Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy times, but slowing down

So, clearly I haven't been on here much at all, but thats fine. Been doing lots of life stuff, but not reflecting on it much here.

Unfortunately I'm not really meant to write about what I've been mainly doing over the past month cos of media restrictions which they have to keep pretty tight (all sounds very secretive I know, but is just one of this group's things). But for those who know what I'm talking about it-it was absolutely awesome, one of the greatest things I've done, and it all went a treat.

I've also finished up my first full year as Chaplain at what is now called Somerville Secondary College, finished my studies and passed my ministry assessment panels-which menas I only have to finish a couple more subjects and I'm all done. Apparently I can chuck a Rev at the front of my name at the end of it all, but I definitely won't be using that too much!!

Christmas is a really cruisey time for me, so loving that, just trying to get a few things done before then so I don't have to stress about them.

Have been doing, and preparing for, weddings galore, which is always fun. The nest one I'm doing is for one of my really good mates, so that will me mad fun.

Am also, after much kerfuffle, going to Falls in Lorne, which I'm really looking forward to. Soo many good bands I want to see there! Tegan n Sara, the Grates, the Kooks, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Mystery Jets, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Franz Ferdinand, Soko, Lykke Li. My mate ditched me, but have managed to find a fair few randoms I know that are going-will be mad fun!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Reflecting on experience

Have been flat out lately organising and doing a few different things, which I can't write about right now, but will do so.

Caught up with a mentor the other day, and was reminded of one of my favourite quotes, one which i struggle to live out more often than not.

"An experience not reflected on, is an experience lost".

Very relevant for me in the craziness it occasionally is, and temptation to jump from role to role in my life, without reflecting on the transitions.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Laziest Blogger Ever

Have been wasting my time lately with essay writing and Facebook, so minimal time has been spent here.

I'm sure I'll get back to it soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Attractional vs Attractive

Have been very lazy with the blogging of late, mainly due to being back at home and not house-sitting where I can use their internet.

Am currently trying to sort out this new USB Modem system, where I think i may have shot myself in the foot by buying a Modem off the net, it's not dodgy, but just has Vodafone software, which is not seeming to be friends with my Optus SIM card, even though it's not network locked...

Anywho, this article is something I've explained a few times before, so big ups to Hamo for writing it and saving me the effort. Here are a couple excerpts, follow the link above for the whole thing.

In missional church lingo the term ‘attractional’ refers to the way a church seeks to do all it can to get people to the service. This might be better music, more comfy seats or a free car (serious…) It is all about marketing and developing a way of getting people ‘in’. It operates on the assumption that people actually want in… a bloody big assumption if you ask me…

I am not a fan of church being attractional. I believe the foundational assumption is flawed. People are not sitting at home just waiting for us to get the show right and then they will come. This approach will lead us to more focus on style and less on substance.

However I believe Christian community ought to be attractive. If there is genuine Christ centred community happening where we are loving one another deeply and sharing life then it will be attractive to people. Perhaps not to all however. Community can be frightening - exposing us and leaving us vulnerable - it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

But the foundational assumption here is not that people are waiting to join us if only we could ‘get things right’. It is simply that if we are a genuine community then chances are that will be very attractive to many. And if they encounter our community then they will find it life giving.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Melbourne City Romp

A friend told me about this yestaerday, and it sounds like wicked fun, and a great fundraiser for the Burnet Institute, which apparently use their money quite well in terms of overseas aid.

Basically, it's part Amazing Race, part puzzle and part treasure hunt. So you get a team of 2-6 and wander around Melbourne finding and doing fun stuff!

Unfortunately I'm already taking some kids from school on the Around The Bay in a Day bike ride that day, so am no good for it.

Is next Sun 19th, so get on it!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Off to Blackstump

Later tonight am heading up to Blackstump, a Christian Music and Arts Festival type thing.

I've never actually been before or know much about it, but a friend invited me along and it seems like my kind of event.

It looks pretty alternative, with heaps of really different bands, musicians and performance artists there. As most people who know me would know, I normally wouldn't touch a Christian Music Festival with a 10ft pole, but this should be fun.

If anybody is heading up, I'll be the dreadlocked guy (although I suspec there will be a fair few of them!) helping out around the Genesis Lounge.

Amazing Simple Home Remedies










Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just write about anyone!?

Again, same issue. Same question.

Anybody know any interesting/controversial chracters from Church History from the Reformation till the 1960s I could write about? I wanted to write about Oscar Romero but he was too recent.

Let me know if you have any ideas.

Just write about anything!?

I hate it when they tell us that! I love the flexibility, but sometimes it'd just be easier to be told a topic to go write on.

So, any ideas for essays slightly related to Church History from the Reformation till about the 1960s?

Monday, September 29, 2008

My week away-IMMERSE

Just recently got back from the new Youth Vision camp IMMERSE which we'd been working towards and planning for ages.

It was a great week, with heaps of kids learning a whole lot more about the Story of God and how that interacts with their story. The way the studies were set up was really different to normal, but was great for the diversity of kids we had and where they were at faith-wise.

They'd basically broken the whole Bible up into 7 basic themes or stories, and told one or two of those each day to everybody. There was no 'sermon' as such, and no real pre-determined message that we were trying to tell the kids, it was all based around where they were at and what they were learning/wondering about after hearing the stories.

So each day we would listen to a story or two, and the kids were given time to respond, to journal any questions they might have, which were then discussed in groups later. I really loved the concept for a number of reasons, and it really worked quite well I thought.

The stories were thus:

Check ou the link above for the site, which whilst pretty basic, gives you a bit more info.

I loved it, am thankful for the guys from YMA for coming over and running studies stuff, and was stoked to be a part of kicking off Youth Vision camping again.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spiritual Discipline and stuff we hate doing

I had a conversation with a friend late last week about silence, spending time in quiet reflection with God, something he really struggled with, but his community was really encouraging him to get into.

He kinda had the attitude 'na it's not my thing, it's not how I connect with God' which is fine, as it may not be how everybody is naturally wired.

But it got me thinking about how much do we just do the stuff that's easy for us, how much do we stick it out with spiritual disciplines that we struggle with, how much do we just stick to what 'works best' for us.

I recognise that we all learn differently, we all grow differently, and we all experience God differently, but does that mean we shouldn't have to do the discipline stuff we find hard? I think not.

We can go too far in accommodating people and trying to make them feel comfortable, when sometimes we just need to kick them (and more importantly, ourselves) up the bum and make them persevere for a while with something they struggle with.

I think about this a lot in my own life too, how easy it is for me to avoid the stuff that I find hard but know is beneficial. If everything I do is fun and easy, it never challenges me to grow...

Following Jesus or Jesus' Cause?

Had a great chat with some friends from church tonight about many a varied topic.

One of the things one of my friends brought up was the idea of getting caught just following Jesus' cause, without actually 'listening to' and following the will of Jesus.

So, the idea is that there's plenty of things you can do in the name of following the cause of Jesus, doing all manner of ministry and mission stuff, all of which is great, but if you're not actually doing what God is asking of YOU, then you're not on track.

Was a good thought and given me some stuff to think about.

The verse in Matt 6:33 kept coming to mind: "Seek first God's Kingdom and God's Righteousness and all of the rest of these things will be added unto you". Is a favourite of mine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Osama Loves

My mate sent me this website yesterday, looks like a pretty cool idea.

These dudes are just flying around looking for people called Osama, and finding out what they love.

Osama the student loves soccer, Osama the chef loves chess etc.

They're still searching for more, so any Osamas out there that read my blog, go give em a call!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ridiculous Hypotheticals

The title says it all, check it out.

As most people who know me will know, I love a good hypothetical, and inspired by this blog, am thinking I might start posting some on my blog. I love em.

And NO Chong, I am never going to post the first hypothetical that comes to your mind.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Living in Intentional Community

This is a great interview/article about some people doing Intentional Communal Living sort of stuff, something that has been going around in my head for ages. Basically just living in a big place and being intentional about sharing your life and space with the people around you. There's heaps to like about it.

I've always been inspired by my good mate Lucas who used to run a fully open home down in Torquay, where there was always people there hanging out, doing life together etc. Was great stuff.

They're also into dumpster diving, which is also pretty cool-but not for everybody! Sure does save them a whole bunch of money!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bible for Yr 7s

Was really cool yesterday, totally unbeknown to me, the Gideons came and gave out a whole chunk of little Bibles to the Yr 7 kids who were interested, which surprisingly enough, a fair few were.

A couple asked me questions about how to read it, or what it meant etc, so cos they're interested, I'm thinking I might run a little thing in my office at school at lunchtime about how to read the Bible/what it all means.

Don't think I've ever run anything this basic with kids this age, so will be an interesting challenge, particularly since I'm going to do it next week-didn't want to wait till after term holidays.

So, if anybody has good ideas about this stuff, please feel free to let me know.

Is an exciting opportunity, as it will prob be my first chance to run something intentionally Christian of this nature in the school.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The 2008 Darwin Awards

You've been waiting for them with bated breath, so without further ado here are the 2008 Darwin awards.

Eighth Place
In Detroit , a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.

Seventh Place
A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who 'totally zoned when he ran,' accidentally, jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on his daily run.

Sixth Place
While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an 8 foot hole for protection from the wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom! When it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying to get him out but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Fifth Place
Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed as he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth to keep his hands free rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

Fourth Place
Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.

Third Place
After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door, a man walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the store. The shop was full of customers and a uniformed officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up!, and fired a few wild shots from a target pistol. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers also drew their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics. Crime scene investigators located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified rounds from 7 different weapons. No one else was hurt.

Paul Stiller, 47, and his wife Bonnie were bored just driving around at 2 A.M. so they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to toss out the window to see what would happen. Apparently they failed to notice the window was closed.

Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from a local bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable, lay near by. They secured one end around Bingham's leg and then tied the other to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. Bingham's foot was never located.

Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt ( Paderborn, Germany) fed his constipated elephant 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief.
Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded.
The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground where he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200 pounds of dung on top of him.
It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves... 'Shit happens'


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How do you reach anger management to kids who don't see violence as a bad thing?

If anybody has any ideas, and wants to come run them for my Yr 9 Pastoral Care class tomorrow that would be much appreciated :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More on Mike Guglielmucci

This blog, and this link in particular, raise some interesting questions about what Planetshakers' response to all of this is, in particular in regards to their music department.

…Planetshakers has removed references to Michael Guglielmucci, crediting his role on these albums, from their web-site.

For example, the online blurb for Planetshakers 2004 album “Always and Forever” previously read: Produced by lead songwriter Henry Seeley, with songwriting credits and lead vocals to Mike Guglielmucci and Sam Evans, Always and Forever is an album not to be missed.

Now, the blurb on the Planetshakers discography page reads: Produced by lead songwriter Henry Seeley, with songwriting credits and lead vocals to Sam Evans, Always and Forever is an album not to be missed.

And the blurb for the 2007 album “Never Stop” previously read:“Featuring Henry Seeley, Mike Guglielmucci and Sam Evans, this studio album is signature Planetshakers praise and worship for a new generation. Includes CD and bonus DVD of Planetshakers live worship and inspiring messages.”

Now:“Featuring Henry Seeley and Sam Evans, this studio album is signature Planetshakers praise and worship for a new generation. Includes CD and bonus DVD of Planetshakers live worship and inspiring messages.”

(All references to Planetshakers live album “Savior of the World” have also been removed entirely from the Planetshakers Discography page.)

These are conspicuous absenses given Mike Guglielmucci wrote 11 out of 13 of the songs on “Never Stop”, and 7 out of the 10 songs on “Always and Forever”…

I'm pretty unimpressed that they've removed his name from the credits of CDs he worked on. Name it and own it, or pull them. It's that simple.

My fellow gameshow-winning friend Alister Cameron has written a really important post about what we learn from situations like this here.

"The obvious question is this: How could no-one have known? Not even family! What kind of “system” can promote someone to such a place of influence and yet can fail to enforce a regime of accountability and scrutiny?"

It's interesting that a comment on a forum back in Oct 2006 was pretty dubious about it all too, check that out here.

Personally, I went to Planetshakers Sunday night to support a friend who is trying to deal with it all, and was fascinating to see how they responded. You could tell they were quite visibly shaken and shocked, and legitimately hurt and confused about what to make of it all.

They were, quite rightly, at pains to point out that nobody knew. The only bit I was a tad unimpressed by was the fact that they seemed to be trying to wash their hands of him in a sense, going to lengths to point out he hadn't been in direct ministry with them for 18 months, which was still after all the lying all started.

As another commentor says on the Planetshakersinsider blog, they raised him up, and they should be keeping him to account. But, no human system will ever be perfect at catching those that lie, and unfortunately for them and us, they stuffed up this one. They're not the first, and won't be the last.

The Church is just like any other organisation with normal human beings in it, and I for one don't want to be standing in my glass house throwing stones at them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mike Gugliemucci

This is indeed the issue that all of Christendom is talking about (well, all the Christians I know anyway), I haven't had time to write a response yet myself, but here are a couple others worth reading.

This one is from one of my favourite communicators Mark Sayers, and this is from a well-known pastor Mark Conner.

Is a pretty tough situation, and my thoughts and prayers are with those for whom he has been influential in their faith development.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where there's a will, there's a way...

An old Italian man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament. “Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me. Love, Pappa.”

A few days later he received a letter from his son. “Dear Pappa, Whatever you do, don’t dig up that garden. That’s where I buried the BODIES! Love, Vinnie.”

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived, and they dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologised to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

“Dear Pappa, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances. Love, Vinnie.”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What is it that's wrong with Polygamy?

I can't even remember how we got onto this conversation, but the other day some friends and I were discussing polygamy (having more than one marriage partner), and where and why it's practised.

After moving on from the difference between decriminalisation and legalisation (which is just semantics to me, I reckon they're exactly the same) it got onto why I think it's wrong.

For Christians, I have no problem in justifying that it is wrong-one woman and man, lifelong partners, meant to have sexual unioun with only one person etc.

But, from a broader society point of view (as most of you will have guessed by now, I'm not big on necessarily imposing Christian values/ideals on to the rest of society) I had a hard time articulating why it was that I think it should be against the law.

And that in itself raises interesting questions about how and why we make laws, but that's another issue...

Obviously it has a great potential for misuse and abuse, but so does normal marriage, and we don't get rid of that as an institution.

There's just something in me that doesn't think it's right, but I'm still trying to articulate what exacly that is and why.

I don't actually think the laws on it in Australia are going to change anytime soon, because as a society it's not something we're into, but I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Learning from different Christians

This semester I am doing a couple of different subjects at some different places to normal, Reformation Church History at a Catholic College, and Romans at the Uniting Church College, both of which I'm enjoying.

Last night I was discussing with a guy at class who grew up a Catholic but is now a Protestant, about what we can learn from all of the different denominations and streams of the Christian faith.

It reminded me of this book by Brian McLaren, my favouritea author and one of his best. It basically looks at a whole heap of Christian movements and tries to find the best to take from each. So what is good about Catholicism, Lutherans, Wesleyans, Mennonites, Baptists, Hippies, Emerging Church, etc etc.

I commented that this approach is half humility in recognising that many different people have much to say about the Christian faith, and that you have something to learn from everybody, and half arrogance in thinking that you are wise enough to be able to discern what is good and bad about a movement that may have been around for many more years than you.

I think they can both be held in tension. Anyway, it's a great read of a book and gave me plenty to ponder.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are babies hard-wired to believe in God?

This article seems to say so.

Is a quite short article, but some of the research you can find if you follow the link to the blog makes for interesting reading. Or go straight to it here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tensions in Ministry

Was having an interesting discussion today about working with people, and came up with these 2 tensions of ministry.

Catering for people but not pandering to them.

Challenging people but not shattering them.

Was just something interesting for me to think about anyway.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Me-from somebody else's perspective!

Recently I did an interview with one of the guys at College about my life and ministry, and the various things I get up to. Is interesting for me to read somebody else's spin on what I tell them, and I thought it may interest some of you who want to know what I get up to when I'm not writing this blog.


mY Generation

This program on SBS looks liek a pretty interesting one about gen Y, the first was on religion and spiritual belief, which apparently was good, but unfortunately I missed it.

