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Sharanjit Paddam
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Very interesting and surprising reading.

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All things considered, that's one brave little girl.
Awww LOOK! Pretty kitty wants to play.... <3

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Interesting how this story has inflated from "on average there is one planet per star" to "every star has a planet"... Not quite the same thing!
Can't wait until our telescopes are good enough to find one with an oxygen atmosphere...

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From The Wayside Chapel, Kings Cross, Sydney

Dear Inner Circle,

There is always a stream of people visiting here to check us out and they're always welcome. Just before Christmas, a man from a world-wide, well-known church agency was clearly impressed at the range of things that we do. He saw people, struggling with long-term mental health issues, working in the roof garden; he saw a small group constructing a mosaic tile artwork on the roof. He saw some people learning to cook with the herbs that they'd grown on our roof; he saw a discussion group for Aboriginal people taking place. He saw a busy cafe with people of all shapes and sizes mixing together as they ate. He saw a play group in action in our community hall. He saw young people in our youth area cooking their own breakfast. He saw street people being organised for showers and a change of clothes. As he was just about to leave, he came to me and said something like, "I love all these things that you're doing but what about God?" I was a bit taken back by the question because I guess I was wondering which part of what we do gave an impression that it wasn't about God. I've thought a lot since then about what I wished I'd said in that moment. I've come to realise that I've learned more about God in this place than I ever learned from any eminent scholar.

A 12 year old girl told me once that her dad used to have sex with her every day. It mostly happened in the house but when her mother was home, her dad used to drive her to a place near a railway line where there were very few houses. At 12 years old, this dear girl had already had about 4 years of this daily abuse. She told me how when she was being assaulted in the car, she used to pray and ask God for a train to derail and run her and her father over. She never understood why God seemed to lack enough mercy to put an end to her humiliation. She told me about a rainy day when she was in the car and praying that God would bring a train down upon the car. She told me, "I could only see the window of Dad's car." She prayed that a train would slip off the wet tracks and bring life to an end. "And all of a sudden, I got it" she said. "I saw the drops running down the window and I knew it was God's tears for me".

A funny old sausage stopped me in the street on my way in today and asked, "Is it ok if I call you Pastor, Minister?" I said, "You can call me anything you like. Why don't you just call me Graham?" He said, "I just want to get my terms right, Reverend. So is it Pastor, Reverend?" I said, "Whatever you like" and he said, "Thanks, Father".

I might be the luckiest man in the world. A young woman came to see me yesterday who I don't know and with whom I'd never had a conversation. She just decided that this was the moment that we were going to meet. She didn't want anything from me. A fresh little face that would pass for 16 years old any day, turned out to belong to a young woman who was actually 21 years old. She told me a story that pushed my imagination to the limit. Her first memory is around 4 years old when she was admitted to hospital as a result of a sexual assault by her father. It was the hospital admission that she remembers because there was nothing noteworthy about the sexual assault. She thought of herself as something akin to a self serve bar for not just her father but for all of her brothers and for the odd partner of her mother. At 21 years old, she'd already had 8 years experience in prostitution. She has not worked now for about 10 months but she reflected that her years in prostitution were the happiest of her life because men wanted her and were willing to pay money to be with her. We talked for perhaps an hour and the astonishing thing was not the facts of this story but that for some reason, this was the moment of our meeting. As we parted this dear girl said, "Really, I'm lucky". I couldn't find much luck in her story but somehow I think we both shared in some real luck at that time. When we parted, I was a different man. I can't say exactly how I was different but I know I'd received something of incalculable value. For a short time this dear person poured her heart out and felt safe. For me, her face filled the heavens.

If you dragged me into every church in this city and I heard all the songs and all the sermons, I believe at the end of the exercise I'd be asking, "But what about God?"

Thanks for being part of this inner circle,


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Now playing on continuous loop... 
Gotye's version is awesome; Walk Off the Earth's version is even more awesomer!!! Can't get this song out of my head...

Which do you prefer?

Gotye- Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)- official film clip (HD)


Somebody That I Used to Know - Walk off the Earth (Gotye - Cover)

Watch them both!!!

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Beautiful article. Resolving to buy more from Target in 2012 :)

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"I did a funeral and as usual I invited people to share their memories of the departed person. The first speaker said something like, "Some of you low lives have been accusing me of killing this person..." The undertaker at the back of the room looked at me with a stare that said, "See if you can save this!" Thankfully, we got through it well and afterward everyone came to the coffee shop at the cemetery. After lots of coffee and discussion, everyone was forgiving one another for hurtful words that had been said from shock and grief. It turned out to be a lovely funeral."
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