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Urban Legends

As I kick off our new series at Church on Urban Legends, I am starting this week with a 'doosey'. Namely the myth that has come upon us as churches, that having the truth is more important that love. A thought I want to emphasise is this....

"What I mean is this,
churches should be know for what they do,
not for what they are against"

I am going to use the story of the good Samaritan as the basis for my application.

4 Lanes of Emerging Church Driscoll

Mark Driscoll is someone who has been through a lot of controversy. That is to put it mildly. His greatest strength is his ability to clearly and frankly articulate his view points....maybe that is a weakness as well....
Either way this description of the four streams of emergent thinking/church is interesting and informative. He is probably a equal opportunity that most people could get offended by something he says! But I like him, and his style, even if I dont agree with everything he says. (I also think he wears the coolest shirts)


"Failure is the pathway to success"

Dave Gilpin

Flower Motion Loop

This is a simple motion loop I made up using Ulead.
Overlayed a nice picture of a flower with a ghost motion. Then placed the same picture on the timeline and overlayed a reverse motion over it, this allowing the video to loop seamlessly.
Might use it as a background in church.

Phil Baker deals with Rudd's apology

In my view Phil Baker has done a great job of dealing with this issue. He uses biblical stories as illustrations of how others have "stood in the gap" and taken responsibility for others who had sinned in their community. While many I know say, "why should I say sorry", a better question might be, who will stand and express sorrow for past wrongs done. It does not fix everything, it does not make everything right....but it does display a fresh and new spirit..something that is needed if we are to be all we can be as Australians.

Great Games in Fremantle Dockers History - Sirengate

It was the 30th of April, 2006, my birthday.

Invariably weirdness descends when Freo and St Kilda play. Who will ever forget the disallowed free which saw St Kilda get up by one point in a previous Tasmanian game. No Freo fan, or present West Australian Premier will forget Longmuirs goal after the siren during the feature game on Friday Night, Channel Nine. That was also the game which prompted the 'whispers in the sky' controvery with Channel Nine reporter Tony Jones allegedly overhearing controversial statements from the umpires. Think back long enough to 2002 and you might remember the afro headed Ben Cunningham kicking a 50 metre goal in the dying minutes to win the game after the Saints had led all day. There is also the infamous mark that Peter Carey took in 1999, infamous because Carey was the umpire officiating in that game.

But of course the biggest nexus of all occured when St Kilda and Fremantle lined up on that fateful day at Aurora stadium.
After giving the Saints a spanking for most of the day, Freo took their foot off the pedal and the Saints took advantage, coming back to within one point in the dying seconds of the last quarter. The siren sounded, the coaches celebrated. Unfortunately no one thought to make the siren loud enough so the umpires could hear it above the sound of a few beer soaked Tasmanian fans.

A point was kicked, then disallowed, then kicked again...The game was officially a draw. St Kilda's coach 'cornflakes' Grant Thomas hardly did much for his reputation when he rather churlishly suggested that the points were his teams...and the result would stand. Chris Connolly and Cameron Schwab were vigorous in their protest that they would get the four points which were rightfully theirs. After Brad Hardie declared that, "there is no way that the result will change" the ensuing controversial days, the AFL changed the result. For only the second time in AFL history, a games result was changed after the 'final siren'. Luckily sanity prevailed, Chris Connolly and co relaxed, and Freo got their deserved 4 points.

A Newness of Spirit Watchmen Nee

Just seeking God this afternoon, needed some clarity on what God wanted to say on Sunday....I have spent four days mulling over this weeks message, it is as much for me as anyone else this week. Then God spoke to me about Watchmen Nee, and in a moment God directed me to this quote. I don't reccomend this method as something to be practiced on a regular basis...but in this case I sensed God drawing me to this passage in his book, "A spiritual man".
So I have my conclusion for this Sunday.