The rest of the series too looks like some pretty interesting stuff too, so should be worth checking out.

What woman is your football team?

Big in the 1990s but done nothing lately?

BRISBANE LIONS: Pamela Anderson
Best and only asset is upfront

Struts around like a winner but behaves like a loser

Arrogant b***h who thinks the world revolves around her

Once the hottest name in the 'biz, now just a fading force

Seemed like a good idea at the time, now no-one is buying her tripe.

A star after years as a bit player

Hot Hot Hot

A miracle she is still alive

Deluded and incapable of living without the intensive support of others.
Would fit right in on the Gold Coast.

Once had the world at her fingertips. Now can`t even remember to wear her underwear in public and is a failure on the home front.

A legend in the 60s/70s but you wouldn`t touch her in 2008

Promises a lot but never delivers

Used to be boring but has become interesting again

Enough said

Unflashy, no nonsense gritty competitor

Monday, July 14, 2008

Holy Hack on JJJ.

Whilst on the theme of promoting interesting media things, Hack this week (Triple J's current affairs program at 5:30-6) is covering 'BELIEF' and so is sure to have a great diversity of thoughts, opinions and beliefs shared on all things to do with the spiritual life.

I love HACK, it gives you some great meaty listening and interesting debates, and is preceeded and followed by some great JJJ music. Always well worth a listen.

Movies Change People

Came across this lot of screenings of 'faith-based films' the majority of which, disappointingly, are Christian. Not that i have a problem with Christian films all the time (although many are rubbish), but would have been good to have a bit of diversity.

If their moniker is true, that 'Movies Change People. People Change The World' then this would have been a good medium to help people (particularly those living in the Eastern Suburbs Bible Belt-where these are being shown) to understand about other's faith and beliefs, because this is the first step to breaking down the walls of prejudice.

But either way, some of these are quite decent, and well worth seeing if you can, particularly Trade.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Interfaith Youth Pilgrimage

Got emailed this today, looks like it might be interesting. Unfortunately I have it in PDF so can't upload the pic, spewing, cos it looks cool. Might well check it out.

"Journeying to one another...
..For the Sake of Peace"

Interfaith Youth Pilgrimage

Sunday July 13, 3pm
Federation Square

Each Religious tradition meets in separate locations in the City
to reflect on the themes of peace, pilgrimage and interfaith relations

2:15pm Groups walk "on pilgrimage" to meet each other in Federation Square

Indigenous "Welcome to the land" and Peace Ceremony at Federation Square

For Meeting locations and times please contact your Faith Group Coordinators:
Buddhist: Freeman 0431 034 254 Christian: Maureen 9650 4511
Muslim (AIS): Osman 9326 2177 Sikh: Jagdeep 0431 417 533
Muslim (ICV): Sara 0421 885 492 Baha'i: Murray 0419 180 799
Jewish: Caroline 0407 118 771 Indigenous: Tristan 0431 584 268
Hindu: Nivedita 9846 8359

For more information:

Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission: 99265708

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Name a church-win a Wii...

I got sent this the other day, and apparently it's pretty legit.

All you do is come up with a name and catchy tagline for a church, and you win a Nintendo Wii!

I think i might float the idea with the Huddle on mon, come up with a tagline and see if we can win the group a Wii!!

There's some alarm bells ringing faintly somewhere to do with mixing consumeristic desires and churches, but I can't really articulate them, so until i do-I say check this out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One Hit Wonder

Have advertised this before, but I reckon it's a really simple, easy to support cause.

All they ask is you give them a dollar, which they then give to the worlds poorest communities.

They're trying to raise like 7 million dollars, which means that 1% of the population of the internet would have to donate $1.

I'm pretty sure my blog readership isn't quite that high, but I'm doing my bit!

Get amongst it!

Life as a sermon

I thought about this a couple of weeks back, and again this week as I'm preparing to speak at a local church.

I find quite often that when I'm preparing for a sermon or talk or something at church, I always find myself being extra aware of making sure that I'm 'switched on God-wise' in my preparation and planning. Obviously when you get up to preach to a group, you want your words to be inspired by God, not just your own drivel.

But as I was thinking about that the other day, I was challenged to think about why it is that it's only in those times that I'm extra aware of putting in time and effort into my spiritual life?

Particularly in the kind of work that I do, and the kind of life that I lead, most people I come in contact with with never hear me preach-my life is my sermon. The idea about God that people get from me will not be from my words but my actions.

Now obviously that is not a particularly new thought or idea really, but I guess I've been challenged lately as to what it would look like for me to really and truly live that, and what difference that should make in my life.

I once heard somebody say that you should spend at least 3 times the length of your sermon in prayer and preparation time-which in reality is a bare minimum. I don't think it's possible to spend 3 times as long as I'm with people, with God, but it certainly is a challenging thought-particularly for an extrovert like me who spends 9% of my day with people!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What to do with sexual offenders?

A very good friend of mine and I have been having this debate for ages, so thought I would chuck it up on here and see what others thought.

Basically, her idea is that all repeat sexual offenders should be either physically or chemically castrated. I clarified this morning and she includes females in this (although I must admit I'm not sure how you would do that with women or what effect it would have).

Having seen and dealt with far too many young women dealing with the long-lasting effects of all sorts of sexual assault, I can see where she's coming from, but completely disagree.

I agree that just putting people into prison doesn't work with these kind of situations (and I'm not convinced it completely works in many other situations either-but thats another story) and that extensive counselling/therapy/psychological treatment is needed. I know that's not 100% effective either, but I just think castration is a bit full on.

I'm not sure, maybe I am a bit biased as a male and the thought of doing that to another man irks me, and I am basing my decision on that rather than anything else. I've wanted to kick some guys in the nuts for what they've done to girls I've known, but effectively making somebody into an asexual being seems just a bit over the top.

The other thing is, that at the end of the day, I just can't see it ever becoming law in this country, I really just can't see it happening.

Is an interesting debate anyway, and raises a whole lot of questions about the role of the Govt and law, the question for me as a Christian of forgiveness, the effectiveness of our justice system etc etc.

Love to hear what others think.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

33 333 Visitors

I checked today and I have had exactly 33 333 visitors to this blog in it's lifetime, which if you believe the Christians who are really into the meanings of numbers in the Bible-is a great thing!

To preserve that perfect number, I want nobody to ever visit this blog again! But if you're reading this, it means you have already visited and ruined my beautiful trinatarian number arrangement! Dammit!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Coach Carter

Tomorrow is my first full blown effort at coaching a school sports team, the mighty Yr 7 Mt Erin AFL team.

I've learnt that a lot of the drills we do at senior training don't always work with these guys, and that maybe expecting them to get goal to goal without it touching the ground is a bit much. I think Zone Defence on the kickouts also went over their heads.

I'm off to bed early now so I can be up and raring to go with my CSM voice like the dude in Full Metal Jacket. I may have to swear and abuse the kids a little less than he does though...

I also need to make sure I'm o top of my own game as we're playing Somerville this week and half the kids from the school will be there to watch so I'd better practice what I preach to the kids!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Had another quality weekend away at SYG over the past weekend, #8 for me, and probably the best weather wise. The one weekend of the year I'm glad for global warming!

This year we went as the PHAT (the Peninsula's Hottest Athletic Team) and in terms of sport, were the least successful we've ever been, but had ripper fun anyway.

We won the Basketball B and made the finals of everything else that we entered. We will have to work harder on and off the track next year to make sure we don't choke so often!

We lost footy for the first time ever to Ringwood CoC, who we have beaten in every semi or grand final the last 3 years, so they were stoked for a bit of revenge! Was a great game and lots of fun. I still reckon I won on the trash talking front though!!

Kim Hammond from Forge was the main speaker,a dn I thought he spoke brilliantly-despite being a smart-arse and mentioning me as the infamous prodigal son in the story of the same name. It was a really simple, clear message that was relevant to heaps of people-very very hard to do at SYG, and it was very well received.

Was up late getting all my assignments in beforehand, so was fair knackered going in, but still got through OK, and am so stoked to not still be doing any essays today!

So all in all, yet another great weekend at SYG, with a special thanks to Jesse T for doing all our organising.

