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Did the Emerging Church die in 2009?

So thinks one of the foremost authorities on it, Andrew Jones (TSK)
"In my opinion, 2009 marks the year when the emerging church suddenly and decisively ceased to be a radical and controversial movement in global Christianity."

One of the factors Andrew did not talk about was the demise of Forge here in Australia. Which occured in 2009.
Forge Demise

Andrew has this view on EC.
"In many places around the world, the movement has already been either adopted, adapted, or made redundant through the traditional church catching up or duplicating EC efforts" (Andrew)

Forges own webpage expressed a similar sentiment, but it appears the page is now down.

From my own perspective and own church life, Forge and the Emerging Church have had no impact in a positive sense on my mission. Being a natural evangelist, and a passionate advocate of an 'outward' focused church, we consider ourselves to be a missional church, in the sense that we are seeking to grow through people coming to faith. We are not a 'cosy' little bible study group.
This has not come without cost, as our church has had to transition to this. But this had not been through Forge or EC influences, rather people like Borden, who advocated painful church transition, rather than rejection of the establised church, which at its worst, the EC did seemingly promote. The Churches in WA which had seen and implemented radical transformation, and an outward focus, are missional, growing churches...Churches actually doing mission in their community.

However I am not here to judge their efforts, as someone a lot wiser than myself said, "But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
Besides...what was the Emerging Church anyway? I don't think anyone really Murry states, "Emerging churches are so disparate there are exceptions to any generalisations. Most are too new and too fluid to clarify, let alone assess their significance. There is no consensus yet about what language to use: 'new ways of being church'; 'emerging church'; 'fresh expressions of church'; 'future church'; 'church next'; or 'the coming church'. The terminology used here contrasts 'inherited' and 'emerging' churches"

Christmas...done and dusted

At Inglewood Church we had a seriously good Christmas

Christmas Eve saw a huge crowd crammed into the Community Centre for our Childrens service.
Well over half the crowd was non-churched, which is awesome.

Christmas Day was packed as well, with more of a trad feel, more of our own folk, but a lot of visitors as well...

It left me drained...emotionally, physically etc.

Christmas day we had a big lunch, with my wife kicking up a massive food extravanganza. The highlight was the warm fat plump olives drenched in her own olive oil based herb dressing, and lightly pan fried Chorizo sausage, also in olive oil and herb dressing...
Afterwards we headed over to the brother in laws pool and had a massive water pistol fight. We slept in a tent in the backyard...and I was officially energy left at all!

Good times...roll on 2010

Christmas Eve message..

I don't think I have ever laughed so hard at something I have written myself...
Christmas Eve message should be a beauty....with some real challenges from the story as well.....

Have to was inspired by someone else...but I have made it my own, and added some details particular to Inglewood Church.
If you know and love some of the folk at Inglewood, and don't mind a but of poking wont want to miss Christmas Eve!

Set the Bridge on online

You can listen to my Sunday message here...its about John The Baptist, burning some bridges with Pharisees and Sadducees...


Set the Bridge on Fire...last message

Who else but a fiery prophetic type like John the Baptist to illustrate the need to sometimes 'set the bridge on fire'.
"You brood of vipers…who warned you to flee from the coming wrath.
I mean John the Baptist is sarcastic, confrontational, mean!
Pastors have been sacked for a lot less than that!
So have Mc Donalds employees…
What gave John the right to talk so awfully to these religious leaders…he was not nice.
We confuse niceness with godliness.
God is God, He is nice sometimes…but a lot of the time He is not…nice
And John portrays something of Gods character here when he declares that those religious leaders were vipers…
I believe John portrays something of Gods character when he is sarcastic and downright mean to them…not only did they need to hear the words and the tone of Johns message towards them, but so did those around them......"
If you want to hear the rest, see you on Sunday...

Christmas Media

Here is a presentation I have made up, probably use on Christmas Day....interspersed with some scriptures from Isaiah 60

You can download a wmv version by right click here
If you do use it, please let me know...

Rock and Roll Christmas

If this does not get you in the mood for Christmas....nothing will! :)

Tiger really has messed up

Is there anyone who has lost more money because of his adultery than Tiger Woods?
Seriously, how much has he lost financially since the news broke, and kept growing?

But that is not the worst part.
Now he has lost his wife, and presumably a lot of contact with his kids.

Respect, integrity, relationships....all gone.

I wonder why he did it, not just once, but again and again....

Husbands, love your wives, wives, love your husbands.
It is not always easy, nor does it always feel 'natural'

But at the end of the day, I have seen and heard enough about adultery to know most things turn to mud when married people give in to temptation....the fantasy does not match up with the reality.
Love your wife, love your husband.....

Post script Mark Connor has some good thoughts on this here

More churches...more pastors...should be doing this....


How many people/bloggers are there out there that are wasting their time posting blogs and comments on what pastors, and what churches should be doing....
'churches should be focusing on....., Pastors should be focusing on.....'

Seriously...get a life!

If you are a are the church!
If you are a are a minister!

Stop focusing on what someone else should be doing, and start focusing on what Jesus wants you to do!

What Jesus wants you to do may very well be an exciting, life transforming, redemptive ministry!

In fact, I am sure it is what He wants you to do.

Posting a blog post on the ills of this minister or that church, chances are that the person you are posting about will never read it, and if they do...they wont change! And why should they? Because you said so?

Huh! Most of my good friends who are pastors are too busy doing ministry to be worried about your blog post.... so get on with it...Christ has a plan for your life, and it does not involve telling others what they should be doing, it involves you serving Christ!

Blessings and peace to all...and honestly this is not directed at any one individual, it is for us all, the Body of Christ, myself apply.

Christmas is almost here

Really busy and my mind is full of issues and opportunities, so I have not given much thought space to Christmas.
But I am looking forward to it.

Here is what we are doing at Inglewood Church.

Christmas Eve Children's Service 6.30 to 7.30pm

This service is particularly tailored for children and will include Christmas items from our various children's groups, including Toddler Jam, carols, and a short devotion.

If your child has asked you about the true meaning behind Christmas, you might enjoy bringing them along to this fun night. We guarantee that if you need to leave, the service will be over by 7.30pm at the latest. This will give you time to go home, make the bikes, put out some carrots for the reindeer, and prepare for the early morning onslaught!

Family Christmas Day Service 9am to 10am

This service is for everyone to enjoy, including families. It will include carols, songs, items and a short devotion on Christmas.

If you feel that Christmas is a time to enjoy with your family, to the full, this short service will be a great way to start the day. Once again, we honour your time and guarantee the service will run from 9am to 10am sharp. This will give you time to check the roast, put the ice in the sink, and prepare for the onslaught of relatives and freeloaders.

Set the bridge on fire...message two

Speaking from Acts 28 this week, when Paul gets attacked by a snake.
'Here is Paul the missionary, who has devoted his life to Jesus, he hears the Lord voice on the road to Damascus, he turns himself around, he preaches against those who he had once served, he sees thousands of people come to know Jesus, he travels the known world to spread the gospel. Now he finds himself on a stormy island in the middle of nowehere, cold, wet, tired and with a snake hanging off his arm"
See you Sunday for the rest.....

This is awesome...I want to do this!!!

