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The Hurstville Sower

Hopefully it will make us to be a more missionary church. The Sower window was removed recently for repair. The poor man in the picture has been limping for many years with a broken leg. Who knows how it happened. Perhaps a stone thrown up by passing traffic. Perhaps a bird in flight that thought…

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Speed records

“What is the fastest animal?” posed a roadside sign designed to bust fatigue. The peregrine falcon said son number one, which son number two confirmed by announcing that it could reach speeds of 300 km per hour during one of its bombing runs. (I had offered the cockroach as my answer, which I’m still prepared…

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The Countdown

Sometimes personal Bible reading is hard. I’m currently reading through the Book of Numbers and up to that section that details the prescribed worship during the Feast of Tabernacles – a festival that commemorates the stages of the Israelite journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Feast was organised to last a week, with…

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Yellow on yellow

One of my students beat me to it. I’ve been itching to see Vincent’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery ever since it was unpacked and hung on the wall. But one of my college students jumped the queue, and in his enthusiasm, sent me a sunflower selfie, along with an insightful observation. Vincent’s genius, he…

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An unfortunate event?

Was Jesus’ death an accident? The religious leaders it seems were wanting that to be the general consensus reached by the general population. In their collusion with Judas, they measured out to him 30 pieces of silver in return for knowledge about his so-called Master’s whereabouts. That was not a number simply plucked out of…

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The Heavenly Choir

Yesterday, the fourteenth of March, marked the anniversary of the passing of that great Russian composer, Pavel Chesnokov, who famously wrote choir pieces for oktavists, that is, men who can sing a full octave below the bass line. The very thought of having such vocal apparatus fills me with envy! The sound of such voices,…

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The King’s Gambit

A gambit is simply an act of sacrifice, but of a strategic nature, in order to gain some advantage. The word has come to prominence with the popularity of a miniseries whose characters inhabit the world of chess. ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is a classic move in chess openings; and one supposes that the lead actress,…

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Collective nouns

A flock of cockatoos flew overhead this morning, and I wondered if it/they had a specific collective name. I’ve heard of a ‘gaggle of geese’ and a ‘parliament of owls’ and a ‘murder of crows’, but what about these birds that screech and scream and blitzkrieg our neighbourhood trees? An ‘assault of cockatoos’? I suppose…

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Lord of the Flies

Yesterday I stumbled upon a book that was one of my set English texts at high school – William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ – a short novel about some English school boys marooned on a tropical island without adults. I quickly turned to find the only line that I can remember. Said one boy…

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Things palindromic

The closest we ever got at school to a palindrome was Napoleon’s gem: ‘Able was I, ere I saw Elba’; which filled us with about as much excitement as was experienced last Friday, when Mathematics teachers across the nation leapt into their classrooms with the news that the date was a perfect palindrome: The 12th…

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