Lion hugging lady...

woman found an injured, malnourished lion that was

near death. She took him home and took care of him.

When the lion recovered, she called the local zoo to

give him a proper home.

This was the reaction she got when the lion saw her

again for the first time.

I dunno how legit this is, but it's a nice story and cool video either way!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Most confusing parable ever...

As I head off to the coldest weekend in the history of the world-State Youth Games, I leave this parable for you to all ponder, even though half of my readers will probably be down there as well!

Anywho, I expect the rest of you readers to have come up with an interpretation of this that makes any sense at all by the time I get back on Monday! Well at least come up with something better than the rubbish I came up with for my essay!

Luke 16
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager
1Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.'
3"The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg— 4I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'

5"So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'

6" 'Eight hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,' he replied.
"The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.'

7"Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?'
" 'A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,' he replied.
"He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'

8"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

I've heard Mike Frost explain it really well one day, but have totally forgotten what he said, so any help appreciated :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Matt 18:21-35

Check out the link for this other interesting story.

Again, initially it seems to be bth about how much God forgives us, and how much we should forgive others. Both good points, and not bad things to conclude.

But if you look at v.21-22, they are about how much we should forgive others, but then v.34 shows the master not following these directions himself. If we read the master as a God figure, then it leads to some interesting questions.

I haven't really thought this one through fully yet, just some initial questions.

Whilst we're in the mood for discussion

Other than writing log posts, I am actuay in the middle of writing an essay right now, about Jesus' parables and how they relate to power and wealth. Interesting,a nd time-consuming.

Am going through a fascinating book that really deconstructs a lot of the parables and queries any assumptions that we have often thought to be true.

Like Matt 25:14-19 which we have often understood to be about how we should use the talents and gifts God has given us-which seems to be quite a reasonable conclusion.

But, if you look into the social system of the day, and realise how much somebody like the landowner had to screw people over to make money, and more specifically how much his servants would have been exploitng people to make that money, you wonder if the 3rd servant was actually the one who did the right thing by not particiating in the landowner's exploitative practices...

And on the subject, if anybody can throw some light on 'Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him' in v.29 that'd be most helpful.

Just for the record...

I don't actually advocate the slapping of Kiwi's, I'm sure that the whole country can't be blamed for Russel Crowe...

Just wanted to cover myself in case somebody slaps a Kiwi and tries to blame me for provoking them!

Seriously though, this whole joke thing has triggered a whole bunch of debate I never thought it would, which in itself is quite funny to me.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

When to help and not

Had an interesting, but short, discussion last night about something that has been on my mind for a while now.

It's about when we are the ones to chase up others about somethign we can help them with, or how much we make them chase us down. If somebody needs your help-finanicaily, emotionally or whatever, do they haev to ask for it, or should you offer. Do you just help somebody out and give them a way out, or let them suck it up and feel the consequences of their bad decisions.

Particuarly in mentoring situations, do I as the mentor chase them up to catch up cos I know they have stuff they need to work through, or just let them float on with their life and wait for them to aknowledge the crap that needs working through (and potentially let it fester into something worse) or not.

And within al of that you need to be aware of the potential for you to think that the other person's welbeing is all about you, and forget that often you are just another cog in the wheel.

Just some stuff I've been processing over the last little while.

Would Jesus have been funny?

According to an anonymous commenter, my last post was too offensive, and not something Jesus would have laughed at. I obviously disagree-but that's another issue.

This commenter aso raised the question 'Would Jesus laugh at all?' which to me is a no-brainer, as he was human and laughter is a natural human emotion/response to an emotion.

But the more intriguing (althought completely irrelevant) question is whether or not He would have been funny? It's not recorded anywhere in the Gospels-but arguing from exclusion is a poor argument anyway, but I wonder if he would have started off the Sermon On The Mount with a couple of gags? Probably not in that case, but I'd like to think in other cases he did, that he was a funny guy. Not sure why, but is just an image I like, of him cracking jokes and mucking around with the disciples.

Anyway, just an interesting thought for the day.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Aussie-Kiwi Love...

Sitting together on a train, traveling through the Swiss Alps, were a
Kiwi guy, an Australian bloke, a little old Greek lady, and a youngblonde Swiss girl with large breasts.

The Train goes into a dark tunnel and a few seconds later there is thesound of a loud slap.
When the train emerges from the tunnel, the Kiwi has a bright red handprint on his cheek.

No one speaks.

The old lady thinks:
The Kiwi guy must have groped the blonde in the dark, and she slapped his cheek.

The blonde Swiss girl thinks:
That Kiwi guy must have tried to grope me in the dark, but missed and fondled the old lady and she slapped his cheek.

The Kiwi thinks:
The Australian bloke must have groped the blonde in the dark. She tried to slap him but missed and got me instead.

The Australian thinks:
I can't wait for another tunnel, just so I can smack the Kiwi again.

Free Rice

This is a great little site, that not only helps you learn new words, but donates free rice to the UN World Health program.

Is a very simple concept, and executed very well. They show you a word, you work out what it means, they donate free rice. Gold.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Top Ten Worst Small Group Discussion Questions

I found these the other day and they have revolutionised the way we do the Huddle!

Top Ten Worst Small Group Discussion Questions

10. Share the worst sin you've ever committed.

9. If you were God, who would you punish first?

8. Which person in this group do you think needs to find Jesus the most?

7. Which people at your church do you wish would find a different church, and why?

6. If you could erase any verse out of the Bible, which one would it be?

5. Share the juiciest piece of gossip you know so we can pray about it.

4. If you could have anything from your neighbor's house, what would it be?

3. What's your favorite of The 10 Commandments to break?

2. If you could change anything about your spouse, what would it be?

1. If you could commit any sin and get away with it, what would it be?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Relationships and singleness

I have had a few conversations with people lately about how being single or in a relationship affects your life, changes who you are n what you do etc.

As most of you who know me will know, i am single at the moment, which I'm loving. In many ways it is a great life. But anyway, a mate asked me if I was looking for a girlfriend, which i thought about a bit before answering. Mainly because I think there's a distinction between looking for a girlfriend and being open to the idea of a relationship.

See i think that when you are single and looking for a girlfriend, then often that may not be a healthy place to be in. I've seen many people who've just come out of a relationship, or not, and seem to be really keen on a relationship, which seems to be predominantly about needing to fill the hole in your life where the other person used to be. I know I've been there before, just wanting someone for the sake of having someone.

And I think the predominant reason people are like that is because of a lack of sense of happiness within themselves. They need somebody else in their life to validate them as a person. So any relationship started from that position will be predominantly about you and your wn needs, not what you can give in love to the other person.

I think it comes back to the basic saying that you have to be able to love yourself before you can love anybody else. That makes a lot of sense to me.

So then, the difference between that and being open to a relationship is that in the latter you are comfortable and secure in yourself, so that if something comes along then great, but if not, you are just as happy within yourself.

Anywho, there's my yearly Dr Phil segment on love and relationships done, so back to more of my usual drivel!

First Aussie Female Bishop Consecrated

You go girlfriend (said with a click of fingers and little waggle of head)

Good on her, and the parts of the Anglican Church that have supported this. The more I understand about the Bible and faith, the less I can see how people would have a problem with this.

Good stuff.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Funny Aussie place names

Found this site the other day, have put down a few good ones, check the site for the rest.

Boing Boing (NT)
Meaning "mosquitoes buzzing" in Aboriginal, Boing Boing narrowly takes the cake for the most unusual place name beginning with "B" — it narrowly beat Blighty in NSW, which probably reminded somebody of home.

Come by chance (NSW)
Immortalised in a Banjo Patterson poem, this settlement in north-western New South Wales got its name from pastoralists who happened upon a large vacant block, while en route somewhere else more promising.

Gingin (WA)
This town north of Perth sounds good enough to drink. The Aboriginal meaning is "place of many streams".

Humpybong (Qld)
Lovely name originating from when the British abandoned the area in favour of settling Brisbane, leaving behind empty huts or "humpies". Humpybong means "dead shelters" in Aboriginal.

Innaloo (WA)
Perth suburb with a fruit market called Innaloo Fresh (we kid you not!) and a shopping plaza, presumably with plenty of indoor restrooms.

