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Eagles Woes

The weagles woes are continuing and the Sunday Slime has written this about the pre season derby,

"But the Dockers are likely to field a side considerably stronger than the West Coast Eagles, who have endured an injury-riddled pre-season.
Full-forward Brad Smith is out of commission for another 12 months because of a second knee reconstruction, while midfielder Chad Fletcher (collarbone), ruckman/forward Michael Gardiner (foot), David Wirrpunda (knee) and Ashley Sampi (compartment syndrome), are tipped to miss the first round of the official pre-season competition.
Beau Waters, who injured a knee when hit by a taxi late last year, is still well below full fitness. Michael Braun, on the comeback trail after knee surgery, is training solidly, but could also be rested for the Dockers encounter."

A Docker fans opinion?

Out: Smith, Fletcher, Gardiner, Wirrpunda and Sampi

In: Boo and Hoo

He does answer prayers


A little while back, about 8 months ago, a friend who does not come to church told me that, 'there is no way you will get a house like you want in Bedford for that price'.

I was sharing with her that we felt God was calling us to be in the area. In other words more incarnational in our approach. (I did not use those exact words, but that is what I was seeking to convey). I also shared that we would love our son to go to Inglewood pre primary. Her response was "there is no way you will get him in to that class, the kindy has 75 kids in it, and the pre primary goes down to 50. You cannot get a spot, especially not at this late stage". (This was 8 months before!!)

On both counts she was right, there was no earthly way this could happen. She is a self confessed athiest.
Then, through some remarkable circumstances, we came to buy a house, a beautiful house, with a magnificent kitchen, in a great central street, for a very reasonable price. We paid no agent fees as it was a private sale. In fact we were the only ones who knew it was going to be for sale, and we found out through some extraordinary circumstances. To give you some idea, houses in the area we were looking at rarely get to a house open, they are normally sold within 48 hours. That is no exageration.

Then, this morning, a number of months after buying the house, after we had almost given up hope, and had enroled our son in an alternative school, the Inglewood Primary School secretary rings us up and tells us there is a suprise vacancy. After my wife had finished shreaking down the phone, we were both reminded of the conversation we had with this lady.

God is good, He won't be mocked. Prayers offered up in His will, and for His purposes are generally answered. We are so happy to be doing what He wants, and to have it confirmed in this way. I can't wait to see what He has in store for us next.

Hillsong Part Two


Now two good friends are coming to Hillsong with me!

Cant wait.
Truth is we have a stack of fun, as well as being inspired and uplifted.
Imagine four days away with two good mates!!

Now I love my coffee, but Pizza if probably my first love, good stuff, not the $5.95 specials.

The sort of pizza that Italian/Greek guy makes by hand.
Floury crust, real bacon, real herbs.

There is a great pizza shop in the middle street of Sydney, right near where we normally stay.
Anyone know anyway we should visit?

Cervantes


I love the place.
Sun, fishing, sitting on the porch watching the sun go down.

Getting up, throwing on the boardshorts. Plunging into the Indian Ocean.

There is nowhere like Western Australia, and for me, nowhere like Cervantes.

I will never change my mobile phone provider. Optus dont have coverage up there.
I will never change from Optus.

Time with my wife and my kids, talking, laughing, buying lollies and fresh bread from the 'supermarket'.

Reading the west over a plate of my wife's pancakes with maple syrup and cream, breakfast at 10am after a swim.

But most of all, my kids laughter and joy as we build the biggest most complex sand castle you have ever seen. Inbuilt bath, seat, tunnel, bridge, moat, outside wall to protect it from the incoming waves. If my son does not turn out to be an engineer or designer, or builder of somesort, I will be suprised. His ideas, for a 5 year old, well I know I am biased, but the kid is smart!

Happy Slappers


In the mother country there is a relatively new phenomenon occuring known as "happy slapping"

What it involves is a group of youths bullying another youth, all the while videoing it with their mobile phone and then distributing it amongst their friends. The bullying can and does frequently go as far as bashing, stabbing, sexual misconduct and other such things. All the while the kids are either participating or laughing.

If you devalue people so much, this is what you get. A person is only valuable if they can provide you with sick entertainment. As a parent two young children, such activity makes me physically sick. I believe that these young people doing the attack are empty, devoid of purpose, and our humanistic, egocentric, self centered and selfish society has made them this way. They are evil people, yet there are reasons why they are evil.

We Christians have to permeate the Holy Spirit's influence throughout society. We have to see people changed one at a time.

New Blogger

Alex Huggett has a blog.

