Remember 'Remember the Titans'?
Culture change is tough - but it is worth it!!! I was reminded of this as I watched the movie Remember the Titans. A coach dropped into a chaotic situation must bring culture change for the team to survive... but he doesn't just want it to survive he wants it to succeed, and to dominate. In a way we want our ministries to do likewise so what ideas for culture change can we take from Coach Boon?
Thinking about sacrifice
If Jesus is King, what does that mean for what we want to do with out lives? [Image by Chris Bellerophon Dotson on flickr]
Back to the Mission
Reminded again and again about what we are created for. We are created for worship! But because there are some people who do not worship, we have been given a mission... to go and show people they were created to worship! - photo on Flickr by llamatofu
Appeasement verses Satisfaction
Do we look to appease our emotions, troubles, discomforts with earthy things that may provide some release temporarily, or do we look to God who is the source of complete satisfaction? [Image by donald_palansky_photography on flickr]
Prayer = Dependence
Even in the confidence I have in my own abilities - I am learning that I still need to be dependent on God if the outcome is going to be worthwhile for the Kingdom. Prayer is the key consideration in this! ~photo credit: wiedmaier on flickr
Tuesday, 27 December 2005
I had to play drums at Whitehill so I was up early for that, and we had a small time as a family after church to exchange gifts and then we got into our lunch with the 'extended' family. Loads of seafood and salad allowed us to become satisfyingly stuffed.
Being Ipswich it was a scorcher of a day so we spent plenty of time in the pool.
Overal a great day, nothing over the top but it was special anyway.
Thursday, 22 December 2005
and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus
was anywhere to be found.
The people were all busy
with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking
and shopping in stores.
No one sang "Away in a manger
no crib for a bed"...
Instead, they sang of Santa
dressed-up in bright red.
Mama watched Martha Stewart,
Papa drank beer from a tap.
As hour upon hour
the presents they'd wrap
When what from the T.V.
did they suddenly hear
'Cept an ad... which told
of a big sale at Sears?
So away to the mall
they all flew like a flash...
Buying things on credit...
and others with cash!
And, as they made their way home
From their trip to the mall,
Did they think about Jesus?
Oh, no... not at all.
Their lives were so busy
with their Christmas time things
No time to remember
Christ Jesus, the King!
There were presents to wrap
and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember
who died for their sake?
To pray to the Savior...
they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time
to "Shop til they dropped!"
On Wal-mart! On K-mart!
On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales!
A quick lunch at Denny's.
From the big stores downtown
to the stores at the mall
They would dash away, dash away
and visit them all!
And up on the roof
there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung icicle lights up
on his brand new step ladder.
He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus...
Light of the World.
Christ's eyes... how they twinkle!
Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous!
All our burdens... He'll carry!
So instead of being busy,
overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in Christmas
and enjoy some good nights!
Monday, 5 December 2005
Work is hectic, church is frantic, and I haven't had a chance all week to throw something up on here.
Biggest thing last weekend, GO FORD and GO INGALL! How good was last weeks grand final showdown at Phillip Island? I've been a Russel Ingall fan since he moved to Ford (he's always been a nice guy but I couldn't like him when he drove a Holden :-P) But to have been in the V8 series for 10 years and to have come second 4 times, he's earnt a championship win, and it was great to see him get it.
We've also started our Christmas specials at church, and here's a plug - 18th Dec, 5:30 PM is Whitehill's CHRISTMAS IN THE CARPARK, it's going to be huge, with lots of music, lots of fun and farm animals!!! Yes you heard right, farm animals! I know you're as excited as me about that!
So things are so busy getting organised for that, and with RACQ being a 'tourism' organisation work increases as school holidays arrive, and it always seems computers break during this time. So work's been full on as I keep the RACQ truck on the road with their mobile computer systems and the branches online as well. It means lots of travelling and time away from my desk. So when I get home I just crash. Which means my blog gets neglected.
So Merry Christmas to all, hope you all have a great time as we remember and celebrate the Birth of Jesus, and the reason he came.
Monday, 28 November 2005
I've just finished Bryce Courtenay's "Four Fires". It was an amazing read really delving into the life of a returned WWII veteran and his family. The story is told through the eyes of a younger son, telling of a poor family dealing with an alcoholic and petty theif of a father, the reputation of their family as the town's garbage collectors and the struggle for the family to gain the respect of the towns-people and feel some sort of self worth.