Jimcumbilly (NSW)
Tiny settlement and disused railway station located near Bombala, inland from the New South Wales south coast. Mystery surrounds the meaning of its Aboriginal name.

Knuckey Lagoon (NT)
Near Darwin and actually a wildlife reserve, rather than a place popular with couples. Just beats Kurri Kurri in New South Wales, where good Indian cuisine is guaranteed.

Loos (SA)
This settlement's original German name, Buchsfelde, was considered offensive during World War I so they came up with this much better alternative.

Mount Buggery (Vic)
The evocative and typically Aussie name, Mount Buggery, cannot be bettered anywhere in Australia — although WA's Muchea (as in "there's nothing muchea"), a corruption of the Aboriginal word Muchela, is excellent too.

Nowhere Else (Tas & SA)
Located near Devonport in north-western Tasmania, there really is "nowhere else", like Nowhere Else. Well, actually there is... Like many of our visitors have pointed out, a place called Nowhere Else can be found on the Eyre Peninsular in SA too!

Rooty Hill (NSW)
Area in western Sydney named by Governor King in 1802. Disappointingly, the name refers to roots exposed in fields around the hill following floods.

Smiggin Holes (NSW)
Popular ski resort that got its Scottish name from pools formed in rocks by cattle.

Tom Ugly (NSW)
Tom Ugly Point, near Sylvania in Sydney's south, is named after an Aboriginal Australian who lived in a rock shelter in this area during the mid-19th century. His nickname was said to be ironic as he was a strong, handsome fellow.

Wonglepong (Qld)
Although New South Wales has Woolloomooloo (meaning young kangaroo), and Wards Mistake (named after bushranger Frederick Ward), Queensland's delightfully named Wonglepong, possibly meaning "forgotten sound" in Aboriginal, pips them all, and also tramples all over Victoria's Wurt Wurt Kurt as number one "W".

Xantippe (WA)
Australia's only place name beginning with "X" is found near Dalwallinu in the WA wheat belt, and got its name from workers on the rabbit-proof fence. On discovering that the granite ground they were working on was almost impenetrable, they called the place Xantippe, after the wife of Greek philosopher Socrates, reputedly a very hard woman!

Yorkeys Knob (Qld)
Located just north of Cairns, it got its name from a fisherman from Yorkshire, George Yorkey Lawson, who lived nearby in the late 19th century. Locals have since resisted attempts to rename it Yorkeys Beach, fond as they are of the original moniker, despite the reactions it sometimes provokes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Burma Cyclone Relief

I think we all know about the pretty messed up situation in Burma/Myanmar right now, and TEAR are really good at doing stuf that is long term, and in partnership with the local organisations and people, so if you want to donate, click on the link that is the title.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Digger Land

When i found out there was a Digger Land in England, I was half stoked, and half shattered that I was just in England like a couple months ago and didn't get to get any funny photos!

Lucas and I travelled nearly 2 hours to get a funny photo with a 'Palestine' sign, so I don't care where in England it is, I would have gone!

I still don't know how exactly you make a theme park out of big trucks that dig stuff, but respect to these guys for doing it!

Check out the link for all your Digger Land fun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Baptism Ritual

On Friday night I was lucky enough to help out with the baptism of a young person at Franga CoC. I had done a few weeks of pre-baptism prep with him which was great fun.

We had originally been planning on having a beach baptism, but we got delayed until now which rendered the beach impossible. I had been suggesting baptising him as we jumped off the pier, but dunno how keen on that he was :)

Anyway, I had been racking my brain for ages trying to work out a way to get around the huge water loss after filling the baptismal tank. I knew for a bunch of reasons we had to do something with it all.

So after the baptism i explained that part of our role as Christians is to care for the environment, and to waste all this water was not on. So with all the kids there, plus family and friends who'd come too, we formed a long line,a nd bucket by bucket we scooped out all the water and took it out onto the gardens. This worked really well,a dn was great fun too.

The other cool thing too was explaining that it was symbolic of his baptism not just being meant to stay here in the church building, but to be taken out into the world, which i think the kids all connected with too.

All in all was a great night.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Can anybody tell me why some people refer to this country as Burma and others as Myanmar??

What is the proper name? Is there some sort of political controversy involved?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pastoral Issues and Essays

Too many right now, no time to blog-apart from to write this!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ANZAC Day-a faith event?

Somebody linked to this article in a previous comment, thought it was interesting, and with quite a few things to think about too. Click on the title of this post to read. I'm not convinced either way, is just an interesting one.

Here are some excerpts

For historians, Anzac Day, is “a martial affair with military music and ritual”, while for churches and their army chaplains, it’s a “faith event”.

Anzac Day services, asserts a Brigadier Principal Chaplain, are, “in essence faith events. Through the prayers, the acts of memorial, and the playing of bugle calls, those who are gathered are led through an encounter with acts of personal devotion and sacrifice, they are reminded of the comforting care and presence of God and they are pointed to the hope of future resurrection”.

Taking part in such a service, the Principal Air Force Chaplain said, “that the thousands of Australian men and women serving overseas were continuing the Anzac tradition by facing evil at every turn, and that it is a time to be inspired by their sacrifice and courage, so that we might play our part in seeking to confront the evil in our world”. (See "Time to ditch compulsory study of Australian history", On Line Opinion, July 4, 2007.)

The media has been relentless in exposing the shameful treatment of members and ex members of the ADF. Since last Anzac Day, its now known, that 1,200 personnel who served in East Timor have lodged post traumatic disorder claims; that thousands of Australian veterans took pills linked to symptoms of Gulf war syndrome; that at least 48 Iraq and Afghanistan vets have been discharged with mental health problems; that of the 900 who served in Somalia, some 20 per cent had serious mental health concerns, and that the ADF’s alcohol and drug service was starved of funds and ignored by officers. Not a word from the churches.

A faith event is not about parades and prayers. A faith event is about confession and the creation of four million Iraqi refugees and an untold number of soldiers disturbed and disabled. It’s about the condemnation of evil whether that of the suicide bomb or the cluster bomb; it’s about a rededication to peace, and not to out of control budgets for maiming and killing.

Anzac Day services might be a lot of things, but they are not faith events.

Non-violent resistance to war.

Recently some friends of mine were involved in a protest against war, they broke into an Army War Game, played frisbee with some troops and made their point that they disagree with war n stuff.

That's a disgusting over-simplification, so check out the full story, and results from their court case here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What is prayer 2

I stole this post from Hamo, but have been thinking similar things myself for a while now, so just thought I'd use his words instead of mine :)

It seems a pretty standard trait of almost every church I’ve been a part of (including Upstream) that when it comes to praying in a group, we almost always ’share’ what’s going on (talk about it) and then when everyone’s had a turn we pray about it.

I have often wondered if the ’sharing’ isn’t actually the prayer and I have always felt a little weird telling God the stuff he just heard when he was present with us in the conversation.

Its almost as if we behave like he’s not in the room until we are officially praying.

And yet because of my long history of prayer in this form I would feel like I hadn’t ‘prayed’ if we just talked. Maybe this is something I need to unlearn?…

What do you think?

When are we actually praying?


Have been reflecting again on the importance of ANZAC day to us Australians, and why it is we honour so much a battle we pretty much lost. Actually, did lose.

Is an interesting question I wasn't really forced to articulate until i met some Canadians overseas who didn't really get it.

The thing I came up with was basically about how young we were as a nation, and how it was the first war we entered as a country, and how that defined us int he eye of the world so much etc. Was amazing seeing how quiet and respectful the kids at school were yesterday. They really seem to get it.

Somebody asked if I would go with them to the dawn service, but to be honest, I feel a little ambivalent about it. And I feel just a little ashamed of that, i feel a tad Un-Australian.

I'm still struggling to articulate it, but after having been half way around the world to pay my respects, and seen Anzac Cove first hand, going along to the parade just feels all a little too routine and 'something I really should do'. If I'm just doing it because I 'should' then I'm not really interested.

