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Christmas Lunch

Mmmmmmm...what do you eat for Christmas Lunch?
Today I went to some friends house and 'dedicated' their child in their backyard. Beautiful sunshine in their Freo backyard, lovely drink food etc.

Number one son is a real gourmet the age of 7. Straight past all the standard kids table and onto the I have some of this Gouda, and some Dutch smokehouse....a decent slice of cheese later, and he was checking out the olives and other condiments.

What does he want for Christmas lunch? None of that ham or pork dad, I want a seafood buffet, crab, crayfish, prawns and fish dad......

sigh..... :)

The standard of beauty

Watching Mark Driscoll's series on "The Peasant Princess" at the moment.
One thing he keeps saying, which really hit home for me, was this....'your wife should be the standard of beauty'...however she looks...that is beautiful...

Not hard when you have a pretty wife like I do....but in this image saturated society, a great reminder.

Free Christmas Multi Media

Here is an excellent example of some of the work of Muddy River Media.
I am going to use this in two weeks time, when I talk about dealing with the relatives at Christmas time. You can download this for free from

Financial Crisis...what crisis?

I realise this post comes from a position of a fair amount of forgive me in advance but....

Since the crisis has kicked in our family...

1. has had its monthly mortgage greatly reduced, meaning we have maintained the level of repayment, but are seriously eating into the principle, with the promise of further cuts to come

2. Our petrol bill has been reduced by a third, I got petrol today for 1.08, when last month I was paying up to $1.55

3. We are receiving $2000 from our new best friend, Kevin Rudd, which will pay for our holiday next July

What concerns me
Every government in the world is instituting massive public works projects, including China. This is not good for our long term environmental goals
Seniors who are dependent upon their Super are suddenly discovering their net worth is halved or worse....
Young people who have been full of optimism and courage about their future, and thus were willing to dream, may now have to reassess their life goals.

why is it...some rambles....

that churches with 'Grace' in their title are normally anything but...

that people think a version of the scriptures which has been categorically proved to be one of the most the one they insist using...

that some folk insist that a song written in the 1800's is somehow more holy than those written in 2008.....

that some who insist the church be tolerant....then are very intolerant of the church....

that sometimes people's selfishness riles me...when I struggle with selfishness....

that I encourage people to show faith...but struggle with courage to follow through on my convictions....and be bold.....

Free church media Worship House Media

These guys are awesome....and funny.
They are giving away a free piece of media in December, as they did last year.
Good stuff at the best possible price!!

Worship House Media

Kids celebration service this Sunday

should be a blast....sausage sizzle afterwards...see you there!!

Sunday Times Bias and Crap journalism

Jay Clark....take a enter the race for the newly announced and very prestigious Markedly award for crap journalism...and bias against Freo...
Jay writes in this mornings Sunday Times...

" the focus this summer under out-of-contract coach Mark Harvey was not making the top eight or winning the premiership, but rather playing to potential, and winning as many games as possible. "

Ummmm Jay...your a dork!! And seeking to whiteant the the rest of the WA Media...

Mark Harvey actually has a 3 year contract from 2007....which takes him up till 2010..

There is however one underperforming coach who led his side to a 15th finish...and a lets win at all costs to society mentality...who is out of contract at the end of 2009....

Axeheads dont float

Spoke on Elisha this morning from 2 Kings 6...

got an axe on the front stage and a big plastic crate full of water.
the axe did not float....mmmmm....

Used it throughout the message as an illustration that God can do the unexpected, the unnatural, the supernatural...we should not limit God to our own experience, or even natures laws.

I reckon if people can remember one thing during the week from the message, which is an encouragement, a blessing...something that challenges and changes them...that is good.

My favourite Saturday...

I love living where I do....and here is one reason why.

Wake up,
need to help beloved clean the house, she is in one of her cleaning moods...and the whole family gets caught up in the clean-a-thon....which is good...

Now.....the good part...
off to Lawleys for a loaf of divine Ciabata bread, and a lovely Danish for number one son....

Then down to the Barrista championships to see Jasper produce some stunningly good coffee...using his own blends ...( friend...2nd best in WA!! )

Back to my abode, pour myself the third flat white for the day...a long one this time, smear some butter on the bread....relax, read the some of the Test.

just some unformulated thoughts...

I am learning to be happy with who I am....and less concerned about what other people think of me....

I think this is important.

So many people have views on what a pastor should be, what they should do...
Obviously there is only one opinion that matters....Gods....
I have to continue to be grow in my joy with what I think God wants me to do, who He wants me to be.

There are so many who venture opinionon who a pastor should be, what they should do....they generally are not much does there opinion matter? It does matter...but probaby a lot less that I sometimes demonstrate through my actons that it matters.

What the Penninsula Golf Course can teach the a negative sense

Yesterday I headed off about 5.30pm to hit the crap out of 70 golf balls at the Penninsula Golf Course.
I was looking for a parking spot and noticed that there was about 15....yes 15 great spots right near the course. Only problem was...they were marked fact they were even closer to the course than the disabled bays. Unbelievable.
How did this make me feel? Well it was obvious who was the most important person there, not the customers...the staff.

