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Luxury!

Inspired by that skit involving the four Yorkshiremen, where they try to outdo each other in terms of describing the hardships and deprivations of their boyhoods, that was the word I was wanting to cry out when I came to that part in the story of Jacob, where he was sleeping out in the open,…

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The Brickies Labourer

I didn’t realize how challenging it is to build a brick wall. Firstly, there’s the choice of how to orient the exposed face: The stretcher, the soldier, the header, the rowlock stretcher, the sailor, the rowlock. And then there’s the choice of how to bond the bricks. If a single wall, then perhaps the stretcher…

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Tearing down monuments

I remember the day on the way home from school in Year 9, pushing my bike up a hill, and having an existential crisis. A dark thought gripped me: “Why don’t I become a mass-murderer…. at least I’ll get my name in the history books.” Whew! Glad that thought stayed restrained and unrealized! Erostratus, a…

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What bird is that?

I finally got to use my ornithological almanac! Yesterday a strange bird perched on the gum tree in my neighbour’s yard. It wasn’t one of the usual suspects like the magpies and cockatoos that regularly take their turn on the limb, but a bird that I’d never seen before. It had the tailfeathers of an…

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Beyond all question

1 Timothy 3:16 “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” 1. It was no ghost that in the manger lay No ball of…

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Away from the manger!

The manger was ready. The hay neatly dented to receive the swaddled infant child. The wise men and women of the church were about to turn up for the service. But the baby hadn’t arrived, and I was starting to wonder if I’d got my tinsel crossed. How can you have a Christmas service without…

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Jesus in Australia?

I remember hearing William Blake’s stirring anthem that proposed the thesis that Jesus once walked upon the shores of England in ancient times, but this year’s Christmas stamp presents the thesis that Jesus walked through the Australian bush! Along the way, apparently, he was pictured with cockatoos, magpies, kookaburras, koalas and possums. The obvious favourite,…

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The Ruler of Bethlehem

I feel like David, that ruler from Bethlehem, the moment he hewed off the Philistine’s head. I’ve been battling with a Philistinian plant in the front garden for years. The first time I attacked it, it fought back, growing three branches to replace the one I’d cut off, doubling in height, and standing its ground….

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The Heavenly Buster

One of things that I love about Sydney is the ‘Southerly Buster’. Of course that’s not the name of a street thug from Sydney south, but the name of a wonderful weather event. I’m not sure if it’s a phenomenon that occurs in other locations, but certainly none of the places where I have previously…

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Proof in his hands

What a sad thing that power and paranoia seem to go hand in hand. King Saul had the first and suffered the second. The Book tells the story of a number of occasions when he was in deadly pursuit of David, paranoid that David was hurrying to take his crown, only to receive indisputable proof…

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