Brisbane visited Biblegateway.com more than those in other cities, recording 2.67 and 2.54 page views per resident respectively while those in Adelaide were next, recording 1.62 page views.

Yet while Melbourne was well down the list, coming in at sixth with 1.52 page views per resident, it was the location of the two suburbs with the highest engagement on the website.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |


THE STATISTIC:

Percentage of Australians who have bought drugs on the internet:

9

Source: Global Drug Survey 2014

| more... |

NEWS...

• Nigeria: Islamic extremists abduct high school girls in Christian town... |  more... |

• Bhutan: Two pastors jailed without charges... |  more... |

• Cameroon: Canadian nun and two priests abducted... |  more... |

• Hungary: European court condemns church law... |  more... |

• World: World Vision report calls on G20 leaders to help end child labor... |  more... |

• Syria: Dutch priest killed: Islamic militants suspected... |  more... |

 

 

| MORE NEWS BRIEFS...|

14th April, 2014

WORLDVIEW: MALATYA MURDER TRIAL POSTPONED AGAIN IN TURKEY

Seven years after three Christians were tortured and killed in southeast Turkey, the Malatya trial’s 93rd hearing has been postponed for another 10 weeks, until 23rd June.

Under judicial changes enacted last month, the murder trial set to resume on 10th April has been transferred to Malatya’s First High Criminal Court, where a completely new panel of judges and prosecutors are assigned to the case.

"We are disappointed," one Christian in the small Malatya fellowship said this week. "We do not know what all this means, but it seems very unlikely that the case will finish up this summer."

Turkey’s 5,000-plus Protestant community had expressed "great sorrow and pain" when the five accused killers were released from prison in early March as part of new legal changes. In a press release, the Association of Protestant Churches deplored "this insensitive and unjust decision," noting that the suspects had repeatedly threatened the victims’ families and lawyers during the court hearings.

BARBARA G BAKER reports for the World Watch Monitor...  |  more... |

 

SIGHT SOAPBOX: 12 YEARS A SLAVE ALL A BIT "CLOSE TO HOME"

25th March, 2014

12 Years A Slave was an exhausting journey to watch. That is not to say it was not gripping as well: it certainly was.

     But it was also tragic from start to finish. And by the time the end comes you are not satisfied. Justice is not served. The perpetrators of the kidnapping and enslavement get away with it. And the key man (who just spent 12 years as a slave) has missed out on watching his children grow up, marry and become parents.

     It is not a feel good movie! If I was not a Christian I would have gone straight out and got Django Unchained to watch straight after it, just for the last scene where all the evil people get blown away by the fast shooting Django.

     The reality is that real life (the movie is based on a true story) is not as fair or just as Hollywood movies much of the time.

     JIM REIHER finds himself disturbed by what he sees are parallels between 12 Years A Slave and Australia's treatment of asylum seekers...  |  more... |

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NORTH AFRICA: ALGERIA'S POTENTIAL 'ARAB SPRING'

 

AlgeriaThe so-called Arab Spring has seen the overthrow of several presidents across North Africa: first in Tunisia, then Mubarak in Egypt, followed by Gaddafi in Libya and finally a second ‘overthrow’ in Egypt: of President Morsi.

     However, in neighbouring Algeria, the incumbent president has stubbornly clung onto power. This despite a lively opposition movement called "Barakat!" (‘Enough!’), started a day after the announcement that the 77-year-old president would now run for a fourth term.

     President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been in power since 1999, but on Thursday, 17th April, Algerians have the chance to vote for a new president from among six candidates.

     Many feel almost insulted by Bouteflika’s candidacy: he is said to be seriously ill. They doubt his physical and mental capability to lead what (since the division of Sudan into two) has become the biggest country in Africa.

      The World Watch Monitor takes a look at the upcoming elections in Algeria and what they could mean for minority Christians... |  more... |

 

 

EASTER: CELEBRATING PALM SUNDAY IN RAIN-SOAKED SYDNEY

Palm Sunday procession

Hundreds turned out onto Sydney's rain-soaked streets to watch a re-enactment of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday last weekend.

     The re-enactment saw 24-year-old Christian Berechree stand in for Jesus as he rode a donkey around Circular Quay towards the Sydney Opera House, his arrival met with people waving palms and singing. The procession then headed back across the quay to First Fleet Park where children enjoyed face painting and other activities.

