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Friday, July 29, 2005

[AFL] Leigh Matthews

For all those who are not yet enlightened as to all matters AFL (ie you still belong to the dark side of the force), Leigh Matthews is the coach of one of my favourite teams, the Brisbane Lions, and he has so far led them to three successive premierships in 2001-2003.

My boss (a Rugby League fanatic) is currently at a work conference in Melbourne, at which Leigh is a key speaker. (They're also going to a match at the MCG, but my boss assured me that he wouldn't go - and he wouldn't even let me go instead!!!)

So, after Leigh finished speaking this morning, my boss waltzed up to him and said pretty much this:
"I don't know who you are, and I don't like your game. I'm a league guy myself, and I don't care for your arial ping-pong. But, the girl back in my office likes you, so can I get your autograph?"

My boss took great delight in relaying this conversation to me over the phone, and then informed me that Leigh had signed something for me "To Paula, from Leigh Matthews".


Thursday, July 28, 2005


Apparently, I'm in the top 10.53% richest people in the world - to be more exact, I'm the 631,927,555th richest person in the world.

Where are you? Find out here.

Australian Story

For those interested, I discovered that on Monday night (Aug 1), The Houstons (Brian, Bobbie and family) are the focus of Australian Story on ABC. 8pm for all those who plan to watch. (I'm in studio, so the VCR will be watching it for me!). Here's hoping that it lacks the "negative spin" that always seems to appear whenever Hillsong is mentioned in the media.

Studio update

Well, thank God we were able to reschedule more studio time for Monday night next week. I probably could have gone into the studio last night and recorded, but I think the extra half week will mean that my voice will be in better condition...I'm leading worship tomorrow night at youth, so we'll see how my voice holds up after that.

A big hello to new readers of my blog - you know who you are! Feel free to stay, read my "words of wisdom" (ha ha), and of course, feel free to comment!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm Back!

After 5 days of enforced rest, I'm back at work. My throat is no longer sore (well, it's not constantly sore), my voice is almost all there, and my head feels like it's back to normal size.

I'm still waiting to hear if we're able to push back my studio time to next week...fingers crossed there.

Even though I wasn't well, I still managed to attend the Women's Retreat in the Southern Highlands on Saturday. I was supposed to be leading worship for the retreat, but it was hard enough to speak, let alone sing. It was a beautiful day though - spent with beautiful ladies in log cabins with wood fires hidden away in the highlands. When we arrived at 9am on saturday, our car told us that it was a lovely 1 degree outside. We were tempted to stay in the car rather than face the cold!

Now I'm tired....half a day back at work, and I'm longing to crawl under my desk and sleep for the rest of the day!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Studio time pushed back :(

Well, I totally lost my voice upon walking through the doors to the studio on Wednesday night. As the night progressed, it became increasingly painful to speak, let alone sing. Thankfully, our youth pastor and the sound engineer decided that I could come back to record all of my parts, so that's set for wednesday night next week.

Thursday morning I was too sick to go to work....according to the doctor I've got accute tonsilitis...and I'm still home today. (I got bored, so I came to church to bludge a computer off them so I could surf the 'net!).

My doctor says that my voice should be ok by monday - fingers crossed!!!

All prayers are greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Once more, with feeling!

We're off to the studio again tonight. Last night we rehearsed our parts for the songs we're recording tonight, and even that took us 3 hours.

However, I woke up this morning feeling like someone dumped gravel in my throat...hopefully it's just a sore throat and it won't affect my "vocalising".

I'll let you know how it went tomorrow...and there shall be photos! (And lots of them, too!)

PS - Please pray for my throat to get better QUICKLY...I'm also supposed to be leading worship this weekend at a women's retreat...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The morning after...

Well last night was a late one. We got to the studio at 7:30, and got straight into things. I didn't start doing any of my vocal parts until around 11:30, and we finished up around 1:15am. So by the time I got home and into bed, it was closer to 2:30am than I wanted to believe. I tell you, it was hard to crawl out of bed this morning...and we've still got tomorrow night to go!

We managed to record the lead tracks for 4 songs, and totally finish (all vocals) two, maybe three songs. We focussed on all the "faster" songs last night, and the group vocals & shouts - after all, what's a youth album without crowd noises? (here's a tip - if you listen carefully to some of the group vocals, you might be able to hear a lonely cowboy...!) Wednesday we're focussing on the two "slower" (!) songs - their vocals are slightly more intricate, so the two will probably take as long as the four we did last night.

There are photos of last night, but they're still on the camera. Hopefully we'll be able to download some tonight and then they'll be here for your viewing pleasure!

