ESSAY:  GREEK FINANCIAL CRISIS - IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN MONEY

 

Greece"We sail within a vast sphere," wrote Blaise Pascal, "ever drifting in uncertainty". That just about sums up the Greek financial crisis.

     Greece appears completely adrift within the vast sphere of European and global economics.

     Neither Greece nor its European partners show any sign of emerging from a state of shared uncertainty any time soon.

     In the face of the Greek crisis, much has been made of anti-austerity demonstrations.

     Within Greece and beyond, would-be reformers have taken up megaphones and banners to denounce the very idea of penalties for defaulting on debts, or inducements for their repayment.

     For all the noise and bluster, I don't hear any of these people presenting a serious, viable alternative model to those already on the table.

     If you tone down their populist rhetoric, anti-austerity campaigners, none seem to be offering a realistic plan which might address the concerns of Greece's creditors. Nor do they proffer a practical plan to move Greece forward in terms of its fiscal management.

Mal FletcherWriting from London, MAL FLETCHER says the biggest challenges facing the Greek Government revolve around "trust and culture"... |  more... |

 

 

 

NEWS REPORTS...

2nd July, 2015

ONE IN THREE OF WORLD'S POPULATION STILL LACK ACCESS TO PROPER SANITATION FACILITIES, REPORT FINDS

One in three of the world's population - that's 2.4 billion people - still don't have access to proper sanitation facilities, according to a report monitoring progress of the Millennium Development Goals.

Issued by the World Health Organization and UNICEF - the UN's child focused agency, the report shows that while progress has been made in achieving the MDG goal of halving the number of people who don't have access to safe drinking water or basic sanitation facilities, there remain shortfalls, particularly with regard to sanitation.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |



THE DAILY STATISTIC:

2nd July, 2015

Amount Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has pledged to give away to charity in the coming years:

$US32 billion

Source: BBC

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

NEWS...

• Australia: Shortlist for Australian Christian Book of the Year unveiled... |  more... |

• Yemen: Millions of children at risk of preventable diseases due to conflict, says UNICEF... |  more... |

• Cuba: Call for authorities to stop "arbitrary" and "illegal" expropriations of church properties... |  more... |

• Israel: Leaflets contain threat to Christians in Jerusalem... |  more... |

• Global: Christian leaders call for prayer in the wake of terrorist attacks on three continents... |  more... |

| MORE NEWS...|

 


MOMENTS

2nd July, 2015

AGREED: The re-establishment of full diplomatic relations, between the US and Cuba, on 20th July when embassies reopen, 54 years after ties were severed.

1st July, 2015

MISSED: A deadline to pay the International Monetary Fund, €1.6 billion, by Greece on 30th June, 2015.

30th June, 2015

EXTENDED: By one "leap" second, 30th June, to account for the gradual slowing on the Earth's rotation.

FOR MORE OF MOMENTS... |  more... |

 

29th June, 2015

WORLDVIEW: CHILDREN "BEARING THE BRUNT" OF AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT AS CASUALITIES RISE

Children are bearing the brunt of ongoing conflict in Afghanistan with UN figures showing that as many as 2,502 were killed or injured last year - the highest number since monitoring began in 2007.

     Releasing the 18 page report last week, Leila Zerrougui, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for children and armed conflict, said the figures show the suffering of children in the country has increased.

     “These tragically high casualty numbers show that children are bearing the brunt of the conflict, and unfortunately this trend continues with the deterioration of the security environment into 2015,” she said.

     The report - the third on children and armed conflict in Afghanistan, showed that 2,302 children were killed, and 5,047 injured from 1st September, 2010, to 31st December, 2014. Child casualties recorded in 2014 were 47 per cent higher than those of the previous year and 110 per cent higher than those recorded in 2012.

    Rising numbers of children are suffering as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan, according to a new UN report. DAVID ADAMS reports...  |  more... |

 

SIGHT SOAPBOX

MANY DOING IT TOUGH THIS WINTER

21st May, 2015

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

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

THE SIGHT SOAPBOX...  |  more... |


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

 

  SIGHT'S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WALKS

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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 walks are on 4th July and 1st August.

