.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Josh Harris, Judah Smith & Relationships

For all those who didn't know, Josh Harris (of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and "Boy Meets Girl") is now the senior pastor of his church, Covenant Life Church, and has also recently released 2 new books: Not Even a Hint (now re-released as "Sex is not the problem, Lust is"), and "Stop Dating the Church".

Anyway, the point of all this is that he recently spoke at his church on the topic of courtship, and it was aimed at an older audience - ie his congregation. If you want to listen to it (which I highly recommend), the sermon "Courtship Schmourtship" can be found here or you can download the MP3 directly from here. (File size = 11.9MB)

If you're into iTunes and all associated with it (ie podcasting), you can also choose to subscribe to their podcast. Instructions are on the main sermon page.

For more relationship stuff, visit the Singles Ministry audio page of his church, as earlier in the year they did a whole series on relationships and everything related.

Judah Smith of Generation Church has also preached a few sermons on relationships, and you can also subscribe to their podcast.
The MP3 of the "relationship sermon" can be found here (8.3MB), and their sermon archive is here.

Trust me, they may take a while to download, but they're fantastic - especially Josh's message. I'm burning copies to give to all my friends.

Hope these help anyone.

Monday, November 28, 2005


"Character has a lot to do with sacrifice, laying our personal interests down for something bigger. The best example of this is Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." He knew the right thing to do. He knew the cost would be agonizing torture and death. He did it anyway. That's character."

This speech by Noah Riner, Student Body President at Dartmouth College has sparked quite a controversy. Upon first hearing of the uproar caused by this speech, I was intreagued, and had to find out more. I'll post all relevant links, and allow you to discover this brave young man for yourself:

Full transcript of speech
Video of speech
Response by Dr Alber Mohler
The Rebelution


I know where I'm going to be on Friday 31 March next year. Do you?

I'm planning to be at Telstra Stadium to see U2 in their Australian leg of the Vertigo Tour.

Tickets go on sale at ticketek on Monday Dec 5.

7 days to go.

Friday, November 25, 2005


It's just over two weeks until our christmas production at church.

Rehearsals are going incredibly
well, and we're just about to start our full rehearsals.

If you're in the Sydney area, please feel free to come to the production, and come and say HI!

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I've got to get me some of these!

It's only taken 11 years of research, but they've finally invented coloured bubbles that are non-toxic, and DON'T stain!

They're planning for a US Spring 2006 release, so it's still a while off before I can get my hands on some.

Now I just have to pick a colour!

Read the article HERE
Official site HERE

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Again, I've been neglecting my poor little blog. I've had plenty of ideas to blog about, but I've been to busy at work/lazy to actually get around to posting.

And, more holiday photos are on their way. Honest!

smoking on planes

A few times while flying on Virgin Blue, the flight crew have announced that "if you're caught smoking, you'll be invited to step outside to reconsider". I never thought that anyone would actually do this...but:

Smoker tried to open plane door
A French woman has admitted attempting to open an aeroplane door mid-flight so that she could smoke a cigarette.

Sandrine Helene Sellies, 34, who has a fear of flying, had drunk alcohol and taken sleeping tablets ahead of the flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane.

She was seen on the Cathay Pacific plane walking towards a door with an unlit cigarette and a lighter.

She then began tampering with the emergency exit until she was stopped by a flight attendant.

Defence lawyer Helen Shilton said her client had no memory of what had happened on the flight on Saturday, and that she had a history of sleepwalking.

She pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of an aircraft at Brisbane Magistrates Court and was given a 12-month A$1,000 (£429) good behaviour bond - she will forfeit the money if she commits another offence.

The French tourist was at the start of a three-week holiday in Australia with her husband.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oz Politics

Somehow I found this site where you can complete an "un scientific" survey to find out where you stand in the Australian political climate...not surprisingly my preferred political party is Family First...

Take the test HERE

My results:

Party preference

Greens Australian Democrats Labor Party Family First Liberal Party National Party One Nation
37% 42% 58.4% 76.1% 52.5% 51.6% 65%

The party with the highest score has the policy outlook that is most aligned with your views.

Note: People choose to vote for a political party for many reasons, not just because their ideas and ideals align with those of their chosen party. In addition to a party’s philosophical position, many voters are also interested in the experience of the candidates, and the party’s leadership style and management capability. This tool did not test such factors.

Political outlook

Your broad political orientation score is 24.5%, which equates to a ‘Centre Right’ position

Economic policy

Your economic policy score score is -12.6%. This equates to a ‘Centre’ position

Social policy

Your social policy score is 4.9%. This equates to a ‘Centre’ position

Traditional values

Your traditional values score is 64.6%. This equates to a ‘Right’ position


In terms of the left-right political spectrum, your broad political outlook score reports the extent to which your views could be described as ‘left-wing’ or ‘right-wing’ in the contemporary Australian context. These are largely arbitrary terms:

Of course, it is entirely possible to have conflicting left and right views on economic policy and social policy. The final three charts tease out your views in terms of the state intervening on economic issues, social policy and traditional values. Traditional values and other social policy interventions have been separated as there are a number of people who, because of their faith or atheism, hold left-of-centre views on one dimension and right-of-centre views on the other.