What do we do at church which makes the visitor feel they are the most important person? What do we do as a church which ensures that those who are not yet part of the church community know...that we care about them? That we are placing their needs in front of our own?

Just one small thing I do as the pastor.
I don't rush out of the building when my 'stage work' is done
I don't hide away in a 'prayer room' after the service.
I don't go straight to my friends first and laugh with them.

I go to the exit....quickly...before the visitors rush off.
I make sure that I shake their hands, and introduce myself.
I make sure that nearly everyone who came to church that morning sees me, hopefully says hello, and if they have a need, I get to hear about it.

Its not about the Pastor being more important than anyone else, but they do need to lead well....and lead through being available to serve.

The most important people to me on a Sunday morning are those I have never seen at church before, and those who I have not seen very much. I cant apologise for that. I am here to see the church grow.
Those who come to church every week, I also want to touch base with them, and care for them if needed, but my priority is those who are not yet part of our church community, and I want them to know it.

Youtube converter

Here is an excellent little website.
Even better than zamzar.

Converts Youtube videos to whatever format you want, online....

Bon Jovi does Silent Night

Looking for your next contemporary Christian Christmas Carol?
Maybe you could get the guys to do this?

Jesus loves us so much.....

"With arms outstretched and nail-pierced hands, Jesus is saying, 'This is how much I love the world. This is how much I love the atheists, secularists, Democrats, and Republicans. And this is how much I love Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists. I love them so much it hurts. I love them so much, I’d rather die than live without them.'" - Rick Warren

Conflict in church

The following post has nothing to do with my present church situation, thank God, but rather some stuff two friends are going through.

It follows typical and similar patterns.
Someone welcomes you with open arms...they are your best friend, your biggest supporter. Watch them....they will turn. When you stop dancing to their will become the devil incarnate.

Car park meetings, small group meetings. This is where the conflict is stirred up. Like a witch turning her the discontents turn their gossip.
The Pastor is very often the one under attack....why? Because their is so much money and power available (insert sarcastic smilie here)
No....often because he/she is a person dedicated to God, and His purposes. Often because they want something more for the church, for the church to grow, become missional, become relevant. For this...because he goes against the statue quo, against comfort, they are disrespected, gossiped about, openly slandered...and they are meant to take it, because they are the 'godly one'.

After fielding three conversations about this sort of crap this week, I reassured the people involved, they are not generally happens to us all.

Why do we put up with it? Many of us dont...we leave, we go do something easier. Our family suffers too much.
Others give in, and become the 'nice pastor' that people want us to be, but dont need us to be.

Others persevere and pray, and choose to lead with grace, strength and love, and true meekness. Not perfectly, plenty of humanity....but we choose to pray, persevere and lead none the less. And sometimes....heaven shines forth...and people are added to the family of God.

Toodyay Baptist Church

Spoke up at Toodyay Baptist Church today....stayed at a friends house and celebrated my wifes birthday.

Its a great church. Not big, but they are certainly punching against their weight.
They have a great facility on the main strip, with good audio visual equipment. They bought a former works factory building, and have renovated it
This is not only for them, but the building is used all week by various community groups, dancing, drum groups, parenting groups etc.

They also run saturday night family movies....which in a pretty quite Saturday night, attract a good crowd.
I was really impressed with their community minded outlook.

Enjoyed preaching there....but there is nothing quite like Inglewood... :)

Christmas Publicity

Getting ready for a fantastic Christmas Season...
This year we are doing this series at church....
Carols at the Inglewood Civic Centre...and Christmas Day service as well.
Getting a banner made up (Western Landscapes $100 for a 2m x 1m Cheap!) and hanging it overlooking Beaufort St.
The local Cafe is sponsoring our carols....should be a great night!

up a gear...

Busy busy Christmas!

holidays to come...
sand, beach.....swimming with my kids...
maybe some good coffee....

its all it!

Church today

Great day in church today.
The service seemed to 'flow' seemed like seemingly radomn aspects of the service were all interelated and with common themes....
We introduced our Ministry Team Leaders and Leadership Team to the church, and stood and prayed for them all.

I served communion to all the leaders....who then in turn went on to serve communion to the congregation. It was a visual reminder that leaders are servants first...and not above anyone else....

Then...continuing the 'flow' thought...I then radomnly introduced a visitor from Brazil to another girl who came from Portugal...not thinking they spoke the same language...which of course they do. (duh!) and off they happily prattled to each other, and ended up organising for the visitor to attend a home group...God is good..and knows far better than me what needs doing.

Melinda made some incredible morning tea.....little savoury cheese, bacon, tomatoe scorll thingos...and some lemon butter scroll things...mmmmmm...scroll things.....

Rick Warren on the church's role

This is excellent.
Rick shows how the church can be the third leg on the stool to bring about real change in the environment, social and spiritual issues in the world.

Steve Addison blog

Added another blog to ones I visit.....

Steve Addison has some interesting thoughts...and particularly of late as he has dealt with Baptists.....has been relevant and challenging to myself....

