Sunday, October 24, 2010

Maoist hotbed Bastar gets 3G coverage

Map of India showing location of ChhattisgarhI worked in Bastar many long years ago. At that time facilities for communication were very limited: telephone (if you were lucky and persisted long enough), telegrams (which might or might go through) and the post. The village where I worked was just one mile from the main highway between Jagdalpur and Raipur, and had no electricity.
Now along with all the troubles the area has been having from the Maoists (Naxalites) there have been great strides in the development of infrastructure which we so take for granted. I am amazed today to read that area now has 3G coverage:
Maoist hotbed Bastar gets 3G coverage
I suppose I would not recognise the place now. I assume the village has electricity and other miscellaneous facilities such as telephones, mobile phones and internet. It's quite a mind stretching exercise to think about. While I'm glad that my friends there have improved facilities I am also distressed that they have suffered over many years from the disruptions caused by the Naxalites.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Our Deep Ache...

"Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool ...." Psalm 99:5 NKJV
We live in a cynical age that discourages wonder, marvel and awe, yet deep down we still ache for it. God created us so that when we experience something awe-inspiring we need to praise it, to wrap words around it. Let's worship God – not because He needs it, but because we do!
For an inspirational daily message, go to
The Reading for Today is available at

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Memory damage reversed in mice

Memory damage reversed in mice
Interesting article! Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis less likely to suffer from Alzheimers! That's got to be a plus for them given the amount of pain they have to live with day by day.
If this discovery does prove to help those who suffer from Alzheimers then I say it can't come quick enough. What a wonderful thought that maybe even the damage could be reversed. The slow decline of a loved one is so hard to watch. It's confusing and wrought with great pain for the one whose mind is going, and even more painful for those who can only stand by and feel so helpless.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meet Sally, still working at 101

Now this is a story I like to read. Here this lady is 101 and still working. She looks way younger than her 101 years. I'm sure there aren't many older people out there who are as active as she is. And, she's been named as America's Outstanding Oldest Worker for 2010. Good for her. I hope I'm as good at her age, if I live that long!

Meet Sally, still working at 101
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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Chhattisgarh airlifting doctors to diarrhoea-hit areas

Chhattisgarh airlifting doctors to diarrhoea-hit areas

I spent many years working in this area of India back in the late 60's and 70's. It is a place that's dear to my heart. The troubles that Chhattisgarh has been experiencing over these past decades with the Maoists / Naxalites has been most distressing for me to read about. I often wonder what has happened to those who became such dear friends. There was no postal service when I was there, nor in the the years following so I have been unable to keep abreast of their lives; and, I don't even know if they are still alive. All I can do is pray for them, and trust them into God's loving care.
Now these dear people are yet again being hit with disease and sickness. One a my precious language helpers died from cerebral malaria when he was about 20. It was an awful thing. One minute a joyous young man in the prime of his manhood, and the next gone with that dreadful disease.
It all comes back to me as I read this piece of news from the area.
I went to Bastar District in order to do language research in preparation for Bible translation. I, and my colleague, was able to make significant headway in language learning and analysis. Sadly, our work was cut short and we had to leave. I was only able to translate a small portion from the life of Christ. I left copies of this with those who'd been helping me. I don't know what impact it may have had in their lives. They were very attracted to Jesus because he had power over nature and over demons. This impressed them very much. God alone knows what their heart response to Jesus was. It's a grief that I've had to hand over and leave with God. He is more than well able to sort all these things out.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The bubbler is back!

Buying drinking water in a plastic bottle has always seemed rather nonsensical to me when perfectly good drinking water is freely available from the tap; "If it ain't broke don't fix it." The whole idea of having to pay so much to have a drink of water seems so strange and unnecessary . I remember the days when there were bubblers everywhere so that if one wanted a drink of water, a bubbler was easily found. Then they gradually disappeared and the ubiquitous bottled water became the only source of drinking water when one was out and about.

Now, there seems to be a ground swell happening that sees the sale of water in a plastic bottle being banned, at least in certain contexts. Good thing, I reckon. There's way too much discarded plastic everywhere. And I can't imagine that it's that healthy to be drinking water out of a plastic container.

Sale of water is banned, and that's just lubbly bubbly
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Voters feel pity for Rudd

While voters may feel pity for Rudd it does seem like they are forgiving of Julia Gillard. For me, I find my response is to the principles being wrecked. As a nation we voted for Kevin Rudd as prime minister. It wasn't so much about the party he represented but about him and what he was standing for. He came across, at least to me, as a man of principle and character. And yet despite his popular election he was ousted by someone else in his own party... and, in what appears to be rather back stabbing circumstances. This whole episode has given me pause for thought as to the ethics and integrity of our Australian politicians.

Australian Federal Election | Voters feel pity for Rudd
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Rudd returns to Canberra

Kevin Rudd is back in town... just as the electioneering has begun for our federal elections on August 21.
I am still distressed and outraged over the way Rudd was ousted. Our government must seem like a joke to the rest of the world. It certainly does not seem right to me. Before she stabbed him in the back, I was rather partial to Julia Gillard. Not anymore. I now feel like she is not to be trusted. Also, she tells lies. Right before she took over she was saying on TV that she was not interested in the top job... then just two days later the coup occurred! Where's truth?
I keep remembering some biblical principles... 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' and 'the measure you give is the measure you get'. I do fear for Julia Gillard. What consequences are just around the corner for her as a result of the choice she made to grab the top job? Will she be overturned in another coup? Our political system could be a good one.
What to vote? Not only that, but how to pray for my country? We are not in a good place politically or spiritually.
O God, move among us.

