Easter Means We Don’t Need A “Prayer Room”

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Stephen McAlpine writes:

Christian: We Don’t Need No Prayer Room

The decision by the Royal Adelaide Hospital to build a prayer room for Muslims, but no dedicated chapel for Christians, merely a multi-faith room instead, has drawn predictable ire from the likes of Australian Conservatives leader Senator Cory Bernardi.

The Australian newspaper today reported Bernardi  saying he is “sick and tired” of the constant accommodation to a minority group in Australia, to the detriment of Australia’s historical faith.

The report states:

Senator Bernardi said the new hospital’s arrangement was “everything that’s wrong” with the approach to integrate other cultural groups, and the prayer room was “clearly designed for Islam”.

Separate washing areas were “all the symbolism I need that this is tailor-made to accommodate to a tiny minority’’, he said yesterday. “We’re bending over to ­appease a minority for fear of causing offence while undermining our tradition and heritage.

is Bernardi right?  Is that what is happening?

Perhaps.  It’s not beyond the realms of possibility in our secular context, in which Anything But Christianity is viewed ironically, as sacrosanct, that that is the case.

But it’s not the only reason, perhaps not even the primary one.  Other faiths are less demarcated in our culture in the sense that Islam has strong parameters about what it can and cannot do; what it can and cannot abide in the public square.  Provisions need to be made.  Dedicated prayer rooms need to be available.

A multi-faith room for everyone else seems somehow reasonable because no one else seems to care too much about separatism in the way Islam still does.  And let’s face it, the anaemic version of Christianity in the public setting today has been at pains to show how much it is the same as everything else.  Islam, to its credit, is not making that mistake.

Perhaps too Bernardi, for all his railing against the secular system, misses the radical point of Christianity.  For if he understood it rightly he’d realise, we don’t need no prayer room at all!

Read the rest here

In Iceland 100% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

As the West increasingly plunges towards the abyss of the culture of death, Iceland leads the way in killing inconvenient babies.

From lifesitenews.com

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In Iceland 100% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Think about that.

March 14, 2017 (PregnancyHelpNews) — In recent remarks to the Citizens Assembly in Ireland, Dr. Peter McParland, an ob-gyn at National Maternity Hospital, pointed to a sign of things to come.

“In Iceland,” the doctor said, “every single baby—100 percent of all those diagnosed with Down syndrome—are aborted.”

The horrors of the statement above can scarcely be grasped. Iceland has become the first nation to boast of eradicating Down syndrome from its country.

Dr. McParland expounded on this systematic annihilation stating, “There hasn’t been a baby with Down syndrome born in Iceland in the past five years.”

Iceland is not alone in its aspirations to create a “Down syndrome-free” world. The holocaust of Down syndrome babies is a global epidemic, taking the lives of human beings created in the image of God on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis indicating Down syndrome.

Denmark follows closely behind Iceland and predicts it will be a “Down-syndrome free” nation in the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted in Great Britain and the United States.

Among the many reasons these statistics are so tragic is that some babies diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome are born without the condition, while in other cases, doctors who fail to recognize markers for Down syndrome through prenatal testing are open to shockingly titled “wrongful birth” lawsuits.

Even assuming all diagnoses are correct, exactly who are we eradicating from our planet?

NBC News points to studies showing the following:

  • 99% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives.
  • 97% of people with Down syndrome like who they are.
  • 96% of people with Down syndrome like how they look.

Statically the vast majority of people with Down syndrome are happy, satisfied, and affectionate members of society—something that couldn’t be said of people born without the disability.

 

Read the full article here

Greens Logic

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A report by the National Electricity Operator (AEMO) found that NSW suffered a big shortfall in electricity production last week due to problems with some of the traditional generators. A couple of smaller generators were off-line due to mechanical or gas supply issues.

So this morning’s ABC Radio News featured the obvious response from the Greens: “Fossil fuel generators are not reliable and need to be replaced with renewable energy sources.”

So Greens logic is that you can depend on wind and solar which only operate when the weather is right, but not on coal or gas generators which run night and day regardless of the weather. Yes traditional generators do break down and do need to be taken down for maintenance some times. But so do wind generators and solar systems.

Brilliant logic from the Greens, as usual.

 

A Week Away

Last week we managed to have a short break.

 

On Friday afternoon we drove to Newcastle where we stayed overnight before attending Margaret’s cousin Lorraine’s 60th Birthday Party.  The location was The Lakeside Cafe at Murrays Beach on Lake Macquarie.

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Lorraine, me, Margaret in the back row with Margaret’s brother Graeme and partner Suzanne and Margaret’s sister Cathy.

 

Forster is an absolutely beautiful place. Tourism is its biggest industry and oyster farming in Wallis Lake is a close second.

 

We stayed at the Sails Apartments located a block back from the beach. Fantastic location.

 

Tim and Philip cooked sausages on the balcony.