Beaufort St Inglewood/Mnt Lawley

So much social activity on Beaufort St today.
Went down to community centre to help set up for the Artisan Markets which our church administers. We set up a free bouncy castle and music, and look after the stall holders...its great.
About 30 artisan/craft and other stall holders....hive of activity and people.

Drove down the road, passed Mondo's butchers with their markets...
Bought some beautiful Ciabata Bread from Lawleys Market, picked up a coffee from the Beaufort St Merchant, just across from Elmars open street hot meat stall.....

I love living here!!

Theresa's House comes down

Theresa is the lady who lives across the road from the 6th ave church building I work in.

She has lived there for a long time. Today I met a former neighbour of hers who had come to celebrate. After putting up with the cats, the rats, the birds, the .....smell.....for so long I cant blame her....

Yet there is something really sad about today...for Theresa. Her house of many decades is now gone. For whatever reason, and however dysfunctional, it was her home...her families residence.

How Jesus dissapointed people

Do you think a Pastor should follow the example of Jesus? Be careful how you answer!!!

I reckon there is a great book to be written entitled, "How Jesus dissapointed people".

I might right a sermon on that.

Jesus often withdrew to pray.
He often abandoned the crowds clamouring for healing
He very often did the exact opposite of what the religious leaders of his day expected of Him....

He upset a lot of people.

As a pastor, I reckon we often dissapoint people, upset them, and withdraw from them. Maybe, when we are at our best, we are just following the example of Jesus.

Pray for Obama

The world changes.........

Truth is, if you has asked someone 15...or even 10 years ago, if someone called Barrack Hussein Obama could be elected the US President, they would have been reaching for the white coats....

I am glad about the decision the USA has made today. It may not prove to ultimately be the right choice, but I can find many reasons why it is a good decision.

He is black.......I am old enough to remember racism.....and still see it today. Barracks election has shattered a lot of preconceptions. We are all equal before God. The colour of the pigment of our skin is totally irrelevant.
I have seen the videos of how coloured people were treated in the US. This is just the truth, an ugly part of their history, as ugly as Australia's. Enough people in the US have seen past the colour of his skin, and their own predjuices...and voted for him, wonderful.

He is relatively young. He seems vibrant, he seems to challenge. After what I saw of him in a SBS documentary, he seems to have integrity. One person they interviewed said that when he was elected the president of the Harvard Law Students Society, many thought he would divide the group, and promote people on the basis of colour. He did not. He dissapointed many initially, but then....they discovered he was fair, and concillitory. This is what the US needs.

I don't think Mc Cain would have been a bad choice either. He appears to be honest, good humoured and reasonable.

But what is good, is that it appears the election of Barrack has occured without riots, violence or other such things which unfortunately characterise other elections around the world.

If I was a US citizen I have no idea who I would have voted for, honestly.
But as a citizen of the world, and a Christian, I will pray for Obama....God bless him.

Addisons report on the future of Baptists

Steve Addison has nailed it on the future of Baptists.
He points to some very serious questions we need to be asking of ourselves.

"Baptist membership has been falling since 1992.
The gap between membership and population growth has been widening since 1911.
Church attendance has been growing since 2003 but the numbers may not be accurate.
The number of churches is increasing.
The gap between number of churches and population growth has been widening since 1911.
Mainline Protestant churches are in serious decline which outweighs the growth in evangelical churches.
The Australian population is growing at unexpectedly high levels and will continue to do so."

But we probably all know this....what is important is solutions....
This in particular caught my attention....

5. Build a church planting movement
There is no secret regarding what a denomination must do to multiply
churches in a healthy sustainable way. This is what is required:
a. Clarify the vision and ownership for multiplication.
b. Recruit and select the right candidates to lead church planting
c. Equip and coach leaders in the field.
d. Partner with healthy existing churches to plant churches that
e. Intentionally grow the leaders who will plant churches in 3-5
years time
f. Ensure funding strategies are sustainable and will not inhibit the
growth of a church planting movement.
We know what to do. The question is are we willing to commit ourselves
to relentless implementation?

Full report

ps.....we do need a new logo as well Steve!!!


My indoor beach volleyball has entered the nexus of confusion.
We have not lost a set yet this season (a set is 3 games)
We are on top of the ladder
We all turned around tonight and realised..... we are the old farts of the competition. Seriously.
All of us are closer to 40 than 30...most of the teams we play against are 20-30.....

I doubt this nexus will continue....but I am enjoying it while it lasts!

a blended congregation

A great crowd in at church today. Despite the fact I am sick sick sick, it was great to be at church.

An interesting comment from a visitor, who normally attends another church.
His comment, you have a real mix of all types of people, and we do.

About 50 kids under 12, a stack of parents, a few (very few) 40-50's and a good amount of the 'silver hairs'.
It is truly a generational church.
We try hard to do the blended type service well.
Most church growth manuals tell you that this does not work.
But with our songs, our worship leaders pick a good mix, but they are down in a contemporary style....but this seems to resonate with 99% of people.
This morning I caught a senior lady singing along pre service to one of the newest songs we do. That made me feel great.....
I read a lot, and read widely, and I think there is truth is a lot of material. But somehow our church does not have to follow the rules.