Remember 'Remember the Titans'?
Culture change is tough - but it is worth it!!! I was reminded of this as I watched the movie Remember the Titans. A coach dropped into a chaotic situation must bring culture change for the team to survive... but he doesn't just want it to survive he wants it to succeed, and to dominate. In a way we want our ministries to do likewise so what ideas for culture change can we take from Coach Boon?
Thinking about sacrifice
If Jesus is King, what does that mean for what we want to do with out lives? [Image by Chris Bellerophon Dotson on flickr]
Back to the Mission
Reminded again and again about what we are created for. We are created for worship! But because there are some people who do not worship, we have been given a mission... to go and show people they were created to worship! - photo on Flickr by llamatofu
Appeasement verses Satisfaction
Do we look to appease our emotions, troubles, discomforts with earthy things that may provide some release temporarily, or do we look to God who is the source of complete satisfaction? [Image by donald_palansky_photography on flickr]
Prayer = Dependence
Even in the confidence I have in my own abilities - I am learning that I still need to be dependent on God if the outcome is going to be worthwhile for the Kingdom. Prayer is the key consideration in this! ~photo credit: wiedmaier on flickr
Monday, 30 July 2007
All this time I've been reading about some of the amazing coffee roasters in WA. I've been thinking how much I'd love to try some of this stuff.
Well I was poking around on the Net the other day and noticed Five Senses Coffee have online ordering. So seeing as though I've heard Grendel rave about their coffee, and also about his favourite cafe Epic Expresso... I decided to order myself a bag of Epic Blend Five Senses Coffee.
It arrived the other day and WOW!!! It's just a cut above everything I've had roasted here in Qld. Maybe it was just anticipation, maybe it's all in the mind, but even my work mates have commented on the different aroma this coffee fills our office with.
I think the key is how fresh this stuff actually is. Grendel's mentioned that fresh coffee lets of Co2, and I'm noticing this even in my plunger as tiny bubbles form of the surface while I'm brewing the coffee.
I don't think I can afford to continue a constant shipment of Five Senses Coffee for my work supply, but I think every now and then I'm going to have to treat myself, just to try some of the other blends and single origin beans!
Friday, 27 July 2007
-So, Hurley is a hero.
-Jack's Dad, Christian, is alive in the 'flash-forwards
-'Who is in the coffin?
-Who is on this boat off shore?
-Are they (on the boat) 'real' bad, 'badder' than the 'others'?
-Could the boat people be the original Dharma people or their support crew coming to find out who killed all their scientists?
-In fact who are all these people Ben teamed up with?
-Who the hell is Jacob? (some spirit man? The devil?)
-What is that dark smoke stuff?
-Is this quantum physics?
-Why does Locke want the boat NOT to be called?
-What the heck is with Walt coming back into it?
-He is no ordinary boy, was he real, was he just made up?
From the moment we’ve met young Walt, it’s been easy to see that he’s no ordinary boy, as he appears to possess some odd telepathic powers. During Michael’s flashback, we see Walt get angry when his parents ignore him. As he snaps, the exact rare bird he had just been reading about smashes into the living room window, dying instantly. On the island, Walt often read a Flash/Green Lantern comic book featuring polar bears, until Michael threw it in the fire in a fit of rage. An hour later, both Walt and his father were attacked by a polar bear. The ‘luckiest’ man alive, Hurley, owes him thousands in lost backgammon gambles, and Walt seemed to be able to read Locke’s mind, warning him not to open the hatch.What the????
It finishes in 2010 - Hang in there folks
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Coming back to work this week I'm pretty snowed under... there are things I want to blog, but by the time I get home I just want to go to bed or sit and have a cuppa.
Maybe once I get some rest.
