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
Friday, 31 August 2007
Was chatting with one of the new guys from work the other week, and discussion turned to drag racing, he runs a 1985 Honda Civic.
Sounds a little boring, well it's a road registered drag car and he brought it into RACQ on Wednesday.
What a beauty - 85 Civic, but with a 2003 Integra Type R Engine modification, with a 6 speed Integra gear box. It's a pretty impressive engineering feat not to mention the other modifications (air boxes, custom CAMS, throttle off a HSV LS2 V8) and it's produces a unbelievably quick car.
An 85 Civic is a small light car, and Jason's done everything he can to make it lighter. With the engine producing 160KWs at the wheels that makes this one of the fastest road legal Civics in Australia, which is made even more impressive when you note this is NOT a turbo charged car.
His best down the quarter mile at Willowbank is an 11.6sec run. That's unreal!
So on Wednesday when Jas asked if I wanted a ride I jumped at the chance. A nice quiet road out the back of Eight Mile Plains allowed me to see just a small bit of what this car's capable of. With road tyres and not being on a purpose prepared drag strip there was no way we could take off like a drag run, there's no grip - but I was still pushed back in my seat and just lost all sense of the rest of the world as we took off. Certainly the fastest car I've ever ridden in
An unreal experience and a majorly impressive car.
He's competing in a couple of weekends time and I'm going to make sure the track chaplain will be on the start line to have a look :-P
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
I think everyone knows James Hird the football champion - however there are a few other layers of the man that people may not be as aware of.
I have seen (but not yet purchased) a slightly different 'biography' on James Hird. Reading the blurb on the back it doesn't seem like your typical sporting memoirs novel, but diving a little deeper into life issues, morals, good business sense and motivational thoughts. James owns the restaurant 'Red Mullet' and is renowned for his business sense and understanding of life's hurdles and how to overcome them. I'm planning on getting this book... soon.
If you've watched Essendon games on TV this season the other thing you may have noticed is whenever there's footage of Hird warming up you'll see his 3 kids, Stephanie (8), Thomas (6) and Alexander (4) either warming up with him, kicking a footy in the room or standing with 'Pa' (Sheeds). The Hird kids have pretty well free reign over the Essendon change rooms, and James involves them in every aspect of his life.
After the Richmond game on Sunday the Kevin Sheedy/James Hird press conference was delayed about half an hour. The commentators sitting in the media room at the MCG doing post game commentary suddenly realised why... after the 88 000 people had filed out of the ground, James Hird returned to the MCG goal square, with Stephanie, Thomas and Alexander, where they spent a good 25 minutes have a kick on Australia's holy ground of football. One TV camera remained active, and zoomed in on the young team having a great time with Dad.
The footage of a loving Dad, who minutes earlier had been honoured by 88 thousand people, taking the time to kick the footy with his kids out on the G was more moving than any of the other retirement tributes I'd seen.
Just have to wait 15 or so years to see another Hird pull on the number 5 jersey... there were some decent skills in those young kids...
Sunday, 26 August 2007
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
Asleep in the Light - performed at Jesus Westcoast 1982. (I love his intensity in this clip! Also shows even the best and inspired can forget the words to their own songs (or mix up verses)).
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
For example a few weeks ago the assignment was music and I posted this photo.
And then the past weeks have been 'Transport' and 'Red' with these two photos.
This week the theme was "Photograph a Stranger and get their story", a challenge to get the nerve to actually ask someone to take a photo of them. I ended up doing something a bit different, and hopefully something that may have a touch of an impact on others reading the forum.
This was my submission and story for this week.
I liked the idea of this assignment, went to a bakery to get some photos of strangers there.
But in the end I've come up with something a bit 'out there' and different.
Here's my stranger story.
Life goes by so quick, before you know it you're somewhere you never thought you'd be, doing something that really isn't you. I went on a work trip this week, and it was something different to my normal life. It was just enough to shake up my world.
I realised I'd fallen into such a rut of life. Wake up go to work, do my thing, talk to the same people, come home, crash in front of the telly, then go to bed just to wake up and start again. My friendships were stale, my life was slowly churning into a worthless mellow thing that wasn't doing myself or anyone else any good.
Now I believe in a God who created me and has a plan for my life. I truly believe I'm here on this earth for so much more than just doing stuff for me. Jesus taught 'Love your neighbour as yourself' and 'Go into all the world telling people about the Father'. God took the slight change in the life I'd fallen into and used my trip to Yeppoon on the Central Queensland coast as a bit of a wake me up.