FOR BOOKINGS AND MORE INFORMATION,

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

 

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THE PHILIPPINES: CHRISTIANS FEAR CREATION OF MUSLIM SUB-STATE

 

Christians and others in the southern Philippines have expressed strong fears that legislation creating an Islamic sub-state on Mindanao Island will exacerbate religious tensions rather than resolve them.

     The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), proposed by President Benigno Aquino III last September with the aim of ending decades of Islamist rebel violence in Mindanao, was approved by a House Ad Hoc Committee on 20th May with 50 members voting yes, 17 voting no and one abstaining. The area, comprising five provinces with sizeable non-Muslim populations, already enjoys a measure of autonomy as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the proposed BBL would give leaders sufficient independence to impose sharia (Islamic law).

     “What President Aquino is doing is treasonous to Christian communities in Mindanao,” Rolly Pelinggon, national convener of Mindanaoans for Mindanao (M4M), told Morning Star News.
     If Bangsamoro, or “Moro Country” with Moro being colloquial for “Muslim,” were ruled under sharia, non-Muslims would become second-class citizens with drastically reduced rights. Critics of the bill say it would render the federal government powerless to redress human rights abuses under Islamic law.

    Morning Star News reports... |  more... |

 

 

EGYPT: COMMUNITY 'JUSTICE' EXPELS COPTS FROM THEIR HOMES

 

MeetingForgive Emad Youssef if he and his extended family felt quite confused. The crowd welcoming them back to the village had only a few days earlier demanded they leave.

     "They said this is the first time something like this has happened in our village," he told private satellite channel, OnTV "and that, Inshallah (God-willing), it won't happen again."

     Yet it happens frequently in Egypt - at least 23 times in the last four years, according to new research released by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. Whose Customs? - a 78-page report by the group - points out that the period from 2011-2014 saw 45 instances in which sectarian strife was settled, in different ways, outside the law through "Customary Reconciliation Sessions."

     In concept, Customary Reconciliation Sessions are community-based conflict resolution, long established in Egyptian tradition. If two residents have a dispute, solving it through the judicial system is long and costly. Instead, "wise men" of the village will hear both sides and issue a binding ruling. Religious leaders are often involved.

    JAYSON CASPER, of the World Watch Monitor, reports on new research which has found the Egyptian Government has been negligent in curbing a ‘tolerated’ practice... |  more... |

 

 

ANALYSIS: POPE FRANCIS' CALL FOR ACTION ON THE "ECOLOGICAL CRISIS"

 

RubbishPope Francis has fully joined the battle to save the planet from the current ecological crises by releasing his encyclical, Laudato Si': On the Care of the Common Home. While both John Paul II and Benedict XVI expressed concern about the environment and climate change, and committed the Vatican State to being carbon neutral, this will be the first time a pope has dedicated an entire encyclical on them. It is one of a number of interventions initiated by the pontiff during the course of this year.

     Encyclicals are the most authoritative documents that a pope can issue. It is addressed not only to Catholics, but to all the people of the world. Catholics are expected to read the document with an open mind and heart, and only dissent from it in good conscience after careful reflection. The dismissing “pre-buttals” by some Catholics (previously champions of obedience to the pope) prior to the release were disrespectful of accepted Catholic practice.

     “Integral ecology” a central theme

     In the encyclical, His Holiness conveys eloquently his prayerful sense of connection with Creation. “Our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us” (paragraph 1) but “she now cries out to us” because her goods have been plundered.

    THEA ORMEROD, president of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, takes a closer look at Pope Francis' recent encyclical on the environment and its possible impacts... |  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...|

 

 

US: NINE DEAD IN CHURCH MASSACRE

 

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA RAISES ISSUE OF GUN CONTROL AS COUNTRY MOURNS VICTIMS OF CHURCH MASSACRE

US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston, South Carolina, would "rise again" after nine people were shot dead there by a gunman, but he also suggested it was time for a fresh debate on gun control in his nation.

     “Innocent people were killed, in part, because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun," he said.

     "Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear - at some point we, as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it, ” Obama added, speaking in the White House briefing room with a Vice President Joe Biden standing at his side.

    BosNewsLife reports... |  more... |

 

ESSAY: WHEN BRETHREN FALL

It doesn’t take a genius to recognise that the persecution of Christians is at an all-time high around the world. According to Open Doors, the ministry started by Dutchman, Brother Andrew, the persecution of Christians has reached “historic levels”. Yet when one thinks of persecution, we normally don’t think of the United States of America.

