Showing posts from October, 2021

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch Newsletter 24 October 2021

The first thing I do in the morning (apart from the usual), after Leisa has brought my tea  🥰  is read email, then BBC (for world), ABC (for Australia) and the Townsville Bulletin (for local) news. Then Facebook and Twitter. All on my iPad. Did you know that iPads are mentioned several times in the Bible? Well, the generic term, tablet, which is what copycats like Android and Microsoft call their devices, ripped off from the original. The Ten Commandments on tablets of stone are most familiar, but the closest to how I use my tablet in those first moments of the morning pops up in Habakkuk 2:2: “Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” I mean that when I encounter an interesting snippet of news, or a Facebook update from a friend, or a funny tweet, I run out into the kitchen or bathroom or wherever Leisa is, holding my iPad and reading to Leisa from it. While what God via Habakkuk means is “Here, I have a mes

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch Newsletter 10 October 2021

I confess to a little conceit, which is invisible to all but Leisa. For most of my adult life, my handkerchiefs (for any pedants out there, handkerchieves as the plural is archaic) have borne the monogram, R. In the days when I wore suit jackets, I would sometimes sport a breast pocket handkerchief, coloured or patterned, to match my tie, but the monogram would be artfully hidden. What brought this to mind is that one of those very old handkerchiefs died during the week. It predates Leisa, is riddled with holes from overseas hotel laundry staple-tags, and is threadbare. It’s the first one which I have brought myself to throw away, though (reverently disposed is the preferred term).   There is an instance in the Bible of a handkerchief being associated with resurrection, new life, not  decay. The familiar story of Lazarus in John 11, you know it well: His sisters tell Jesus that if He had been there, their brother wouldn’t have died. And then when Jesus orders the stone to be rolled awa

Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 3 October 2021

We haven’t had many COVID mask mandates in Townsville, but whenever one is promulgated (I wholeheartedly approve, by the way), three things happen. First, I forget that the measure is in force, walk masklessly up to Coles front door,  see a masked shopper emerging, utter an unpastoral imprecation - sotto voce, I hope - go back to the car and retrieve my mask. Second, when I try to scan the Queensland check in QR code, my phone won’t unlock because it doesn’t recognise my face with a mask. So I rummage through my ageing memory for the phone’s PIN. Third, when it’s time to pay, I can’t use Apple Pay because, you’ve guessed it, my face isn’t recognised. There are instances in the Bible of masks - or veils, same thing - being worn.  Exactly as in the Middle East today, women wore them for reasons of modesty and to indicate that only a husband or close male relative may see their unveiled face. I’m glad that Leisa wasn’t wearing a veil when I beheld her for the first time in a London church