Flurry of faith covers chaplains, cricket and caravan parks

The Sydney Morning Herald has started the year with a flurry of faith-related articles.

The church cricket competition, in which your’s truly plays (off to training this afternoon…), gets a mention in Cricket’s culture club hardest one to join.

That famous Australian Christian institution, beach mission, is covered favourably in Sun and salvation make a divine holiday for fun-seeking souls. And while this generous portrayal may be a pleasant surprise, it is unsurprising that David Marr has dug up some criticism of the highly acclaimed school chaplaincy program. Read his article (and what about sending in a letter to the editor in response?), Chaplains in schools are ‘inadequately supervised’.

It may be a new year, but the struggle in which all the world is involved, of ideas, reality, relationships and the true nature of personhood and love, continues unabated.

The lighter side of zips, oxen and paying for sunshine

The Ashes Urn
Image via Wikipedia

One zip and your out

The Brisbane Gabba’s bag policy has been credited as the cause for a lower than expected crowd on the fourth day of the first Ashes Cricket Test.

While most sporting venues have a bag policy which involves checks for alcohol or metal and glass objects, the Gabba has gone a step further and decreed that if your bag has more than one zipper it will be refused entry to the ground.

ABC cricket commentator, Kerry ‘Skull’ O’Keefe, said that under the one-zip policy, there were some concerns that if you had a zip on your jeans, you may be allowed to take your bag in but have to remove your pants…

When you don’t want to be as strong as an ox

 The discovery of three teenagers who had been lost at sea for 61 days was described as a miracle and answer to prayer, apt descriptions indeed.

Not so apt perhaps was the description of their condition by one of the fishermen who found them. After commenting that they were very skinny, he said, ‘but mentally they were as strong as an ox.’ Mmm… faint praise?

There goes the sun

And in the same week that Here Comes The Sun (do,do,do,do) became the best-selling Beatles song on iTunes, a Spanish woman has registered the sun as her own personal property and intends to charge for its use.

Angeles Duran, 49, said she took the step after reading about an American who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and several planets.

An international agreement states no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it apparently says nothing about individuals.

Ms Duran now wants to charge for using the sun and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government, 20 per cent to the nation’s pension fund, 10 per cent to research and 10 per cent to ending world hunger. The rest she’ll keep for herself… Mentally, as strong as an ox?

More head miles than my legs can cope with

My New Year’s resolution to post to Utterance every day in 2010 has hit its biggest challenge recently thanks to a condition a good friend describes as ‘head miles’.

I first heard him use the phrase when I asked him why it was he stayed awake all night, most nights, walking the streets.

‘Oh, I just walk around and do lots of head miles,’ he replied calmly. He put it down to a combination of schizophrenia and the drugs used to treat his condition. I can claim neither as contributing factors for my mental mileage.

Unfortunately I also cannot claim the same positive side-effect of doing lots of walking. The phenomenon has dried up quite a bit since the City to Surf although I have turned to cricket in an attempt to stay fit. That, and about a kilometre quick-march as part of my journey to work each day.

Having watched a great deal of the big game of cricket on a small box in recent years, I was clearly lured into a false sense of my own ability. In a team made up of much younger men, including my sons, it has been somewhat embarrassing to discover my body simply won’t cooperate.

During the first game, not only did I manage to go out to bat with my pads on the wrong legs, wearing left-handed batting gloves and with my helmet in an oddly sight-reducing position, but I pulled my ham string fielding in the slips.Read More »