Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blood Brothers

While away on holiday recently I re-read a book that I had read 20 years ago, Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour. Elias Chacour was born in the Palestinian village of Biram in the upper Galilee in 1939. In 1948 after a United Nations resolution, his country of Palestine became the sovereign state of Israel. Three years later, his own village of Biram would be changed forever. In 1951, Israeli soldiers marched into Biram and told the inhabitants that they would have to leave the village temporarily for security reasons. When the inhabitants of Biram returned, they found their houses, their entire village, bulldozed by the Israelis. They have never to this date been allowed to return.

Elias Chacour became a priest in the Melkite Catholic Church, which dates back to the Byzantine period and Constantine. Father Chacour is a man of faith, and is also a Palestinian who has worked for many years at trying to be an agent for peace, justice and reconciliation.

His book and other writings are well worth the read as it presents another side from what we traditionally get in our media about the problems in the middle east today.

Finally some runs...

Well after 8 innings, it finally happened... I made double figures. And not just, actually made 31, second top score last Saturday for the mighty FTGCC 6's .And what's better I did it as an opener, my first time for the season and was also involved in a 55 run opening stand. Not bad when I was just sent in beacause I had hurt my back feilding and the captain thought I might seize up, so get him in early and out early, but 20 overs later was still there.
So I can now retire knowing that I have at least 1 decent score for the year... until next week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Owens to Sydney, so watch out

The last few weeks has seen some farewells, and none more sadder, yet celebrated, was the departure of the Owens for western Sydney. I have got to know Jon over the past 7 years after we did our Forge internship together back in 2000. Anyone who meets Lisa and Jon can't help but be encouraged and challenged by the call of Jesus and their obedience. Jon and Lisa are memebers of UNOH and are heading up Mt Druit way to establish a UNOH chapter. I for one will miss them, but know that we will bump into them again later in the year at Surrender.

Last few weeks

The last few weeks have felt like a bit of a whirlwind. Back in early December we got a call from Helen's great old time friend Suzy, from the Gold Coast to say she had secondary cancer in the brain. Suzy had been thru the ringer with breast cancer last year, so this was a bit of a shock to say the least. Helen flew up for a week immediately to spend some time with her and her fantastic family just before her round of radiation started. We then all flew up late December after Christmas for a couple of weeks, just getting back earlier this week. One of Suzy's wishes was that our families could spend sometime together which was brilliant. We were treated like royalty up there and I played kids entertainment supervisor for 2 weeks. Was great to spend sometime with the family, and theirs. The radiation is still doing it's work so next week she'll go in for an MRI to see what has happened. Please join us in praying for Suzy and the family with us, through this all she has an amazing sense of peace and strength.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Read this great quote today, it seems to me that if ever the world needed shalom it was now, but sadly for many millions it must seem like a fantasy.
The word for peace in both Arabic (salam) and Hebrew (shalom) has the same etymological root and the same breadth of meaning: wholeness, health, safety, and security. It refers to a peace experienced and lived out in the everyday historical situation of life. Peace can be a basis or cause that leads to something else. It is either a prerequisite or a by-product.
- Naim Ateek
from "Justice, and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation"