Archives For Facile Fridays

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Scrolling the net landed some articles that hold their value long after reading them.

1. Since it’s Lent there is a great deal of material moving around about it. One of the stand-out, no frills, straight-up reflections I’ve read of late is ‘Spiritual Warfare For Christians’. Courtesy of the Benedictines via DigitialNun. My attraction to this is how it presents Lent as part of a ‘battleline of the community and in the spiritual combat of the desert where solitaries engage’.

The place that firmly directs us onto a journey of paradox, joy, and thanksgiving fused together with anticipation in spite of what appears hopeless and desolate; the giving and being given to. The giving up in order to be drawn nearer to the One who has shown that we are not given up on.

2. Rob Stroud has written an impressive piece about the competitive and ephemeral nature of popularity. What he brings here is perspective. Check it out: Fleeting Flame.

3. I was surprised to find that George Orwell’s political novel ‘1984’ was made into a radio play by NBC University Theatre in 1949, featuring one of Britain’s classiest actors of the time, David Niven. If you can tolerate the brief introduction the production can be accessed at on Spotify or for free or for a price from itunes.

4.  I don’t usually listen to podcasts. In truth, the only one I ever really tuned into was from Relevant Magazine, but that was sometime ago. This year I stumbled (metaphorically speaking) back into listening to Relevant and a few that differ significantly from each other, yet have worth on more than one level.

First, Nerd Machine’s ‘Picking Favourites’. It is edgy, informative, well-produced, but rough and contains a ton of quirky material. With special guests, some days are enough to make you walk away saying: “that was awesome”, others: “what-were-they-thinking?” Some episodes breach the language barrier. Some just give out way too much information. So, consider that me giving you a fair warning. Still, it has to be said, right now at least, that this is one of the best Podcasts available in it’s category.

Second,  ‘Mortification of Spin’.  There is a lot more they could do to improve on what is already a stand-out production. Full of theologically centred discussion, the content is consistent, conversational, easy to follow and not overly highbrow.

5. From my reading notes:Albert Camus quote on Intellectuals

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  1. The Left Blind to The Slaughter of Christians.

Columnist, Miranda Divine presents nothing short of an all out assault on Leftism. Her article clasps a firm hold on the contradiction of ‘selective outrage’ evident in the deafening silence of the Left when it comes to the persecution of Christians.

One only has to imagine the outcry, should the eviction and extermination of Christians from Mosul, have been the eviction and extermination of a homosexual community from the same town.

I doubt that Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, or his team would be given much room to offer refuge to Christians caught up in this crisis. That is without having to fend off, with taxpayer’s money, a plethora of allegations from a large portion of his rather raucous and crude detractors about selective treatment and hypocrisy in regards to the immigration and refugee debates.

  1. My Stint as a Political Cartoonist.

In recent months Scott Freeman has written some very sound articles on the relationship between conservatives and (little ‘l’) liberals. In my opinion, Scott presents a fair and balanced perspective, with a ton of grace packed in between the lines. From an American point of view he unpacks some of the issues being faced by most Liberal (capital ‘L’) democratic societies.

This is not definitive, but here are a few more that stand out:

  1. Stop the Pity. Unlock the Potential.

A while back I encountered a video which showed some African children in a whole new light. It was viewed through the eyes of dignity, not pity. This article from summarises a real and practical approach to raising others up, instead of staring back in horror.

  1. Duck Dynasty Revisited: Phil Robertson

If you have twenty-five minutes, this sermon from Phil Robertson, of ‘Duck Dynasty’ fame, is worth listening to. For context: he is in California talking about reconciliation, resurrection, Jesus Christ and past mistakes.

  5. Fake Beeps and the Name of Jesus.

Following on from number four, both Phil and Willie Robertson discuss their disagreement with the A & E producers for using “fake beeps” in order to make ‘Duck Dynasty’ more appealing.  In addition to this the producers desired a limit on any sincere mention of Jesus Christ in the prayers which feature at the close of each episode.[i]

‘Be patient with us. It’s not the Pat Robinson show…this is Hollywood hitting the Kingdom of God.’

[i] Source:

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Gathered here, are some of the best bits and pieces I’ve encountered online over the past few weeks. Some reflective, some serious, some just plain hilarious.

1. Everyday Heroes [Video]: Water bombing, aircraft, inferno extinguishers. Along with the song, something about this just shouts awesome.

2. Chesterton’s uniqueness appears to know no bounds.

G.K Chesterton from Alarms and discursions‘Science & Art without morality are not dangerous in the sense commonly supposed. They are not dangerous like a fire, but dangerous like a fog. A fire is dangerous in its brightness; a fog in its dullness; and thought without morals is merely dull, like a fog.

The fog seems to be creeping up the street; putting out lamp after lamp. But this cockney lamp-post… is still crowned with its flame; and when the fathers have forgotten ethics, their babies will turn and teach them’

(The Essential Chesterton Collection, 2009. Kindle Ed. 7612-7615 – This version is real cheap via Amazon at the moment)

3. There are a few versions of this old story on YouTube, this one is the most dramatic and amusing. Instead of an Irish accent  on the other end of the comms, it’d be funnier with an Aussie one. (“Just sayin’…” 🙂 )


4. We’ve just about finished watching through the T.V series Duck Dynasty. This meme epitomises the gutsy edge to this Cajun delight. Even though it’s structured up unto a point (what reality TV show isn’t?), that doesn’t hinder the serious message being promoted through all the bells and whistles (or in this case duck calls, camo, camaraderie and comedy).