Alex is a friend and pastor peer working at Ellenbrook Baptist Church. He has been through some rough times pastorally, have not we all, but apart from the occaisional twitching and other dysfunctions, he seems to have survived it alright. (!!)

His blog will focus on what is going on in the greater Ellenbrook area.
Check it out. http://www.the-ellenbrooker.com/

New Premier huge Dockers man


Whatever other criticism you might want to level at our new Premier, at least he has chosen the right team to support.

Alan is a true supporter. No chardonny sipping corporate box for him. Gallop take notice. Every derby, there was the blue and gold supporting Geoff, in his corporate box, with his limousine parked out front, blocking the path of the plebs.

Alan on the other hand sits in the normal wooden seats, a few rows down from me. He is a true working class Freo Supporter.

And now he is our state premier. Things are looking better for our state already.

2006 is the year that Purple comes into its own.

Cervantes and Psalm 5


Tommorow I head off with my family to Cervantes for a few days of relaxation.

I am continuing my devotions in the Psalms and so Ps 5.1 will apply,

"Lord hear me as I pray"

This week its all about praying for fish. Would love to help my son pull in his second fish. Nothing quite like sitting there on the jetty or the beach casting out for some food. My wife is the best filleter and cooker of herring that there is.
Beautiful big crunchy herb infused bread crumbs, fish melting in your mouth. Big fat crispy wedges served with sour cream, and a nice coldie. All while sitting on the verandah watching the sun go down, enjoying the happy banter of my two beautiful kids.

God is so good to us all. I'm taking the time to thank him for my beautiful wife, my wonderful healthy kids, and my beautiful life.
Verse 12 "For you bles the godly O Lord, surrounding them with Your shield of love".

Best Coffee in Perth

Both Phil Baker and Andrew Hamilton are discussing where to find the best coffee in Perth, with varied results. It appears though that Leederville is the hub for Perth's best coffee. Not suprising when you consider the ethnic origins of many of the good folk in that area. Perth has a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the Greek and Italian communities. When I visited the US it struck me how awful their coffee is. And yet they claim to love the stuff. Everywhere I went it was too hot, burnt and bitter.

One of my favourite places for coffee is a little lunch bar called the "Sunshine Cafe" on Beaufort St in Mnt Lawley. Most Tuesday mornings you will find me there discussing Church stuff with my associate. You wouldn't necesarily think it, but they brew a good latte.

I am getting suprisingly beautiful coffee with my little espresso machine that my wife bought me for Christmas. Even my sister, a real 'short black' lady, thought the coffee was excellent.
What is more, it does not cost me $4 for a long strong latte!

Influential Christians


The Church report, online magazine, has a lit of the 50 Most Influential Christians in US . Some very interesting names there, along with Bush, Osteen, Warren and Graham is relative newcomer, Rob Bell.
Those of you who visit my Blog will know how much I love Rob Bell's Book, "The Velvet Elvis".
It has helped me in my Christian life and ministry. I also love his DVD Nooma Series.
However has he really influenced me a lot? Well not as much as some flesh and bone Christians. A Pastor I had in Albany was one of the biggest influences on me. He taught me that preaching could be fun, interesting and inspiring all in one. He also inspired me to be a pastor. However he did also do some very silly things, and is no longer a Pastor. Like us all, he has feet of clay. Other major influences include my parents and some Christian friends.
I think these lists oversimplify things and make us think these people are more powerful than they are.
Even the most influential books I have ever read in my Christian walk, besides the Bible, books such as "The Velvet Elvis" and "Suprised by the Spirit" and "The purpose Driven life/Church" all have come along at a God apointed time, a time God wanted to say something deep and life changing to me.

I need to remind myself, that as a flesh and blood person, and as someone with feet of clay, that one at a time, I influence people. If your reading this, so do you.

The Psalms of David

Have been feeling a little bit flat the last couple of weeks, spiritually speaking. Its suprising how that was reflected in some of the things going on at Church.

However just before the service last Sunday, on the Saturday, I started to delve into the Psalms again. If you are feeling disconnected from God, these are a wonderful, passionate set of writings which really draw you into the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I had left my bible at Church (what sort of a pastor does that?!?!) and so I was reading from the amplified version. These lines from Psalm one really spoke to my soul, and I am feeling a sense of the Holy Spirit in me again, prodding, encouraging, stirring me on.
3And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]

Church on Sunday was really good. The music and worship was inspiring and flowed really well (thanks Dale, Bruce, Mark, Theo and Helen!)
Luke spoke really well, told some good stories and had us all thinking about how to deal with suffering.

Rotary Motors and my mispent youth


In my mispent youth I owned a Mazda Rx4. It was purchased for the princely sum of $2000. Believe it or not, now such a vehicle would probably command double that. That means a 1975 vehicle has doubled in price over 15 years. However I am pretty sure my Rx4 is wrapped around some telephone pole in rural WA. It was a sad day when I sold it to a friend to finance my bible college days in Adelaide. Unfortunately it was way to heavy on the juice for my career of choice while studying, that of delivering pizza's. But I digress.
My Rx4 was shiny red with a black vinyl roof. It looked very similar to the one pictured here. It had a killer stereo in it. Two 150w amps, 4 x 3 way Pioneer speakers. Of course there were no such things as Cd or DVD in car players in those days, but the cassette player belted out Cold Chisel, Australian Crawl, Ric Cua or Bryan Duncan, depending on my mood.

The motor was a 13b street ported job with a 4 barrell Holley Carbie. One problem I had was fuel starvation at high revs (around 8000 rpm). I managed to pick up a rally fuel pump from a Rx7 for $50. The pump was worth a few hundred bucks, but the guy needed the cash. It solved the problem and the motor revved long and hard from that point on.

It went through numerous exhausts, once totally ripping apart a set of extractors. I ended up putting in some new extractors and a straight through exhaust, and it was pretty loud.

In the wet it was almost uncontrollable, spinning the rear wheels all the way up to fourth gear. Many times at the lights it took on and comprehensively beat much more fancied sets of wheels.

Anyways, back to the present and a promise I have made myself. I will one day purchase a Series 1 or 2 Mazda Rx7. (1979 - 1982/3) This will be returned to almost stock condition. No flares or mags for me. Just a clean, preferably white, Rx7 to take out when not driving the family around. I have already got in mind the exhaust system to put on it, because this is probably the second most crucial part of owning a rotary motor. The most important part is ensuring that the little pump which puts oil into the carby to oil the rotors is in top operational condition. If it is, a rotary motor will give you smooth, powerful performance for many happy years of motoring, despite the ill concieved fallacies which some will give.

Markedly Award for Shrimp most needing to be BBQ





The West reports this morning that well know West Coast Eagles player Chris Judd's company is being investigated by a liquidator over some possible breaching of proper company governance. Oh Dear.

This coupled with his mum's singing about her son in pre grand final days leads me to award the "Markedly Award for Shrimp most needing to be BBQ" to Chris Judd.


May he have his worst year ever this year and get traded to Collingwood in 2007

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire


My mum bought me this book by Jim Cymbala for Christmas. Its a devotional book, based around the pastoral life of Jim, who with his wife, has been the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Of course this is the church with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I have seen a message Jim gives about his daughter and the 'tough love' he and his wife showed when she was a drug addict. Fantastic, as Rod Denton called it, 'Anointed' message. Interestingly it is one of the most popular books, among their top five, of many younger pastors.

I believe in balance. Jim calls for more prayer, more devotion, less marketing, less polish. I have no probem with him calling for that, its a message I need to hear. However I do also believe God has gifted us all differently for a reason. Some people are great marketers, and like excellence in presentations etc. They should use their gifts for the Kingdom, as should those who love to pray for hours. God connects with us all in different ways. The satisfaction we feel over something done for God, and done well, comes from all different 'activities', and I think God celebrates them all.

A quote from Jim,
"what does it say about our churches today that God birthed the church in prayer meetings and prayer meetings today are almost extinct?"

Computers suck, I love computers


This week I have been reformatting the hard drive on a computer given to me by a great friend Viren. Unfortunately Viren has gone back to India, at least it is unfortunate for me, I miss him!

The computer is a great one, but Viren is a real computer buff and it was partioned, had all these weird and wonderful computer programs on it. Far too confusing for a simple man such as myself. So I have eventually figured out how to wipe the hard drive and reinstall XP and Office 2003.
Unfortunately the driver for the internal PCI BUS modem has gone missing! I suspect it is not a real modem but one of those little wire, attatchment jobs in which the downloaded software does all the work. If anyone knows how to determine what modem it is without ripping the thing apart, please let me know. Windows XP cant find it, nor can the system management on XP. And I know its there! I used it before I reformatted it!!

Church all shook up


A story in the West caught my eye this morning. It briefly told how a church in Parkes, rural NSW, is holding an Elvis style gospel service at the same time as the local community is holding their annual Elvis Festival. The Sydney Morning Herald has some more details such as,
"The Elvis gospel-style Uniting Church service that will be held on the Sunday began four years ago with 80 people. Tomorrow it is expected to draw more than 700.
The Reverend Tom Stuart, who is leading the service, said Elvis was no saint but he saw nothing wrong with the church borrowing him.
Elvis was deeply spiritual and loved gospel singing, having been brought up in a Memphis Pentecostal church.
He recorded three gospel albums and it was for his religious music, not his rock'n'roll tunes, that he won three Grammys.
"I see Elvis as this performer with incredible talent who is like us because of the phenomenal personal failings that exposed his clay feet," Mr Stuart said."
NCLS also mention it briefly on their site.
This is awesome. A local church listening and seeing what the local community is doing, and tapping into it in a relevant way. Something accesible and liked by the community. Apparently the church service is now the biggest event on the Elvis Festival's calender!
I think this is fantastic, mmmm, now how can I get the Bayswater Council to organise a Elvis Festival in my area.... and where have I left my blue suede shoes?

Jimmy Neutron

I bought my son, off Ebay, a Jimmy Neutron Rocket Car for Christmas.
Goodness knows how he got so obsessed with this genius wonder boy, but he has. About half the presents he got for Christmas were JM related, including DVD's, models, and other things.


Unfortunately Hasbro, the manufacturer of Jimmy toys, stopped
manufacturing them and distributing them in Australia about
2 years ago. I know because I rang them.
Thank goodness for Ebay!
I have just purchased him a Jimmy walker robot, and it should arrive in time for his birthday. Only thing is that the postage from the US costs about double what the radio controlled walker is going to cost us.

Do I get a father of the year nomination or what!

Another sad Pastor story

This from the The news
"The senior pastor of a Tulsa Baptist church was arrested outside a northwest Oklahoma City hotel after allegedly propositioning an undercover officer, police said. http://newsok.com/video/1724872/Show Video
Lonnie Wayne Latham, 59, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church, was arrested Tuesday on a complaint of offering to engage in an act of lewdness, police Capt. Jeffrey Becker said. He was released on $500 bail Wednesday.

I checked out his church website and as one of their statements of faith,
"We are all made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although mankind has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates us from God"

Its too easy to read these stories and condemn, forgetting this is a real person, probably who started off in ministry just like me, with pure hopes and dreams. Latham is now in a prominent and important role both in his church, and within the Baptist Denomination.
I feel sorrow for his family, and his church, and for him. Lets hope and pray there is a good recovery program going on.
This is a reminder to me, as a pastor, that with responsibility comes accountability.

Narnia


Off to see the movie tonight.

Loved the seven books as a child, particularly the "Voyage of the Dawn Treader".

I am speaking on lessons from the wardrobe on Sunday.
Should be fun!

I'm going to Hillsong 2006


I have booked my ticket to Sydney this year.
Had enough frequent flyers, just, and will take advantage of what looks like the bext line up of speakers ever.
Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Matthew Barnett and .... Delirious!
I always come back home full to the brim from this conference, and it is one of only two or three I go to in the year. My note book is full of enough ideas, deep challenges and vision, as is my heart and mind.

Cannot wait. Just need to cofirm some friends who may come as well, to share a motel room with, and we will have an awesome time.

Unfortunately the budget and time restraints meant I could not stretch the trip to the Saturday before, as the Dockers will be playing Sydney that day. Hopefully they will win, and I can wear the purple with pride in the home of the Swans.

Packer bites the dust


Big bad Kerry Packer has gone to meet his maker. The richest man in Australia (7 Billion dollars) has returned to the dust with as much cash as when he entered the world.
Apparently his father Frank was a real tryant, and a distant and yet overbearing father. Andre Malan in The West Australian has written a great article on this issue, entitled, "lessons to be learnt in sins of the fathers". Kerry's father often beat him, humiliated him and called him "boofhead". Most of Kerry's childhood life was spent in bording shools. He also suffered from polio as a youngster, and did not receive much sympathy. The West reported yesterday that Kerry had said in a previous life threatening episode, that there was no devil and no heaven. This may explain why he was quite happy to die, to let go of life. He was sick of suffering.

Chatting around a bbq with a group of friends most of them thought he was a great Australian. I found this hard to believe, because I have always seen him as a ruthless man, concerned mainly with his own wealth. But in death, often people take a wider view, and they see the good he did do, his generous giving of millions to various charities, including the famous resourcing of St John Ambulances after they saved his own life.

Either way, whether he likes it or believes it or not, Kerry has discovered now that there is something beyond the grave.
I hope and pray by God's grace he admitted something within his own heart before he went.