The Tree Shoots Back.

Dave Black links to a great video this morning.  He is right in that the comments are hilarious. There are close to 1500 comments on it now – so I”m not going to add my own there. But I will encourage you to bite the bullet,  go out on a limb and read them and not be sappy about it. ;)

In a few days time I will be headed to outback NSW with some friends as we celebrate the 21st birthday of one of our young men. I have a mix of fear and excitement for it. Its going to be hot where we are going and I don’t really cope well with the heat. Not to mention the 8 to 10 hour drive there. However the fellowship and company will out weigh the negatives. We are headed off to a large cattle station ( I think its around 26,000 acres) which is a large piece of dirt. Though, its tiny compared to the largest property in Australia which  is bigger then the state of Texas in U.S.A. I’m planning and hoping to bring back some wild goat and pig meat. Because the property is owned by indigenous traditional land owners who are legally allowed to hunt and eat Kangaroo, I hope to add some Kangaroo meat to the mix also.

There is something special in going bush. There is something about wide open spaces and enclosed forests which enrich my soul. There is something special and enriching about tapping into our primitive ancestral DNA in hunting and gathering our own food.  Some look on me and others like me with horror. It’s  like I am some kind of wild beast of an animal, to think that I would do something as inhumane as hunt for my own meat; while they are happy to munch on boutique sausages bought from the local butcher or supermarket. As a hunter, I believe I show the animal more respect by being actively involved in the process of stalking, hunting, butchering, preparing and eating it – then someone who eats meat, and distances themselves from the process and believe they have a measure of ethical superiority because they eat with clean hands and distanced mind.

Lets hope that no tree fights back while we are away.

 


Witherington engages with Bloomberg and both blow Ehrman out of the water.

Ben Witherington has finished an eight part series, where he engaged with Craig Bloomberg’s book, “Can we still believe the Bible?” 

I really enjoyed reading through his reflections and when finances permit, would like read through this book myself. Regarding the chapter on irrenancy, its a soap box issue of mine, where I believe that Scripture is inerrant – but, our interpretation of it is often faulty. And therefore we need to be careful as to how we interpret and understand Scripture.

In regards to this – its been a long held belief, that Genesis 1 – 3 must be understood within a ‘Theological Narrative” framework, and not a factual scientific framework. By this, I mean, it begins with Moses standing on a hill, telling the Israelite’s their story. The creation account is combating the Egyptian idolatry. He is setting the theme for why and how God was able to defeat and destroy the Egyptian idols so convincingly. Within the creation account – God creates creation in the image of how he imagines creation to be. However, when it comes to humanity, he creates them in his own image – with the order to subdue creation.
Idolatry reverses this order, where humanity submits to creation – and worships what is created as god. God is the creator. We must worship him as such and give him all the glory for it. This sets the framework to understand not only the Pentateuch, but the rest of the OT in regards to its position on idolatry.

We miss so much of the richness of God’s word when we insist and force upon it our own modern understanding – instead of reading the text through the eyes and ears of those whom it was first spoken to.


The Parable of the Talents.

George Athas (With Meagre Powers), wrote a compelling article about the parable of the talents, where one servant buried the money his master had given him – and another two invested wisely and were given more when the master returned. In the introduction he refers to a recent archaeological find where a small sack of buried coins had been found – and makes the case that it was a known practice for people to bury money as mentioned in the parable. (Particularly in a time of war. )  He makes the case that this parable wasn’t about the talents themselves – rather it was about the masters doing what he said he would do – and that was to return. It was an ultimate indictment against the religious leaders of the day  whom Jesus was referring to as the wicked servant. The point being their wickedness was that they didn’t believe Jesus was who he said he was, and would do what he said he would do.

I found it refreshing in how he shows the main thrust of the parable is about Christ’s resurrection and his engagement with the religious establishment of the day  and is not about what we do or don’t do.

 


Knowledge is nothing of its self. For even the demons believe.

Christianity Today has published an interesting article called “Do We Have Discipleship Wrong?”   Derwin L. Grey writes.