 

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We went on a 2.5 hour dolphin cruise and saw dozens of dolphins. I took many photos of water where the dolphin was a second earlier.

 

 

We paid $50 a head for the cruise which was value for money, but there were some stowaways

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A game of Jurassic putt-putt was a lot of fun.

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There was a “pirate ship” in the lake

 

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and lots of sting rays

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The mirrors in the lift  were a little confusing

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You know its a good holiday when you are exhausted.

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I always love the bright turquoise colour of the Lake on a sunny day. The water is generally very shallow, just a metre or two, and so the colour of the sand shines through the water creating a unique colour.

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So that’s a brief run down on our break.

You can see more photos on my Google page

Porn- A Reversal of God’s Plan For Sexuality

From thewardrobedoor.com

7 FACTORS SHOW PORNOGRAPHY IS BAD BECAUSE IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH

It’s not that bad.That is probably the reaction many have when reading my post on Magic Mike, 50 Shades of Grey and the pornification of women.

I mean, after all, there are many worse things out there, right?

That is absolutely correct, but it is the wrong question to ask. Just like asking how far can I run away from godly purity and it still be OK, it is not the right perspective to ask “What’s the worst bad thing I can do and it not be ‘that bad’?”

The right question to ask is “What’s the best thing?” When we have that perspective, we see things completely differently.

Magic Mike, 50 Shades of Grey and other forms of pornography, be they “better” or “worse,” all pale in comparison to the best thing in regards to sexual fulfillment – God’s design.

Photo from Deviantart.com by Aimee Ketsdever

For many of us, it may seem odd to think about God’s design for sex and His desire that we enjoy it. That may not be a traditional view, but it is a biblical one. If He created us (and He did) and if He created us male and female (and He did), then He created us in a particular way that makes sex pleasurable.

He didn’t have to make human reproduction like that, but He chose to give us this gift for our enjoyment. Being the Creator of it, however, He knew that it would only truly be completely enjoyed in a certain way – within the permanent bond of marriage.

Sure, you can have sex outside of that and it will give you pleasure in some form, but you will not and cannot experience the full sense of joy, peace and love that comes from exercising God’s gift within His design.

In his book, True Sexual Morality, Daniel Heimbach examines sex from a biblical perspective and discovers that certain factors are always present in proper godly exercising of our sexual desires. These seven benefits are facets on the diamond of sexual fulfillment that God has given us.

What makes pornography so vile is that it promises each of these, but can never fulfill any of them. In this way, pornography is the exact opposite of God’s design for sex. It is the most extreme perversion of how God intended us to find fulfillment sexually.

What should sex look like and how does pornography, of all types, miss the mark? Here are the seven components of biblical sex.

1. Personal – God made sex extremely personal. He gave it to the first husband and wife in the garden for them to enjoy together. Sex is made to share in relationship, with that being the marriage relationship.

Pornography claims to meet this need, but instead it enflames lust (not love) toward objects – images, words and thoughts. There is nothing personal about watching someone on the screen. There is nothing personal about reading about a man sexually abusing a younger woman, as is the case in 50 Shades of Grey.

2. Exclusive – In the very way it was designed, sex was meant to be exclusive between spouses. It was meant to be a bond between those two and those two alone.

Pornography, while appealing to this, can never be exclusive. The objects are viewed by countless others. The very fact that it is popular demonstrates that it cannot be exclusive. The woman in the audience of Magic Mike is one of millions of others who saw the men on the screen.

3. Intimate – Sex was designed to be more than just a physical act. It was made to join two human beings together completely. It is to be an act that unites them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Pornography can say it is intimate, but it is strictly about a physical desire of one person. It is not something truly shared with another person. Even if a couple views it together, it does not increase their intimacy. It invites images of others into their bedroom.

4. Fruitful – God’s design is for sex to bear fruit. The most obvious example of this is children, but that is not the only fruit that grows from a healthy married sexual relationship. A deeper, healthier relationship between the husband and wife is a clear result.

Pornography can produce nothing of value. All it can do is tear down what has been built, be it purity, integrity, honor, relationships, marriages, families, etc. The only fruit it could produce is rotten.

5. Selfless – Sex is intended for spouses to show love to each other. It is meant as something that speaks love and appreciation into the life of the other person.

Pornography often claims that your use of it is good for your spouse in some way. It’s a lie. There is nothing selfless about pornography. It is only about trying to satisfy a personal desire. How can you love your spouse, when your desire is to see someone else naked?

6. Complex – Humans were created as complex creatures. We have emotions, thoughts, dreams and a spiritual aspect to our life. Sex is designed to operate on all the levels of our person. It is so much more than a physical act.

Pornography has no complexity. It can’t. It is images or words on a screen or a page. There is nothing complex about it. Also, it is unable to meet anything but the basest physical desire. It cannot fulfill all of the longings of the person.