Morality and Leadership

My son and I sat down to watch some of the Australian Golf Tournament recently. Not because he is interested in golf, but because I wanted him to see the greatest golfer of all time in action.
A man who has smashed the racial divisions in golf, and brought excitment to a game some feared had lost its edge.
He certainly brought them in through the gates at an Australian golf tournament threatened with irrelevance.

I said to my son, 'there is the greatest golfer ever!"

Now we find out that his feet are well and truly made of clay, with multiple affairs becoming apparent.

What interests me though is what the failure in a moral sense means for a leader.
We find out today that sponsors are dropping off the Tiger... News

While on one hand we seem to be a society that endorses a hedonistic lifestyle, when someone public crosses that indistinguishable line, we drop off them!

People actually do have in innate sense of decency about them, a conscience. We might all be hypocrites and hold others to a higher standard than ourselves, none the less, none of us really think we are just animals, nor do we think we behave like them.

Rick Warren biograhpy

"At another point in Wednesday’s discussion, Sheler talked about Warren’s time of depression and how he literally went to the desert to take refuge. When Warren was in seminary, he had the vision of building a church for people who don’t go to church. He felt God told him that the church would one day have 20,000 people and be on a 100-acre property.

During his first year at Saddleback Church, the congregation already grew to 200 regular attenders and the number was increasing. But Warren, after giving a Christmas service that year, fled to the Arizona desert and described himself as falling into a depression. His depression, Warren said, stems from feeling that the success that he was already experiencing as a pastor was undeserved and from feeling that he was not equipped to pastor a 200-member church let alone a 20,000-member church as God had promised.

“He felt even that he wasn’t all that great a Christian and ‘maybe I shouldn’t even be a pastor',” Sheler said.

But during his time in the desert, Warren said he had a “dialogue” with God when God agreed that Warren didn’t deserve to be successful or to be saved. However, he was saved by grace and by the same token his ministry is successful because of grace."

Fascinating! Rick is the real deal, a humble Pastor, aware of his own failings, yet hearing from God keeps him going.

60% of Aussie men share an ancestor with BONO

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that scientists are confirming what we have believed all along, we all come from one man..the so called 'Y Chromosome Adam.

"'The Y chromosome is the piece of DNA that makes men men, only men pass it on to their sons,'' Dr Wells said. ''We can trace every man alive today, every Y chromosome, back to a single Y chromosome, therefore a single man, who lived in Africa 60,000 years ago."


For the 'Kim Hagdorn is a goose file'

In contrast to Kims dire 'whiteant' prognastications of the past few months, the twice All Australian Dockers ruckman, Aaron Sandilands, has signed on for life at Fremantle, extending his contract until he reaches veteran status.
(Kim gets it wrong again)

Like the former All Australian Ruckman before him, Dean Cox, Aaron has rewritten the standards for a mobile ruckman. Other teams are being force to go defensive against him, because trying to counter him is a little difficult.

I have watched Aaron chase down what would appear to be much more mobile players. Obviously it takes him a little longer to get going, but once he does, he is a sight to behold. He is also incredible 'below the knees', if you know what I mean. When he leans down and picks up the ball, on the run, you know you have someone special.


I hate confronting people....
I prefer things to be nice and good and calm.

But there are when someone asks you a question, where you have to say what you think and feel...even if it comes out wrong and jumbled...and are left with that debilitating feeling in the pit of your stomach.

But saying something, even when nauseating, is probably...probably....better than not saying anything at least I think it is..but it may not be.

I hope that when you confront, you do it with grace and love...but that the other is better because of it, not worse.

Off to pray

When I started off in this pastoral caper I was in a peer group of 6.

4 of those blokes are no longer serving in the ministry.

1 of them that left is now suffering with as serious sickness, but it does appear he is out of the worst of it.

He is 44.

Today I am off to Northam to pray for him with two of the other guys from my peer group.
Its an interesting and emotional day.

Only a bloke would understand...

Why a bloke would post a picture of his new trailer on his blog.
Very light! 120kgs Just the right size for the power challenged Vitara.

mmmm that snuck up!

Google "markedly'
Guess who comes up second, before the Webster dictionary! :)

Set the bridge on fire!

Speaking on breaking free from those things that bind us...during December...

Going to speak on turning back to Egypt

Elijah...turn your back on fear of people

Acts...turn your back on the denial of the supernatural..

When you become a Christian...there is no turning back! Burn those bridges!!!

So much on

and so much happening next year.
I feel like I am on a boogie board at dusk, and the wave is pushing me towards the shore...but there is another wave behind me....ready to pounce as the present wave runs out of puff....

Its a little scary, but I have nothing to complain about.

Relevance and whingers

There are so many that are critical of the church, in a whole raft of ways.
However the keenest and most consistent of these are generally those who would call themselves Christians.

You don't really hear the Muslims, the Bhuddists complaining about what a Church is doing.....and for that matter you don't really hear the Christians bleeting about what the Muslim is doing...and I am talking about a question of degrees here, there are always exceptions.

I wonder how Jesus dealt with those who were critical of His ministry? Who were they, what did they look like? What did he say to them, and how did He treat them?

A fault I have is that I take criticism to heart, I take it personally.
Instead of focusing on that which is affirming, I focus on that which is critical.

There are so many great things about Inglewood Church...and our affect on the community. It feels like we are on a wave of blessing, expectation and fruitfulness.
My prayer is that I don't get in the way of what the Holy Spirit is doing at the moment, but facilitate it.

Met up with someone from high school

I am repeating myself, but I did not like high school.
I felt trapped, I felt I could not be myself, and I did not really like myself either!

But today...I met up...for the first time...with a mate from high school days.
The first time I have met up with anyone from my time at Scarborough High.

It was a great experience, a really nice guy, and it made me feel like some of that time was redeemable. We had a great conversation abour our time at Scabs, some of the good times we had.. life, philosophy, spirituality.

We also talked about what some of the blokes from 'our group' are up to.
It feels like an age away now, but it was refreshing to have it brought into the present.

Servicing the Suzuki Vitara 1994

On Saturday I 'serviced' my Vitara 1994.
This involved...
Changing the oil, oil filter, air filter, coolant and sparkplugs.

All up...cost was $74

There are three of four types of air filter, and the price difference is incredible.
Over $70 for one type, $11 for the Repco one!

I use reasonable oil, but oil has gone up so much in recent years. However I chose a middle of the range one...with 20w-50w of course.

I have found Repco to be the best auto parts shop, because they are the cheapest, and they carry the biggest range. They always have what I need.

Auto One the most expensive, and generally the guy behind the counter treats you like an idiot...maybe cause thats how I come across!

While Supercheap Parts can be cheap, they rarely have what you need, they carry bulk items, so if you have a 2000 Commodore, you should be okay! Anyone else will need to go elsewhere..unless you feel like buying a $2 air freshener in the shape of Bart Simpson.

The most painful aspect of servicing the car yourself is getting the oil filter off. The Suzuki one is reasonably easy to get to, but what a pain to get off! I eventually had to drive a screwdriver through it to be able to turn it to get it off....Oil dripping all over the joint.

