Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rewriting the Christmas story

I don't know if its a bit cliched to rewrite the Jesus stories into modern times-but this is a particularly good one about Jesus being born in Melbourne. Follow the hyperlinked title of this post to check it out

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Moby on Christmas

Don't mind his music, and has some interesting stuff to say on Christmas and Christianity. Worth a look.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Jesus Was a Punk Rocker

Even though its late and I should be preparing for this wedding-I found this great little parody and it just cracked me up! Pretty cheesy, but so much so that its cool! Well done Trav!

Oh a saviour has been born to us let's say a thankful Prayer
Back in Bethlehem in BC 4 their were angles in the air
He was born to lead a world in disrepair
Oh I’m thankful for the saviours birth,
God showing us he’s there

When the Census date from Rome was called
And everybody young and old
Had to back to their homeland and sign a little form
Mary was expecting soon but they couldn’t even find a room
They found a little back shed to have the baby king

Oh a saviour has been born to us let's say a thankful Prayer
In Bethlehem in BC 4 their were angles in the air
He was born to lead a world in disrepair
Oh I’m thankful for the saviours birth,
God showing us he’s there

The Angels gave the shepherds fright
The sheep were attacked by parasites
The went to find Jesus while angels danced and twirled
The shepherds couldn’t believe their eyes.

It was better then a coke and fries.

They went and told everyone.

It was a new day for the world.

Oh a saviour has been born to us let's say a thankful Prayer
In Bethlehem in BC 4 their angles in the air
He was born to lead a world in disrepair
Oh I’m thankful for the saviours birth, God showing us he’s there

The wise men now were really glad
But this just made King Herod mad
He called in the wise men and he had a little scheme
Wise men crowned Jesus King
Gave him the gold, Myrrh and lots of bling.
They took the eastern freeway home
Warned of Herod in a dream

Oh a saviour has been born to us let's say a thankful Prayer
In Bethlehem in BC 4 their angles in the air
He was born to lead a world in disrepair
Oh I’m thankful for the saviours birth,
God showing us he’s there
He was born to lead a world in disrepair

Oh I’m thankful for the saviours birth, God showing us he’s there

Ministries or minister?

Found this post here the other day, a good little site I've linked to before.

I think it throws a couple of unneccesary barbs, but is a good thought-provoker.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend about his decision to move to an inner city neighbourhood. At first he had grand plans to start all kinds of ministries when God stopped him. My friend heard God tell him the neighbourhood doesn't need another ministry. It needs another minister. As that thought has been rolling around my head it has come to be very profound for me. It articulates something I've been working through especially with my house church experiments.

Most ministry that occurs in a church is through a church program. In most church programs a few individuals conduct ministry (usually teaching or preaching) to a large group of people. There is certainly nothing wrong with this. However when almost all ministry follows this pattern we have a problem. We become insulated from each other. Even as someone who has taught and preached I can tell you it is a lot easier to preach to crowd than it is to get in to the nitty gritty details of someone's life. It is also much easier to sit in a crowd and listen to someone talk than it is to open your life up to others.

I think this is the essential difference between simple churches and regular churches. They shift the emphasis away from centralized ministry and become ministers. They open up their lives, their homes and even their fridges to the purposes of God. There is a huge cost to this.

The cost of being a minister of the gospel is too high. It means we have to deal with our own emotional issues and become vulnerable enough to open ourselves to healing. It means forgiving those who have wronged us. It means loving people who might reject us or return our love with contempt. It means becoming people of integrity who honestly address the hidden sin in their lives.

I think this is why we have so many ministries and not enough ministers. One can teach or preach to a faceless crowd and not have to deal with their personal issues or sin.

Church is the way it is because it is the way we want it. Deep down inside at a semi-conscious level we decided the cost of being a minister, the cost of being a disciple is too much and we stick with the status quo. We may recognize their are problems. We tinker with programs and convince ourselves that there really is a legitimate chance this going to make a difference. Nowadays people innovate by adding in couches or video projectors or art installations. In the end the more things change the more they remain the same.

Check out Leighton Tebay's blog.

See ya later Warney!