It's kinda funny, but going to the footy-and more specifically, doing my minute's silence there, feels like it's a whole lot more appropriate this year.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Coolest Website Ever

Am just doing a bit of research with this post. I have noticed that lately my blog readership has pretty much doubled, despite me posting bugger all. I did some research into why, and found out heaps of people are being referred here when they search Google for the phrase 'Coolest Website Ever'. Obviously they aren't searching for my site, but cos I had that heading, originally linking to this site, somehow they're coming to my site.

I wonder if this post will change that in any way...

Pretty funny I thought.

Credit Card Scam

Probably worth being aware of.

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA', and I was called on Thursday from 'Master Card'. The scam works like this: Caller: 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in Arizona?'

When you say 'No', the caller continues with, 'Then w e will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the e $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?'

You say 'yes'. The caller continues - 'I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security.

You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it again?'
Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card'. He'll ask you to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers'. ; There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are e part of your card number, the next 3 are the security Numbers' that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?' After you say No, the caller then thanks you and states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do', and hangs up.

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card.

Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card.Don't give it to them.. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master card directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think y you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually y file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a 'Jason Richardson of Master Card' with a word-for-word repeat of the V ISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Free Business cards, Notepads etc

I have stumbled upon this most fantastic of scams-it's great.

Basically the way this company works is that they offer you free stuff, like business cards, T-shirts, postcards, rubber stamps, stickers etc, which you can personalise in any way.

They way they make their money is that they always offer you little upgrades, or extra little things to buy as ur ordering. But if you're smart the only thing you pay for is the postage. I've got my own business cards, stickers, rubber stamp and a T-shirt and notepad on the way soon-it's great!

Check outt he link above to get on it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Community as a bowl

Had a discussion with somebodu today about what my perception of Christian community is, what a suitable analogy might be.

The one I came up with was that of a bowl within a bigger bowl. So everybody in community is a part of the smaller bowl, so that when cracks appear on the edges,a nd when pieces start to fall apart, they fall into, and are held by the rest of the bowl-everybody else.

But if they ahppen to fall outside the people bowl, the bigger bowl that is God is always there to help catch and support them.

Kinda cheesy, but a helpful analogy for me at the moment.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Christian response to Clairvoyancy...

A friend of mine spoke to me about this recently, and whilst we didn't have the chance to chat through our ideas on it, it got me thinking.

I remember at primary school being told that all of this sort of thing is evil and bad and we should not go near it. Even back then I thought that this sounded like a fairly extreme response.

I also know some Christians that go around to like Mind Body Spirit Festivals and talk to people about Jesus by explaining the themes in the Tarot cards and relating them back to Jesus (hard to explain, but is actually quite good quality contextualisation of the Gospel) and I'm still working out what I think.

One one hand, as I believe in God as a spiritual force for good, it make sense that there would be a spiritual force working against that, so I don't actually have a problem with believing that some clairvoyants can 'see' stuff that is beyond the scope of our human realm.

I believe that God is always bigger than any other spiritual force in the world, so in a sense we have nothing to worry about, but do need to realise that we can come under spiritual attack from stuff working against God, and that is very real and potentially harmful.

I also don't subscribe to the 'cold n flu spirit' theory that says if you go near anybody who is using evil spiritual forces you will automatically 'catch' a bad spirit.

This is by no menas my area of expertise, but is an area worth thinking about.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

When do we disagree with other Christians?

Have been thinking a bit lately, following some interesting conversations at footy, about when it it and isn't appropriate to speak out against other Christians-particularly around those who don't really follow Jesus right now.

The first came up around the time of Heath Ledger's funeral, and I had a great conversation with a mate about how I was equally outraged at those Christians picketing his funeral with all their 'God Hates Fags' signs and crap. I think he was relieved to find that not all Christians are bigots on this one.

The other was a much more complex issue which I couldn't be bothered explaining here, but I did make it well known how strongly I disagreed with some people's actions. Not only because I do disagree, but because I think it is important for him to see two points of view on the issue.

But then i was challenged when reading some stuff in the bible about people knowing us by our love for each other, for our unity and stuff like that.

So perhaps my mates walked away from those conversations thinking how divisive and argumentative Christians are, and that they aren't actually that loving. Now i definitely wasn't way harsh to the people, but to their actions, but maybe not everybody can differentiate the difference?

I don't think there is a blanket answer for this one, and it probably just needs to be thought about case by case, but has got me thinking.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Has the money changed me?

As many of you know, about this time last year I was on a game show and manged to score myself a very lucky $98 000. If you saw the show you'll know what i mean by lucky!

I have been reflecting a bit lately, as I have been all year really, about the effect that winning such a large amount of money has had on my life.

They (who is 'they' anyway) that like 70-80% of people who win massive amounts of money-like in the millions, end up regretting it, as they change their lifestyle, live it up and the monet runs out and they are much les happy afterwards.

I didn't win that much, and was quite aware of that kind of thing, and so have been fairly conscious of the effect it's had on me, which i will post on soon.

But I'd love to hear from anybody who reckons they ahve seen it change me in some way-good or bad. Not everybody is comfortable with posting criticism, so if ur not, then email me. If you know me well enough to know if it's made a difference you'll prob have my email.

I know what i think, but would love to hear others feedback.

Friday, March 28, 2008

hamo is back in town

probably my favourite blogger is back in town, dunno how long he's been back on for, got plenty reading top do to catch up, but he's always a worthwhile read.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter holidays

Mine were awesome, yet another awesome weekend if fun and shenanigans at Point Nepean, saw some great music, plus got paid to work there, so all was great.

Read something very briefly the other day about the whole Easter holidays. Basically some minister from somewhere reckons we shouldn't celebrate it as a public holiday because we're not really a Christian nation these days, we're a secular multi-faith country, and he thinks we should have a Sorry Day holiday or similar.

I kind of see where he's coming from, but am not completely convinced.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What is prayer anyway?

Was chatting with a mate last night about a funny thing that had happened yesterday.

I'd been looking through the local paper, and i thought to myself 'Gee I'd really love some extra casual work, just something working with 'at-risk' kids in the area, something that's pretty flexible, but would give me some more experience in that area' and then, bang! I turn the page and there is a position advertised that is pretty much exactly that!

Am just sending off my application now, so will see how it goes.

I made a glib little comment about how if I had prayed about it, i would be up in churh telling it as a story of an amazing thing that God had done for me. But then i started to think a little more seriously about what exactly is my theology of prayer?

Do we have to start and finish our prayers with 'Dear Lord' and 'Amen' for God to hear it?
If God is all present and all hearing, then do I actually have to articulate something as a prayer for God to hear and acknowledge it?
Is me just thinking something in a sense communication with the God that is always in and around me?
Did God know I was looking for that before I did?

I've got a few ideas to the answers of some of those questions, but they provided me with a bit of food for thought either way.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daily Devotions

A good friend of mine regularly updates this site, which is surprisingly enough-a daily devotional site.

It's quite uncheesy, which is fairly uncommon for sites like this, so that makes it a worthwhile visit in my opinion. They're often pretty short, and just something quick and easy to read.

Funny Anagrams

DORMITORY:When you rearrange the letters:DIRTY ROOM

PRESBYTERIAN:When you rearrange the letters:BEST IN PRAYER

ASTRONOMER:When you rearrange the letters:MOON STARER

DESPERATION: When you rearrange the letters:A ROPE ENDS IT

THE EYES: !When you rearrange the letters:THEY SEE

GEORGE BUSH:When you rearrange the letters:HE BUGS GORE

THE MORSE CODE :When you rearrange the letters:HERE COME DOTS

SLOT MACHINES:When you rearrange the letters:CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY:When you rearrange the letters:IS NO AMITY

ELECTION RESULTS:When you rearrange the letters:LIES - LET'S RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS:When you rearrange the letters:ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S

A DECIMAL POINT:When you rearrange the letters:IM A DOT IN PLACE

ELEVEN PLUS TWO:When you rearrange the letters:TWELVE PLUS ONE


Friday, March 07, 2008

What impression do I leave people with?

Caught up with a really great friend/mentor/spiritual advisor yesterday, which was awesome, and left me with many things to think about.

One of them was the fact that after hanging with him, I am always left feeling inspired to spend more time on my spiritual life-prayer, meditation, reading Bible etc, which is always something I need encouraging in anyway.