A Newness of Spirit
“We should serve in newness of spirit” (Rom. 7.6 Darby).
This too is a serious facet of spiritual life and work. An old spirit cannot inspire people: the best it can do is pass on some thought to others: even so, it is weak and therefore powerless to stimulate earnest consideration. An aged spirit can only produce aged thought. Never can dynamic life flow out from an old spirit. Whatever issues from a decrepit spirit (words, teaching, manner, thought, life) are but old, stale and traditional. Perhaps many doctrines do in fact reach another believer’s mind, but they gain no footing in his spirit; as a consequence, it is impossible to touch the spirits of others because there is no spirit behind one’s teaching. It is conceivable that the one who harbors an old spirit has once experienced some of the truths, but they have now become mere remembrances of the past, purely pleasant memories. These truths have been transferred from the spirit to the mind. Or perhaps they have just been new ideas freshly conceived in his mind, and due to lack of confirmation in life they simply do not impart the touch of a fresh spirit to the audience.
Time and again we meet various Christians who habitually convey something new from the Lord. While we are with them we feel they have just left the Lord’s presence, as though they would bring us right back to the Lord. This is what newness means; anything else is oldness. Such ones appear to enjoy renewed strength all the time, soaring like eagles and running like youths. Instead of imparting dried, corrupted, and worm-eaten manna of the mind to people, these give fish and bread freshly cooking on the fire of the spirit. Deep and wonderful thoughts never move people as a fresh spirit can.
We must maintain a fresh spirit continually. How can we face people if our inner man does not give the impression of having been newly with the Lord and newly blessed of the Lord? Anything—life, thought, experience—which has reduced itself to a remembrance of the past is old and aged. Moment by moment we must receive everything anew from the Lord. To imitate the experiences of another without ourselves having it in life is forbidden; but to copy from the relics of our own past experience is likewise ineffective. Thus we can grasp the import of what Christ enunciated as recorded in John: “I live because of the Father” (6.57). Our inner man shall remain unceasingly fresh if we momentarily draw upon the life of the Father to be our life. A stale spirit generates no fruit in work, inspires no walk after the spirit, and achieves no victory in warfare. An old spirit cannot face others because it has not faced God. To enjoy a spirit that is always fresh and new, one’s inner being must be in constant touch with God.

Waiting for my life to start......

"I've realised that waiting for my life to start, is my life"

I have been brought up in my Christian walk with all the prophecy seminars, end time movies and dispensational theology that a typical idealistic young man was normally given in the eighties Western Church.

After a while, and as I approach my 38th birthday, it has all become a little stale.
I believe Jesus is returning, I believe in an after life, I believe in Heaven.

What I dont believe in is living life for the next life. In fact if in focusing on end times, we have lost the wonder of a life lived for present joys.

My children are growing up too fast. I wonder if this is why some families choose to have more kids, because they don't want to leave behind the joy of seeing a young baby grow.
Why do I say this? Because I need to enjoy my kids much as I will enjoy their company later in life, and maybe even enjoy seeing their kids grow, right now is the opportunity I have to enjoy life with them.

And of course my children are only one aspect of life.
Life is too short to not enjoy it now. When I say 'enjoy', I don't mean frivilous hedonism, I mean real joy.

God, help me to enjoy...

The love peace and joy of the Holy Spirit
The inner and outer beauty of my wife
The curiousity and trust in my childrens eyes
The acceptance of my friends
The fellowship and purpose of my church
The fulfilment and challenge my ministry
The distraction of my sport
And even the smell of my coffee....

Earphones and conversing with your wife

I go to the football.
Most of you know that.

Once I went with my now deceased father. It pains me to say it, but he spent the entire game listening to the commentary on his oversized earphones.
That was pretty upsetting for me at the time.

On a lighter note, it did have its upside. Adrian Barich was a channel seven boundary rider at the time, and about the fourth quarter, as Port Adelaide are stitching Freo up, the crowd started up the chant, clearly heard all around the ground, "Barra's a _ _ _ _ _ _" My dad and I were right near the dugout, and therefore right in the midst of it. Luckily I dont think my father took much notice as I joined in the cheer as Barra waved a rather humorous wave to the crowd.

