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Is there anything more introspective

Than commenting on a blog, which is an introspective excercise already, than commenting on the changes you have made to said blog?
Well, hopefully the changes Blogger Beta allows make this blog a little easier on the eyes.

2Gether Pastors Conference

Completing the final details for the 2006 2Gether Pastors Conference.

Myself and Malcom Rule from Encounter Church do a lot of the legwork to organise this conference, in consultation with the Baptist Pastors Association, Baptist Family of Churches, Churches of Christ Ministers Network and Churches of Christ Board.

This year we have Phil Baker, Tracey Johnston and Allan Meyers speaking. They are all dealing with issues of personhood, personal courage, dealing with people.

Phil will be sharing some of his own struggles and difficulties in transitioning Riverview.

One new thing I am really looking forward to is the new intiative, "ThinkTanks".

These are unstructured times where groups of people gather to discuss whatever issues are on their heart.

Karen Wilson will be leading one on "women in ministry", Andrew Hamilton will be leading one on the emerging church stuff and Malcolm will be leading one on using multi media in a small church context. Others will have freedom to lead one on whatever they want.
Should be fun!

Just in case you have not heard

courtesy of

Egyptian Leadership

Was invited by a friend to the Leadership Breakfast hosted by Phil Baker.

Phil spoke on leadership principles learnt from the Ancient Egyptians.
Built to last, communication, working as a team.
It was a very well researched, humorous and insightful talk.
These are very well run events.

I was reflecting today that it was reminiscent of the old Christian Business Men Meetings. In their day these were effective and purposeful meetings, designed to share Christ to Business Men. What Phil is doing is a modern twist on that old idea, with the obvious non-exclusion of women of course.

My friend has also found that from a business perspective, such networking times have also been effective for his business.

If you get a chance, I encourage you to get along, if only to see what sort of things they do, and its fun!

Counselling services

Here is an actual email sent out by United Construction to their workers.

Oh you ripper!

I said last week that Fremantle played the best I have ever seen them play.
This week they played very well, but perhaps the more interesting aspect of the game is how ordinary West Coast looked.

The Dockers are now installed as equal second favourites with the Adelaide Crows. That was unthinkable 7 weeks ago.

I had a great time, sat next to two friendly Eagles supporters, and apart from some argy bargy in the section next to mine, the crowd was good.

But hows the karaoke Eagle's song on the scoreboard?
And how is the innane SGIO Eagles chant?

The Eagles crowd was very quiet most of the day, but I suppose with that scoreline, its to be expected.

A New Day

There was a big decision before Baptists of Western Australia, whether to appoint Pastor Mark Wilson of Whitfords Church of Christ as our Director of Ministries.

Last night at our Pastors dinner, which was attended to capacity, Karen shared how God had spoken to her about the decision, and it was truly prophetic. They are both leaving a great growing and significant church. They are both making a significant sacrifice, and I am really grateful.

I went to the special assembly called by the Baptist Family of Churches of WA this morning.
About 150 or so turned up to decide on whether to appoint Mark Wilson to the Director of Ministries positon. I don't normally go to Assemblies, but felt it was important to go to this one, and show my support.

Mark and his wife Karen are great people and I am so excited about his appointment. The vote was overwhelming, almost 100% and there was a genuine sense that God's Spirit was moving in the meeting.
Often the argy bargy of these meetings has put a lot of the younger pastors like myself off attending, but there has been changes happening in our Baptist culture for some time, with questions being asked respectfully, and the meeting bathed in prayer, including prayer clusters before the decision was made.

Our hope and prayer as Pastors coming through and leading churches is that Mark is able to lead us into a new era. One Pastor commented to me that for the first time he was truly excited to be a Baptist Pastor.

Church Sign

I have just got back the final proofs for our new church sign.
While spending some time reading and praying the other day God spoke to me about 'being a light to the world' and one of the things He pointed out was that our church sign was sending a really bad message to the community. Basically that we dont care about how our church looks, nor does anything look like it has changed for 30 years.

Now we are really tight financially at the moment, so how was I going to pay for it? Well I had some generous people tip in for it, and in a fortnight we will have it.
God speaks, God gives through His people. Its pretty humbling when it happens.

Look, I know its only a church sign, but I do think this is important, not as important as the relationships we have in the community, but relevant to being salt and light none the less.
For a church like ours, which has a real focus on being local and whose buildings are used constantly by the community, its important.


Spent a beautiful Monday morning wandering through Araluen. What a beautiful place. Took Clem out of school and he spent most of the morning discovering where all the water went. Not really interested in flowers and tulips, but quite interested in mud and waterways!