The story has many themes; woman's rights to study in the 60's, the Australian bush and it's harsh conditions (especially it's bush fires), the bias of the Prodestant and Catholic churches and their effects of their congregations, the amazingly tough environment Australian POWs had to deal with during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, and also the treatment of Vientnam Veterains after their return from war.
It's almost a 'Forrest Gump' type story as each member of the family strikes off to make their way in life and ends up leaving their mark on society, from Melbourne University to the Greek Olympics, from a country prison to the fashion streets of London, from Borneo in 1943 to Vietnam in 1971.
I love Courtenay's writing style, and how he can caputre you up a character so you end up seeing everything through their eyes.
Four Fires does raise a couple of questions in my mind though.
1 - The harshness of the town's Catholic church is clearly presented, and the local priest is a very self righteous and selfish man, as a church today though we may not be so visible in our self righteousnes, do we still give people that impression, and would non-Christians who read this book agree that today's church is still like this?
2 - Tommy (the WWII veteran) is an extremely messed up man, with all he went through as a POW he has become an embarassment to his children, and it is not until his son finally hears the story of the war from his father's eyes does he truely understand his father. Before that he simple thought him a weak, and pitiful man who didn't care about his family, but after the story is told, he finds himself proud of a dad who could handle such things, and understands some of the reasons why he has turned into who he is today - my question is, do we take that first image of someone to heart and not listen to their story to understand why they have become as they are? How can we force ourselves to truely take interest in someone, so we might help them through their problems, and ultimately lead them to Christ?
The book was a very mind provoking read, and the war story left me chilled! It's not for the faint hearted, but is a good secular look at post WWII Australia and the view of it's people on the church.
Saturday, 26 November 2005
I've gone Dukes of Hazzard Crazy! I saw the movie a few weeks ago, and it rekindled my interest in the original series. I use to watch 'Dukes' as a kid, and for as long as I can remember, the 1969 Dodge Charger has been my absolute dream car!
Then the other week I was in JB HIFI and saw that they've released Series 1 and 2 of the original series on DVD! Well I just had to have them, and I've watched the whole first series already. It's great! Love the car, the stories and the memories.
I'm glad however, that I saw the movie before I re-watched the series. Because at the time I thought the movie was pretty close to the original series and I enjoyed the movie. But now as I watch the series I see the movie actually takes a completely different style to what the original was. I don't think I'd have enjoyed the movie as much if I had the series fresh in my mind.
Anyway cheers to Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jessy, Rosco, Ennus and Boss Hog... thanks for the hours of fun you've given me this week!
Friday, 18 November 2005
I watched the extra time and the shootout, and I think I truely scared my mother with my cheering as goals were saved by the Aussie keeper.
Yes I think the true hero of the night (as the commentator seemed to be labeling most of the Socceroo squad) was really Mark Schwarzer with his fantastic goal keeping, and two amazing saves in the shootout.
Bring on Germany!
Thursday, 17 November 2005
Friday, 11 November 2005
But you would never believe what happened today. The car stopped again!! I went out for lunch, I had to duck down to the Christian book shop to pick some stuff up for my mother, and when I got back I had to unload some computer equipment from the boot. So I pulled up into the loading dock at RACQ and turned my car off. After I had unloaded the computers I couldn’t start my car.
So I had another visit from an RACQ patrolman (gee I’m glad I get RACQ membership for free!), who tells me it looks like the ignition module. Which is what Brian Byrt swapped on Monday!
After the car cools down it starts. The patrolman things there is a temp issue with the ignition module and coil. So when the car is hot it doesn’t create spark (yep sure, I’m a computer guy not a mechanic so I’ll believe him), when the car’s cold it will start ok.
So I call Brian Byrt, and speak to the manager. Talking through all the issues of the last couple of days, he books me in again for tomorrow. And said we’ll ‘discuss’ the $200 I’m down. (I don’t know what that means).
But at least the car is back under that warranty contract because it seems more work is required.
Also a bit of good news from the warranty people, I can take my car to another of their approved repairers for future servicing and work, because at present I am not too impressed with Brian Byrt service!
So tomorrow is another d-day, we’ll see what happens.
Thursday, 10 November 2005
Well the RACQ patrolman told me my car wasn’t getting any spark – but he was able to get it started, and I drove it home. I left it all weekend, then called RACQ again on Monday to get it started so I could drive it to Brian Byrt Ford for its repair.
Later that day I hear back that my ignition module was dead, but it was covered under the expensive used car warranty I’d bought when I got my car. All good.
