Friday, March 31, 2006

Backyard Missionary � Blog Archive � Discipleship Dilemma in Youth Ministry

Backyard Missionary � Blog Archive � Discipleship Dilemma in Youth Ministry

Some fascinating discussion on youth ministry going on here, well worth checking out.

The problem for me with Examen type prayer

Quite a while ago now, I stumbled across various forms of Examen Awareness type prayers (examples of which can be found here and here), which are basically more contemplative prayerful ways of stopping and looking over your day, looking for moments in which you were most open to God/loved other people/were most thankful for and also moments you're less thankful for, moments you didn't live up to the kind of person you want to be etc.

This is something I've gotten into the habit of using most nights, as I find it a good starting place for prayer, as I invariably end up praying about whatever situations/people came up during the day.

Anywho, on Tuesday I was chatting with my spiritual director about various aspects of my prayer life and what not, and I reckon I've come across a problem with relying too heavily on this type of prayer, at least for me.

See I was finding myself coming to events or situations I was in, and finding myself often not feeling prayerfully prepared (which is a hard concept to explain, something one can only really feel) for them.

I think the problem was that I was very good at praying over what had gone on during my day, but was unfortunately lacking in the 'praying for stuff coming up' area.

V for Vendetta

Quite simply, this is one of the best movies I've seen in a very very long time. There were just so many massive themes and ideas to think through, I definitely need to see it again.

I'll give people who want to a chance to see it, and see it again myself, and hopefully write up some of my thoughts and theological reflections.

But just go see it.
This one was as we were all getting dressed as stupidly as possible to go to the doof-doof tent, also notice the lovely shaved chin and enormous mutton chops! Posted by Picasa

Mug Shot!

I've finally gotten around to re-installing the software that allows me to post pictures up here, so expect a few coming up. This one is my beard at its full extent, going for a bit of a bogan look down at Pyramid Rock! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

{}: ::Events-Melbourne:Niel Cole

{}: ::Events-Melbourne:Niel Cole

This is an event over a few days next week with a guy called Neil Cole who's been doing the church planting/multiplying/reproducing thing for a long time.

I've only read a bit of this guys stuff, but from what I've heard he's massively switched on, and should be really helpful for those looking at planting new types of churches. I'm gonna have to toss up about going on the Fri, as the Heard is that day, which I also really want to go to...

You can buy the tapes, but its never the same... It's meant to be pretty hands on and interactive which always makes it harder to miss...

Jesus Bingo Card

Bingo Card
A friend sent me this today and it really makes no sense at all to me. She said it reminded her of what another friend is doing with Missional Bingo, but I'm not sure. All it is is a regular Bingo card with the word JEsus printed across the top. Bizarro.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Established and Emerging: How do you disciple a core of radical missionaries while maintaining an open accessible community?

Established and Emerging: How do you disciple a core of radical missionaries while maintaining an open accessible community?

Great question, one I reckon all church planters/leaders need to ask themselves.

Check out the post for some of Tim's ideas.

My Church/Comm Games Dilemma

With the Huddle at the moment, Tuesday night doesn't seem to be the optimal night for us, but neither is Sunday or Monday, which were the only other possible nights. So until one of our crew finishes classes on a Mon, we're on a Sun-Mon-Tues rotation policy, so that one or two people at max are missing each time.

The rotation policy would be no good if we had plenty of newies off the street coming in, but anybody who comes is always a friend of somebody, so its not a drama at the moment.

Anywho, last night was our Sunday night night, and I was presented with a very tough dilemma. On my way to church I was offered a free ticket to the Closing Ceremony, which I initially turned down, as commitment to community is a pretty big thing for me. If I'm gonna be a part of a group, I like to commit to it.

But then my friend got back to me and said her other friend had pulled out, so would I be keen? I ended up deciding to go, which was a bit of a tough call, and possibly the right one, but possibly not?

If it was 'normal' church I wouldn't have thought twice about it, just because its a lot easier to sneak away from being a face in a pew than it is from a small group of friends.

I had an activity to run, but that wasn't an issue. Some leaders seem to think they're indespensible to their group, luckily I know I'm not, its just that I really enjoy being there, and gain a lot personally from it.

The other thing playing on my mind was that I do really like the flexibility of having a church where the group moulds and fits around our lives, and isn't the biggest most important part of our lives, our relationship with God should be, but our church meetings don't need to be.

I felt pretty bad just after leaving, not only because I felt I'd kinda let the crew down, but just really wanted to be there and have some good discussion about Jesus. But then I got up there and really enjoyed it, my spirits were lifted and I left feeling really happy about my place in the world, and loved every minute of it, so who knows...

The HEARD at the Davis Cup!!

Well, it seems the Heard related blog posts don't stop coming! Unfortunately we were unable to get the Commonwealth Games Hi-Jinks happening (and I think the Marathon was the poorer for it) but never fear, the Heard is never far away.

The organisers of the Davis Cup have chased us down, and given us priority seating for the upcoming quarter final tie against the surprisingly talented Belarus. There's 100 seats with the HEars, so mkae sure you all get in STAT!

Here's the details!

Tickets will be given to us for around $30 (For those over 18, Friday & Sunday tix might be as high as $40)
Breakdown of dates: (Friday April 7th - Sunday April 9th)

Friday - 2 live singles matchesMatches begin at 10am. Matches are best of 5 sets. Will probably run until late afternoon

Saturday - Doubles matchMatches begin at 10am. With only 1 match it will most likely run until 1pm.

Sunday - 2 reverse singles matchesMatches begin at 10am. If a result is already decided, the matches will only be best of 3 sets. Will also include trophy ceremony.

So far almost 40% of the tickets have been allocated. Many others have 'said' they are coming - but are yet to email & confirm.
This tally will be updated regularly


When: Sunday 2nd of April (Sunday before the Davis Cup)Venue: Haliday Park, Mitcham Road, Mitcham (Mel 48 K7)Time: 12:30pm - 2pm

We will also be handing out props for the day, distributing tickets and running through the plan and antics for the tennis.


You will need to make your own way there - easiest way is by train to Kooyong station, which is 2 stations in from the city on the Glen Waverly line.(Check this map - Melways 59C2)
We're meeting at the park across the road from Kooyong Station at 8:30am each of the mornings you're attending.
(Here's the Metling planner to work out the train you will need to catch to arrive in time)

90 000 Camera Flashes!

Probably the coolest part of tonight's Closing Ceremony was when the Scared Weird Little Guys were out warming the crowd up. They were getting us to do a few dance moves, cracking some gags etc, but then they pulled off THE BEST visual gag ever, yes, it was even better than the Heard's giant tennis court at the Aus Open this year! Unbelievable but true!

Anyway, they counted the whole crowd in and got everybody to use the flash on their camera at once-it was dead set unbelievable! The whole staduim absolutely lit up! Then even funier, they managed to co-ordinate a Mexican Wave of camera flashes going around the whole stadium! Craziness!

Lord Mayor John So!

Scored myself some free last minute tickets to the Commonwealth Games Clsing Ceremony, which is another story for another post.

Anyhoo, the funniest bit of the night was the roar every time the Melbourne Lord MAyor's name was mentioned, the crowd just went wild! He hasn't done anything amazing for Melbourne, he's just a funny little man! He doesn't speak particularly good English and has made many a public gaff, always saying totally the wrong thing, and thats why we love him!

Hopefully equally popular is the Mayor type lady from Delhi, who has a name that doesn't translate particularly well into English... If you saw it, you'll know what I mean...

Friday, March 24, 2006

The ins and outs of the Emerging church � Steve Addison�s blog � World Changers

The ins and outs of the Emerging church � Steve Addison�s blog � World Changers

This is a rather simplistic, but kinda helpful, list of some of the characteristics of the Emerging Church (even though lists like this do kinda piss me off because of the problematic nature of even trying to classify something as diverse as 'The Emering Church'), many of which I've known and tried to live out for a while now, and some which I'm less than sure about.

Here's a couple:

Out: Proclamation. Trying to save people. Getting people to heaven.

In: Presence. Making our community a place where you can feel the kingdom of God. Bringing heaven to earth.

Out: Church as a place, a meeting, or a time.
In: Church is a way of life, a rhythm, a community, a movement.

Out: The message of the Cross; the gospel of personal salvation.
In: The gospel of the Kingdom as justice and social transformation.

Out: Evangelism as persuading people to believe what I believe.

In: Walking the journey of life and faith together, each in their own distinct tradition, with the possibility of encountering God and truth from one another.

Anyway, it's an interesting list.

Comm Games Fever!

I must admit I have been absolutely loving the Comm Games, so much sport and so much cool stuff happening in the city, I love it!

I've seen a bit of boxing, some basketball and heaps of Athletics. Saw John Steffensen, Jana and the big discus man Scott Martin all win Gold Gold Gold for Australia, and will see a bit of Mottram tonight too.

The G looks awesome, and I'm just really stoked to live in Melbourne at the moment!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

SojoNet: Faith, Politics, and Culture

SojoNet: Faith, Politics, and Culture

Found this article which looks to be quite a well written one on the issue of women in church leadership. As I've said before, totally not an issue for me, but no doubt it will be for some. Ok, enough posts for today!

Small Group=Church?

Had a discussion the other day with a mate about what we're doing with the Huddle and talked about the similarities/differences to a small group, and discussed that at the end of the day, its not heaps different from a small group, which I reckon is fine.