Monday, July 18, 2005

In the studio

Well tonight we head back into the studio to record the studio half of our youth album, which is due for release at our youth conference (INTENSIFIRE), which is held at the end of September. The demo's and practice tracks that I've got so far sound incredible, and the vocal arrangements are great. Hopefully one of us will remember to bring a digital camera so I can post some photos.

We head in at 7:30 tonight, and we're also there from 7:30 on wednesday night. Hopefully we're not going to be there too late into the night!

Tonight's going to be fun though...we're laying down the lead vocals and backing vocals for 2 or maybe 3 tracks (and we haven't had a proper rehearsal yet!).



That was me on Sunday night...sitting in church watching 4 guys from Team Impact smash concrete bricks, bend steel rods in their teeth, blow up hot water bottles and snap Louisville Slugger baseball bats behind their backs and over their heads. I've seen them before, but they still never cease to amaze me. How handy would it be to have one of those guys living next door - you'd never have trouble opening a jar again!

We had around 1200 people turn up, which was great. The atmosphere is electric whenever the church is packed - but best of all, we had around 20 salvations for the night, which makes almost 50 for the whole day! PRAISE GOD!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Back Four Seconds

Back Four Seconds is, I think, one of my favourite blogs at the moment. It's not really about anything, but consists of short, amusing information sourced from around the world. Where else would I find something like this?

Thought for the day:

If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq Theater of operations during the last 22 months that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000.

That means that you are 33% more likely to be shot and killed in our Nation's Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: We should immediately pull out of D.C

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

New iPod?

For all those iPodders out there, the iPod just became smaller again!

Check out....

the iFlea!

with thanks to Milk and Cookies

United @ #41!

So oblige me!

I was just scanning the chart to see which other albums were in the top 50....and discovered this:

"God He Reigns" DVD @ #1!

I know, I know - another post about Hillsong! Bear with me though, this will probably be my last for a while.
Anyway, I just discovered that the "God He Reigns" DVD debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts! Good work!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I've just discovered that on La Shawn Barber's blog, I'm blogrolled under "Right", as opposed to "Left" or even "Moderate". That surprises me, but then, hey! What do I know about political categorisation? I vote Family First, try and put all the parties I don't like last, the others all somewhere in the middle, and a few years ago when we had the republican referendum, I voted NO, because I like my long weekend in June! (How Australian can you get?!).

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hillsong @ #2!

Just checked the Aria charts for this past week...and Hillsong's "God He Reigns" debuted at #2!

Nice Work...

Hillsong does Queen?

Hmmm...the first time I heard the song "Let us Adore" from "God He Reigns" (disc 2), my brain started going into overload. I'd heard this song before. Not the song we were singing, but I knew the melody line! I could sing along with the song, when I'd never heard it before!

Then....it hit me!!! The verse is IDENTICAL (yes, I mean EXACTLY THE SAME) as the verse of "We are the Champions" by Queen!

Listen to it....and you'll want to go on, and on, and on....WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!!

Post-Hillsong Report

Well, now Hillsong Conference is over, we can all go back to our "real" lives. I'm still recovering from last week, and I only attended nights and one full day. I've registered for next year, so hopefully I'll cope with being a full-time delegate (and cope with the secondary stress of being a delegate - called "I hope I get a seat in the superdome, and not on the pavers outside...!)

Yesterday at church we had a guest speaker from the UK - Dave Gilpin from Hope City Church. I don't think I've so thorougly enjoyed listening to someone speak for quite a while - and it wasn't just a "fluffy" sermon - the teaching hit me square between the eyes! Ps John announced that Dave's coming back to our church for our Faith Conference in 06...I can't wait - and this year's Faith Conference hasn't even happened yet!

I spent saturday catching up with some friends from South Australia....all the way up at Hawkesbury! I didn't mind though - it was a great day for a drive, and I came home via Koorong...probably a bad decision there. However, I purchased a book that I've wanted to read for a while..."Searching for a God You're Supposed to Have Found", by Ben Windle. Long title, I know. I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Night #5

I'm not going to Hillsong tonight, as I'm playing keys at Insight. However, I do know that the 5:00 session is going to be an annointing service, and Reinhard Bonnke is speaking at the 7:30, so that would be a fantastic meeting.

Something I forgot to put in earlier; during Session #2 on thursday, Michael led us in "Draw Me Close" - one of my favourite MWS songs. As I was singing, the line "I lay it all down again, to hear You say that I'm your friend" hit me in the head. So often, we live "knowing" that God loves us. However, for someone to consider you a friend is something different. An example, I love my cousin, but I'm not her friend. But God loves us, and HE considers US to be his friends. Friends want to spend time with you. Isn't it incredible, that God wants to spend time with us? So often, I feel "obligated" to spend time with God. But how often do you feel obligated to spend time with your friends? (Ok, sometimes you do....!)