     Rev Dr Keith Garner, superintendant of Sydney's Wesley Mission - organiser of the event, said God's love "shone through the rain".

     "It was a wonderful public witness," he said. "Few could have seen the event without asking: 'Who is this man?'"

~ www.wesleymission.org.au

- DAVID ADAMS

 

 

ESSAY: THE LESSONS STILL TO BE LEARNT FROM RWANDA

 

The killing was on a terribly efficient scale, much of it accomplished not with bullets but machetes. It was 100 days of frenzied violence and merciless killing that left more than 800,000 Rwandans dead, the world struggling to comprehend, and the international community disastrously slow to act.

     It was in the days before the internet and the world was slow to learn let alone comprehend the extent of the violence. World Vision staff from Australia and elsewhere were among the first to penetrate Rwanda’s borders in the days after the genocide started. The stories and images they captured flashed around the world, providing some of the first concrete evidence of the horrific scale and nature of the genocide.

     In the year before the genocide began on 7th April, 1994, then president, a Hutu extremist, Juvenal Habyarimana, imported 500,000 extra machetes into the country. These simple, efficient farming tools proved even more effective as weapons as they were used ‘‘to hack hundreds to death or into a daze where they could only lie still, bleed out and expire’’, in the words of one witness.

     As the world paused to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide on Monday, World Vision Australia chief executive TIM COSTELLO reflects, in an article first published by The Age, on how the country has emerged from those dark days while the international community has still failed to heed its lessons... |  more... | 

 

 

PAKISTAN: CHRISTIAN COUPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR BLASPHEMY

 

A Pakistani court sentenced an impoverished Christian couple to death for "blasphemy against Islam" on Friday, just days after another Christian was told he would be executed on similar charges, an advocacy official involved in the case told BosNewsLife.

      Shafaqat Emmanuel, a crippled 38-year-old Christian man, and his wife Shagufta Kausar, 42, "were crying after being told they would be executed by hanging," said Farrukh H Saif, executive director of the Pakistan-based World Vision In Progress (WVIP) rights group.

     Friday's court procedure was held in the overcrowded prison of Toba Tek Singh city, where the couple was held following their arrest in nearby Gojra District on 21st July last year, he added.

     Saif said WVIP and its international partner Rescue Christians, who provided lawyers to the couple, would appeal against the sentence as early as today, 7th April.

     STEFAN J BOS, of BosNewsLife, reports... |  more... | 

 

FOR PREVIOUS:

CHRISTIAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR BLASPHEMY

Joseph Colony attackA year after Muslims devastated the predominantly Christian Joseph Colony; the man at the center of the controversy has been sentenced to death for blasphemy because of claims that he insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

     Sawan Masih’s sentence, handed down on 27th March, is based on a conversation that occurred between him and his Muslim friend in March 2013.

     ASIF AQEEL reports for World Watch Monitor... |  more... | 

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REGULAR COLUMNS

 

THIS LIFE: OUR CHOICE; OUR REWARD

Garden TombI had a dream last night in which I was reflecting on Jesus death and resurrection and the part Mary Magdalene had in heralding Jesus resurrection. When I woke up this morning it still made sense...so here it is!

     Mary was a woman who had been deeply touched and healed by Jesus. She had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus and then she chose to devote her life to taking care of Jesus and the disciples. 

     But imagine. She had just watched this magnificent one die the most hideous of deaths. She had seen his closest friends flee in fear. She had stayed to minister to her Teacher in death along with the other women. The grief would have been overwhelming, the confusion all consuming. This was not the end she had envisioned.

     Mary had a choice. She could have looked at the evidence before her, the circumstances looked dire. Had I been Mary I would have been expecting a knock on the door from authorities and a public execution.

     RENEE RUTHERFURD reflects on the actions of Mary Magdalene towards Jesus... | more... |

 

SIGHT-SEEING: ON PRAYER DURING HOLY WEEK

Prayer signThis past week I met a group of licensed pastors at the Bosque Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once run by Dominican nuns, the center recently transferred ownership to the Episcopal Church. It’s a beautiful little retreat center located on the Rio Grande River, a marvelous place to pray.

     I gathered with these gentlemen to pray for the outreaches at Calvary Albuquerque. After a short teaching on how Jesus taught us to pray, we did just that - we prayed. It was time well spent. We felt refreshed and renewed at the end. Our goal was to spend one hour in corporate prayer, then a half hour in personal prayer.

