Monday, 29 January 2007

Good Reading...

On my recent holiday I had the chance to sit down and do some serious reading.

I got into some good Christian living books, and a couple of novels, but my favourite read for the 2 weeks was a bit of a surprise packet my Mum gave me for Christmas.

We all watched the Beaconsfield Mine story evolve on our TVs from ANZAC Day 2006. However, there was so much stuff the news crews missed, and for good reason!

Now Tony Wright (who was reporting for a newspaper in Beaconsfield) has published this book BADGROUND Inside the Beaconsfield Mine Rescue where everyone involved in the who drama has told their story.

I thought this book would be just like all the other true story books which you find around the place, either following the story of one person involved, or just putting all the facts and incidents down on paper. Badground however reads like a good drama/thriller novel, if you weren't around to see the stories of Brant Webb and Todd Russell unfold you'd think this was a work of fiction.

Tony Wright is a gifted writer, and all the little facts that make this story so special are woven into a beautifully scripted storyline, I suspect it will be a movie one day!

The book gives insights the media never picked up on during the events at the mine, like how family reacted and emotions felt during the search and then the rescue. What Brant and Todd thought about, and delt with before they were found, and how the rescue attempt effected mine workers emotionally, things that would have become huge speculations if the media had of found out about them come through a simple human responses to the high emotions experienced during such a traumatic event. It also shows that Russell and Webb had it so much tougher than I ever realised, I knew it was bad, but as stories of their conditions flow throughout the book it really leaves you wondering how those two men survived in that cage down that mine for so long! It also gives an insight into the environment the rescue workers had to deal with, unbelievable.

Every man down that mine including Webb and Russell are true Aussie heros. In years to come I think this will become a required reading project for school students, it's just a fantastic story of courage, and fair dinkum Aussie will power.

Monday, 22 January 2007

I learnt something last night.

Last night Whitehill had a dvd service which I wasn't too keen about so took the opportunity to go and visit my friends over at City North Baptist in Kedron.

I always enjoy visiting City North, not only are heaps of my WEC co-horts there, but the services always feel so fresh and communicative (maybe it's cause I'm just visiting??). I always get an awesome sense of God's presence there, and enjoy their humbling and honest praise times, and good Biblical Message from the two pastors.

Last night was no different, but half way through the service, when Pastor Stewart was giving a small communion talk I suddenly realised something I think I'd been slowly forgetting.

Jesus is real!

Yes that's right, I suddenly had this amazing awareness that Jesus Christ is a real living person, right here in 2007. It seems pretty obvious doesn't it? Like I'm a Bible believing Christian who's forgotten Jesus is real... um that sounds pretty lame. Well in a way it is, and in a way it's a disturbing thought that I could even start to forget that - but I also think there are many other Christians out there doing the exact same thing.

I think I was just getting in the habbit of going with the flow. I was doing the church thing, I was even doing my daily Bible readings and prayer times - but I think I was doing it almost like a robot, just going through pre-planned motions, set before me by a traditionalistic and ritual environment I've allowed myself to live in.

Maybe it's the fact that I've spent so much time at Whitehill, serving, playing drums, leading the youth group, going to Bible studies, sitting in virtually the same row every service... I don't really know what it is...

But on Sunday, as Paster Stewart spoke on the simplistic truths of what being a Christian and partaking in communion is, I suddenly realised I'd been pushing, that personal, relational, communicative side of my 'Christian' life away and just gliding along in a self-centred, ignorant tradition.

He then went on and gave his message from Matthew 28:16-20 (aka the Great Commission) and the simplest of concepts blew my mind.

- Jesus really did live - it's not some story or fable, it happened... Jesus really did walk on water, he really did take some mud, stick it in a blind man's eyes and give him sight - he really did accept the blame for my sins and stuff ups and take the punishmet on a disgustingly cruel cross, and he did rise again, conquor death and return to heaven giving us a command to go into all the world making disciples and baptising them into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - All that really happened.

And if all that really happened I need to look at life in such a different way. I know I've realised this before, but I need to take stock again, and get on with it properly.

At the end of the service we sand a song called The Stand off the latest United Live album, and maybe it was because of the simple revolations I'd had, but the words really cut into me.

And I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
And I'll stand, my soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours

I am in awe... I really am, and it's the basics that have me in awe, not some super-spiritual act, no some deep theological insight... just the basic Jesus loves me this I now, for the Bible tells me so....

Friday, 19 January 2007


Ahhh 2 weeks, it's been good, and something I think I really needed.

It's been 12 months since I've taken time off for a break, and it was only a week. All my other annual leave is used up either going on training stuff for Youth Leadership or running camps for WEC.

So not having any agendas has been great these past weeks. I went away down to Crescent Head the first week. My Aunty has a caravan which she parks right on the beach for 5 weeks. My mother, father and I were able to stay in it for a week. Crescent Head is on the coast straight out from Kempsy in NSW.

In past years I would have said you would be hard pressed to find a better beach or camping spot on the coast of Australia. However unfortunatly due to flood controls put in place on rivers further inland Killick Creek has all but dried up and so the lovely sandy deep flowing creek running to the beach is now a dirty smelly trickle of ankle deep water.

The thing I use to love about Creso was that you could step out of the caravan dive into the creek and float down to the beach... now you can hardly wet yourself in the creek.
The second thing was that red weed had drifted in and was virtually taking over the beach, with the red weed came the sea slugs which feed on it. So the beach was covered in weed and slugs which oozed red goo. In the end it wasn't a plesant sight (or smell!).

So I was on the beach for a week but didn't swim once.

However I did have a great time... why? Cause my cousins had travelled up from Sydney. So I spent time playing on the sand with the little cousins, we had a mini Christmas when we brought out some gifts... had fun on the play equipment (except when you Jackson decided to stand in front of a swing in full flight, he copped a nice little bruise due to that).

My birthday was the Wednesday, and so we travelled to South West Rocks and Trial Bay for the day - had a great wood fire pizza on the beach, and the coast there was just gorgeous.

All in all a good resting week away, and a chance for me to play with my new camera - thankfully as the week went on the beach was cleaned up a bit and I was able to get some good photos - there are more on my flickr account.

This week I've spent the time resting, catching up with some friends I haven't seen for ages, and watching a few old episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard!!!

Friday, 5 January 2007

Heading South

Off for a weeks vacation down at Cresent Head in NSW.

See you later.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Scrubs - Guy Love

I'm a huge Scrubs fan, and found this on YouTube.

One of the funniest aspects of the show is the relationship between J.D and Turk, their unashamable love for each other and the deep friendship they have.

I think they show a guy to guy relationship that's not all that common in todays society, but maybe it should be. Open, honest and totally unashamably close, they portray a true friendship which I think a lot of guys could learn from.

Anyway this is a film clip they made to promote the latest Scrubs season, great for a laugh, but maybe a good example as well.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Gambian Connection.

Christmas is a great time to catch up. I've received so many update letters from friend whom I served with in The Gambia. Even after 2 and a half years home I still feel closely connected to the work going on over there.

Part of that connection is a blog I found a few months back and have been checking out every now and then of a US Peacekeeper serving in Gambia. Kirstin is a young Christian woman, who, though not specifically doing missional work, is giving me a nice insight into how life in The Gambia is going.

I've finally added her to my Blogroll so others can see some of her experiences in The Gam as well.

Her stories will just have to keep me happy until I can get back there again - someday soon I hope.

(The first picture is one I received a few months back of a good friend Debbie Bazzon and the Mendy Family who I lived with for a with for a few weeks... The second photo is of Sam and I and our Gambian Cricket team - twas a novelty to teach the boys a new game, and make our own Kookaburra cricket bat)

Off with a Bang!

Ok so I have now experienced just why fireworks are illegal in Qld.

Our 2007 went off with a bang for sure, we'd been playing volleyball in the backyard of a mates place from about 5.30 till midnight (with a break for dinner and then dessert). Right on 12 we had some fireworks going off in the backyard.

There were many ooohs and ahhhhs until one of the rockets was knocked over and the little ball of fire shot under the veranda where we were all standing and went off amongst us. No one was hurt, but we were all ducking for cover, and there were a few scared people afterwards.

A novel way to bring in the new year for sure.

Then the first public holiday for the year was not spent relaxing, but moving my sister and brother-in-law into their new house. It's amazing how much stuff they've accumulated in their 6 month marrage and moving them from their little 1 bedroom apartment into their 3 bedroom Queenslander was no small feat. My muscles are a little tender today.

So Happy New Year, welcome to 2007, how did your's start off?
Twitter Facebook Favorites

Powered by Blogger | Printable Coupons