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Archive for March, 2007

Dissertation Research

As part of my honours degree, my dissertation will be asking:Is an internet church, church?

In order to complete this task, I am currently asking at a premilinary level, the following questions to which I would value as many responses as can be mustered. I will also answer any questions you may have about it…
Part A – About you..

1. What is your country of residence?
2. What is your age range? 12-17 / 18-25 / 26- 39 / 40 – 59 / 60 & Over
3. Are you a christian and if so, how long have you been a christian?
4. How long have you used the internet?
5. Have you been involved in any internet communities and how long for?

Part B – You need answer only Yes or No…

1. Have you ever heard of an internet church or attended one of their church services?

Yes / No

2. Do you think internet churches glorify God?

Yes / No

3. Do you think internet pastoral care & counselling works?

Yes / No

4. Do you think internet evangelism works?

Yes / No

5. Do you think internet discipleship works?

Yes / No

6. Do you think internet worship services works?

Yes / No

7. Do you think internet preaching and/or teaching can help change people?

Yes / No

8. Do you think Spiritual Gifts can be used effectively in an internet context? If no, what gifts could not be used?

Yes / No

9. Do you think an internet church would be part of the universal and apostolic church?

Yes / No

10. Do you think that internet communites are real communities?
Yes / No

Any comments or questions relating to an internet church or internet community?

Gunnedah revisited…

Gunnedah revisited…, originally uploaded by emptybelly.

This is the local Baptist church in my hometown of Gunnedah, New South Wales in Australia… The architecture is typical of Australian country churches…

There was a job vacancy there until 6 months ago, that would have suited me… In just on 3 months time I will have finished college and then try to find a church job somewhere… Not sure whether that will be in Australia or in England/Wales… I probably have 3 options:

1. Stay here and look for a job and hopefully get to Australia to see my aged mother in the next 12 months or so.
2. Go to Australia and see my mother then return and look for a job here…
3. Go to Australia and see my mother then return and look for a job over there

Twelve Apostles Revisited

Twelve Apostles Revisited, originally uploaded by emptybelly.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2vv19-22

I do not often get mad…

except in cases like this… This week our Government announced its budget for the next year. £8 billion is going into the National Health Service, of which, vast sums of money will be spent on propping up bureaucracy. £9 billion is being given over the next 5 years towards the 2012 London Olympic Games. Yet, the anaemic and inordinately patronising Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, will not allow a drug which helps alleviate Alzheimers and dementia to be purchased by the National Health Service at a cost of £2.50 a day totalling to £91 million a year for 100,000 sufferers. Bear in mind that home carers, who are unpaid for caring for their loved ones at home, save the National Health Service £6 billion a year. It stinks, and I think God thinks it stinks… It is unjust… Which do you think God cares about more? Some daft Olympic project or the neglected sufferers of terminal wasting illnesses like Alzheimers or dementia?

I leave you with these three stories gleaned from the Daily Telegraph which illustrates my point much more clearly…

“I relived the last years of my mother’s life, so similar to those of your father. When you saw a quiet, church-going elderly lady swearing, bitching and punching, it is difficult to accept. Only those who have experienced the nursing of a loved one to the bitter end know the true cost.”

Some made me cry, too, such as this from a reader whose wife died after 49 years of marriage: during her last two years of life, she often thought that her husband was her father. “On those occasions it was impossible to help her to shower,” he wrote. “She was not going to let her father do such a thing.” He recounted a familiar story for a carer: sleep restricted to two fitful hours a night, the day dominated by the same question four times a minute.

He continued: “How hurtful it was when she told me what a wicked person I was and then, a few minutes later, would put her head on my shoulder and tell me what a lovely life we had had together, and would ask: ‘We will always be together, won’t we?’.”

Heartbreaking, isn’t it? There were many more in a similar vein, but I leave you with this about a much-loved uncle. “I found it distressing to watch his personality destroyed, dependent on his wife for his every need. To see that he did not recognise her. I was able to walk away, but my auntie could not, and did not wish to. She did not trust anyone to look after him. Even though she was 80, she struggled on almost entirely alone, until he developed a chest infection. He was taken into hospital, and died the next day. She never forgave herself for letting him out of her care.”

This kind of injustice makes me angry and I think it makes our God angry as well…

Blessings dear friends…

Nigeria teacher dies ‘over Koran’

In the italic lettering of the report below, the reporter says this behaviour is instigated for ethnic, political or social reasons… The journalist is wrong… It is for religious reasons that this Christian was killed and it is the reasons that many Christians are killed in Muslim lands… Let us pray together for, and remember before our ever gracious Lord, our brothers and sisters in lands where persecution against Christians is rife and endemic.


Link to the story

Secondary school pupils in north-east Nigeria of the country have killed a teacher after apparently accusing her of desecrating the Koran, police say. The teacher, a Christian, was attacked after supervising an exam in Gombe city. It is not clear what she had done to anger the students. The authorities, concerned that communal unrest could break out, have ordered all the city’s schools to shut. Similar accusations sparked riots in neighbouring Bauchi State last year. At least 15,000 people have been killed in religious, communal or political violence since the country returned to civilian rule in 1999.

‘Restored calm’

Nigerian police say students beat the teacher to death outside the school compound after she had been invigilating an exam. The students had apparently accused her of desecrating the Koran, though it is not clear exactly what she had done. The police arrived at the scene to restore calm and say their intervention stopped a riot. The BBC’s Alex Last in Lagos says violence based on such accusations is not new. Last year, in Bauchi State, a rumour swept the city that a Christian teacher had also desecrated the Koran, which prompted riots in which at least five people were killed. In fact, the teacher had confiscated the Koran from a pupil who was reading it in class.

Religious differences have long been used to justify all kinds of violence in Nigeria, our reporter says. In reality it is often fuelled by ethnic or political conflicts and competition for resources, which can be fierce, given that so many people live in poverty, he says.

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