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John says sorry

No, not that John, a far more important leader here in WA.

Nine MSN Article

West Coast AFL coach John Worsfold has been forced to issue an apology to
Perth's media representatives, after using the term
"
" during an angry exchange at Subiaco Oval on Wednesday.
"I am deeply sorry for any hurt or anguish I have caused anyone through my
statement," Worsfold said.
"It was an extremely poor choice of words and
something I truly regret.
"It was a spur of the moment reaction, but that in
no way justifies the terminology I used."



Well done John. That is a good statement.

Love for one another



In preparation for my second message in the series, "What Jesus said that changed the world" I came across a discussion and quote from Keirkegaard. I am speaking on, "love one another, by this the world will know that you are my disciples.

"Worldly love thrives on distinctions. Some want to love only the rich and powerful. Others, in the name of justice, scorn the rich and powerful, and say that only the poor and needy should be loved. Kierkegaard thinks that the Christian understands such distinctions, and does not think that one can abolish all such distinctions and establish a utopia of strict human equality. The Christian does care about injustice and rejoices that such evils as slavery have been abolished. Nevertheless, the Christian does not expect that strict equality with respect to worldly distinctions can ever be achieved. The Christian is then required to have the ability to look beyond and around all such worldly differences, to refuse to allow them to distract from the task of loving the neighbor. The rich must love the poor and the poor the rich, though what is required by love may of course be different for each. Fundamentally, love is a capacity to care for the well-being of the other and to do what one can for the other’s good, whether that be much or little in an external sense. The greatest good I can do for my neighbor is to help my neighbor become more loving! " Kierkegaard's Christian Ethics of Love by C. Stephen Evans

I want to be known as one of His disciples. It is not easy to love people I dont like.

Not happy John


Did you catch Channel Nines news last night? Worsfold's neck vein looked like it was about to pop out and strangle someone.

His comments were certainly innapropriate, but obviously not designed to be public. It is unfortunate that they were captured on film, but perhaps more unfortunate that he chose to say them. Another example of the scrutiny the West Coast are under at the moment.
I walk past a number of people with various disabilties, including Celebral Palsy, on my way to my seat at the footy. I am sure there are a number of folk with similar disabilities that are members and go to West Coast games as well. Poor choice of words John. STORY

It seems "The West Australians" love affair with everything Blue and Gold is well and truly over, as is the Eagles strangehold and control over the print media.
I do think the front page of The West is a little over the top, but you cant deny the facts either.
I almost feel sorry for them. But not enough to cheer them on tonight, GO SAINTS!

Oh when the Saints


Well, the Footy Season proper is almost upon us.
Its a clean slate for all the teams.
Go the Dockers, go the Saints!

2006 Ladder
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane
Carlton
Collingwood
Essendon
Geelong
Hawthorn
Kangaroos
Melbourne
Pt Adelaide
Richmond
St Kilda
Sydney
Western Bulldogs
West Coast

Steve Mc Kinnon

After my previous experience of visiting Riverview the other week, I dropped in on my friend Steve's work in Lockeridge.

Steve is the real deal.
Living amongst the people, sacrificial, incarnational.

No falseness about him, sincere, authentic.

Sure he's not the Messiah, but he is trying to follow Him.

Steve works for Tear Fund but also leads a community of people who meet in Lockeridge most Sunday nights. The night kicks off with a community meal, and ends up with what might loosely be termed a church service. It is eccletic in who comes, what they contribute, what they need and also in what Steve presents. There is real love and spirituality in that place, amongst a gathering of about 12-15 people. Very different people, and it works. Just a genuine desire to be together, to welcome people in, to be a part of something.
It is refreshing to find someone who is intelligent, purposeful, yet also casual and humble. He writes this about his work, "Steve is planting a new church, which he hopes will "create a model of church that includes mission and community development"". He also writes this, "Lockridge Outreach Group started as small group from a church near-by began praying about what we could do in our lower socio-economic area. We managed to get a bread-run happening, letterboxed the area and some contacts were made, but people didn't hang around much. We prayed, banged heads (brainstormed) and dreamed about seeing God's Kingdom a reality in Lockridge. Two guys in the group didn't have a place to stay, and we didn't have a "base" in Lockridge. With God's help we found a cheap house, and they bought it. We opened it up as a community meal and support/discussion group centre, with free bread. Since then, two years have gone by. We've moved into an Anglican Church building, and are now recognised as a Baptist Church "plant". We are trying to be ecumenical in approach, and connect with other churches as well."

Pastors wife shoots Pastor



Does not get much worse than this.
Authorities have charged Mary Winkler with shooting her husband in the parsonage and said she had confessed to the slaying. Winkler, a 32-year-old substitute teacher, has been charged with first-degree murder. The small fundamentalist church had no idea, and thought everything was "happy families".
"Everything we saw belies what has happened," church member Janet Sparks said. "Something is amiss, and we don't know what it is."

"Authorities have said Mary Winkler confessed to killing her husband on Wednesday and then leaving town with their three young daughters, though officials have not suggested a motive for the attack. The minister was found dead that night in the church parsonage.
Mary Winkler was apprehended late Thursday in Orange Beach, Ala., after authorities issued an Amber alert for the children, who are now in the custody of their grandparents."

What was going on in the pastoral home? Pressures? Indiscretions?
Either way there is going to be a few people taking a long hard look at themselves. And what of the kids? What is going to happen to their worldview?
Wish I could do something, will pray.

Quote for the day

"Vision Without Execution is Hallucination"


Lord, let me know when I am dreaming, when I am not trying hard enough, when I am pushing manure uphill, and when I should persevere.
ps Lord can you help fulfill this vision you have given?

Pub becomes a church


Windsor Park Baptist Church in Mairangi Bay North Shore City New Zealand bought a pub. They are a relevant growing church and were struggling for room and visibility. A pub was up for sale and so they bought it. Interestingly enough one of the 'competing' buyers was another church.

They have now transformed the facilities and rent them out as conference facilties.
Their auditorium seats 650 people, and they run multi services, including Afrikan ones.

Their Senior Pastor is Brian Winslade who is the speaker at the upcoming 2 Inspire Conference.

I have read their story and it is exciting to see how God led. They were looking for a building for about two years until one became available. But even then they had to bid for it, and their tender was not the largest one. But for whatever reason the people accepted it. Also it looked at one stage as thought the church was going to have allow the pub to keep operating for a while in the changeover period. Luckily (?) the leasee defaulted on his lease and moved out. The Church managed to sell its property quickly and moved on in.

Here is their vision statement:

To be a respected and highprofile Christian communityon Auckland’s North Shorerenowned for...
...effective presentation of the Gospel to the people of our city, and the call to Christian discipleship...
...representing the Word of God and a Christian perspective in the various structures of New Zealand Society...
...active participation in God’s redemptive mission in other parts of the world...
...mobilising Christians in the exercise of ministry gifts given to them by God.

Bathroom gets a bath, and some floor


The Bathroom has been gutted, now the new stuff is going in.
New tiles and a new spa bath shower combo.
Woo hoo!

Psalm 50


1 The mighty God, the LORD, has spoken;
he has summoned all humanity from east to west!

Thats it really, end of story.
God said this way back then, before the NT, before Jesus walked on earth, before the Spirit was given or Pentecost occured.
He's spoken, and I dont want anyone to ignore Him.

Denying responsibility and misplaced priorities.


Three seperate items in todays West had a common theme or link.
First up we have James Bissaker who thought it would be a good idea to hold up a sign alerting speeding motorists of the presence of a radar in a school zone. Now the West has bleated about the fact police should be off catching robbers etc, and not worrying about a bloke warning people about the radar. Well I am a dad, and as far as I am concerned the police can set up radar stations in front of every school. James is encouraging people to duck their responsibilties, and the tone of the West seems to be to agree with his actions.

Then on page 9, not the two cover spread we have had previously, we have the story of Ben Cousins 'moment of madness' and the $900 fine he copped. It was a small fine because "Cousins had already paid a huge price for his indiscretions".
Cousins stated that he ran to answer the call of nature, and in a moment of madness kept running. Does anyone really believe that? Does Ben expect us to believe that?
I am being serious here for a moment, Ben has given a half baked apology to the media, not saying sorry at all, and now given a weak excuse. I am glad he is not the captain of the Dockers, because I would be ashamed of his actions if he was.

Thirdly, and most seriously and sadly, we have the story of William Mitchell Walsh-Mc Donald on page 13. This man had by his own admission 11 full strength beers, but thought he was okay to drive. Of course he was not and struck and killed a young girl.
Imagine if this was your daughter and you heard the words this young man said. "I thought I was ok" No remorse, no taking responsibility, just trying to get away with an abhorent act.

So my rant is four fold.
Firstly against the three blokes mentioned, most seriously William, and to a lesser extent the other two.
But fourthly against the West.
It lead with the least important of the three, and finished with the most important story towards the back.

Imagine this church

A church riven by dissent casts out five of its malcontents
By GARY SOULSMANThe News Journal
03/18/2006
BRANDYWINE HUNDRED -- Church members often invest so much hope in a congregation that they're heartbroken when conflict tears it apart.
That was apparent Monday as darkness descended on Wilson Road and close to two dozen people gathered under a street light. They came with candles to pray for unity as Bethel Baptist Church prepared to settle the fate of five longtime members. "People were sad because they felt it was the end of Bethel Baptist as many had known it," said worshipper Joan Wagner.
And, despite the prayers, unity could not be achieved.
At the end of 3 1/2 hours of discussion in the fellowship hall, members voted 60 to 33 to remove the five from the church, stripping them of membership and the right to worship at Bethel, unless the five repent and ask forgiveness.
The members -- John and Margaret Martin, Bob and Naomi Ellis and Irma Taylor -- say they will abide by the decision and not come back.
"It's OK," said Taylor. "Most of our friends have already left."
The five are octogenarians, among the oldest in the 55-year-old church.
"Doing without Bethel will be tough," Margaret Martin said. "We've had it our whole married life. At 81 and 86 it's hard to find another church."
Because of such ties, worshippers feel great loss when a church excludes them, said Kenneth C. Newberger, a church conflict analyst from Gaithersburg, Md.
"This is very common," he said. "I would say conflict in churches is as intense as you will find in any situation, because people's identities are so connected to a church."
At the meeting, the five critics defended their effort to return the church to the type of community they helped to create. They said many of their friends had already left because the evangelical congregation had ceased to feel like home. (Many former members have started to attend Bible Baptist Church and Brandywine Valley Baptist.)
As for the elders, they defended their effort to have the critics removed, saying the five would not stop creating strife. Specifically, elders said the five had sinned by stating their unhappiness in six letters that were filled with falsehood, slander and innuendo. These letters had been mailed since December to church members and others in the community, doing damage to all sorts of people, the elders said.
Though elders had asked the five to stop, they refused.
Instead, the letter writers complained that the church was hemorrhaging members and money. They also claimed that few in leadership showed concern. In their view, the church forged a rigid orthodoxy and a harsh disciplinary process so that it was unrecognizable from the church of old.
In addition, they said Pastor Clay Miller was forcibly changing the leadership model so that appointed elders would make decisions rather than the congregation, as in many Baptist churches.
"The fruits of the pastor's labors have been truly appalling," Bob Ellis said after the meeting.
But elder Bill Hughes said the pastor made it clear when he accepted the call to Bethel in 2003 that he intended to change the church. He said that change has been happening in good order, with the elders giving Miller's ideas a lot of study.
Even before this conflict, there was fractiousness that the pastor sought to repair, Hughes said. And he maintained there has never been a hostile takeover as the critics have claimed.
In their letters the five critics set much of the blame on the 42-year-old Miller, who came to Bethel from Grace Community Church in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.
Miller's critics said that he was more concerned with law than love, creating what felt to them like a "totalitarian regime."
Ellis said that there was a 32 percent loss in membership during Miller's first 10 months. As a result, Ellis added, attendance fell well below the 300-plus people who attended Sunday services when Miller arrived.
In a later interview, Miller said there were many challenges at the start of his ministry. He replaced interim pastors, as well as the popular Rev. Gayle Ryle, who led Bethel Baptist for 37 years. "Anytime you have a pastor as faithful as Gayle, the transition is going to be difficult," Miller said.
When he came, he said, the church was in conflict, declining in members and money. Even as a candidate, Miller said he rebuked the congregation for unhealthy communication.
Since then, he said, many people had put more reliance in the church constitution than the Bible. But rather than move too quickly to restore Biblical authority, he sought to take his time.
Still, people objected and in December of 2004 a group within the church tried to have him removed, though they were unsuccessful.
Overall, he said, coming to Bethel was the hardest thing he's ever done. But it's also been the most rewarding challenge.
"God is knitting together a fantastic church of excited people whose authority is the word of God and loving one another," Miller said. "At the same time, my heart is broken whenever people leave."
It's also sad for people, such as Taylor and the Martins, to be voted out of the church, Miller said. They were among charter members who nurtured the new congregation in 1951 as a handful of folks branched off from Immanuel Baptist Church.
Initially, people met in the home of the Martins and later a VFW Hall. Eventually, they were able to find four acres on Wilson Road and build a sanctuary in 1975. They also grew the church to more than 400 members and gave support to missions.
It was this connection to church history that led the five to write their letters, they said. John Martin said he also felt led by God.
"We wanted to get people's attention," he said. "Those letters were never intended to hurt."
Yet they did. Eduardo Gomez was among those who spoke to say that the letters had hurt because of their anger and injudicious words.
The elders said they'd held meetings with the dissenters to hear their concerns. Each side said they had tried to be patient and do the right thing. But nothing could be settled.
Grieved by the letters' damage, Miller said elders were left with no choice but to discipline the five and call for their removal. "We wish there were some other way, but there isn't," Miller said.
And the five were unrepentant at the meetings, saying that they were seeking to save the church, not destroy it.
Miller said he would love to see the five reconciled to Bethel, but it would require true confession and repentance.
It's not likely. The five said they have no plans to ask for forgiveness. "There's nothing to repent," John Martin said.


Imagine being a part of that. But also.....imagine being in a country where your church's dirty laundry was part of the daily paper.

TAB


Now first up a disclaimer. I am not a betting man. Before I had my life rearranged for me by Jesus, I was.

But I will say this, the TAB people bet their living on the odds they offer. Which brings me to the latest good news on the Dockers front.
Prior to pre season games, the Dockers were at $64 to one to win the Cup.
Now they have gone down to $18.
That is a pretty significant move!
C'mon Freo!

Bathroom is toast


Took over the spa-bath/shower combo, the vanity unit and about 20 tonnes worth of tiles today to the renovator. Melinda has picked out some border tiles. Of course they were not the perfect colour, so she has repainted the flowers on the tile with some special paint. Now they match the surround tile.

It was a hot hot day in Perth, and the renovator had to strip all the tiles from the floor and walls. He also tore apart the Roman bath. We did not like the sharp angles with young kids using it often. Also we like our spa. Its not as big as our last one, but may get more use as it wont take as much water to fill it. All that is there at the moment is a hole! The bathroom is toast!
The job is going to take about eight days to finish, and then we move in. Pretty exciting.

Ps 46 Be still


10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

When I had my ordination service at Bedford, my dad bought me this picture with that verse as the text. Now I find myself reading it in my devotions.

Its not easy to sit still, and reflect and contemplate. As a pastor I want to be out there doing things, talking to people, organising events, preparing for speaking.
However if I am to inspire people with words, those words need to come from something that has inspired me, they cant come from a vacum.
A vacum is created when a vessel is emptied of everything in it.
I need to remind myself that sometimes the best work I can do is to be still, and know God is God. What a privilege to have the time given to me to be able to do this.

Its hard to find a happy Eagles supporter at tme moment


Its all doom and gloom down at the Weagles at the moment.
After recieving a towel up from the Freo Lads, they scraped a win out of the Saints, and have now suffered embarassing defeats at the hands of last years wooden spooners, Carlton, and now last night suffering at the hand of the Hawks.
Add to that the off field dramas, and there is a definete sense of pessimism from their supporters.
If this keeps up, the Chardonny set may have to find some other diversion this season!

In contrast all is good down Freo way.
After towelling up the aformentioned Weagles, thrashing the Colliwobbles, a momentray 4th quarter hick up against the Cats, and then a convincing pounding of the other Port Boys, things are on the way up.
I know, I know, Freo fans are an optimistic bunch, and say that every season. But this season actually does feel different. The playing group seems to have hardened up, got a bit meaner.
Maybe Harvey and Shure have brought that to the club?

Weddings, Port Bouvard and Wok in a box


Just come back from doing a wedding down at Pt Bouvard, didn't see Rex down there though.

Great wedding, held right next to Cox's Bay, on grass, overlooking the bay. Beautiful location, bride and groom happy. I love doing weddings, being part of such a significant and special occasion. Interesting and eccletic choice of music.
Rob Thomas (think Matchbox 21) Led Zeppelin and Chicago!
Led Zeppelin played during the signing of the registry if you are wondering.

The happy couple paid for Melinda and I to stay at Mandurah Quay Resort, thanks guys! We went out on Friday night for 'Wok in a box". Almost forgot what it was like to go out with my wife. Both so busy at the moment, and with two kids, its never easy. But it was so nice to spend time together.

Then this afternoon spent some time at the Brides fathers house (more like a mansion) overlooking the ocean. Some people have it good! His house is right on the ocean, overlooking the cut. Amazing.

Bono doesn't hang himself


Thanks to Rodney for providing this link.
Here is the transcript from Denton's interview with Bono. The interview as certainly captivating. Yet I suppose with my bias I would have liked to hear some more questions on Bono's faith explored. There were some challenges there from him as well.

"BONO: It's not that. But I do think yeah, it's being away from me to explain myself to the conservative right, because I just won't let them away with it. The religiosity of the United States is hugely questioned by Europe - and for good reasons. Europeans know that they pay more per person to what the Americans refer to as "the least of these", the poorest of the poor. So you can't get away with this Baroque sort of biblical language and not follow through on it. I just won't let them follow through on it. I explain AIDS to these very intense religious people as the leprosy of our age. I challenge them on their faith. I didn't really have to go that route with Bush, although I did talk in and around that."

"ANDREW DENTON: You fulfil a Christian ideal.
BONO: No, I don't think so. All the commandments I've broken and the ones I haven't I've probably wanted to. But that said, I do have a faith and it is challenged on a daily basis by what I see in Africa. Yes, and yet more than that I have a sense that really people are the problem. We're the problem, really. God gets a lot of bad press. The tsunami was very eloquent in a way, the response. There's a natural disaster, this awful misnomer, Mother Nature, it's just dreadful. But in Africa you have an avoidable catastrophe of tsunami proportions every week. So we have the technology, we have the resources, we have the resources if we have the will.So I've gone through my shouting at God, I've gone through my angry phase but I finally end up looking at my own indolence and fighting with it, an indifference. Because I have it, too. And I feel that I'm not alone in this. I feel there's a generation of people. I kind of realised this isn't something we can really blame God for. This is about us, really. So that's where I am on it."

Theres a few sermons in there to preach!

Divorce and overworked husbands


Thanks to Mike O'Neil for bringing this to my attention.

The Australian Newspaper has a stirring and challenging article on the fastest growing reason women are seeking a divorce from their husband. It is not violence, infidelity or even bad personal habits, but husbands who are 'married to the job'. Its not that they are having an affair with the secretary, but rather having an affair with their own need for success. The article does not actually give the percentage breakdown for this reason, but does say it has more than trebled.

As in many areas of human behaviour, this is full of contradictions. If a man works hard and long hours to get ahead financially at the expense of his marriage, he will soon find himself in a terrible financial situation. Reality is that the scriptures speak to us deeply in Ecclesiastes, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

There is something very powerful about two people united in their spiritual, social and even economic goals. When that is broken, a lot of strength, and lets be frank, a lot of money, is lost.
The very thing we chase, is the very thing that will be destroyed if we chase it at the expense of relationships. Life is all about relationships, and if you care about your financial situation, you should invest time into your relationships, they are precious.

What Jesus said that changed the world


This is my series I am starting in the lead up to Easter,
so excited about this one. Looking at some of the things Jesus said which changed the world as we head to Easter.
What do you reckon I am going to preach on Good Friday? Easter Sunday?

MUD


One of my goals/strategies this year is to hold four men's events, culminating in the Grand Final Weekend away. That is unless of course the mighty Dockers are in the GF, in which case I'll be in Melbourne.
But here is the graphic I have put together for our upcoming event, should be a blast!

Will Bono hang himself?


It seems Andrew Denton must have been reading my blog. Bono is too appear on Enough Rope tonight.
Will be great to hear an indepth interview on his life, faith and music.
Denton has a great team of researchers, and is also able to quickly take the interview down an intersting path.
Sorry to hear about the Edge's sickness and the cancelled concerts over East.

My view of Riverview


Went to Riverview Church tonight with a couple of friends.
Some observations, interesting start to the service, very laid back, casual almost. Devotions and prayer to start, then a couple of worship songs before Mark gave the message. Preaching on Colossions, a good message on needing to have our foundations right, in a world of varying worldviews. Despite all the warnings (!) there was very little made of the offering, just a gentle reminder of the need to give to God, tastefully done.

Bit suprised at the lack of audience participation, particularly the singing, only people really getting into it were those nearer to the front. But maybe that is who Riverview is reaching, those not used to Church.

Overall a good experience, with some good lessons for me in my own circumstances.
Sorry that Phil wasn't speaking, must go one night when he is on.

It's just like dancing with your sister


The pre season NAB Cup that is. Its not that important, really, (sigh).

Geelong were too strong in the last quarter, actually too quick.
"The Dockers' final-quarter fadeout was disappointing, considering they were nearly at full strength. " (Herald Sun)

What made it worse was that a good friend is a Geelong man, and was at church this morning (sigh sigh)

And also a 7 year old at church wore his Geelong jumper (sigh sigh sigh)
Roll on the real stuff.

Easter at the Costellos


Easter lunch should be interesting with the Baptist Pastor Tim Costello voicing a strong opinion about the whole AWB scandal.

"The chief executive of World Vision Australia says the AWB kickbacks scandal has ruined Australia's international reputation. Tim Costello, the brother of federal Treasurer Peter Costello, has addressed a Baptist Church forum in Adelaide. Reverend Costello says the AWB affair means Australia can no longer take the moral high ground in calling for fairer world trade markets. "It was [Trade Minister] Mark Vaile arguing not just for Australians but arguing for poor Africans and Asians," he said. "The tragedy of the AWB is we've thrown away that high moral ground and our voice now just looks as dirty and muddied and sullied as anybody else.
"I literally weep over that.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200603/s1588970.htm

Interesting comments on something which we probably thought we could get away with. I say we because we are Australians, and these people have represented themselves as Australians to the world, whether we like it or not.

Peter Drucker and Steve Timmis


"The most significant sociological phenomenon of the first half of the 20th century was the rise of the corporation. The most significant sociological phenomenon of the second half of the 20th century has been the development of the large pastoral church -- of the mega-church. It is the only organization that is actually working in our society." -- Peter Drucker, as quoted by Rick Warren at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life's biannual Faith Angle conference on religion, politics and public life, May 23, 2005.

Okay, let me unpack something I have been thinking about for a while. I went to hear Steve Timmis from The Crowded House yesterday at a event Hamo put on. I went to hear him because I think he is an excellent bible communicator. He is, and I enjoyed greatly his biblical exegisis, stories and general teaching. It was great that Hamo and others could bring him over.

Steve was pushing that the small/house church way of doing something is the most effective missional approach. It is not. In fact it seems to me that Steve is benefiting from something we all know to be true. A church plant will experience the most growth in its first couple of years. Also a small group of authenticity is very attractive. These are not really biblical reasons so much as sociological ones, people are attracted to something new, people crave community. So what, mega churches know that too, which is why they emphasise small groups. Steve implied that small house church was better than more traditional church because people there actually cared for each other. Well...great. But a larger church can and many are, just as authentic. They care for each other through small groups as well.

In fact Rick Warren says this, "The small group structure is the structure of renewal in every facet of Christianity – including Catholicism."

Church is not about this method being better than that method, it is about embracing what is effective for Christ.

It was exciting to hear how Steve and The Crowded House network of churches have led people to Christ.

However my personal belief is that a large, motivated, inspired and cared for community of people can do far far more to reach the community and have a significant impact, than a small struggling group of people. I might even argue that such house methods might be seen by a significant group of people as 'weird' or 'cultish'. But you know what? I don't care what method you use, and I think many of these emergent types are doing an effective and passionate ministry.

Its time for us to embrace the personality type, the gifting, the wiring God has given us, and allow others to do the same. And recognise that very often the reason we do things the way we do is because of these reasons.

Church is meant to be fun, seeing what others are doing for Christ is meant to be fun.

May we shout for joy when we hear of your
victory,

flying banners to honor our God.

Next up Geelong


Connolly believes we can advance to the next level and dispatch of Geelong.
With Bell and Hedland back, I am inclined to believe him.
One of the best games of last year was when we stitched up the Cats down at the Cattery.

Come on Freo!!

Baptists - We've never met a fight we didn't like

"Baptists-We'ver never met a fight we didn't like"

I spent my young years in a Baptist Church. I have heard, and could even sense at that young age, that those members meetings were awful at that large traditional church. Dysfunctional, controlled by a few squeaking worms, gatekeepers.

I did not become a Christian till I had gone right away from the church.Then I spent my early formative Christian years at Albany Church of Christ, with Pastor Mark Randell as my Pastor. He was a exciting and brilliant communicator. I still have some of the tapes from his messages on Jesus. Unfortunately it all went pear shape for him at some later part of his life. Yet his life, message and methods inspired mine.

All that to say that although I am a Baptist Pastor, and am in fact the chairman of the Baptist Pastors Association (much less impressive than it sounds), I dont really consider myself a Baptist. I am a Christian. My denomination happens to suit me, and at the moment the WA denomination is going through some significant and good changes in philosophy and practice.

But that whole thing about Baptist and fights is changing. The traditional Baptist model and perhaps more importantly method of congregational government is open to abuse, mistrust and can lead to inneficient churches lacking purpose and direction.
I believe in the Spirit speaking to and through the body of believers. But I also believe in leaders leading. I think we see this tension, paradox in the scriptures.
The trick is applying the "speak the truth in love" principle with the "without a vision the people perish" principle and the "It seemed good to the Church" principle.

Who would be a Pastor eh?

Taking possession


The house is ours in about 12 hours......

We take possession of our new house today. The people we bought it off, and have been renting if off us for the last few months are moving out.

Tommorow a good mate is polishing the floors for us, that will take two days, and then the house will need to 'sit' for a week.

Then on the 24th the bathroom renovator is moving in, and we are forking over some hard earned cash for the bathroom reno, including a spa/bath/shower combo. This photo is the before shot. The roman bath is going, in fact everything is going. All the tiles, floor and wall are GONE. The vanity GONE, the toilet, GONE. All replaced with.....you guessed it, federation style. And if you did not guess that, you dont know my wife.

All very exciting. Mind you I am pretty grateful to still be in this house for the next three weeks, what with the heat, and the pool out the back. This pool has been wonderful over the summer.
My son has learnt to swim! I am so proud of him, and it has been a great place to live.

Psalm 42


" My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks-- it was the sound of a great celebration!"


What a beautiful mind picture, and yet sad as well. That at one point he was part of something wonderful, and then, his heart breaks, as he realises he is not experiencing that anymore.

Colliwobbles






Headed off to Subi with about 15, 000 other footy fans to see Freo beat the Colliwobbles.

Tough game, much tougher than last week against the weagles. Collingwood had come to play and win, despite leaving Rocca and Buckley behind.

Most impressed with Sandilands again, hit touch work to Haselby, Crowley and J Carr was exceptional.
Good to see the PAV back, had a solid game.

But the Wiz was great, hard working as always with 5 goals as his reward.
The whole team came right in front of me at 1/4 and 3/4 time. Could see the whiteboard. If I can work out how to get these photos off my mobile, I will post the pictures.
Also really good to see Rooky Duffield have a real impact. Will be a great player.

This is funny


Letters to the West, this Saturday, page 21

"In what hasn't been a great couple of weeks for the image of AFL football, a good news story (patron Cook repays debt to footy report 2/3) must have brought some welcome relief to the games administrators. Congratulations to Troy Cook on his appointment as patron of the Kulunga Research Network and to Dr Fiona Stanley for having the discernment to choose a Docker for the role. "

(John James Nedlands)

Lifted up

God gets mad

I imagine there are as many views of what God is like, as there are people. How much of what I think about God is a product of my environment, my upbringing, my own personality, my dad's personality and how much is the evidence as presented in the scriptures?

My small group is looking through the book of Judges at the moment, and there are times God gets really angry. In chapter two it states that, "the Lord burned with anger". And this is at His own people.

Sure I hear you say, thats the Old Testament. But Jesus got really mad as well. We know the common examples, where he berated and insulted the Pharisees, when he fashioned a whip out of cord and drove the money traders out of the temple.

In the book of Hebrews 12 we read, "For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children."

He punishes us, for things we have done wrong. Now this punishment may be so we learn, but He punishes none the less.

I know I have been guilty of fashioning God into a more politically correct version, but the truth is that God is to be feared, He is Awesome, awe inspiring, HOLY HOLY HOLY.

We are not righteous, He is righteous, and I know He gets mad at some of the things I do wrong.
Thank God for Hebrews 2, which brings the balance, " 14That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. 15This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. 16So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it."

Psalm 32


Continuing my devotions in the Psalms.
These words from Psalm 32,

"When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long."

Isn't that so true. Run from the God who is everywhere?
Hide from the God who see's and knows everything?

Yet I know I do it.

Short accounts, with God, and with others. Thats my desire.