Tag: Bible

Meeting Jesus on your couch

Published June 2020

IF you have never the read the Gospels (the books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible) or have read them but found them hard to imagine as history and difficult to picture as real life events, then may I encourage you to watch the free series The Chosen about the life of Christ on The Chosen app?

With a 8.5 user score on IMDb with over 5,000 user reviews, making it the highest-rated faith project of all time, and 100% critic score and 99% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, this is not some painfully acted, poorly crafted Sunday school project.

The Chosen has surged into IMDb’s Top 250 All-time series list. It joins other prestigious series like Netflix’s The Crown and HBO’s hit series Band of Brothers and Chernobyl as the most highly rated historical dramas. Dubbed into Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, besides its original English, it is currently being watched in nearly every country on earth. Continue reading

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Virtual reality can ease the pain

ACCORDING to a recent news report from The Atlantic: “The idea of using VR to reduce the distress of medical procedures was pioneered at the University of Seattle, Washington, where cognitive psychologist Hunter Hoffman and colleagues have developed a VR game called SnowWorld, to help patients endure wound care for severe burns.

“The researchers hoped that the illusion of being physically immersed in a three-dimensional computer-generated scene would move patients’ attention away from their real-world pain. It worked: Hoffman’s team has since shown in trials that SnowWorld reduces patients’ pain during wound-care sessions by up to 50 percent, as well as reducing pain-related brain activity.

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Why does “bad” feel so good?

ISN’T it strange that we display bumper stickers that say things like “Bad to the Bone”, “10% nice, 90% naughty” and have skulls on them, but it wouldn’t be considered nearly so cool to have a sticker that said “Good guy”, “Noble and honest” or “I love my spouse”?

Good is “wicked” or “sick” and icons of evil, like demons, devils, witches and the grim reaper are put on our T-shirts and backpacks.Continue reading

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Jesus in Jeans 2 – The fancy banquet

 – a modern rendering of the parable in Matthew 22:1-14

There was a tycoon who threw a party at a swanky restaurant. He issued an invitation in the local press that “whomsoever” wanted to come was invited. The only proviso was that they had to be dressed properly in the dinner jacket that he provided. His Son had gone out and, at much cost to himself, bought enough jackets to provide for all possible attendees.

Well, the poor beggar man was only too pleased to exchange his raggedy coat for the fancy dinner jacket and go into the party. He was overflowing with gratitude and couldn’t believe his good fortune.Continue reading

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Are you suffering through Christmas?

Published Christmas 2018

Most people are familiar with the basics of the Christmas story and the manger scene of baby Jesus in the hay; however, they might think ‘well so what? Even if that is the historical basis for Christmas, it is irrelevant to me now in the 21st century.’

Christmas, to most Aussies, has come to mean presents, food and maybe some time off.

For some, though, it is not even a festive holiday but a hard time. Christmas may bring with it unnecessary debt, unwanted expectations, demanding social engagements and painful memories of family members who are no longer with us or relationships that have broken down.

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Yin Yang

The Eastern symbol of Yin Yang, with its equal swirls of black and white, has become ubiquitous on clothing brands, computer games and in popular culture generally. This idea of a balance between good and evil, of an eternal struggle between the two, is played out in comics and TV shows, and is very appealing. We can identify that tug of war in the world around us and we feel the struggle within ourselves.

The concept of equal but opposing forces in an epic duel has even crept into Christian thinking. However, Biblical Christianity teaches a far different and more encouraging power balance than that good causes and is dependent upon evil, just holding its own in the struggle.

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Details about the devil

In the cult movie “The Usual Suspects” Kevin Spacey’s character Verbal Kint famously says “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.

The Devil seems to be doing a good job, in a 2009 poll conducted by Nielsen, 68% of Australians said they believe in God, while only 37% say they believe in the Devil.

Belief in the Devil has been made ridiculous by portrayals of him as a cloven-hoofed, pointy-tailed, red, goat-like creature, carrying a pitchfork.

What does the Bible actually say about the Devil and does one have to believe in him to be a Christian?Continue reading

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The sin-eater

Written March 2019

In season three of Netflix’s “The Blacklist” FBI agent Elizabeth Keen remembers something horrific she did in her past and finally understands why the mysterious Raymond Reddington (Red) was trying to keep it from her.

“I was trying to be your sin-eater,” he tells her.

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