The problem with American

Last week, on my flight from New York back to Sydney, I binge watched Season 1 of The Newsroom. It’s a series created by Aaron Sorkin, the guy behind The West Wing, with Jeff Daniels playing Will McAvoy, an anchorman on cable news.

In the opening scene of the series pilot, Will is on a panel with a Democrat and a Republican at a university, when a student asks the panel: “What makes America the greatest country in the world?”

The question triggers an epic and rousing outburst from Will, who dresses down both major political parties and rails about why America is no longer the greatest country on earth.

“But it could be”, he then says in softer tones.

That first season of The Newsroom aired in 2012, before Donald Trump ever campaigned for president, promising to “make America great again”.

Coincidence? I doubt it. Continue reading The problem with American

From Advent to Adventure

It’s the second week of Advent and I’m not really feeling it.

Generally speaking, people slide easily into one of three distinct categories: (1) those who absolutely love Christmas; (2) those who find Christmas super stressful; and, (3) those who are indifferent to Christmas.

I love Jesus but I am planted firmly in the third camp.

So I scour the season, I scour Scripture, both for magic and for logic. Continue reading From Advent to Adventure

Between distraction and devotion

Spiritually and emotionally, this last week for me has been marked by distraction and devotion. I think that’s the perennial question for most believers, but I am particularly conscious of it at the moment. Distraction The other day I was in the car with my sister, the radio was on and it was news hour. Despite my almost total lack of interest in the whole … Continue reading Between distraction and devotion

Self-censored

I’ve always valued my education, and I know a significant part of my identity and beliefs are shaped by my schooling. In fact, with each year that passes I am more grateful for the education I received. It was good quality, public education all the way from kindergarten through high school and into university. I was taught to explore and discover, question and analyse, express … Continue reading Self-censored

After the mission field: two months on

It was exactly two months ago that I left Loja. I shed some tears on the plane to Guayaquil, just thinking about how two years in a place is an awful long time, a lot of love given and received. And now that I’m home, I can say I miss some things, my closer friends, things we used to do, the smell of the place … Continue reading After the mission field: two months on

About evangelising

So in the last couple of weeks I have had three great but tough conversations with three great but non-believing guys. G is an atheist. J was raised a Catholic, believes in the value of the Bible and Jesus’ teachings, and God as existing though he leans towards a God as energy type definition. R believes in a loving God, and Jesus and Mary as … Continue reading About evangelising

snatches of encouragement

So things have been really difficult with youth ministry at church lately. Well, it’s always been a complicated, uphill battle; but last month we almost threw in the towel. Numbers were dropping, meetings were badly coordinated in spite of our efforts to organise and plan more, a key leader withdrew, everyone seemed to be getting distracted. Morale was low. I said to the other leaders, … Continue reading snatches of encouragement