Category: Thoughts on life

Yin Yang

The Eastern symbol of Yin Yang, with its equal swirls of black and white, has become ubiquitous on clothing brands, computer games and in popular culture generally. This idea of a balance between good and evil, of an eternal struggle between the two, is played out in comics and TV shows, and is very appealing. We can identify that tug of war in the world around us and we feel the struggle within ourselves.

The concept of equal but opposing forces in an epic duel has even crept into Christian thinking. However, Biblical Christianity teaches a far different and more encouraging power balance than that good causes and is dependent upon evil, just holding its own in the struggle.

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What are we waiting for?

Published Christmas 2019

“I just can’t wait to open my presents!” Isn’t that the cry of kids (and some adults!) at Christmas? The anticipation of seeing secret wrapped presents under the tree is often even more exciting than actually finding out what is inside them! We wait with expectation, for weeks, to find out what we will get and to taste the delicious food we specially prepare.

Waiting is hard. Not for Christmas morning, maybe. But life is full of other waiting times; we wait for a diagnosis, for true love, to recover from an illness, to stop hurting, to have children, to get work or to retire.Continue reading

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Trauma cleaning

I am reading a fascinating book at the moment about someone whose job it is to “trauma clean” – she is the cleaner who goes in after a murder, suicide or bad tenant; the person whom the council gets to clean up for hoarders and wash down former methadone labs.

What an interesting, disgusting, daunting and slightly terrifying job!Continue reading

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Imagine a world without theft

Can you imagine a world in which there was no theft? I find it is almost impossible to do. Imagine not needing locks on doors, or cars? No security guards in stores, no pick pocketing or phone scams. We wouldn’t need safety deposit boxes or passwords because no one would steal online either.

If everything was paid for, stores wouldn’t have to pad their prices and the cost of everything would be lower. Insurance companies would lose a lot of work. If no one stole from the tax man, the government would have lots more money to make improvements on infrastructure and amenities.

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The most destructive man to ever live

(Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

I recently learnt about the life of American chemical engineer Thomas Midgley, a mild-mannered inventor, who only lived 55 years and whom I had never heard of before, but whose impact was one of world-wide destruction and death. He has been dubbed the most destructive single organism on Earth!¹

Midgley was instrumental in the invention both of leaded gasoline and CFCs, two of the worst inventions ever, which continue to have untold human and environmental impacts.Continue reading

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The least of these

Recently I saw online the heartwarming story of a Walmart employee in the States who stepped in and gave a woman with cerebral palsy a manicure, after the nail salon refused her business.

This sort of story brings a smile to the face and restores our belief in the kindness and goodness of humanity.

However, like those stories about people making wheels for disabled dogs or rescuing stranded whales, it is not a very Darwinian story though – it is not about survival of the fittest, or weeding out the weak.Continue reading

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The power of apology (Sorry Day 26 May)

National Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May, since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country’s Aboriginal population. I imagine many Australians might feel the whole idea is just a hollow attempt by “the white fella” to soothe his conscience about the past, and that an apology is just empty words.Continue reading

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Details about the devil

In the cult movie “The Usual Suspects” Kevin Spacey’s character Verbal Kint famously says “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.

The Devil seems to be doing a good job, in a 2009 poll conducted by Nielsen, 68% of Australians said they believe in God, while only 37% say they believe in the Devil.

Belief in the Devil has been made ridiculous by portrayals of him as a cloven-hoofed, pointy-tailed, red, goat-like creature, carrying a pitchfork.

What does the Bible actually say about the Devil and does one have to believe in him to be a Christian?Continue reading

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The sin-eater

Written March 2019

In season three of Netflix’s “The Blacklist” FBI agent Elizabeth Keen remembers something horrific she did in her past and finally understands why the mysterious Raymond Reddington (Red) was trying to keep it from her.

“I was trying to be your sin-eater,” he tells her.

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