FEATURE: CONNECTING WITH THE NATION THROUGH PRAYER

Australians are being encouraged to ask for Christians to pray them under a new web-based ministry established in Queensland.
    Launched in April under the banner of "linking the community to the church through prayer", PrayForMe.com.au is already receiving around 100 prayer requests a week, according to director Russell Barton.
    Citing figures from the last census which show that 69 per cent of all Australians indicated they believed in a Christian God, Barton says he established the non-profit organisation to provide Australians who are facing a period of crisis with an avenue to make contact with Australia’s Christian community and to ask for prayer support.

   DAVID ADAMS reports on a new effort to encourage more Australians to seek prayer... | more...|


FEATURE: WATOTO CHILDREN'S CHOIR TOURS AUSTRALIA

LENA JOHNSTONE recently experienced Watoto when they visited Ocean Grove in Victoria. She writes of her experience... | more...|

 

It’s a startling fact that of Uganda’s population of 25 million, an estimated two million are orphaned children. Of those, more than 880,000 have lost their parents as a result of AIDS.
    David, 12, is one of them. He lost his parents to AIDS a couple of years ago and had to go and live with his elderly grandmother. Life was tough and instead of attending school, he had to spend his days digging for food in the garden.
    Hope returned around two years ago when he was taken in by Watoto Child Care Ministries, an orphan care program based in the country’s capital city, Kampala.
    One of the 1,200 children that have been cared for by the group, David now has a home and a family as well as the basic practical necessities we all so often take for granted - food, clothes and an education.

   DAVID ADAMS takes a look at Uganda's Watoto Children's Choir... | more...|


FEATURE: NATIONAL DAY OF THANKSGIVING

 

ESSAY: Keynote speech given by the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, on the inaugural National Day of Thanksgiving at Scots Church in Melbourne... | more...|

 

Saturday, May 29th marks the inaugural National Day of Thanksgiving, an ambitious project which aims to encourage all Australians to give thanks to God and each other.
    Thousands of people will be taking part in around 200 significant events, such as prayer breakfasts, across the country at which church leaders will be praying for government leaders at a local, state and federal level.
    There are also expected to be hundreds and possibly even thousands of other smaller activities such as thanksgiving day celebration services and family fun days at churches.
   "We also expect...there will be people inviting their neighbors in for morning tea to say thanks to them, bosses having a morning tea to say thanks to their employees, families having reunions,” says Brian Pickering, who is co-ordinating the day. “So there’s a whole raft of other creative ideas that are going around.”

   DAVID ADAMS reports on the first National Day of Thanksgiving... | more...|

Are you taking part in the National Day of Thanksgiving? Why not share your thoughts on the day with others at Sight forums... |more...|



FEATURE: CHINA'S CHRISTIANS ON A GLOBAL MISSION

 

A Chinese communist general in 1949, asked about his astonishing record of success, replied: ``It's simple. I just give the order: `advance victoriously on all fronts'.'' Fifty-five years on the Chinese Christians could adopt the same slogan.
    When the Western missionaries were expelled in 1949, there were about 800,000 Christians in the world's most populous country. After half a century of sometimes vicious persecution and ruthless repression, the number today is approaching 100 million, plus 12 million Chinese Catholics.

   Now the Chinese Christians are emerging with an extraordinary vision they have cherished for 60 years: to carry the Christian message into the Muslim world and complete the gospel's progress around the globe.

In an article reprinted from Australian Presbyterian magazine (an expanded version of an article that first appeared in The Age newspaper, Melbourne), BARNEY ZWARTZ reports on China's Christian explosion... | more...|


FEATURE: INSIDE '40 DAYS OF PURPOSE'

 

Rick Warren, the senior pastor of one of the United States' largest churches, is a man with a mission.
      His goal, famously, is to take the Gospel to the whole world. And it’s not as far fetched as it may sound at first take.
      In a phenomena that’s captivated the hearts and minds of much of the Christian world, more than two million people have so far taken part in one of Warren’s “40 Days of Purpose” campaigns and more than 250,000 pastors and church leaders from as many as 125 different countries have so far attended one of his “Purpose-Driven Church” seminars.

Across Australia, churches of all denominations are gearing up for 40 Days of Purpose - a US-birthed spiritual development campaign which is changing lives around the world. DAVID ADAMS takes a look at what it’s all about... | more...|

FOR MORE ON 40 DAYS OF PURPOSE...

