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"The gift of leadership is too valuable to be quickly disposed of by a popularity contest."

Policy on the run

Is there any other organisation that is on one hand so successful, yet on the other so reactionary, as the AFL?

Rule changes, interpretation changes half way through the season?

A Grand Final which has to be replayed...because no one thought it might happen?

The AFL really does act according to its perception of public perception, so obsessed is it with its public image.
Players told what they have to wear to the Brownlow...cause Andrew does not like normal ties?

The best comedy

The best comedy is also the saddest....
This is perhaps the best moment of this great series.

Phil Bakers Blog closes

From Phil Bakers blog today:
"After much thought, prayer and conversation, Phil has decided that it is best to close this blog for the time being. Phil would like to pass on his sincere thanks to everyone who has been involved and for your prayers for his recovery. Our hope is that Phil will one day be well enough to take up blogging again. It has been an amazing journey totalling 6,225 posts.

If you are interested in following Mark Edwards and his blog entries, you can do that by going to

Thank you so much again to everyone who has been involved."

It has been great to follow the thoughts of Phil Baker over the years.
He has a great sense of humour, great wisdom, and great insight into life, church and faith.

When our church first heard of Phil's health issues, we went to prayer. I have met Phil a number of times and organised him to speak at the Baptist Pastors Conference. It was excellent, inspiring, engaging and interesting. It was great to get to know him a little as someone whom God has used significantly.

I pray God will continue to heal him and bless him and Heather in this next part of their journey.

(As an aside, a number of people mistakenly thought I was the 'Mark Edwards' who posted on Phil's blog. This was embarassing for me...but perhaps more so for the 'real' Mark Edwards who pastors a large church in Queensland.)

Think about how you can encourage someone today

Couple of brief thoughts.

When in a meeting, particularly a church one....if appropriate...share the extra 10%
What he mean is that often the extra little bit we are wondering whether we should say or not, is the most important!
If it is a trusting and loving environment...that extra 10% we may be embarrassed to share, might just be the point which transforms people and a positive sense.

Encourage people. Someone who was significant in my life a few years back said to me once, "I dont encourage people often, so when I do, they take it seriously" He was dead wrong. People are generally bereft of encouragement in their life. So many take on board comments and words that they shouldn't. Negative stuff. A word of encouragement, joy, praise...can make all the difference. Be known as someone who shares words of joy and life into peoplt.

Getting ready to speak to Pastors

Involved in a Pastors Conference coming up as a speaker.

Thinking through some of the language barriers and cultural differences we will encounter.

None the less, convinced of this...people are people.

Which leads me to my next thought....
I wonder if this is true...I think it might be.

"The key skill you need as a Pastor is dealing with conflict"

More important than any other skill you have.

Conflict management, conflict confrontation, personal journey through conflict...
even this...encouraging a place where there is minimal unnecessary conflict.
Highlighting conflict...perhaps even provoking it...when needed.

Pancakes on a Saturday morning

Melinda has to leave early to set up for the 'Fresh Conference' today, so that meant the rest of the family slept in....
Dad (thats me) was awoken from a lovely sleep in at about 8am with a polite 'dad, dad' which turns into a more incessant 'DAD DAD!" about 10 minutes later when the polite one did not work.
Turns out number one son and daughter wanted pancakes for breakfast.
Thank goodness there were eggs and the other necessary condiments to fulfill the request.

Son wanted his smothered with maple syrup and cream......
Daughter wanted lemon and sugar.

Dad...well after making himself a monster one....also made a lovely Yahava coffee...

Life is not too bad on a Saturday morning.....

Hard to disagree with God

There is a difficulty about disagreeing with God.
He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes

No one laughs at God in a hospital
Regina Spektor

Ric Cua and Bryan Duncan

Downloaded some music yesterday...some of the Christian Music of my youth.
These two artists where two of the many my cousin introduced to me when I was a teenager living in Albany during the late '80's.
I had just committed my life to God, and this music was part of that journey.
I really enjoyed them at the time...and actually still do!
Here are two of the best.

22 incredible photos

Here are some incredible and moving photos....
This one...with the young brisk man walking purposefully past the older guys...huddling against a building with some serious health and safety issues....
and there are a a lot more...which say something about the human spirit...