Matt Price

Many of you out there in the blog kingdom may not have heard of Matt Price. Matt used to work in Perth as a journalist, but now resides in Canberra.
He is a journalist for The Australian.

Matt is a passionate Fremantle supporter and author. He pens a semi regular column in "The Australian" all about Freo. The latest one is a gem, here is a piece from it,

"Nobody exactly knows why the Dockers are suddenly playing intoxicating,
glorious, physical, daring, intense, attacking, spirited, attractive,
intelligent, skilful, creative, inspiring, formidable, intimidating,
penetrating, compelling, astonishing, rousing football, but they are and it's
bloody wonderful.
Many Dockers fans were moved to tears by the spectacular
dismantling of Adelaide and, having strung together six-in-a-row, an absurdly
improbably top-four spot beckons. Only a fool would bet against West Coast,
Adelaide and Sydney raffling the flag, but, let's be frank, six weeks ago only a
clinically certified moron would have foreseen Fremantle's electrifying run. "

Whole Article

Best Footy I have ever seen the Dockers play

Seriously, the best, most committed TEAM footy I have ever seen the Dockers play.

St Kilda are no slouches, and have never been afraid of travelling West, but the Dockers made them look ordinary.
I am still a little shocked actually at the final result.

Macca and Cookie were sensational, Macca best on ground.
As to the GF, it is actually a distinct possibility, especially if we get a top four spot. Next weeks game against the weagles is vital.

I know I should just reveal in an awesome team performance, and I am.
But I want to make one little point, the St Kilda fans cannot blame the umpires tonight. In the last quarter I was staggered at the free kick count, and the free kicks Freo were not getting.

Steve Butler, The West's worst tipper

Just wanted to point out the the West Australian's 'Journalist" (used advisedly) Steve Butler is the West Australian's worst tipper. If you want to get good tips in your tipping comp, don't use Steve Butlers. (85 as compared to Reid, Reed and Townsend on 102)

Hardly suprising really, given that he often tips against Fremantle, despite the TAB and his fellow Tipsters predicting a Freo victory.
Reid, Reed and Townsend have all tipped Freo, while Butler has suprise suprise, tipped the Saints.
Anything you would like to tell us Steve?

Rex Hunt, you goose

Cameron Schwab has led the charge, and critiqued footy commentators who are ill-prepared and self indulgent. This is especially apparent in Fremantle Games with commentators regularly confusing players, and dragging out old cliches. For instance one commentator commented about Freo's appalling away record, when in fact Fremantle have the best away record of any team in the AFL at the moment!
One of the strongest reactions, amongst many, was Rex Hunt who spent 12 minutes on the radio defending himself, his preparation, his knowledge of the game.
Then he goes and writes this in regard to Fremantle,

"THEY are making me eat my words but I won't swallow them until the Dockers actually win a final. But I agree they are looking seriously good, which is full credit to Chris Connolly who has weathered the storm. Suddenly they are all flying, the Cape (Headland), The Primary Producer (Farmer), Dinger Bell, Happy Gilmore, the Vehicles (Carrs), Jimmy Walker and Fess Parker. As for the Saints, they did what they had to do last week against insipid opposition. They'll have a crack but without Lenny Hayes and with an injured Luke Ball will struggle at the business end"


Only problem is Rex, James Walker has not played for months. YOU GOOSE!!
Bad preparation, ill informed comment.
You would think if it was your job to be a footy commentator and writer, you would watch the games and be aware of the team you are making comment on.

Schwab 1, Hunt 0

All things pure....

I'm not one to rail against the evils of the world, the world can explain itself.....

But what is it with all these crime shows on at the moment?
What is it with our insatiable appetite for 'entertainment' about people killing each other?
What is it with our facination with delving into forensic science?
Is it that by explaining it somehow we have control over it? We dont have control over what people do to each other, not even God Himself controls that. (He could, but we chose free choice, remember?)

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching NCIS. But that has more to do with the relationships and characters on the show, and crime is interesting, up to a point.

Its just the quantity of these type of shows, every channel is showing at least two of them, and the lengths they are going to to seemingly outdo each other in the shocking crimes they portray.
Is it only me that is thinking about this sort of stuff, or have others noticed it as well?

Bono at Hybels Leadership DVD Summit

The hows and whys of the Willow Creek Leadership DVD Summit have already been dissected all over Blogdom, but here is a post from a guy who actually was there (over east) and heard what Bono said.
(Source of link Phil Baker)

Tony Morgan

"The interview then shifted to Bono's music. He said, "I want my music to do something positive, but I want to be honest and own up to my earthly confusions.""


