Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Lent. Tis the season to be jolly.

Lots of people don't think so, but.

Here's something I wrote on Giving up giving up in the Daily Tele.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007


The ministry team at St Paul's Carlingford is just brilliant. I am thanking God for the opportunity to meet with them on Mondays.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Five little ducks (The Horror! The Horror!)

Have you seen this song?


Five little ducks went out to play
(Hold up five fingers)
Over the hill and far away
(hide fingers behind back)
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
(Make hand into duck bill and open and close)
But only four little ducks came running back.
(Hold up four fingers)

This is a moment, for me, of sheer existential terror. Where did that little duck go? Why does no-one—the other ducks, the song-writer, the imagined reader, even the mother duck, for heaven's sake—express even the slightest hint of concern for that lost duck?

The shock of verse one is intensified with a sense of brooding anticipation as we contemplate the equally alarming words of the next verse:

Four little ducks went out to play
(Hold up four fingers)
Over the hill and far away
(hide fingers behind back)
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
(Make hand into duck bill and open and close)
But only three little ducks came running back.

Why would the mother duck view the disappearance of a second of her children with such callous and depraved indifference? Can she not count? Is there an innocent explanation that would see this as simple oversight, rather than as evidence of some type of foul play?

Many other questions occur. Not least: Where is the father duck, aka "The Drake", and contemptuously referred to among acquaintances as "The Goose".

The instructions for the rest of the song begin as follows:

(Repeat until no ducks come back-3, 2, 1, 0)

If I was a child with even an ounce of imagination this would be nightmare material. Is mother duck a serial killer? Are the bodies of her children buried "over the hill and far away"? Why is my mother singing this song to me?

And the unexpected and unforeseen denouement brings no relief to the troubled soul:

So mother duck said,
And five little ducks came running back!

Where had those little ducks been?

Alien abduction ought to be considered as a possibility.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Critical mass of Muslims

Professor Raphael Israeli of Hebrew University recently caused a stir in Australia when he asserted that “”When the Muslim population gets to a critical mass you have problems. That is a general rule, so if it applies everywhere it applies in Australia.”

It’s an observation based on his own research, so bears attention. I wrote an opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph, a local Sydney newspaper.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The baby lived!

Born when she had been inside mum only 21 weeks and 6 days. As the article in the Sydney Morning Herald says, babies are not considered viable before 23 weeks.

How foolish it is to argue for abortion on the grounds that the life being destroyed is not human. We keep getting reminded that we can't draw the line.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Happy birthday to me! (yesterday)

Got a cordless mouse.

"A valuable addition to our modern lifestyle" -Wallace.

Thanks girls!

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Muslim migration bad?

A Professor of Islamic studies at Hebrew University has warned
that Australia should be careful about how many Muslims they
allow into the country, and says that they should be screened
carefully and monitored. The SMH report is here.

I wrote a letter in response and it was published today.

The letter:

Raphael Israeli's warnings should be listened to.

At present, no other major world religion is consistently associated
with international terrorism. Nor does any other major world religion
find support for such terrorism within its scriptures.

The unpalatable truth within Islam is that some believe they
must be prepared to kill others in order to spread their religion.

Compare the unpalatable truth at the heart of Christianity,
which is that Jesus had to die to save others from death.

The Reverend Gordon Cheng, Kingsford.

You didn't used to be able to say that religions were different
from each other.

Friday, 16 February 2007

More on Sid

Great Uncle Sid, it turns out, had been visited by someone from West 
Sydney Chinese Christian Church who studied the Bible with him regularly.

Eventually he decided to get baptized, and he invited my Dad and my
Aunt and Uncle to be there. (We were in Melbourne at the time).

So he became a Christian in his 80s. Wonderful!

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

I don't do typing

There was the lady, or it may have been a man, at a previous church who volunteered to help in the office, but she was a bit deaf. Not deaf enough to stop him hearing the phone ring or have conversations with those around, but deaf enough that she couldn't hear the person at the other end speaking. He used to get very annoyed at the callers. It didn't do anything to stop her answering the phone, for some reason. The rest of the volunteers were puzzled too, and spent their time thinking up jobs for her to do, along with racing him to see if they could get to the phone before she did. Dang, he was fast.

I have lots of stories like this accumulated over 30 years of churchgoing.

But I still feel vaguely guilty about sharing them on a blog.

Not guilty enough to stop me, obviously. 

Is that unkind, do you think?

Tuesday, 13 February 2007


I preached at West Sydney Chinese Christian Church on Sunday. Afterwards a man said to me "I think I knew your Uncle Sid"—Sid Cheng, who worked for a great deal of his life in the markets, the old Paddy's Market in Chinatown. He lived in Russell Street Strathfield, not too far from the church.

I have great hopes that somehow, in God's grace, he became a Christian before he died. What I do know is that he was reading his Bible regularly, having been prompted to do so by some doorknocking Jehovah's Witnesses. He thought Paul's letter to the Romans was terrific.

You never know, do you, how God is going to work. I doubt that the Jehovah's Witnesses would have been impressed to think that they might have encouraged someone to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Sid was one of nine children. The only one who is still alive is Great Aunt Lily in Guangdong.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Euthanasia in the Daily Tele

I managed to get an article on euthanasia into the Daily Tele. Green Dr Brown thinks it's OK for the government to help kill people, but I think there are problems with the view.

My last opinion piece (and I've only done 3) got pulled when Mrs C suggested that an article on Islam was not necessarily in the family's best interests. That might be right, it might not be, but there we are!

Thanks fellow blogospherians for your encouraging comments. I suppose I should post more often, but I only really started this blog so that I could do a drive-by shooting on a certain website ;-)