Until 10 minutes later when I had another call, the mechanic told me that due to the fact I hadn’t adhered to the warranty servicing intervals and had my car serviced in a 13 thousand km period instead of a 10 thousand km one that my warranty was now void, and I had to pay for the repair.
I couldn’t believe it. The only reason I’d left my car the full 13 thousand k’s was because a mechanic at the same place told me I could leave it for 15000. I argued this with the people at Brian Byrt to no avail and had to pay for the repair on my car. The next problem was that my $700 3 year warranty was now gone after only 12 months. I rang the warranty company and explained that Brian Byrt had told me that a 15000 service scheme was ok for my car, even when I’d asked about the 10000 k issues. They said that the model car I had should be serviced every 10000k’s regardless of a warranty or not.
I was told that because Brian Byrt were at fault that they would put my car back under the warranty contract and I will be covered for the remaining 2 years, however they can’t pay for the repair yesterday.
So at least I have my warranty back, but I’m still down $200 I should not have had to pay – I’m taking it up with the service manager later today.
Saturday, 5 November 2005
They are 18" Crome Wheels... look nice, but not sure if they'll fit as they are coming off a Nissan 200SX.
Tell me what you think. Thanks
Tuesday, 11 October 2005
I have been a die hard fan of Motorsport for as long as I can remember. And I don't think I've missed a Bathurst 1000 in my entire life. But I have always only ever watched it on TV. So this year, with Dad and I becoming more and more involved in motorsport chaplaincy we thought that this year we'd experience it in person.
I must admit I didn't know how I felt about breaking the TV tradition even if it did mean I would actually be track-side. The buzz of being there quickly won me over though, and I had a fantastic weekend.
If you caught any of the 4 day telecast on TV you would know one thing about this years race - it was incredibly cold weather!!!!!!!!! We froze our sweet little Queensland bottoms off all weekend.
The racing was incredible, Saturday we spent the day tripping around the track, checking out all the corners and parts of the track which had only ever been scenes on TV or the PS2 before. We also visited the Australian Motor Racing Museum, which showcased the fantastic history of the cars I've followed and loved all my life. I think this was the biggest buzz of the whole trip.
The other side of our trip to Bathurst was to hang out with Garry Coleman and check out the V8 Supercar Chaplaincy for ourselves. We hung out in the NRMA Smash Repairs Team, who house (and feed) the chaplains. This allowed for another amazing event for the weekend, when good friends of the NRMA team Dick and Jill Johnson came to have lunch. I have been a Dick Johnson fan since he was driving his Green Tuf Falcon (and I was still wearing nappies!), so finally meeting the man in an environment so laid back and social as this was just incredible.
On Sunday we were up early to get a good spot on the start line for the start of the big race. We were there when Garry gave the opening prayer before the National Anthem - unfortunatly due to programming errors it wasn't televised. We watched the first 20 or so laps there, then checked out the pits, and moved to The Chase, right at the end of Conrods Straight. We moved around for the rest of the race. I experienced a true chaplain role when I watched a pit stop for the HSV Racing Team, and Rick Kelly stumbled away from his pit crew sick as a dog. I quietly followed him and when he was sick just near his trailer I was able to offer a bottle of water, and make sure he got inside alright. I think he was so grateful he overlooked the Ford shirt I was wearing.
Again avid fans will know the outcome of the race, and the controversial crash between Murph and Ambrose. I was back on Conrods at the time, but watching on a giant screen. And able to grab a photo of the wrecks as they came around on tilt trucks.
Overall it was a dream lived, and a totally unforgetable weekend.
Friday, 23 September 2005
I've had many people show so much sympathy for the pain I've been in, and though I am grateful for that, it is slightly embarrassing for me. I mean it's my little finger!! Usually you would wonder what effect a little finger could have on the entire body. But once you take it out, make it useless, you suddenly realise how much you use it everyday. A small part of the body, but when it's not working, it effects the whole body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-27
14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
So I'm wondering if even you feel like the pinkie of your church, then you are still part of the body, and like my broken finger, if you are not doing your job correctly, then the whole body feels the effect.
Wednesday, 21 September 2005
Michael Knight, the speaker, spoke from Psalm 139. He gave us some great ideas on how to become a Christ soaked Christian, and how to steer clear from becoming self aborbed. I must admit I really warmed to Michael's way of communicating, and got so much out of his messages (I wish I'd taken more notes).
