If at first you don’t succeed

… trying again might not always be the best option.

This, after spending 27 years in Sydney trying to one particular thing and constantly getting “fried”.

Perhaps trying something else altogether different is not only warranted, but wise.

 

Where Trolls Come From

We know where they’re going. To a hell of their own making. As C. S. Lewis noted in The Problem of pain,

“To enter Hell is to be banished from humanity. What is cast (or casts itself) into Hell is not a man: it is ‘remains’..”

Were Lewis around today, the Internet Troll, the gutless coward who hides behind a pretended veil of anonymity, would fit well with his view of one banished from humanity.

Canadian poet, author and performer Shane Koyczan has written a poem about internet trolls. Pity those who have cast themselves away from humanity into the pit of their own slovenly despair.

 

Helmets save lives

Helmets save cyclists too

Mine saved me.

On my way home from a ride with my Sunday cycling group I came off my bike and suffered a traumatic brain injury. It was the Sunday before Christmas Day. Were it not for my helmet. I would have likely have either suffered permanent and significant brain damage or I would have died. I have no memory of the accident, or the 36-48 hours afterwards and to be honest, the few weeks after during recovery and rehab are a bit fuzzy also.

10882293_10152961386548980_7183192554321424354_nThat’s one reason I haven’t maintained my blog. Recovering from the injury and making some adjustments to my schedule, personal life and family time have affected much in how I prioritize people, relationships, activities and things.

So for my first 2015 entry before re-entering the fray… some photos of the accident.

The last is me standing at the site of the accident about between 2 and 3 weeks after the accident. The stain on the concrete is my blood from the head wounds. My daughter is standing in the background where it is estimated that I came off the bike.

Not all accidents can be anticipated or prevented. Some things happen without a known direct cause. But, gravity ensures that if a rider comes off their bike they will fall to the ground. If you’re wearing a helmet when it happens, your likelihood of survival increases enormously. Some people say they don’t like cycling helmets because it makes them feel like a dork. I’m more than happy to wear mine, now so even more. I’d rather look like a dork than a corpse. Although that photo of me at hospital isn’t too far off 🙂

And, yes. I have started riding again. With lots of support and encouragement from my team and a nice little Garmin kit as well. Stay safe, enjoy your ride. And always wear your helmet!

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If Jesus were a character in Breaking Bad?

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Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Jesus turns around slowly, “You’re worried about who receives sinners? You’re worried about who goes out to search for them and bring them to the Father?”

I, am the one who searches!” 

The Revelation will not be televised

One of the quickest ways to start an argument, … er, um … lively debate, among Christians is to bring up the book of Revelation. For some reason great charity and flexibility is accommodated on a whole host of bible teachings and topics but if you step out of line with your view about this book, look out! Heretic! Liberal! Fundamentalist!

Most believe and accept that Revelation combines literary genres and most agree that apocalyptic is the major genre. But what is apocalyptic? For some Mad Max or Zombie Apocalypse come to mind and, sadly, that is usually reflected in how they teach the book. For others a more scholarly definition might be used where apocalyptic isn’t necessarily about a nuclear holocaust. It’s a story involving supernatural symbolism. Apocalyptic books (like Daniel in the Old Testament or works such as 1 Enoch and The Apocalypse of Abraham) gave a minority audience, under duress or persecution, reassurance to hang in there and anticipate vindication. The books rely heavily on symbolism and cultural allusion to get the point across. A close idea in concept today might be the way comedians use satire, innuendo and double entendre to ridicule politicians. In the West of course they aren’t subtle because they’re not going get crucified upside down or thrown into a colosseum and ripped apart by wild animals. But, in the first century, the way to get your point across that the little guy can stand up to the man, is via an apocalyptic narrative.

Revelation fits this method. It’s a story; it involves lots of cultural and religious symbolism; the recipients were facing constant danger; it uses coded satire and parody to portray oppressive authority figures who get their comeuppance. Reading it this way, instead of as a codified prediction of microchips, atomic bombs and bar code technology gave a sense to Christians in Asia Minor that the abusive intolerant Roman officials and sectarian Jews didn’t have the last say in how the world will turn out.

Today instead of parodying Rome the writer might have included media infotainment personalities and lifestyle reality show comperes. After all, these are the dominant figures that control the opinions and mood of the public. Today going against the tide of popular opinion as perceived and broadcast in mainstream media will result in ostracism, exclusion and derision. Don’t believe me? What’s your view on changing marriage laws? How about the solution to management of boat people? Now, what’s your real view compared to the one you “share” with your workmates? Well, of course they’re the same, aren’t they? You’re not a racist bigot after all, are you? Well, not so long as you stay quiet about the idols and altars of the MSM.

And behold I was seated in lounge and the TV came on and I looked into heaven and heard the introductory theproject_panel1_300fanfare and I heard the voice of the great host say, “Sit down and I will show you news, done differently, and you will know what to think about the things you have seen.” There was a panel in the centre of the vision with four great co-hosts each one beautifully styled and surrounded by a great audience. The audience clapped and cheered every time the co-hosts spoke. One of the co-hosts was a comedian who belittled the prime ministers and presidents of the world with his razor wit. Another, next to him had the face of a maiden and laughed at all the comedian’s jokes. The third was a special guest brought into the studio to be a foil for the fourth co-host. Night and day the fourth co-host asserted his dogmatic opinion. His opinion was superior to all others and no other opinions would be tolerated, not on his watch and not in his country. And the audience members all bowed to the wit and charm of the co-hosts and surrendered their will to those who sat at the news desk for the co-hosts are all-knowing and none dared disagree with them. Their words are all-powerful, just and true.*

Revelation is not about zombies with microchips in their foreheads. It’s a satirical parody of the infotainment masters of the first century. Their dominance of the ratings wars will not last and their coronation will not be televised.
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* Check out Revelation Chapter 4 to see how the original author did it.