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
I told you I can't blog (Steven Curtis Chapman)
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…oh, Hi! Well, here I am attempting to blog for a 2nd day, and doing so with fear and trembling. “What is this guys problem”, you may be saying to yourself. The problem here is that I suffer from good ole’ “perfectionism” and it’s 1st cousin, “fear of failure”. Now, I actually did pay attention in grammar class (one of the few) but it’s been too many years ago and I worry about little things like whether I should be using a comma or a semi-colon (oh man, is semi-colon supposed to be hyphenated…panic, panic), should I use “quotations” (which I know I use way too much) (and I use parenthesis too much as well) (I think) (maybe). And then (now, I vaguely remember some teacher saying to never begin a sentence with “And” and I just did…see parenthesis and quotations all in one sentence…and everything inside me is screaming, “potential grammatical violation! Pull up, pull up!”)…but as I was saying, And then, if my concerns about being a poor grammarian isn’t enough, I’m always hounded by the need to pontificate in a way that is deemed profound, profluent, propitiatory. Here we go again. I'm outta time and I haven't finished the thought. More later, unless I give up completely on blogging. :)
Thanks Rodney for the link to Steve's blog.
The Shepherd and His Flock
1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
19At these words the Jews were again divided. 20Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"
21But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
Sunday, 15 July 2007
Anyway; there’s a part in the movie that really hit home to me. Katie Holms’ character is standing in front of Bruce Wayne as he’s wearing his expensive suite and driving his Lamborghini Murcielago and he looks at her and say… “All this isn’t me, you know who I am inside”
Katie replies; “Bruce it doesn’t matter what you are inside, it’s your actions that depict who you really are.”
Later on Batman has just saved Katie’s character again and as they stand on a rooftop Katie asks; “Who are you under that mask?”
Batman says: “It doesn’t matter who I am under this mask, it’s my actions that tell who I really am.”
What a parallel to our Christian lives… mine in particular. I mean we all profess to be Christians, but how many times do our actions point to something else. We say, “It’s ok I’m a Christian” but it is what we do that really depicts who we are.
I’m convinced so many of us truly think we’re Christians, but our lives don’t tell the same story, yet we are so blinded by our thoughts, we think we’re doing great, but when it comes down to it, do we really care what Jesus said how we should live our lives???
Now I’m not standing on a soapbox calling looking down on all the people around me. I’m taking a good look at my life, and seeing so much of that crap in it that I feel totally unworthy and ashamed of my heritage in Christ.
In a way I feel a need to apologise to you all, especially those friends of mine who have spent time with me lately. I haven’t been a true depiction of Jesus. Maybe outwardly I’ve seemed ok, but I’ve been struggling with so much. I’ve let that get to me, and eventually I know my actions have not been showing Jesus through my life.
Sometimes it’s the people who seem to have it all figured out who are struggling the most. I think most people think I’ve got most of life covered, so turn their attention to others who seem to need the help more. In the end I’ve been left feeling like I have to look after everyone and no one really cares what’s going on with me. I know I should be stronger, but in a way that’s lead me to let things in my life crumble away more and more.
Even at WEC Camps this year, I didn’t feel a Holy fire which for so many years has burnt inside of me. I think finally my outward actions have effect that person I am inside. I still pray, I still talk to God and have a relationship… all that’s who I am. But I’m not ministering and doing anything with my actions to affirm that.
I really don’t know what to do… I’m in a bit of a lonely place at the moment. To be honest I’m not feeling 100% at home at Whitehill anymore. I can’t say exactly what it is, but for a long time I’ve been feeling drawn away from there… I feel sometimes when I’m there that I really am an outcast, someone who doesn’t belong… my thoughts are plagued with “why am I feeling like this” and then I can’t really get into anything that’s going on… which causes me to feel even more outcast. It seems a vicious circle that I’m spinning in.
I’ve been going to City North Baptist more frequently these days as well. I love it there… contrary to many comments I’ve heard from people at Whitehill and City North I haven’t church jumped in the pursuit of a young lady (which seems to be the first though anyone has when a young guy goes to another church)… I was attracted to City North because of the passion I saw there. In their music, in the pastors messages, in their mission group and in the young people and young adults I see a vibrancy of passion that I’d love to connect with.
