Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Cafe Modena

Found a little treasure in the city a couple of days ago. Café Modena is on the corner of Creek and Adelaide St in Brisbane's CBD and it serves by far the best coffee I've ever had.

Now I'm not a huge coffee connoisseur like my mate Grendel over in WA, but I am slowly getting a taste for good fresh coffee, as opposed to the run of the mill stuff most cafés in Brisbane serve.

Modena however would probably rate pretty high even with Grendel! Alen, the owner and barista, is passionate about coffee and he’s a perfectionist! Every cup he makes (about 200 an hour he tells me) is perfect in temperature, milk, strength and personality. Alen is a real open and friendly bloke, and when I ordered a ristretto (only my second ever, and the first pulled by a fair dikum barista) he was very talkative about his coffee blends and grinds - obviously a ristretto is recognised as having some real coffee enthusiast links.

Alen gets a custom blend for his cafe, roasted fresh at Bowen Hills (a company called DiBella, which I haven’t heard of before), and he takes so much time with every coffee to make it exactly right.

The results are amazing, my ristretto was fantastic! I now understand Grendel’s comments on crema and full flavour, this shot certainly was an experience. It had a full flavour, slightly chocolaty, with a really sweet and long lasting aftertaste. Actually I was anticipating it so much I forgot to take a photo before finishing it, but I found the cup enough of a novelty to take a photo of it empty, pretty funky!

After I finished I spent some time chatting with Alen before trying a long black (I’m not really a fan of milky coffees) and again he took so much time to warm the cup, press the coffee properly and pull the shot straight into the hot water, again the crema on top was just right for a long black and the temperature was perfect! (and I remembered to get the photo!)

Really really impressed, and it’s just a shame it’s no where near an RACQ branch so I won’t be able to get there too often! While I was enjoying my long black I also was able to admire some of the scenery which graces Brisbane’s financial district (Yes that is a Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo!!!)

Read some of the reviews and check out some more photos and coffee ideas at

Monday, 26 February 2007

Great Drive To Work...

So I tried something different on my drive to work this morning.

Instead of just hitting shuffle on my iPod I decided to have a bit of a Keith Green marathon. I just chose the artist and hit random play.

The music, the words, the meaning, the theology of Keith Green’s stuff drills me to the core every time. He is probably the most amazingly humble and passionate men of God of our modern era. It’s amazing how even 25 years after his death (he died the year I was born) his music still challenges, teaches, inspires and shows such a pure example of what a Christ follower should be.

At AGMF last year I saw and almost bought a shirt that had a silhouette of his face and massive hair with the words “Listen To Keith Green Music” on it. Even at a store which was purely aimed at the youth Christian music scene this shirt hanging there, a testimony to his impact on the world. So this morning with all that music creating such a Spiritual atmosphere I felt like I was in a 'God momment' all the way from Ipswich to Eight Mile Plains.

Actually this morning; the thing I really noticed was those hard hitting phrases he seemed to include in so many of his songs.


To obey is better than sacrifice.
I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights,
Cause if you can't come to me every day,
Then don't bother coming at all.

(To Obey Is Better Than Sacrafice)

Oh Lord, you said the harvest was great,
But Lord, looks like the workers are late.
It's getting hard to understand,
How they ignore your great command.

(Here I Am, Send Me)

You know you're gonna find out that He's the way,
no matter which way you choose,
But I pray you find out by His love for you.

Some people won't find out till it's too late

(Altar Call)
It’s funny though, it seems before he became a Christian he wrote some great songs about Jesus and Bible stories (Prodigal Son Suite, On the Road to Jericho and Song for My Parents), and after he decided that it was Christianity that was the way (Jesus as God), not just Jesus as a good person – he wrote some songs really challenging the way the church thinks like To Obey is Better than Sacrifice, and Asleep in the Light.