I'd photographed the bakery, I'd thought about the stranger topic, but walking along the beach there... taking in the beauty of God's creation I realised that I was the stranger... I'd become a stranger to a plan thought out for me before the creation of the earth. I'd let myself move away from someone who loves me more than anyone ever could. I'd become a stranger to the one who'd given the very most, just so I could live.
I was sitting on some rocks, thinking about it all, praying as well - and I decided to take a photo. I was a stranger even to myself. My life is so not where I ever thought it was, and I have to introduce myself, my passions, my dreams and plans to me again... so I can live properly.
So with all that in mind this was the self portrait I took.
I think that says it all, but I'm glad God took a moment to teach me a lesson, stemming from my thoughts about a photography assignment. He uses everything in our lives as a stepping stone to wisdom, and I love the way I can use photography to worship Him.
Monday, 20 August 2007
As I posted before, last week I spent time up in Central Queensland. Work trips are usually hectic and crazy, this one wasn't too bad.
On Wednesday I jumped in my hire car in Rockhampton and started my drive out to Emerald. I didn't realise it was such a long drive (274km), but the whole drive was incredible.
Inland Qld is so amazingly beautiful... the whole time I was looking at the scenery, checking out the plains, the mountains, Australia's red earth and some great Aussie wildlife. I saw dingoes, emus, kangaroos (of course) and even an echidna.
So my positive post today focuses on God, and specifically the amazing he job he did when he created our great country Australia.
During the trip I sat and watched a sunset and rise over Yeppoon and some human created scenery with an intricate rail system from Rocky to Emerald, and the huge piles of mined coal in Blackwater.
God must have had a special creative moment when he came up with our sunburnt land. It's so unique, and I love it, 100% totally overwhelmed by our magnificent country. Africa's sweeping plans are beautiful, but there's no where else I'd rather be right now than surrounded by this amazing land.
This past week has been a bit trying... I started it off by heading to Rockhampton on a business trip. To be honest I'm a little over travelling round the place, but I've always liked Rockhampton. I got to stay a night in Yeppoon as well - it's a quiet little place, I almost felt like I was staying in a retirement village :-P. The highlight of the trip was definitely sitting down to dinner and having a lady singing Mariah Carey covers to a CD all night. All the grannies seemed to like it though.
Being away from home is a good change, but after a while it just becomes problematic. It's funny how accustomed we come to the way we do things, and living out of a suitcase, having a different bed, in a different room, with a different feel just becomes unbearable after a while.
I got home really late on Wednesday night - Wednesday was the Ekka Show holiday here in Brisbane, but since I wasn't in Brisbane everywhere was open so I was still working. I'll get to take a day off sometime, but it's strange to be working when you know everyone else is having a day off!
We're rolling out new computers here at RACQ and I'm heading up the project. It's always a busy time, but with the travelling I've been doing it's made it slightly manic. So I spent Thursday and Friday installing software, testing, installing more software and testing some more. There's some pretty fiddly and complex software in this rollout and some software applications took 3 hours to install. It's amazing how much that can drain you, it's mind numbing and by the time I'd get home I was just ready to fall into bed.
Youth Group Friday night was interesting. We watched a video called "Facing the Giants" (I think), it's a film based in a Christian school with a pretty terrible football (Gridiron) team. The coach is all messed up and his life pretty well sucks. He finds out he can't have children, his car dies and he's about to loose his job cause the football team is so bad.
He consults God and decides that whatever happens he's still gonna love him. That he can't do it on his own and he needs to give everything to Jesus (very 'modern evangelical' lingo used).
He talks to his football team with a new passion. How not just in football but their life they have to give everything to God, that win, loose or draw they need to praise God. Then very next day the football team leads a revival at the school - groups of kids everywhere praying.
The next football training session there's a marked improvement in their skills, and determination - all the credit given to God.
They win their next 6 games straight!
One of the players makes up with his Dad, and the Dad is so thankful he buys the coach a new car.... the football team make the play offs and loose their first game, BUT, the other team is disqualified the next day due to playing some college aged footballers.
All the credit is given to God.