We all knew it was gonna come sooner or later, but unfortunately it's finally happened. And with the next Ashes now not until 2009 I don't reckon there's much chance of him making a Michael Jordan style comeback either!

Warney was the one who inspired me to bowl leggies back in the day. I was just another average medium pacer in a gun team, and needed to do something to make sure I got a bowl, and so leg-spin became my craft! I remember seeing his first wicket against India, a mis-hit lofted off-drive caught by Dean Jones, his figures:1/150! And with any luck I'll see him take a few at the Boxing Day Test this year.

He had a few mis-demeanours, but I can get over that. Besides, he's in the team cos he can play cricket, not cos he's a good role model.

Congratulations on a great career Warney!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The myth of the reliable condom

Found this post today on the blog of a guy who i happened to meet whilst trying out for another game show-but you'll hear more about that if and when I'm gonna be on! Anyways, its a good blog (it'd wanna be-he helps people with blogs for a job!) and this was an interesting post. No doubt I'll find plenty more useful stuff there over time.

At a recent World Congress on Sexology, a speaker asked the 800 sexologists present this question: “If you had available the partner of your dreams and knew the person carried HIV, how many of you would have sex depending on a condom for protection?” Not one person raised their hand. After a long delay, one hand was timidly raised in the back of the room. The speaker was irate. She told them, “it was irresponsible to give advice to others that they would not follow themselves.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My first wedding...that I'm conducting!

I'm not a full minister and what not yet, but I managed to score myself my celebrant's licence a while back and am now qualified to conduct weddings! And don't worry-I'm as scared as you are! Haha, na I'm stoked, can't wait. Got my first one on Sat and already another 3 on the cards! Bring it on!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Kevin Rudd + The God Factor

Just watched a great interview with Kvin Rudd, by Geraldine Doouge-the chick who hosts Compass. It was done last year but rerun due to his recent grab at the Labor party leadership.

It was a great interview, and I was really really impressed with him. He seems to take his faith pretty seriously-yet still have his feet on the ground, and a good perspective on the place of faith and religion in politics. He also really seems to have a good perspective on the spiritual, social and personal implications of faith.

It reminded me that I'd forgotten to post (as I often do) something I'd wanted to a while ago, which was this essay by Kevin Rudd.

Here's a couple of quotes. If u don't know the Bonhoeffer he's talking about, do some research on him-a great story.

“Bonhoeffer’s was a muscular Christianity. He became the Thomas More of European Protestantism because he understood the cost of discipleship, and lived it.”

“But there are signs of Christianity seeing itself, and being seen by others, as a counterculture operating within what some have called a post-Christian world. In some respects, therefore, Christianity, at least within the West, may be returning to the minority position it occupied in the earliest centuries of its existence.”

“I argue that a core, continuing principle shaping this engagement should be that Christianity, consistent with Bonhoeffer’s critique in the ’30s, must always take the side of the marginalised, the vulnerable and the oppressed.”

“In the fifth approach, the Gospel is both a spiritual Gospel and a social Gospel, and if it is a social Gospel then it is in part a political Gospel, because politics is the means by which society chooses to exercise its collective power. In other words, the Gospel is as much concerned with the decisions I make about my own life as it is with the way I act in society.”

I particularly like that last one too. Some good stuff I reckon.

The full transcript of the interview is here.

So close, yet so far...

My U/17s continue to motor along nicely, having another win-sitting 4-2 going into the Christmas break, which will have us in the 4 which is sweet.
Still working out the balance between wanting to have a win and give everybody a go, but it seems to be going well at the moment I reckon.

But then it was in the seniors where the real action was! After pretty much the worst day ever in the field the week before, not getting a wicket in the stifling heat and smog until 5:00pm and them setting a massive total of 341, we knew it would be a mammoth chase.

We lost a few early wickets, and the run chase didn't look good, but Uncle Darryl was still going strong with everybody falling down around him, whacking them all over the place, bringing up his ton with a massive 6.

Now I don't normally play in this side so they didn't know about my batting prowess (and lack thereof) so chucked me in at 10-which to be fair was one spot lower than I should have been, I was demoted after the guy who was at 10 begged to be at 9! Nonetheless I came to the crease at 8/246-still 96 short of a winning total.