Actually I think Asleep in the Light is the most challenging song of all time. It really moves me every single time I hear it! So even though I think I’ve quoted it here before, I’m gonna do it again to finish off this post… it seems to sum up Keith’s feelings about the church pretty well, and I still see it in churches these days 25 years later. It’s a shame, and I pray I will be so real, that my example can do something about it…

Asleep In The Light

Do you see, do you see, all the people sinking down,
Don't you care, don't you care, are you gonna let them drown,
How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done.

Oh Bless me Lord, bless me Lord, you know it's all I ever hear,
No one aches, no one hurts, no one even sheds one tear,
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for your needs,
And you just lay back and keep soaking it in, oh, can't you see it's such sin?

Cause He brings people to your door,
And you turn them away, as you smile and say,
God bless you, be at peace, and all Heaven just weeps,
Cause Jesus came to your door, you've left Him out on the streets.

Open up, open up, and give yourself away,
You've seen the need, you hear the cry, so how can you delay,
God's calling and you're the one, but like Jonah you run,
He's told you to speak, but you keep holding it in,

Oh, can't you see it's such sin?
The world is sleeping in the dark,
That the church can't fight, cause it's asleep in the light,
How can you be so dead, when you've been so well fed,
Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can't even get out of bed,
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead, come on, get out of your bed.

How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done,
Don't close your eyes, don't pretend the job's done.

Come away, come away, come away with Me, My love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, My love.
Man at the end there it’s almost like he’s calling people away from the mess that is the modern church, he was never one to hold back to save someone’s feelings if you’re wrong you knew it with Keith.

Maybe we’re just too afraid to hurt people’s feelings these days to be truly real?

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Making it count...

I was driving into the city with our storeman Ashneil yesterday and saw this.

Nice brand new Lexus - but look at the number plate....

Ok so maybe this guy is an accountant with a quirky sense of humour, but it made me think, does a car make you feel like you're worth something? I mean do you think you're really important when you're successfull enough to drive a Lexus?

It's funny where people find their self-worth. It may be in a car, or in a job, or even in a relationship. All I know is that without Jesus I don't have much self worth at all. He is the basis for all I am, I can't help but hand it to him when things get tough, or even when I end up in the spotlight, without Jesus I'm not of much use, so why take the credit when things go right.

But I do passionatly desire my life to count. "I Count" seems like something I'd love to cry out at the end of my life, with a deep relief that I have really done something worth while. But I don't think that 'something' would be the ability to own a Lexus...

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Pursuing and Knowing God - the key to your future.

Pursuing and Knowing God - the key to your future ~ that was the theme for the Focus Camp I went on a couple of weekends ago. I said I was going to post more about it, and finally I'm getting around to it.

Focus Camp - good name for it, because from the studies, speaking from Graham Sercombe and just sharing with the other young adults on the camp, I have been able to re-focused my thoughts, prayer times and goals.

Hebrews 12:1-2 "...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith..."
God's plan from the very beginning was focused on creating intimacy with his creation. Genesis points to this when God says 'Let us make man in our image" and when it talks about God walking in the cool of the evening with Adam.

However the plan got messed up [sidenote: a lot of people will say God's plan can't be messed up, well in a way I think it can - because God allowed it, He realised that in creating something with free will he needed to create something that could mess up his plan, but if it chose to walk in his plan how much better was that than a being he'd created to blindly follow his plan. So God made a huge sacrifice for love, he created something that could hurt him, and mess up his plans ~end sidenote!] - yeah anyway, it got messed up when Man sinned... 'the fall'. Suddenly instead of intimacy there was self consciousness, shame, covering up, hiding, blame, pain and ultimately sin.

The gospel then fits in with God opening a gateway for us to be intimate with him once more. God's plans still showed a deep desire to be intimate with mankind all through the Old Testament, but Jesus is the final and best way God can provide a way for us to be intimate with him again.

That was the general intro into Focus Camp, the rest of the camp we looked at how to pursue God and grab onto that intimacy he wants to have with us. A way to move from our independency to a dependency on him!