Imagine this. It's coming up to the time when you're planning on spending time with God - reading His Word, and spending time in prayer...and God's getting excited because His friend is coming over for a chat.

It puts a different spin on things, doesn't it?

Afternoon & Night #4

The afternoon pretty much consisted of wandering around, and catching up with friends from interstate. I caught up with my old youth pastors, and they had a guy from another church in Lincoln with them. It turns out that we went through school (Kindergarten to Yr 12) together!

I was speaking with him during the day, and I mentioned to him that I was surprised to see him. He responded with a "why?" - and I replied "well, I didn't know that you were a christian!" He said that he had "kind of" been a christian his whole life, but he re-committed his life to God around 6 months ago. Then he said something that shocked me: "I didn't know you were a Christian either".


That stung.

I always thought that I'd been fairly outspoken about my faith. After all, all of my friends knew that I was a Christian. I thought it was pretty obvious - espcially in the 80's when we were all wearing "Jesus loves me" badges to school.

I think there's some serious self-examining coming up. (Especially after hearing Reinhard Bonnke speak!)

And then he shared his only memory of me from primary school: apparently we were playing tee-ball and he hit the ball into my face. I can't remember it - maybe I've blocked the memory out of my brain!

So then we lined up for the 5:00 session. I decided that I was going to attempt to go to both services - why not? So for the 5:00 session we ended up sitting behind the stage. Surprisingly, they were pretty good seats - close to the stage, with a good view of the speaker's back :) Michael W Smith (and band) took the worship, then Reinhard spoke.

Reinhard shared about the "baptism of fire". He used this analogy:
The word "baptism" was once used to describe the process of dyeing cloth. The cloth was baptised into the dye. Upon being removed from the dye, the cloth had taken on the appearance of the dye. The cloth had taken on the colour, the smell, of the dye. It was obvious to all that the cloth had been baptised into the dye.
Likewise, when we are baptised into Christ, we should take on his appearance; it should be obvious to all that we are of Christ.


After that service, I had to go and line up again for the 7:30 service. I had "priority seating" - whatever that means. I ended up at door 81, which is on the upper most level. Luckily, I'd run into a friend from Karcultaby (regional SA) who had Network Seating, so he saved me a seat on the floor. However, once you were upstairs, there was no way to get DOWN stairs, unless you left the building and re-entered. So that's what I did. I raced around the building, and back into the superdome. We managed to find each other, and I got to my seat just as the service started.

Darlene and co started off the Worship - which included my current favourite, "How Great is Our God", from Chris Tomlin's "Arriving" album. And the MWS and band took to the stage for another 90 minutes of worship. The night was incredible, even with Ps Brian informing us of the horrible terrorist attack on London. That put a slight dampner on things, but it also made everyone press in more, and pray all the harder.

Day #4, Sessions 1-4

Yes, you read correctly...DAY #4. A girl at church had a registration for the Worship Faculty for Hillsong conference this year, but didn't WANT to attend (I know, I'm still wondering). So, I took it off her hands for her. Then, I asked my boss for Thursday off (otherwise known as "Michael W Smith Day"), and she said YES!!

God must read my blog :)

So we left for conference at 7:30am...I'm usually still hitting snooze at that time of the day....and due to traffic, we arrived at 9:00, just as the first session with Reinhard Bonnke was starting. Luckily, the friends I went with were interpreting for the deaf, so we had allocated seating. How good is not lining up?! Reinhard was incredible. His passion for saving the lost has so consumed him, he can talk of nothing else. Just listening to him convicts you. Do you know how many salvations he's seen since 2000? I think at last count it was around 83,000,000. That's right - 83 MILLION!!!

As soon as that session was over, it was time for the hike down to the State Sports Centre - a good 10-15 minute walk. I hate walking in groups - everyone has longer legs than me, so I'm walking twice as fast to keep up, then I get all flustered and hot. Anyway...it was time for the stream session with the one and only Michael W Smith!!!

He took to the stage and spoke for a few minutes, then jumped behind his piano. The session was rife with technical problems - from microphones not working, to Michael's piano sounding like a tinny toy piano....then everything started working with a BANG (almost literally). Michael led the Worship faculty in worship for the next half an hour. I love it when people in creative ministries worship together. There's just something different about it. During the worship, Michael shared about how important it is to be quiet in worship, and not rush to fill the gap. This is one thing that I love about worship - the quiet. It unnerves us, and I think the reason that is so is because we (ie the worship team) are no longer "in control" - It's truly God at work. Michael said that "maybe if we're quiet more, we'll hear God more..." simple, but profound.