The music was fantastic, Andrew Sercombe led. Andrew has recently been in London working with Soul Survivor, but is originally from Brisbane, and I've had the privlidge of playing with him before. He truely has a gift for leading people in worship through music. There's nothing over the top, no emotional hype, but exceptional music skills and real heart felt honestly. I don't know exactly what it was, but the music this year really encouraged me to open up to God, to let him search me, and worship him purely. Leading from that was an openness for me to be honest with myself, and in turn worship God in my whole life... Some of the words to the songs impacted me deeply, and gave me a bit of an idea of what heaven is going to 'sound' like
- Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your glorious name
- Hallilujah to the king of kings, hallilujah to the Lord of Lords, hallilujah to the one who sets me free
- Great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God, and all the world will see how great, how great is our God.
- Surrouded by your glory, how will my heart feel. Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still. Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall. Will I sing hallilujah- will I be able to speak at all. I can only Imagine.
Won't it be awesome to one day stand and sing those words to our King?
What would Recharge be without a bushdance, the Christian young adults substitute for speed dating. Grab a girl, swing her around and pass her off to the next guy, remembering the one's you'll have to 'catch up with' later... :-P
Saturday night produced some excellent tallent in the cafe. The highlight was definitely the Renegade Mavericks of Death with their signature version of Brittany Spear's Oh Baby Baby. However Saturday afternoon sport was a personal low for the weekend. Playing ultimate frisbee I miss judged a catch and snapped my pinkie on my right hand against another players chest. X-rays on Monday proved I'd broken my finger so I'm living in a bit of pain at the moment.
All things aside though it was an awesome weekend, I got the chance to catch up with a heap of really good friends, and have really good chats with some of the people that were on the Melbourne tour last week.
To top it all off, Sunday night was a WEC Cafe where I heard all about Patty Van Twest's last 2 years in Sri Lanka. I love hearing the stories of missionaries, especially when they are good friends.
Tuesday, 20 September 2005
Monday, 19 September 2005
Last week I had the privilege of travelling to Melbourne and joining up with around 40 other Youth Pastors/Youth Works from all over Australia. As a church volunteer it was amazing to spend time with people to whom Youth Ministry is their primary occupation. It raises questions as to how I could better serve God, whether or not continuing in full time employment is my best way to serve God, or maybe needed to find some part time work and commit to Whitehill in a more involved capacity.
The main part of the Melbourne trip was a tour of 10 different churches/organisations so we could learn about their ministries, ideas and visions for youth work.
- Planet Shakers City Church
- St Pauls Anglican in Emerald
- Youth dimension Base
- Telstra Dome and Cameron Butler (Chaplain to the Demons)
- Connection Church of Christ
- Northern Community Church of Christ
- The Living Room - Daren Rouse
- Kardinia Christian Church
- Urban Neigbours of Hope (UNOH)
- Waverly Christian Fellowship/City Life Church
I really enjoyed seeing so many different ways to do ‘church’, actually it really raised the question, “What is Church?” And I’m not sure I have been able to answer it.
Planet Shakers was over the top, loud music and very passionate and in your face types of programs for youth. A few of us actually went to the PS City Church service on Sunday night, which really gave me a feel for the ministry team before we met and conversed with them on Monday morning. In contrast to PS, Connection Church of Christ has an amazing simple and humbling relationship based ministry through both its church and school’s program. Connection have moved away from traditional styled ‘church services’ and meets in a sports club, with the ‘congregation’ in table groups. Their school program was totally servant based. They offer their services to the school, and don’t go in with their own programs.
On a social side to the trip, we all stayed at The Nunnery Backpackers hostel. It was a great environment, with good company. One guy Nigel, from Ireland, was a champ, G’day Mate if you ever come and visit this. Our humble accommodation was opposite the Carlton Gardens in Fitzroy, a 10 minute tram (yes TRAM!!) ride to the city and 3 blocks from Lygon St, so I had pizza for tea 3 times in the week!
The tour of Telstra Dome was really good, just kicking the footy in the players warm up room was a real buzz. We also heard from Cam Butler, Chaplain for the Melbourne Demons. He had some great stuff to share – and it was good to catch up with him as he is the director of SLM (Sports and Leisure Ministries), which is the governing body for the Motorsports chaplaincy I am involved in at Willowbank Raceway.
Overall it was a totally refreshing, challenging, inspiring, thought provoking, and encouraging week. I’m so glad Ben asked me to be part of the Whitehill team.
Monday, 1 August 2005
Teaching was from Jim Wallace, ex SAS commander and now the head of the Christian Lobby. He was an excellent speaker, using many real life examples to illistrate how men should walk the Christian life.
