Saturday, 28 March 2009

Bringing back the old tunes...

I simply cannot wait until Easter.  I've never been a big fan of the Australian Gospel Music Festival (AGMF - or now quite lamely named 'Easterfest'), having much preferred going up to Mt Tamborine for the Easter Keswick Convention.

However this year there are two simple reasons I will be going to Toowoomba instead of Mt Tamborine, and they are the reunions of my two favourite bands of all time, Audio Adrenaline and The Paul Colman Trio.

I remember the first time I saw PC3, it was their first album launch (Serious Fun), and it was done in conjunction to the Big Winter Sleepout at Boggo Rd Gaol. To raise money for the homeless in Brisbane we all were sponsored then went and spent the night in Boggo Rd, it was a tad creepy being in such an old harsh gaol but the music use to be awesome.  I loved Paul Colman that night, they were the most energetic and impromtued bands I'd seen in ages. I have everyone of Paul's solo albums as well as all the PC3 albums, including the two live ones and the not so popular American label releases.

I'd been a fan of Audio Adrenaline for longer, seeing as though they've been around since before I even got into Christian music they were one of the first bands I was introduced to as a teen.  Their songs Big House, and Never Gonna Be as Big as Jesus are probably still two of my favourite songs.  I've seen them live twice at Sonfest in Boonah, and simply cannot believe AGMF has been able to convince them to reunite for a one of show in Australia.

I really don't care about any of the other bands at AGMF this year, and don't know how much other stuff I will go to. But I still think $125 is well worth it to catch one off shows of my two favourite bands and get to enjoy them live for one last time.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Wednesday night ramble...

This may become a more frequent thing, as I spend a bit of time at college on Wednesday nights just chilling before going to lounge group on the Northside (not travelling back to Ipswich in between, and there is only so much Greek you can do in one hit).

So I'm just sitting here thinking about stuff, and thought I might throw up some of those thoughts into the public arena.

One thing that has hit me hard today, but has been building for a week or two is how important it is to act when God tells you to do something.  A few months back I didn't, and I'm really regretting not acting on His word - there is a distinct feeling of guilt there too cause I know it could have helped someone at the time, and it's not something I can just do now and it will be all good... I missed the mark.

Another thing is how purposeful is our current prayer life? I mean what are we praying for? Is there intent in our prayers, do we have a wide idea of the world around us and what we should be asking God for?

And where do we start with prayer?  I think I get right into what I want - 'want' in a good way - praying for people, situations and God's action in the world today.  But I wonder if that's not the right place to start... shouldn't we start at the cross?

Everything we ask for, praise for or worship is because of what Christ did on the cross... I wonder if we don't take that for granted most of the time... the significance of the cross is so huge that we should use it as a starting point of thankfulness and submission before continuing with out prayers.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


What place does meditation have within our Christian faith?

Not just meditating on the Word, but taking time to use our imagination to meditate on God.

Just something we're discussing at college and I don't really have an answer, some of the things I've read about this week make me feel slightly uncomfortable, but I am a very active person and it might just be this passive, creative thing isn't for me.

What do you think?

Monday, 23 March 2009

More ways to see My Jarrol Spot

I guess this new layout has pointed out some new tools Blogger is using to allow people to follow blogs better.

Up the top you'll see links to both the post and comment rss feeds.  Click up there for a look and you can add them to you IE7, Firefox or Chrome RSS Feed readers...

Also you'll see that there are two people 'Following' this blog on the right sidebar.  If you want to follow My Jarrol Spot through your Blogger or Google account just click the FOLLOW button there, it's that easy.

Another Redesign

I guess after a while I just want a bit of a change... kind of like Facebook recently


So I've come up with a much cleaner look this time, and I'll admit it is more of a predesigned template and I haven't customised it much at all.

But it's much simpler, and I think fits the new phase of life I'm heading into...

Tell me what you think...

How do we view God's laws?

An excerpt from the assignment I've just finished, do we feel God's laws are there to keep us in check, to tie us down? Does the church sometimes impose those feelings of the law on us??
“Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel:  'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.  Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."
Exodus 19:3-6

God has already entered into His relationship with the Israelites before He speaks his law to them. Through intervening and saving them from Egypt He starts His relationship, therefore the giving of the law is based on the assumption that Israel is already ‘saved’. “The law, rather than being a means of salvation, was a means of helping Israel to become a “holy people” set apart to God (Exod 19:6), [because] it defines holy behaviour” (Sprinkle 2004, 236).

The laws of Exodus 19-24 are included as part of the narrative of God establishing a relationship with Israel. The narrative of the Sinai Covenant is a continuation of the exodus story, where God has initiated a personal relationship with His people “so that Israel will come to know Yahweh as their God (Exod 16:12)”.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Quote of the day

Grant Denya commentating on the V8 Ute race and commenting on Andrew Fisher (Jesus Racing Ute)  being passed by another ute quite precariously.

"There's proof that Jesus saves, cause it's a miracle Fisher didn't end up in the wall on that one."

Perfect Start

Well this weekend was the first round of the 2009 V8 Supercar series.  A whole heap of stuff has changed over the off-season, the major one being the introduction of the FG Falcon race car... personally I think it looks much more aggressive than the old BF.