     Rather, our minds wander to the Middle East or Africa. After all, one asks, wasn’t America founded upon a Judeo-Christian worldview? The answer of course is, yes, the European influence upon America was founded upon a Christian ethic.

    But as the recent news of the massacre on Wednesday night at Emmanuel AME Church shows (where nine innocent people were killed), America - black, white, Middle Eastern, Asian, or Native American - is not immune to persecution.

     In an article first published by ASSIST News Service, BRIAN NIXON grieves for his fallen brothers and sisters in Christ... |  more... |

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

 

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COMPASSION AUSTRALIA

Compassion AustraliaCompassion is an international Christian child development and child advocacy ministry committed to working in partnership with local churches around the world to foster the spiritual, economic, social, physical and emotional development of children living in poverty in over 26 developing countries, in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Compassion’s child development programs are unique in that they are Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based. To discover how you can get involved visit www.compassion.com.au.

 

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REGULAR COLUMNS

 

WOW! PRINT ON DEMAND TECHNOLOGY OPENS UP NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR BIBLE TRANSLATORS IN COUNTRIES HOSTILE TO CHRISTIANITY

PrinterSmuggling Bibles into nations where Christians are prohibited from reading them has long been a way to get the Word of God to those who can't access it through normal channels.

     But now US organisation Wycliffe Associates have announced the next step in getting Scriptures past the metaphorical walls put up in some countries to prevent access with a new program to facilitate print-on-demand Bibles.

     Wycliffe Associates says it will provide translators with a high-speed digital system which includes a computer, printer, binder, laminator and paper-cutter and training on how to use the technology.

     Then, when translators are ready to print Scriptures, they can be printed from a flash drive on the system before being distributed by hand.

     Bruce Smith, president of Wycliffe Associates, says that following Christ can be a death sentence in many "hostile" countries and Christians can be persecuted, arrested, hunted down and even killed for translating the Bible.

     DAVID ADAMS reports on how new printing technology can help Bible translators... | more... |

 

SIGHT-SEEING: "CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE TAUGHT" - OBSERVATIONS ON CHRISTIAN POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY

Parliament HouseThe phrase "Christians are to be taught" appears regularly in Martin Luther's 1517 95 Theses (43, 45-51) along with "Christians must be taught" (42), "Christians are to be exhorted" [94]. Here, using this rubric, I make four political exhortations about Christian political responsibility. Following the first three I will briefly explain what should be the consequence of these as we confront legislative mistakes in this polity and in other polities around the world. The fourth is stated by way of conclusion in the second part of this article.

     My immediate aim is to assist Christian readers as they prepare to live in a polity in which proposed changes to the Marriage Act on the basis of "marriage equality" will endorse an erroneous understanding of marriage as a civil right. This exhortation, therefore, tries to open up discussion among Christian citizens about the desirability of a Christian democratic movement in local, provincial, state national, and regional terms.

      In the context of the current debate over same-sex marriage, BRUCE C WEARNE, in part one of a two part article, takes a leaf out of Luther's book in exploring what political responsibility looks like for Christians in Australia...  | more... |

 

THIS LIFE: WHEN WE ALLOW GOD TO BE THE AUTHOR OF OUR LIFE

Author“...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”—Hebrews 12:2 (NASB).

At a recent women’s event where I was the guest speaker, I sat in the audience listening to a husband and wife on stage as they provided the music for the luncheon. Playing the piano and singing hymns, the wife shared her musical gifts from God with us. However, I was stunned as I watched her husband play the guitar with equal skill. What made his gift even more amazing was he played one-handed. While he had two arms, he had suffered a stroke, leaving his right side paralysed.

     Many might have given up, but this man had not. Through the encouragement of his wife, he had been able to regain part of his ability to share with others his amazing gift of music. What a testimony!

    In an article first published by Assist News Service, CAROL ROUND looks at what happens when we allow God to take charge in our lives... | more... |

 

OPEN BOOK - HINTS FROM THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS: AS JESUS' EXTENDED FAMILY WAITS...