The football team then win their next 3 play off games and make the state final... the game goes bad in the first half until there's a big 'God-talk' at half time by the coach and they come back to almost win near the end... in the last play they back the new 'kicker' (who's a soccer player but trying out at football) and God performs a miracle and allows the kicker to kick a 51 yard field goal to win the match!
The same day the coaches wife finds out she's pregnant!
Now can God do all this??? Yes I think he can! But does God usually give people everything they want once they turn to him? Not usually… praying to God to perform a miracle 51 yard field goal sort of finished off a bad taste in my mouth about the whole film.
I showed it to my youth group boys because it was recommended as a good ‘life issues’ story. Even the boys thought it was all to good to be true, and didn’t reflect what God had done in any of their lives.
We discussed it a bit, me asking them how some of the missionaries I lived with in The Gambia would feel watching this movie, considering they’d been working 15 years in a village and only seen 2 converts?
Do we expect God to meet all our needs? What makes us think we know what our needs are? Do we expect God to hand us a State Championship just because we follow him? Do we expect him to let us kick 51 yards when we’ve only ever been able to kick 35 before that?
Or do we look at what we can do for others in our community and ask God to give us what we need to accomplish their needs?
I think I ask for the field goal too often, and forget my life is not about me, but about being Jesus to the world.
I was surprised this morning how good traffic on the road was. It seems Ipswich Road is terrible all the time these days, and I thought with the rain with would be chaotic. It was actually better than most days. It's good to see everyone slowing down a little and being sensible in the slippery conditions.
The one thing I did notice though was that it seems the storm water drains around the place are clogged up because they haven't been cleaned out for ages. Water was pooling on roads everywhere - it's a shame it will evaporate from there and not be used where it's needed.
Our tank is full, the grass finally has a slight tinge of green to it - and hopefully all the farmers in our area have nice full damns now too.
Praise God for his provision of rain!
Friday, 17 August 2007
What is it with the stations these days showing the start of the season then leaving it a couple of months to show the rest of it????
I'm not watching too much TV these days, but when I saw Las Vegas was coming back I thought I'd follow the season through... Thursdays are my veg night.
I'm not too interested in the BBC documentary series you advertised at the end of last nights episode.
Sunday, 12 August 2007
He's been in relatively little pain, and was able to come to Youth Group Friday night - even if he just sat around for it all.
He's on crutches and will be for weeks to come, but his spirits are high, and he's pretty mobile. It's a lot better than what we were expecting.
God is good.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
1 After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: "Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land." 2 So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.
Now the famine was severe in Samaria, 3 and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of his palace. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the LORD. 4 While Jezebel was killing off the LORD's prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.) 5 Ahab had said to Obadiah, "Go through the land to all the springs and valleys. Maybe we can find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive so we will not have to kill any of our animals." 6 So they divided the land they were to cover, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another.
7 As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down to the ground, and said, "Is it really you, my lord Elijah?"
8 "Yes," he replied. "Go tell your master, 'Elijah is here.' "
9 "What have I done wrong," asked Obadiah, "that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death? 10 As surely as the LORD your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. 11 But now you tell me to go to my master and say, 'Elijah is here.' 12 I don't know where the Spirit of the LORD may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn't find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the LORD since my youth. 13 Haven't you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the LORD I hid a hundred of the LORD's prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, 'Elijah is here.' He will kill me!"
15 Elijah said, "As the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today."
Well what do you think he was?
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
Alrighty then. A mate of mine Rodney Olsen has started this pretty cool little craze. So much of the blogging world is about complaining, questioning, debating and pointing out something that's wrong.
Rod wants to see some more positive stuff flooding the blogosphere. I agree with him... so he's asking people to join the 'Thumbs Up - Accentuating the Positive' revolution.
Go here to read how it works.
Well I feel led to post this blog today highlighting the Positive Influence a friend had on me last night. It was through a simple MSN conversation - on the topic of my previous post on Job. We wandered to a few different life topics and I was really encouraged by her wisdom and grace.
So thanks Amy for being the Positive part of my life and helping me grasp some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about.
Oh and just as Amy encouraged me last night – let her encourage you by going and reading Proverbs 3:3.
Monday, 6 August 2007
I get the general idea of the book – that even through his suffering Job won’t give up on God… but he does question him quite a bit. His three mates are convinced Job’s done something wrong, and I think overall they just miss the whole mark on who God is and how he treats people.
Then God shows up and basically says I’m the man, why are you questioning my actions Job, and you three… get your act together.
I’ve heard Job used in many sermon illustrations always as an example of someone who got deal a bad hand but kept following God.
He sure did that, but he was still such a human, down to earth character. He questions why it’s happening to him, what he’s done to deserve it – and maybe even as far as to say God didn’t have much right to do that to him.
I think that’s sometimes left out in the telling of Job, and also that God does eventually answer all his questions (maybe not with the answers Job was expecting).
Also God makes him even more well off in the end. By the end of the book Job has more cattle, more land and the most beautiful daughters around. God blesses him so greatly because of his faith.
We never seem to hear about that in sermons as well. God giving Job material possessions as a blessing for his faith. Where does that fit in our consumerism doctrines?
So Job? Some more in depth explanation would probably do me good – but that’s what I got out of reading it this time round.
Am I right? Nearly there?? Or completely off the mark???
Saturday, 4 August 2007
I got to go places I’ve never been before, and drive roads I haven’t experienced before. Unfortunately I took our RACQ Commodore Wagon which isn’t exactly the most exciting vehicle to cruise the Darling Downs in, but just getting out on the road by myself makes me feel so free.
I stayed in Dalby on Tuesday night (after driving from Brissie to Stanthorp and then to Dalby (which also took me through Warwick and Toowoomba).
The highlight of my trip was Wednesday. I finished my computer set up at about 12 noon and the only other task I had for the day was to drive to Kingaroy. When I found out it was only just over an hour’s drive I decided to take a detour and head to the Bunya Mountains.
The first time I went to the Bunya Mountains was when I was 11. It was my Grade 6 camp and I loved the place. It’s funny how 14 years later I get to the Bunya Mountains park and I remember all the stuff we learnt that week on camp. I could tell the Bunya Pines from the Hoop Pines… I knew the names of the different types of ferns… I knew where I could find the trapdoor spiders but I didn’t go looking (obviously the fear of spiders has kicked in somewhere since Grade 6). It made me realise just so important school camping trips are – that Grade 6 camp is one of my fondest memories.
I decided to do the 4km Scenic Loop bushwalk, I needed some exercise after sitting in the car for so long and eating so much (RACQ paying for all food of course :-p).
I loved the bushwalk. It’s been a while since I’ve done a hike and I know 4km isn’t that long but it was perfect for the time I had (especially since I was technically still working). The Bunya Mountains are so beautiful – and the Scenic Loop took in so many of it’s different aspects… rainforests, eucalypt forests, lookouts over valleys, waterfalls, rock faces, wallabies, bush turkeys and so much more. Doing the walk by myself probably wasn’t the smartest thing, and I only passed a couple of people on the way. But I loved being out in such magnificent nature all by myself.
I did have my camera with me (as you’ve probably realised) and was able to enjoy doing some photography – and also finally figured out my remote control so got myself into a couple of the shots as well.
About 3 k’s into my 4k walk I met some school kids coming the other way, and would you believe it the supervising teacher was an old high school teacher of mine. What a place to run into one of the guys who had a real impacting role on my life while I was at high school. There was no time to chat, but it really just made my bush walk experience that little bit more special.
I made it to Kingaroy in plenty of time – and just felt totally rejuvenated. It’s been a tough couple of weeks at work, and I was in need of a break – I got it that day.
I fell in love with Kingaroy, it’s such a beautiful country town – with the big peanut silos in the middle of town, the train line, the old country pubs and wide streets. Something about the place just really grabbed me. I think if in the next few weeks I hear about a chaplaincy job or something in Kingaroy it’s God, who’s already preparing my heart by just loving the place so much.
The trip home Thursday was good too. Again I finished up the installation at about 12, grabbed some lunch and hit the road. My GPS told me to head towards Nanango then through Yaraman and down to Blackbutt, Esk and then into Ipswich. I tell you what this is the first trip I’ve done with a GPS unit and it was brilliant! There’s no worries about getting lost… I could cruise wherever and even in the remote places on the Darling Downs my GPS had me safely headed for home.
I stopped at a winery and got Mum a local bottle of white wine just as something special – they had free tasting, but I only tried the white, knowing I still had to drive home. When I think holidays I usually think of heading to the beach… but I think my next road trip may be out that way again.
I also think some of the guys at Whitehill or City North should plan a camping trip up to the Bunya Mountains for a weekend. Just a blokey weekend camping, cooking our own food and hiking would be great!