The Clipsal 500 in Adelaide is an event I would love to get to one day, the atmosphere looks awesome, and I can only imagine it is heightened by the fresh energy of it being the first event of the year.

The best thing though was seeing Jamie Whincup come back in 09 to win the first two races after getting pole position.  He won the championship last year with a great effort to win a heap of races, and it seems like he's out to do the same thing this year.

Onya Jamie... champion two years in a row I say!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Free Gift

Time and time again I am reminded how good a free gift is.

But the thing that knocks me on the head when I really think about it is the times we receive a free gift when we really don't deserve it... not like 'we've done nothing to deserve this'... but more like "we've done some rotten stuff that deserves the opposite of this".

I mean Mr Rudd's $900 payout is nice... I've done nothing to deserve it, but I've also done nothing not to deserve it.

What I find so overwhelming is that even though I am a terrible person, my thoughts and actions let me down so often, and if people knew what I was really like I'd be feeling much more lonely I'm sure... but even with me being a total lost cause (which I admit that I am), God still offers me his salvation, through the grace of Jesus Christ.

I've just finished an assignment on Exodus 19:3-6 where God says to Israel... "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." And a few chapters later we see the Israelites making a golden calf and worshipping it as soon as Moses' back is turned.

Gee I'm like that... God shows me his promises, and I say "Yep I'm in, I'll follow you" and no sooner have I turned around than I'm doing something dumb and sinful.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourself, it is a gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." 
~ Ephesians 2:8-10

I still haven't fully come to terms with that amazing grace offered by Jesus. God knows I can't do any of this myself, he knows I can't keep his laws - God knew that when he made his covenant with the Israelites, that they wouldn't be able to keep his law, I mean he didn't wipe them out because of the golden calf did he... So Jesus' grace is complete, no matter how bad you are, how bad you keep being or how soon you stuff up after accepting the gift.

That's the key, we need to accept the gift of grace, we have been created by God, God loves us - and because of that Jesus came and paid the penalty for all the crap I do. All I have to do is accept Jesus - sounds easy right?? - and all he asks in return is our life.

When you think about that it is easy... my life is gonna be worth nothing without the grace of Jesus, so giving my life to him isn't that big a thing.

I'm just glad that he takes such a screwed up life... and even when I keep damaging it, he's still got it and is working in me to turn it into a reflection of himself.

Not Always Easy

I guess that's the thing about life hey, it's not always easy.  I think my first assignment at college had thrown up a bit of a smokescreen for me... I breezed through the first 1000 word essay with some very good comments from the lecturer and the student tutor.

I think that make me a little complacent on the second assignment I've had to do... I presented it last night and very quickly realised that there was a major point that I'd missed, and had kind of miss understood a part of the question I was suppose to answer.

Luckily I have until next week to submit the actual essay so I can go back and fix my mistake and write up a proper assignment.

I have always prided myself in doing good work, I guess I just feel a little down that in myself I missed the point.  I'm not annoyed at people for pointing out my mistakes, I'm annoyed at myself for making them in the first place.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Comeback Season

Well my first soccer season in over 2 years has begun.

In May 2006 I had a huge coming together with another guy on the soccer field.  We both kicked the ball at the same time... the ball went no where, we both went flying and both had to be carried off the field.  Unfortunately my injury was quite serious, 3 torn ligaments, one of them torn in two places and I was unable to even run of kick any kind of ball for 12 months. (I posted here when I was really down about the injury)

I had thought my soccer days were over in that post. And it wasn't until last year, when I took up jogging and running again that I realised if I worked really hard I might be able to get my ankle back up to play some social soccer.

City North Baptist has a soccer club just like Whitehill, in a different comp though... last year I played 2 games for them as a fill in, just to have a bit of a run and this year I've signed up to play in their 5th Division team.

The ankle is strong now... not perfect... but strong.  I still have to strap it quite heavily, but I can run, kick and turn on it without any pain at all.

We played our pre-season grading games over the last two Saturdays, three 30 minute games each week, and I played back in my old position as the runner up the front.  I'm a bit slower (and older) than I use to be... but I felt strong playing and it felt good.

In the final game yesterday I had a bit of a vindication in that I scored a goal in the first 2 minutes of the game, kicking off my recovered ankle to pop it past the hands of the keeper.

Gee that felt good!

But just being part of a team, running without fear of turning my ankle, and getting back to playing a game I enjoy is the best part of all!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Love the opportunity

This video was taken on my phone a few weeks back at Willowbank's Summer Series Top Fuel Challenge.

This is the greatest privilege of being the track chaplain, getting to go and stand on the start line with the officials and teams when these amazing race cars are running.

The noise is so insane that my measly little phone camera didn't even record it when the car takes off at the end. The fumes are so intense, watch the guy tuning the engine, he can't even look at the car as he walks away from it.

There's no zoom on this video, I really do get to be that close to the cars.  

I love it :-)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Heart breaking.

It's so terrible to see the footage of the Moreton Island coast on the news this evening.

I remember going to Moreton Island for my grade 9 school camp, it's such a beautiful place.

And such a tragedy that our human made stupidness can destroy it so quickly!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Timing and Thankfulness

I played my djembe in college chapel today.  My old djembe has been a ornament in my mother's lounge room for the past 3 years... I haven't played it at all.

Today I realised that leaving a drum to sit for so long isn't good for it... the skin is dry, the rope is loose and the poor thing sounded pretty terrible.

To the untrained ear it sounded ok though, and many people said the African drum added a different dimension to the musical worship time today.  But after chapel one of the third year students came up to me and asked me if he could tune the drum for me.

To his trained ear he'd picked up that the djembe wasn't quite right, and he had knowledge I didn't on how to actually tune the thing.  It took about half an hour, Ryan untied all the string and then went about tieing it all back on tightly and tuning the drum as he went.

I was so thankful, as I love my drum, and this may actually encourage me to play it a little more - it sounds great again after it's tuning.

And also I'm thankful that God in his timing had me pull out my djembe just on the day someone was around who knew how to fix it for me.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Weekly Photography Assignment

This week we had to take a self portrait....

here's what I came up with.


There are a few other attempts and ideas over on my Flickr account. 

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Just doesn't seem right

Close to 40 degrees here in Queensland today, and I have a mega cold... stuffy nose, aching sinus and sore throat.

That just shouldn't be!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


Noticed someone on Facebook today asking why people bother with Lent.

There were some responses, which gave the idea that Lent is a unimportant and insignificant tradition of man made religion which should pretty well be done away with.

Now I'll admit to not adhering to Lent this year (or any other that I can remember), but this was my response... what do you think?

Dean Sandham at 10:02pm March 3
I can see no harm in Lent what-so-ever. The idea of giving something up to spend that time instead in prayer and communion with God is something seen all throughout the Old Testament (Nineveh when Jonah comes and tells them God will destroy them if they don't repent, the king even makes the cattle and sheep fast! Malachi praying for the Jewish people in Esther's time ect) and there is call for fasting and prayer in the New Testament as well. Jesus fasted and prayed before beginning his ministry, and gives teaching on fasting in Matthew 6:16.

Also in Acts there are times of fasting to prepare people for their ministries (kind of like what Jesus did before his).

So my bug isn't with Lent as such as people saying "man made religion bad!!!" when they haven't even considered a time of fasting themselves which is COMPLETELY BIBLICAL! And recommended in times of repentance, asking for help or preparing to do work.

Religion isn't bad - traditions are not bad either - but the fact we can let them become so mundane and routine that we loose the focus on them is bad.

Like it or not, all of our church heritage comes from a Catholic background - from the period of Constantine to the Reformation all churches were Roman Catholic (Catholic meaning Unified so basically the Unified Church from Rome), it was a long the way that our '
religion' got sidetracked...

Lent allows us a time to give something up and instead of doing it (be it eating, TV whatever) we spend time in communion with God. That's the real meaning of it - and it is a preparation for celebrating the Grace shown to us by Jesus at E aster time = it has nothing to do with suffering with Christ, or feeling a bit like Christ, but everything with setting aside specific time to get to know him better.

can't see anything wrong with that.

Apologies for spelling or grammatical errors int that one, I'm not overly careful on Facebook with that!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Respecting Authority

Saul wanted to kill David.  Saul was king, but God had rejected him, David had been anointed by Samuel as the next King, he had killed the giant Goliath and had married Saul's daughter.  

Saul chases David with 3000 men, David has 600 men of his own and they are on the run.

1 Samuel 24:3 - 7
3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.' " Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe.

5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD." 7 With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

David had the prime opportunity to fulfill his destiny.  It cannot have been a coincidence that Saul just happened to stray alone into a cave where David and 600 of his men were hiding (big cave!).

David could have thought it completely within his rights to off Saul right there and then, God had certainly delivered Saul into David's deciding hands. David knew one day he would be king, and he knew that Saul would have to die for that to happen.  Yet he did not attack... why?

David certainly wasn't nervous about killing a man - just a few chapters of 1 Samuel earlier he'd slaughtered Goliath with a stone... then hacked off his head with the giants sword and carried it around, taking it back to Saul.  No the idea of killing a man would have not been an issue.

David simply recognised that Saul was the authority figure of Israel.  God had anointed Saul, and he was God-placed as the king of the Israelites and who was David to change that.  David knew that Saul had been rejected and that he was anointed as the next king, but still David also knew that to kill God's anointed would be a sin and that God would bring Saul down himself.

Even when everyone else though David would be right in killing Saul, even when David could have justified himself, and seen that God had led Saul right into his hands, he did not sin.

That's amazing!

How many times do we know we are justifiably right, morally, spiritually, biblically... yet in our actions of vindicating our beliefs or even acting in the best interest of others do we sin by undermining the authority of someone God has placed above us?

I struggle with this.  I know to do good is God's will.  How then can I do that good without undermining an authority is wrong?  In David's case, Saul ends up falling on his own sword, killing himself - I need to believe God will provide ways out without me going against the authorities above me.

That's hard...
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