WaitingOur Bibles call Luke's second book "The Acts of the Apostles". A quick scan of the 28 chapters will tell you that most of it deals with Peter and Paul. But then, Peter is not mentioned after chapter 15. In my Bible (RSV), the word "apostle" is not found after 16:4. James, the brother of Jesus, became leader of the Jerusalem church, and he is mentioned in 21:18. By that time, Jesus' followers were facing a different situation from what initially confronted the apostles.

     Keep in mind that Luke wrote sometime after all these things happened. We read what Peter did and said (Acts, chapter two), what Peter and John did (chapters three and four). At the end of chapter four, Luke describes the new community in Jerusalem and introduces Barnabas. Chapter five is about Peter's leadership and in chapter six, "the 12" commission a group of "deacons" to look after Greek widows. In this group was a young man named Stephen who told the gripping story of God's ancient promises and their fulfilment in the coming of Jesus. He was made to pay for it with his life; his arrest and execution are told (chapters six and seven) - it sounds very much like the writer has the arrest and execution of Jesus in mind as he writes this.

      BRUCE C WEARNE looks at what the apostles did after Jesus left them in Acts chapter one...  | more... |

 

SIGHT-SEEING: ARE CHURCHES PLAYING BIG BROTHER?

SurveillanceThe Times last week reported that some churches are using facial recognition technology to track attendance by their members.

     As yet only a small number of churches are using CCTV cameras in this way, matching photos with their internal databases using platforms like Churchix, a surveillance software system devised in Israel. Churches in the US, Portugal, Spain, India and Indonesia are using it and convenience may lead to the practice becoming more widespread.

     Throughout history, churches have arguably been among the earliest adopters of many new technologies. This was true with the printing press, radio, networked television and, more recently, smartphone apps, which are now used widely by church goers for personal instruction and devotion. There are, however, three major points of concern when it comes to churches using facial recognition technology.

     I’m no Luddite - I’m a social futurist; I believe that new technologies are welcome, provided that we think carefully about how we use them. Some new technologies are helping churches to build closer relationships with their people; but church leaders shouldn’t think that all change is necessarily progress!

Mal FletcherMAL FLETCHER, writing from London, reflects on news that a small number of churches in the UK are reportedly using new technologies to track members...  | 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!

 


LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO PUT IN YOUR CHURCH 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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BEING CHURCH, DOING LIFE AN INSPIRING MANUAL FOR PIONEERING LEADERS WHO WANT TO REACH PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE

Being ChurchI turned to this book looking for a text to help make pioneering leadership and organic church planting accessible to more people. It is ideal for this purpose.

     Michael Moynagh is a researcher and advocate for Fresh Expressions UK. His previous books analyse how the world is changing and how church is changing to be more relevant and holistic in a post-Christendom world. This latest volume continues these themes, but focusing on fostering grassroots witnessing communities in all sorts of spaces and places.

     The key theme of the book is how Christians can witness as “Gospel communities where life happens” rather than as gathered churches on the one hand or individual Christians on the other. Moynagh encourages people to start with who they are, and their natural networks of who they do life with.

      DARREN CRONSHAW reads Michael Moynagh's Being Church, Doing Life...  | 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... |

 

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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... |

 

WATCH

JURASSIC WORLD - THE DINOSAURS ARE BIGGER AND MEANER BUT HAVEN'T WE SEEN THIS BEFORE?

Jurassic WorldScary dinosaurs rampaging through a state-of-the-art theme park? Check. Disobedient kids who end up in the centre of the action? Check. Greedy corporate representatives eager to squeeze out the last buck, even at the risk of life and limb? Check. Tough guys who reckon they can outsmart dinosaurs? Check.

     After 10 years absence, the Jurassic Park franchise is back and while the dinosaurs are bigger and better than ever, the plot remains the same.

     New management has taken over Isla Nublar, the island on which the original Jurassic Park was created and for 10 years they’ve been running a successful theme park.

     But things start to go wrong as demands for something new means scientists at the park once again start dabbling with genetics - this time to create bigger, stronger, nastier, hybrid ‘dinosaurs’ (more correctly known as monsters).

     DAVID ADAMS enjoys the rampaging dinosaurs in Jurassic World but says it's time for the franchise to evolve...  | 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... |

Dan BremnesSoundbite25th June, 2015

THE TCM UPDATE: DAN BREMNES RELEASES WHERE THE LIGHT IS AND TOBYMAC'S THIS IS NOT A TEST

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

 

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

InstaprayInstapray is a prayer app designed for sharing with others. You post your prayer and members tap a heart icon to show they have prayed for you. There are a number of categories to explore including 'work and finance', 'family', 'natural disasters' and more. A section for answered prayers is perfect for when you need a little encouragement. You can create your own groups, public or private, to gather around a certain topic or pray over a particular need.

      ALAN TAYLOR looks at a prayer app and another for Christian TV... | more... |

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


LIFESTYLE

 

SEE YOU THERE! SIGHT'S TRAVEL DEALS COLUMN

15th May, 2015

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

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

 

TRENDSPOTTER: 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...|

 

ORIGINS: A LESSON IN MARKETING - HOW THE PET ROCK BECAME AN INSTANT, IF SHORT-LIVED, HIT

Pet rockA rather unusual anniversary passed last month – the 25th anniversary of the creation of the pet rock.

     It was a struggling American ad copywriter, Gary Dahl, who first came up with the idea of the pet-which-required-no care, apparently after listening to his friends complain about looking after their pets while in a bar in his home town of Los Gatos in California.

     Backed by a couple of investors, he began production on what he told one newspaper started as “just a good giggle”.

     The ‘pets’ – which were sourced from a Mexican beach at the cost of about a cent each - came in a specially designed cardboard box, complete with breathing holes and straw, and were sold with a detailed manual, a tongue-in-cheek guide to caring for and training your new ‘pet’.

    DAVID ADAMS looks back to where it all began for the 'pet rock'...  | more...|

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

 

20/20

 

THE WEEKLY SNAPSHOT

     21st June, 2015

     Rue Ste Catherine, Bordeaux, France by BOB ZANKER

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

 

THE BIG PICTURE: JESUS MORE THAN LIKES YOU

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"Hi, my name is Elise, and I am an affirmation addict". Elise is from Cranfield, Ohio. She’s 16-years-old and one of 1.44 billion who regularly post on Facebook. Elise explains the symptoms of her disease: "We crave affirmations from our peers in the form of ‘likes’, ‘favourites’, ‘shares’, ‘re-tweets’, ‘re-blogs, and ‘re-vines’. It’s almost as if we become irrelevant without loads of Internet attention."

     Is everyone on Facebook like this? Probably not! But what’s common is that most users are overwhelmingly selective in what they share. People highlight the positives while downplaying (or ignoring) the negatives.

     To see Outreach Media's June 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

 

 

"Frankly, heads should roll over this."

- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaking after the ABC rebroadcast a Q&A show which featured a former terrorist suspect Zaky Mallah.

 

"This no will also be a big yes, a big yes to the decision of the Greek government to reject an ultimatum that insults the Greek people."

- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, speaking after the Greek Parliament voted to hold a referendum  on 5th July on the bailout proposed by eurozone countries (as quoted on ABCnews on 27thJune, 2015).

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

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

2nd July, 2015

In a video on Australia's ABC, finance editor gives a two minute explanation behind the current debt crisis in Greece. Follow this link to watch the video...


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   

 

 

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE...

1st July,, 2015

DAVID ADAMS

Couple on beachChristians often talk about the fact that we are to live our lives in awareness that Jesus could return to Earth at any moment – as Luke records Jesus saying: “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Easy to talk about; certainly harder to carry out. What does it actually mean for us to live our lives in such a way?

I was watching a film recently about the end of the world and, of course, what was uppermost in people’s minds - apart from the chance to riot and behave outrageously - was to be with those they loved; their families and friends.

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

 

 

THE WORD EXPLAINED

 

 Wordle

Diocese

Archbishop

Godfather/Godmother


| more... |

 

 

BLOGS

 


WORLD'S TALLEST LEGO TOWER; EGG TOSSING; AND HOVER BIKES A REALITY?...

A new record has been set for the world's tallest Lego structure with the construction of a 35.05 metre high tower in Milan, Italy. Using more than 500,000 bricks, the colourful tower took a team of volunteers five days to construct using a cherry picker. The world record, which defeated the previous record by just under a foot, was verified by Guinness World Records.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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SIGHT'S FORUMS ARE NOW CLOSED

 



     

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