Movie: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Poster

A month ago, when there was still time to watch movies, I saw this Guy Ritchie film: unlike Ritchie’s original Sherlock film, this one is overrun with gun battles – this takes away from the simplicity of the old stories and moves it into a different genre.

It has enough twists and turns to make it interesting, but you won’t have to pay too close attention to figure out the epic plot. If you’re in the mood to watch Robert Downey Jr., this is as good a vehicle as any of his recent work.

Movie: Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol poster

Over a month since I saw this one at the movies: it’s a different kind of reflection with this much time elapsed. No longer is it the initial impression, but what were the lasting moments that stay with a viewer after a month?

Tom Cruise is in fine form in this picture, filled with impressive action set pieces – the one rushing through the sand storm, and the one climbing up and down the giant Dubai hotel are the most impress.

With each MI sequel, the plot becomes easier to follow, and this is no exception to the pattern. Enjoyable popcorn fare.

reuben hills, surry hills

reuben hills, surry hills

Reuben Hills coffee. 61 Albion St, Surry Hills. To look at the front of this place, you might walk past, but if you’re looking for a great place for some good food and well-made coffee, then you should pause here. As you can see, they take their coffee-making very seriously with an open-plan kitchen and coffee making area.

where the magic happens, reuben hills, surry hills

If you’re not after a hot coffee, there are some cooler options.

iced latte, reuben hills, surry hills

There are a range of food options, quite well put together, but the prices are the higher ones that are increasingly par for the course in Surry Hills.

bread , cheese and meats, reuben hills, surry hills

Make sure you try the not-really Reuben – it’s something special.

reuben, reuben hills, surry hills

A pleasant place to spend time, and with its built-in hipster appeal, this seems a likely place to have ongoing success, both with the coffee aficionados and those who like a unique take on cafe food.


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bible in church: paper or screen?

I was rostered on to read the bible at church this week. Even after years of preaching and leading church services, this is a responsibility that I take seriously – I pre-read the passage a couple of times, and brought my old NIV paper bible around to read from. This, combined with a post over at Communicate Jesus about whether to provide people with a bible or not, has me thinking about which is better for church use – a screen-based bible, or an “old-school” paper bible.

A few times this year I’ve brought my Greek New Testament to church, seeing an opportunity for me to follow the passage in the original language and try to translate in real time. I’m at a point where this (naively or otherwise) doesn’t feel like posing, but rather seems like a legitimate thing that I can tap into after all the study I’ve being doing. But it’s much easier to be able to look at the English text, and follow along with everyone else.

Of course, during the bible reading, the passage is up on the data projector, a few verses at a time, but the downside there is the lack of context: there’s no ability to flick backwards and forwards, you’re just stuck with the words being spoken, and a couple of sentences either side.

But what about a screen-based bible? Sometimes I use the Logos iPhone app on my phone to read and look up passages, but I always hesitate.

If you’re in a lecture theatre environment (and most church services have their seating configured in that kind of mode), anything you’re reading is going to take part of your attention, and the attention of the people around you. Sit in the back of a classroom where other people have laptops out, and you’ll see people looking at Facebook, checking their email, in general, anything but paying attention to what is being said in the lecture.

A participant in this kind of seating arrangement has – I think – something of a social obligation to the other people gathered together. If you’re in church to participate in the church service, you’re probably better off with a paper bible than with an electronic one. Even if you’re benefiting from being able to look up a passage more quickly, then that’s great for you, but what about the other people around you who can’t help but look at your screen, and then start their minds wandering about what they could do on their smart device. Plus the sense of shame (or at least a lack of feeling of belonging) from the people who can’t afford a smartphone.

I think to make a church as inclusive as possible, handing out printed bibles is the way to go. Does anyone else care to chip in about their experiences where a screen-based bible is the norm?

book: Revolutions in Worldview

Book: Revolutions in Worldview

One of two books recommended by my lecturer for this semester as useful background to the “Knowledge of God” subject I’m studying at the moment. And right he was – this is an overview of the concept of worldview from back before there was such a thing, written by a number of authors. As someone who doesn’t have much of a background in history or philosophy, this was an introductory-level text that nonetheless left me feeling out of my depth a number of times as I struggled to remember the various philosophers and their time periods of activity.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading this book, and it helped me have a better understanding of the philosophical framework at different times in history, so for that I’m grateful. A good overview, though be warned: a couple of chapters in particular don’t give much of a chance to come to grips with the secular philosophy before chiming in with “and here’s why they’re wrong, and Christianity is right”.

Friends from youth

With each trip around the sun, my perspective changes. What seemed the inflexibility of old age starts to make more sense.

One excerpt from the sunscreen song that seemed particularly poignant over the weekend was “the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.”

There was something energizing just from seeing a few people that I’ve known for over 15 years, mixed in with people I’ve only known for a handful of years (or less).

If it’s been a while since you spent time with old friends, I would recommend it – it opens a window to a time where there were more possibilities, and fewer responsibilities.

I’m certainly not saying that I’m unhappy with my life now: just that to look back can be an enriching, rewarding experience.