In fact thats the way I explain it to Christians who have no idea what a home church would look like, I just say its more like a small group than what they know as church, which often starts off some good discussion about what church is etc.

Does church need to be that different from what most people call small group? I don't really think so. For me the difference is in our heads, its in how we view what we do on a Tuesday night. For one/two of our group, its a small group for them, and for others Tuesday night is church for them, and I think both are right. Its not really that complex.

Ben Harper is Coming to Melbourne!

Seriously, if Kanye West still comes out and supports U2 when they come back in November/December (which, unfortunately, I highly doubt) then this will be the best year ever for seeing live music.

This year I'm gonna pretty much knock everybody off my to-see list, U2, Ben Harper, Xavier Rudd, Bodyjar. The only big one still missing will be the White Stripes, but I just couldn't justify the money to see them at the time.

If anybody else wants to come to Ben Harper then let me know stat, cos tickets go on sale Monday via Ticketek. Looks like more sleeping out may be in order!


I've been thinking a bit lately about the difference between what we might call spiritual moments/experiences/connections and asking God for stuff/submitting ourselves to God in prayer/seeking God's will type of prayer.

First of all though, I must say I believe there is a lot of overlap between the two, but I reckon its really important we define the difference between them.

Examples of the first might be linked to awesome feelings of joy on the sporting field, or at a gig when you just really connect with the music, or that feeling surfers talk about when they're out in the surf and feel really connected to the waves and everything around them, or just an awesome feeling of community with friends.

Now all of these are great, and very valid ways of connecting with and experiencing God, but I think we miss out on something if thats all that our spiritual lives consist of.

There's just something about the discipline of committing ourselves to a quiet time of prayer, actively seeking God's already-with-us-presence, getting stuck into the Bible, meditating, reflecting on our experiences, praying for ourselves and others etc.

I think the second type can happen as a part of the first, but I need the second to enrich the first.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Crazy Psychic Number Guesser!

I dunno what sort of program they use to do this, or how they do it, but it works every time! It's pretty whack! If anybody has any idea how they do it I'd be glad to know!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Authentic Worship

Went down to Franga CoC youth camp to help out over the weekend, which was just great fun all round. The thing I loved the most, other than seeing how Jono totally ripped off all the stations that they used at an Urban Seed gig, which are very cool, and will no doubt be ripped off by my good self at some stage soon, was the stuff they did for worship.

I've always loved the idea of re-writing worship/normal songs with your own lyrics about where your at with God at the time and that kind of thing, and having the people with the musical talent there, they pulled it off a treat.

They learnt all the words, and the kids all got such a massive buzz getting up in front of the rest of the church and showing them the lyrics they helped write, that to me felt like very authentic worship.

2nd Best One Day Game Ever!

The first of course being the the fantastic Grand Final win by the mighty Tyabb Yabbies Fourths, but a close second was of course the absolutely amazing game last night, which Australia ended up losing, despite having scored 434!

Amidst the celebrations of the aforementioned Grand Final win, I checked my phone to be absolutely stunned to read Australia had just scored 434, only to be further shocked when my mate turned on the TV with two overs to go, and they were about to win it!

It was dead set one of the most unbelievable things ever, 872 runs scored in 100 overs! I can't imagine how much we would have got had Symonds got in! But, lets just say, the pitch must have been an absolute road-what a shambles. Should make the Test Series interesting to watch, see if they can get their act together for the Tests.

4th Grade Cricket Champions!!

Yiew! You beauty! Not withstanding the premiership of the mighty Australian Volleyball Team last season, this was my first premiership since the U/14s, when I first started plying my wares as a wily leg-spinner.

It was a tight game, with the winning runs being hit with only 3 wickets and 4 overs in hand. But we were used to such pressure games, having won our semi-final with one ball to spare (which I hit for 4 just to make sure the scores weren't wrong) last week.

I bowled reasonably well again this week, finishing with 3/12 off 4, slightly down on my 3/9 the week before though! Also threw down the stumps for a run out too, so I was pretty happy with my contribution to the game, which also consequently earned one of the game stumps.

Although not quite tattoo worthy, we'll definitely be getting some nice baggy maroon caps embroided and what not. Now if only we can match that in the footy....

A right royal rebuke to the Jensen doctrine of female subordination - Opinion

A right royal rebuke to the Jensen doctrine of female subordination - Opinion

The whole topic of female subordination in church is not one I know much about, so am perhaps unlikely to be qualified to not be a fan of it, but I'm not.

Either way, this article is an interesting one.

If you want some good discussion on it, check here.

Friday, March 10, 2006

More on Stories

For a slightly longer and more theological post on why stories are so important, read that one there, and this little reflection from a good friend of mine Matt.

When the Jesus stories don't make sense?

Today in VETAMORPHUS we talked about a billion things, but one of the things I remembered was reflecting on the stories of Jesus that don't make sense to us.