It made me think about how people feel after they have hung out with me... A bit of a weird thought I know, but one I had nonetheless.

I remember a few years ago I tried to committ myself to helping other people feel better about themselves after whenever they hung out with me, but this is something I have been less and less aware of lately.

But I wonder what effect I have on people, without me having thought about. U.H. and F.B. this is prime time for you to leave a disparaging commnet, as I know you need little encouragement, but is just something I'm kicking around in my head.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Busy Times

Am flat out like a lizard drinking right now, so has been minimal to do anything, let alone blog.

In the last week i went and saw incubus, hung out with my mate Tazzie, played a bit of 20/20 cricket with the footy botys spoke at a couple events for a couple different churches, been on school camp, speaking with FRESH at a school, then going to another school with JCMA (which i will explain later) plus rehearsing a wedding I'm conducting next week, so busy times all round!

Got the weekend off though so that's all good!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's wrong with meat and cheese together?

Had a bit of class today, it's called Power Wealth and Purity in the New Testament-so looks facinating. To get us started we looked at a few laws from the Torah, that we as Christians don't follow anymore, but Jews do.

The one that has intrigued me is Exodus 34:26
"Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
"Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."

And from that Kosher Law dictates that meat and milk products can not be eaten together, which seems like tad of a stretch to me, but that's another story.

The way I tend to look at a lot of the OT Laws is that they were instructions for clean good living in the conditions they were in, hence the rulings about mildew, about people needing to go outside the camp to clean themselves after certain bodily functions etc. Even circumcision makes medical sense in such a dry sandy climate.

But I'm struggling to see why meat and cheese is no good? Will ask my newfound Jewish friend on Friday, but just wondered if anybody else could possibly think why that might be a law?

Refugee Realities

I just found out about this cool little thing happening on in the city for the next two weeks or so.

It's a bit of a 'see a little bit of what life is like for refugees' thing in the city, which looks interesting.

I would love to take some kids from school through, but our City Week isn't till a bit later.

Good stuff though.

God is like Tom from Myspace

A mate of mine the other night was telling me a sermon analogy that a mate of his had used for a youth talk at their youth group a while back.

Basically it was that God is like Tom from Myspace. For those that aren't up to speed with myspace, basically when you create an account, and so start your Myspace life, Tom is automatically your No 1 friend. You have the choice to move him down your list of friends or remove him all together. But no matter what, Tom is your friend from the start. And then I'll leave it to you to fill in the gaps from there...

It's a bit cheesy, but could actually work with young people I reckon. Props to them for creative thinking.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Letter from Corey Delaney

Hi, this is Corey.

Despite what you may have recently read, seen, or heard in the media I am not throwing another house party. I have devoted considerable thought to the matter and I have come to the decision that my time and energy would be better spent finding a cure for redheadedness.

As many of you who are redheads or who live with redheads know, having red hair is a physically and socially debilitating disease. As a redhead I not only have to live with the fact that I'm pysically freakish but also with the fact that people treat me differently because of my deformity. Unlike the deaf, the blind, and the mentally retarded, people are acutely aware of my disability from the moment they see me - even though I am a complete tool, it disheartens me that people assume this to be the case even before I open my mouth.

As a result of my own personal experience and my first hand knowledge of other sufferers I have decided to set up the Corey Delaney Foundation for Ranga Research - a not-for-profit organisation charged with finding and destroying the gene for red hair. I intend to establish this Foundation using money raised from the sale of my 'famous' yellow sunglasses on eBay.

For those of you who are equally passionate about eliminating redheadedness I ask that you take this moment to consider whether you too want to make a difference in this world. If the answer is yes, please follow the link below and give generously; if the answer is no, please take pause to ponder this: red hair is a recessive gene.

For more info on redheads please check out

Nature vs Nurture

Was having dinner with a mate and his parents last night, and somehow we got onto the topic of nature vs nurture in regards to determining how we as people turn out. It's always fascinated me, particularly the way things that happened to us when we were too young too remember them affect us today.

The statistics about the amount you were held and hugged as a baby being having a direct correlation to your likelihood of gong to jail have always interested me.

Then of course, we got onto the debate about homosexuality and if it's something we're born with, a decision, something that is affected by stuff we can't remember when we were young, or a combination of 2 or all 3 of those factors. Interesting stuff, but probably a debate that will always go unsolved.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sorry Day

Anybody in Australia will know what I mean by this, and if you're not, then in a nutshell, Australia has finally gottena round to apologising to our Aboriginal people who we took from their families between 40-80 years ago.

I have been reading as much as I can about this, as the whole Aboriginal situation is one I know barely enough about, and would really like to know more and be more informed.

First off, I want to say that I fully support the Government's apology. They and we didn't actually do anything wrong ourselves, but we stand in the line of those who did, and so I believe it's appropriate to offer an apology.

I have been thinking a lot about the meaning of the word 'sorry'. I think some have used it in the sense 'I'm sorry (I'm in a way responsible) for what our forebears did to you' and others 'I'm sorry that that happened'-in the same vein you might say that you are sorry to hear of a friend's mum dying. You didn't cause her death, but you are sorry it happened.

I think both meanings are appropriate.

The response to BRendan Nelson's speech has interested me, particularly on the day. I would like to know from those who turned their backs if it was to him and what he was saying, or the Liberal party and what they have said in the past.

I actually really agreed with, and felt it an important point, what he was saying about the people who did it having good intentions. There's no doubt it was wrong, but I believe it's important to acknowledge they meant well.

I did think him going on about the Intervention last year was the wrong time and place though.

The other thing I've been thinking about a lot is all the talk that 'we' need to do something to fix the problems in their community. First off, I hate viewing the world in such a 'us and them' way, but it does make me reflect on my experiences in Africa. So much of what we do in trying to 'fix' Africa just makes things worse, cos we have this mentality that we are somehow so much better than them, and our solutions will solve their problems.

It just doesn't work like that. I don't think we should stand back and let the massive social issues we see in those communities go on, but nor do I think that it is our responsibility to 'fix' those issues. It's a very complicated issue.

No surprises either to see today a man lodging a claim for compensation. Still not sure what I think about the financial compensation side of things. Interesting times for Australia.

Friday, February 08, 2008

On being optimistic

As most of you who know me will know, I'm a pretty optimistic person in most areas of my life. It takes something fairly massive to make me really unhappy, and I can't even remember the last time that happened.

Obviously this also translates across to my faith, which is often a pretty good thing. I was chatting to a couple of different mates this week about how they're going through different tough times for different reasons. I was talking about how due to my optimistic outlook on life, when I'm going through similar tough times I tend to not let it stress me out, which is generally pretty cool.

So if things are not completely on track with me and the Big Fella (as is kinda the case now), I don't stress about it too much, cos I know that things will improve. I've been through tricky patches at times, and know I always come through the other side.

But maybe I don't take them seriously enough? Maybe because I know things will improve eventually I just get lazy and wait for that to happen, instead of putting in the hard yards.

How personailty types affect our spiritual life has often intrigued me, and so this is just another thing to think about.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Coolest website ever!

OK, so maybe that is a slight exxageration, but it is pretty sweet.

I bought the book version of this site like a sucker, then carried it all the way home from london, so to save yourself flying all the way over there you can just read this site!

It basically tells you how to do all manner of things, from fire-twirling, how to cook anything, make a website, break up with somebody, play a sport or anything-it's fascinating!

As the cover of the book says 'How to do a whole lot of things you never knew you needed to know how to do!'

Safeway/Woolies Drought Day

I definitely wonder how much of the reason they are doing this is just a publicity stunt, but either way they're giving the money to a decent cause.

If you already shop with them, then I reckon try save it up until this day, make the most of them giving their money away. But they still are a tad expensive I reckon, so if ur more concerned with saving your own money, then maybe don't worry about it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Turkey to London-a bit out of order!

So I confused myself by only posting up half of my travel stories a while back, then doing new ones.

Anyways, here is the other part if you care. Will hopefully do the rest of my trip and final reflections soon, but no internet at home does make it hard.