But I don’t feel home there yet, and I don’t know if I ever will. A Sunday service every two weeks isn’t enough to get totally involved, and sometimes I wonder if some of the people there just think I’m clinging on to something and not really committed to anything they do.
Because I’m sort of in this limbo place, it feels pretty lonely. I wouldn’t have anyone I’d consider a close close friend, someone who I could really have a honest and open chat with to find where I’m at. Truthfully I’m not sure I’ve ever had a guy friend I could do that with… and maybe that’s what’s making this time hard for me to get a grasp on.
Sometimes I wonder if I need to move totally away… make a totally clean start somewhere new. That could be commit myself to Bible training and just head to the mission field in Africa again, or it could mean just moving out of home, into Brisbane and trying to get a handle on this life I’m living now. I want to be Batman, not Bruce Wayne… I want someone to look at my actions (maybe not knowing who I am) and just know that work has been done by someone who loves Jesus.
This is pretty personal stuff, and yes you may wonder why I’m posting it where everyone can read it… well as I said I don’t really have someone to go and talk it all over with, so I’d like some prayer from everyone who reads this.
You all know what’s going on now, so all I ask you to do is pray.
Thursday, 12 July 2007
THE British Museum yesterday hailed a discovery within a clay tablet in its collection as a breakthrough for biblical archaeology - proof of the accuracy of the Old Testament.I have no doubt the stories told in the Bible, and specifically the Old Testament are true historical events. When I was in high school I had an Anglican Father teach us RE, he started by saying the Bible was a book stories and fables and that we had to understand the Old Testament was like a book of fairy tales, stories which and made up but were written to illustrate moral lessons.
The cuneiform inscription in a tablet dating from 595BC has been deciphered for the first time - revealing a reference to an official at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, that proves the historical existence of a figure mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.
It is rare evidence in a non-biblical source of a real person, other than kings, featured in the Bible.
The tablet names a Babylonian officer called Nebo-Sarsekim who, according to Jeremiah 39 was present in 587BC when Nebuchadnezzar "marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it".
I had a fun year with him, and grew in my knowledge of the Bible as I constantly tried to correct him on his obvious false teaching.
Anyway, I think because of that background, I find it really heart warming when a totally non-Biblical based study proves events in the Bible actually happened.
Wednesday, 11 July 2007
I blogged last month about the day I broke my ‘unbreakable’ sunglasses (here). It seems that Gatorz Precision Tuned Eyewear can handle most things except an 86kg man standing on them.
I have to admit they did pretty well, the lenses didn’t break, the frame only bent slightly and the only thing which actually broke were the hinges connecting the main frame to the arms. I contacted Gatorz to see if they could be repaired, I was told there was a full cover $85 repair fee and most issues on their eyewear could be repaired.
I’ve been really happy with the lenses so decided $85 was OK to get them in working condition again. I sent them away weeks ago, and as soon as they arrived in Sydney I received a phone call to let me know that the damage may be too great but they would be passed to the technicians for a final look.
That was the last I heard for 3 weeks. I sent a couple of emails asking for an update but nothing was answered. I went on holidays last week thinking that if nothing came through while I was away I’d start making a fuss when I got back.
Well I returned to work on Monday to find a box sitting on my desk. I opened it up and on top of a heap of packing was this note.
“Hi DeanSomeone stood on my sunglasses and broke them, and when they couldn’t be repaired for $85 Gatorz sent me a brand new pair! Talk about customer service! It’s not like it was a fault in the eyewear, or a build quality issue, someone stood on them!
Enclosed are a brand new pair of Gatorz. We will claim this as a warranty for you.
Gatorz take great pride in the quality of their sunnies, and how can I do anything but sing the praises of their quality and service after this one… a second pair of $200 plus sunnies for free.
They might cost a bit – but I totally recommend Gatorz Precision Eyewear – they’re tough, they look great, and the company looks after you big time!!! http://www.gatorz.com.au/
Monday, 9 July 2007
What a week. What a great week - It was a big week, and a big weekend, so this is the first chance I've had to mention about how great the WEC Highschooler's Camp was this year.