Read ANN WOJCZUK's diary of her 40 days experience... | more...|

NICK HODGSON examines the Biblical precedents for a 40 days campaign... | more...|

Australian churches prepare for "40 Days of Purpose"... | more...|

Australian expectations and experiences... | more...|

Have you been or are you going to be involved in "40 Days of Purpose"? Have your say on Sight forums... | more...|


ESSAY: AN EASTER REFLECTION

Exhausted and bleeding, Jesus was buckling under the weight of the cross and, probably fearful that He wouldn’t make it up the hill at Golgotha, the soldiers compelled passerby Simon of Cyrene to bear the cross behind Jesus.
    News of Jesus’ arrest and so-called trial, meanwhile, had reached every part of Jerusalem by word of mouth - there were no major news networks then. People gathered along the streets. The cries of “crucify him” had died away: the leaders and their supporters who had condemned Jesus had had their way and now, in their place were a group of women from Jerusalem who, according to the Gospel of Luke, “mourned and wailed” for Jesus.

    ANDREW MERRY writes that Jesus' crucifixion had ramifications far beyond the merely physical... | more...|

What does Easter mean to you? Share your thoughts at Sight forums...

| more...|


RWANDA: 10 YEARS ON

Gilbert Mwenedata was just 19-years-old when he and his family were forced to flee their home and hide in a swamp as death raged across Rwanda.

   Five weeks later, when the then student emerged from the swamp, it was without his mother and sister, who along with many members of his extended family and friends were among the more than 800,000 people who died during the “100 days of madness” when Hutu extremists rampaged through the east central African nation from April to June, 1994.

     Now working with international aid agency World Vision in helping people to come to terms with the butchery that took place 10 years ago, Mwenedata is in Australia to talk about the progress his country has made. DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|


THE INTERVIEW: LEE STROBEL

"For me, the cumulative case for a Creator was the most powerful discovery. In other words, when you put together the data from a wide range of sciences, you find that the overall case for the existence of God is incredibly persuasive." � ���

   The award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune newspaper and a spiritual sceptic until 1981, Lee Strobel has become known across the globe for his ground-breaking books, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith.

DAVID ADAMS talks to acclaimed US author and journalist, Lee Strobel, about his latest book, The Case for a Creator... | more...|

MORE ON LEE STROBEL:

TONY TOWNSEND on The Case for Christ... | more...|


FEATURE: VIRTUAL CHURCH?

It’s a concept that’s been around for years and - given the pervasive nature of the internet - is one which has enormous potential. Yet few mainstream churches across the world have so far embraced the concept of the internet church.
    That may all be about to change. The Church of England’s Diocese of Oxford has recently announced plans to create a virtual parish in what represents one of the first serious attempts to take the established church onto the world wide web.

   DAVID ADAMS reports on a move to create a virtual church community... | more...|


THE INTERVIEW: KEN DUNCAN

"I’m an average photographer with a great God. Seriously. Even on the movie set, I just said 'Lord, what am I doing here? You’ve got to be kidding. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing'...The hardest part of photography is looking past the I as in ‘capital I’; looking past what you think should be happening and being in control. It’s fantastic being out of control with Jesus, I love it."

  

DAVID ADAMS speaks with world renowned photographer Ken Duncan about his work, his friendship with Mel Gibson and his new book inspired by The Passion of the Christ...| more...|

 

"I hope it spurs them on to investigate the life of Christ for themselves" - Mel Gibson speaking with Ken Duncan about his movie. Read more excerpts from an interview Ken Duncan recorded with Mel Gibson for his book... | more...|
   

FOR MORE ON THE PASSION, click here...


TRAVEL: CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGES - THE BAPTISMAL SITE

“It doesn’t matter where we are baptised, but the exhortation of being baptised close to where our Lord was baptised is indescribable,” says a plaque at the Yardenit baptismal site in Israel. “If you are being baptised here today have faith in the operation of God that the Holy Spirit will perform within you, be buried with him in baptised. Wherein also you are risen with him in the newness of life. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you.”

  

In the first of a series on Christian pilgrimages of today, DAVID ADAMS takes a look at a place which holds a special significance for many Christians... | more...|
   


ATTEST: BACK FROM THE DEAD WITH A MISSION FROM GOD

“I thought this is God and He revealed himself to me that He was God. I’m standing there shaking, I mean I’m absolutely completely undone: He knows my thoughts, He knows my name - everything that’s inside me, nothing’s hidden from Him - and I’m thinking, that’s Almighty God and I’m standing here? Somebody’s made a serious mistake and has got the wrong person.”

    Stung five times on the arm by a box jellyfish while night diving in Mauritius 20 years ago, Ian McCormack knew his life was ending. Inspired to pray, he asked Jesus Christ into his life in what amounted to a death-bed conversion. While his body was cooling in the morgue, the young traveller found himself standing before God who offered him a second chance at life. DAVID ADAMS writes of how a surfie from New Zealand died to find God and now travels the world telling others of his experience... | more...|
   


FILM: AUSTRALIANS RESPOND TO MEL GIBSON'S PASSION

"A powerful and beautifully shot film, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is an uncompromising and stirring retelling of the final hours leading up to the death of Jesus Christ.
    In the tradition of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, this is a gruelling movie and well deserves its MA rating. Yet it’s a movie which captures the very essence of what Christ faced in his final hours on earth and paints a realistic picture of first century Jerusalem..."