I think I took a lot more from my own personal times with God than I did from group or teaching sessions. The camp simply gave me a chance to focus solely on God, and see what he has been saying to me for quite a while. Instead of just running through my quiet times like I'd gotten into the habit of doing, I really did pursue God, I sought after him, and I did find him! Sitting on the cliff ledge reading and praying, suddenly God was speaking to me again - it's like he'd been waiting for me just to actively seek him (pursue him) and as soon as I did he started revealing more about himself again.

Hebrews 11:6 "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
Earnestly seek him - see I think I'd had the faith to please God, but I'm not so sure about the seeking him earnestly bit. I'm praying God will help me want more and more of him so my passion for pursuing him does not simmer down, and through being earnest in my knowing God I will come to a new found intimacy with the Creator of all things!!!

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Jammeh's AIDs Cure Condemned

As I suspected - every international news site which carries an article about The Gambian Presidents HIV/AIDs and Asthma sure is critical about the claim and the method of treatment.

But Mr Coovadia said it was tragic that The Gambia had a "political environment that allows a minister of health and a president to violate every foundation of science and public health."

"The entire exercise is circumscribed by secrecy - that's not how science works," he said.

It would be impossible to measure the negative impact of Mr Jammeh's claims, but it could lead to risky sexual behaviour, instead of following preventative advice, he aid.

The World Health Organisation told the BBC it did not wish to comment on the issue at this stage.

Other sources have said that patients of Pres. Yaya Jammeh have become physically ill, with immense abdominal pain and no viable independant proof that their HIV has been cured. One source even says some patients have entered comas and familys are worried the 'treatment' will kill their loved ones.

All through this Jammeh and his health minister are praising their efforts, but not allowing anyone to know exactly how they are treating their test subjects...

Gambian Health Minister Tamsir Mbow says the herbal medicines are taken orally
and applied to the body.

"We cannot actually tell you the type of herbs we are using presently, it will be known to the whole world later on," Dr Mbow told the BBC.

It's a shame that a country's leader can lead on his people in this way, making himself out to be a hero, yet everything points to the fact he is simply lieing to make himself look good.

A coup in 1994, and he's 'won' every election since then, I think we need to pray for the Gambian nation that the people will be fairly treated with their best interests thought of.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Discussion Time

Expressing yourself to God.

What ways do you find to express yourself to the Creator of the Universe?

I've been on a camp all weekend, and had some pretty big and deep thoughts crossing my mind. I think I'll be jotting a few more down on my blog.

One of the things we discussed and shared about was not just having a quiet time, but finding ways to creatively express yourself to God. Honestly I haven't done that in a long time, my quiet times have been really good, and consistent - and I play the drums as an expression of worship - but I use to write, and I haven't done that in a long time. However on Sunday morning I found a new way I can enjoy God in a creative expression.
I bought a Canon 300D from a friend at work about 2 months ago, and have been slowly learning a bit more about proper photography.

Sunday morning I took my trusty 300D and set out on a walk. It was 6am, and the sun was just starting to peek over the trees. I was on top of Mount Tamborine, right on the edge overlooking the Beaudesert country side. I took a few photos of the view... but it was God's creation that struck me most. As I walked, I prayed, and connected with God - praising him for the beauty he has surrounded us in, and it certainly was amazing beauty. I really think God was pointing out little amazing things to me, and I took some awe inspiring photos. I think I will post some of them up at some stage, but just at the moment I feel they are very personal.

I will share my favourite one with you though - a bee about to land on a flower - the amazing design of the flower just isn't enough, think about the perfection of how the bee (such a small creature) is able to fly with such precision, and how sweet honey is created from the pollen this bee will gather once it lands on the flower.

Praise God.

Now part of this post was to share my new discovery of enjoying God, but I also want to hear your thoughts and ideas. Comment me, tell me how you express yourself to God, how He expresses himself to you, or experiences you've had when just simply enjoying God.

Please.... I really want to hear of some other experiences!

P.S - I have now uploaded a couple of other shots from Sunday morning to my flickr account. I do feel that the resizing has lessened the impact of the photos though - oh well...

Gambian AIDs cure...