In short Darryl and I put on 65, then I had to try and protect our #11 who'd never played cricket before, we made another 20 and then we ended up on 330-a mere 12 away from what would have been a classic victory. I made 36, including 6 4's, my highest score outside of school cricket!

A great day for restoring confidence in my batting ability but still terrible to get so agonisingly close!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Less commitment church=less commitment faith?

I have been thinking a lot about the Huddle lately-as I often do, and particularly the perception of Christianity and faith that it would give to people who were just new and starting to get involved.

See we are (and quite intentionally) a church that doesn't run a lot of programs, courses and events for people to go to, which is for a few reasons. Mainly because none of us want church stuff to take over our lives and have no time for our normal lives and normal friends. So I guess the idea is that instead of always being at church stuff, people have got time to get out and live their lives amongst people in the community. See we all get that, but I wonder about how new people might perceive it.

Do we run the risk of giving the illusion that your faith is something that should only be a small part of your life? That it should only be an add on to everything else? I guess at the end of the day it comes down to how well we're able to help people be a part of our community, and to understand God's call on their life, but its still something worth thinking about.

The importance of hearing others fail and struggle

I was thinking the other day about how important it is to hear about others failing and struggling in life, not for schadenfreude (its German-look it up) cos thats just crap, but because it makes us and our struggles and failures seem normal too, so we don't feel like the only crazy ones! Particularly when the people are older or people we really respect.

I remember a while back hearing an older guy I look up to a fair bit about how he didn't want to put himself in certain situations because he knew he didn't trust himself not to stuff, which was really cool, as I was struggling with the same issues (It was basically about girls-no surprises there-they're always the source of guys problems!!) But yeah, it really helped me a lot in terms of not feeling alone in my struggles and issues. I think there should be more of it in church.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another sweet music festival!

Damn these music festivals with their close locations, enticing line-ups and expensive ticket prices!

I just found out yesterday about this Point Nepean Music Festical over Easter next year, acts announced are Ben Harper, John Mayer, Missy Higgins, The Waifs and Ben Kweller, plus a few other sweet looking funk/reggae bands.

And then there's Chill Island, with Beautiful Girls, Ash Grunwald, Blue King Brown, The Cat Empire and Custom Kings down at Phillip Island on 27th Jan!

As well as Pyramid Rock I definitely won't be able to afford them all, tough decisions ahead!

My new blog layout!

I signed up the beta version of blogger the other day, and they've made it heaps easier to mess around with your blog and add all different stuff. So what ur looking at now is the result of that!

Hope you like it! As you can see I've finally been able to add some links to blogs I like reading, a funny photo which I think you can only see half of, and will endeavour to add some more stuff soon. I've also just realised I'll prob need to go back and chamge the colour of the text in some posts as it now looks crap with this new background-but any other ideas for changes from anybody?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

You're biggest God question.

This blog is runnign a thing where everybody is submitting their biggest God question. Man there's some rippers there! Heaps of brain food there!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dressing up for church

Was having a discussion today with my VETAMORPHUS guys, and the topic of dressing up for church came up, particularly to be on the music team, an idea to which I'm strongly opposed. Clearly with the Huddle we don't have this issue, and having never been involved with music stuff at Franga, don't know what rules are in place, but I digress.

I'm just not a fan of any sort of putting on any 'airs and graces' for church. For a number of reasons.

I don't reckon God cares.
If we're dressing up for church, why don't we dress up everyday? Cos God is just as much in our everyday as at church.
It can make people feel excluded if they can't dress up-ie they don't have enough money.
It can make people feel excluded if they don't fit the image.
It puts unneccessary restrictions/expectations on people, and is another possible way to exclude people.
It feels unnatural and very fake to me.
It can give people the wrong idea about what God wants/expects from us to newcomers?
Dressing up, not God, can become the focus.

But mainly the first one.

Sure you don't have to dress down, or wear singlets and no shoes like me, but I'm just really not a fan of people having to dress up for church or music teams, I really can't see any reason. If you know some, please tell me.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Anybody wanna try out for Big Brother?

I'll prob go in on Monday. Give me a call if ur keen. I've got a feeling this is my year!