Monday, 31 January 2011

Youth Group 2011 Kick Off!!

In 2011 City North’s Youth Group is striving to be a Christ Centred, Servant Hearted, Outward Focused Youth Community. If you are in high school make sure you get involved in our Friday night activities.

Come along on the 4th of February to the church at 7.30pm for our Kick Off Night. Meet the leaders, make some friends and play some crazy games. You will also be able to pick up your calendar to find out all the awesome stuff happening throughout the rest of the term.

The youth leading team is committed to effectively ministering to young people so expect to have great times every Friday night, as well as learning more about what it means to be a part of our youth community through the ‘God Spots’ and practically living out of Christ Centred vision together!

Objective Truth

One of the young adults at City North put together this little video as part of our "The Gospel? Visual Arts project".   We have been asking people to provide forms of art that express what they understand to be the Gospel.

Katie's video is simply brilliant.  And a must share here on my blog!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Christ Centredness

Found this blog while looking up some stuff for youth group this term.  Take the time to read it, and look up some of the passages - you will be greatly encouraged!

Christ is the central figure and the central focus of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. He ought also to be the central figure and the central focus of our lives. To live otherwise and to call oneself a Christian is to be a living contradiction.
John the Baptist said it well, (John 3:30) "He must increase but I must decrease."
He must become increasingly more central in every area of my life, but I must become increasingly more peripheral in every area of my life.
Christ-Centeredness in life causes us to behold the glory of Christ, and in so doing to be changed into His likeness in ever-increasing degrees of glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Christ-Centeredness in marriage enables husbands to love their wives as Christ has loved the church, and enables wives to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22-26)
Christ-Centeredness in relationships enables us to love each other as Christ has loved us. (John 13:34)
Christ-Centeredness in the workplace enables us to do everything in the name of the Lord. (Colossians 3:17)
Christ-Centeredness in joy enables us to be completely filled with the very joy of Christ Himself, and in so doing to become increasingly freed from the poisonous pleasures of this world. (John 15:11)
Christ-Centeredness = Unbreakable Joy (Psalm 73:25, 27:4, 1 Peter 1:8-9)
(from Unbreakable Joy)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


‎"A flagstaff was erected at Sydney Cove and possession was taken for His Majesty. In the evening the whole of the party that came around in Supply were assembled at the point where they had landed and a Union Jack displayed, I and my officers drank the health of His Majesty and success to the new colony." 
Captain Phillip, Saturday, January 26th 1788

Happy Australia Day

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

I agree...

“I don't leave a lot of things open-ended theologically. I believe there's one God. I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. I believe we're all sinners. I believe in a real hell and a real heaven. So I'm a Bible guy, for sure. I don't make any apologies about that.”
Mark Driscoll

A Great Day

The last toast to a single man
Brett and Tori's wedding day was a fantastic time. I've never been a groomsman before and thoroughly enjoyed spending the entire day with Brett as we had a champaign breakfast and played a heap of X-Box before getting ready and going to the church.

The ceremony was exceptional. My nephew Nathanael was page boy, and at 16 months was just about the cutest thing you could ever see. He didn't make it down the aisle himself, but with much coaching from Mummy and Uncle Brett he got the rings to the front.

Brett was a mess as Tori came down the aisle. I've never seen him show that much emotion, so it was a special time indeed.

Signing the register
After the ceremony we piled into a huge limo for our trip into the Roma St Parklands for photos. It was a long limo ride, especially considering the air conditioning wasn't working properly. However this was the only thing that went wrong all day so no complaints really. We had a great time taking photos, the bride's maids were a lot of fun and we spent the afternoon walking through the park, talking with people, having photos taken and enjoying more champaign.

Brett's choice of reception location was spectacular. A hotel right on the edge of the Parklands (on Wickham Terrace), the reception hall was on the 10th story with 3 walls of glass to view the entire Brisbane City-scape. As the sun set over the city it was amazing to realise that a lot of it had been under water only a week ago.
Nathanael with Uncle Brett and Aunt Tori

The food was great, the speeches were all very touching and the whole day was just about perfect. The bride and groom have now headed to Fiji for their honeymoon and here's hoping that cyclone stays away!!

Bride and Groom

Performing my groomsman duty

The sun setting over Brisbane

Not a bad view for a reception

Woot Wooo!!!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Wedding Bells

My little brother gets married tomorrow.

I have to admit it's a tad strange and a little unnerving to be the groomsman at my brother's wedding, when he's 4 years younger than me.  Both my siblings will now be married while me, being the oldest, is still single.

It's strange how life works out that way.

Anyhow I am really looking forward to sharing with Brett and Tori on their special day tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Bare Shelves

I tried to do some grocery shopping yesterday.

It's very eerie being in a shopping centre that has no bread or milk, as well as very little meat and fruit.  The consequences of the Qld floods are impacting everyone, whether directly impacted or through these supply issues.

Monday, 17 January 2011

The finality of the flood...

I wish I'd taken a photo... but the one thing that shocked and amazed me about the finality of the flood in Brisbane was the amount of dead worms we saw when cleaning up in Chelmer.

Every single worm... literally thousands of them... had drowned in the water soaked soil.  They'd obviously all tried to come to the surface as the soil was drenched, but because the ground was covered in water they then washed away and drowned.

It was simply incredible to see thousands of earth worms in gutters and up against paths.  Nature in all its reality.

Cleaning Up Brisbane

As a church, City North has made an effort to get out into the flood effected communities and be a presence as we all work together to clean up Brisbane.