Went to check my wallet yesterday and it felt light. Now my wallet never feels heavy from cash, I am a Pastor after all!
But friends often stir me up because they think I am a little like George Constanza in that my wallet is normally stuffed full of receipts, notes, cards etc etc.
However yesterday it felt light!
I checked it, rechecked, noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

My Fremantle Dockers Membership cards were gone, gone I say!!
After about two hours of checking the car, house and rubbish bin, and getting covered in egg shells and smelly nappies, I walked back into the house despondant. Checked the Freo website to see how much I was going to get slugged for new cards, about $90 for the three of them......

Then I remembered where I was on Monday morning, and where they might be....
After a sleepless night tossing and turning I rang Wesley Music store at 8.31 am.
Do you???? You do???? Thank you, I'll be there in 30 minutes.....

I will need my card when I buy tickets to Freo's second home final of all time, after we spank the Saints this week.

The X Factor

You are the light of the world--like a city on a mountain, glowing in the
night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on
a stand and let it shine for all. (Matthew 5.14, 15)

Jesus is talking here to a ragtag bunch of Israelis on a rural setting somewhere, on a grassy hill.
No one really important or influential is there. Just ordinary people, captivated by what Jesus is saying.
How on earth are these folk going to 'be a light to The World?"

Well there is nothing on earth, much, that is going to help them.
At Bedford we have some great programs in place, really effective, in the sense a bunch of people from the community come and appreciate them.
But we are struggling, although we have had some effectiveness, with seeing how on earth we are going to lead these people to a fulfilling, joyful life found in Jesus.
Well the truth is we aint going to be able to do this, no more than we didn't do much at all to get them along in the first place, that was God.

Moving them along, helping them on their spiritual journey, well that's going to have to be God as well, because quite frankly I dont know how, I dont have the answers. I certainly dont have the strength or power.
But as I spent some time with some mates praying this morning, gee it felt powerful, gee it felt strong. The X Factor was amongst us, the unexplainable power that comes from God.
We will see some people come to know a 'good' life, a great joyful life. Because we have asked God to help us.

Derby Tickets secured

Oh someone up there is looking after me.

I rock up at Midland shops at about 7.30am to get my derby tickets.
Now Midland shops is undergoing a huge redevelopment, and I am waiting outside at the wrong glass doors. What I mean is that the entry I am going to go through when the security guard opens the door is miles from the Wesley Music store aka Tickemaster booth.

Thankfully for me the security guard opens my door, I spend about five minutes wandering through the store until I find Ticketmaster.
As I wait outside I am struck by the fact that there is normally about 50 people already waiting there.

Then I glance to my right and see about 100 people waiting outside, right near the store, for the security guard to let them in!
They come rushing in about five minutes later and demand to know how I got in, and I tell them. The lady who was there first has been waiting since 3am!!!
Unfortunately for her, she is an Eagles fan, and does not realise that Eagles fans cannot buy tickets today, members already have theirs, and only Dockers fans can buy them.
She trudges off very upset.
The next lady is a mad keen Dockers supporter, and has been waiting since 5am!!
I stroll in, and she has been waiting for ages!!!
Worse is to come.
The Ticketmaster computer is playing up, and they take until about 9.13 to get my tickets, two tickets at opposite ends of the ground.
The poor lady behind me gets restricted viewing tickets.
Only three more people get theirs, the rest miss out!
All Derby Tickets gone by 9.15am.

Oh yeah!!!!!!!!!

What a win!
Hard, pressured, mature footy from a team who obviously had not read the script.
Ladder leader, at home, McLeod back in, 50 000 rabid Croweaters cheering on, dubious home town umpiring..........

Farmer, what defensive pressure. Who has taught him to play the team game? Yes, he kicked a lazy 70 when he played for Melbourne, but he mostly cared about himself back then. Now he cares about the team.....

Matthew Carr........ did team playmaker Simon Goodwin play?? Because I didn't see him under the BLANKET that Josh's brother was carrying around.

Great to see J LO back out there as well.

Despite there often being 3, yes 3, defenders hanging off Pavlich, he still managed to cause plenty of headaches for the Crows, even when he went into the midfield.

