Friday, 31 July 2009

Dealing with Sin

Have been thinking these last few days, how often do we really deal with sin in our lives?

When we deal with sin do we take full responsibility for it, or try and make excuses or gloss over the real feelings and thoughts behind our sin?

King David was a really good example of how to deal with sin, and I'm listening to some sermons on him, and reading a bit to try and figure out how to effectively deal with sin in my life. Hopefully I can share a bit as I go along.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Continuing Recovery

Thank you to all those who have continued praying for Dad and our family.

Dad's been home from hospital a few weeks now, after having triple bypass heart surgery. It is a really long recovery process, but Dad is heading down it with confidence and patience.

He's started cardio rehab, and is getting stronger by the week. He's aim is to be well enough to fly to Canada with us in September to visit my sister and her baby (which is due at the same time).

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Day of Loss

Continuing on from our defeat in soccer... I went along to the City North Trivia night tonight.

Yep you guessed it... my table ended up with the wooden spoon.


Fun night though!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Reflecting on Stanthorpe

I've basically told you what I did while I was in Stanthorpe but I wanted to take some time to chew over thoughts and impressions I had during my time there.

At the beginning of the week I was kind of wondering why we weren't doing more for the church, it seemed they were doing everything for us - giving us lessons on the town and culture, discussing with the Pastors their approach to ministry, visiting the church members who owned farms and wineries. It kind of felt like we were just sight seeing and not fulfilling the requirements of Week of E.

Later in the week, and especially now looking back I really value that time. The 'E' in Week of E stands for Evangelism, Exposure and Equipping. Obviously we'd started our week by being immersed in the Exposure side and it was that which heightened our Equipping to actually be effective in Evangelism later in the week. How many time do we just rock up to a place expecting God to work and us to know exactly what people need. Shouldn't we first , yes even before sharing the Gospel, get an idea of where we are, how the people live, and what previous attempts to share the Gospel have been made? By knowing this wouldn't we be able to more effectively structure the way we share when it comes time to evangelise?

That's led me to wonder what we've done in Kedron here with City North to understand who it is we are evangelising to. We've done it really well in some ways - in noticing the young skating culture around Chermside the church has turned the void space in the building into a skate park and runs 'Chilli-ramps' on a Tuesday night, some of those boys are now involved in youth group and coming to church services. Through seeing the need of local migrants in the community we've just started a "Speaking English" course in the church building, with members of the congregation assisting in teaching people to speak English. But is there more we can do in other ministries such as Young Adults, Seniors and Social Justice?

My week in Stanthorpe also highlighted the importance of school ministries. Through teaching R.E in some of the outlying primary schools to running an evangelistic event with the chaplain at the high school I saw that there is a huge populace of young people who have had no Christian influence on their lives. The high school ministry especially encouraged me of the power of the Gospel in young people's lives. We gave away around 70 "Essential Jesus" books through simply putting them on a table with a sign "Free Book" - we didn't hand any out, kids just took them when they grabbed their lunch and many wanted to discuss it more with different members of the team. I was playing music but could see groups of students sitting together reading the book, and most groups had a Malyon college student there being asked questions. It was really exciting to see that there was some genuine interest in Jesus, who he was and why he is important.

I've just come from teaching R.E at Wavell High and had a very similar experience. I used the "Two Ways to Live" presentation outlined in the back of the "Essential Jesus" book to teach the class and there was a really positive response to who Jesus is, and the importance of his act of redemption. I only had 6 of the books with me, but students in the class were quite willing to take and look at them.

I think maybe the most important thing that Week of E has done for me is to reignite my excitement for ministry, and without realising it the "Exposure" and "Equipping" parts were the most important of all.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Final Days in Stanthorpe

Saturday was mostly a rest day/do your own thing day. However as a team we decided to go on a bush walk in Girraween National Park. As a team we set off to the Granite Arch (a natural rock collect - quite impressive) and then a smaller group of us decided to climb the Pyramid Rock, and an even smaller number actually made it to the top. It was an insane climb, quite difficult and scary in some places.

We were walking up a steep rock face, no ropes no hand holds, just making your own way to the top. At one point I found myself alone, and on an exposed cliff face, only 10 meters of sloped rock between me and the edge. That part was quite frightening.

The sense of accomplishment when I
reached the top though was unreal! I'd been having knee problems all week, wearing a brace and had been in a considerable amount of pain, so to reach the top of that grueling climb was a pretty decent achievement. As you can see from the photos, it was spectacular up there!

On the way home from Girraween we stopped at a little chocolate shop (Heavenly Chocolate) and though chocolate is chocolate and I wasn't too interested in the range of bars and candy, they did have pure hot chocolate drinks available. I ordered a white chocolate and hazel nut drink and it was absolutely divine! Ben had a chocolate and chilly drink which had a very interesting flavour.

Saturday night we had a BBQ and bonfire with the youth of the church. It was a night of good food, good people, good games and a great devotion from Luke.