The spark plugs are reasonable easy, but you need a good sparkplug socket, or, like me, you could use your sons super strong magnet to pull them they are right inside the block. But points.

All in all, a massive saving, and with my son at my side, a good teaching exercise.


No other religion has it
No one who has not experienced it thinks it fair

Those who know it, know its the only thing stopping us from sliding....
Thank God that He knows what we are really like, and knows that grace is the only thing that is of any use to us.

What made Jesus madder than anything? Those who did not show grace, yet were under its covering.

What perplexes me? Churches with grace in their title, but who show anything but grace to a dying world oblivious to their need for it.

What spurs me on? To be relevant to those in need of Gods grace, who don't know it, but who I know....need it.

Western Australia

For all my interstate and overseas visitors...
(H/T Rod Benson)

New Layout

Probably not perfect yet, but I like it....


Some observations....

There are all types of people at funerals. Business people, goths, mums, kids, sporty types, gymn junkies...seriously...funerals dont discriminate, on those who are observing, and those in the casket, everyone ends up at one, either a family member, friend, aquaitance...or their own...eventually.

Two of the saddest types of funerals, and I have been at both, are those for kids, or for someone who is a parent and has taken their own life. (There are many other sad types, but I have experienced both recently)

Both leave you with the sense that potential, hope...has been taken away from a family.


Really felt convicted to just pray for some wisdom in leadership, God help me to be the leader You want me to be, to make godly decisions, decisions that will help our community discover joy in Jesus.
Lot of decisions and things happening this week.

Need wisdom.

Another good friend quit the ministry yesterday, perhaps only for a season. Stress gets to pastors, it seriously does.
As you watch conflict and stress come upon spiritual leaders, most often from those within the church, you wonder if those who consider themselves Bible studiers, if they could possibly have a look at this verse from Hebrews.

Hebrews 13:7 'Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit'

The importance of social media to the church

This video highlights the importance of social media to the church.

(H/t Kem Meyer)

70% of Inglewood Church's growth has come directly through our website.

Probably half of those new folk have found intergration through Facebook.
Probably half of my church are on Facebook.

And I still cant convince some of my friends that the church website needs updating...or that they need to have one....

Christmas as Pastoring

One of my mates from my sons school asked me how I was wise.
Christmas is buuuusy for Pastors, but this year is a lot less stressful for us, for a couple of reasons.

We dropped our Carols by Candlelight. I am not saying it is not effective, or worthwhile doing, and if you are doing it...great! But for us, we have done it for a number of years with some years being fantastic, others being dissapointed. You are at the mercy of the weather, other events, local many factors which can cause stress. There is also a lot of expense and trouble to pull it off.
We decided that even though our carols have been good for us as a church, we wanted a change this year.

With Christmas Day falling on a Friday we made the decision to have a Christmas Eve Childrens service, and a caroling style Christmas Day Service, and then a low key film day on the Sunday.

We are holding this in the community centre, and I reckon its going to be great. Doing something different to what we normally do means our people are refreshed at the thought, and enthusaistic.
New, change...excites. Doing the same thing again and again does not.


Prophetic ministry

Been praying through a few thoughts on this lately.
I have received clear prophetic words 3 times in my life.
I don't necesariy want to share the details of what was said this public forum, but I will say this.

Three different ministers, conservative types all of them, shared with me points about myself that they believe God was sharing with them.
Their was no arrogance on their part, or dogmatism...just a sincere humble belief that God still speaks.

Coming as I have from a very conservative biblical education, emphasising a cessationalist form of ministry, this has been a huge area of growth and change for me.

One line that keeps convicting often we speak from our lack of experience, and impose that upon the biblical text...rather than seeking the biblical experience that is plainly written in front of us. In other words...seeking that which is written in the Bible, rather than trying to ratiolalise it away.

Stan Walker does Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace

I said to my wife about 8 weeks ago, Stan is the standout in Australian Idol this year....
then he goes and does this.....

Wonderful! Proud of you Stan!

WA Barista Championship

Jesper Bood is a good mate, so I wandered down to the WA Barrista Championships today where he was competing.

Jesper did not dissapoint with an interesting story about the origins of the bean he was using, along with some superb looking and smelling coffee.
His 'signature' coffee was a apricot nectar infused coffee....served like tea. Jesper likes tea ceremony, so for him, this was a natural fit.
He is an engaging performer...and a wonderful Barista.
You can catch him at work, and purchase one of his superb works of art at 'Ristretto'.


Proscuitto, Hot Salami, Ciabatta Bread, Dutch Smoked Cheese....and some Skybury Coffee....

Message on BONO

I spoke on Bono from U2 on Sunday,
"As the names of those lost on Sept. 11 scrolled up a towering screen, the singer kept reciting a verse from Psalm 51, in which King David pleaded for God's mercy.

"Oh Lord, open my lips," he said, "that my mouth shall show forth thy praise." Then the music rose in a crescendo, soaring into a song about heaven, a vision of a new heaven and earth, of a city "where there's no sorrow and no shame, where the streets have no name."

This didn't happen in a safe Christian sanctuary, in a church worship service.
This happened at halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI, in front of 131 million or so viewers around the world.
As the people drunk their beer and ate their hotdogs and some very unfit people watched some very fit people play americal football.
U2 brought into that very secular environment a psalm of David….and a song about heaven…and a Christian reflection on world events…."

Here is the message audio

Pictures and videos are not included....obviously, but you will probably get the idea!

Fremantle Dockers back into it.

Hopes, dreams....they come back every 12 months for the Dockers...
This is the best time of year....we start off like everyone else.... :)
Good to see some footy news back on the TV!


Who do you recieve it from?

Let me tell you who I seek it from.

Friends, fellow pastors who I know
Those who have my best interests at heart
People I trust.
I seek it out, I ask people to speak into my life.

Who do I not recieve it from?
People I don't know
Young bloggers who think they know everything...I dont blame them, I used to be young idealistic, and even a little fundamental!
People who send me laughable comments with no idea who I am, the arrogance of it makes you laugh!

As I was sharing this morning from the scriptures I shared with people that as you choose to lead, and be a leader, people will try and criticise you. People love criticising things they don't know. I encourage you...if you are leading, you need to learn to laugh at some of the absurd things people say...because some it is so immature and misinformed....

Speaking on Bono this week....

"But of course the criticism of Bono is that he is an extremely wealthy rock star, and U2 put on incredibly expensive rock concerts.
And you know what I am not here to defend him or portray him as some sort of saint, he is not.
He swears, he drinks, he smokes cigars…and he does not go to church every Sunday….and I am sure he has wasted a lot of money that could go somewhere better.
For me though, my interpretation of that is, that everyone of us lives in this world, where nothing is perfect, and no one is equal…
Compared to some child with nothing coming across the ocean on some rickety boat fleeing from Sri Lanka, I am a wealthy wealthy person, and so are most of us here today.
Bono will have to stand before God for the wealth he has….so will I…
But at this point, to be frank, he has done more for the poor in the world than I ever have, or probably ever will….so I am not judging him, but his faith in Jesus has galvinised him into action…..."

to hear the rest, see you at Inglewood Church this Sunday, or come back here Tuesday and I will have uploaded the audio.....

