Inside the mind of Alzheimer’s

Over the past few weeks podcasts have become my new obsession. I’ll admit it started because I was looking for something to listen to in-between Serial episodes (If you don’t know what I’m talking about stop reading and start binge listening to it immediately!).

One of the podcasts I stumble upon is Strangers. Though it’s not my favourite, I quite enjoy it and the latest episode (called Mind Shaft) blew me away. The host, Lea Thau, interviews Greg O’Brien, an investigative reporter diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Greg shares what’s it like to experience this horrible disease from the inside. He describes Alzheimer’s as dark and scary – ‘a mind that’s 5 miles deep’.

OnPlutoHe tells his story because ‘if I’m not pushing forward … I’m falling backwards’. He’s eloquent and charming and tells a fascinating story. But it’s also incredibly sad, because he knows how it ends.

Greg has also written a book about his experience called On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s. I’ve just bought it and will post more about it when I’ve read it.

Listen to the podcast here. Buy Greg’s book here.

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Tips for Preaching From an iPad

Tomorrow I’ll be heading off on youth camp. Over 2 days I’ll be giving three talks from Romans 12. I’ve given talks from my iPad before, and I thought I’d found all the tricks of the trade, but here’s a new one from Tim Challies

5. REVERSE THE SCREEN

The iPad has a bright and glowing screen and depending on the lighting in your church, the angle of the pulpit, and other factors, it may prove an annoyance by lighting up your face or reflecting off your glasses. The best way to counteract this is to use the “Invert Colors” functionality which changes white to black and black to white. To use this, go to Settings, tap “General,” then “Accessibility,” and switch on “Invert Colors.” Even better, go to Settings, tap “General,” then “Accessibility” and “Accessibility Shortcut.” There you will see the option to set a triple-click of the home button to invert the colours. Now, right before you preach, simply triple-click and you will have a reversed screen.

I’ll be giving this a try tomorrow. Read the rest of Tim’s tips here.

The Misogyny of Atheism

Cutting It Straight

“How can a progressive, important intellectual community behave so poorly towards its female peers?”

Because atheism’s fundamental intellectual commitments (if pursued consistently) lead inexorably to such behaviour.

This article (not for kids to read, by the way!) shows the fundamental incoherence and hopelessness of atheism, because it displays the logical devaluation of the individual that inevitably results from naturalistic materialism. See, if human beings are merely animals and there is no transcendent, objective morality, “might makes right”–and men, being stronger than women, dominate in the jungle of naturalistic materialism. On atheistic grounds, how would that be wrong? (How is there any right and wrong to begin with, anyway?) If evolutionary theory is right, men increase their chances of reproductive success by objectifying women, using them as means to an end rather than valuing them as individuals.

But, if there’s a God and he made gender and sexuality for a purpose–and…

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My question for the future Archbishop

I know I don’t get to vote for the new Archbishop of Sydney however I do have a question for the nominees. I’ve submitted it to both of them via whyrick.info and glenndavies.info

Here’s my question

Looking at the major committees/boards/governance structures in the Sydney Diocese it seems that women are under-represented. For example

  • Standing Committee – 10 out of 56 members are women
  • Moore Theological College – 1 out of 16 members are women
  • Anglican Church League – 7 out of 59 members are women
  • Anglicare – 4 out of 16 members are women
  • Evangelism and New Churches – 1 out of 8 members are women

What do you propose to do to correct the under representation of women in major organisations in the diocese?

The Briefing on Hillsong 2012

A brilliant article from The Briefing reflecting on Hillsong Conference 2012.

There’s a reason the Scriptures place such a high burden on teachers of God’s word—from Ezekiel’s call to be a watchman (a burden taken up by the apostle Paul) to the instructions in the Pastoral Epistles to find men of sound character, godly convictions, and ability to teach the word of God faithfully and well. One reason such a burden is placed on the teachers of God’s word is to ensure that the people of God are actually taught God’s word. That seems like a self-evident statement until you see how they aren’t fed. No-one who came to that conference heard of the need for forgiveness (by God, that is, for our sins). No-one heard about what Jesus accomplished. There was no mention of salvation from God’s wrath through the atoning work of the cross, or of how God’s Spirit works in us to make us more and more like our Lord Jesus, or of how we look forward to and long for the day of his return.

 

There may have been 20,000 people in the room, gathered as one church under Christ, but the church was too small. It was too small because the gospel being proclaimed was too small: it was just about you and me, and how God makes our lives better. We weren’t really being gathered together under Christ, we were gathered together as a large collection of individuals. Not only was the form of preaching individual—the preacher sharing what God had revealed to him or her personally—but the content was individual too: God’s revelation to the preacher is about a promise to make your life better. How unlike the way that Paul talks about what God has done in and for us! God chose us before the foundation of the world:

In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph 1:7-10)

God’s work in gathering us together to be his church is a story that is so much grander than my personal circumstances. But my personal circumstances, my life and what God has done and is doing in it: that is the size of Hillsong church. I simply don’t think that my life is big enough to be good news.

Read the whole article

I was at the last night of that conference and completely agree with Sam’s reflections of Steven Furtick’s talk. I remember feeling stunned that he could preach on John the Baptist from Matthew 11 and neglect the whole point, when it’s stated so clearly. 

 “I assure you: Among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force. For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John; if you’re willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come. Anyone who has ears should listen!”

Matthew 11:11-15

 

Elect Exiles: 1 Peter from The Village Church

The Village Church has just started a 4 week sermon series on 1 Peter. Here is the first sermon. 

The first 40 minutes less preaching and more of an extended commentary on changes in the culture that we live. It’s really a kind of introduction for the next 3 weeks. Very insightful. And a reminder of why the letter of 1 Peter is so important for Christians today.

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13