     Though and hour-and-a-half doesn’t sound like much, the fact is that prayer can take time and devoted thought. And it can be difficult to carve out the time needed to spend it with God. Why is this?

     One suggestion is that we live in a day and age where technology rules the communication world; people seem to have continual attention deficits, playing with technology rather than praying to God. We are distracted, disoriented to our daily needs, and, at times, devoid of our spiritual yearning. And because of this, we don’t discipline ourselves to spend dedicated time talking to God.

     Writing from the US, BRIAN NIXON - in a piece first published by ASSIST News Service - writes about the importance of prayer...  | more... |

 

OPEN BOOK SPECIAL - HUNCHES ABOUT JESUS: THE BLIND MAN WHO WAS A PAIN SEES JESUS

My hunch is that Mark told us about the cloak because the people of that town picked it up, keeping it as a reminder of what Jesus had done. That's my hunch; Mark tells us Bartimaeus left his cloak on the ground. Why would he tell us that? Was it because someone showed it to him when they were telling Mark the story, as he went around collecting stories for his Gospel collection?

     Bart's new Rabbi had allowed him to see and that is why Bart followed Jesus. He didn't worry about it any more because now he could see. That was the main thing. That's how he became a follower of Jesus.

     Let's now pretend we could interview this guy Bart:
     How did you become a member of Jesus' school, Bart?
     "Well it happened like this! I yelled out: "Oi! Jesus, Oi! Jesus! Jesus!!! Over here! Oi! Oi! Oi!"

     You yelled out like that?

     "Yes. It happened like that! I was yelling my head off."

      As part of his series looking at the Gospel of Mark. BRUCE C WEARNE imagines a conversation with the blind man, Bartimaeus, about his encounter with Jesus...  | more... |

 

POSTCARDS: LOUISIANA CITY FINDS NEW HOPE FROM A "GOOD SAMARITAN"

Lake ProvidenceLike Israel’s King David who slew the Philistine giant Goliath with a sling and a stone, spiritual and civic forces in Lake Providence, Louisiana, are counting on words as weapons in the city’s battle with foes who’ve hurled verbal abuse for too long and too many times.

     The words love, hope, believe, respect and others are uniquely uniting black and white citizens of the north-east Louisiana city against outsiders who’ve labeled their community the poorest and most unequal place in the United States with a national news magazine article and a cable television network documentary.

     Lake Providence and its allies are fighting back with a medium of their own: A larger-than-life crossword puzzle and professionally painted scenes and symbols of life in the picturesque southern city surrounding a six-mile oxbow lake in East Carroll Parish.

     Not only are the words rallying cries for blacks and whites who are upper, middle and lower income wage earners, but there are signs that the destiny of Lake Providence is brighter than the bad press its citizens have battled since 1994 when Time magazine infamously called the city America‘s poorest.

     STEVE REES, in an article first published on ASSIST News Service, writes of how a church is helping to bring new hope to the US city of Lake Providence... | more... |

 

THE WORD: RECONCILED

ReconciledIn Eden, Adam and Eve walked with God. In a sense they stepped alongside Him to walk the paths He chose so as to be with Him. Living in God’s house, Eden, they were immersed in the task of coming to grips with the world and life they had received, through experience and conferring with God "in the cool of the evening".

     Then along came sin.

     Their personal and dynamic relationship with God, their creator, unravelled and they tried to hide from Him rather than be with Him.

     Their fractured relationship cried out for healing and restoration.

     This is the context for all discussions of reconciliation in the New Testament.

     In essence, mankind once stood face-to-face with God (an aching desire sung about in the Psalms and given further voice in Old Testament prophesies, New Testament letters and Revelation visions). 

     Sin was an about face.

     LLOYD HARKNESS says that while Jesus having already exercised "all the initiative" when it comes to reconciliation, the question remains whether we will choose to be reconciled with God... | more... |

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


 

SHARING FAITH...

28th August, 2013
My son and I met someone on holidays who was in a wheelchair. He was paralysed on the left side of his body due to a virus that effected his brain.
      He told us that he could have been healed if the doctors had diagnosed his condition within 72 hours but they were not able to. He had since been in a car accident where he was hit head-on by a drunk-driver, an accident which caused further permanent health issues.

     To read the rest of this story... | 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!