My prediction for next week? Well, myriad is going to be a very sad sad place to be on Sunday night. Maybe Saint Gaz could do a series on Jeremiah, the weeping prophet... :)

p.s. this late news in from the Herald Sun
"Centrebet now has Fremantle at $15 for the flag and spokesman Gerard Daffy noted there is a chance it could get two home finals if results fall its way.
"We expect them to win their last three games and that includes beating the Eagles at Subiaco," Daffy said.
"That would mean they are every chance to finish either third or fourth, meaning they could easily meet the Eagles at Subiaco (in the first week of the finals), which is obviously their home ground.
"They've already beaten the Eagles this year and if they beat them in their first final then they would go straight to a preliminary home final. Suddenly it is looking very good for a team that most had written off just over a month ago.
"They have been backed solidly all season and are a loser for us and were a loser on the weekend.
"One punter had $4000 on them at $2.50 at quarter-time (yesterday) and another had $10,000 at $1.55 at halftime. They were actually back out to $2.50 at three-quarter time when Adelaide came back.
"They were a loser for us in the game, being backed from $3.65 into $2.90."

Being a Pastor

Not always an easy job, not often an easy job.
Dealing with people, sad ones, depressed ones, frustrated ones, impatient ones.

When it comes to matters of spirituality, everyone has an opinion, some strong ones as well.
We cant all be right.

I wonder sometimes about the balance between spiritualising matters and being pragmatic.
How more churches don't split apart is beyond me.

"Give me wisdom, strength and vision God. Help me to lead well. "

In the old days the word 'awesome' was used much differently to how it is now.
In the old sense it was used to mean "to hold something as serious, as of significance". It was a serious word, a word meant to invoke feelings of reverence.
As I think about trying to lead people in spiritual matters, I wonder, what the heck am I doing? This is an 'awesome' responsibility, even if it is only a small church.
I also wonder about those great spiritual leaders of our day. I dont think half of them know what they are doing, if any of them .
We are all so fragile, our feet are made of clay.

As I looked around our childrens program today, and the room was absolutely packed, I wondered, what the heck are we doing? This semester we started the third day of the program, and it is now bursting at the seams, with families in need of the live and joy Jesus offers.
What an 'awesome' responsibility.
I dont want to take it lightly, but neither do I want to think there is really much wisdom in me to make it all work.

Les Everitt and Bell

Here's a great article from one of the board members of the FFC.


This line in particular took my fancy,
"Others are not so observant. During the mid-season break ABC Radio had an "in-depth" look at each club. You may remember that Fremantle took the break after its worst performance since 2001 - thrashed at home by Geelong. Former Carlton captain Mark Maclure, now a special comments man on the ABC, had the solution. Fremantle had to act immediately he said - not at the end of the season - but right away. It was time to get rid of Peter Bell, Jeff Farmer and Paul Medhurst. By the way Peter Bell didn't play in the Geelong game. Maclure's argument was that Bell is no longer the player he was at North Melbourne and that Farmer and Medhurst were (like ever other small forward in the history of the game) too inconsistent. You can bet he's pleased that Medhurst in currently playing in the WAFL but you can be equally sure he's saying "I told ya so" all that often when discussion turns to Fremantle. As has been mentioned before on this page lots of people talk about footy on the wireless and the TV - the important thing is that while we may tune in we're not obligated to really listen. "

God rules OK

"If God is silent, what's that to you? If he turns his face away, what can you do about it? But whether silent or hidden, he's there, ruling," - Job 34:29 (MSG)

Speaking from the book of Job this week, wow, what a book.
The oldest book in the bible confronts the most modern of questions,
"Where is God when life sucks?"

What gets you mad?

"You can measure the size of a man

by the size of the thing

he gets angry at"

Silly chance

Freo heave ho!!!
We are a silly chance to beat the Crows this week, especially with this news, just in....
"Mark Ricciuto, Adelaide, has accepted a one-game sanction for striking James Clement, Collingwood, during the first quarter of the Round 18 match between Adelaide and Collingwood, played at AAMI Stadium on Saturday August 5, 2005."

Footy Goss

Australind Baptist Church Homeless

Australind Baptist Church has nowhere to meet this week after the Tornado which ripped through Australind on Monday destroyed the Settler Community Hall.
Pastor Wayne Field said that, "A mini tornado hit Australind this morning. Fortunately no families from Australind Baptist Church have suffered any damage to their homes, though other residents in Settler's estate did not escape unscathed. A number of homes have been destroyed and trees flattened in a stretch about 200m wide and 2km long".
There have been no injuries reported from the tornado, which was forecast by the Bureau of Meterology.
Australind Baptist Church was fortunate in that most of the church gear was locked away in cupboards that kept the weather out, and so it has been preserved.
Their popular community program, Toddler Jam, will also have to find another place to meet, which is unfortunate as it popular with many of the local families.