7. Complimentary – Sex was created to bring differences together. Men and women are different, not just physically, but in a whole host of ways. In sex the way He intended it, God brings those differences together and creates something new and beautiful.

Pornography has nothing to compliment. It is static and plastic. Fake. It cannot join people together. It can only mar and disfigure what was already there.

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In looking at the list, pornography is the worst of all sexual perversions. It promises everything and delivers nothing. Other sexual sins, while worse in terms of their personal or immediate consequences, at least fulfill one of the purposes for which God created sex. Pornography gives you none.

Our culture’s obsession with it, including so many of us in the Church, must be overturned and conquered. There is only one power man has ever experienced that can triumph over a devastating addiction to pornography – the Gospel.

Thursday, we will see how the Gospel is the only thing that can move us from discouraged addicts of porn to fulfilled disciples of Christ.

Much of the information in this post comes from Daniel Heimbach’s True Sexual Morality, and the pornography position statement by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Forget Your Resolutions

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I woke up in the night with this thought: “Actions flow from values. That’s why resolutions usually fail.”

At this time of the year, there is a lot of pressure to come up with a “new you” for the new year. There is a tradition for many people of making a resolution to change our actions in January, but very few of these make it into February.

We do the things we do because we value them in some way. To find out what are the important things in your life mark on a calendar everything you do in a typical month. Then write down what you spend your money on. That is the map of your values.

We all have 168 hours every week. Knock out 100 hours for work and sleep and you still have 68 hours every week that is yours to spend or invest, to waste or do something fruitful with.

People say, “I should pray more” or “I need to go to church more often” but they don’t do it because they don’t really value what they are saying they need to do.

To change your life you have to change your values and priorities, because you will do what you value.

Want to pray more? Read books about prayer until you love praying and can’t get enough. Then set aside a time every day and just do it.

Want to get fit? Find some activity that you really enjoy and you won’t have to worry about a fitness plan. I’ve tried a few things, but riding my push bike is the best exercise ever- if I miss a couple of days, my body and brain just miss it.

Need to go to church more? Well what stops you? Is it because you feel entitled to the Sunday morning sleep in, or coffee with friends? Go to bed earlier. Reschedule the coffee time. Determine in your heart that church is higher priority than anything else on a Sunday morning and put it in your phone calendar.

Don’t make resolutions you won’t keep because that just doesn’t work. Instead look at what your time and money say about what you prioritise and make a decision to value more highly the things that are really important. Cultivate a love or a passion for the good stuff and then go for it.

 

 

 

 

Practising What You Preach

You hear a lot about so-called hypocritical christians. Many people, including pastors such as me, fall short of what Jesus teaches us about love, holiness and forgiveness. But then you read an article like this and you know this is a man of genuine faith in God. He will have a lot of emotions of grief to walk through but he has made a good start in handling tragedy in God’s way.

From the ABC:

Father embraces driver accused of hitting and killing his son on Christmas Day

Adrian Murray embraced by Karl SissonPHOTO: Pastor Karl Sisson (L) and Adrian Murray (R) met at a prayer service on Wednesday. (Supplied: Peter Field)

The father of a boy killed after he was hit by a car on Christmas Day has embraced the man charged over his death, and extended him an offer of forgiveness.

Josiah Sisson, 9, died in hospital on Tuesday from horrific injuries sustained in the crash, which happened on Sunday evening when he was out in Springwood, south of Brisbane, looking at Christmas lights with his friends.

Police said the accused driver, Adrian Murray, took a corner too quickly and lost control of his car, hitting Josiah.

The out-of-control sedan then crashed into a house, causing substantial damage to the right-hand side of it.

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Murray, 24, was charged yesterday with one count each of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death whilst adversely affected by an intoxicating substance and driving a motor vehicle whilst under the influence.

The night before being charged he met with the boy’s parents, pastor Karl Sisson and Donna Sisson, at a prayer service after being invited to attend.

Photos of Pastor Sisson embracing Murray were today released by family friend Peter Field, who is also a pastor.

He said they were taken by a church member.

“To be honest I found them [the photos] confronting and challenging to me personally,” he said.

“The driver saw Pastor Karl Sisson, he turned around and saw him and actually just collapsed into his arms in a complete emotional breakdown.

“We all like to talk about philosophical things but when you really are faced with that in reality, I think it is extremely powerful and extremely challenging.

“This has definitely been a test of what we preach and what we believe.”

Pastor Field said while Josiah’s parents had extended an offer of forgiveness, they were still struggling with their son’s loss.

“Rollercoaster would be the correct answer, especially the poor boy’s mother; it’ll be a long time working this through,” he said.

“I did spend some time with them yesterday and they were a little better spirited but I think by last night they crashed again and this is going to take some time.”

Josiah’s funeral will be held next week at the Potter’s House Church in Strathpine on Brisbane’s northside.

Murray will appeared in court on February 14.