 

REVIEWS

 

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WATCH

THE LEGO MOVIE MEETS BUILT-UP EXPECTATIONS

The Lego MovieFirst up  - a confession. I have enjoyed Lego ever since I was a child and have passed on that same enjoyment to my two children. So this movie was one the three of us had been long anticipating.

     It didn’t disappoint. This, the first ever full-length Lego feature (there have been some shorter releases) follows the story of an unlikely hero – a construction worker called Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt of Parks and Recreation fame) – who lives in the highly regimented and extremely happy Lego city.

     Emmet’s done his best to fit in – watching the endlessly ridiculous TV show Where’s My Pants? – and joining in robust choruses of Everything is Awesome (try to stop singing that when you leave the cinema) but something’s missing. He doesn’t quite fit and he soon finds out it’s all because he’s rather special – in fact, The Special.

     Encountering a rather odd band of allies including Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), a wizard called Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and the very odd Unikitty (Alison Brie), Emmet must embark on a perilous quest to free the Lego world in which he lives in – as well as the myriad other Lego worlds - from the control of the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell).

    DAVID ADAMS enjoys The Lego Movie...  | more... |

 

READ

BOOKS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO HELPING A CHURCH LOOK BEYOND THEMSELVES

Barefoot ChurchBrandon Hatmaker is a pastor of Austin New Church, Texas, but also serves his city and beyond as co-founder of Restore Communities and is engaged as a missional strategist with Missio. He writes about he transitioned from being a self-confessed consumer Christian on a megachurch staff, to being prepared to do whatever it takes to lead his church to serve the poor, and to take off his own shoes for homeless people – to become a “barefoot church”.

     He outlines practical strategies for helping a local church focus beyond itself – to their own neighbourhoods, and to the whole world as our neighbour. Unfortunately, lack of awareness and access can limit Western Christians from taking an interest to global concerns. He challenges Christians to take initiative, as his church has done with hurricane relief, advocacy against slavery, and serving Austin locally on fifth Sundays.

     His challenge is to be good news as well as speak it: "The church is on the fringe of our society, and we need to find new ways to undo the damage to our reputation. We have to change the way we are seen by the world. We have to become good news again...Mercy and justice ministry is a life mate to the spoken word in this equation. In an increasingly post-Christian and postmodern context where moral authority trumps positional authority, we would be wise to make sure that our deed matches out creed."

     DARREN CRONSHAW finds a lot of practical advice in how to change the focus of your church in Brandon Hatmaker's Barefoot Church...  | more... |

 

CLICK

SEE THE HOLY LAND

See the Holy LandCovering some 100 sites in the Holy Land, this website was created in 2010 by retired New Zealand journalist Pat McCarthy to encourage pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The website comes an alphabetical index of sites of interest, grouped according to their location. While the focus is largely on New Testament sites, the locations featured include everywhere from Akeldama, the Field of Blood where the Bible records that Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, died, to the cave on the northern slope of Mount Carmel where the Old Testament prophet Elijah is believed to have meditated before his encounter with the priests of Baal

      DAVID ADAMS on a website that's all about exploring the Holy Land... | more... |

 

DOWNLOAD

PHOTO EDITING WITH A DIFFERENCE; AND, HOW NOT TO LOSE YOUR CAR

There are mobile photo editing apps available in abundance and they basically do the same thing. Instaflash is a photo editing app with a difference. So named because you can add a 'flash' effect to a photo after you've taken it, Instaflash has many other features that are worth a look. If you've taken a photo where the background is light but the subject is dark, you can lighten the subject and darken the background. You can also increase or reduce shadows, highlights, contrast and individual colours. With its intuitive controls, Instaflash makes photo fixing easy.

      ALAN TAYLOR looks at Instaflash and Find My Car... | more... |

 

LISTEN

THE TCM UPDATE: EASTERFEST, AND THE RETURN OF NATURALLY 7

Bec LaughtonToowomba is getting set to ‘wow’ the crowds attending this year’s Easterfest.

     The festival – held in local parks, pubs, shopping centres, theatres, restaurants and main streets – reportedly attracts around 30,000 to 40,000 people annually.

     And this year, there’s a real ‘buzz’ about seeing the return of Hawk Nelson, Jars Of Clay, and Jimmy Needham.

     Hawk Nelson’s lead singer Jon Steingard says the band is looking forward to coming back.

     “We’re so excited to come back to Australia. We’ve been twice before. The crowds are so awesome. Something culturally reminds me of Canada (where I’m from). It’s weird to fly so far away to find a place that feels like home. So we’re really excited to come back,” Jon says.

