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Friends in ministry

Met with a mate who is my best mate in ministry.
We have known each other since we started studying together at Seminary, and have been in a peer group now for over 15 years.
Other blokes have come and gone in ministry, and now we have a pretty tight and good peer group.
Both of us have had times, real close, where we could have left the ministry. And even know, in our worst moments, we think of it.
But both of us feel called to being a pastor, and probably feel we would not be fulfilled doing anything else.
Neither of us, by the grace of God, have 'fallen' in any significant way, but we have both made mistakes, and choices we regret. Thats part of life.

As we both look to the future and are now of years enough that we are thinking about the best way to use our next 20 years or so....we are both looking to push ourselves, personally and in ministry areas.

Sharing my pastoral journey with such a such a joy. Not a silly delirious joy (like the Dockers winning again!)...but a profound sense of peace.

Our peer group, in light of recent events, made a commitment to each other that we were in ministry for the long haul.
Sharing the journey in pastoral ministry is a source of strength and accountability.
Thank God for friends. He (God) realises we need other people to help us on this journey, as well as the Holy Spirit. No pastor is a lone ranger, and if they are....disaster often awaits.

Matthew Pavlich

He truly is a magnificent player.
Watching the game last week against the Swans, there was a moment when the ball came towards the 50 metre arc. Pav pushed the oppostion player aside, like a bull swats at a fly. The hapless Swan player fell to the ground, Pav turned on the spot, aimed for the goals, and slotted it through from 50 out.
Truly majestic, and the sign of a player on top of his game.

He is leading the Coleman ladder, and with Fevola and Brown out of serious action he might win it.

He has also been a great Brownlow vote attractor in past seasons, seeing as he plays all over the ground.

Could he be the first player ever to win the Brownlow and the Coleman in a season?

Elim Kids

This is a video I made up for a ministry my brother in law and wifes sister are involved in.
Breaks your heart when you hear how kids are abandoned because of ignorance.
Cant save them all, but we can save some!

Mega Church is not about comfort

This is inspiring!
Rick Warren outlines what Saddleback will be about for the next decade.
Sounds like Rick is determined to keep growing, and the first step is mobilising the congregation for mission.
"During his weekend sermon, Warren laid out a plan for Saddleback's next "Decade of Destiny" in which he's anticipating exponential growth. And the plan has no room for fake Christians, he indicated.

"Let me just be honest with you as somebody who loves you. If you passively just want to sit around in the next 10 years and just waste your life on things that won't last, you probably want to find another church because you're not going to really feel comfortable here. Because if you're in this church, I'm coming after you to be mobilized," said the renowned southern California pastor."

You're getting toweled up.

Ballytyne: "Your getting towelled up"
Shaw: : 'am I really'

ha ha ha ha!
(H/T Dockerland)

Seasons in Perth

I love winter
Of all the seasons, give me wet and cold days and nights, and I am happy.

I think my internal heating system is half a degree warmer than many others, so when its cold, I feel alive!

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that some of my formative years where spent in Albany, a place known for its wet and cold days....

Anyway, to those sun lovers out there, I was getting sick of the sunny perfect Perth weather...good to see the clouds rolling in.

Borrowing from Winslade

Speaking on 'Looking beyond our walls' this week.
Following on from Steve McKinnon last week.
Brian Winslade spoke about the history of the church at the Pastors Conference and I am using some of his material.
This challenges!

"Aristides was a Christian apologist and historian in the 2nd century. Here’s what he wrote about the culture of the Christian church around AD125:
“They walk in all humility and kindness, and falsehood is not found among them, and they love one another. They do not despise widows and they don’t grieve orphans. He that has distributes liberally to him that has not. If they see a stranger, they bring him under their roof, and rejoice over him, as if he was their own brother; for they call themselves brothers and sisters, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit and God; but when one of their poor passes away from the world and any of them see him, he provides for his burial according to his ability and if they hear that any of their number is imprisoned or opposed for the name of their Messiah, all of them provide for his needs; and if it is possible that he may be delivered, they deliver him. And if there is among them a man who was poor and needy and he has not an abundance of necessaries, they fast two or three days that they may supply the needy with the necessary food.”3

Michael Johnson stood down

Michael Johnson plays for the Dockers, and has now for a number of years.
He is a family man, married, couple of kids...and is an understated player.
Not one too blow his own trumpet, he appeared to have his feet well on the ground.

Which is why this latest news that he has been found with drugs, cocaine, on his possession is so surprising.

The Club have acted swiftly and well, standing Johnson down until the issue is sorted out. And also been as transparent as they can be, even naming the player, which they did not need to do.

I hope that the issue is sorted out well, that the truth comes out, and whatever that is, that the issue is dealt with honestly, fairly and to the best possible outcome for all concerned.

It could not have really come at a worse time for the club in terms of playing depth. McPharlin, Broughton and Mundy are all going to be out for at least this week, and in the case of McPharlin, for a number of weeks.

Personally speaking, very disappointing......hope MJ gets it all sorted out to the best of his emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Micah Challenge

I have had a pretty rough week in some ways.
Been a little down, feeling under some sense of oppression.
There are days when you just don't feel like you normally do.

But thank goodness for God's wisdom. 7 days.