Settler's Hall will most likely be demolished as the force of the tornado has lifted the roof, blown out windows and buckled walls. Pastor Wayne Field has commented that this is an opportunity for the growing church, which was finding the local hall constrictive to their congregation.

Bullard and his laptop power supply

In a move bound to make environmental experts all round the world nervous, Michael Bullard has finally rid himself of his old laptop including the laptop power supply.
I received this post from Michael, "BTS - the power supply of the laptop is now gone - 10 kg off my desk.The new one is much smaller, though not as small as many. "

One wonders how Michael managed to get the laptop battery off his desk, which surely must have had steel reinforcement under it. Did Barry let him bring a forklift into the office?

And what is the Stirling Council going to say about Michael dumping the laptop battery at the local tip? How is he going to sneak it past the guard?

Freo Heave Ho, Five in a Row

Great game against a determined Hawks side today.
Good mature consistent footy.
Cook was excellent, tough in the packs, and set up about 3 of our goals.
Farmer has taken his game to another level with intense tackling, determined and focused playing. He is playing better footy now that he did at Melbourne.
Bell lead from the front, good to see Justin L back and firing, and Sandi was particularly agressive today, which he needs to be to get the best out of his game.
Amazing ladder at the moment with 6 of the 8 sides being equal on points.
If it were not for our lousy percentage we could be 3rd on the ladder!

I know logic says otherwise, but I think we are a silly chance against ladder leaders Adelaide next week, and then onto the INCONSISTENT Saints.

Then of course the Derby.
Now here are the blog rules for commenting on the Derby.
Watching the occaisional last five minutes of a West Coast game DOES not make you a supporter of the Toasters, it makes you a bandwagon hopping, chardonny sipping, kneedle knitting ignoramus, like many West Australians. :)

I have been a member of the Dockers for years know, go to every game, watch every game, have 7 Dockers shirts in the wardrobe. I have suffered for many years, I am a supporter.
If you are a West Coast 'supporter' because that is an easier choice than being a real member or supporter, then...................

On the other hand, if you suffered through 2000 and 2001, during the Judge years, and are a real supporter, let the sledging begin :) :)

Thank you weagles

Once again, you cant trust St Kilda.
With everything to play for, inconsistent footy again.

Although I could not bring myself to cheer for the Weagles, part of me was glad they won.
That brief hope of a top four finish is kept alive.

Ulead and communion special

I have been trying to source a good communion video for this Sunday, but was unable to get what I wanted.
So I have grabbed a copy of Ulead and made my own.
It is suprisingly easy, if time consuming.
I have used one of the new songs off Hillsongs new album, combined it with some Bible texts and thoughts, and some videos of crucifixion scenes and also a budding flower.
It has turned out well.
Is video the new bible reading? I think it might be. Rather than only standing and reading the bible, which can be really effective if done well, this is another way to bring to people's minds the truth of the text.

Hopefully my skills will not detract from the message, but enhance. We'll see.

Its a real shame some Aussie Churches (big ones) dont give away some of the stuff they are doing. American stuff is often done well, and I use it, but sometimes it loses something with the cultural differences, and even hearing someone using a non Aussie accent can be distracting as well. A lot of the Aussie stuff I have seen has been done by uni students, and is not really very mature (!).

Lets do some Hawk Hunting

Despite the protestations of some this Sunday's game against the Hawthorn Hawks should be a walk in the park for the fired up Freo boys.
I would venture to say we are the form team in the competition at the moment, having won our last four games, at least two of which was against top four sides.

Spida Everitt is out, Longmuir is in to help the awesome Sandilands, and so our tough in and under brigade should make short work of the clearances.
With Murphy Pav and Farmer up forward, against the injured Croad, and the fantastic 'no name' back line I am pretty confident we will smash them.

(Which as a long suffering Freo fan has me a little worried :) )

ps I am little torn, I dont know who to go for in the Weagles v Saints. My dislike for all things blue and gold is well known, but part of me is still hoping for a top four finish, which wont be helped if St Kilda keeps up its inconsistency and wins this week.

Its all good

We had a great meeting last night discussing the children's ministries in our church.
What a great great great bunch of leaders we have. They are all motivated, skilled and creative. In fact I would say they are passionate about seeing kids come to know Jesus and grow into socially creative and adjusted young adults.

Its truly a blessing to hear all the things going on in our Kids ministries programs. A Church consulatant shared with us that the most important aspect of growing a church, is having relevants children's programs, and I think he is right. Our guys are doing a great job!