      CAM WANT with this week's edition of The TCM Update...  | more... |

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T



LIFESTYLE

 

SIGHT HELPDESK: AUGMENTING YOUR REALITY

Google GlassMovies which feature robots or cyborgs as the main character often give a glimpse of the world through their eyes. Not only do they see a view of the world like us, but they also see an overlay of information which can include distance, altitude, identification, GPS information and other things necessary to perform their missions. One example is The Terminator movie, made in 1984, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

     And while in 1984 it would have seemed science fiction, technology never stays still and we've been able to experience similar applications for a number of years.

     The name for this technology is 'augmented reality'. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as "A form of technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the world."

     Augmented reality is available on many smartphones via downloadable apps. They use the inbuilt camera as a live display, overlaying it with information according to the area. There are many augmented reality applications available and some are specific in their role.

      ALAN TAYLOR takes a look at how the concept of augmented reality is becoming fact rather than fiction... | more...|

 

ORIGINS: 25 YEARS SINCE THE CONCEPTION OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB

WWWFirst conceived 25 years ago this week, the World Wide Web (or WWW as we’ve grown to known it), has changed the world in ways that we are still yet to fully fathom.

     Its origins – that is, those of the WWW, not the internet as a whole; that was established some 20 years earlier - go back to 12th March, 1989, when British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, then working at European Organisation for Nuclear Research (known as CERN), put forward a somewhat brief proposal for a series of technologies that would make the internet accessible to anyone.

     It took until Christmas Day the following year before the idea went live after Berners-Lee specified the fundamental technologies – they include the web addresses known as URLs, the link protocol known as HTTP and webpage “markup language” known as HTML - which still undergird the world wide web today.

    DAVID ADAMS looks at the origins of the World Wide Web...  | more...|

 

KNOW IT ALL: THE WINTER OLYMPICS

The Winter Olympics are kicking off in the Russian resort of Sochi and so we thought it was a good time to take a quick look at some facts and figures about the 'other' Games...

• The first official Winter Olympics was held in the French ski resort of Chamonix in 1924.

• Held every four years, the Winter Olympics were originally held in the same year as the Olympic Games but this changed in 1992 when the Winter Olympics were moved to alternate with the summer games (they were next held in 1994).

• The only time the Games have been cancelled was during World War II - in 1940 and 1944 (the Games had been scheduled to be held in Sapporo, Japan, in 1940).

     DAVID ADAMS looks at some facts and figures about the Winter Olympics...  | more...|

FOR THIS AND MORE, GO TO OUR LIFESTYLE PAGE here

 

20/20

 

THE BIG PICTURE: THE STORY OF GOD'S LOVE

The Story of God's Love
Ever watched a movie and seen the boom mike come into view at the top of the screen? Or noticed a wrist watch on a Viking or a TV aerial on an ancient skyline? There you were, caught up in the story, believing in great characters, transported by imagery and suddenly the new story is that the movie was badly made. Which is OK if the movie’s a bomb and you’re laughing with friends. Now you’ve got a bomb story you can tell.
      But what if you were really into the movie and hoping for a satisfying end? That’s annoying.
      Speaking of bad movies, if your life was a movie there’s no way you’d want it to show in public. Despite your protests, any quality director would ignore your good deeds and focus on the bad stuff - the moral scandals. It’s those shocking, debasing, disheartening, yet oh so interesting things that compel us as we soak in endless movies and TV dramas. And all of us have moral failures, even if they’re kept private in the mind. The recurring pattern in every human story is disappointment and regrets, feelings of shame for wrong things that we’ve said or thought or done.

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

 

WORDPLAY: REVELATION 22

It's always interesting to look at something from another angle and the Bible, with its layers and depths of meaning, always has more to reveal. Here's a word cloud of Revelation, chapter 22 - the final chapter in the whole of the Bible. Let us know below what insights you find... | more... |

 

POETRY: LOVE

We meet again.
The moment,
Kind and generous,
The beauty,
Peaceful and serene.

The spirit alive
In all that is
And not what could be.

Read more of CHRIS ROE's Love... | more... |

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THEY SAID IT

 

 

"The international community failed the people of Rwanda 20 years ago. And we are at risk of not doing enough for the people of the CAR (Central African Republic) today."

- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking during a visit to the CAR on 5th April as he urged the international community to heed the lessons of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 in which more than 800,000 people died (as quoted in the Los Angeles Times on 10th April, 2014)

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

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

16th April, 2014

Buying last minute Easter eggs? Stop the Traffik has produced a guide to ensure your chocolate has been created without the involvement of trafficked children. You can download the guide (and see what other actions you can take to help make chocolate "traffick free") here...


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

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MUSINGS   

 

 

MAN KILLED GOD (EASTER)...

15th April, 2014

PAUL CLARK

Did you hear about the day man killed God?
Pretty interesting day; of course it was a conspiracy. The religious and authorities came together and conspired to get rid of this annoying little man.
Annoying because He was so good; helping, healing, talking peace, justice and freedom from the Establishment’s oppression.
It was obvious this man was God though. Who else could calm a storm, raise the dead and forgive?

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

 

 

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BLOGS

 


THE PRIVILEGE OF KNOWING JESUS...

Great grace, deepest love is carried into the world through the life of the Son of God. Great brokenness, pain, cruelty and evil is taken into that Son on the cross, great love, kindness and power are released into the world in His resurrection.
What an amazing, wise, loving, gutsy, inspirational man He was. What an awesome, loving, wise, inspirational, powerful King friend He is, and has been in my life now for 33 years.
 ANN WOJCZUK's blog about 'life, the universe and possibly everything' now has a new home...
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APRIL FOOL'S DAY SPECIAL - TWO-FOR-ONE FLIGHTS; EDIBLE PIZZA PACKAGING; SCOTLAND'S INDEPEN-

DENCE ODDITIES; AND GOOGLE'S PHOTO-BOMBING EXTENSION...

We'll kick off our round-up of April Fool's Day jokes with mention of travel company Student Flights which proposed saving money (and yet travelling in style) by sharing a top-to-tail business class seat-come-bed seat with someone. "Get up close and personal with your business class buddy for a budget friendly chance to experience the bells and whistles at the pointy end of the plane," says their website in a promo advertised on Facebook.

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


BYZANTINE-ERA CHURCH DISCOVERED IN ISRAEL FEATURES BEAUTIFUL MOSAIC FLOORS...
Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed the remains of a 1,500-year-old church featuring beautiful mosaic floors including one featuring a symbol of Christ surrounded by birds.

The remains of the Byzantine-era church were discovered in the village of Aluma - about 50 kilometres south of Tel Aviv - during a salvage excavation prior to the construction of a new neighbourhood in the area. The Israel Antiquities Authority - which announced the find this week - has spent the past three months excavating the site.

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


THOUSANDS OF CHRISTIANS IN JERUSALEM FOR FEAST OF TABER-NACLES...
Despite the recent tensions in Syria, over 5,000 Christian pilgrims from nearly 100 nations will descend on Jerusalem for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem's annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The festival began last Friday evening in Ein Gedi at the Oasis Hotel and continues to Jerusalem's International Convention Center for the remainder of the week of Sukkot. The weeklong celebration is expected to generate $US16 million in revenues, and is the largest annual tourist event to Israel.

ELISA MOED, of Travelujah, reports...  | more... |

 

A DAY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE...

Can you think of a time when someone has been brutally honest and vulnerable about themselves and it's taken you by surprise? For me it happened about 20 years ago at a church I had just started attending.

As I remember it, the person leading the service that day asked anyone to come forward who wanted to share what they thought God had been doing in their lives recently. One young guy got up - he was probably about my age at the time - and told about his relationship with his girlfriend and how he had recently gotten her pregnant, and how he had walked away from his faith. He then shared about the support he had received from the church community through his struggle.

 NILS VON KALM'S blog on faith, life and how it all might fit together...  | more... |

 

OUT OF AFRICA: TAKING YOUR BLESSINGS FOR GRANTED...

I have been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I was living in Australia. Sadly much of that blessing was in a sense ‘lost on me’ because I didn’t see it for what it was. The longer I live here the more I realise the day-to-day difficulties people face in the majority of the world. I am amazed that people are able to keep their hope when so many things seem so difficult.

Things I have always taken for granted - access to water, nutritious food and good medical assistance - are, at times, just not available here. I am horrified at the number of times people come back from our local medical clinic saying that there is no medicine or even occasionally no doctor.

LENA JOHNSTONE's blog about life in Malawi, Africa, where she works with the Mphatso Children's Foundation... | more... |

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