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Showing posts from November, 2015


CHRISTIAN LIVING: The Only Way to Get to the Next Level
As our world becomes more crisis-laden and complex, it is important, more than ever, to know how to navigate through this maze we call the 21st Century. Since there are no guidebooks or ‘Dummie-Guides’ for this purpose, how can we go forward?
Furthermore, even for those who do have vision and direction for their lives, how do you transit from your present position to your divinely-designed ‘desired haven?’ How do you get to the ‘next level?’
The psalmist gives us an enormous clue in Psalm 62:5 (KJV)
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him/
The key phrase is ‘waiting on God.’
In our fast-paced, immature, instant gratification world, it is hard enough to imagine anyone waiting for anything, let alone for a God they cannot see or hear. As Scripture makes clear, not only is it possible to ‘wait on God,’ but you will be enormously enriched when you do.
Furthermore, when you stop long enough to consider, everything t…

Tzatziki, A Culinary Delight

Tzatziki is made with yogurt and cucumbers.
It is considered a Greek dish but the word comes from the Turkish cacik. In addition to the main ingredients, lemon, dill parsley and mint can be used.
I first encountered tzatziki in, of all places, the Australian state of Tasmania. Once tried, I never looked back.
Tzatziki can be used on meat dishes or as a dip. It is healthy, tasty, and very refreshing.
The following recipe has been used by our family for years. Give it a try.
•1 continental cucumber, unpeeled •1.5 cups (full-fat) Greek yoghurt (don’t be afraid of the fat content here - there are health and taste benefits) •1 Tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil •2 cloves of crushed garlic •Lemon juice to taste •Salt and pepper to taste.
1.Take the cucumber and cut it lengthwise once. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. 2.Grate the cucumber, squeeze out excess liquid, and drain. 3.Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 4.Cover and chill in the refrigerate. 5.Serve and enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Robert Ki…

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS: Why Study the Book of Esther

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your fathers house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? —Esther 4:14 (NKJV)
Among the 66 books of the Bible, Esther stands alone. Apart from the Song of Solomon, there is no obvious direct mention of God. Aside from the Book of Ruth, it is the only Bible book that has a woman as the main character and namesake. No reference is made of religious observance, prayer, the temple, sacrifices, Biblical holidays, priesthoods or prophets.Even the Feast of Purim, which is introduced in ‘Esther,’ is a decidedly secular affair. It begins and ends with a feast and there are 10 feasts mentioned (1 for each chapter) as well as a total fast of 3 days duration. Despite these seeming deficiencies, Esther has an appropriate place in the Canon of Scripture. Esther is a superbly told story of the Jewish people facedsure and to…

EUROPE: The Migrants Keep Flooding in Part 2

In our first part, we saw that a flood of migrants is pouring into Europe and learned some of the reasons. Here, we want to consider how we should respond.

As a migrant myself, the son of a migrant father, grandson of four migrant grandparents, and with some of our family as former refugees, this topic is of great important to me personally. Here are some thing to consider:
1.Orderly & sustainable: There are those in the West who want unlimited immigration, replete with immigration services and welfare benefits. This is simply unsustainable: No country can take in everyone who wants refuge, not even the United States, which is the Number One favoured haven of migrants worldwide. Healthy realism, not ‘feel good’ rhetoric, is sorely needed;
2.Economic opportunists Though no statistics are currently available, many of the would-be migrants are young men, equipped with the best cell phones and money in the bank. They are not refugees; they are migrants looking for a better opportunity. …


It was meant to be a fun and relaxing night in the ‘City of Lights.’ It was Friday night, 13 November 2015. People were dining out, attending a sports event, and also a concert. It was around 9:00 PM. Like the notorious attacks seven years ago, where 10 men from a boat terrorised and paralysed the city of Mumbai, Paris came under a well-planned, simultaneous series of attacks:
La Belle Equipe: 19 dead by shooting; Le Carillon Bar & Le Petit Cambodge Restaurant: 12 dead by guns; La Casa Nostra Restaurant: 5 dead by gunfire; Stade de France, where 80,000 gathered to watch France v. Germany: explosion outside, 3 attackers dead; Batacian Concert Hall: several gunmen killed 80 dead.
Death toll so far: 127 dead.
The Islamic State has claimed credit for these attacks which are in retaliation of France’s participation in the Allied bombing of IS positions in Syria. Initial assessments say that these are jihadis who have returned back to France after training under IS’s auspices in Syria/Iraq. O…

EUROPE: The Migrants Keep Flooding In - Part 01

I saw them with my own eyes. We were on the highway between Athens in the south and Thessaloniki to the north. At one point, we stopped to have a break.
And there we saw them: They were milling around the Greek rest stop for buses: standing, sitting, smoking, and eating. Though there were families present, many were young men. Everyone had a cell phone. Arabic was often heard, though a South Asian language may have been detected, too. They had come from the Greek islands to Athens, now they paid 50 euros per person to be driven from the Greek capital to the northern border. From there, they planned to make their way to the rest of Europe.
Who were these people? They are part of the biggest news story of the year. Hundreds of thousands of migrants are flooding into Europe, with many having Germany and Scandinavia in mind. What does this mean for the continent and the world?
Before proceeding, the word ‘migrant’ is being used to denote someone on the move, be they a refugee, asylum-seeke…

RUSSIA: The Bear is Back?

Russia … it is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma …’Sir Winston CHURCHILL (1 October 1939).
Russia takes Crimea; Russia destabilises Ukraine; Russia now is attacking in Syria; a Russian plane crashes in Sinai.
Is this the start of a new assertive Russia? Is a new cold war brewing? In any case, is the Russian bear back?
One thing is for sure: Russia is too big and too important to ignore. Ever since the Russian Federation gained its independence from the defunct Soviet Union in 1991, nothing has been straightforward in its pathway to the 21st Century: ducking and weaving between capitalism and state control, democratic freedoms and familiar autocracy. Under President Vladimir Putin, the long-cherished Russian goal of strength and stability has found a hero. He has been on the scene since 2000 and could still remain in power until 2024.
From a western point-of-view, Russia can be hard to understand and also menacing. Allegedly 19th century cannons located on the NSW coast we…