I never wear my earphones to the football, unless my wife and son can't come. I would much prefer to talk to them, and have a joint experience together. Even when I have taken my Weagles supporting brother in law to the derby, we talk. Often it is good natured sledging, but we actually enjoy the experience together.

Do you ever see the old guys getting around the place with the am transititor put up to their ear? Maybe their wife walking next to them?

Lifes too short to not enjoy other peoples company while we have the chance. Even just walking in silence is better than that! You can enjoy the sound of birds together.

Nothing Adrian Barich, Karl Langdon or Dennis Commetti is ever going to say is going to change or truly enrich my life, but every time my wife and I really commune...well thats intimacy.

Hasleby gooorn for season


Worship Loop

Here is a simple loop I have made up using a image that you can download for free from
They encourage you to manipulate and change the image to suit your requirements, which is what I have done.

Pre season games are really really important...

And a great indicator of the season to come.....
(I've always thought so!!)

44 points against a pretty lacklustre wee girls...

If not for a brave Mark Seaby, it would have been a lot worse for the Canaries down the road.

Leadership, with responsibility comes accountability and creative freedom

Discussions on leadership at the moment have been grabbing my attention.
One comment in particular forced me to think again on the issue of creative freedom.
Someone commented that out of the Ecclesia should come the decisions. One has to go no further than the book of Acts to find some proof verses to back up this view.
Furthermore, years of Baptist history and emphasis on congregational government has led to one of the most missional and orthodox denominations, and one of the few established churches growing.

However there are issues and clarification about what this actually means. The issues in my mind relate to what the congregation should actually decide. In Acts they decided if Paul should be anointed as the Mission Leader. The one who would go out and plant churches, act as an Apostle.
I think this is a great model for us.
What we also find the early church doing is appointing deacons to lead the ministries, and not being checked on by an over diligant membership.

Picture this.
The church decides together to send Paul out. They then have further meetings to decide on what methods he should employ, where he should go, what churches he should set up, where, what he should be restricted to saying to them, whether he should make tents or not, and whether he should be allowed to serve wine or not.

These issues and more were ones that it is logical Paul needed to make for himself, and he did.

The church anointed him as leader, and then trusted him to lead. If he had started to make stupid decisions, if he had been greedy and self serving, and dare I say it in this 'nice political climate' he had not performed.....I believe they would have revisited the responsibility given to him. Futhermore they continually asked him to be accountable, to report to them, and when a serious issue came up, for example what to expect of Gentile believers, they gave direction.

Let me say something else. Did their appointing of Paul absolve them of being the church, of sharing the gospel, of bringing the kingdom into the present? Of course not, these and more was what Paul and others expected of the whole church. But Paul was recognised as a leader and allowed to lead.

Some of what I read makes me wonder whether political correctness is driving us, whether in fact our culture is determining our values, rather than scripture?
Are we afraid of authority, submission, releasing people? No one likes a dictator, no one likes someone who does not have their interests at heart, and not many will follow such a leader for very long. But that does not mean we should not let leaders lead, and recognise them as such. The abuse of any model is not evidence to not use it, and I recognise this even in what I am about to say.

Of course experience drives all of our views on these issues.
Two experiences drive me.
Bad members meetings where instead of the church gathering together to find the mind of Christ, gatekeepers gathered to maintain the status quo, dysfunctional bitter people gathered in some twisted way to have influence, and some dear souls gathered to be abused.

The other experience is in the statistical fact that creative people are the first people to leave where instead of releasing people into leadership and freedom in expressing their gifts, talents and ideas, they were stifled by change haters.

The so called "Ceo" model is so far from how it is being stereotyped it is not funny. It is not about one person assuming control, it is about leadership being given to the people, not taken from them.
Good business people know this.
I believe the mind of Christ is found in the eccelisa. But how we work out what the church decides in a modern church context is not as simple as this sweeping statement.