Bono thanks Rick Warren

During the ground breaking U2 concert, broadcast live over Youtube, watched by millions,
Bono is thanking those helping with the Aids Tragedy, and one of those he mentions is Rick Warren, at about the 2:10:40 mark.



What are you giving your life for?

We all give our life for something...even if its for nothing.

Today I had to drop some stuff in at a church in another area.
Thing is...this church is one of the best located churches in Perth.
It has great facilities, fantastic public exposure, and has in the past run some wonderful...and huge...public events.

It has so much potential, probably more than just about any church I can think of at the moment.
Yet....various pastors have passed through its doors...and not because of conflict or bad leadership (at least from what I can tell on behalf of the church).
But....none of them have stayed.

I was just struck today by how easy I think it would be..compared to some of the hard slog I have been through the past few years, to see this church grow.
But the missing ingredient has been stable long term pastoral leadership.


Mighty Mens Conference...for Mens Groups

Here is a video I have made up to show at Mens Groups to Promote Mighty Mens Conference

Martin Luther King Message

I spoke on Martin Luther King this Sunday.
It was a really inspiring and thought provoking topic for me.
Here are some notes, and also the link to th audio if you are interested.

" When America was first formed as a nation they wrote the constitution which guaranteed freedom and the right to pursue a happy life to all of its peoples, regardless of their race creed or religion.

However for 300 years after that, the slave trade was alive and well in America where black people where shipped from Africa to be bought, sold, worked and used as cattle…as machines….as slaves. After the civil war the black people of North America were declared free…but well into the 20th century, people were shunted, segrageted, placed in substandard schools, or no schools, they were denied the right to own property, to marry who they wanted…..while on paper they were declared free…they still where under the bondage of slavery to the point of not even being able to get onto the bus if a white person was there. Coretta scott King who married Martin Luther King, told the story of how as a little girl she watched the local police force and local city council burn down her fathers saw mill….burn down her fathers life work…in front of the family.

Then as she struggled as a young black girl in Alabama to get an education she told how she used to walk to the black only primary school and be covered in dust from the buses of the white children being driven to their school in the early 1940’s.

American citizens of African descent where not allowed to vote, not allowed to eat in restaurants, only allowed to travel on certain buses at certain times…

In 1929, less than one life time after slaves were declared free…Martin Luther King Jnr was born in Atlanta,"


Chernobyl Today

There are some fascinating photos on this site.
Chernobyl Today in Photos

Back into it

Inglewood Church was pretty packed on Sunday.
Perhaps more encouraging though was seeing some folks there for the first time who we have been praying for.
Seeing people make the transitions is always encouraging as well. Growing.

Its a great place to be at the moment, with some big challenges facing us over the next few months, some big big decisions.

Billy Graham on the Colours of the world

I love this man! What a preacher. Consider how courageous this truthful and inspirational message was to speak in his time.

No cannot have one

Pastor Shepherd Beer Commercial

This is great!

More here

Why we should all be offended by the 'Hey Hey Its Saturday' Sketch

The sketch on 'Hey Hey Its Saturday' which aired recently to the disgust of Harry Connick Jnr, involved some 'entertainers' painting their faces black in a throwback to a old time sketch. I have no reason to suspect the performers were racist, nor that their intent was to be racist in the sketch.

However I think we should all be offended by it and this is why.

"The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were usually inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages."

Why is this significant? Because a perfomer called Thomas D Rice performed a racist and derrogatory perfomance utitising 'black face' during the 1800's. The song he sung, which I wont repeat here, was called 'Jump Jim Crow' from which the 'Jim Crow' segregation laws were named after.

It is all about origins. 'Black face' performance was originally a device used by Rice to promote himself through an easy target and stereotype of a group of people. The 'Jim Crow' laws were plain unjust yet sprung in part at least from the perception propogated by Rice and other performers of his ilk. They promoted Negroes as 'buffoonish, lazy, superstitious, cowardly, and lascivious characters, who stole, lied pathologically, and mangled the English language. Early blackface minstrels were all male, so cross-dressing white men also played black women who were often portrayed either as unappealingly and grotesquely mannish; in the matronly, mammy mold; or highly sexually provocative'.

For those seeing the 'black face' performance, its disgusting when you consider the origins of it....It is no joke.
Ref: Jim Crow Laws Thomas Rice

Martin Luther King

Speaking on the great man this week.
What a preacher.
Watching this for the first time.
Vision, passion, hope....'And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

What dads will do for sons

Mango Wine Dry

and that is all I have to say about that....
apart from the fact I just saw Brian Taylor from Fox Sports AFL Commentary team walk past....and he looks as much of a dork off the screen as on... :)


EM Vlatko

Eliot Vlatko, Inglewood's Associate Pastor, Worship Leader and alround talented musician has a blog!

EM Vlatko

Check it out!

Angus Buchan Mighty Mens Conference 2010

Looking forward to this one...we are going need a bigger tent in 2010!
Koorong Leaflets coming out in October.

May be a bit light on at this blog for the next two weeks

I am sure you will all cope.... :)

Money and Revelation

Today at communion I spoke on money.
It was tough. TV Evangelists seem to have no problem speaking about it...but I do.
I wish sometimes we just were millionaires and could just focus on ministry and people, but I live in the real world...and our church, with its growth, is in need of finances. This coming months we are hosting the Artisan Markets, Jazz at the Wood, continuing Toddler Jam...and a host of stuff that blesses our community.

Reality is, without staff and resources we could not do what we today I reminded our church about that, it was not easy.

Then I spoke on Revelation, particularly difficult passage being chapter 19. But this felt a lot easier, although the subject matter, Jesus as He is presented, can be confronting....
"As we flip over to Revelation 19 we are going to be confronted by an image, a story of Jesus that may offend our sensibilities…it may confront your image of Jesus, of who you think He is….
Up till this point we have seen Jesus as Creator, we have seen Him reaching out in love and reconcilitiation with Adam and Eve.
We have seen Him at His baptism, proclaimed God as the Spirit comes down upon Him, as the Father declares Him his son….
We have heard about Stephens vision of Jesus in Heaven.
We know Jesus went to the cross and suffered an awful horrific death at the hands of the Roman soliders…truly horrific and violent death.
Yet through it all Jesus has been reaching out to human beings, coming as a servant, coming in love, coming with reconciliation in mind.

Here in revelation 19 we have what is essentially an 'awful' picture of Jesus. That’s the truth…awful in the correct sense of the word. Awe inspiring. Jesus is presented as coming as a judge to the world. There is a time when Jesus says enough! The brutality, the violence, the awfulness of this world, and what people do to each other….must stop."

If you have something to say, make sure people understand you

"Jesus taught profound truth in simple ways.We do the opposite. Many "deep" teachers are actually just muddy!It's arrogance" (Rick Warren)

I follow lots of people on Twitter and Facebook.
Many of them are pastors, teachers, theologions.
Often they post stuff. Seriously, I have been to Theological College, I have been to Bible College, all up I have done about 7 and a half years of study.
Yet when I read some of their comments, its like...what planet are you on?

