Blogging and Byron Smith

Byron’s Blog (Nothing new under the Sun) is a thought provoking read. Byron is a smart dude. He thinks well, reads widely and writes well. I enjoy his blog as it challenges me to think globally about my own ethics.

Byron is deeply passionate about environment. However he is not a save the world greenie nor is he a blame people who drive cars ranter. Byron seeks to investigate the facts behind climate change and then explores how Christians can respond. Here is an example from 3/4/12.

“No one who believes in a God that loves all people should be able to sit by as the wealthy harm the poor on a massive scale.”- John Torrey, Why Religious People Must Speak Up About Climate Change, Huffington Post, 21st March 2012.

This piece clearly articulates one of the key ethical drives behind caring about climate change. Given that it is the wealthy who are by and large responsible and the poor who are most vulnerable, it represents a form of global injustice. We could add to this that it represents intergeneration injustice, another way in which those who have done little or nothing to contribute to the problem are left with facing the worst consequences. …

If you are interested about climate Change and Christianity then his posts are well worth the read.

Aside from his climate change passion, Byron dips into topics with wonderful poise and wisdom. His blog on Easter Saturday was profound. His reflection on religious illiteracy was enlightening. His thoughts on why Titanic captures the world’s imagination was wonderful writing.

Byron’s blog is not an easy read. But it is a rich and enlightening read especially for those who want to think and comment well on Christian ethics, the environment and global events.

Anzac Day

The significance of Anzac Day to Australians has grown remarkably over the last decade. When I was growing up Anzac day parades were attended by a significant but small group of committed families and veterans. Pilgrimages to Gallipoli were uncommon. The media coverage was on the ABC

Tomorrow the coverage will be on every channel with live crosses to Turkey, France and Afghanistan. 7000 tickets to Anzac cove have been sold out for months. Thousands will line streets around Australia to celebrate our courageous veterans as the true heroes of Australia.

When we went to Turkey in 2009 Gallipoli was not high on our agenda. We were happy to visit but it was not a pilgrimage for us. At one level we both thought the whole thing had been beat up by the media looking for a story. Whilst not changing our mind on the way media affects culture, we both were deeply affected by our visit to Anzac Cove.

The area is thoroughly untouristified for 300 days a year. The beaches where the Anzacs stormed are still beaches. The bushland remains bushland. Apart from a road and grace sites, the Turkish people have left this area untouched. I like that.

The biggest thing that struck me was how devastating Gallipoli was for the Turkish. The turks lost 80,000 men defending the invasion of the Australian, NZ and British. We rightly remember the courage of our men. The Turks rightly remember the courage of theirs. Gallipoli is full of memorials to both sides. The tourist guides speak with admiration of the courage of the Turks and the allied forces. Our guide spoke about how both sides fought, “they were men at war who behaved like men not animals. They fought to win at all costs yet when the fighting ceased they treated each other with honour. It was the last war where this has happened.”

On Anzac day we promise to never forget the courage of our fallen soldiers. It is also appropriate that The Turks don’t fail to remember theirs.

Coffee in Port: The Milk Bar

Prime location. Great Coffee. Great Food. It does not get much better than this in Port. The Milk Bar is a relatively new addition to the Port Cafe tribe. It is located under the swish Observatory hotel overlooking Town Beach. The cafe itself is clean and modern, with simple wooden chairs and tables, a big open kitchen and coffee bar, and nice outdoor seating. The menu is simple and yum *especially the chicken and cheakpea burger.

The Coffee is wonderful. Beans are Single Origin. The guys make a lovely, full bodied tasty brew. My Piccolo is rich and tasty. The guys can make it a little bitter at times but that is a taste preference not a deficiency.

Coffee in Port: The Co. Cafe

The Co. is a newish cafe battling hard against the other cafes in the centre of town. The first thing that strikes you is the space: big and roomy. There is no sense that you are sitting in on your neighbours breakfast or eavesdropping a secret chat of a potential couple. The cafe wins with its layout with different spaces for different groups. On a pouring wet morning we found a very comfy lounge to drink coffee and read the Bible.

The coffee was not great. The brew was a little unbalanced and missing that sweet, bitter coffee taste of great beans from a great machine. Whilst the coffee was not the highlight, the menu on offer was interesting, inexpensive and looked tasty.

The Co. Cafe will do well with the tourist/cafe crowd of Port.

Yoda’s Review

  • Coffee: 3/5
  • Reflection: “after a long wait it was a flat white”

Bubba Watson: sport and faith

Bubba Watson – golfing extraordinaire, believer in Jesus.

Recently a bunch of famous sportspeople have caught the public’s attention because of their faith in Jesus (Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin). Why?

Joe Carter muses, “Perhaps it’s because these athletes are open and unapologetic about their willingness to share the Gospel. They also keep their priorities in order, winsomely admitting that their life’s callings are secondary to serving the Creator who has called them. To a culture that is both obsessed and disillusioned with fame and fortune, the centered perspective of these superstars provides a refreshingly countercultural witness.

It is refreshing to see a believer, at the height of fame, keep his head and remain clear about his faith. There is no bells and whistles with him. Before and after he won the US Masters Green Jacket he professed his love for Jesus.

Bubba’s twitter account is clear: @bubbawatson: Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer. Owner of General Lee 1.

Nice article here on Bubba

Easter Sunday Sermon

I was given the privilege of preaching Easter Sunday at The Point. What an honour!! The best day of the year. The day of hope, victory, assurance. King Jesus is alive.

The passage I was given was Matthew 28:1-15.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

It is a very interesting passage with 2 main scenes. The first is the women at the empty tomb. The second is the Jewish leaders reaction to the empty tomb. I focused in on the first

As I prepared the structure that came out was a mixture of narrative and apologetics. I am constantly struck by the facts of the story – in one sense the plain fact that the tomb was empty, yet the supernatural element of an angel passing the message to the women and the appearance of Jesus is mind blowing.

The apologetic slant was borrowed from Tim Keller whose 3 Q reasonable people ask about the resurrection gave me some structure to the rest of the sermon.

If you are interested you can download it here.