Paolo Nutini Try and watch this without cranking up the bass

Media Bias against Freo

And people wonder why I have a chip on my shoulder about the media bias against the Fremantle Dockers.

Craig O'Donoghue take a bow. You have just taken out the "Markedly award from shrimp most needing to be BBQ'ed". His 'journalism' in the Age Newspaper is clearly the result of too much cheap chardonny and a free set of windscreen wipers from John Worsfold. Read this line from his article and let it sink in for a moment......

"The Dockers were clearly the worst behaved team in the AFL last year "

Now if you were an illegal alien having just arrived from Botswania I could understand you saying this, if you just read one copy of "The West Australian" last February when Farmer did the wrong thing, and Michael Johnson did nothing wrong, but both, in true AFL Tribunal fashion, had the book thrown at them.

But Craig, bless his heart of integrity, lives and resides in Western Australia, the home of the West Coast Beagles, friends of various underworld types and who Worsfold admitted had "up to eight players taking illegal drugs". Thrown in Kerr's assault charges, Selwoods racist and derrogatory comments, Michael Gardiner getting the boot and Braun's flatlining in LA...and well, I think his comment is at best ill informed, at worst, typical of the media stupidity we Dockers fans put up with on a daily basis.


By the way, did you know that the rehab clinin Ben Cousins attended in the US is now shut down because of the negative publicity attracted to it by Ben??

Off to surgeon

I have had some serious pain in my abdomen the past 12 months, which at one point involved a stay at RPH......

Now I have to visit a surgeon this afternoon with the possibility of having my appendix removed. I think doctors are great, but I dislike hospitals when I am the one getting treatment.....Have you seen the coffee they serve there???

If you are the praying type, send up one for me......

Gareth Williams, Rob Bell and a new pair of glasses

Now that Gareth has moved to Queensland, and Rob Bell lives in the US, I can wear some trendy glasses and not have too worry about being compared to those two.

Here they are.

Ikea and relationships

You may have noticed that there is a new mega store opening in Innaloo.

A new Ikea store.

Ikea started as a young man's dream in rural Sweden. Now Ikea has 158 stores in 29 countries and is about to embark on a massive global expansion plan. Why is it succeeding while traditional retailers go to the wall?

Ikea is preoccupied with relationships. Whereas traditional stores have usually appealed to individual consumers, Ikea wants to attract families or groups of friends. You often see not just couples trailing around, but the rest of the extended family, too: it is the modern equivalent of the day at the seaside in the 50s and 60s, a chance for the family to do something communally. Have you been there? There is a place for your kids, a place to eat, and you don’t just go to one section like you do in myers, they deliberately put arrows on the floor, and they make you go on a journey, and at the end of that journey, after the experience that you are encouraged to go on as a family, there are Swedish meatballs to eat together!
Ikea, with all its faults that I see as a Christian, has understood the value of relationships. The owner often visits his stores, suprising his "co workers", giving them all a hug.

Relationships are so important, and maybe some of our relationships need a renewal. We all know our own pain – relationships that aren’t working the way we hoped they would. Think about some relationship in your life that isn’t quite right. Could it be that your relationship struggle is having a negative ripple effect that goes far beyond your own little world? Probably so.

Kerr does his hammy, woosha does his Egypt

You know there is a problem when Woosha goes in denial mode. Kerr has done his hammy, and John Worsfold has said 'no problem'.

No Judd, no Cousins, now no Kerr.......mmmmmm no problem????

Michelle Williams

Pretty sad to see Michelle at Heaths funeral today.
Mother of his two year old daughter.
Sad to see his dad, mum and sisters....

Two young to die. Like so many young Australian males of his age, who for whatever reason find their life cut short....