Federal Election | Rudd returns to Canberra

Friday, July 16, 2010

Life & Living

No glitches to final inspection... the house passed for living and now I live. It's been a wonderful experience to move into my new home. So very hard to believe I have a house that's mine (actually it's God's house but he's given it to me to enjoy!).
Settling in goes slowly. The weather has been so cold that the unpacking of boxes goes slowly, oh so very slowly. The thing that's slow is that I have to get the boxes from where they're stored in a container further down the property up to my house (100mts or so). The car has been useful to do this but lugging 30-50lb boxes up the steps to the verandah is backbreaking when one is not so young anymore.
More recently the shed/garage has been built and yesterday cementing was finished for the garage verge, for a slab for a small annex for storing firewood, and for a path to back door. Looks good. Sadly, we've had so much rain in the last 6 weeks that the earth is sodden and the trucks have churned up the earth into a right royal mess. Now I'll have to plan for some earthworks once the ground dries up enough to be graded and deep ruts filled in.
We've had some bitterly cold days. The wind from the southwest blows off the Snowy Mtns and is frigid this time of year. To go outside I have to rug up and wear gumboots... so, I don't go out if I don't have to. The wood heater keeps me cosy and provides a nice cook top and little oven.
So, that's where it's at for the moment.
God is so good, and he's good all the time

Friday, June 11, 2010

Unwelcome comments

For some months now I have been getting unwelcome comments submitted to my blog. They appear to originate in China as the comment is in Chinese and consists of a lot of links to sex sites. I keep rejecting them... and will keep on rejecting them. However, it is annoying that this is happening.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Ready for inspection

Today some finishing touches were done to my new home in readiness for Council inspection tomorrow (Tues). Hopefully, there will be no glitches and the inspector will issue a certificate saying the house is ready for occupancy. Ahhh... what a thought... "ready for occupancy".

I've been slowly moving boxes of stored stuff into the house, unpacking them, wondering why I have so much, wondering where to put everything, wondering and wondering some more. Each time I come down from Sydney (300kms) I come with a car stacked full of my accumulations of the last 2 1/2 years... and again wonder why I have so much stuff... sighhh... seems like it's hard to give or throw away anything... you never know I might need it one day!

One goal of this move is to get radical about passing on stuff I do not need. Otherwise there will be no room for me in the house!

I have some boxes for things to keep for the retreat cabins. These will get stored in the garage until such time the cabins are built.

The view out the front window is wonderful. Hills and cattle quietly grazing in the later afternoon sun. Very nice, and very peaceful. Feels good!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Soon to move south...

This day has been long in coming! Too much of life got in the way, at least from my perspective... Since God's perspective tends to be rather different to mine this move is right on schedule!!

My house is finished, just awaiting connection of electricity and final inspections. So the first stage of a place for spiritual retreat is almost ready. The next stage will see the building of a couple of cabins (a 2-bedroom & a 1-bedroom) and a prayer room/prayer chapel. The whole project was totally impossible. Yet here I am on the verge of moving into a house that God has made possible. I have great hope that the next impossible stage of the project will soon be coming to reality.

The place where I'm building is a little village in the southern tablelands of NSW, a place called Majors Creek. It's an old gold mining area (and it seems as if there's still lots gold in the hills that may cause considerable unwelcome development).

The vision I have for this retreat is a place for the rekindling (restoration) of hope in a person's life, a place to connect with God and spend time alone with him, a place to address whatever may be getting in the way of knowing Jesus.

Some pictures of the building process may be found at my website Hope-Today.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Earthquake in Chiang Mai

Interesting! An earthquake in Chiang Mai, Thailand about the same time as the earthquake in Mexico/California... opposite sides of the world. Makes one wonder if our earth is having indigestion!

I was in Chiang Mai when the earth quaked in 1995. It frightened a lot of people and broke the umbrella up on the temple on Doi Suthep. Many saw this as a bad omen. However, it didn't make much difference to how people lived their lives.

Chiang Rai, 5 April 2010, [PDN]: Chiang Mai was gently rocked by a magnitude 3 earthquake, today, at 6.45am, with its epicenter in Muang district. Although the quake only lasted 5 to 10 seconds, the quake was sufficiently significant to cause people to dash out onto the street in alarm; however there were no reports of any damage or casualties. There are nine active fault lines in Thailand, the one near Chiang Mai being the Mae Tha Fault, about 30 kilometres away from the city. About 55 kilometres long, this fault has generated 23 quakes during the past 28 years, the most severe having been a quake of magnitude 5.2 on the Richter scale in December 1995.
Pattaya Daily News

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gateway to memories - photo art

Here's a spiffed up view of the gateway to where I spent many of my growing years. "The Farm" was well known in the district being an orchard producing wonderful citrus and stone fruits as well as having chooks for eggs. The navels oranges were wonderful--large, juicy with incredible flavour.
The main stone fruits were plums and peaches. Mum used to make endless jars of jam, especially plum jam. We'd eat fresh plums, cooked plums with custard, plum jam, plums and more plums until I was satiated and now don't eat them if I have the choice.
Anyway, that's all in the distant past now. The gate, path, and house still exist but the fruit trees and chooks are long gone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God's wisdom -- our circumstances

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all..." James 1:5 NIV

When we tap into God's wisdom, it's amazing how clearly things come into focus. With God's wisdom comes a remarkable absence of fear. We're no longer intimidated by circumstances or the opinions of those around us.