   DAVID ADAMS reviews The Passion of the Christ... | more...|

HAVE YOUR SAY: Have you seen the film and want to share your thoughts or are you interested in seeing what others are saying about it? Click here to go to Sight's forums...

Uncomfortable and confronting but a unique and compelling look at the death of Jesus Christ.
    That, according to Tony Crook, executive director of the Bible Society Victoria, is the verdict he’s hearing from some of the hundreds of pastors and ministers who have attended a preview screening of Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ. “Nobody has said it was anything but authentic,” says Crook, who has spoken to numerous church leaders who have attended screenings in Melbourne and Geelong. “People are saying it’s right in your face but it’s right.”

    DAVID ADAMS reports on how Australian church leaders are responding to the film... | more...|

MORE ON THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST:

Jesus in film... | more...|

DAVID ADAMS reports on Mel Gibson's new film... | more...|

The Passion on the web... | more...|


FEATURE: CHURCH & STATE

Never a simple separation, DAVID ADAMS explores how the secularisation of society and, at the same time, growth in religious diversity is shaping the relationship between governments and churches across the world...

| more...|
   

Image: Ann Wojczuk

(Images: iStockphoto.com)


FEATURE: MISSION ON THE HOME FRONT

Twenty years ago it seemed unlikely that Australian schoolchildren wouldn’t know who Jesus Christ was. Even if they didn’t go to church, chances were they had someone in the family who at some point had. Enough contact anyway to know of Jesus’ significance even if they didn’t understand it fully.
    Yet research and anecdotal evidence is showing that today a scenario in which children don’t know who Christ is at all - at least as no more than a profanity - is one which is becoming increasingly common.
“It’s really a moment in history that we’re reflecting on... this is a first,” observes Dr Ruth Powell, a researcher at National Christian Life Survey Research.
       We can take it for granted that people know something about who Jesus Christ is. Yet evidence is emerging that many school children don’t have any knowledge of Him except as a profanity. DAVID ADAMS reports...| more... |


ATTEST: WHEN IT'S ALL ON THE LINE

“I wouldn’t be sitting here talking about it if God wasn’t on my side, believe me. He’s always done that in my life. If I’ve made silly mistakes, it’s like he know’s I’m going to make those mistakes but he’ll put something or somebody in my path to make the outcome less horrific...”
       Being told your 12-year-son has cancer is something that thankfully most of us never have to face. But for Dee Jobson, in July this year, that became her reality when she was told her son Liam had a tumour in his leg. She spoke with DAVID ADAMS about how God is helping her and her family face what is an ongoing challenge... | more... |


AUSTRALIA DAY 2004: PORTRAIT OF AN AUSTRALIAN

Australian flags"I am going to paint a central figure who no longer feels the alienation of someone born on a distant shore. They are finding their way on the world stage and they carry with them an independent streak and an awareness of the need to do things their way entwined with a sense of community; a sticking-by-your-mates loyalty - a Bali-bombing response."


LLOYD HARKNESS paints the portrait of an Australian...
| more...|    


FEATURE: BLACKSTUMP MUSIC FESTIVAL

BlackstumpIt started 18 years ago as a Christian music festival with one stage in the middle of a cow paddock.
      This year Blackstump, which ran over the weekend of October 3-6, attracted a crowd of more than 3000 and featured 10 different stage venues which simultaneously showcased not only bands but drama, comedy, dance and a range of speakers from across the globe.
      The non-denominational event now bills itself as an 'alternative Christian festival' rather than limiting itself to music. The new name fits it aptly.
       JAMES CROOK reports that this year’s Blackstump music festival struck a chord with Generation X... | more... |

FOR MORE ON MUSIC:

MARK EVANS catches up with the Paul Colman Trio | more... |



 
 

BECOME PART OF THE SIGHT COMMUNITY!

 

 

Want free weekly email updates of everything that's new on Sight as well as be able to enter our competitions and receive a range of other benefits?

SUBSCRIBE HERE

 

Sight+

Sight+ is a new benefits program we've launched to reward people who have supported us with annual donations of $26 or more. To find out more about Sight+ and how you can support the work of Sight, head to our Sight+ page.

 

Visit us at:

Facebook

Twitter

MySpace

Google+

Pinterest

LinkedIn



SPONSORS

VISION BIBLE COLLEGE

SURF HOUSE OCEAN GROVE

See your business or event listed here for an introductory price from just $1.50 a day or from $20 a month on the Sight Directory (see below). Inquiries to advertising@sightmagazine.com.au

 

THE SIGHT DIRECTORY

We're building a directory of organisations and businesses - The Sight Directory

 

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...