Kitchener Park New Football Stadium

The WA government have once again displayed an extraordinary lack of vision in their announcement today that Kitchener Park will be the sight of the new stadium.
The visionary option was East Perth.

East Perth is at present hosting a deserted electricity factory with beautiful views of our cities best assest, the Swan River. Can you imagine the stunning views as people from all over Australia saw the new stadium with the setting sun and beautiful vista of our river in the background? The train line would have mean easy access for many people, and the Polly Farmer freeway would have provided easy access, with no need to drive past whinging Subiaco residents who have meant that Subiaco can only host limited night games.

What is more residents from 93 houses and units along Subiaco Road will forced to move for the new stadium development, most of them Homeswest tenants. These people were being given a chance to see their children grow up in a safe and advancing suburb, now they have to move to please a money hungry WAFC.

This is a stupid short sighted decision.
I suggest you email our Premier.

Chuck Norris

Go to google and type

"find chuck norris "

then hit I feel lucky .................... :)

Christianity in Australia

We are a weird bunch, on one hand people criticise any US multi media I use because it is "too American"....then I get told that Australian movies and TV are terrible compared to overseas ones.

Conferences we organise for pastors often feature American speakers, who we then criticise for being American....?!?

I can't work it out, and I wonder if it comes from our own heritage, as convicts. Has our convict past meant we are naturally insecure and negative about ourselves?

What I mean is, while we decry anything American, at the same time we are inheritantly insecure about anything Australian. In fact one of the critiques mega church pastors have levelled at them is that they are 'too American', but at the same time, for a certain segment of the church, these are the pastors we admire and look to for leadership.

What I do think is that we should be secure enough in ourselves to accept and embrace the pragmatism that the US church brings to us, while also embracing the reflective nature that possibily our Anglo church has given us, while all at the same time embracing the mateship/community aspect of church life that possibly our own culture has added to the mix.

Either way, overt criticism of American Churches may be more to do with our insecurity, rather than real critique, particularly if at their heart, the churches we are critiquing, are truly seeking to achieve the same thing all Christians are, follow Jesus and fulfill His commands.

The world according to Americans

This from an American Friends blog......

Safe places for men

A few things have happened in the past few days that have caused me to reinforce my value that men need places for men....and there is nothing wrong with that.

I wonder if history does not inform us that men have always wanted time to just be men, with other men. My observation is that women need exactly the same thing, places where they can feel safe with other women, to be vulnerable.

Sometimes political correctness, and a belief that we must always be inclusive overides natural good sense.

All Because of Jesus

Here is a pre service presentation I have made up for Sunday, as we continue our series on
"Re new all"
Love this song by Casting Crowns....

Rick Warren on Comedy Central

As I have come to expect, Rick Warren aquits himself well and fails to embarass himself as other Christian leaders do!

Key quote, "I am not a fundamentalist, fundamentalists have stopped listening"

Dockers in Africa

This is a great story.....Well done Dockers.

THE street kids of the Thakeneng Project in South Africa have no idea who the big men in the purple shirts are, but they smile when the strangers enter their world and keep smiling for the hour they spend with them.

Their lives, being rebuilt by some amazing carers, have been horrific.

But on this day, though, there is only happiness. There are footballs to kick and they get to keep the balls and a purple cap.

It's a small gesture from the Fremantle Football Club and those who know these kids best, such as the project's manager Corrie Engelbrecht, are adamant this day will be recorded by the kids as a life highlight.

When it's time for the Freo players to leave, the kids burst into beautiful song.

Docker Paul Hasleby joins them in their dancing, his teammates mesmerised by the power of their sound and actions. The kids finish that tune and begin another.

They know there is no way the big guys will leave if they keep singing.

Des Headland, an indigenous Australian, says he can relate to South Africa: "It is what they are brought up with and they accept things; they deal with what they've got and the life they have, yet they have a passion for that life.

"Look at some of the kids we've seen today. You can't believe what they've been through in their lives and they've all got happy faces and are running around smiling."