One of the students said they don't like them, but for me, they're my favourite, because they make me think. So often in life we're told what to think, told how to live, and often we kinda want that, but Jesus won't have a bar of it. He just keeps telling stories, keeps making us think...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gospel and Culture

Found this quote today, by Lesslie Newbigin, a pretty well-known English Missionary who went to India for years and came back and wrote some really top stuff.

We must start with the basic fact that there is no such thing as a pure gospel if by that is meant something which is not embodied in a culture…The missionary does not come with the pure gospel and then adapt it to the culture where she serves: she comes with a gospel which is already embodied in the culture by which the missionary was formed”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Heaven/Hell:It's Just Not the Point

My VETAMORPHUS class this week has set me the extremely easy task of presenting a seminar paper on heaven/hell-a nice easy topic to start the year off!

I'm finding Brian McLaren's book, The Last Word, and the Word After That to be very helpful, as is the discussion going onat Signposts at the moment.

I liked this quote from the Rev “I am sick of the idea that we live for an eternal reward, or an escape from an eternal punishment. I live for Christ and to share the kingdom of God, the justice, the mercy, the peace and most of all the love. My eternal destination is not my motivation, but Christ is. Very much along my line of thinking.

As is this: However, the idea of the kingdom of God come and the idea of the gospel being the kingdom and not personal salvation is something that I have believed for a long time.
So the kingdom of God is not heaven, the kingdom is now. When you forsake all and follow Christ, you bring the kingdom of God into this world

I also liked the quote 'Christianity is a way of living, not dying' that I saw somewhere.

Although i wholeheartedly agree with Neil in The Last Word that hell and heaven are totally not the point, it still is a fascinating idea, and it annoys me when he gets annoyed with Dan for keeping on asking questions about it, becasue its a huge issue for most people.

May or may not get around to posting some more thoughts on this.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lent, And Covenant

kairos : kisses: Lent, And Covenant

I only just realised last Tuesday that Lent started last Wednesday, and due to a few other big things coming up at church last week it totally slipped my mind, which was a bum as it's something I'd really like to check out more.

Most of us Protestants aren't good with the church year/festivals/rituals and I reckon they've got some real value.

Last year I gave up drinking piss and watching TV for Lent which was pretty full on, but totally worth it. Neither of those things are really an issue for me this year, so not sure what I should give up.

Thanks to Hamo for the link to somebody who knows more about it than both of us.

Open and Closed Meetings?

It's something Hamo has talked about here, and this post made me think about the possibility again of having some open and some closed meetings. This is something we're all well used to in normal churches, and something we may have reacted too strongly against. A couple of people have also commented, funnily enough in the comments section, of my previous post about the Neurotribe stuff.

As we're in the midst of this group discernement process about where we're heading as a group, we had a couple of newies join us, a mate and one of the guys' girlfriends.

There was a bit of disagreement and conflict over a few things, but ultimately I felt it was a helpful meeting-I felt some really important things were clarified, but, should we have done it with outsiders present? Would those kind of conversations have been more appropriate in a setting where just our 'core' group were present?

I traditionally react very strongly against any form of exclusivity for any reason, it just doesn't seem to fit with the message of Jesus as I understand it, but maybe we need to think a little more about this one...

What must you accomplish?

Found this great little qoute on Jon Owen's blog, a great guy working with the poor and marginalised in the Springvale area with UNOH. Don't really know what to do with it, but just thought it was interesting.

'Here are some fresh thoughts emerging from the healing profession in Europe (Sourced from Sweet, L. (2005). Summoned to Lead).

Spirituality has a role in healing in Europe. A doctor will say to cancer patient:
“You have cancer. Do you want me to heal you, or do you want me to help you complete the circle of your life?”

If the patient opts for healing, then the doctor says:
"Then tell me your mission. Why is it that you must live? Specifically, what must you accomplish?" '

Pithy Christian Sayings

Got this emailed to me the other day, a couple were OK, some were so lameo it was funny, others were beyond funny-a little bit scary. Now all I need is one of those church signs out the front of my house to put these little sayings on!

Give God what's right -- not what's left.
2. Man's way leads to a hopeless end -- God's way leads to an endless hope .
3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma--but never let him be the period.
6. Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
8. When praying, don't give God instructions - just report for duty.
9. Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church.
10. We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.
11. The church is prayer-conditioned.
12 When God ordains, He sustains.
13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.
14. Plan ahead -- It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.
16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
17. Exercise daily -- walk with the Lord.
18. Never give the devil a ride -- he will always want to drive.
19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
21. He who angers you controls you.
22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
23. Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.
24. Be ye fishers of men -- you catch them & He'll clean them.
25. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
26. Read the Bible -- It will scare the hell out of you.

Deary deary me...