 

…if all my learning does not produce more love for Jesus, myself, and people, then I’ve wasted my time. (1 Corinthians 13)

If all that learning doesn’t cultivate more love in my heart, then I wouldn’t be a disciple—I’d be a gatherer of biblical facts. Gatherers of biblical facts don’t transform the world; disciples do. I want to be a disciple. And I want the church I’ve been called to shepherd to be a community of disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Jesus said, “You will know my disciples by the way they love one another.” (John 13:35)

Its an interesting and thought provoking article. I love his conclusion,

“When our minds are in awe of Jesus and our hearts are overflowing with the love of Jesus, we become the hands of Jesus by serving people because we love them.”


A mixed week and its not over yet.

During the weekend, I had a media student contact me about whether she could interview me and hear my story of being a male victim of domestic abuse by a female. For the most part, I always agree to these interviews, and this one was no different. I have had a number of newspaper and television reporters interview me as part of a greater story, and sadly, few of those stories are ever allowed to go to print or to air. I was talking to a worker at our local community centre yesterday – during our morning BBQ and I shared some of my story with her – telling her how hurtful and frustrating the brochures on abuse which say that “Women, Children and others can be victims of abuse.”

I asked her what that sentence meant, and who were the others. I was astounded. Actually it was more than that. I was totally gob smacked, when she said, “The others can include the family pets, or other animals.” In her capacity as a community worker and her social ideology – she had no  functioning capacity or reasoning to see how something was wrong in not including men in that equation. I started trembling inside. Deep painful emotions from my past started their upward spiral where every part of me went into flight mode. And I quietly and quickly organised someone to ensure the packing and cleaning up of the breakfast was facilitated and went home.

This afternoon, the student interviewed me over the phone, and shared my story (or some of it anyways ) with her. I also sent her the address for the blog I wrote called Men Can Be Abused Also, through hell and back where I have written my story, though I rarely blog there now. I shared with her in passing the encounter I had had yesterday, and she too was gobsmacked by that comment. To tell the truth, I am still shaken by it, and have made the decision to pull back for a while, from what I have been doing there.

However, on another note. I have been busy helping a mate set up his aquaponics system as well as setting my own up. I will post some photos soon. I’m hoping ours may be up and running by Christmas, though, the reality is that it will most likely be by February. A work colleague of my wife – offered me some fire wood, from a tree he had cut down, and so this morning I spent a couple of hours loading my ute with some timber, which may be ready for next year, though, its most likely need to be stored for the following winter.

Proverbs 18:10 says that “The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous man runs into it, and is safe. What a relief and reality this verse has been for me the last few days. Actually, its been much longer than that. When the Lord keeps us safe – it doesn’t mean he keeps us free from the debilitating effects of painful experiences and the emotions they produce. What it does mean is that we can come to him as we are. We can tell him our fears, our hurts, about our pain. And when the pain of life becomes so great that we can’t even voice that pain – we can still come to him with our groanings which God totally hears and understands. I am on a journey of discovery of what it means to truly rest in God. What it means to truly rest in God. I think I know a little more about this resting – but, I have a long way to go in truly understanding and practicing this resting in God.

This I know, despite my shortcomings – there is a peace beyond all comprehension that we can experience in the midst of turmoil and strife when we put our total trust in Jesus.


Signs of the Times

Craig Benno:

M8 I can C how this can take off. Wats ur thoughts?

Originally posted on Εις Δοξαν:

I was flipping through the eight edition of Turabian’s style guide and something caught my eye. I flipped back and I had seen it. There, listed in the index, was the section number for how to cite a text message. A text message! I couldn’t imagine what sort of paper wherein a text message would qualify as a reference, but Turabian has it listed under the section concerning interviews and personal communications, so I guess it’s not too unusual. So, should you ever need to cite a text message and do so to conform to Turban style, they’ve got it covered. Signs of the times in the technological age.

Αυτω η δοξα

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IOS – Information Overload Syndrome.

I just had to share this video. 

 


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