Fremantle Dockers Season 2010

If you had told me at the start of this year that we would finish 6th, win a final, and bow out to Geelong in a semi, I would take that.

I honestly did not expect us to make the finals this year, so to perform as we did has exceeded most expectations.
Some highlights of a great building season.

1. Barlow: Fremantles recruiting staff have gone from having the worst reputation to the best. Barlow figured in early Brownlow betting....not bad for a first year player. He will be back better than ever in 2011

2. Other young guns: Hill is developing nicely thank one seems to be comparing him to Rich or Nic Nat anymore. DoBoer has decided that being good looking does not mean you cant be tough and throw yourself into contests. Suban and Broughton are developing into fine young players. Walters has shown more than enough to prove he will be a key player moving forward, helping out the brilliant and hard working Ballyntyne and Mayne.

3. Sandi! : Yes he got injured, but he is without doubt the best ruckman in the AFL, taking marks and kicking well when his confidence is up. A gamebreaker.

4. Winning in Sydney convincingly

5. Winning in Brisbane convincingly

6. Pavlich committing for life. Our most important player played the best he ever has in the first part of this year, he will probably play forward more next year as he is less needed in the midfield, prolonging his brilliant career.

7. Filling stadiums: Freo surpassed West Coasts crowds for the first time ever this year. The Purple Army is a great support for the team, something evident in the game against Geelong earlier in the year, where the noise was deafening, and against Hawthorn in our final...where the support spurred the players on.

2011: I am calling it...the Year of the Docker

Postscript: we need to resign Mundy...he has become a premier midfielder...and for a bloke his size, thats important.

Jesus was not always nice

As I prepare to speak at Harvest Time Mens Conference this weekend...this is part of what I am sharing from Matthew 15
Jesus turns to them and calmy and nicely gives them an answer right?
No...quite frankly Jesus mans up, he is sarcastic, he is angry, and he puts it straight back on them, you bunch of hypocrites. you lot violate the direct commands of God. forget about some obscure verse, you lot dont honour your mother of father, instead you keep your money for yourself. Now what Jesus is talking about here was the practice of Corban. What the Pharissees did was use a manmade loophole. If you said that land or property was Corban, which means dedicate to God, you did not have to use it, to care for your mum and dad. but what happened was in the year of jubilee, you were allowed to keep it. So they would declare their land or property Corban, which meant they did not have to care for their mum and dad, and later on once they had died or whatever, they would claim it back and use it for themselves...and they were all doing it. Pretending they were religious and good, and all the time not giving a stuff about their own responsibilities.
And Jesus just nails them to the wall.

Michael Barlow Best first year player award

One of the truly decent blokes travelling in AFL circles.
Cannot wait to see him back in Purple for next years season.

Scorpions- Dust In The Wind (Acoustic version)

Great song, performed by an underrated band...great message too. Sobering.


Dockers have well and truly surpassed all my expectations for this year.
I would have been happy to have just had a good building year.
But this year we have finished 6th, and won a final.
Most pundits don't give us a chance against the Cats on Friday....but I hope that Geelong are up to it in their knecks...and who knows...two teams go onto the field.

Either way I wont be questioning Harvey as a coach.

He was right about McPhee when I thought he was dead wrong.

He was right about taking the B Team to Tasmania....when many criticized him heavily.

And the coaching and recruiting team he has assembled around are arguably the most discerning team around...with the players we have picked up.
Barlow, Hill, Silvangi, Morabito, Fyfe......In fact in the game against Hawthorn, a vastly more experienced and some would say 'tough' team...Freo fields 10 1st and 2nd year players....and none of them looked out of place as we dispatched the premiers from 2008.

The wheel has turned

Ads like this used to be the domain of stars from high profile clubs such as West Coast.
The wheel has turned in WA.
Everyone likes a winner.....

Children and Divorce

When a couple decides to separate or divorce I think something inside them dies.
For most, they realise their is blame to be apportioned to both sides.
For some...blame seems to be directed to their partner solely.

Where it gets really 'icky' and painful is when the children are seen as some sort of pawn in a bitter game for power, creditability, reputation or just plain selfishness.

People who use own children as tools in a bitter divorce have stopped thinking about their kids and are being selfish and ultimately self harming.

Because even if you win the battle, you wont win the war. The children will eventually figure out what has happened, and what is going on...even if it takes years. your your husbands.