Sunday I was up early to pack everything up at my billets home - thanks so much to Nev and Fay for providing a 5 star home for us during the week, their hospitality would rate 5 star as well! - and then make it into the church by 8am for music practise.

The service went really well. I was encouraged at the Stanthorpe Baptist congregations acceptance of a slightly different music and service style and still join with us in worshipping God. Ryan preached a great message on "Why do we worship?" and all in all it was a good time of fellowship and praise.

After that it was time to have some lunch with the church before jumping in our cars and heading home. What a fantastic week, that I wished could have gone on!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Stanthorpe - Friday

6am prayer meetings = committed Bible College students!!!

Only 1 local turned up but it was still a good time. The temp was still in the negatives at that time this morning and it was a cold start to the day. We then went as a team and had breaky at a bakery in town and then stacked some wood for one of the church neighbours.

We did a prayer walk around town, which was a really worth while exercise and then we headed to the high school for a meeting with the chaplain, Noel.

We had a bit of a tour and discussed the ministry Noel gets to be involved in before helping out ourselves. We had a BBQ set up in their common area and Kim and I set up the guitar and drum for a bit of a rock out. 150 sausages were consumed in about 10 minutes and over the course of the lunch time about 60 "Essential Jesus" books were given to students. Some of the team had great talks with students about the Gospel and there was plenty of positive feedback about Kim and my music attempt.

We've decided we might start our own little 'band' called 2Pod :-p

This afternoon we got to do some more touristy stuff by going to the Bramble Patch and having some gourmet ice cream and frozen yogurt. A beautiful roast meal awaited Ben and I when we returned to our billets home, and as they watch the NRL (Broncos getting flogged!) I'm online following the live score of the Essendon/Western Bulldogs game.

Carn the Dons!!!

Thursday, 16 July 2009


...and no snow yet - but we had sleet today.

The locals are still saying we have a good chance of seeing snow before Sunday.

Thursday in Stanthorpe

Yesterday was a quiet day - we spent most of the time doing prep for up coming ministries.

One of those was this morning when we went out to some of the regional schools to teach R.E - it was a simple program but a lot of fun with some very 'country' kids. The grade 4-7s were great fun with lots of gory motorbike crash stories (amazing how many of these kids have had some decent stacks off bikes) and then I got to go into the prep and grade 1 class at another school - pretty sweet!

One of the guys had some problems with his car, and we had to totally refill and bleed his radiator and cooling system in the engine - lucky it happened today and not half way home on Sunday. We also went to the Wine College, where I had a great cup of coffee and we spent a lot of time chatting and debriefing.

This afternoon we spent 2 and a half hours practicing for the service on Sunday. I think we spent so long because we really clicked as a group of blokes making music and worshipping together and just didn't want to stop.

There's a prayer meeting at 6am tomorrow, and we are then going to run a sausage sizzle at the high school during their lunch break.

Only a few days left, but still a lot too do :-)

Photos from Stanthorpe

Chappy milking the goat on our first night in Stanthorpe

The amazing house we are staying in for the week - what a beautiful view to wake up to!

On top of Marley Mountain

Sunset on Marley Mountain

Kim joining in some of the activities during the high school program

Visiting an apple orchard

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Oh and yes... they have forecast snow for Stanthorpe tomorrow!!!

WOW! (I've never seen snow)

Day Wrap Up

Another great day in Stanthorpe.

It was a tad overcast this morning, but I was still able to get some nice photos of the place where Ben and I are staying. I'm not on my laptop at the moment but if I get a chance to duck up to the McDonalds and use their free wifi I'll put some photos up.

Today 4 of us headed with Darryl to the highschool to assist with the No Limits program that the chaplain (Noel) is running with a group of grade 11 students. The program is not evangelical, but focused on teaching moral and life skills to boys who may not be fitting in their social scope. They are about mid way through the program and it was good to see the boys able to recall so much of the previous material when asked about it.

Highlight of the day was probably as we were walking back to the car and Darryl found himself sliding down a muddy hill (even stopped the locals driving past long enough to point and laugh at their Baptist Pastor rolling in the mud)...

This afternoon we visited the Carnell's farm (Andrew Carnell is a friend from City North and college so was great to see where he'd been brought up), and we had a good look at how much is involved with the fruit farming routine - and also to sample some fantastic country baking!

We then visited Symphony Hill Wines and had a tour of the facilities. It is run by a couple from the Baptist church and was interesting to hear how they were using the vineyard as a ministry tool. And tasting some of the wine was unreal as well - excellent stuff.

Tonight we've been at the young adults Bible study... so it's been a long day.

Monday, 13 July 2009

First Days in Stanthorpe

Not quite as cold here as we were expecting.

Only down to 1 degree last night, didn't even dip in to the negatives. Tonight though I think we're -3 already, but the place I'm staying is totally climate controls (amazing!) so I'm sitting here in a t-shirt and feeling fine.