5. Lastly, if you have ever wondered what would have happened should the remaining members of Led Zeppelin become a “worship band”. Here Tim Hawkins pulls off a pretty close interpretation of how it might have turned out:

Images: G.K Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions 1910; Jase Robertson, (Pinterest)


Visual Commentary





Image sourced 21st May 2014 from the:  Frontline Hobbies FB page


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Some time has passed since I’ve linked some of the great articles I come across.

So I decided to end the weekend by sharing a few. Should you get the chance, I recommend taking the time to browse their archives .

1). Walter wrote Context is Everything in February stating that

 ‘it is a dangerous thing to interpret God’s word out of context’.

His words reminded me of the many times I would hear the words ‘context is everything’ as I studied.

2). Those annoying Christians: Jenny raised some interesting points about Christians who seem to place appearance over-against substance.

”It seems very manipulative and arrogant to use God’s name to get someone to feel or do something.  It doesn’t even matter what you say after those words, simply by using them, it sets a wall up and discredits whatever you say. It’s especially awful to say “It is God’s will” after something unfortunate happens to make them feel better.  We need to be careful with those words, perhaps only saying them after scriptures and not human events.”

3). 5 Blogging, Publishing, & Writing Misconceptions: Katie’s article highlights some insights from her experiences as a published writer and seasoned blogger. Of special interest is Katies conclusion, stated under Misconception #5 – To be a successful blogger, I just need to write:

“Writing is a very small part of what makes a successful blogger/author/writer… so I’ve learned.Blogging is a community.” 

4). More and Mores (and Morays): In assessing the concepts of natural and unnatural within the context of social constructs, Scott asserts that

“the equating of what is natural with what is acceptable completely misses the point of what morality is. I must make the observation here that moral behavior is always at odds with our “natural” tendencies – that’s precisely WHY moral behavior is revered and respected!  Call me Master-of-the-Obvious, but isn’t the reason we value truth-telling precisely because we know we all have a natural tendency to lie?…By definition, moral behavior is not natural. If anything, I’d say it’s…well, kind of…supernatural”.

5).Christ has witnesses outside the Church: Kevin posted some sound quotes discussing a little bit about Barth’s rejection of ‘natural theology[i]‘ , and it’s relationship to the visible and invisible Church. As I wrote in the comments, I came across a ”hint” of this in my recent reading of CD.1.2:181 where Barth discusses the ”Virgin Birth” and those who deny it. e.g.: ”It is within God’s counsel and will to make this possible, just as it cannot be at all impossible for Him to bring anyone to the knowledge of Himself even beyond the sphere of the Church visible to us”.. The key to understanding the ‘hints’, for me at least, is in his words: ”beyond the sphere of the Church visible to us”.

[i] i.e.: human attempts to reach the God, which inadvertently misses the fact that he reached, reaches and is reaching out to us.

Facile Friday

October 11, 2013 — 2 Comments


1. Posted today, this great read is a poem called ‘Noise’ (link). Written by Charity for her blog ‘What matters most’. The poem is a call to prayer that reflects a need to move beyond the ‘noise’ of our activism. Finding a pause in our time-poor routines, and social networking, in order to acknowledge God’s presence.

2. This link was too hard to ignore and not share on the social media carousel.  Mark Driscoll. A short blog post and a lot of Z’s. I loved reading this because I never get tired of hearing the words “You have permission to rest”.

3. A blog I follow with keen interest is ‘after existentialism, light’. Kevin Davis presents a variety of theological material and posted a very interesting article titled ‘Transubstantiation in Thomas Aquinas: part one’ (link). Worth a read if you have ever wondered about the Thomistic approach to communion.

4. When I came across the FB blurb for a look into ‘Libraries of the rich and famous’ (link), I hit the ground running (so to speak). I like looking at the ideas people have used to create elaborate unpractical, cosy, or sometimes sterile pens for their treasured literature. Given the trends towards e-readers, could owning a library like those pictured earn the owners a luddite tag?

5. Finally. A post written by a husband, stepping up to publically defend his wife against the growing prejudice towards stay-at-home mums. This needs no commentary, check it out here.

Facile Friday

July 13, 2013 — Leave a comment


A summary of things I stopped to wonder at in this weeks internet meandering.

1. Erwin McManus recently posted an article on Christian Leadership. I am a major fan of his book ‘The Barbarian Way’, and was particularly taken with his ideas that:

a) ” Leaders create human communities
b)    Leaders live in the future they invite us into.
c)    Leaders become great teachers when they become great learners.
d)    Leaders use their power to protect the powerless.
e)    Leaders are guardians of movement, not guardians of culture” (Erwin McManus).

2. Some potentially BIG news from an archaeological dig in Israel: Unique Egyptian sphinx unearthed in north Israel

3. I was stopped by two quotes from Corrie Ten Boom, Dutch concentration camp survivor. In the light of reading Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer, I’m finding Corrie’s work to more rich than I had previously considered. My appreciation for this woman of God is intensifying. As a result I am still processing these two gems:

i) ‘making a living can keep us so busy that the Sabbath catches us like a noose. Not only do our worries snare us, so do happy expectations’
ii) ‘Seldom have we read with such great interest so many prophecies in the Bible and newspapers side by side, as we did in those days and even today.

(I Stand at the Door and Knock, 2008:146 )

4. featured a post on 16 Incredible home libraries. For me, these three were the stand outs:

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5. This week BlimeyCow put this youtube video out entitled the ‘7 lies about homeschoolers’. I was encouraged and entertained by it – recommended: