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Da da da vinci

Last night I headed off in the cold night air, through the smog settling over Perth for the late night session of the "Da Vinci Code"

As I settled into the Cinema for a very rare treat, seeing a movie, a fog of a different kind settled over me. The Code left me underwhelmed, on purely an enjoyment level. It was neither thrilling, action packed or intriguing. Maybe too much has been said about it already so the exciting developments were rather misty, rather than shattering. There were a few scary moments as the white haired angel jumped out of the shadows, but it was not really a thriller.

On the other level of being an affront to Christianity it certainly made me think. What, if anything, was Dan Brown trying to say? Or was it more that he did not really care about anything but his own self interests? In other words, the controversy meant nothing much to him apart from more book sales.

One thing that did concern me was the loose handling of the supposed historical basis for this yarn. Too many flaws to go into concerning Constantine, the formation of scripture and Mary Magdelene. They were presented in a far different light to how accurate history reveals them.
The Gnostic gospels do not state, as was stated in the movie, that Jesus married, or was a companion of Mary Magdelene. The true gospels speak little of Mary M, but make it clear she was a harlot, who found Christ.
The thrust or theme of the movie is that the Church has repressed the feminine side of Christianity, which is certainly true. But how it comes to that conclusion, with false conspiracies, fanciful historical facts and mishandling of any truth is far too easy to dismiss for any reasonble historcial analysis.

That is not to say I dont think it is a great yarn, it is. What concerns me is that those with little or no knowledge of true church history may assume that those facts which are presented as historical facts will be accepted as true.

Imagine this

You are frustrated, angry and dissapointed about something. Someone has a go at you, and you bite back. You let them know what they said was unnacceptable. You dont know them.

Hours later you hear they have died.

This is just what has happened to Dean Laidley, coach of the Kangaroos.
He had a verbal stoush with a fan as he was walking onto the field after the Roos suffered another defeat.
The slighty drunk fan, drinking from a can of beer, taunted Dean Laidley.
Then Laidley did something unusual for an AFL Coach and stopped and told the supporter he was welcome to follow him onto the oval to see for himself how disappointed the players were. Apparently the fan had been mouthing off all day, and said something like, "there's our season gone".
Asked why he reacted, Laidley said, "I just thought, I'm sure at that point all the supporters share the disappointment, and I just wanted to bring him down and say, 'Look, we're hurting as much as you guys'."

The guy was hit by a train later on that day, so it may have been related to what Dean said, it may not have.
Either way it is a real indication that as leaders we need to be really careful what we say, even if what we are saying is correct. Sometimes responsibility can bite us really badly.
Will be interesting to see how the club handles it from here on in.


Da Vinci Code

Off to see the Da Vinci Code tonight. See what all the fuss is about.
On Sunday I am speaking on the Code. But not to be cool, or reach cool people (St Gaz)
Rather because I want to speak on something I dont often do. Where the Bible does actually come from. Some foundational stuff. Most of what I speak on is the positive change knowing Jesus has upon our day to day lives, how Christianity is relevant and makes a positive difference. So this is a stretch for me, out of my normal operating zone.
I am no apologist, but will be dealing with some apologist information this Sunday. It wont be boring, that to me is a great sin, to bore people when we should be inspired. But I hope to capture the essence of what the truth is, rather than give an indepth critique on either the book or movie.

Thank goodness I have sourced some really good multi media to use. Josh Mc Dowell has some stuff, which I will use, as well as some good graphics and music.

Pews going going .... gone

Its not easy to see how a Sunday Morning could get busier for a Pastor, but the one just gone was pretty full on.

I managed to secure a full page colour photo of my good self sitting amongst the pews which were for sale from our church. I got this ad for free as part of the unique items promo the Sunday Times Readers Mart puts on.

We are selling them because our Kids Program Toddler Jam has grown and grown and grown. We are now running it three days a week, and the third day has grown by a third in two weeks.
There may be a time soon when we need to put on another staff member to make it go five days a week, and expand into other children's ministries.
All this growth has meant we need more space, and the pews take up too much room. So we have put on order 180 new stackable seats.

The phone started ringing at 10pm on Saturday Night, and is still ringing now, on Monday morning. I dont think its because we sold them too cheaply, we actually doubled the price we were going to sell them for when another church sold theirs in a day for $150 each. And theirs were more ornate than ours.
They were all sold by 1.30pm on Sunday, which meant I was selling them, instead of having soup with the rest of the church.

Yesterday was a great Sunday. I heartily recomend Andy Court to anyone that is interested in getting an artist in to do some ministry, he and his wife Sharon were great and adapted their style to suit our church. We had a coffee shop format with cakes and coffee half way through the service, once the kids had gone out. It was great, natural, and it was wonderful to see the people, including a number of visitors, mixing well.

Oh dear

There's not a lot good to be said about Freo today,
Medhurst was probably our best contributor, trying all day.
The rest of them could have put on Brisbane Jumpers and been just as effective.

sigh, sigh, sigh

Da Vinci Code

I was not planning to do anything on the Da Vinci Code, but have relented.
Not this Sunday but next, I am going to talk about it.
I am no apologist, and normally stay away from such things, but this one needs to be talked about. My plan is to address three issues raised by the book. I have no intention of critiquing the book, others have done a far better job of that than I could ever do. Rather I want to talk about what I think may be interesting to some poeple. Where does that Bible come from, what is the deal with the apocrypha and who was Mary Magdelene?

Smoking and the Prince

Spurgeon is known as the Prince of Preachers. Someone revered in Baptist circles for his 'earthy' and good humoured preaching. A man who inspired, and continues to inspire, many Christians and Pastors. He was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. Just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became a pastor of a well known London Church. The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before electronic amplification. In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle.

However did you know that Mr. Spurgeon now and again enjoyed a cigar. In fact in reply to a man who could not believe a preacher would smoke, he said "I cultivate my flowers and burn my weeds."

Here is another humorous story from his life.

"At the close of his useful sermon the minister introduced an American clergyman who, he said, was anxious to address a few words to the congregation. This reverend gentleman 'improved the opportunity' by inveighing fiercely against the sin of smoking tobacco, especially in the form of cigars, and told his hearers how he had struggled and fought against the pernicious habit, and how at last, by the blessing and with the assistance of Providence, he had conquered his addiction to the weed."Then uprose Mr. Spurgeon and, with quiet humour, remarked that he would not allow the congregation to separate without telling them that he did not consider smoking to be a sin, and that, by the grace of God, he hoped to enjoy a good cigar before going to bed that night."


Fast Carr

Josh 'bogan' Carr has moved to the top of the well respected Herald Sun Footy Player of the year count.

This has been his best year for Freo, and maybe his best year yet. Goes to show what getting to know your teamates, and your place within the team will do for you.
Watching him towel up, and annoy Brown during Port's premiership win, you can see the fella fights out of his weight range, and on that particular day took home the points.

He is the sort of player that opposition fans grow to dislike, and Freo fans are quickly warming too. Put it this way, when he is harassing, haranging, annoying, insulting, scragging and outscoring the player he is meant to be tagging, you are glad he is on your side.

Cant get to church because you cant afford the fuel?

No problem!
The Crossing Community Church is giving away $10 fuel vouchers to first time attendees.

The congregation saw an influx of new members when it opened, but things have stalled a bit since then. On popular church days like Christmas and Mother's Day, they get about 100. This free petrol campaign is their latest attempt to recruit.
The Creative Arts Pastor is quoted as saying, "We'll pay your gas to get you here. Our guarantee is that our service will be the best hour of your week," Poole said.
The campaign's details are online at Poole and Harper (Lead Pastor) have mailed 40,000 fliers to area homeowners and even come up with a slogan, "Sorry, we just ruined a perfectly good excuse!" (for not showing up to church).Poole said he has seen results. Last week, 14 new visitors attended the Sunday service. He expects a couple dozen more this Sunday.

This is from the 'marketing' section of their website,
"At The Crossing, we will create a brand; that will become easily identifiable in our sphere of influence. We intended to design a brand identity that will call to mind many things such as a relaxed atmosphere, an unhurried pace, family friendly attitudes and activities, male-oriented themes and scripturally based/culturally relevant messages. All with an orientation towards missions.
We desire to be the first “Brand” of church that comes to a non-attender’s mind when thinking of or looking for a church. We purpose to have all our advertising, marketing, buildings, ministries, and activities easily identifiable as being part of the ministry of The Crossing.
It is astonishing to me the lengths secular corporations will go in order to market relatively insignificant products like deodorant or nail polish. It is equally astonishing to me that while the church has the most important, most compelling message ever – Jesus Christ and His atoning work – that we have done so little to “market” His message. We need to get that message out using every means possible so that every life possible may be positively changed forever. Therefore we advertise The Crossing through many different avenues."

My comment? Interesting stuff.

The priority of mission demands we be purposeful and business like in our Churches

Saint Gaz has a discussion about church and business. Rather than hijack the thread I thought I might post some of my own thoughts here.

One statement he quotes is from Barna,
"As corporate models have flourished in ministry the church in North America has lost ground both quantitatively and qualitatively"

In 2004 I visited many of the church in the North West of America and saw flourishing churches, both "quantitatively and qualitatively". In fact these churches were seeing their communities changed, and their own sense of spirituality revitalised after decades of spiritual apathy. Both I and the Pastors I travelled with believed we were seeing a quiet revival going on in churches that had got sick of coming up with more spiritual platitudes to justify decline. These were real churches, and real people both becoming Christians and having their spiritual purpose defined in more healthy models. Everyone defines reality from their own experience. I am drawing on my own experience at speaking with and witnessing these things going on, and not just in one type of church, but in churches from a Willow Creek Model to a social justice and welfare model. The common denominator was a change in organisational structure. One best defined by me with the word 'purposeful'.

Within Baptist Churches in WA, as far as I can tell, the old model of church governance was based on mistrust. The stories I heard about, even as a child growing up in a Baptist Church, were embarassing. Embarassing because Christians should not treat one another, or anyone, with such disrespect and mistrust. Those who were appointed as leaders were not allowed to lead, but were the first to cop it in the kneck when things went 'pear shaped'. The Model that Paul Borden has introduced into WA Baptist Churches is based on trust and is in my view much more biblical and allows for spiritual freedom. I have seen it work in my own church. Last year we had more people become Christians than in my first 11 years of ministry there. We also saw some apathetic and controlling Christians leave, which was sad. Either way, adopting a more "business like" approach has forced us to be more serious about what is the most important job in the world, leading people to Christ, and helping people develop deeper spirituality.

The model of being purposeful and expecting people to perform (or bear fruit if you want to use spiritual language) has much more integrity than what I have seen demonstrated in churches in the past. Where we are all just nice to each other, even when people are just being sinful and lazy.

I don't know how you overcome spiritual apathy without some sense of accountability. I certainly see that in Jesus's ministry. In fact many contemporary business principles appear to have their origins in Biblical stories, or at the very least have some parallels.

If what we are on about is the most important aspect of our lives, if our mission really is a priority, then I think it would be plain foolish to ignore structures, strategies, KPI's.
I believe God will hold me accountable when my time comes, and somehow there needs to be a parallel in this life for us as a church.

With all I have said above goes a deep commitment to prayer. Without a healthy reliance upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and His power to change lives, nothing will happen. But this does not excuse us of our role and obedience, or deny the reality that some leaders are more skillful than others.

In reference to some commentators who do not like the excesses they see within some denominations where the Pastor is an autocrat and there is no accountability, neither do I.
In the model I advocate, the person most accountable and responsible is the Senior Pastor. He/she must come up with a yearly strategy with goals included. This must be distributed to all the members, who themself are accountable to the Pastor to help. If the goals and strategies are not achieved, everyone will know about it, and there needs to be accountability. In other words the Pastor is held accountable.
Also if the goals and strategies are achieved, there should be rejoicing over that.
This system requires mutual accountability. The pastor is responsible to the right people, but also has the authority he/she needs in order to be creative and free to see the goals achieved.

In all our discussion of these things I think there is much confusion and misunderstanding on both sides.

Shaun McManus Testimonial Luncheon

All heart, all courage, all spirit. Number Eight.
Shaun is to have testimonal luncheon held in his honour on Sunday 18th at the Burswood Ballrooom, hopefully after we smash the Geelong Cats at Subi the day before.
Shaun is the heart and soul of the club.
Who can forget him fronting up to press conference after press conference in the dark dim "Drum" years?
Who can forget his courage in backing into a running Wiirapanda, taking the mark, and then getting up and kicking the goal?
Who can forget the game this photo was taken from? When we kicked a massive winning score over the Bulldogs, with Shaun Best on Ground by far?
He will never be forgotten in the history of the FFC. A true icon.
Shaun intends to play on in 2007, and I hope he does.

Church Pews and Mission

Our church is selling our pews, and you are very welcome to buy one!
I shared with our people on Sunday that the reason we are selling them is not for our own comfort's sake. In fact our pews are comfortable. The problem we are having is that Toddler Jam (Our community program for toddlers) is growing so quickly and well, that we are having problems fitting all the people in. We have gone to three days a week now, and the Friday session is filling up. Because we meet in the church, we have to push back the pews every Tuesday, and reposition them in place for Sunday. Its not only a big job, but also does not really leave enough room for the 35 or so jumping toddlers and mums to move to music.
Our Thanksgiving Sunday went very well, better than I expected, on Sunday, yet we still need about $6000 more. Hopefully we will get a bit for these pews. If you want one, give me a call or email.

Brett will Peake

Here it is, my prediction for prosperity.
Brett Peake will win a Brownlow, you heard it first here.
He wont win it this year, but he will win it

Blistering runs down the field, long booming kicks into the foward line. Accurate, confident.
Yesterday he was the one who sparked the team in the third and fourth quarter particularly.
Brett was the first player to be drafted by Freo under the father son rule at the 2003 . He did not play for Freo during the 2004 season, but had his debut against the Roos in 2005. His father, Brian Peake played 304 games for the Sharks, and 66 for Geelong. Brett is of a more slight stature than his dad, but definitely quicker, and some might say, more skillful.

Big Bad Leigh Brown

Great win by Freo yesterday.
Despite what the commentators are saying, I thought Freo showed real grit and determination to keep going despite the Roos tactics of flooding and tried to bottle up the game.

It is a little sad for me to see Leigh Brown in Roo's colours. He was one of my favourite players at Freo. A real workman, lots of grit and courage.
Can't find it in myself to boo or wish him badly, even if he is in oppositon colours.

Great win, and will be a real fight next week against Brisbane, who are playing much better with a thumping win over Port.

Good to see Matthew Carr in the side, who played his best game for the season yesterday.

Just one little whinge. Here is the umpires decisions for our games this year.
Frees for us listed first, against listed second.

Rd 1 Hawks: 14-15 (away loss)
Rd 2 Blues: 15-21 (home win)
Rd 3 Port : 17-22 (away win)
Rd 4 Crows: 17-17 (home loss)
Rd 5 Saints:15-27 (away win)
Rd 6 Weagles: 16-23 (home win)
Rd 7 Melb : 16-19 (away loss)
Rd 8 Roos : 12-21 (home win)

Andy James Court

Appearing at Bedford Baptist Sunday May 28th 10am
Should be great.
Andy is an authentic artist with a great testimony to share.
He is bringing along a whole multi media production,
should be awesome!

Henry Blackeby and "Seizing the Divine Moment"

There is something about Henry Blackeby's work that has always troubled me, and I haven't known why.
Henry says, in a nutshell, look and see what God is doing and go do that. Fair enough. Yet although I cant disagree with it, it doesn't ring true. Now, thanks to Erwin I get why, its because Blackeby does not go far enough.

"Yet I think its important to add that while God has been working in human history since He breathed life into Adam, there are many things yet to be done, and beyond this, many things yet to begu. There may be another question that needs to be asked beyond, "what is God doing?" and that is this: "what is God dreaming?" Is there something that God wants initiated and He's waiting for someone to volunteer?"

Blackeby's take on vision and leadership has also troubled me because of his basic premise. How do we discover what our vision is, if we are just doing what is, rather than dreamin what could be? As Erwin points out, we need to dream, to be inspired, to see what could be, rather than only what is. We need to move from being observers to practitioners.

Bitterness and forgivenes and healing

A recent forum discussion had me thinking about forgiveness and bitterness again.
How trapped are we, how silly are we, if we allow people who have hurt us in the past to keep us in captivity.
We do this if we don't forgive them
I am not saying we need to get them to say sorry, that may be impossible. They might not think they have done anything wrong, they may not admit they have done anything wrong, they may be dead! You know what else? They may not have done anything wrong. We may be wrong.

What I am saying is this. Forgiveness is about letting go. Letting go of the pain, letting go of the rejection, letting go of the hurt. Its not easy, but Jesus said we are to forgive those who hurt us 70x7. In biblical terms, this means we are to keep on forgiving them. Not easy to do, especially if they are self righteous, and still hurting us.

But if we cant let that hurt go, if we cant forgive them, set them free, they hold us captive. Even if they dont know it.

Job 42:10 (NLT) - When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!

Ephesians 4. 26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Bitterness and unforgiveness are the quickest and most effective way of introducing negativity into your life.

Seizing your divine moment

Heard a lot about Erwin Raphael McManus.

A friend has lent me a copy to read, looking forward to sharing some thoughts on this blog.
Here's a quote or two to kick us off,
"Somehow we all know to play it safe is to lose the game"
"However mundane a moment may appear, the miraculous may wait to be unwrapped within it".
And here is a blurb about it,
"Using the biblical account of Israel’s war with the Philistines, McManus compares Saul with Jonathan to illustrate the tremendous impact possible in a life of purpose and adventure as opposed to a life of routine, apathy, and missed opportunities . Seizing Your Divine Momement will help you understand the potential of a small moment combined with personal courage. Such moments must not be missed. They are the place where destiny is shaped and divine life ripples outward. These moments are everywhere, though you can often fail to recognize them. You need a fearless, ready stance, believing that God wants to use you as a catalyst for change.
Learn to recognize your divine moment and lay hold of it with force. Put and end to passive observation, paralyzed by the need for perfect opportunity, and start seizing the raw, unshaped potential of your life with God.

Crying out and Psalm 77 again

5 I think of the good old days, long since ended, 6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and think about the difference now. 7 Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again show me favor? 8 Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? 9 Has God forgotten to be kind? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?

I was re-reading this Psalm again this morning and was struck by a couple of things.
As I have been preaching through the series on "Identity Theft" I have been saying we can be captive to our past, whether it be a good past, or a bad one.
The Psalmist here expresses this beautifully. "I think of the good old days" He thinks of the difference now. Then he cries out, "Has He (God) slammed the door on His compassion?
Ever felt like God was giving you the big 'heave ho' ? Ever wondered why God wasn't doing what He promised?

Well you are not alone in such thoughts, and to not express them to God is an issue. We need to share these frustrations with God, get them out there.

Later on in the Psalm the Psalmist asks God to "arise and defend Your cause". Ultimately it is His cause. Our lives, our godly hopes and dreams are His cause. And we have the right, and responsibility, to ask Him to 'arise'. In fact asking God to do this is an expression of our own hope and faith in Him, despite how we angry, frustrated or dissapointed we might be feeling.

Mums and special days

We celebrated Mother's Day in church yesterday. The mums got a special cake each, and some mums were honoured with special chocolates. We also had some prayers given for mums, and prayer offered for a family ascociated with our church who lost their mum recently.

My mum is a great mum, and always has been.

However not all mums are wonderful. Yesterday I sensed in a number of people a real heaviness. Lost dreams, mums not being wonderful, mothers absent. Family not what it should be. Like all such events, such as Christmas, for those without, the sense of loss and dissapointment was palpable. Even for those single adults who dream of being a mum or dad, husband or wife. Life does not always turn out as it is presented by a Hallmark Card. In fact it can be deeply dissapointing.

It is for good reason that we call God "Abba Father". There is nothing better for me than my son giving my a big 'huggle' and telling me 'I love you dad'. It doesn't get much better than that. Not everyone has that experience. I hope and pray that those who struggle with what they dont have, especially at these significant times on our calender, can find some comfort with their heavenly Father. But that does not mean they dont miss the human touch that God has designed us all for.

Pretty Poor West Coast

A fairly insipid perfomance from our much loved (by the media) blue and gold tinged opponents up the road saw them scrape home against a much improved Collingwood. I dare say if Buckley had played, it may have gone the other way.

It was also fairly disgraceful to hear the cheers when Rocca hurt his shoulder, and the loud booing at their own players as well as Collingwood players.

There was also an unsavoury incident involving a inebriated female fan giving Didak a 'wave' with a certain finger, and Didak giving her a spray.

So much for all the fuss and vitriole given to the Freo supporters last week!

Dissapointing, but

We'll bounce back.
After the hard disciplined skilled win of last week, today was dissapointing.
Shame the boys could not have put on a better display for Farmer's 400 goal game.
Interesting coaching move to put Johnson in the foward 50, and it almost paid off.

Longmuir, Sandilands, Mn Manus and Headland were all absent, and all play well at the MCG, especially Mc Manus. Despite Freo's endevour, they did not appear to run hard enough, in fact they looked a little flat.

Umpiring was disgusting in Melbourne's favour, something the commentators all said.

What's more George G tipped us to win, so I thought from that point on, Melbourne were certainties. George is rarely right about anything.

Unfortunately I think our Blue and gold enemies up the road will smash the Colliwobbles, so it will be a tough week!

Pete Murray Opportunity

Doing this song in Church this week as we explore being who God wants us to be, and not who others have tried to fashion us into.

Cowboy Church

Now for something completely different.
Pastor Smith, who was a rodeo cowboy for 11 years, working professionally after he was a member of the rodeo team at Murray State, has planted not just one, but a network of 'Cowboy churches'. He has earnt a rodeo scholarship and earned the rank of ninth best bull rider in national collegiate ranks.
Smith said God led him to start the church. He was pastor of Buchanan Baptist Church for five years. He is glad he was “a suit and tie pastor,” he said. That experience prepared him to be a church planter, he added.
Smith knows the “cowboy life,” he explained. He was called as pastor of Buchanan Church after someone heard him preach at a horse camp at the Land Between the Lakes State Park. He has done that for many years. He also breaks horses and has led tours on horseback on a hunting farm.

Their purpose statement is,
"Our Purpose is to Impact the Cowboy Culture With the Gospel of Jesus by Planting Cowboy Churches in Every County."

Wonder what sort of music they do? I'm thinking Country and Western.
If you are after a belt buckle, they sell them for $40 a pop, and apparently demand is very high.

Article Website of Network

Books and disciples

With the proliferation of books, online articles, instant downloads, podcasts, video on demand and even preachers on Australian TV, there is now more information available to the Christian than ever before.
You can discover what Jesus ate and alter your diet accordingly. You can discover who 'real men' are, and what happens when women pray.
I can learn from Swindoll, Compolo, Bell, Mark Driscoll, Deere and whoever else I wish just by logging on.
Yet there is something which for me is still irreplacable, and that is the human face of discipleship.
Jesus could have written a book and outlined a strategy to His disciples. Yet as far as we know, He never wrote a book.
Instead He said, "come follow me". He wanted His disciples to live with Him, be a part of His life, learn from His vulnerabilities and triumphs.
For me personally, that practice of being able to follow, to learn, to be close to another Pastor who has walked or is walking a similar path is invaluable.

However lately I have been losing some mentors, guys I can learn from, and it sucks.
One of them went off to sell real estate, and he was someone who I genuinly could ask advice from, and know it was sound. Not necesarily life skills, but know how stuff. He knew how to get things done, and he knows what people are like. There is no doubt he will be a very succesful real estate agent. But it sucks for me, because I need guys like him in my life. And there is something very unique about being a Pastor, there are not many professions like it, if any.

As much as books and conferences are great, I learn best from sitting down with someone and picking their brain, hearing real stories.

Physically and emotionally spent

Helping people is not always an easy business.
Helping people who are in serious conflict situations is not easy
Being confronted by angry violent people is not something they teach you in Theological College
Thank God for good friends and relatives to be able to deal with issues
Without each other, we would be sunk.

I don't know how those without good support structures cope.

Disgusting behaviour from some Docker Supporters

Tommorows West and Age has a story about some low life apparently spitting on Ross Glendinning after the Derby Medal Presentation.

I am very sorry this has happened, and there is no justification for it.
We should be passionate, and Freo fans are very passionate, but this sort of behaviour is despicapable. If Steve Butler's article is correct, I am ashamed of this.

I also am sorry for the sledge I dished out towards Ross. Apparently he was the best judge of all and voted for Josh Carr!

Hip Hop Church

Taking the idea of 'being all things to all people' is the Crossover Church found in Tampa, Florida.
They started off with a small group of people who were, " burned out with “organized religion” – tired of the politics, the tradition, and the masks people hid behind at many churches. They saw the needs of people on the streets that weren’t being met, and they wanted to do something about it".

They have a focus on their Sunday events, and this week well known hip hop artist and Pastor, "minister Corey Red from the Bronx, NY will be in both services bringing the word. " - "Rawsrvnt will also be in the house bringing a different twist on our worship from his latest album “In Rare Form”

After a change of leadership in 2002 they adopted the Purpose Driven principles, and have as their vision statement, “To relevantly introduce the truth of Christ to the Hip-Hop Culture as we develop worship, purpose, unity, and leadership in their lives.”
Their ongoing vision revolves around new facilties and more services. "We’ll also be adding our Saturday night service in 2005, and we plan to eventually add another service on Thursday’s that will specifically be for High School students".

I don't know whether Perth has enough people involved in the hip hop culture to have a church focused on them. But if you look at most churches, I wonder how effective we are being at reaching the more 'edgy' cultural groups.

They have a number of resources they are flogging and state, " We believe that God has called us to impact this culture worldwide."

You little beauty

There is not much better for a Freo supporter than to beat the Toasters. Magnificent 4 quarter effort from the boys.
Special commendation to Schammer, Josh Carr and Pavlich.
Took my Weagle supporting brother in law along. We have never lost a game when he has attended with me. Even in that dark Drum season where we only one two games, the only game he attended with me was the Adelaide one, when we won!

I did not think we would win when Aaron did not come back on the ground. (Broken jaw from behind the play incident with Mark Seaby). I still cant believe we did!
The crowd was as loud as I have ever heard them, and I think gave the team a real lift, especially in the last quarter.
Talk about pressure on Hasleby, as he lined up for that kick, with what I now know was only about a minute left on the clock. What a legend.

Just a little note on the booing.
Carr or maybe Schammer deserved best on ground. Judd is an exceptional talent, and seems to be a good citizen, and an inspiring captain. His team certainly look out for him. However he went missing in the crucial third quarter, where Freo and J Carr really put the game away. He was part of the losing side.
The crowd booed the decision, not Judd. What he said when accepting the medal was quite humorous though, "Not a popular decision"
Glendinning has real issues with Fremantle and everyone knows it. For him to tell the crowd off is indicative of his arrogance.
We pay our membership, we go to the games, we suffer as passionate Freo supporters. If we want to boo his bias decision, we will. We were not booing Judd.
Also, very bad sportsmanship for the weagles to leave the ground during the trophy ceremony. Bet there is no mention of that in the West!

Purple shirt is being worn tommorow at church!!!!!
And Alex, if your lurking, here is reason number 11 why Freo are a better team that West Coast!!!!!

Thank you God I am not called here

Job Advertisement for Senior Pastor

Don Avenue Baptist Church
34% members would like him to have attended seminary 24% degree unimportant and 14% at least high school graduate. 31% would like at least 5 years experience as pastor 17% no prior experience necessary 9% more than ten years 16% for years or less as pastor16% more than 5 years in church ministry.45% no age preference 24% 40-49 years 13% 50-59 years 11% 30-39 years28% of members would like a married man while 20% would like a married man with children 19% single 17% widowed 11% no children 5% wouldn't mind him being divorced

Talk about a call by committee. Talk about a totally non biblical approach from a supposedly Biblically faithful church. This is crazy stuff.

Saints and the point of it all

Thanks to for this, apparently a real account of St Kilda's history. Due for a reprint I think!!

Psalm 144 and Prosperity

For whatever reason I have skipped forward in my devotions to Psalm 144 this morning.
The Lord spoke to me on several levels through this passage, but also I am challenged on a philosophical level by this piece of scripture,

" 12 May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. 13 May our farms be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no breached walls, no forced exile, no cries of distress in our squares. 15 Yes, happy are those who have it like this!Happy indeed are those whose God is the LORD. "

I am no fan of the prosperity doctrine, and I also realise we will always have the poor with us, and should be compassionate. I also believe Jesus calls us to not be focused on material wealth. Yet here David closely equates material blessings, a well as relational blessings, with knowing God.

In my own life I am asking God for some pretty major blessings to occur in our church, for the purpose of mission. Just some more thoughts to be contemplating and reflecting on and trying to work out what it all means.

Why the Dockers are better than the Weagles

1. Our theme song does not conjur up images of Todd Johnston, V-Capri and 80's disco music
2. Our on field leaders are not wanted by police for questioning
3. Our captain doesn't leave his girlfriend stranded on Leach Hwy
4. Our Coach has a sense of humour
5. Our Coach does not call journalists *&# $**#@
6. We didn't lose the grand final by a kick
7. Our supporters don't bring their knitting needles to the game
8. Adrian Barich does not support our team
9. Howard Sattler does not support our team
10. "Jailbreak" (ACDC) is not our unofficial anthem

Sirengate shut

Fairplay!!! It is a game, and as a game we won fair and square.

"The AFL have declared Fremantle the winners of Sunday's match against St Kilda and awarded them the 4 points" (

"The AFL has awarded Fremantle the win over St Kilda, with the league's commission deciding after a special meeting on Wednesday that fairness must prevail.The AFL Commission met for more than four hours on Wednesday afternoon, hearing submissions from both the Saints and the Dockers"
Afl Statement

I think the elation of this true hard fought win is going to carry onto into the Derby.
Cousings is doubtful, Dean Cox has a sore ankle,


We are the Borg, resistance is useless

Interesting article in Crosswalk about a book written by Ed Gungor, "Religiously Transmitted Diseases: Resistance Is Futile".

Here is a couple of quotes,
"I knew exactly the kind of group Halley was talking about. They are in every church. She was talking about those wonderful believers who feel like it is their job to imitate God by trying to make others in their own likeness and image. They are Borg-ish."

"I have seen many groups inside Christian churches and ministries that were Borg-ish. These are not horrible people; in fact, they are often very kind and godly. But they are infected. They think they have everything figured out and everyone must externally look and act the same way"

"We evangelicals are pretty susceptible to Borg disease because many believe the weightier part of being a Christian has to do with external mannerisms: what we wear, how we talk, what we like or dislike and what we don’t do. Let’s face it – there is a Borg-ish, cookie-cutter, Christian culture that is touted in many Christian circles as “Christ-like.”

"I think real apprentices of Jesus celebrate individual expression – that’s the thing that best kills the Borg weirdness. Borg is about the Collective; about all being the same. It’s about killing individuality and uniqueness; it’s about control. That’s why Christian leaders are so predisposed to catching this disease – it promises them control.
But control is not leadership. To keep leadership clean from this disease, we must be willing to lose control. We must dare to respect people and to trust God. That would allow the saints of God to break into freedom – to dare to be different. Maybe that’s the kind of freedom Malachi predicted would come to pass one day: “And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall"

Our Church Leadership

We had our ministry team leaders networking meeting last night.
What an absolute joy it is to work with these guys. So functional, positive, uplifiting.
We are very honest and open with each other, about our joys and struggles. And it is always an encouraging and purposeful time. Mostly because all of these leaders are a joy to work with.

Our structure helps as well, knowing what each of us is to do, what our roles are.


The purpose of this brochure is to explain how our church 'works'.
(a) The role of the Members of the Congregation is stewardship.
(b) The role of the Leadership Team is to establish Guiding Principles for the Senior Pastor’s leadership.
(c) The role of the Senior Pastor is to lead the Church to accomplish its mission.
(d) The role of the Ministry Team is to manage the ministries of the Church, directed by the Pastor.
(e) The role of the Congregation is to serve as the primary ministers of the Church.

Sirengate Protest

With thanks to Craggles for this information

cc: <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>

Hello all,

Yesterday has gone down as a bad bad day for the AFL. There is a perception over here in Freo that the AFL has a certain bias towards non victoran sides, and yesterday did nothing to dispel that.
Fair justice must prevail, common sense must be followed. Fremantle won the game fair and square, and after all this is what we are talking about, a game.

If indeed you are fair minded, you must do the right thing, despite the pain it might cost you. Fremantle must be given the four points. It is the right thing to do. That is all there is to it.

Pastor Mark Edwards
Bedford Baptist Church