Yesterday the team went to the Sunday Service at Stanthorpe Baptist and was introduced to the church. We had lunch with our host families at the local park and spent the afternoon doing our own thing.

Today we did a cultural walk of the town, learning from the senior pastor David about the culture of Stanthorpe and how that effects ministry. Lunch was at a cafe/winery out of town and then the afternoon was spent at the associate pastor's, Darryl, home talking about pastoral life in the country - and coming from a city church to a country church.

Tomorrow I'm going to the highschool to run a program with boys at risk, not sure exactly what it involves but I'm looking forward to actually doing something practical to help out around here.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Off to Stanthorpe

Alrighty. Part of college this year is to participate in Malyon's Week of E - a week of practical ministry in either a city, surburban or country setting.

I'm on the Stanthorpe team, heading out into the country to work at the local Baptist church for the week.

I'm looking forward to it, and will be leading the service there next Sunday.

Probably not looking forward to the cold so much...

I've got some fantastic photos of the Watoto Children's Choir from Wednesday at Whitehill and tonight at Stafford Salvation Army, but you'll have to wait to till I get back.

Or you'll see the Whitehill ones on my flickr account.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Feeling Forgotten

Do you ever wonder if all the work you did for years really mattered?

Or if for some reason you're not doing that same thing one year people will even notice you're gone????

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Oldest Biblical Manuscript now online.

World's oldest bible made available to the public online.


July 07, 2009 07:40am

A COPY of the world's oldest bible that has been made available online will help unlock several mysteries of Christianity, experts say.

The Codex Sinaiticus was hand-written by four scribes in Greek on animal hide in the mid-fourth century around the time of the Roman emperor Constantine.

Head of Western manuscripts at the British Library Scot McKendrick says that the digitising of the historical artefact means academics can examine the early workings of Christianity.

"The limits on access to this manuscript previously have meant that people have tended to dip, so that they have seized on particular things,” Mr McKrendrick said.

"This 1,600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation,” he said.

The Bible's remaining 800 pages and fragments - originally some 1,400 pages -contains half of the Old Testament. The other half has been lost while some pages have been rendered unreadable.

According to McKendrick, the digitising of the Codex Sinaiticus was a four year project that allowed experts to uncover evidence that a fourth scribe had worked on the text.

"The Codex … is arguably the oldest large bound book to have survived," McKendrick said.

"It marks the definite triumph of bound codices over scrolls - a key watershed in how the Christian Bible was regarded as a sacred text," he said.

The assembly of the book includes previously unpublished pages of the Codex found in a blocked-off room at St. Catherine's Monastery, at the foot of Mount Moses, Sinai, in 1975.

Collections of sections of the bible are currently held by the British Library in London, the Monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, Egypt, the National Library of Russia and Leipzig University Library in Germany.

The Bible can be viewed online at, includes modern Greek translations and some sections translated into English.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Watoto Childrens Choir - Brisbane this week!

Check out to find where the choir is going to be. They are only around the Brisbane area this week.

They are certainly something you should catch if you can.


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Homeward Bound

Well I spent last night in Ipswich after visiting Dad. Mum needed some company after being in this big house all by herself for the last week and a bit.

Today I drove Mum into Greenslopes and Dad was discharged from hospital. We're back in Ipswich, and just the fact he's out of hospital has made Dad feel so much better.

He's still really weak, and gets tired quick - but at the moment he's gone for his 5 minute walk, and instead of it being up and down the hall of the ward, he's able to go out with Mum into the garden and the sunlight!

There's still a long road to full recovery, but God has been working amazingly over this last week. Thank you all for your prayers.

Fizzy Vimto

Back in 2004 when I was in The Gambia the easiest and best way to have a drink was to keep an empty glass soda bottle in your bag so you could go to a pitiko (a small shopfront) and get a cold soft drink. By handing over your empty bottle you could then take the full soda and walk off and drink in your own time. Otherwise you'd have to stand at the pitiko and finish your drink and hand back the bottle.

Not being able to trust the water in the country to be safe to drink, softdrink was always the best option if you were out somewhere.

I've never been a big Coke-a-cola drinker, and during my time in The Gambia my fav
ourite drink was Vimto. It's a berry flavoured, creaming soda like drink which I found very refreshing. However, returning home there was nothing like it to be found in Australia.

I've been keeping an eye out in those novelty candy shops which sell US softdrinks (Cherry Coke ect...) but since Vimto was a UK soda I'd never seen it anywhere.

Untill last Friday, I was in the Brisbane CBD and a novelty candy store right near Central Station had a small can of Fizzy Vimto in their fridge - very excitedly I bought a can and was able to experience a memory from my time in The Gam!

I've had another can since, but it will be a treat, as it is not the cheapest can of softy around! But I think it's more the memories it brings up that makes it so special.
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