I was lucky to get to spend a night up on Camp A, see some of the leaders and campers who I spent time with last year. It looks like they had a great time.
Camp B though was where I spent all of last week. Camp Bornhoffen is a beautiful place - set in a long valley right on the QLD/NSW border it's a stunning landscape to hold a week long camp. The campers were great - we were able to create a really unified atmosphere where everyone got along, and everyone was included.
My cabin boys were all in grade 11. My co-leader Patto was a champion, and I'd have to say we probably had the most fun over the week doing our group stuff. I've never had 8 boys in my cabin before, and the larger number was a different dynamic - but because they were such a great bunch we just connected so well. Our focus country was Sri Lanka and we looked at all the things WEC are doing there (I can't say too much more due to sensitivity issues).
We decorated our room with pictures of Sri Lanka, and Dilmah tea - we had tea bags hanging up and a picture of the Dilmah man on our front door. The memory verses were learnt well - it was great to see the whole cabin helping out one of the guys who hard a bit of a hard time remembering - working as a team we were able to help everyone learn the verses and figure out a short Mission Focus skits each morning.
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God" Matt 5:8
"As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, Oh God" Psalms 42:1
"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." Philippians 4:8
"I can do all things through him who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13
We sang our memory verses - putting Matt 5:8 and Psalms 42:1 into Breakfast at Tiffany's (the verse as Matt and the chorus as Psalms), Philippians 4:8 fitted nicely into Ronan Keating's You Say it Best When You Say Nothing At All (with a nice little tag on the end having a go at a competitive cabin next door :-P).
Maybe we dropped the ball a bit with the cleaning of the dorm part of the comp, but we gave it a red hot go. We didn't win the competition overall, but we had some fun trying so there are no complaints.
The music and message times were just awesome - God spoke through so many people. We heard from Amy who has been working as a missionary in Cambodia, also Jono told us about his short term trip to Nepal and trekking to Everest Base camp (while handing out Bibles along the way). Patto spoke on the first night about "What is a Christian", and my brother Brett gave an amazing Gospel message one night. About 20 young people either recommitted or made a first time committment to God. There was no 'selling God', there was no emotional hype, there wasn't even a fancy sound system, good lighting or plasma screens - all we did was build a relationship with the campers over the week and then let God talk through Brett and present a simple Gospel message of 4 points
1. God wants to have a relationship with you
2. Nothing can separate you from God's love
3. Your price has been paid
4. God is knocking at your heart
I love the way WEC Camps happen... you meet your campers, you muck around with them - you work with them to clean the dorm and learn the memory verse, you play stupid games with them, you sit and do a Bible study with them.... all this builds an awesome relationship in a short period of time - then when God starts to talk to them during a message like Brett's they know they can turn and talk to you. Every year it works so well and young people's lives are changed... maybe it's why I cringe a little at the huge productions Youth Alive put on - but that's a totally different topic...
Talking of stupid games and mucking around - our ice slide this year was manic! 800kg of crushed ice, strategically placed on a grassy hill - then boogie boards to slide down on equals hours of fun... well until someone decides to use some rocks and another boogie board to make a wicked jump - then it just becomes insane funtimes!!!!
The jump was fantastic - some of the things the guys were doing were just crazy - there were some great spills, but when Patto started pulling off barrel rolls we knew we'd found something special....
2007 would have to be up there with some of the best WEC Camps I’ve been on. Even having to perform as God in a Ballet about the story of Gideon and the Midionites didn’t lessen the fun I had (it made a lot of people laugh though believe me!!)
I’ve put a heap of photos here in this blog post but go to the WEC Camp Photo Blog to see a whole heap more (not just mine) and hopefully soon some videos of the ice slide as well.
If you’re in Qld, and in highschool or know someone in highschool – seriously get them along to WEC next year.
It will change their life!
Sunday, 1 July 2007
Pray for the leaders that we may be a genuine image of Jesus to the campers, and pray for the campers that God may work in their lives freely.
Cheers - see you all on Friday