Church this morning was so encouraging, and at the same time challenging.
Steve Mc Kinnon from Tear Fund came and we celebrated the 'Survive Past Five' Micah challenge. (Micah Challenge)

Steve spoke about how flowing out of your love for God will come mercy and justice for the poor. He gave a challenge to protest injustice. (Mic 6.8)
It was profound, and delivered in Steve's measured style.

Afterwards we celebrated how many children are now surviving past the age of five. Things are getting better.

I have hope for the future.
I see Christians like lights, shining in the darkness all over the place.
Yes, there are awful things happening, but I see a generation rising up to take their place, being salt and light.

(Here is part of what Steve Mc Kinnon shared in his own words)
“The poor you’ll always have with you”. This is taken straight out of Deut 15: 11. Where in Deut 15:4 God says that if you obey the law- (so the year of Jubilee, the gleaning, the structural laws I’ve set up there should be no poor amongst you: but if you don’t obey; there will always be the poor. What Jesus is saying is a back handed slap to Israel’s disobedience of the law & of himself. Jesus is prophesying against structural, economic and social injustice.

So Jesus is not resigning himself & saying, “Don’t worry about the poor you just carry on self centred life”. The poor were a very high priority for Jesus. In actual fact Jean Vanier believes Jesus is saying, “You won’t have me much longer but when I go I’ll leave the poor in my place & how you treat them is how you treat me.
So the very text used to justify why Christians shouldn’t care for the poor seems to be one of the texts that should motivate us to care for the poor. (CB Samuels quote)
(Steve Mc Kinnon)

Fremantle Dockers Depth

Keppler Bradley plays probably the best game of his career last week, his reward?
Named as emergency.

Emg: Kepler Bradley, Nick Suban, Antoni Grover
In: Garrick Ibbotson, Alex Silvagni

Grover plays well for his WAFL side, his reward, emergency...Suban, one of our best, emergency.

The Dockers have unbelievable depth at the moment.
Would not want to be Schammer at the moment....

God of this City

This is a video I made up for the Pastors Conference.
I used some of Alex Huggetts excellent photos of Perth.

You can download it here, it would be great to know how you use it.

Pastors on Facebook

Here is a video a friend of mine has made, from Crossover Australia.
It is a great website with some stimulating posts and useful resources.
No doubt, serial Facebook Tart Wayne Field will also be featured shortly.


The Fremantle Dockers juggernaut rolls on

That game against the Lions proved one thing, this team is different, and it knows how to win.
In years gone by, even if we dominated a game, like we did against Brisbane, if a side had come back, chances are we would have capitulated and lost.

We didn't. The young exuberance and blatant confidence of the team shone through. These young players are loving the structures, the experience and skill of the older players, and the winning.

Fremantle are the real deal.
I reckon we are going to smash the Pies, and after that, the games we have actually get a little easier.


A new generation

Something that is revving me up at the moment is that this generation of young people coming up are really interested and focused on caring for the less fortunate.

Many of them are spoilt brats, and have been given everything they could ever want.
But for many of them, instead of turning them into has meant they are actually bored early by things.

Many of the YP both in our church and on the periphery are more interested in helping out less fortunate people, in a whole raft of ways, instead of just going after the latest thrill.

This is a good time to foster their love for others and for the church to be a place in society where we are known for how we help those less fortunate than ourselves, just as the early church was.

I am loving my new Mac

Well a few months in and my Mac Book Pro 13" has exceeded all my expectations.
I have become what I used to mock, a Apple Evangelist.

Everything just works.
No annoying popups, no asking me if I am really sure I want to do something.

I have come to understand that the basic difference between Mac and PC is that in the PC world, they design the computer around themselves. It is really about them as a company, not you.

The Mac philosophy is that it is about the end user, and what they want.
Truly, until you start to use one, you don't realise how hard PC makes everything.
Even peripherals that are designed for PC, I have found, work better on my Mac.
Everything syncs up, everything works.

I recently got Macs version of Office, Iwork. The extraordinary thing about it, apart from the fact that it is intiutive and so much better than office, is that it is compatible with Office! If someone sends me a Word, Excel or Powerpoint document, it seamlessly imports them, and then exports them! It actually makes working with documents someone sends me with more ease than a'native' machine! Incredible.

As well as that, the design and feel of it is just so nice.
I recently was given a 'Magic Mouse' for it, and that too is just so nice to use.

I aint ever going back baby!!!!!

Brian Winslade Learning from Failure

Really enjoyed the annual Baptist Pastors Conference

Our speaker this year was Brian Winslade, the National Baptist Union Director.
Brian had some great things to say over the three days that we enjoyed in Mandurah.

1st up he spoke about Church history, how the church was known as the place where love was found, love and charity. He gave some really interesting examples of how the early church of the first 400 years was known as the place where even if society saw you as 'untouchable', the church would care for you. Baby girls, because of their gender, were left to die. The church cared for them. People with plagues and diseases were abandoned, the church cared for them.

2ndly he spoke about leadership within the church. In my words, he called us to the radical middle. Where Pastors lead with grace and persuasion and love, and church people love and respect their leaders, and allow them to lead.

Lastly he spoke about learning from failure. Brian spoke about some of his own failures, and how he learnt some serious life long lessons from them. He is a confident and articulate and humorous speaker. But as he explained, natural talent is no substitute for integrity, character and Gods empowerment.

Really enjoyed my time away, catching up with old and new friends, enjoying some time away with my wife, and spiritual refreshment.