Reading different news stories out of The Gambia, it seems their president, Yaya Jammeh, has found a cure for AIDs.

He's claiming that he has cured 9 people of HIV, both type 1 and type 2, using a mix of 'secretive herbs'.

Here's a news article from The Daily Observer (Banjul) from the 29th Jan.

Nine Hiv/Aids patients curently undergoing President Yahya Jammeh's treatment are responding to treatment, as their general conditions improved.

According to a press release from the Department of State for Health and Social Welfare, the patients were examined clinically and weighed before the start of the treatment.Three of them had HIV 2, while the rest got HIV 1.

Most of them women, according to the press release, came with severe abdominal pain. The male patients had severe lower abdominal pain, while two female patients suffered from upper respiratory tract infection.

Two of the patients were extremely weak and could hardly stand. Shortly after the administration of the first dose of the treatment, within 24 hours, the patients were able to walk and run. On the evening of the second day, those with upper respiratory tract infection had their chest symptoms disappear and felt better.

The patients with abdominal pains, after the first dose of medication, their pain disappeared. During the 10-day period of treatment , the vital signs and weights of the patients were closely monitored and their conditions improved. Eight of the patients showed a mark increased in weight, ranging from 3 kilograms to 15 kilograms.

The oral thrush that was noticeable at the beginning of the treatment disappeared by Day-Five of their treatment. By the Ninth-Day of the treatment, the patients showed 'a pink conjunctiva, as compared to the pale conjunctiva' that was earlier seen on their First-Day. This, according to reports, was confirmed by the changes in their haemoglobin levels.

All the patients are physically and mentally stable. Blood samples of the patients have been taken and they are awaiting results.

If it's proven true it certainly is a great thing. However most of the readings I've seen have come from Government run, or Government influenced media sources. A later article ( claimes all 9 patients are virtually healed, with high CD4 counts. In another story Jammeh is also quoted as saying "Anyone who comes to his treatment will not die from AIDs"

These are some pretty big claims, and at this time I've only been checking out Gambian sourced media (something I like to do to keep in touch with the country I spent time in), but I will look at some more international media to confirm stories...

Coming so soon after presidential elections where Jammeh promised to make a difference to the AIDs epidemic, and then winning the election again, it seems a little too good to be true.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

DJR Secures Future in V8s

Ok so it's not the best photo, but it's the only one I could find. Weeks before Dick Johnson was going to have to shut the shop on Australia's longest running racing team, Jim Beam turned up as the new naming rights sponsor.

“I can’t tell you how excited we are to have an iconic brand like Jim Beam on board. We have done it tough for the last couple of years, so it’s great to be associated with a mega brand like Jim Beam for the next three years. This is the start of a new era for DJR and I can’t wait to get racing!” Dick Johnson said.
I have been a Dick Johnson fan ever since I was about 2. I loved watching him race his Green Tuf XE Falcon and Shell Sierra, and at Bathurst in 2005 I finally had the honour of meeting him. So I was really dissapointed when I heard that DJR was probably exiting the series... so this new era of proper sponsorship is going to be exciting, especially with Will Davison's performances at the end of last year.

Full Story:

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Am I Worth what it Cost?

I stood on a nail on Saturday - We were raising the roof on our carport, and I just walked down to have a look bare footed, without realising Dad had begun to pull some of the nailed in clips out of the wood...

Man it hurt! It was a thin nail, and only about 12 millimeters went into my foot (1.2cm), but it took me down. I pulled it out, and simply could not walk on it. I had pain shooting up my leg, my whole foot throbbed and my soul had a sharp piercing pain right where the nail had punctured.

I sat and soaked it in Detol, and was feeling physically ill from the pain I was in. I'm fine now (3 days on) and my foot is only saw to touch right at the puncture wound. But for 2 days if I was bare foot I couldn't walk without limping on it.

Looking back now I see the pain I was in from such a small nail puncture wound, and it makes me wonder the sheer excrusiation that Jesus must have gone through to have thick nails pushed right through His wrists, and through both his feet. On top of that He was then raised vertical so his whole body weight rested on those wounds. On top of THAT He was hung in such a way that His lungs were expanded and to take a breath He had to pull himself up on thos nails to allow the air to enter his lungs.