If you cant explain something in simple language, then you are being dumb.
Seriously, sometimes I think people use large words and concepts because they are lazy!
Its actually harder to make a deep concept simple, than what it is to cloud it in 'impressive' language. I am not impressed by you choice of big words!
Make it so people can understand what you are saying! What you are saying is probably helpful....if people could understand it.

Grand Final

It is almost upon us, the last Saturday in September....
It sure does not feel like it weather wise.

This Saturday the BIL (Brother in Laws) will be gathering at the Edwards house for our customary day of drinking, meat snacks, chips and cheering for the underdog.

This year I think the Saints will be our preference. It is a rare game where we will all be going for the same team. While one BIL has seen the light, the other is still stuck cheering for the West Coast Criminals.

We will have silly bets on who will kick the first goal, who will win the Norm Smith medal...and drag up as many silly cliches as we can for the game. The most favourite being, "the next goal will decide it'.

I don't know what it feels like to have a team in the GF, the closest I got was the Dockers preliminary final in 2006. Our time will come, and when it does, I wont be watching it on TV....thats for sure!

Lean In Video

This is really good.


They are a funny old day for a pastor.
Many people don't realise the emotional and spiritual toll that Sunday can take on Pastors.
That is not a whinge, plenty of people have demanding jobs.

But Mondays for me, lately at least, have become a real 'blah' day.
Normally they are my wife and my date day....which is just superb. Two kids at school, most people at work, some precious time together. But Melinda's schedhule with assignments and womens conference has meant that has not happened, so I am left with the day to myself.

I don't really like that on Mondays, cause part of me wants to go to work, and another part tells me I should take the day off.
I either go to work, or I stay at home or whatever, and end up doing some work at home....

An evangelical theology of 'crap'

Quite frankly, this is one of the best articles I have ever read.

"Conservative evangelical Christians have long been known for shunning all sorts of behavior considered by others to be morally neutral or enjoyable. Whether it’s drinking alcoholic beverages,1 smoking tobacco products,2 playing cards,3 going to movie theatres,4 dancing,5 or even drinking coffee,6 “fundamentalist”7 Christians are often viewed by outsiders as having a God who is not only a white-clad, frowning prude, but also a “Cosmic Killjoy."

"Although many liberal scholars and non-Christians believe the Bible is full of crap,16 there’s actually only one place where the word occurs, though it is often scooped up or covered over by modern English translations."


H/t Finkelde

Angus Buchan is coming to Perth!

And here is the poster I have done to prove it!

Why Baptists should not drink alcohol

Don't be alarmed regular Markedly readers.

This title is one of the key search terms readers have used to find my blog.
If you are looking for reasons for the above title, look elswhere, there is nothing to see here!

Advertising needs to be honest, otherwise people get upset

I get lots of emails from different people....stuff I have subscribed for.
Here are two examples from the last couple of days which I think is dumb advertising.

1. A Christian Multi-Media company sends out a mass email, 'Free Loops'. Cool I think, they sometimes do give away free stuff. A company like 'Sermonspice' give a free one away a month, and of course 'Muddy River Media' give away all their stuff for free.
Only problem is that this company (no names no pack drill) is not giving anything away. If you purchase a mpeg pack, for about $45 US (rip off for stuff I could make myself) then you get a loop. That is not free.....that is bad PR

2. 1-Day send out a mass email advertising Nintendo Wi cheap price. Only problem is, I logged on before it was even for sale...waited till it came up, and they were sold out, already. How could that happen? It looks to me like they one for sale, and some lucky joker got that one, and the rest of us missed out. Its just trying to get people to their website...but its dumb advertising because all they do is upset and dissapoint a whole heap of their customers.

Marc Poree Visit

Obama calls it as he sees it

Yes he is....what the Pres said....

Angus Buchan

He is coming again to Perth, 26th - 28th February 2010
We are stepping out in faith this year, more so than we have before.
Stay tuned for further details as I can make them public, but suffice to say, we are planning the conference based on some preliminary information we have about attendance.

Should be awesome!

Hypostatic Union of the Theanthropic man

Yes, Jesus was both God and man. No, I cant explain to you something I don't fully understand myself.
But I do know the Bible is clear on both truths, and you don't have to believe the Bible, but if you do believe it, then you have to believe its clear revelation on this.

"One of the oft-invoked arguments of liberal theologians against the deity of Christ is the claim that he never personally claimed to be divine. Since this flies in the face of all the evidence, as will be shown below, how can such claims be made? Henry notes that "the contention by some New Testament scholars that Jesus never claimed to be the Christ, God's anointed one, invariably flows from critical theories that invalidate in advance the factuality of the Gospels as Gerhardus Vos has definitively shown. [v]
This, in turn, leads to the conclusion that the biblical writers deliberately, although not maliciously, falsified the evidence given in the New Testament records for apologetic purposes. They were recording what the early church chose to or wanted to believe rather than the hard, cold truth. However, "the fact that the apostles wrote from the standpoint of personal belief is evidence not that they fabricated the facts but rather that they professed to tell the truth." [vi] Even those who knew him most intimately called him the Son of God. As Henry again notes, "Peter confesses him to be veritably 'the Christ, the Son of the living God' (Matt. 16:16, KJV), a conviction that Jesus in turn grounds not simply in subjective experience but expressly in divine revelation." Source

But for those of us, who like me, prefer our media in youtube size bunches, Driscoll does a good job of explaining it.


Oprah talks about prayer as though it is an end to itself, or something where we tap into karma.

Oprah is full of it.

If you are praying, you should want to pray to a Being who is bigger, more powerful and able to do stuff you can't.

Thats the point of prayer, to reach out to something which is beyond your own capabilities.

We Christians believe Jesus hears our prayers. Now hearing does not always mean we will get something we ask for, in fact the Bible warns us against asking for desires which are purely for selfish gain.

However the Psalmist does encourage us to 'pray for the desires of our heart'

I reckon a sensible person knows innately what the difference between a selfish immature desire is, and what something deep within us is.

I often encourage singles, if they desire it, to pray for a partner to live life with. Some might think that is a selfish desire, it aint, its what God wants. God wants us to be happy and fulfilled in this area of our life. He has made us sexual, relational beings....and He wants us to enjoy each other in the marriage context.

If you have never prayed before, or maybe are wondering why things just 'aint happening for you...don't pray because it makes you feel nice, pray because the God who made the heavens and the earth listens, and cares about you.

Churches in China...

This is fascinating.

"And you look around the world - that isn't true. It's true of Western Europe and it's true of Australia, but it's not true of most of the world. Most of the other areas of the world, religion is doing very well, and very much following the American model.

If you want a brilliant example of that, one of Rudd's favourite countries, got to China. It's close to 100 million Christians now, compared to 70 million members of the Communist Party. It's a big change and it's symbolic of what's been happening around the world."
"JOHN MICKLETHWAIT: One reason is the Government has cleverly hit on the one formula to make religion grow. It's something the ancient Romans did to Christianity, and it was a brilliant way inadvertently to cause religion to grow. The Chinese have set a limit on the number of people that can meet in a place, basically 25. Once you reach 25 people meeting in one of these house churches, which take place in somebody's home, once it's at that level the church has to split and start again. Automatically it's almost a formula for amoeba-like growth."

What this means for us....churches grow when they are forming, starting.
We need to find ways to keep our churches changing and growing. I don't think small is the answer, I think change, desire, prayer is.

