Monday, 24 May 2010

Ruby's work

Ruby's teacher started a class blog and put some students' work on it. Here's Ruby's effort:

I think tomatoes don't taste very nice but I think they look COOL!!
They have a deep, brightish colour and a sprout of green on top like a bunch of grass placed right at the top of a grassy, green hill. Maybe if a baby saw a tomato it might think it's a ball and start kicking it around.

As I said on the blog, 'Yay Rubes!'

Getting organized—Dropbox

One of the things I'm doing while on leave is just trying to take a few baby steps towards getting organized. Anyone who has worked with me or had to live with me will be quietly applauding right about now.

Along these lines one of the things that has caused me the greatest joy during the last week or two has been the discovery of this extremely nifty site called Dropbox, which I got onto via Productivity501, which I think I got onto via Unclutterer, which I got onto because I am (half) Swedish and am constitutionally attracted to neatness and order, even if I am not personally capable of achieving it.

Dropbox is totally excellent (so far), and has allowed me to sync *all* my important files (and many unimportant ones) between my laptop and my desktop—and then keep them synched without my needing to pay any attention whatsoever, as well as giving me 2.2+ gig of storage on the internet for free. As far as I can tell they make their profit by me, or people like me deciding that it is too valuable to do without, and so wanting to buy extra storage space. I'm not there yet, but if I decide to get serious about photo and video storage I can see the day coming.

What's more, the other day I was around at my Dad's doing a bit of work for him and realized that I'd forgotten the powercord to my laptop. No problem! I logged onto his computer, found my Dropbox files and was able to work on them over the internet. When I got home and powered up my desktop and laptop, they synched the files I'd been working on with no difficulty whatsoever.

It's a pretty teensy-weensy thing to get excited about in the big scheme of things, but excited I am. Give it a shot yourself, here.


Those of you who are prayer supporters of the work at Cumbo ECU will know that I'm current on leave for stress and depression. Things are going well, thanks, God is gracious and the people at AFES have been extraordinarily generous in allowing me an indefinite amount of time to recover; likewise my good buddies at Cumbo ECU have been wonderfully patient and kind both now, and, as you can imagine, in the period leading up to when I went on leave. Not to mention the eternally patient Fifi and the rest of my family—including the church family at St Paul's Carlingford.

I really believe that the way God shows his grace most normally is not through remarkable extra-biblical revelation, nor through astonishing miracles that run against the course of nature, but just through the regular stuff that happens and the people that God chooses to surround us with.

(See Ps 19, Ruth, Job 38-42, Matt 5:45, Acts 8:29 come immediately to mind.)

More thoughts as they come.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Should we apologize for the Crusades?

Justin Taylor links to an interview with Rodney Stark. Justin was interested in the bit where Stark talks about how the US left doesn't seem to make headway amongst evangelical Christians (which Stark qualifies very helpfully), but I was more interested in the bits where he talks about Muslims and the Crusades, for example:

Because the Crusades are often understood within a larger framework that says that Islam is the gentle faith and Christianity the violent one. Karen Armstrong would have us believe that Muhammad was a pacifist. Take Major Nidal Hassan, the man responsible for the Fort Hood massacre. Had an evangelical Christian of the nutty sort gotten up in front of Army psychiatrists and talked about how much he respected people who shot abortionists, he would have been out of the Army an hour later. But everybody tiptoes around the issue of Islam.

Several months after 9/11, former President Clinton gave a speech at Georgetown University in which he apologized for the Crusades. He said we had much to be sorry about, and we bore some of the guilt for sending those airplanes plunging into the Twin Towers. Now, Clinton isn't a nut. He's not an anti-American. He's just been miseducated. He's been told a whole lot of nonsense about the Crusades.

The interview itself is from Patheos.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Ethics classes in schools

Polly Seidler gets a letter in the SMH:

I'm all for competition between SRE and a secularist alternative, but please let the competition be fair.

For each course, let there be the same level of advertising from the school, accurate labelling of the philosophical or religious framework (for example, humanist or secularist ethics), and penalties for misleading claims such as the St James Ethics Centre's (Simon Longstaff's) claim that the ethics pilot would be offered only to children who have opted out of SRE, when in fact it was offered to those on the SRE roll, which forms the crux of SRE providers' complaint.

Polly Seidler, Darlinghurst

(SRE = Special Religious Education, which by law needs to be allowed for in the timetables of public schools in NSW)

Not all miracles

Not all miracles are good miracles:

An 83-year-old Indian holy man who says he has spent seven decades without food or water has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him during a two-week observation period.

From today's Sydney Morning Herald. The man in question says that 'he was blessed by a goddess at a young age, which gave him special powers.'

"23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand." (Matt 23)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Gordon's quick and easy 5-step recipe book

Gordon's quick and easy 5-step recipe book:

1. Look in fridge.
2. Google fridge contents.
3. If you are reading this in Australia, click on first recipe website with '.au' suffix. Otherwise, just click first recipe website.
4. For Asian food, add word 'Asian' at step 2.
5. Cook.

Special offer!: If you have been helped by this recipe book, please send $35 to my account via Paypal (normally $50!), and I will send you a suggestion for a cover photo you may like to use if you end up printing it out.