After the worship, Michael shared his testimony...but in reality, he was enjoying talking about his wife and their 5 children. His love for his wife and children just was so plain to see...it was obvious to everyone in the room that his family really does come first. When he spoke of his family, his face just lit up :)

Then MWS opened the floor for a Q&A time...and I got frustrated. Instead of questions, it was like people were trying to prove that they were the biggest fan. Of course, there were the great questions - "what inspired you to write ....?", "what do you do when you get writers block?", etc, but often they were hidden inside "self promotion" - "look at me, I'm really good too"...! There was a beautiful older lady who stood and thanked Michael for "one of your albums - the orange one"...Michael loved it! Oh - for all the MWS album collectors out there, he also apologised for the album covers and asked our forgiveness for getting a perm...!

The third session for the day was called "What I know to be true about worship", and the speakers were Vera Kasovich (Hillsong Kiev), and Jeff Crabtree (CCC Oxford Falls, Principal of SCA). Vera spoke about worship as being a balancing act, and how God weighs and measures our worship. The more in balance it is, the more pleasing it is. This sounds strange, but I'll try and explain it at a later date (I'm at work and my notes are at home). Jeff spoke on worship in the musical sense of the word, and how music is a spiritual force that we need to harness. I'll also post on this later. I think it was one of the most profound teachings on worship I've heard for a LONG time.

The fourth session for the day was with Michael W Smith's band, basically a Q&A session for muso's, and a chance to get an inside look at a touring band. Very interesting. If you want more info, you'll probably have to ask in the comments....

Night #3

Now. I didn't post this yesterday, as I was actually AT Hillsong Conference all day yesterday...more on that later.
Wednesday night's meeting was fantastic (as always!). Joyce Meyer spoke again, and she spoke about how we often unknowingly live life with a "do not disturb" sign hung around our neck. She said that often we become irritated by interruptions - when most times, they may be "divine interruptions", an opportunity that God has brought across our path, and that sometimes even the smallest things that we can do - like holding on to our self control when interrupted, can be a great witness to people around us.

The night started off the way that the "God He Reigns" DVD starts - with Tulele and the Choir. However, Tulele shared his role with Guy Sebastian (you should have heard the girls scream when they realised who it was!). Afterwards, Guy came on and sang one of my favourite songs: "Hosanna" of Paradise's latest release, Adore.

Don't know if I was imagining things, but Guy seemed quite nervous...but then it's singing a worship song infront of 30,000 people - including people that you've admired your whole life, is totally different to doing a concert for fans...(in my opinion)!

Oh - for those (overseas) who don't know who Guy is, he was a member of Youth Alive SA, and also the Planetshakers band when he won the first series of Australian Idol in November 2003

The Keys To Your Heart

This via Lindsay:
It's cute - you're asked questions about animals to determine "the keys to your heart"!

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who have a split personality - cold as ice on the outside but hot as fire in the heart.

In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

What Are The Keys To Your Heart?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Night #2


I can't believe that I'd never heard CeCe Winans before last night. I mean, I'd heard of her, and I suppose I had heard her, but not just her, on her own. I'd seen her on Oprah, I've heard her duets with BeBe. But last night was something different altogether. CeCe and her band took to the stage "after the worship" (I hate saying it like that), and took us straight to heaven. CeCe sang this song about Mary and her Alabaster Box, and I was nearly in tears.

Then after about half an hour with CeCe and her band, Joyce Meyer took to the stage, and spoke an incredible message on "Sit, Stand, Walk, Run". It was about how often, we are trying to run our race without first learning how to sit, stand, and walk:
  1. SIT: We are seated with Christ. He takes our burdens, the weight OFF our shoulders. It's not for us to bear.
  2. STAND: We are to take a stand against the enemy, and not let him run over us - and not to become passive in our lives.
  3. WALK: We are to "walk the walk" - walking in Christ is one good choice followed by another good choice.
  4. RUN: Then, we can "run the race set before us". However, while we are running, we still need to walk, stand, and sit.
Oh - and the line wasn't as long as monday night. I'm not sure if people were scared off, or it was just opening night crowds :)

** edit ** (I tried to add pictures, but photo blogger wasn't working...)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Night #1 (Pt 2)

"I like the idea of Christianity shorn of its medieval accretions. I like the idea of each believer reading the Bible and finding his or her path to individual salvation. I also like the spontaneity and informality of Hillsong's worship. It's actually very Australian."

NSW Premier Bob Carr, at the opening of Hillsong Conference 2005.