The place of the denomination in church life

I have been reflecting a bit on this lately for a few reasons.
Firstly, seeing the transition of our own Baptist Union here in WA over the past few years.
Secondly, having recently becoming friends with John Finkelde and seeing what the C3 network does for its pastors.
Thirdly, no names no pack drill, seeing some of the issues other denominations have had, various ones...not one specifically.

1. A denomination should see its Pastors as the primary point of call in churches. They are the ones giving their full time life to the work of the church.
The denomination should exist to champion them, resource them, support them....and discipline them if need be. The relationship between the pastor and the denomination should be constant. The pastor should feel the denominational body is supporting them, and helping them. They should not feel it is some distant body, just after their money or attendance at some boring meeting.
Since Steve Smith worked hard at transitioning our own WA Baptist Union, it has become this for us. Mark Wilson has come in from Whitfords Church and championed and resourced the BU is a body that pastors in our state can be proud of.
I wonder about other pastors who I hear of around the traps, who see their denominational body as distant or cold. Recently I met with my pastoral peer group, and the differences in attitude towards the various denominational bodies was astounding, and saddening.

2. A denominational body should be a vocal public voice for the community, to know clearly what the denomination stands for. Frankly, this is a hard task for us Baptists because we are so diverse! Our Baptist Church is soooo different to others around us, and thats cool, we all are on the same team! But it makes a denominational voice difficult.

3. A denominational body should provide legal and ethical frameworks in which churches should operate. I suggest our Baptist denomination does an exceptional job of this. The 'working with children' stuff is essential for contemporary church life. Many other churches have let the kingdom down badly in this area, so all of us must be dilligent.

I struggle with churches who do not find themselves as part of a wider body, it may lead to immature or plain foolish decisions, which can hurt the name of Christ. While all for autonomy of the local church, and the local church being responsible for its own propery and finances, there must be a final point of responsibility to someone. Sadly, some of our own Baptist Churches fail to engage with our union. I think this is foolish. Our Union at the moment is trying very hard to support and work with the churches, for kingdom aims. I encourage all WA Baptist Pastors and Churches to get on board!

Jesus First messagr for September

You will be able to listen to this message tommorow, here is the second paragraph, as I kick off this series for September.

"The picture we are using today is old…ragged…because we are talking about Jesus in the Old testament…and he is there…In fact it is really important to understand and know and believe that he is there because if Christ did not exist prior to His incarnation, before he came in the stable at Bethelehem, then He cannot be God. If He did not exist before the stable…then He is not God…if He did exist as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, then he is God. It is important because the truth about who Jesus is, is the most important truth. Do you know what makes a cult, what makes a heresy, what makes a lie of the Devil? What someone believes about Jesus. Also I want us to have a real appreciation of the unity of the Bible….and a love for those old testament stories where we see Jesus, before He was the baby. .
Christianity by its very name has always had Jesus Christ as its historical and logical center. What you think about Jesus is the most important aspect of your life when it comes to understanding what you think about God. The vast majority of churches who have believed in the Bible have come to understand and know that the bible is really clear, that Jesus was God, He has always been God, and He will always be God…by very definition, God can never stop being God, so even when Jesus was on earth, as a man, he was still God, he could not not be God.
Lets start at the beginning…"

What does a Wombat a Koala and a Chris Judd have in common?

They are all a protected species.
A few years back Judd eye gouged another player, Campbell Brown, that player fibbed, and Judd got off. Later on Brown admitted he had lied to get Judd off.
Saturday night, Judd, Mr Nice Guy...was at it again. Will he get suspended? I doubt it. (Update - Judd offered two weeks suspension for his 'death martial arts grip)

Jesus The Creator

This is a video I have made to kick off our new series.
There is some beautiful video shots here from the Hubble Telescope site, where you can download the videos for free.
I have used my favourite Hillsong song at the moment, 'His glory appears', and some scripture from Colossions 1.

You can download it here.

Growing with Jesus Preincarnate Jesus

This week I am speaking on the 'Pre-incarnate Jesus'. It may sound complicated, it aint.
The appearances of Jesus in the Old Testament before the stable.
Interesting stuff, and really relevant to our spiritual lives.
How Jesus responded and reached out to humans before Bethlehem helps us to reach out and relate to Him, and understand our own spiritual lives, now.

Daniel Rich...and the typical rubbish from WA media

Well done to Rich. A great player, and seems like a decent bloke from a good family. The fact he won, being a West Australian, playing for Brisbane, shows you how good he has been.

Stephen Hill, Freo's first pick (7) in the draft, came 5th. Well done to Freo for thinking long term, but also picking someone who still managed to figure in the award, and come 5th.

So why is Freo getting all this criticism for not picking Rich, when the Eagles choice did not even get nominated for the award? And their earliest pick from last year, who was eligable for this award, despite being nominated, got no votes????

Billie Weir Home at Last

There are some people who come into your life who leave an indelible mark.
Billie Weir was one of those people.
Of everyone I have ever met on this earth, she is the closest to a saint I have ever come.

I shared once, as her frail body was seated in church, that if we could have our eyes opened, and see from a heavenly perspective, we would see her as a Mighty Warrior, knees scarred from hours spent in the Lord's presence, heart strong from the presence of the Spirit, mind keen from a will determined to see the Lord's presence revealed.

She saw it all at Bedford Baptist Church, conflict, gossip, people ripping into each other at members meetings, Pastors being sacked....Billy rose above it all...and in the midst of human indency, saw God at work.

Many times I would sit next to her at her home, pouring out my heart to her...having her pray for and minister to me, with words and strength that boosted my confidence, and gave me fight to continue.
She believed that things would get better, and when they did, she rejoiced that she had lived to see it.

Billie was the type of person that actually made you aware of how far from God you were. Not because she would ever judge, but just because you were in the presence of someone great, someone who you could wish to be like a little more....but someone who always made you feel blessed and special to be with.

Dockers season gonski...roll on 2010

Dissapointing game today against Cats.
But...truth is they are bigger older and more experienced.

Suban showed some good things, as did Schammer.
Roll on 2010....

Veal Cutlet Steak

My wife got this uber-expensive steak on special.
I cooked it up on a hot grill, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.
We both agreed that it was the best steak we have ever eaten, seriously.
Thick thick juicy meat......mmmmmmm

Psalm 23

Many people believe this Psalm was written in the context of David fleeeing from his son Absalom.
Absalom was a slimy character who sought to ingrate the people to him by sitting at the city entrance and helping them with their disputes.

David fled the city under conflict. Sad really that the great warrior king fled from his own city, and his own son.

Absalom then, under advice, slept with Davids concubines in a tent out in the open, so the people knew that he was doing it.

This confirmed the prophecy of Nathan the prophet given when David sinned.

Its a sad and gritty story, yet in the midst of it the most famous Psalm of all was written.

Oxymoron - Microsoft service

Today I had to reformat an old laptop with Windows XP.
After doing this, there was a 'loop' on the authentication process. I know what you are all thinking, but it was a genuine version.
What this meant was it kept asking me to authenticate it, and then telling me it was authenticated, all the while stopping me from going to the main start window.

I rang Microsoft. What a joke. After having to explain to the 'service technician', who quite frankly I knew more than he did (which is saying something) he gave me three options. Go to service technician, reinstall it, or pay $80 to be transferred to the next level of service help....sigh. I politely thanked him, but informed him, nicely, that he was no help.
A half hour of googling later, I installed Service Pack Two, and the problem went away.
The laptop is now working.

Mmmm...the internet tech support community is free...if you look hard enough, and much more helpful than Microsoft....

Nic Suban

Nic Suban is this weeks NAB rising star.
Along with 10 other players, he is one of Freo's first year players this year.
But with Nic, you would never know it.
Hard as nails, excellent kick.
He has played 21 games for Freo this year, and will play this week as well.

You can tell the crowd is confident when Nic has the ball, he just delivers it so well, and got the reward this week with a couple of goals.
In fact, even when he does not have the ball, you are confident, cause his tackles are hard and effective.

Another good sunday

We had a video hook-up with the Craggs family on Sunday at Inglewood Church. The wonders of technology! Skype is a really product which enabled us as a church to see and hear...and pray for the Craggs family in real time.
The Craggs family are overseas developing leaders through CRM ministries.

They are developing some good ministry, and for us as a church, we are excited to see what will happen to them. Having them 'involved' in our service gives us a real connection with them.
A bit different to missionaries of times before!

District Nine

This is one of the best, and most disturbing movies I have ever seen.
I can't really explain it, except to say that at various points in the movie I was entertained, I laughed, I was upset, revulsed....and offended.

What a great movie, oscar contender....better than any movie I have seen for a long time.

No actors of any note, in fact the lead role was taken by someone who has only ever acted in a short doco on which the feature film was based upon.
The film was shot in South Africa amongst a real slum, with real shacks.

The website is one out of the box, worth exploring for a while. Movie Site
If you can handle the violence, which is pretty bad, go and see this movie.

His Glory Appears

My new favourite Hillsong their latest album.

Footy Season almost over

Bit depressing.
I know the 'other' teams have a few weeks to go....but my Dockers only have two...again.
With so many injuries, and a very young side, I know this is something I have to deal with, and will probably have to deal with next year.
But it does not get any easier.
Who shall I support in the finals?

For: Have never won an AFL premiership. Likeable team, apart from Stephen Milne. Gareth Williams supports the saints and it would be nice to see him get a Cup after such a long time of supporting them, he is a true supporter.

Against: Gareth Williams supports them, and I dont know if I could stand the ribbing and general gloating.

Against: everything

For: They have not won an AFL Premiership. I think Brad Johnson is a decent bloke, unlike the idiot who threw beer at him from Brisbane.

For: Not a lot
Against: They have won in recent years, and no one like an overachiever.


Booking our family holiday for Queensland today.
Spending some time in the Hinterlands, Gold Coast and then up to Cairns.
Looking forward to it...a lot!
Kids are looking forward to eating mangoes, theme parks, meeting Bindi Irwin and Sponge Bob Squarepants.

I am looking forward to turning the mobile off....discovering some good Queensland coffee and swimming at Green Island again. Was there when I was 12, interesting to see if it is as I remember it....and yes, that was a few decades ago!

King Davids penultimate event

I spoke on 2 Samuel 6 yesterday, the story of King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant up to the City of David, Jerusalem.
It is a stirring story, but also a confronting one.

"Maybe this is why we read, David and the whole house of Israel celebrated before the Lord with all their might, with songs, harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals…
There was a lot of noise.
Can you imagine 30 thousand men singing and playing their hearts out, before the Lord.
The average footy crowd is 30 thousand people.
Here are the chosen men, chosen to sing and celebrate the moving of this ark to its rightful place. What a celebration, what a joy, what a magnificent spectacle.
Until….the Lord anger burns against someone, and they are struck down, and right there beside the ark….Uzzah…who put his hand out to steady the toppling ark…died. Stone dead.

You know there are pieces in the bible that quite frankly I wish were not there, because it would be a lot easier when we are speaking to people who are not church people, if certain pieces of stories where just not there.
This is one of those pieces for me."

The rest of the message will be online at Inglewood Church to listen to by tommorow afternoon. I will post the link to the MP3 here.
Go here

Smacking your kids

Yesterday when I took the kids to their swimming lessons, there was a mum there, obviously frustrated with her son, who was about 10 or 11.
He would not get out of the 'kiddies' pool despite her protesting. Eventually he got out, and because he took so long, and was beligerant, he got a couple of good whacks in the bottom.

Thats the story, true as I saw it....

Here is what I think.

Whatever you think about smacking your kids.......

1. Don't discipline your child in front of a whole heap of people you don't know, in a public place. It is embarassing for the child, and for you.

2. By the time a boy hits ten years old, most mums are going to find smacking pretty inneffectual as a detterant or punishment, most 10 year old boys will find it hard to contain their mirth.

Australind Baptist

Pastor Wayne Field of Australind Baptist is one of my best friends. We are very similar in our style and values of ministry.
Very happy to see his church doing some seriously good things in Australind.
MEDIA RELEASE 14th August 2009
Community Boost brings Award Nomination

‘Boost’, a service program initiated by local church, Australind Baptist, has been nominated for the 2009 Curtin University of Technology Regional Service Award and Australia Post Community Of The Year Award, which forms part of the Regional Achievement and Community Awards for Western Australia.
The church was nominated by Australind Primary School Principal, Mr Darrin Tinley, in response to the support given to the primary school. In his submission he noted in the past 12 months members of the church has donated approximately $30,000 and an estimated 830 hours of voluntary service to initiatives which benefited the school community.

As well as financing a Chaplain, volunteers provide non-religious tutoring and mentoring to students, supervision for excursions, and gift vouchers to help cover personal expenses for people in need.

“They have given their time, hearts and minds to our students and staff and we are a much better school for their involvement. They would never do what they do to gain awards, however, we felt they deserved the recognition for the amazing support they give.” Mr Tinley said.

“This wonderful group of dedicated people is a significant boost to many in our school community; many of our students have benefited from the pastoral care they have provided.”

Australind Baptist Pastor, Wayne Field, says the nomination is a great encouragement, “In an age where some would question the value of the church, this nomination affirms that our people really do play a significant role in the community.”

“The ‘Boost’ program has evolved out of a genuine affection we have for the community. We did not go looking for it, but rather it developed over time as needs in the school became evident and as people in our church responded to meeting those needs.” Pastor Field said.

“Part of Australind Baptist Church’s vision statement is to demonstrate ‘life-changing love and compassion’ to the local community; the ‘Boost’ programme at Australind Primary School is the means by which we can assist people in our local community who need practical help to get back on their feet.”

Pastor Wayne Field and Principal Darrin Tinley outside Australind Primary School

Jazz at the Wood

List of stuff to do today

And got through a lot of it....just waiting for a rather large file to print....Jazz in the Wood is coming!
stay tuned for details...but essentially we are doing a Jazz Concert at Inglewood.
Supported by City of Stirling, aimed at a more mature audience than we normally attract.
Should be great!

Not quite the Lion and the Lamb lying down together

Young Dockers flatten Power

My son and I came up with this title for yesterdays game, are we clever or what?

