Friday, 22 December 2006

Merry Christmas

To all of you who read my blog.

Have a very Merry Christmas, remember it's the manger that lead to the cross, and that's the reason we celebrate.

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
- Phillipians 2:6-11

Enjoy the time however you spend it, and rememmber those less fortunate than us during this time.

God Bless

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Has Kelly Convinced People he's the Champ??

Here's an article on today - it sums up my feeling on this whole saga pretty well.

Fans robbed of classic decider

We were all robbed of a classic final-round heavyweight title decider the moment Rick Kelly hit Craig Lowndes on the second lap.

Kelly also blew the chance to finally prove he is a better driver than Lowndes.

Kelly raced with his brain more than his heart this season and he went into the final round leading because he had been remarkably consistent despite not winning a round.

Lowndes had some shocking results, but he always raced hard and took four round wins.

Kelly has always said he was driving conservatively because the points system rewarded consistency, and he said he could have gone faster if he had needed to take more risks.

The final race at Phillip Island gave him the chance to prove he really
could outpace Lowndes.

Within the rules, the stewards made the right decision to give Kelly a drive-through penalty and uphold that decision yesterday.

But Kelly's move, deliberate or not, had wider implications.

It gave him his first title.

But he will have to prove next season that he is the true champion.

Comment by James Stanford
December 12, 2006

Rick Kelly's a real nice bloke, I've chatted with him a couple of times, and helped him out at Bathurst last year when he was feeling really crook. However he'd got to be the most controversial driver in the series. In 2005 he had that tangle with Jason Bright at Indy and was branded a dangerous driver, he was also involved in the Marcus Ambros 'break testing' at Indy and made a lot of media hype with his comments. Throughout his career he's either made mistakes, or comments at times when he really needed to not have, and it's given him a name for being the controversial guy. It's a shame his championship win has got that tag now too.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Protest Dismissed

Rick Kelly is the 2006 V8 Supercar Champ after the Stewards dismissed Triple 8 Racings appeal this afternoon (Story Here).

Now I'm not a sore loser, but I do feel Craig Lowndes has been hard done by... here are some reasons why the championship's end has left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth...

  • Mark Skaife's blocking in Race 1, which at one point drove Lowndes off the track and almost allowed Kelly to pass numerous times. (Skaife was shown a caution flag for bad sportsmanship.)
  • Garth Tander's slowing and blocking strategy in Race 2. In Race 1 Tander had a much faster car, and suddenly with Lowndes behind him and Kelly a fair gap back Tander's car was doing 2 seconds or more a lap slower - he was given a caution flag and eventually black flagged for intentionally blocking.
  • Race 3 - Todd Kelly (Rick's brother) had been the fastest car all weekend, he was visiblly faster than Lowndes in Races 1 and 2, but suddenly in Race 3 Lowndes seemed stuck right behind him for the first 3 laps, sandwiched between Todd and Rick Kelly.
  • Being caught in between the Kelly brothers Lowndes was spun by Rick, I don't feel it was intentional, but it was careless and cost the championship and the chance of a decent race to the finish.

The simple fact is that if the other Holden drivers had have raced their own race and not played gang up on Lowndes the incident in Race 3 would not have happened, and we'd probably have a different champion today (Lowndes car had more race pace than Kelly's).

It's made the whole 2006 season feel a bit wasted to me, if Kelly had of won the championship in a fair fight I would be dissapointed but not complaining. However I just feel that Kelly's win isn't 100% honest (and maybe not because of his actions but his team mate's), and because of that not rightfully earnt.

I call FOUL!

Yesterday marked the Grand Final for the v8 Supercars this year. Craig Lowndes came into the round 7 points behind Championship leader (and Holden driver) Rick Kelly. After the first race on Saturday Lowndes had brought that gap to 3 points.

I didn't watch the races on TV, but was following on the net all day, and the second race was hotly contested with Lowndes closing those 3 points, making the final race starting with Rick and Craig on level championship points.

It all turned to crap on lap 3 of the final race with Rick clipping the back of Lowndes' car and spinning into Rick's brother Todd - and into the path of fellow Ford driver Will Davison. Rick Kelly inherited the race lead as Lowndes' car was left to struggle back to the pits and crawl around the track for the remainder of the race.

The AVESCO officials looked at the incident and issed Kelly a 'drive through penalty' for causing the 'racing incident', however with the damage to Craig's car Rick was still able to finish considerably higher than him and take the championship for Holden by 37 points.

Ford, Triple 8 Racing and Craig Lowndes have lodged a protest with CAMS which is being played out at the stewards board right now. However I don't see them changing the results of the championship.

I can't see Rick Kelly doing the 'dirty driving' he's been claimed to have, I think the knock he gave Lowndes was not intentional. It was most probably a nervousness and determination to pass Lowndes which caused a mistake, it's just a shame it means his Championship victory will always be looked apon as unfairly won.

The thing I thought was really foul from the whole weekend was the actions of some other Holden drivers. Mark Skaife in the first race, and Garth Tander in the second. Both used their cars to slow Lowndes down to give Rick a chance to catch up - I think that is dirty! Both drivers were shown an unsportsmanship flag, and eventually the marshals disqualified Tander for continuing to block. If either of these drivers had been fair, maybe Lowndes would not have been in the vulnerable position in race 3. Holden have not won the championship for 3 years and wanted it bad - however to play blocker and crasher is just so wrong I feel that the champion was more taken from Lowndes, than won by Kelly.

Let's wait and see what the stewards hearing decides.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

To Cairns and Back.

Where have you been today?

Me?? I've been to Cairns. I tell you what it's a long way for a one day trip. I flew up at 9:30am and got home about 9pm.

I went to install a new computer and IP phone into the Cairns RACQ branch, a relatively easy job, which was lucky because I didn't have too much time to do it.

Ended up being a nice day, sat next to a Karate expert on the flight up, heading to Tokoyo for more training then to Pakastan to start a new Karate business there. On the way home I chatted with a couple from Minnesota who were living in Australia and just returning to Brisbane from a round the country sight seeing trip.

Had lunch on the esplanade and saw a bit of the town centre.

Here are some photos I snapped out of the plane window on the way up, I thought they were pretty cool. I love flying, just because it gives me an awesome view of God's amazing creation.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

What Superhero Are You??

Yep, I think I'm happy with who I came out as. Spidey is probably my favourite hero from that list. Now if the Phantom was there, that's who I'd really be!!!

Am glad Wonderwoman is at the bottom, a little worried about how high Supergirl is though...

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

  • You are intelligent, witty,
    a bit geeky and have great
    power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Poverty's place in God's plan.

Some thoughts from my morning Bible reading.

Luke 12:22-31 “Do Not Worry”

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
You may have noticed the MakePovertyHistory band at the top of my blog. I have been a close supporter of this cause for about 6 months, following the ‘movement’ receiving emails and consciously trying to find ways in my life where I can impact the effects of poverty on people in Australia and the rest of the world (particularly Africa). I even wear the white armband to raise awareness for the cause.

As I was reading Luke 12 this morning, I couldn’t help but think of all the poor people in the world, all the people who are devastated by famine, war, drought and poverty. I wondered where all that fits into God’s plan of ‘do not worry’?

“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
God will provide these things??? Yet there are millions dieing of starvation, dieing from exposure, where does that fit into this passage from the mouth of Jesus?? I feel these people have no choice but to worry... they are dieing from lack of food and shelter!

I’m glad I didn’t stop reading there, because the next paragraph had my answers.

Luke 12:32-34

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus is talking to us! To those who believe in him, those who have so much stuff, and DO worry about where we’re gonna get our next materialistic fix! God does not want poverty to exist in this world. However I believe it is through all of us in the West not listening to Jesus, and worrying about all that stuff which is causing the poverty in the rest of the world.

Imagine if we did not worry, but sold our ‘stuff’ and gave that money to repair Africa, South America, Asia and parts of Europe! Poverty would be History! And quite quickly too!!!

I know I fail so badly in this, even while I was living in Africa I failed! Wanting a generator for power, hot water for my showers, an Internet connection in my house, even a mobile phone!! I lived much simpler than here in Australia, yet I still hung on to certain worries which may have hindered me from reaching more people.

God has no place for poverty in his plan, it is our selfishness and sin which stops God's plan from fulling coming to fruition. It's our sin which causes poverty.

Sunday, 3 December 2006

Month in Review ~ November

That felt like a quick one! Seems only days ago I decided to do the whole 'month in review' thing.
November started off with an amazement at the talents of a 12 year old boy on the drums (here) and that really set a path for the rest of my month. I have drummed a lot in church and at WHY?, but also actually done some practice at home. I think just this month I've become a better drummer - I know my passion for it has definitely been re-ignited!

Church has displayed some challenges this month - stretching me, making me really think about what I believe and how I interact with my church, and everyone else. From prosperity, to appologetics. I've struggled with general views and people steriotypical attitudes, but through it all it's allowed me to lock in what and why I believe - and to burn away some of the chaff that had attached itself to my faith.

I spent a lot of money on my car, fixing gearbox leaks and other stuff - having my sterio repaired. It all happened about the same time my phone died and I was spending time fixing many computers for friends and family.

December brings round Christmas, looking forward to that - and then January is some much needed holidays - now all I need to do is make it that far!!!

Go Karting-Crashing-Crazy Bungy Insanity!

Last Thursday I was invited to a go karting/Christmas breakup for customers of Avaya (for those who don't know Avaya is a phone/VOIP/Call Centre software and hardware company - RACQ's phone system is pretty well completely Avaya).

I think the best aspect of the invite was I got a half day off work to travel up to the Big Kart track at Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast. We arrived and had a 20 minute warm up, and I must say I was totally unimpressed with the karts! The fact I could drive around the whole track without lifting my foot off the gas took the whole 'driving' aspect from racing, so if you're kart was faster you'd win, because there are no braking areas and cornering speeds are all the same.

However after the warm up we were told that if anyone wanted ago on the Bungy Bullet that it was available to us as well. So I took up the chance to be shot 50m into the air at 400km/h with the force of 4Gs in about 1 second! What an experience! The initial launch was fantastic, the resulting bungy bouncing up and down was a bit of fun, but became a litte sickening after about a minute - I was glad to get my feet back on the ground eventually.

We then had dinner, and headed back down to the track for heats to qualify for the Avaya Krazy Kart Chapmionship. I won my heat, I had a decent kart and got a great jump at the start of the race, so I made it into the main race. I scored a semi-decent kart for the race, but there were 3 karts much faster than mine. Lucky for me one of them driven by a good mate got caught up in an incident on the first lap so I was in third for most of the race.

It was infuriating watching the 2 guys ahead of me slowly pulling away, and seeing Ryan coming up behind me getting closer every lap. Eventually Ryan caught me, and as we were coming down the straight I knew he'd pass me and I'd miss out on getting trophy, however that lap we were given the 'one lap to go' signal and I swore I wouldn't let him pass me for that lap.

What ensued was a fierce battle with lots of bumping and scraping, until the last 2 corners where Ryan pulled along side of me, however cause he was on the outside of the track I drove into the last 2 corners pushing him really wide. Without me knowing, coming onto the main straight Ryan reached out, grabbed my kart and tried to pull me back out of the way - in doing so he locked his front wheel between my front and rear. Not able to pass me because he was locked in, he tried to move over, me seeing this pushed him right up against the tyre wall so he had no room to free himself. We then raced down the straight locked together - Ryan took out about 4 tyre stacks - and I got 3rd place by about 15cm!!! There was much laughter and good spirits between us, and the rest of the RACQ team after that one. But I'm glad I got that 3rd place trophy - it was hard fought for.

We were then given the chance to just go back out on the track and do laps - which we did non stop for over an hour! They may not have been the best karts, but we sure did get a good go on them - 3 RACQ guys, including myself got the 3 fastest karts in that session and just had a lot of fun racing each other.

There was however an incident once we tried drifting the whole track - a mate, Brian, was drifting in front of me, and he spun - without any room to get out of the way I slammed straight into the side of his kart. Because I was braking, and bracing on the wheel I hurt my ankle, and shoulder... and Brian was holding his leg, and looked in a lot of pain. As we coasted down a straight I was sure I'd broken his leg (the force had brocken the front bar off my kart) - but he kept driving, and seemed ok eventually.

Friday at work we were chatting about it and Brian had some decent bruises on his leg, he was lucky I think. Friday, Saturday and today I've been pretty sore - my lower back hurts as well, so I've been feeling a bit worse for wear, and sorry for myself.

But even so - it was a great night of fun!

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Lyrics speak

Here’s a quick post with a lot of meaning. Just thought I’d share the lyrics to two songs which have really encouraged and inspired me over the last week. I’ve felt a real burden to take stock of how I’m living in relationship to the grace God has given me. And the words to these two songs, Hillsong United’s From the Inside Out, and off the latest Newsboys album Your Love is Better than Life, just really stuck out as God speaking into my life.

Sometimes when we sing or listen to music, we don’t always take in the lyrics or the deep meaning of the lyrics, so read through these and see if God’s talking to you as well.

From The Inside Out
by Hillsong United - album: United We Stand (2006)

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

Your Love Is Better Than Life
Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Paul Colman and Steve Taylor – album Go (2006)

I dunno nothing that I haven't been taught
I dunno why I was born into the family I’ve got
I dunno if I ever had an original thought
Maybe not, maybe so, maybe later, I dunno
I dunno how I can end a prayer, then turn on a friend
I dunno what I was thinking when I just pressed SEND
I dunno why I still criticize the things I dunno
I dunno, I dunno, I dunno, but I know

Your Love is better than life
Without your love, I’m just a broken machine
Your Love is better than life
Without your love, it’s all a mindless routine
Your Love is better than life
Without your love, I’m in another free fall
Your Love is better than life
Without your love, I’ve got nothing at all.

I dunno what goes down the moment we die

Do we get halos & harps? Do we sleep? Do we fly?
I dunno how, when and why this world will finally end
Speculation’s gonna grow, who knows best, I dunno
I dunno if I should push ahead or stop and grieve
I lie awake and wonder how to make a city believe
I dunno when it’s a ministry and when it’s a show
Maybe neither, maybe both, I dunno,
but this one thing I know

Your Love is better than life
Without your love, I’m just a broken machine
Your Love is better than life
Without your love, it’s all a mindless routine
Your Love is better than life
Without your love, I’m in another free fall
Your Love is better than life
Without your love, I’ve got nothing at all.

Here’s to the lover of my soul
Here’s to the lover of my soul
I dunno when to walk away or stand and fight
Just when I’ve got it wrong, I’m sure I heard you right
And when my arguments are watertight
You expose every hole with a flash and a flood
And I know
I hear you call in the eye of the storm
And I know
You’ve had my back since the day I was born
Still stoking my heart, still stirring my head
You’re my pillar of fire You’re the wine, you’re the bread

Your Love is better than life
Without your love, I’m just a broken machine
Your Love is better than life
Without your touch I’m not a full human being
Your Love is better than life
If I should ever leave, where would I go
Your Love is better than life
I look to you ‘cause You’re the lover of my soul

I dunno nothing that I haven't been taught
I dunno why I was born into the family I’ve got
I dunno if I ever had an original thought
Maybe not, maybe so, maybe soon, maybe later, I dunno
I dunno when I’ve got it right or wrong
I dunno how I can wrap it in a four minute song
But I know
My grip is better when I’m not hanging on
Your love is making us strong (all along)
Your love is better than life

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Take My Wife

This is a bit of a follow on from my previous post - looking at how we react to, treat and view people who don't believe in Jesus, and how they view us because of that. A friend sent me this email a while ago, but I just happened to stumble across it again this morning while I was looking for something else. I was amazed at how it spoke on some of the stuff I'm thinking about at the moment... so thought I'd post it up here too.

It's an article written by John Fischer, Sernior Writer for Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotionals.

"Take My Wife?"
by John Fischer
I heard a joke the other day referring to the church as the Bride ofChrist: "I like Jesus, it's just his wife I can't stand."
We laugh along with this, but at the same time, it is painful because we know, to a certain extent, it is true. Many people use their bad impression of Christians as the main reason why they don't want to become one, and unfortunately we have given this bad impression some legitimacy. I believe if our fellowship was as it should be, we could at least eliminate one popular excuse people have for not accepting Christ.
Fellowship is not a club, or a special interest group, or a lobbying effort, or a neighborhood crime watch. Essentially, fellowship is a bunch of sinners who can't believe they got saved enjoying together the fruits of God's amazing grace. As Robert Capon has defined it, the church is "a community of astonished hearts." I can't help but think that if our fellowship were more like this, more people would want to join up.
For one thing, they would feel welcome. The emphasis would not be on the sin that keeps them out, but the forgiveness that welcomes them in.
They would feel acceptance and worth, much like a person feels at an A.A. meeting when they discover they are not alone in their struggle. And finally, they would not feel judged, which is one of the biggest reasons why people stay away from church. It makes them feel guilty being around all those good people. Well if that's the case, I don't think those "good people" are telling the whole story about themselves. Essential fellowship means telling the truth all the time.
In my experience, one of the most exasperating reasons people give for not wanting to become a Christian is the fact that they are not good enough. Think about that ? not good enough for a gospel that welcomes sinners (the worse they are, the better). Something isn't adding up here.
Jesus said the world would know we are His disciples by our love for each other, not by our being holier than everyone else. And that love is a love that takes into account the worst about us. Look at the disciples: such a ragtag group of ruffians, crooks and fishermen. And they all managed to love each other. Is this a mutual admiration society? No, it's more like a "pinch-me-this-can't-be-true" bride reveling in the love of her groom and wondering why he would ever pick her.
Isn't that the way it should be for His bride?

Monday, 27 November 2006

What is a non-Christian?

Mythbusters continues at Whitehill. This week the myth to be busted was "Christianity is all about being a good person".

Pretty easily busted I say, the whole faith by works was busted well by Craig (one of the pastors at Whitehill). However part of the service really got me thinking.

Craig grabbed a whiteboard and asked a question for a bit of a congregational brainstorming session.

The first question was "What Is A Christian" - and I must say the points that came forward were good, Craigs point was made when there was nothing about 'being good' that came up as a main point for Christianity.

Here's the list.
  • Forgiven
  • Brought Right with God - Righteous
  • Holy - Set apart for God
  • Servant
  • Community
  • Loves God
  • Citizen of the Kingdom
  • Follower of Jesus
  • Giving Thanks
  • Does stuff wrong
  • Child of God

I think that's pretty good. The recognition that we aren’t perfect, and it’s through God’s forgiveness we are made righteous and brought into his Kingdom.

However the next brainstorm question shocked me with its answers. The question was "What is a non-Christian" and I have to say I'm really dissapointed with the list of answers given here...

  • Doesn't Believe in God
  • Does Bad Stuff
  • Liers
  • Unforgiving
  • Without Hope
  • Murders People
  • Selfish
  • Uses God's Name in Vain
  • Deliberately Sins
  • Also Forgiven

In my oppinion this list plain sucks. The thing that made me a little angry, most of these answers came from the older more mature Christians in our congregation.

Why do I feel like that? Well looking at that list, I could tick off a lot of them that I myself am or have been since I gave my life to Christ, and some of the most forgiving people I know are un-believers, and I know some Christians who are quite unforgiving. I know plenty of people who believe in God, but just haven't realised exactly how that ties into the Gospel, not all non-Christians don't believe in God.

What's the difference between sinning and deliberately sinning? Even so, I know I've sinned when I knew plain and well what I was doing was wrong. Paul himself said the things he knew he should do he didn't and the stuff he knew he shouldn't do, he did.

I look at that list and can see why people these days don't want to come to church, if we have this sort of attitude to people who don't believe in Christ, then how are we going to treat them? We'll be treating them like we know they are bad, but because we are good Christians we'll put up with them so they'll know Jesus and change their ways. I think that outlook alone puts us right in the middle of that list which we wrote out as describing non-Christians.

That list in itself shows that even though we say "Christianity is all about being a good person" is a myth, we have this underlying belief that we are good because we are Christians, and everyone else is bad. We believe we are so high and mighty, even though we say we're not, there is this underlying almost 'secret' belief inside us that we are!

As long as we have that attitude how are we going to effectively share the true Gospel with people who don't know it yet?

So what do I think the answer to those brainstorming questions are? I think out of most of those things there is only one difference between a Christian and a non-Christian, we all lie, we are all selfish, we are all unforgiving at times, but there are times when we all forgive, when we all serve... the one difference is that non-Christians have not accepted the forgiveness God offers through his grace. It's through accepting the gift offered by Jesus taking our sins on the cross that we can slide from under the judgement of God, and be made right with him.

Let's all get real with ourselfs and see we are not that different from the people outside of our church walls, let's actually move outside of those walls long enough to show people we are like them, we don't think we're better than them, we have just accepted an amaing gift, salvation through Christ, and they can have it too, simple as that.

Monday, 20 November 2006

Controlling the Fear

Ok, so I have an uncontrollable fear of spiders. I don’t really know why, and I can’t tell you when it started. I know that when I was 12 I was trying on a new shirt in David Jones and was bitten by a Black Widow spider which had made a nest in the shirt.

I got pretty sick that night, but there was nothing too serious about it.

I went to a house party on Saturday night, the party was in the backyard of a house in Auchenflower. The backyard had a nice garden, and after about 10 minutes of standing talking, someone told the guy next to me to be careful of the spider. Turning I saw the web in the tree about 5 meters from my head, and this rather large ghost white spider.

I moved out of the way pretty quick, but found myself totally conscious of the spider’s presence for the rest of the night – even if I was on the other side of the yard.

Why does fear control us like that? Why does a small and quite insignificant creature which bears no threat to me still fill my mind when I should be enjoying other things?

The fact there was a spider in a tree really hampered my enjoyment of a party, do bigger fears in our lives (failure, ridicule, separation) stop us dead from achieving things God sets for us to do? How do we get over those fears, I can't even get over a fear of 8 legged creatures (yeah scorpians freak me out too).

Thursday, 16 November 2006

Another Drum Video ~ Newsboys

Check out this clip of a Newsboys concert. Maybe not the most fab drum solo, but the idea is pretty unique.

drum solo

More Videos

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Nokia Returns

I got my phone back this morning. The storeman at work was running into the city yesterday afternoon, so I asked him to call in and pick up my repaired phone. It seems it was a software issue, and with a complete format and software reload the problem has been solved. I think I'll be a little wary for a week or so, because when I did my own software fix, the phone worked for a few days before playing up again.

Monday, 13 November 2006

Nice Things are Nice yes??

We’re doing a series at church at the moment called Mythbusters. Going along the line of the TV show we are looking at some common ‘myths’ within the Church, and Christian life and either busting or proving them. Actually it seems most myths have been chosen to be busted.

I must admit I roll my eyes at some of the ‘series’ titles and stuff we come up with in our churches today, trying to look hip and cool (and relevant!!). I’d much rather just do a series on a book of the Bible and really delve into what a certain section of the Word is trying to teach us.

Anyhow… Last Sunday night’s message was great. The ‘myth’ was “Stuff = Happiness” and Ben preached very well.

Consumerism is something I’ve blogged on previously, because it is something I struggle with at times. We all say the main things in our lives are God and Family… but man, I wonder if we were really truly honest with ourselves, if we’d find that we really did long after those material things deep down.

We may act like and say we don’t want all that stuff, but really we do have a longing that we have to squash so we can give that impression. I look at a brand new Ferrari, and I’d say “I don’t need one of those to be happy”, but then I catch myself gazing at pictures on the web, or outside the local café, or driving one on my Playstation and thinking, that is an amazing car, I’d be stoked if I could have one.
Does the dreaming cause problems? Sure stuff equals happiness is a myth, which Ben busted with a great in your face, and thought provoking way. But even though I won’t ever own that Ferrari, and if I ever had the money to buy one I’d probably still find ministry things to spend it on instead, does that desire that burns inside of me to experience the thrill of owning and driving one deviate me from my walk with God, or hinder my true happiness?

Does owning a fast car, big TV, nice house, huge boat or a theme park make you happy? Does dreaming about those things stop you from seeking something else that will make you truly happy?

Sunday, 12 November 2006

OK maybe the Big Guy is teaching me something.

2 Days!!!

That's how long my phone worked for after I thought I'd heroically fixed the thing myself. Why it worked for 2 days and then started doing the same thing over and over again I don't know.

I dropped it into the Nokia repair center the other day so hopefully whatever is wrong will be fixed. Luckily I still have that spare phone.

I almost decided to delete my previous blog post, but guess it's a good lesson not to get too ahead of yourself huh!?

Gotta watch that pride...

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Thank you Nokia Support

When I won my Nokia 3250 I was pretty impressed with the functionality and the 'coolness' of the whole twisting bottom. 3 different modes, Phone, Camera and Music player. I had one major misgiving about it though... how long would it last???

Well on Sunday night, just after I turned my light out and went to bed. My room was ablaze with the glow from my phone, thinking I must have a call I picked it up to see the number 3 continuously scrolling across the screen. I tried to stop it, but couldn’t – so I turned it restarted the phone, and couldn’t enter my pin because it always seemed to be all 3’s!!! Tired I turned it off and went to sleep.

The next day I left the phone off until I got to work, and when it started it was fine. However after 2 hours it started doing the same thing, and when the 3’s finally stopped scrolling, the keypad didn’t work anymore anyway. Frustrated I contacted Nokia to see how I could get the keypad fixed. I was told I’d need to take it too the Nokia Care centre in Brisbane and leave it there for the repair. Luckily I was able to grab an old dodgy Nokia 6110 from work to use and planned to take the phone in.

One thing bugged me – there was no visible problem with the keypad, and the continuing scrolling and the fact it worked once it had been off for a while; it didn’t seem to look hardware related. I did a bit of research myself and found the Nokia Software Updater. This little program finds any firmware (device drivers and hardware configuration files for electronic devices) updates and automatically installs them onto your device. So I downloaded the 3250 Updater and connected up my broken phone.

30 minutes later I had 60MBs of updates installed on the phone, the memory ‘flashed’ and A WORKING KEYPAD!!!

I contacted Nokia again today to inform the firmware upgrade had solved the issue, and was duly informed that there were no software problems with keypads and I still needed to send the phone to Nokia because I had not fixed it.

I think they may have missed the “Network Administrator” title in my email signature because I think only a technologically illiterate hack would have believed that if something was not working and now was, that it still wasn’t fixed.

So thanks for your help Nokia, maybe once you see a couple more software related keypad problems you will believe me.

Monday, 6 November 2006

Times of Gomorrah

Was reading the old book the other day and came across the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. They were two depraved cities, living in huge amounts, in fact they were celebrating and openly partaking in everything that was against the law of God.

God had had enough and decided it was better to blow the two cities away than let them continue to infect the world with their depravity. He found one righteous man, Lot, so told him to get out of the city before the flaming balls came from heaven to obliterate everything.

And I guess most of us know the pillar of salt story, always made me wonder ‘why a pillar of salt?’ Why not a toad? Or a snake? Or a tumble weed?

Anyway at Indy a few weeks ago, I blogged about how I’d felt witness to the depravity and self centeredness of this generation. I also mentioned something Pastor Garry Coleman mentioned at the Indy Festival Chapel Service… “You look around Surfer’s Paradise and think that if things don’t change God is going to have to resurrect Sodom and Gomorrah and apologise.”

Man you look at all the stuff going on in those two cities in the Old Testament, and I can pretty well guarantee most of that stuff was happening over the Indy weekend, and happens on a weekly basis all over the world. Our world has sunk into that depravity and sin-nature to levels I don’t think would have been seen in the Old Testament.

Yet there are no fireballs from heaven, and Christians fleeing cities with some turning into pillars of salt.

The key, I feel, is the new covenant of grace which God signed with the death of his Son. Since Jesus took up a cross and died, God’s law is justified only after grace is applied. For believers when they come home to their father, grace covers the law and God sees only the Son. Yet people who grieve the Holy Spirit and don’t accept that grace which Jesus gives, the law must be repaid, just as in the time of Sodom.

Out of God’s love for us, he’s provided that amazing way out…. that through accepting the Son, all of our sins, all of our depravity and all of our evilness is then placed on Jesus, in fact Jesus willingly takes all of that junk and puts it to the punishment he’s paid already. God then looks at us and sees no sin, only another Jesus standing in front of him.

The simple truths of that fact totally astonishes me.

But imagine how much it must be hurting God to see Surfer’s Paradise, and Las Vegas, and so many other cities of the world just revelling in sin!!! God must feel that same hurt he felt when he decided to nuke Sodom and Gomorrah, yet out of such great love he still sent his Son, knowing that in 2000 years time we’d be hurting him just as much.

God is good! I pray as Christians we can share him with all those in the world who currently don’t know him.

Thursday, 2 November 2006

Tony Royster Jr - The Man

Ok so after my absolute amazement at the 12 year old drumming FREAK! I decided to do some more research into the kid.

Tony is now 21, making that YouTube video below 9 years old! He started playing drums when he was 3, and is now considered one of the best drummers in the world.

Tony Royster Jr. was voted #1 Up and Coming Drummer by Modern Drummer magazine 2000 readers' poll and has been voted #2 in the UK 2001 readers' poll. He has appeared on the cover of the millennium issue of Modern Drummer magazine with Dennis Chambers and continues to receive high marks that earn him endorsements with companies such as DW Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Evans drumheads, LP percussion, Drumframe, Shure microphones, Warner Bros. Publications, HQ percussion products, Drumometer, and Specialty Cases.
I've been playing drums for 10 years, yet I've never really been so passionate about it that I've watched or even looked into some of the worlds greatest drummers. However Tony has a new DVD out which I'm thinking of buying online, my interest has been triggered, mainly just by how much I learnt from watching his solo at 12!

Though this is the last little blurb of his autobiography, I like it when people use there gifts to have a positive influence on society...

Most importantly, Tony is a positive role model for all kids. His motto is "Be cool, stay in school" and he sets the standard for personal achievement among his peers.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

No flippin' WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait for this to buffer and watch it. Just do it!!! This kid is 12 years old and is totally unbelievable.

I feel I'm a good drummer, but I am absolutly nothing compared to this kid.

I've watched it about a dozen times now.

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Month in Review - October

Ok trying something new.

I think it's good to reflect on 'life stuff' that's been going on, so thought I'd start doing a post at the end of each month which looks back on some blogging stuff, and personal life stuff.

October dissapeared pretty quick, it's the best month of the year for motorsport, with both Bathurst and Indy, as well as a couple of the big Drag meets. Dad's role as a chaplain intensified at Indy, and I ended up being a spectator. However the motorsports chaplaincy team Australia wide has been drawn pretty close with all the results of Peter Brocks death and the terrible accidents at Bathurst. Throw into that a marshal who had a heart attack at the track at Bathurst, and a cleaner at Indy, and the chaplaincy team has been pretty busy. I've been a bit removed from the hands on work, but delt with a couple of guys at Willowbank who were effected and been kept abreast with everything else through CAMs reports and emails from SCA.

Blog wise - Bathurst and Mutto from Aussie Idol/Soulframe has taken up the majority of my posting.

My family's been going through a change of sorts. My sister was married back in June, but they've been house hunting so they can move out of their 1 bedroom apartment and my brother moved out 3 weeks ago - leaving me all alone at home with just the parents for company (the fact I'm the oldest is a touch depressing). So Sunday lunch now includes Brett, Vanessa and her husband Andy 'coming home' for a family get together.

So thats been my October.

Money stuff.

We had our church annual budget meeting last week. Money is always such a touchy topic when it comes to the church. I get this feeling we spend so much more than we need to, but then I think with the number of people in our church so much should be being given that we can comfortably spend that amount and give even more away.

Consumerism is a pet hate of mine at the moment, especially because I feel so caught up in it. Tithing is part of me trying to break away from my consumerist nature. I always struggled with my weekly offerings, never understanding the necessity of it, or really having a desire to give my money away. Earlier this year we did a night on offering and tithing at youth group, and I decided that I needed to give God a change to teach me through tithing. I looked at my pay check and figured out my 10% before tax and committed to give that each week. To make things easier I decided to just double it and put my offering in each pay week (every 2 weeks).

Through a simple act of giving my money to the church God has taught me so much. I haven’t noticed my bank account missing that amount each fortnight, and I’ve felt that even though I may spend to much money on a pair of sunglasses, if I’m still sticking with my basic tithe I can use it as a basis to combat my compulsive consumerism. This year, as well due to giving my tithe, I’ve also felt more willing to give extra offerings to special needs. Figuring out that first 10% is definitely not mine, I’ve also realised the other 90% is still for Gods use, be that in buying clothes to dress me, fuelling my car, or giving a donation to help a new born baby in Africa have life saving surgery – it’s all God’s use, because I am God’s!!!

It’s because of all this that I felt pretty angry leaving that budget meeting last Sunday. I don’t want to get in trouble, but I felt really let down by the congregation of my church. In a church of about 400 members we only just got 55 to the meeting. The budget for 2006/07 needs each individual to give small amount a week in their offerings, yet we are not meeting that now! I feel people don’t want to own the things we are doing at church, and that I know I’m giving much more than that budget meeting amount which means there are people out there giving nothing at all.

How is it that people come to the church every week, sit and listen to the music, have a coffee afterwards and stand around and chat yet have no inclination to be involved in the work God calls all of us to? We do so much at Whitehill, yet it’s mainly the same people doing it all. Is it those same people that are giving the money as well out of their obedience to God? I think in the very list if you’re not involved in the actual work of the church you can support it by giving your tithe. I feel ripped off if the people doing the hard work are also the only ones paying for it.

I guess that is harsh, but I feel justified in the fact that it is a Biblical command, and while I’m following that command the church body is suffering because people aren’t.

The question is. Is the church providing an easy out for people by meeting their consumerist needs, giving them the ability to do nothing but sit in a service and feel they meet everything they need to be a proper Christian? Can the Western church change to a more community, servant based style which gives the ownership of work to all members somehow, which in turn encourages them to give their tithe to support the work?

I have no answers, only questions and confusion. So I don’t know if it’s right to post this up or not, but I’d love to hear some peoples ideas and experiences on this topic. Money is not the be all and end all of the church, and sometimes I shudder at how much we spend on certain things, yet I get this feeling this church should have so much money because of the people giving, yet it just doesn’t.

Saturday, 28 October 2006

The MP3 Player Quiz

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question.
4. Marvel at how the answer in no way makes sense to the question
5. Realise that you wasted another 5 minutes of your life.

What does next year have in store for you?
"Carried Away" (SonicFlood) - ok looking forward to that

What's my love life like?
"I Dream" (Paul Colman Trio) - hahaha so so so SO true!!!!!

What do I say when life gets hard?
"Pessimism" (Soulframe) - alright then... I guess so.

What do I think when I get up in the morning?
"Take it or Leave it" (Jet) - again, quite apt i think!

What song will I dance to at my wedding?
"Thank You Lord" (Watoto Childrens Choir) - now I think of it, not a bad choice if i say so myself!

What do you want as a career?
"Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord" (Michael W Smith) - Bring it on God!!!! Open my eyes and show me!

Your favourite saying?
"Fan" (KJ52) - Um....

Your pet's name?
"Saved" (Third Day) - Here Saved, come here boy, good Saved... yeh alright then.

Favourite place?
"California Girls" (Beach Boys) - I kid you not that really came up... how funny!!!!!!!

Describe your sexlife:
"Mr Religion" (Paul Colman) - Yep i really like that!!!

What do you think of your parents?
"Walk on Water" (Audio Adrenaline) - they are Christ-like???? I dunno....

What's your Pornstar name?
"I adore" (Hillsong) - I really don't know what to say...

Where would you go on a first date?
"Nightminds" (Missy Higgins) - Um..............................

Drug of choice?
"God" (Rebecca St James) - Wow that is SO good!!!!

Describe yourself:
"Mary" (Soulframe) - Who is this so called Mary, I wish to meet her!

What is the thing I like doing most?
"Cannibalism" (The Lads) - ok i am rolling on the floor now... that is so damn funny!!!

What song best describes my school principal?
"I Love My Lips" (Veggie Rocks) - hahahahahahahahahahahaha

What is my state of mind like at the moment?
"Nature Boy" (Scat) - ok then... stripping off for a nude run around the neighbourhood then... ahhhh right!

How will I die?
"American Pie" (Don McLean) - oooh freaky... a song about a dude who died in a plane crash... that is so weird!!!

oh this one was lots of fun

Friday, 27 October 2006

For the non people.

Had some people say that they can't leave comments because they are not signed up with blogger.

Haha so not true - click on the comments for a post, and there are three radio buttons just under where you enter the text. You can choose blogger member, and use your sign in - choose other, and enter your own name - or choose anonymous and just sign you name at the end of something.

So no more excuses hey!!!

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Soulframe - new single

Soulframes new single Beautiful is being released on the 20th November. Listen to it at and request it on your local radio stations!

Gold Coast Indy - Power On...

Power On was the slogan for the 2006 Indy carnival, and for most of the weekend it was an apt acknowledgement of the performance of young Aussie driver Will Power. Power did an amazing job being the quickest driver all weekend in his Team Australia champ car.

With Power qualifying first it really had the crowd going on Sunday for the main race. Craig Gore promised to buy the whole of the Gold Coast a drink if one of his team cars won the race, and he started giving out Team Australia merchandise to the crowd to create a sea of green and gold on race day.

I had a great weekend, Dad was officially the “Champ Car Chaplain” for the weekend since Hunter from the USA wasn’t able to make it. Garry Coleman was there as V8 Chaplain as usual, and I didn’t have an official position at all. I did however score a free 4 day pass and was able to do the whole race fan thing and just walk the track as a spectator all weekend! Lucky I got 2 passes, so I could invite my good mate Ben Zambra to come and enjoy the racing with me.

There are so many aspects to the Indy Carnival – good and bad. A topic that was discussed by Ben and I, and was mentioned in the chapel service on Sunday was the party attitude, and total disregard for common morals by most people over the weekend. Walking the back parts of the track amongst the high rise buildings it was a pretty volatile environment. Women were harassed, some willing it on themselves, there was drunkenness everywhere and I’m sure other substance abuse going on as well. There was just a general disregard for any humanity and a complete self centred attitude.

It really opened my eyes as to what people can get up to. Garry Coleman mentioned in his talk at the chapel service that he sometimes wondered “if things around Surfer Paradise don’t change God is going to have to resurrect Sodom and Gomorrah just to apologise.” Mutto and Soulframe performed and their song Beautiful was a great witness amongst the Indy crowds!

But once we found our way into the purest racing crowds on the front straight and hairpin, it was a great spectator event, with good racing and some heartbreaking moments. Craig Lowndes’ penalties and the dominance of Holden in the V8’s was a downer… and when Sebastien Bourdais had a brain freeze and clipped Will Powers wheel in a stupid overtaking attempt the whole crowd went silent (and I swear the temperature dropped about 5 degrees!!!). Once Power’s day was done, Mr Bourdais was not very popular, and copped lap after lap of jeers from the crowd on the hill.

With all the disappointment of a fairy tale Aussie win being flushed, it still turned out a great weekend. Team Australia’s second car ended up in 3rd place, I bought a new hat and t-shirt (a Jeldwen Stone Brother’s Racing hat and Dick Johnson Racing shirt) and I had a great time just hanging with Ben and other random people we ran into over the weekend.

(All photos on flickr.)

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Am I selling out!?

Recently I've noticed the boom over on MySpace. When talking blogging with friends I've realised most of them are on MySpace, some blogging, but most just networking and commenting on friends 'profiles'. So after much persuasion I decided to give it ago, and created my own MySpace profile. I added a couple of friends, and within a week I had heaps of people whom I never knew were MySpace nerds sending me friend requests.

It really is a powerful site for linking communities and finding old friends. For a while I was not wanting to join this 'new cool' trend, not wanting to sell out to the MySpace phenomenon, but have now decided that my profile is just a presence for me, I'll continue blogging here, because I like this set up better. My MySpace is an ad for my blog I guess. I've noticed since I've created my profile, the hits per day on this blog have doubled.

So if you want to check it out, or maybe link to some common friends (or even add me as your friend) head to

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Queensland Bloggers...

Ok, so I got into blogging through a Youth Ministry tour I did in September 05. Scott Vawser and Craig Underwood (from WA) were talking up the blogosphere and I thought I’d jump on for a ride.

Now I’m hooked, but the majority of blogs I read are from West Australia. I know a whole heap about churches in WA and some of the emergent movements happening there. I love reading them mind you, but I’m wondering if there are any good Christian Blogs out there written by Queenslanders like myself?

So if you know any, let me in on them too!

Saturday, 14 October 2006


Here's a video of a good friend of mine's band, Scat. They're getting pretty big here in Qld now, and are well respected throughout Aus and the US. I found this video posted on YouTube so thought I'd share it with you.

So if you have a spare 7 minutes, and like a bit of good quality jazz, then have a gander. The Video is at the Australian Gospel Music Festival, Chris my mate is on keys (make sure you watch all the vid cause his keys at the end are awesome!!). If you're wondering how they got their suites so white, easy, they painted them with House Paint... nice effect.

Monday, 9 October 2006

The Chaplaincy side to Bathurst.

In a day of great tribulation, amazing intensity, will power and edge of the seat action there was also a reflective and heart breaking side of Bathurst Race-day.

The day started with a moving tribute to Peter Brock. 8 of the 9 Bathurst winning cars (10 actually if you count the 24 hour Bathurst race Brocky won in 2003) ran a lap of honour, driven by Peter’s past co-drivers (including Jim Richards, Larry Perkins, Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy) and his son and brother. After the lap the cars were parked on the pit straight with the drivers and Brocks family standing by the cars. V8 Chaplain Garry Coleman read a tribute to Brock, which also encouraged us all as Australians to live with an attitude of service to others, something Peter did during his life. Garry then lead a moment of silence in remembrance for great Australian Motorsports Icon and closed in prayer.

I felt a chill as Garry prayed, he asked for comfort for Brocks family, safe and fast racing for the day ahead, protection and diligence for track officials and healing and comfort for the two drivers hurt in the Friday Development V8 race and their family. He asked all of this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ.

I felt the chill as I realised that over a million people had just witnessed a powerful prayer backed with the name of Jesus. There is certainly power in that name, and I felt in awe as I heard it called upon on live TV. Sports chaplains have an impact on the field they work in, but in this case Garry was able to minister and speak to the whole of Australia, a great responsibility.

It set a sombre mood for the following race, and Craig Lowndes himself said that he wasn’t sure if his mind was totally on the race, because of the emotion of paying his respects to his mentor.

Obviously he did alright winning the race.

However that made for very emotional scenes on the winners podium, with Lowndes being presented with the Peter Brock trophy. I don’t think there was a more fitting outcome for its inaugural winner. Lowndes may drive a Ford, but he was the Brock protégée, and some people do remember Brock drove a Ford Sierra for a little while himself.

There was a dampener on the whole day as well when it was announced Mark Porter had passed away from his injuries caused in the Friday accident. Mark was living on the Gold Coast as part of a Qld V8 Supercar team, so I am unsure whether or not Dad and I will now get involved in the counselling that will need to be provided for team members and family.

Also Paul Radisich had a terrible accident and spent the night in hospital with abdominal pains. He to is a Qld based driver so we will need to talk to Garry Coleman and see if any chaplaincy counselling needs to be followed up with that team as well. As well as other V8 teams who had quite large accidents (eg: Steven Johnson from DJR).

At the very least we will meet them at the Indy event in 2 weeks to see how everyone is feeling, so keep them and us in your prayers during this tough period in Australian Motorsport.

P.S – I am a visually challenged person, so I felt an impact by placing some images in this post… The first of Peter Brock's winning XU1 Torana with Craig Lowndes and Bev Brock, next - Lowndes' emotion when winning the Peter Brock Trophy, next - Mark Porter's Holden V8 Supercar, and Mark Porter's profile shot from

Sunday, 8 October 2006

5:30 Race Day - Fords Win!

5:15: What a day, what a mind blowing ending! 0.5 of a second between first and second place, and Craig Lowndes does it! FORD WINS BATHURST!!

So the only day of the year where I spend the whole day in front of the TV has paid off this year, enjoying a race of stops and starts, big accidents and one of the closest finishes in Bathurst history.

This year brought a new element to my viewing experience too, figuring out and logging into the V8 Supercars Live server on Bigpond so I had live telemetry, lap times and videos on the laptop as well as the TV coverage.

Though all this does is make me want to be there in person again next year!

11:30 Race Day

9:20: Fantastic work by V8 Supercar Chaplain Garry Coleman, with a heart felt and compelling testimony to Peter Brock. Adding to the tribute 8 of Brock's 9 Bathurst Winning Cars did a slow lap of honour driven by some of Australia's touring car greats.

10:00: Race Start - gooooooooooooooooooo FORDS!!

10:00:30: Mark Skaife is out of the race. First lap, first straight! The Holden died, clutch slipping, and he was drilled from behind and axed the wall! 30 seconds of Bathurst for HRT, great start to the race.

11:30: Lots of stuff going on. Second HRT car is out, Bright in the FPR car is out, Lowndes is cruising and looking good... and best news, young Courtney in the SBR Genweld car #4 is moving through the field like a rocket. His co-driver is Glen Seaton, and it would be awesome to see him win the race.

Friday, 6 October 2006

Deano's Fav Weekend of the Year

Bathurst 2006 is going to be the biggest ever, and with such a huge push for Ford to win this year, I'm ready for a charged weekend in front of the TV.

This year brings a whole new dynamic to my viewing. Actually being at the event in 05 means this year I've had personal experiences with what I'm seeing on TV.

Make sure you check out Sunday morning from 9:20, V8 Supercar Chaplain Garry Coleman will be doing a small rememberance service for Peter Brock, before opening the race with a prayer. Watch and support the work of the SCA Motorosports Chaplains.

I'm set with my new Bigpond account details to use my laptop to view all the live telemetry and video from
V8 Supercars Live

Bring it on - GO FORD!

Mutto drawn to Spotlight,23663,20517525-5000660,00.html
Another article on about our mate Mutto.

The Gold Coast-based bald rocker said he was enjoying his new-found stardom.

"I think fame is a privilege and it's a great opportunity to have a voice ... I think people with celebrity status should use it for good,'' he said.

"Unfortunately or fortunately the western world is a pop culture and kids are listening to those who get famous, for whatever reason they get famous for, and if celebrities can see that I think they can influence them (kids) for good.''

While the English-born youth worker and school teacher had guided many struggling teens, he said little prepared him for the stress that came with the Idol journey....

...Mutton's musical strengths were realised while supporting a friend who didn't want to sing solo at church.

His good deed got him noticed and local band, Soulframe, offered him the role as vocalist in the act.

It has been six years since he joined the band which is now a well-known rock outfit on the local Gold Coast scene.

Most reviews I've read this week have said what a great performer Mutto is, and why he was voted off Idol now is a mystery. He's also given Australia a small look at the service side of Christianity, the unselfish willingness to help Australia's youth.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Confessions of the Confused

Hmmm had an interesting conversation with a friend last night, which opened a floodgate of feeling and emotion I’ve been mulling over for a while….

What is it that we really want? I’ve been thinking so much lately about what I want out of life. All I really know is that where I am at the moment is somewhere I’m not content with, I want to do more, be more, have more, but I just can’t figure out exactly what that is, or how to obtain it.

I’m not talking material stuff, I don’t want more stuff – I want more LIFE, more SERVICE, more opportunity to share my FAITH. I totally respect people’s call to the ‘mission field in their workplace’ but I’m suffocating trying to pull that off. I feel a more permanent occupational call to ministry, to make it my soul calling, build my skills in ministry and make my living from serving the body of Christ.

Interweaved with that is a desire to build meaningful relationships, eventually start a family, feel connected and comfortable with a group of friends and family and find fulfilment with the relational aspects of my life. These past few months I’ve come to feel very lonely, my social life is almost non-existent and I just get this feeling that the friendships I hold so dear are slowly whittling away. Why I don’t know, but as people’s lives move on I feel stuck in this rut that is causing me to be left behind.

But my main struggle is this… does my loneliness matter? Does my desire to do more come from a servant-like attitude to Christ, or my own need for personal fulfilment? I know God says in his Word that he wants to give us the desires of our hearts, and that his plan is to prosper us and keep us from all harm. But Jesus says that service of him doesn’t come easy, he says that people will hate us because of him, but if we come to him he will give us rest.

I know that as I serve God my desires become his desires, I just want to know if I’m being selfish wanting this stuff in my life at this time.

I guess this verse comforts me and keeps me going through my struggles

Hebrews 10:23,24
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

I’ll just concentrate on the love and good deeds and everything else is a bonus.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Millions all from a Garage,23636,20516443-31037,00.html

GOOGLE has bought the Silicon Valley garage where the internet search colossus was born, the company said overnight. The garage came with a house, yard and outdoor hot tub where Google's famed founders Larry Page and Serge Brin were known to soak as the company took shape in late 1998.

Google did not disclose how much it paid for the property just a few kilometres from the
company's campus in Mountain View, California.

"We were pleased to have the opportunity to purchase the place where Larry and Serge did early work," Google spokesman Jon Murchinson said. "We bought it to preserve it as part of
our legacy.".....

It's amazing how so many of todays HUGE Technology Companies began their life in a local Silicon Valley garage. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google... the list goes on.

The article also mentions that the lady who rented Larry and Serg the garage is now a Google Vice President. I'm sure a decent pay packet comes with that position.

So any budding I.T geeks want to rent out my garage???

Monday, 2 October 2006


Just saw this on the idol website. Nice testimony, and free plug for Soulframe!

Luckily, Jessica gets a reprieve and her fans breathe a huge sigh of relief. But that means either Mutto or Lisa will be leaving tonight. “After months of sacrifice and dedication to the show,” James Mathison announces, “it ends tonight for you Mutto.”

It’s been a remarkable journey for the inspirational role model and charismatic rocker but his band, Soulframe, will be happy to have their front man back in action. Expect to see plenty of Mutto on the live circuit and make sure you get off your butts and go to a Soulframe gig. Mutto treats us to an encore of Dream On and the audience farewells the enigmatic performer with a
standing ovation. Rock on Mutto!


Mutto out of Oz Idol

Yeah it's sad to see Mutto go from Australian Idol - but you know what... I think he did an amazing job of living Christ on that show, he didn't preach, he didn't press his faith all over TV. What he did was live a Christ-like life, and people noticed.

All the judges had nothing but nice things to say about his as a person, and the final idols still in the comp were pretty saddened to see him go. He had an amazing effect on them as people, and to see him standing in the final 3 with the 2 youngest girls, you could see he was still encourgaing and holding them up.

Good stuff mate, you did a real good job. And DUDE you got to sing at the AFL Grandfinal!!! Awesome!

Recharge ~ Radical Discipleship!

Tim Mander, former NRL Referee and all round top bloke. I think the sporting connection really helped me as a male to get sucked into his message. I also enjoyed the fact that he spoke straight from the Bible. He straight up opened the Bible and dove into what it had to say on discipleship.

And he started in the Old Testiment.

Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his
ways and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good
land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys
and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates,
olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack
nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise
the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do
not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his
decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are
satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds
and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is
multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD
your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led
you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with
its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He
gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to
humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may
say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this
wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you
the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to
your forefathers, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget
the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I
testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations
the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD
your God. (Deut 8:6-20)

His main points were as follows.

  • Don’t Forgetverse 11 and 18 – It was easy for the Israelites to remember God in the desert, He was always present, they will they remember God once they are comfortable and rich?
  • A Proud Heartverse 14 and 17 – Who needs God when we can look after ourselves? To prove we think this I think (and Tim mentioned) you only need to look at the 3rd World Church, they have such an unashamed dependence on God, because they have no one other than God to depend on. Here in Australia we are so comfortable we feel we can get along on our own… in a way we can, but it just doesn’t compare to living the life of a disciple.

    Verse 18 – if we’re rich, if we’ve got a lot, and we are comfortable, verse 18 reminds us where it all came from.
  • Our Spiritual Demiseverse 19 – Look at the parable of the Sower… some seeds fall on rocky ground, some amongst the weeds. Whatever the story some people fall under the curse of spiritual demise, we all have at one point, the only difference with some of us is that we’ve let Jesus pull us out of it.
  • An Attitude of Gratitudeverse 10 – this is where Tim turned it around. In a world where everything comes across as negative us as Christians need to have such gratitude that we are set apart from the rest.

Why should we be so grateful?

John 18:2-7 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked
them, "Who is it you want?"
5"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
"I am he," Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When
Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.
7Again he asked them, "Who is it you want?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."
What’s this got to do with it? Look at what happened when Jesus said ‘I am he”. For a brief moment those soldiers experienced the fully glory of God. It was so powerful they fell to the ground

Simple fact – God is Holy! Look at David’s servant and the Ark (2 Sam 6:1-7) and Ananias and Sapphia (Acts 5:1-11)

God calls us to be holy, because He is holy. And it’s through realizing this holiness that we get that amazing outstanding different Attitude of Gratitude. And from that attitude we become the believers and disciples that Jesus called us to be.

Um hoping you got through all that – it’s long. But 3 sermons cut down a lot. So hope it’s not too wishy washy.

Friday, 29 September 2006

Jeremy Clarkson on Inquiries into Top Gear Safety

Off the Recharge topic for the minute, have a look at this. Here's a part of an article written by Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear presenter, on the back lash from Richard Hammond's Jet Car accident last week. Shows some good points on the liability silliness we've come to experience these days.

It therefore seems likely that soon, in a matter of weeks maybe, the Hamster will be back on his feet and ready to start work. The question is: will he have a show to go back to?

As I write, swarms of bureaucratic bluebottles are nibbling away at the crash site on a York airfield, desperately trying to find some reason why Top Gear should be banished from the screens.

Well, contrary to reports that he was put there by ratings-hungry producers, it was his idea. He wanted to know what it would be like to go really fast. And I know exactly why.

If he’d been interested in flowers and vegetables since a young age, he might very well now be standing in a pair of wellingtons on Gardeners’ World, talking about compost. But he isn’t interested in compost - he’s interested in speed.

Some people are born with a physical need to take risks. Steve Irwin was one. Christopher Columbus was another. And Ellen MacArthur is a classic case in point too. Telling her to stop sailing round the world is as daft as telling a black person to be white, or a blind person to look where they’re going.

But of course, we have a whole industry nowadays designed to do just that. To ensure that nobody ever falls over, that nobody ever hurts themselves, that nobody ever dies. And that if someone does, then the system must have failed and a head must roll…

How can this be a problem for anyone other than Mrs Hammond and their children? Because he crashed and tied up the emergency services? Oh come on. Are we to tell DIY enthusiasts who fall off a stepladder that no ambulance will be forthcoming because they should have called in a
professional plumber? Perhaps you might argue that Hammond is setting a bad example and that kids might try to copy him. What? In their jet cars? On their airfields?

In the last series, while attempting to build an entire car from scratch in one day, the nearly completed project fell from its stands onto the floor.

“Who’s fault was that?” I barked.
“Oh for God’s sake, how’s that going to help?” said Hammond.

He’s right. How can blaming someone help? We just need to make sure the little guy keeps getting better and that when he does, he can get back in a car, get back into Top Gear, and go 316mph.

Get well soon, Hammond. We all miss you greatly.

I'm with you Hamster, strive for speed, strive for adventure. It's the people who don't understand those feeling who are now looking to try and can your show!

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Recharge ~ Elective... McChurch

Last elective, seems like this blog is going to be overflowing with Recharge charged material. This is actually providing a really good release for all the stuff I’ve been thinking about from the weekend.

McChurch – ahhh it was the name of the elective that drew me in. After going to Bel’s first elective I’d decided to skip this one, in fact I was going to skip the 4th elective session all together, and just hang out with some mates who I only get to see a couple of times a year. In the end though I was walking with Jono and he had decided to go to McChurch. (Sidenote: My friend who broke his neck, suppose to never walk again, has been out of hospital a week and came up to Recharge for the whole weekend. It was great to see him getting around almost normally. Still so much healing to happen though. I was able to spend a lot of time with Jono and I enjoyed every moment of it – end Sidenote)

So in the process of just walking with a mate I ended up at the elective anyway.

Should all Christians operate & look the same? Is it possible to have a church that offers a real experience that suits the community, or must every service be pre-packaged? Is Christianity just a franchise – like Maccas, convenient & easy, rather than healthy? Discuss how “McChurch” might actually be keeping people OUT of the Kingdom of God, in contrast to the lengths Jesus was willing to go to in order to get them IN!

Great topic, so much potential for great discussion on how the Church really is meant to function, and how we do things wrong in the West; however I really felt the way the elective was done it failed to deliver.

Again a good story, a travel story about trying to find a lookout in Indonesia, in the pitch dark, to watch an amazing sunrise. Not having a clue where they were going there was much pain, fear and eventually help from a local man and his horse. Eventually they found their way to this lookout just as the sun came up. As they got to the lookout she sees a tour group arrive, driven by bus and shuffled out to the lookout to witness the sunrise.

How pre-packaged and boring is the tour group idea! I know I would have preferred to be in Bel’s shoes and even though it wasn’t the easiest way to find the lookout, she got to experience so much more, and interact with the local community.

Is that what the church has become? A pre-packaged deal where people know what they are going to get, they can turn up sit for an hour then leave. Or in most cases, know what the package is so not bother turning up at all.

Does that church then pre-package itself and go off on a mission field, and expect people of a totally different culture to accept the Gospel on the pre-packaged terms. Do they even think that your standard Aussie will be drawn in by the McChurch? (Sidenote again: That’s almost a mute point, what is a ‘standard’ Australian! So much multi-cultureism there’s about as much cultural differences in different parts of Sydney than there is going to Africa! – end sidenote).

That’s about where the elective ended it’s prepared speech – after that there were more promos for Global Interaction with a DVD about work going on in Kazakhstan. I found their DVD very ‘Getaway’ and not really showing what the organisation were doing in the country.

The open discussion at the end started churning up some good stuff. We outlined that there was a pre-packaged church, and that wasn’t totally Biblical. She mentioned we need to find a different way of doing things so we meet people where they are already at (the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman), but she didn’t really give any ideas on how to do that. And also how the McChurch can involve itself in getting into the communities around it.

My personal beliefs are that McChurch needs to change… is Whitehill a McChurch?? I think it’s been trying to break away from the pre-packaged stuff, but there’s more to do. However larger developed churches need not sell their land and become emergent, there is still a place for the traditional church, but it needs to be community service based. It’s another personal thing, but I hate programs, rosters and planning meetings, I think they develop this pre-packaged McChurchiness which I find so bland.

Anyway back to the elective discussions. A friend of mine (who just happens to be the director of WEC Australia) opened the discussion about asking what role the McChurch had in this scheme of things. He was playing a little ‘devils advocate’ sounding like a pro-McChurcher and there were a couple of ‘emergents’ in the crowd and they bit.

There was much discussion about how the church should be relationship based, how it should be community centred and that they need to be visible. But through all of it no one mentioned how the large established churches could continue to be involved in Gods work.

I love the emergent church idea, but I find it hard to accept when they are so condescending of the established church. The people in this elective that bit to my mates comment were very anti established and pro emergent.

I missed the part where my friend answered his own question (we left when the time came for the main meeting to start), but someone told me later that he explained how WEC works with its church planting.

Working with the established church to grab support to go into a unreached community. The people who feel the call move in, live with, establish relationships and join the community they want to reach, all the time with the support of established churches in the area. This allows for shared resources, a sending base as more people become in tune with the new outreach and a fellowship with the greater body of Christ. I’ve personally seen this at work in The Gambia, as the Evangelical Church of the Gambia (ECG) works with WEC to plant churches in different villages. WEC missionaries live in the communities, but it is also through ECG that the church is established.

I don’t think that people in that elective realised that the director of WEC ( a church planting organisation) was amongst them. He never said exactly who he was, and never mentioned WEC (which is pretty humble I think), but he did explain a good Biblical plan for planting churches in new communities, being culturally sensitive, meeting needs and spreading the Gospel.
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