Then it was Turkey, with 7 of my best friends, and the funniest! We visited the ancient city of Ephesus, smoked nargele (apple tobacco kinda stuff) out of this giant Turkish bong looking thing ina traditional Turkish bar with dancing and music etc, mucked around on NYE, got scrubbed, washed and massaged head to foot in a Turkish bath (now that, that is a cultural experience if ever I had one) and ate heaps of kebabs.

By far the best bit though was heading out to Gallipoli. Anzac Cove is just such an amzing place. You hear so much about it, and to see it,a nd put everything into perspective, was just brillaint. The poem written by their Army Commander and later President Mustafa Kemale Ataturk was incredible to read right there. Go check it out if you don't know it.

There is just so much I could say about that place, was so worthwhile. Has been interesting trying to articulate to foreigners why I went there an what i means to Australians etc. I mean it is kinda funy how much we celebrate a battle we eventually lost. I was struck by the stories of camraderie and mateship, particulalrly betwen the two countries. Top day in Turkey.

Paris is a beautiful city, and deserves everything people sy about it. It is just brilliant by night. People not so much, but not too bad.

After that I headed to Taize, which is like this eumenical monastery that people froma ll over the world go to to stop and reflect on their life and faith,to pray, for contemplation, and to explore where they are going in life. I really can't do it justice here, but was a really worthwhile time in amongst the rushing and touristy crap of my trip to stop and reflect on it all for a while.

London,other than hanging out with Lucas and Shaz,has been pretty underwhelming. Is just a big city with mediocre sights. I have loved being able to speak English, but it has not really grabbed me.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New York and Iowa

Have swapped the big city lights of New York for small-town mid west America. Slightly different!

New York was awesome, fully loved it! The peoplewere mostly nice, I got free tickets to a Knicks game at Madison Square, cheap tickets to the ice hockey (totally my new favourite spectator sport!), Chicken Parma rolls and all sorts of cool stuff. Wandered around Times Square, saw Statue of Liberty-which isn't that big, and the Empire State building. Also ended up at this little Theatre/Drama/Impro club in some little street which was pretty funny. I jumped on a team with these randoms and we ended up winning which was fun, the picture is terrible but you can see it here

Was really good doing a tour of the WTC site, had a dude who was a firefighter on the day showing us around which was amazing. Was fascinating being able to put legs on all the pictures and stories you have heard. Was really worthwhile.

Now I'm just hanging out with my mates who lived with us two years ago, out in suburban Iowa. Is pretty relaxed, and just cool to be with mates. Have been eating heaps of American food, went and ate at a college dorm dining hall yesterday which was funny as, and hopefully going out sledding and playing in the snow today. Am like such a little kid with snow, its just so exciting and new for me! Still practising making snow angels and pee-ing my name in the snow!

And man, if I was American I would get so fat, they just have so much cheap junk food, and so many chocolate and peanut butter foods, it's awesome!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Africa to Rome updates

It's been a few weeks since my last proper update, so have heaps to write about, so will try and keep it interesting and readable and doesn't fall into the 'another anoying travel blog post' category...

I think last time I had not yet been able to head up to the Kande bach area where I was going to run the football clinics etc.

So, Kande was an amazing place, both geographically and people wise. Was really great getting an insight into real village life. Man, it is just so far removed from anything we know. I was prepared for seeing the poverty etc, but the 'tribalness' of it really stuck me. These people just live in their little villge, living hand to mouth every day, and know no different to that. That is life for them, and it's worlds away from my existence.

The clearst moment of this was when i walked past a guy beating a big drum (handmade of course) and I asked my Malawian friend what he was doing 'oh, they're having a big party tonight and they want some girls to know about it, so that is why he's drumming...' he replied casually. I couldn't believe it. Slightly different to the mobile phone era I live in...

The people there were brilliant, seriously so nice and hospitable. It was awesome becoming mates with some of the dudes my age, and getting past the tourist-salesman veneer that is the norm for most white people in Africa.

Was great fun teaching the kids about footy, some picked it up more than others, but they all just enjoyed an older person giving themsome attention, which seems to be so rare over there in that culure.

Seeing what TJ does too was amazing. There are so many needs over there, and so many people who go there thinking they can solve them, and then there are others who are just there, doing what they can with the gifts they have, and responding to real needs they see, not just what they think the locals need. Maybe I was in the former, because the stuff I thought was most important was good, but not the best thing I did. Hard to explain, so ask me if that doesn't make sense.

But then it was off to Rome for not very long at all, which was fine, as I got to see everything I wanted to, and get a iny feel of what Rome is like. The Colosseum and Ancient Rome stuff was really cool, and the Vatican was amazing.

For me it wasn't awe-inspiring or uplifting in a spiritual sense, as big chuch buildings have never really floated my boat, but was wicked in an art sense. Man Michelangelo was a well talented dude!

I often used to get all haughty and social justicey and quote the stats about 'If the Catholic Church sold all their buildings and artwork, they could solve world poverty..' which in one sense is kinda true, but in another is an absolutely gross over generalisation.

The problems in Africa can not be solved by money alone (that is in fact but a small part of the issue) and the Vatican is more than just a church. Particulalrly with all the Greek and Egyptian sculturesa nd museums and stuff, and all the artwork, it contains the records and hisory of society as we know it. To just sel it off (who would buy it all too?) is just not a feasible option. Anyways, just gaveme some interesting stuff to think about.

London, OK, but not overwhelming...

In terms of big famous cities, Rome and Paris really do have it over London. I just realised how much of a travel tool I sound like saying that, but ah well. It's hard when talking about travelling to no be all 'ooh ooh, look at me, I'm so cool cos I've been to all these cool cities' cos those people totally annoy me.

It's like name-dropping for travellers, so annoying.

Anyway, didn't start to wite about that. London,not that impressive. Has some kinda cool stuff but nothing that has grabbed me. Stonehenge was intrigung, trying to work out how and why it is all there etc.

Best bit has just been hanging out with Lucas n Shaz though.

Saw a soccer game too which was fun, a bit below Premier Leaugue but still cool. League 2 for those who know, Brentford for Premiers I say!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Arrived early this morning in Thessaloniki from Istanbul on the overnight train, which was great fun, and a comparatively cheap way to get out of the country.

Flying to Paris tomorrow, will do a mornings worth of sightseeing before heading to Taize for a few days to stop and reflect on it all so far.

Have been throwing around a whole lot of ideas about running trips with people from Oz over to Malawi to teach footy and sports and experience the life and culture etc, reckon it has a fair bit of scope, but will think about it some more before deciding if it just another crazy dream or a realistic idea...

Will post up reflections on Turkey soon too hopefully.

One Hit Wonder

What is onehitwonder?

What if everyone in the world gave you one dollar? Have you wondered what you’d do with it? We have, and we’d like to see how many people across the planet will give a dollar, and then we’ll give it away to the poorest communities in the world. Our aim is to gather 7.29 million dollars, one dollar at a time. Here’s how we seek to do it... [more]

The world is amazingly connected. Apparently we’re no more than six steps away from each person on earth. Currently 729 million people across the world have internet access. Now, imagine if only 1% of those with web access participated and gave a dollar—that would amount to over 7 million dollars to give away to those who need it most. Not bad for a measly dollar! On December 25, 2008 we’ll begin to give away every dollar, 90% to the poorest communities in developing countries, and 10%, plus interest will be used for community development projects within Australia. The money will be given through various organisations across the globe covering many regions and need. Not one dollar will be used for administration or any other associated expenses, these operational costs will be covered by us and our partners. If you’d like to keep track of how and where the money is given, please keep visiting the news/blog section to see the updated information.
why should I trust onehitwonder?

onehitwonder is run by a legitimate non-profit organization in Hobart, Australia.

onehitwonder will be professionally audited. The Auditor of onehitwonder is Deloitte.

onehitwonder has many partners from the business and community sectors.

I reckon this is a tops as idea, and so easy to get behind and support. If ur a blogger I encourage you to post it up and help them reach 1% of the internet population.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Delıghtful Turkey

Had an amazıngly hılarıous NYE here ın Turkey wıth some of my best mates, was just so good on so many levels.

Ephesus was decent, have had my fıll of old ruıns for now but.

Headıng to Gallıpolı tomorrow whıch I am really keen for, so that should be really ınterestıng. Has always fascınated me, so wıll be great to check ıt out.