Monthly Archives: November 2007

where I live

McMansions, mortgages, and the stress of materialism – we’ve got the lot!

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reading level

cash advance

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total depravity

Sometimes when I read the papers, I just want to weep. I have 2 kids of my own, and they are a precious gift from God. I am well aware of the challenges of children with special needs. But I cannot fathom the heart that is capable of this:

Girl prisoner’s ‘torture’
from The Sydney Morning Herald News Headlines
Court papers reveal seven-year-old NSW girl’s “slow and torturous” death by starvation.

I read the details, and I want to be sick. I am filled with outrage. How can a human being do such a thing to another, essentially defenceless child? How do you go out at night, or sit down in front of the television, knowing that you have locked a little girl in a room for weeks on end with no food?

There are no answers to that question, it seems to me. No answers except revelation:

Rom 1:28-29 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.

Some people have suggested that we Anglicans spend too much time talking about sin. My response is, how can you not, when this is what we read in the papers? We need to be real, talk about the world the way it really is. Only then can we fully fathom the real hope that is ours in the Gospel – that Jesus has stared this depravity full in the face, and defeated it, its lord and its enslaving power.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

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disturbing news on childhood depression

Melbourne University child psychiatry professor Alasdair Vance said childhood depression had increased fourfold in the past 30 years, was affecting children earlier and was actually changing their genetic structure.

“The genetic material changes its configuration so that it is less likely to produce particular proteins. Genes don’t change that quickly — it’s the environmental influence,” he told an audience of 250 at Federation Square in a conversation with Dr Freier and Women’s Forum Australia director Melinda Tankard-Reist.

Professor Vance said 100,000 Australian children were being treated for depression. By 2020 depression would be second to cardiac problems in the World Health Organisation list of most significant disorders.

Ms Tankard-Reist said Australian culture was toxic for girls, leading to more self-harm, body-image dissatisfaction, eating disorders and lower self-esteem. “They are now expected to be hot saucy tweens on the prowl rather than active, healthy girls.”
She said girls were being prematurely sexualised, bombarded by messages from a “pornified” culture long before they were able to cope.

“Kids aren’t allowed to be kids very long any more. One-in-five 12-year-old girls is using vomiting and fasting to keep weight down and a quarter of young girls would like plastic surgery.
“There are now gossip magazines for five and six-year-olds, telling them how to look hot and catch a boy. There are pole-dancing classes for children in Sydney,” she said.
“Priceline has a range of make-up for kids, including Hugh Heffner’s ‘Tie Me to The Bedpost’ lip gloss. Girls should be told this is sleazy old grandpa lip gloss.”

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death in the papers

Is it just me, or has death been getting a particular run in the papers of late? It has struck me as I flick through the headlines how random and unforgiving death is. Consider the following headlines from the SMH:

Seven dead as lift plummets 34 floors
Elevator in eastern China drops 100 metres, killing seven construction workers.

Family watch deadly exorcism ritual
22-year-old mother of two drowns in her lounge as up to 40 relatives watch.

Boy, 6, killed by mystery sea beast
Boy dies after being stung by an unidentified creature off the Tiwi Islands.

Man dies during cockatoo rescue
58-year-old falls 12 metres trying to retrieve neighbour’s pet bird from tree.

Christmas party’s deadly dim sim
A 25-year-old woman dies after a violent reaction to eating a dim sim.

We normally hear about disasters and things, but more and more we are hearing about these bizarre or unusual stories of people meeting their end.

It serves to reinforce both the fallenness of this world and the finality of death that can strike at any moment, to any one, at any time.

Praise be to our Father that Jesus has taken on death and beaten it, that though it remains a formidable enemy to those who know him, yet it is beaten and holds no final power.

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the ministry of kicking

Heard a great line from Tim Keller the other day.

He likened so much of pastoral ministry to ‘kicking a Coke machine’.

People are the machines, and the gospel is the coin. The coin goes in. Its in there – the people are Christian – but there’s no appropriate output! No ‘fruit’.

Ministry then is kicking the machine until the coin drops. (I don’t think it actually involves feet…). In other words, helping people to see how the gospel affects and transform how we think about every single aspect of our lives, so that we end up with spiritual fruit, gospel shaped lives, for the glory of Jesus who died to make it possible.

I’m praying that it drops in me, pray I can help it drop in others. Better get my boots on…


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