Category Archives: Current Affairs

A prayer for New Zealand

The Collect for New Zealand from A New Zealand Prayer Book (He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa)

E te Atua o te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa,
me enei motu, o te iwi Maori, te iwi Pakeha,
me ratou katoa e noho nei i tenei wahi.
Ka whakamoemiti,
ka whakawhetai ki a koe mo tenei whenua o matou;
mo nga mea pai katoa kua whiwhi tahi nei matou.
Whakanuia to matou aroha tetahi ki tetahi,
whakakahangia to matou whai i te tika
kia kotahi ai matou i runga i te whakaaro kotahi.
Kua hanga matou e koe hei toto kotahi;
i raro i tenei whakaaro kotahi.

Seeing the devastation in Christchurch today on the news was heartbreaking.

The photos of ChristChurch Cathedral (and its devastated spire), a beautiful Gothic-designed cathedral, spoke volumes about how devastating this earthquake was. Other coverage I saw on Channel Ten’s evening news coverage while I was having dinner made the impact on individuals, families, communities and the economy even more shocking and clear to me.

Apart from my prayers for Bp. Victoria Matthews and the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Christchurch (her cathedra is in ChristChurch Cathedral) my prayers are with Prime Minister John Key and his government as they go through rescue, recovery and rebuilding operations yet again in Christchurch after the earthquake that hit the city just only last year, in 2010. And last but not least, with the people of Christchurch and the surrounding regions. You Kiwis are made of strong stuff and you will get through this. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and those in the emergency and disaster relief services.

E te Ariki, kia aroha mai.
E te Karaiti, kia aroha mai.
E te Ariki, kia aroha mai.

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One thing that has bugged me

I read yesterday at the website about the comments from a particular pastor from Victoria on the current QLD floods.

And this pastor is someone who I keep asking God:

I mean, really? THIS is one of the people who you have really called to shepherd those believers in your church?



Yes, yes, I know where he is coming from: “Go against Israel and you will feel God’s wrath.” I do believe this as well. But it’s also funny how that as Christians we also have an obligation to tell the truth to others. And in the case of Israel today (which to my mind is distinct from the Israel in the holy Scriptures), if that country is now causing problems to other countries and maybe even her own people, why should we not call that country out and explain to them that what they have done is not right?

So Mr Nalliah, what about those faithful Christians who have been affected by these flood waters? What about those who have died (or who have potentially died) and who are Christians?

Honestly, it takes all my strength to will myself not to ask God in prayer to send floods down to Victoria and flood Mr Nalliah’s house.

Why is it that, as Christians, some of us think that whatever comes into our heads is a “special revelation” from God and therefore we must tell it to the world.

At times, I wonder whether Christians (particularly some fundamentalist evangelical Christians) really do use their minds that God has so graciously given to them properly. Do they not realize that their incendiary and inflammatory rhetoric is as nasty as anything that any fundamentalist group of any religious persuasion/group says? And lastly, do they not realize that their words potentially hinder the work of the Spirit in bringing others to Christ?

If a family affected by flooding around Rockhampton hears your words Mr Nalliah and says after hearing them “If this is what a loving God does, I don’t want a part of it”, all I will say is “God have mercy on your soul, Mr Nalliah.”

For the mere fact that you are a self-proclaimed pastor of a flock of Christians means that God will hold you to account. To a much higher and stricter level of account compared with the rest of us. With the rest of us who are concerned not only about the spiritual needs of this great state of Queensland, but also their physical needs. Whether we are Christians or not.

The fact that God has given each of us one mouth to use compared with two ears means that we are to use that mouth we are given carefully.

And as a Christian, apart from “God have mercy on your soul Mr Nalliah”, the only other thing I can say right about now is:



Vale La Stupenda

I heard the news this morning about “La Stupenda”: the Grand Dame of Australian Opera, Joan Sutherland. As pathetically commercial this may sound to opera buffs who can probably name a better recording than this, but the first time I heard Dame Sutherland on record was with Luciano Pavarotti on the iconic Decca recording of Puccini’s “Turandot”. The damn near purity of voice she had in her early recordings, on the Decca “Turandot” and even on her later recordings still blows me away today. The world has lost not only an opera icon, but an icon of singing too. My thoughts are with her husband, the esteemed conductor, Richard Bonynge and her family this evening.

Vale “La Stupenda”, 1926-2010.


So I’ve had my celebrity moment of the year. And I will have to get back in the kitchen and get some more cooking practice. With the basics.