Apart from the teaching, most of our time was spent in the WEC clubhouse with our pool, foosball, and ping pong tables, our extensive amount of chocolate milk and big screen to watch all the footy that was on.
We also had a few hardcore exercises, like a 2.8k bushwalk carrying a guy on a stretcher and hot potato with a burning toilet roll.
(note there are no photos, as all we were allowed to wear all weekend was a pair of short shorts, a chesty bonds and double pluggers - not a good look)...
Tuesday, 26 July 2005
I thought I'd throw some pics in for you too look at - Go FORDS!
Poster shot - standing beside the winning car!
Pace Car leading the field around after a pretty bad roll over by Jason Richards
This truck folds out to become the media centre. It is an amazing piece of technology. Worth almost 2 Million dollars!
Lowndes pit crew training for tyre changes at 7:30am in the morning. We were lucky enough to walk through pit lane and watch them
The 2 DJR cars of Steven Johnson and Glen Seaton coming through turn 1.
Saturday, 16 July 2005
My WEC Cabin boys. Go Team Gambia!!! The guys had an awesome time dressing up in the Gambian clothes and as some of the traditional figures (like the Kunkarungo in this photo). We all learnt a bit more about the Gam, and have committed to praying for Robyn and her work in Jarrol Village.
Monday, 27 June 2005
Sunday night didn't get off to a good start - one of the female leaders slipped and fell through her cabin window. slicing her wrist. I can still remember the blood and shock on her face when she came into the hall... after bandaging it up the camp nurse took her off to the hospital - she had surgery the next day cause she had cut the tendons in her wrist. She has a 3 month recovery ahead of her, and still may not get 100% mobility back in her hand.
But she came back up to camp on Wednesday and told her testimony of her time in hospital, and it was really powerful - so it was good to see her back.
The rest of the camp went pretty smooth - one of the guys in my cabin really took stock of where his life was going and got back fully into God's will... which was just awesome. I had a group of seven 14 year old boys.... rowdy little rascals!!! All they wanted to do was try and beat me up - once all 7 of them tried to take me out together.... that was a tough fight :-P considering i was running away with beautiful hot popcorn, which they wanted, wasn't a contributing factor at all :-P
But due to that and some of the other activities we did during the week, i've now got some pretty bad lower back pain - i'm trying to take care of it now i'm home - and probably should go and see a doctor.
Our field focuses this year all revolved around Robyn Pieper and her work in Gambia. Each day one of the boys would pretend to be Robyn and we would take our inspectors off on a wild journey in the Gambia. The first day we drove the inspectors around the Gambia in a Land Rover, pretending to drive wildly, because we all know Robyn is slightly crazy behind the wheel - especially with all those pot holes. We took them to the market to buy dried fish, and had to swerve to miss a donkey. We then showed them a baby delivery in Jarrol clinic. Ben King was our inspector that morning and he enjoyed the nurse stuff we think.
The next day we took the inspectors to the ice cream shop in Kombos... because again it's just the place to be is you're a WEC misso on prayer day. We served Ice Cream and told them about life in the Gambia. We then showed them traditional dancing and even dressed one of the guys up as a Kankarango.
Our last day of field focus we re-inacted the trip we took the WEC Trek team on to Kansambou. We couldn't figure out how to make an ox cart so we made the inspectors walk around the building... The boys pretended to be villages and came and danced around the inspectors and 'Robyn' as they came into our village. Our Robyn for the day then gave the villages chicken wire, and we told them all about how this was allowing you to get into the villages and show the Jesus video. Sam Swaddling was a dorm inspector that day so our village Alkaloo gave him a new name, and made him dance with all of us.
I taught them all a bit of Mandinka. We used "My tummy is full to the top" as a war cry (I believe in Mandinka it's 'A Conna Farta le Tep" not sure on the spelling though, but my boys were saying it perfectly!!!) and always greeted our dorm inspectors with Salaam malikum... and taught them to say Malikum Salaam. The days Sam was our inspector I made sure I tested him on the rest of his greeting :-P
Overall it was a fantastic camp. I loved the guys in my dorm, and the whole camp felt really friendly. Hopefully Camp B will be the same this week. (I am only going to be going up on Wednesday night of this camp).
Sunday, 26 June 2005
Do you ever have those moments where you just wish you'd taken another second to think about what you were about to do? Man i wish i had when i was reversing my car in Chinchilla. I saw the telegraph pole but wasn't watching closely enough to see the guard wire coming down from it.
Caused a nice bit of damage to my car hey!
Yeah i didn't need that $780 for a new bumper!??