On Friday I went out to Chelmer (a suburb right on the south side of the Brisbane River) which had water up to 2m deep inundate the suburb.  We helped an older couple clean out there house.  We ripped out carpet, threw out dirty furniture and finished off by washing out the house with a high pressure gurney and disinfecting the floors.

I never though I would spent 90 minutes on a water gurney blasting the inside of a house.  It was a very surreal feeling.   The silt was pretty gross.  In fact the smell reminded me very much of the Serekunda Markets in The Gambia, and that was my least favourite smell in all of Africa!  Add to that the sound of generators running throughout the suburb and I had a very reminiscent moment about my African experience.

Outside, inside, everywhere was covered in a sticky mud.  Only the gurney could move it off the wooden floor after the ruined carpet had been removed.

However in a sense it was a really good day.  It felt great to help this couple, and they were amazed at how many people walked into their house to help, and how hard we worked.  A team went back on Saturday to help with the cleaning outside - unfortunately I couldn't make it.

The people of Brisbane have been rocked this week, but from what I saw in Chelmer, they will survive and move on.  Human spirit is amazing - maybe a little bit of a reflection of our creation in God's image.

More photos of the affected areas at

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Verse For Brisbane

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

My Old Classroom is a mess...

Mum just sent me a photo from the school she teaches at - and my old primary school.  This photo is taken in the classroom I actually had when I was in grade 6.   

The water got so high the Unifix maths blocks are embedded in the ceiling!!!!


I'm sure everyone is shocked and amazed by the footage of Brisbane's flood.  We haven't been affected at all in Zillemere apart from not having many supplies in the local shops and pretty much being confined to the house as to avoid any flooded roads.

BrisbaneFlood2011-10We had all our problems last week when the rain was actually falling.  It seems we only flood when storm-water runs down through the suburb and most of it then comes through our backyard.  We dealt with that last week, saving ours and our neighbour's places from being inundated.  But with the rain gone this week we've just watched as other suburbs flood due to a rising river.

BrisbaneFlood2011-09My family in Ipswich have had a few more troubles.  Mum and Dad's house is much higher than any water would ever reach, and we thought that Vanessa and Andy (my sister and brother-in-law)'s place would be the same.  However they had to evacuate Tuesday and went to stay with Mum and Dad.  They went back Wednesday and prepared the house as it looked like the water would possibly come high enough to get in.  Praise God the water only reached their street, and the steepness of their block meant the water didn't reach the house.  Unfortunately the houses on the other side of their street were not so lucky.

BrisbaneFlood2011-04Mum and Dad's place has been without power since Tuesday.  I've just heard they have regained power in the last 20 minutes.  Now they are out helping friends and neighbours who have had flooding in their places.

I am now looking at the best way for me to help out with the clean up.  It's going to take a long time, with so much mud being left behind as the waters subside.  It really is an amazing thing to see the city I live in and love so devastated.  The video footage and photos are amazing, but nothing like seeing it in person.

Pray for us in Queensland.  God will need to bring peace to a multitude of people, and the church will need to help be the conveyor of that peace!BrisbaneFlood2011-06

P.S ~ the photos throughout this post were taken by me at Breakfast Creek yesterday about 12 hours before the flood peaked.  The water would have raised another meter and a half.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Bracing for the worst...

We're having some pretty bad floods in Queensland.   What happened in Toowoomba yesterday was shockingly amazing, and that surge is slowly making its way closer to us in Brisbane.

My parents, brother and sister have been cut off in Ipswich - all three of their houses are fine (on high ground) but there's not getting out there to visit them.

We're doing alright in Zillmere.  We have problems with running water when it rains heavy, but I think we will be spared any damage from rising water.   We're preparing for a few days inside though, and seeing if we can help any people from out churches by providing a dry space to sleep.

Here's a photo from our backyard a few days ago in the worst of what we've seen running through our place.


Yesterday I turned 29

I'm now 29.  I don't have a family, no wife, kids, or even a girlfriend.  I have been single for years and have not had nearly a hint of a relationship in most of that time.  I don't own a house, a boat, a motorbike or a fast car - I do have a late model car but it is just your everyday run-around type of machine. I don't even have a full time job.  I live with two other guys (in a small 2 bedroom rental), neither of which have full time jobs, I live on a meager amount of money and have no great leisure items to speak of.

As far as the Western world would look at the above outline of my life, it would class me as a looser and a failure.

Luckily I can rest on the fact that I am right where God wants me.  I'll admit that at times I see what the world would see and I long for some of the things the world would expect me to have by this age.  Even some church-folk would judge me on my position in life - I know in Mark Driscoll's view I would not meet his 'definition' of a Godly man as I am not married and living with those responsibilities.  Being a Bible College student might save me there, but I still feel that even people at church might think my life is not really the life a 29 year old should be living.

I still stand on the fact I am walking God's path.  Hopefully he brings some of those things along in time, but as hard as it is not to fit in, I feel I can take strength from living in God's will.

I had some deep thoughts on my birthday yesterday...

Friday, 7 January 2011

Getting the band back together

After a successful reunion at Easterfest 2009, the Paul Colman Trio (PC3) are recording a new album.  They haven't lost any of the band dynamic they had when touring and this video is just a little insight into the craziness that must be invading Nashville at the moment as this great Aussie band does its thing!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Getting closer.

My brother gets married in 3 weeks.  Yesterday my nephew Nathanael got his suit for his page boy duties.  From the photo Mum sent it looks like he's warming to the role.

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