But, eventually, their music is stopped by a carer, and final goodbyes, hugs, handshakes and high-fives are made.

The kids are disappointed but have been told they will be driven by bus to watch the big guys play "foo-ty" against some other big guys in navy blue on Saturday, so there's something else beyond this day to look forward to.

"And that doesn't happen a lot," said Engelbrecht. "All we want to do is make a difference to a child's life, and when that happens we are so grateful to see that joy and as you can see, there is joy here today . . . and that makes us happy because they are happy."

The Dockers travelled from the street kids project to the Potchefstroom Prison.

There, on the jail's sports field, they kick footies and exchange stories with a dozen or so prisoners serving life sentences. They walked through the women's ward where some were left heartbroken at the sight of some inmates tending to babies.

"I can't believe how happy they look," observed Docker Byron Schammer. No one else could, either.

If one ever stops to analyse the sights on offer in most parts of South Africa, it makes for dreadful, teary, doomed analysis.

But the people one is watching just keep moving, with a smile or at least a buoyancy in their step.
There are the kids who are having the times of their lives rolling a tyre down a busy street and the old guys sitting outside their unpowered, near-derelict cottages without running water, but who have enough pride to manicure their small lawns and keep their windows spotless.

Headland's teammate Jeff Farmer said it was always best to look at life positively.

"You try not to harp on that (the helplessness) too much, you try to bring a little bit of joy and a little bit of happiness for these kids," Farmer said.

"We are only here for 10 days, but you can already tell that that's enough time to maybe make a difference, maybe change a kid's life in terms of bringing a bit of joy."
After the prison visit, the Fremantle players have a quick lunch before heading back out into the community for an AFL FootyWild clinic on an oval within a township on the fringes of Potchefstroom.

More than 500 kids were waiting. Which meant 500 wide smiles when they lobbed, and 500 wide smiles for the next 90 minutes as the players, with the help of many local volunteers, conducted footy drills.

The volunteers all smiled for 90 minutes, too, none with a happier face than Tebogo Raditsabena, who has been helping coach locals the art of Australian football for the past four months.

Raditsabena has no legs. Puma shoes, worn backwards, protect the ends of what was left of those legs after he lost them when severely burnt as a child.

When some of the big guys in purple come to say hello, he is probably the happiest bloke in the world.

On this video Farmer says he is sorry for his off field indescretions, and wants to make ammends this year. well done Jeff, looking forward to your magic this season.


I used this clip in church today to illustrate or kick off my new series. I am talking about renewal. This morning I focused on the need to confess our sins, to face up to who we are.

Angus Buchan

I attended the Mighty Mens conference on Friday night and Saturday as Advent Park in Maida Vale. The facilities were pretty basic and we met together under the sky.

It was a truly inspiring event as 500 + men from all over the state gathered together.

Eliot and team led the worship time, and hearing all these blokes singing together was worth the price of admission alone. We met under the gum trees and sky. It was hot, but cooled off a little at night.

Angus Buchan is an incredible speaker and motivator. He is gifted in imparting strength, wisdom and is filled with a real sense of God's enabling. His ministry would be best described as helping men take their place as leaders, in church, home and work situations. Angus has a healing ministry which was evident over the two days as he prayed for men, and anointed them with oil. It was a powerful event, with much ministry being done.

If you get a chance to see the movie, "Faith like Potatoes" take it. It is a powerful movie based on Angus' life and tells you that out of brokenness comes strength.

It would be pretty exciting to attend their annual conference as well, which apart from camping fees, is free.
I did all the visual stuff for the conference, including setting up projectors, monitors and screens for showing the movie. It was interesting trying to keep up with the muso's, who were asked to play different songs at a moments notice. I had to figure out what song they were going to play by the first few bars of music, find the song, and get it up on the screen in time for the blokes to be able to read it. I also had to load up pictures and some other things at a moment notice as well! It was fun though, and probably a small contribution of a well run conference.