 

THE SIGHT BOOKCLUB

The Five Times I Met Myself

For April-May, 2016, we're reading James L Rubart's novel, The Five Times I Met Myself (Thomas Nelson, 2015).

To register your group (and receive our discussion notes via email) and for more details about how the club works, head here...

 

SUGGESTION BOX

Thought of a way we could make the site better? Or any other general feedback? Drop us a line here...

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We're committed to keeping Sight freely accessible to all our readers but we need your help to do so.

if you'd like to support the work that we do, please consider paying an annual "virtual subscription" of just $26 a year - that's just 50 cents a week - or $52 a year - just $1 a week.

Or, if you're able, become one of the Sight200 (and receive a free book!) with monthly donation of at least $10 ($10 equates to $2.50 a week).

Simply click on the 'Donate' tab above and follow the instructions for either one-off or monthly amounts (no PayPal account is required and if you'd like the amount to be monthly, make sure you tick the 'Make This Recurring (Monthly)' box).

Please note that donations to Sight are not tax deductible. Any queries, please email editor@sightmagazine.com.au

 

INTERESTED IN CONTRIBUTING TO THE WORK OF SIGHT?

We're always looking for volunteers so If you think you can help out on Sight,please let us know. Simply send an email to editor@sightmagazine.com.au

 

 

THEY SAID IT

 

 

"To protect our country, to protect our society, to protect our economy and to protect our children - we must protect the family. As the most sacred national institution and all that goes towards making our families strong."

- Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison in a speech to the Australian Christian Lobby's national conference on 23rd April, 2016.

 

"The European Union doesn't moderate British influence - it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain's global leadership; it enhances Britain's global leadership...So the US and the world need your outsized influence to continue - including within Europe."

- US President Barack Obama writing in the UK's Telegraph newspaper on 23rd April, 2016, in which he puts forward the argument for Britain - where a referendum will take place in June over whether the UK should remain part of the EU - to remain part of the European Union.

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

 

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

 

 

15th April, 2016

Open Doors Australia are offering a rare chance to peek behind the walls of the 'Hermit Kingdom' of North Korea. The organisation, which says the country is the hardest place in the world to be a Christian, has published 21 images depicting daily life there. To see the images, head 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   

 

 

A GLASS OF WATER...

28th April, 2016

PAUL CLARK

Glass of waterHow heavy is the glass of water?

Hold if for a minute, not too bad.

Hold it for a day, painful.

Hold it for a year?

    If you hold onto an offence - something someone has done to you – it will ground you up on the inside, chew you up and spit you out.

It’s ironic. By holding onto an offence that someone else did to you, you continue to give that person power over your life!

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

 

 

THE WORD EXPLAINED

 

 Wordle

Sinner

(Take up your) Cross

Synagogue rulers


| more... |

 

 

BLOGS

 


OF FANCY HORSE HAIRCUTS; SNAPPING SELFIES; TWO MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE; AND, A CHURCH IN THE ROCKS...

They're haircuts for horses - but with a difference. A UK-based horse clipper, Melody Hames, is producing some unusual designs on horse backs thanks to a growing trend for horse haircuts to be more than a simple trim. Her designs - via her business JMC Equestrian - reportedly depict everything from love-hearts to birds and even a castle - all apparently driven by an increasing demand from customers. Fancy.

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


CHRISTIAN SYMBOL DISCOVERED ON ROMAN-ERA POTTERY SHARD FOUND IN LONDON...
A 4th century piece of pottery discovered in London almost 50 years ago has recently been found to bear a Christian symbol in what experts say is a rare example of such a find from the city's Roman period.

The symbol, etched into the pottery, depicts the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, Christos. The monogram, known as the chi-rho (chi being the Greek X and rho being the Greek P), was reportedly recently discovered on the pottery piece by volunteers at the Museum of London's Archaeological Archive.

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

FOR SIGHT'S BLOG LINKS, HEAD TO OUR BLOGSPOT PAGE...    

 

 

SIGHT'S FORUMS ARE NOW CLOSED

 



     

    Latest Your Say comments

     

    Comment left by Robbie
    Just last week I became a registered marriage celebrant with the Aust. govt as a minister of reli...

    Comment left by AL
    I immediately felt connected with the book with the Jesus story and the Australian details. It m...

    Comment left by AL
    Thank you Carol it is always good to be encouraged to pray. Your article is one on many on sightm...

    Comment left by Rachel
    I agree with the original meaning of marriage and children being involved.

    Comment left by Matt Wilesmith
    Amazing article! Very well written and thought out. It's inspiring work from Rebekah.

    Comment left by Emma
    I'm sorry, there is much in this write up to comment on, but that response from Mr Abbot ... tota...