Night #1

Last night we began our annual pilgrimage to mecca (otherwise known as Hillsong Conference).

We had fun standing in the line for nearly 2 hours.

The superdome holds around 30,000 people, and there are 28,000 delegates. When delegates are invited to stay for both evening meetings, that doesn't leave much room for anyone else, does it? As it was explained to us (outside), the delegates didn't realise that to attend both night meetings, they need to leave the building and line up again.

See where the red line begins at Telstra Stadium? That was where the line ended when I arrived at 6:45. Within 10 minutes, the line was probably closer to the Aquatic centre than I'd like to imagine.

The green line was the delegate line. We discovered that there were even some delegates who were yet to get in. That lifted our spirits even more :)

After watching the opening on the one screen outside, we pretty much ran into the sports hall of the superdome - the overflow room. It was weird, but at least we were able to hear Dr John Maxwell speak. He has a seriously deep voice. Sometimes it even sounded like he was growling, sometimes it sounded like he was singing. So, we tried to imitate him. Unfortunately, because we were in the overflow room, everyone could hear us. Luckily my friends and I aren't shy little wallflowers, so it made it even more fun. (especially for my friend, who LOVES attention! she's 100% sanguine).

It also turns out that a friend of mine has a registration ticket for the conference that she's not using, so I'm buying it off her. So tonight, I should be in the green line instead of the red one :)

And, my boss is letting me take thursday off, so I get to go and hear Michael W Smith! AAAAHHHH!!!! Praise God!!!

Monday, July 04, 2005

It begins

Today marks the beginning of what could probably be referred to as the "Mecca" of Pentecostal churches; otherwise known as Hillsong Conference.

My first trip to Hillsong Conference was back in 1999, when it was still being held in what is now the Ministry Centre of Hillsong Church.

My second trip (as a full-time delegate) was the year when the Delirious/Hillsong album was record
ed. I've got a feeling that may have been 2003. I can't remember back that far!

Last year, I was only able to attend night meetings because of work. What that means is that all of the pastors and PA's were at Hillsong conference, so I had to stay behind and look after the phones.

This year, I wasn't planning on going as a delegate because of the upcoming family holiday to Fiji. There's only so much annual leave that you can use. However, Michael W Smith is going to be there this week. If you don't know who MWS is, then, obviously you haven't been around CCM for long enough. I nearly died the other day when a friend went "Who's DC Talk?", so you could probably imagine my reaction to someone who'd dare to say "Who's Michael W Smith?" lol.

So after discovering that MWS was going to be there, I was going to register and attend the day that he was going to be there. However, I discovered that full-time registration is expensive (AU$259), and day-passes aren't available. So short of someone lending me their pass for the day, this is my plan...

I'm of the understanding that MWS will be at the conference on Thursday night, but I'm not sure if he will be at the 5pm or the 7:30pm meeting. - So I think I'll try and get the afternoon off work and go to both meetings :) (I'm naughty!!)

Imagine that - there are so many delegates at this year's conference that they need to hold two night meetings at the SUPERDOME to hold everyone (including the additional superdome nights attenders, such as ME!).

I was at Hillsong on sunday morning for their 8:45am service; we went to see Joyce Meyer (BTW she was fantastic!). Ps Brian announced that as of Sunday morning, there were 27,000 registered full-time delegates! It's pretty mind-blowing - especially for someone who grew up in a town of 14,000!

Ok, now back to work :)

Fuzzy head day

Hi welcome to my fuzzy hair day - otherwise known as a really bad hair day.

Usually, it takes me 5-10 minutes to do my hair in the morning. This morning, I did my hair, got dressed, did my hair again, and again and again. And it still looks terrible. If I had a digital camera, I probably wouldn't post a photo of it; it's really that bad. But I don't have a digital camera, so I can't post a photo anyway.

It's probably a combination of the weather, and that I've just (as of thursday) had it cut and re-coloured. My hair usually takes a week or so to settle down after a cut.

I'm annoyed because my hair looked fantastic yesterday - people actually came up to me at church and complimented me on my hair. That doesn't happen often. I wonder if that's because it doesn't usually look good?

Ok, now I'm developing an inferiority complex...


Friday, July 01, 2005

I have a happy heart!

Well, I went to see the Cardiologist last night. After a thorough (finally!) checkup and being questioned to death, my mind was put at peace with the Doctor deciding that my heart and lungs are fine. Thank God. It turns out that the chest pains were caused by spasms in the oesophagus - which apparently presents the same symptoms as heart pains in women.

Ps - what is it with specialists - is it a requisite for them to be eccentric? :)