And ON TOP OF THAT, His father, the One True God had to turn His face from His son because suddenly He was unholy, He had all of the sins of the world - even those people murdering him that day - placed on Him as judgement so that we could have a way to find favour in God's eye and live with him eternally.

That all seems to make my little nail in the foot incident so insignificant...

But is it so insignificant, because all that pain that Jesus went through was for me. Am I worth going through all that stuff for? I wonder if I am, but I do know that there is only one person who loves me that much. Jesus is amazing, unbelievably amazing.

Reminds me of a Keith Green song, one of my favourites.

Altar Call - Keith Green

Most people don't find out till it's too late, that someone has to pay the price.
You can pay it yourself (hah) or let someone else, but who would be that nice,
To pay a debt that isn't his, oh I know someone like that,
and he's your best friend, he really is, he really loves you.

Most people don't find out till their half dead, that they need another life.
You say you've heard everything that's ever been said
about The Way, The Truth, The Life.
You say you've heard lot of preaching all before, so many times,
but did you ever open up your door, give Him a chance to prove Himself?
Well He's real you know!

I hope you find out before it's too late, that there's really nobody else
You know it's breaking His heart, the longer you wait,
cause you've only been lying to yourself
Cause no one believes a thing you say - NOT EVEN YOU!
You know you're gonna find out that He's the way,
no matter which way you choose,
But I pray you find out by His love for you.

Some people won't find out till it's too late
Some people won't find out till it's too late

So yeah, everyone's gonna find out one day that Jesus is the only way, and it's because of everything He went through.

Explain it Simply....

Haha was going to post and heard a wise wise man pipe up on the TV.

Homer has such an amazing way of putting things sometimes. Had to laugh and post...

""Metaphors is when the stalk that brings the babies is shot by drunken hunters.""

Australia Day in Perth

Saw this first on Vawz Blog - but it's done the email rounds at work so thought I'd share it with you all as well - God is amazing!

God wasn't to be outdone here. On January 26, people from Perth, Australia gathered on a local beach to watch a sky light up with delights near and far. Nearby, fireworks exploded as part of Australia Day celebrations.

On the far right, lightning from a thunderstorm flashed in the distance. Near the image centre, though, seen through clouds, was the most unusual sight of all: Comet McNaught. The photogenic comet was so bright that it even remained visible though the din of Earthly flashes. Comet McNaught continues to move out from the Sun and dim, but should remain visible in southern skies with binoculars through the end of this month.

The above image is actually a three photograph panorama digitally processed to reduce red reflections from the exploding firework.

I can just see the scene in Heaven.

Moses: Wow look at all those fireworks down there!
God: Those humans think they can put on a show.... watch this!

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Month in Review ~ January

A couple of days late with this one.

January was great! 2 weeks of it being holidays probably helps my perception. For me January always seems so laid back, relaxing and just a chill time (though with the last few weeks maybe 'chill' isn't the right word).

The one thing I haven't done all summer is go for a swim at the beach. Even though I spent a week camped on the beach I didn't swim because of the conditions, now for some reason my motivation to make the drive to the coast is lacking, and I'm content with a quick dip in the pool when it gets too hot.

New Years was great, there's no better way to bring in a new year than to spent time having a huge pig out with mates, and then playing volleyball until all hours of the morning. Though we could probably do without the fireworks going off under the deck and trying to blow us all into 2008 early.

My holidays gave me time to reignite an old passion - old episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, I've watched the entire 3rd season, and am into the 4th (with the 5th 6th and 7th to go!!), so I've been enjoying some good times with the Good Ol' Boys of Hazzard County, and even modeled my new myspace layout after the star of the show; a 1969 Dodge Charger.

Blog wise I've been a bit lax, mainly just posting some funny videos, and daily experience... January doesn't seem like to time for deep thinking to me :-p
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