This was the best game to watch for us all year, as the result was really known after the first quarter, and for the Dockers, that is saying something. Having said that, the third quarter was superb. The young Dockers could have been forgiven for letting their intensity down, but the third quarter was a great one to watch.

Suban, Broughton, Hill and Mayne. Right there is a team of first year players, who played well beyond their years against a much more fancied team.
I don't think anyone really doubts that the Dockers have the best group of young players.
With Johnson, Hayden, McPharlin, Palmer, Crowley to come back next year...roll on 2010.

We even got to kick on the oval after the game, which has become a bit of a rarity this year, and we enjoyed that together as well.


If you choose to lead, you must choose who you will offend.

So therefore the question is, who did Jesus offend?

He offended the religious folk, those who would tie others up in knots, those who had a 'them and us' mentality, those who would look and judge, those who thought they had a mortgage on the truth.

Let me not be one of those people, and let me choose to instead, take their offence.

Tough questions

You know what its like, frustrating cliche Christian answers...
here are some good tough questions, a few of church we had a look at in our small group.

# God is wrathful, jealous, hateful, and kills nations of people like it is a bodily function. He is certainly not just or “holy” in nature.
# The act of throwing people into infinite torture and punishment for not believing a Jewish guy from 2,000 years ago was God’s son, or unknowingly worshiping the wrong god, is extremely cruel and sadistic.
# The statements, “God works in mysterious ways,” or “It will all make sense in heaven,” are little more than irrational cop outs. This God allows horrible atrocities to be committed against innocent men, women and children every day.



The Psalm of Moses

Knowing that Moses wrote this Psalm, really gives it context for me.
A humble leader, driven to get his people to the Promised Land.

"13 O Lord, come back to us!
How long will you delay?
Take pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
Replace the evil years with good.
16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;
let our children see your glory.
17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval
and make our efforts successful.
Yes, make our efforts successful!"

At times asking for success may seem a little self seeking, some people even rail against Christians/Churches being succesful. Yet the humble Moses pleaded for God, for success. What he defined as success was that Gods people would reach their Promised Land, a place of rest in Gods presence. Sounds like a great prayer to me!

Gritty loss to Fremantle Dockers

I reckon the Freo Dockers have the best young developing side, bar none.
A really solid effort against the musch heavier, stonger, more experienced Western Bulldogs side today.
Chris Maybe, on his game back, kicked three great goals.
Broughton, Hill, Suban, Pierce...all names to look forward to seeing them develop.

7 Year old take joyride to avoid church

This is why we are doing what we avoid these sort of situations, kids should love coming to church! :)

King David

We are kicking off a new series for August....sort of.
We are actually going to continue the series on David...moving from his pre king days, to his king days.
he is an awesome character, a hero, Psalm 89

"9 Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people.
You said, “I have raised up a warrior.
I have selected him from the common people to be king.
20 I have found my servant David.
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
21 I will steady him with my hand;
with my powerful arm I will make him strong.
22 His enemies will not defeat him,
nor will the wicked overpower him.
23 I will beat down his adversaries before him
and destroy those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
and by my authority he will grow in power.
25 I will extend his rule over the sea,
his dominion over the rivers.
26 And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

Now this psalm does refer to David, but it is also what they call a 'messianic psalm', meaning it points in a fuller sense to Jesus. Jesus was the anscestor of David. What this means to me is that David displayed some characteristics in his life which were Christlike....thats amazing when you consider that he was a Warrior King. But look at the above picture, he fought and defeated the enemies when he needed to, but he also displayed meekness, great strength under control.

Winthrop Baptist College boys expelled

"The expulsion of a Year 11 boy, and the shunting of seven of his friends, from Winthrop Baptist College for allegedly smoking marijuana at a school camp has caused consternation among parents." (Link)

I listened for an hour or so on 6PR this morning as the various viewpoints were expressed on this issue.
This is my take on it, for what its worth.

1. The parents knew the rules and results for breaking them, they are clearly stated. The boys broke the rules, and got what they deserved.
2. There was a definite sense from the parents that there should be forgiveness expressed, in the spirit of Christianity. Christianity does tell us to forgive, but there are still consequences. Forgiveness does not mean that there are not consequences for our actions. These boys need to, in my view, understand that their actions have consequences. For the parents to want for them to 'get off' with community service, means that the boys may risk growing up without realising a valuable lesson.
3. One of the key attractions of Winthrop College for parents is its values system. To allow these actions to occur without consequence is to basically deny that that value system has any merit. The school is built upon reputation. This unfortunate event has the capacity to destroy that reputation, something the school needs to protect.
4. I hope the boys get counselling and understand that while there are consequences for their actions, it is not a terrible offence, but something they can deal with, and move on from. It does not need to be something that defines them. It was a mistake, deal with the consequences, move on.

Okay...some random thoughts

Great win yesterday, beating our 'bunnies' the West Coast Tankers

Great crowd in at Inglewood Church this week, a number of visitors, great to be part of a growing church

Still mulling over what Mark Sayers said, some good thinking and action material there

Someone very well qualified to administer our Artisan Markets volunteered today to run them, such a load off my mind! Thanks God!

Richmond got over Essendscum....great game, facsinating to see Cousins leading the side into half time, inspirational leader on the field, weagles missing him I reckon!

I am making some superb coffee at the moment, got the grind right I reckon, beautiful crema

Very busy week ahead.....

Rearranging the Office

Spent a big chunk of today rearranging our church offices.
Needed to do it for some time, but eventually we have.
A major part of it was moving the craft storeroom to a different room.

What this means is that we have a 'common room' now, with all the printers, desks, wireless access and maybe soon a small fridge and coffee stuff.
I know it sounds like a bit of a dream, but I would like to have a spot in our church where people who work on their laptops could come and do some work at church. Internet access, a friendly office, air conditioned, and coffee!

It is something our community needs, third places. Our common room is not going to be able to do this in a big way, but at least we are heading in the right direction.

Mark Sayers

I attended a Vose Leadership event this morning with Mark Sayers as the presenter.
A insightful, helpful, useful presentation on the issues facing contemporary Christians and Churches in reaching non-church folk missionally.

Some of the key points Mark raised where....

Superflat Culture
1 Disenchanted
2 Post covenantal
3 Meism

Now...there is no place for discussion
How do you have influence in a world that is disenchanted?
One thing to do is to call gods what they are, futile, and to point people to the ONE TRUE God
There is a culture of belief in Australia...but they dont come to church
People have forgtten where their christian beliefs come from
Anything that requires us to give up of struggling...states have grown...meta has grown..individual has grown...communal covenantal has got smaller
Commitment phobia
Life as mobile phone contract, Not as long term promise

Meism is.....
Meism is the new religion, Defacto faith, Purpose of life is personal happiness, God is a cosmic butler, Morality is not hurting others, Everyone gets to heaven bar hitler, Feelings are paramount

Whats not hot
Sin and broader consequence
Submission of self
Interventionalist God
What does mission look like is a disenchanted culture?
In a post covenantal culture?
For a church infected by Meism?

Mark did not provide any answers, or solutions to the problems faced. But it was really helpful to understand a little more what the problems we face are.