Friday, 25 June 2010

Latham on Gillard

Former ALP leader Mark Latham is so full of bile towards his old party that you almost feel that he may be telling the truth as he predicts the fall of Gillard, just so that he gets to say nasty things about other people.

The winner of Mahut-Isner? Tennis reportage

Play resumes at 59 games all in the 5th set.

Geoff Dyer:

If not war, then how about its nearest sporting equivalent, boxing? Recalling the 14th round of the 1975 fight in Manila between Muhammad Ali and George Frazier, Ali's doctor, Ferdie Pacheco, said, "That's what gets people killed in boxing, when the fight becomes more important than life and death." It's never that extreme in tennis and this particular game could never become more important than life itself for the simple reason that it was life itself. They were toiling away not for any ultimate meaning or purpose (as John McEnroe said, after a set-to like this, neither of them have a hope in hell of winning their next-round match) but because, within those white lines, a very simple logic holds sway: he hits a ball and you try to hit it back. And so, through some perverse compatibility – those marriages that last for ages because of an insatiable and shared appetite for bickering – they settled into a tranced deadlock. Normally, a player would be under immense pressure when serving to stay in the tournament but there were no nerves because, after a while – after the first two or three hours, I mean – there was no expectation that anything unusual might happen.

Writing in the Guardian.

PS Oh, you want to know who won? Oh, alright then.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

This will be remembered longer

This tennis match will be remembered longer than Kevin Rudd.

Kevin Rudd gone

You heard it here, 593rd. Well, I don't think I could claim first in good conscience, do you? Here, for example, a New Zealand paper reports on it.

Credit to Andrew Bolt, who called it on May 31.

When you break promises, such as canning an Emissions Trading Scheme designed to confront 'the greatest moral challenge of our time'; when you make a lot of your Christian credentials and get publicly exposed as a swear bear, when you invite an ill-thought out fight with the mining lobby; it's hardly surprising that it might come back and bite you.

What is surprising is how quickly it's happened. Just over six months ago, Rudd was unassailable.

UPDATE 1: The SMH report.

Did Kevin Rudd have any friends at all?

UPDATE 2: Nicole Starling gives the right perspective on this.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Tough decisions coming

I have some tough decisions coming. Those in the habit of praying might like to pray that God will, as usual, control all things to his glory and our good.

Romans 8:28 says "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Here is that verse in its immediate context.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

K Rudd

Kevin Rudd, surely not long for this political world.

When left-leaning David Marr kicks off an article in the Good Weekend with a quote from Prime Minister Rudd, full of various brands of expletives, and proceeds to ask whether the man is driven by anger, you know that the press gallery is about to turn. As Andrew Bolt documents.

The SMH letter writers have their say as well, and it doesn't look good for our PM.

What surprises me is the number of Christians who were willing to take his profession of church allegiance at face value, without asking deeper questions about visits to strip clubs and the emerging evidence of a foul temper matched by equally foul language.

I'm disappointed because he seemed to offer a more humane response to asylum seekers arriving by boat; but the detention centres around the place are full to overflowing and the rhetoric has turned to how tough the government is being on these people. That's a flip-flop.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Rules of engagement

If I went in for wordy rules of engagement on blog comments (and I don't), these from Triablogue are absolutely the best I've seen.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

What matters matter?

Because I'm on leave and because I want to use the time on leave well, I've made up a list of seventeen review questions about my own life. The aim is to make reasonable progress on all seventeen, in discussion with some of those closest to me, and to come back to them from time to time to see how the answers are changing (or staying the same).

Galatians 2:20 is preamble:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Here are the 17 questions:

1. What glorifies God?
2. What relationships has God placed me in?
3. Which of these relationships take priority?
4. What roles flow out of those relationships?
5. What activities flow out of those roles?
6. What causes stress?
7. What gives enjoyment?
8. What has significance?
9. What strengths do I/we have?
10. What weaknesses do I we/have?
11. What opportunities do I/we have?
12. What threats do I/we face?
13. Review existing personal mission statement.
14. What is important enough to schedule daily?
15. What is important enough to schedule weekly?
16. What is important enough to schedule monthly?
17. What is important enough to schedule annually?

I'm trying to apply Galatians 2:20 by looking at these questions in the context of daily prayer and Bible reading. Unlike a lot of the good secular advice out there, I want to start with the assumption that Jesus is Lord of all, that I am a helpless sinner in need of his forgiveness, and therefore that any progress I might make in answering big questions about life revolve around Jesus' work as the Lord who has bought me by his death, and is now changing me by his Spirit.

For some reason, and unfortunately, I'm now thinking of George and Step 9. Once I get past that feeling, I'll return to the 17 questions.