Lunchtime photo with Bill Granger outside Angus & Robertson, Post Office Square

I’d heard about Bill Granger’s new basics cookbook, which funnily enough is titled Bill’s Basics, being released a few weeks ago on episode #69 of The Monocle Weekly when he was a guest on that episode of Monocle’s weekly podcast. So you can guess what happened today then…

Bill Granger, me, a signed copy of Bill's Basics & a brown paper bag with a tandoori chicken bagel in it from Bagel Nook for lunch

The food photography in this cookbook is gorgeous. The recipes are basic enough for a putz in the kitchen like me to pull off. As much as I love Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook, I can’t quite pull off some of those recipes in a quick fashion. Plus while I love steak frites, there is no way in the world that I am cooking that when I get home from work at 7pm or later. Maybe I should take a flick through my copy of the New Concise Larousse Gastronomique for inspiration as well. Who knows, I may just end up surprising the parents in the kitchen on a Saturday morning.

He’s a very amiable guy and very personable, even for the tiny amount of time he has with those waiting in line. One thing I don’t like about my pics with Bill today though.

I can’t smile in photos to save my life. At best, I look like I have a smirk on my face. At worst, I look like I’m in a police photo. I’d kill for a smile like Bill’s. Then again, he’s probably had plenty of practice at book signings before. Or maybe that’s the smile of a chef hearing the tills ringing from book sales. =)


Electoral apathy – Indecision 2010 (Australian Edition)

Disclaimer: This is my own personal opinion as a private citizen and is not binding in any way, shape or form on my employer, a Federal Government agency.

So this is the third Federal Government election that I am eligible to vote in. And here in Australia, voting in Federal and State elections is compulsory (though as Mark Latham did so helpfully point out to the nation last Sunday night on 60 Minutes, a donkey vote, technically called an “informal vote”, can be done *facepalm about said former Federal Labor leader*). Though I am very happy that this year, I did discover the joys of “pre-poll voting” (i.e. early voting).

And for the first time since I have been eligible to vote, I am utterly and completely apathetic. To borrow a phrase, if I can, from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, it’s INDECISION 2010 – Australian edition.

Continue reading Electoral apathy – Indecision 2010 (Australian Edition)

Patrol Magazine

Ordinary Time 33/2nd Week before Advent – Thursday
Feast Day of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

I have IMonk to thank for this again. Patrol Magazine rocks. The articles are not your typical fare from a Christian magazine.

Stuff I am reading from there?

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Catholics & Anglicans

Ordinary Time 29/Trinity 19 – Wednesday

I was alerted to this by my Dad over dinner tonight. So the Holy Father (or is it the CDF, or even another part of the Curia?) is making a concession and thinking about setting up ‘personal ordinariates’ for disaffected Anglicans (of any variety) so they can jump ship across the Tiber (so to speak). The Vatican announcement can be found here. And the joint statement by Abp. Rowan Williams of the Anglican See of Canterbury and Abp. Vincent Nichols of the Roman Catholic See of Westminster can be found on Abp. Rowan’s website.

This will be interesting to see how this pans out over the coming years. And how the timing of this just seems a wee bit too convenient for the Vatican given all the internal wrangling that exists in the Anglican Communion now over homosexual clergy, homosexual marriage and (to a lesser extent) women bishops.

This being particularly prevalent over in the USA which has led to the ACNA being set up in contradistinction to TEC – though with the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane saying there is nothing canonically wrong with women bishops being consecrated here, this is at odds with say, the Anglican Diocese of Sydney which doesn’t even allow women to be ordained as priests, let alone as bishops.

Then again the Anglican Diocese of Sydney has its own problems currently after losing about A$160 million in investments as discussed at its 2009 Diocesan Synod (see here, here and here for Australian media reports from Fairfax and News Ltd newspapers).

I can picture the the Primate of the TAC, Abp. John Hepworth jumping for joy about these new personal ordinariates (which will be similar to military ordinariates which minister to Roman Catholics who serve in the armed forces). I wonder how the Anglican Use and Pastoral Provision that the late Pope John Paul II set up will also factor in with this new organisational scheme.

There is one part of me that rejoices at this ecumenical gesture (if you can call it that, others would simply call this out as the RCC poaching disaffected Anglicans globally into the RC fold). A part of me wants to join and have “full, visible unity” with my Roman Catholic brethren. But there are still a number of issues that would prevent me from unreservedly moving over into such a camp.

And that the Lord somehow still wants me to stay where I am currently in CMCA (even though I myself feel somewhat of an anomaly in the CMCA) rather than to jump ship into communion with Canterbury or with Rome (or for that matter Constantinople as well).

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