Your economic policy score reports the extent to which you think the state should be regulating the economic aspects of our lives. A negative score means you believe the state should, on more issues than not, intervene in the economic lives of its citizens. A positive score means you believe the state should be less interventionist.

Your social policy score reports the extent to which you think the state should be protecting its citizens from making decisions that could be harmful (in social policy areas other than those covered by the traditional values score below). A negative score means you believe the state should, on more issues than not, intervene in the social lives of its citizens as a force for good. A positive score means you believe we are responsible enough to live and run our own lives free from excessive government intervention.

Your traditional values score reports the extent to which you think the state should act to maintain conservative moral standards (for example in respect of abortion, divorce and drug use). A negative score means you believe the state should not overly intervene in the moral lives of its citizens. A positive score indicates you believe the state should intervene on more of these issues than not. A strongly positive score is consistent with the position adopted by the ‘Christian Right’ in Australia.

The traditional values dimension reverses the relationship between the political spectrum and state intervention. In the economic and social dimensions, being left wing equates with higher levels of state intervention. When it comes to traditional values, higher levels of state intervention are associated with right-wing politics.

Monday, November 14, 2005


from ninemsn.com

Goliath's name found at Israeli dig
Monday Nov 14 07:14 AEST

An Israeli researcher said he has made a Goliath of a find - the first archaeological evidence suggesting the biblical story of David slaying the Philistine giant actually took place.

A shard of pottery unearthed in a decade-old dig in southern Israel carried an inscription in early Semitic style spelling "Alwat and "Wlt", likely Philistine renderings of the name Goliath, said Aren Maeir, who directed the excavation.

"This is a groundbreaking find," he said of the rust-coloured ceramic.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day

For most of my life, Remembrance Day has always seemed like a second-rate ANZAC Day. We didn't even get a day off school - we were only required to be quiet for a minute at 11am - when the siren rang. And that was an achievement in itself - getting a class full of rowdy students to be quiet for 60 seconds - without sniggering or someone saying something profoundly stupid.

However, as I progressed through school, read books such as "All Quiet on the Western Front", and spent 12 months studying war as part of my Modern European History class, Remembrance Day slowly began to take on a whole new meanin

For those who don't know about Remembrance Day, it's a day when we take time out of our lives to remember the end of the First World War, and to remember those who fought, and died in the battle.

From the official site:

More than 416 000 Australians volunteered for service in World War I. Of these, 324 000 served overseas. More than 60 000 Australians were killed, including 45 000 who died on the Western Front in France and Belgium and more than 8 000 who died on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey."

The tradition of observing 2 minutes silence was established by King George V on 7 November 1919, and has been upheld ever since, as a silent tribute to the soldiers or WW1. It is also tradition to wear a Flanders Poppy as a symbol of rememberance.

When I was younger, I was vaguely aware that one of my great-grandfathers, who died before I was born, fought in WW1. Because of his military service, he is buried in the local RSL Cemetary in Port Lincoln. Often on Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day, we'd go and "visit" his gravesite. That was pretty much all we knew about Jack.

However, a few years ago we were visiting family in Moonta, in South Australia, and decided that we'd go "treasure hunting" in the old house. We discovered a stash of memorabilia - including service medals from WW1. We didn't even know that another of our great-grandfathers had fought in the war. Upon examination of the medals, we noticed that one of them was for service at Gallipoli. That was a surprise, to say the least. We still don't know if he was part of the first landing, or if he arrived later in the campaign, but it's incredible to realise that my great-grandfather was part of the original ANZACS.

Since learning that I have members from both sides of my family involved in the war that November 11 remembers, it's become more than just 2 minutes silence for me. Sadly, some years 11am comes and goes before I realise the time. But, most years I spend the day silently contemplating what these men - young men - endured; what their wives, and familes endured. In today's age of technology, we really have no way of knowing what these people went through - not knowing where their loved ones were, what they were doing, even if they were still alive. Letters took months to arrive. It was unheard of to be able to call your family on the phone. The world was a much bigger place then.

Movies such as "Gallipoli" (filmed in my home town btw!), and "All Quiet on the Western Front" do their best to give us some insight into the realities of war, but they never really get there, although "All Quiet" had a massive impact on me at school. A new film "Gallipoli" by Turkish director Tolga Ornek may give us more of an insight into war - it uses recently discovered video taken in the trenches, photos, letters and diaries of soldiers fighting in the war. I don't think I'll go and see it though. Sadly, there's too much war on television without me going to the movies to see more.

The new "Gallipoli" was reviewed on "At The Movies" last week. I wanted to include part of the review, as some of what Margaret said is also how I feel:

DAVID STRATTON: It's a fascinating film, isn't it, Margaret?

MARGARET POMERANZ: David, I was so upset at the end of it. I mean, and even now, just seeing bits of it, I,(Chokes with emotion) it did just upset me that much, partly because it is so connected with Australian legacy and sense of identity. But also, all those young men dying. And the feeling that we haven't learned anything...

DAVID STRATTON: Well, that's it, yeah. I mean, it's amazing that a Turkish director, young Turkish director, has made such a extraordinary film about this.

MARGARET POMERANZ: I just, I think it's been beautifully done, I think it's a little bit, I'm sorry, I'm so upset just seeing bits of it again. But that's the impact that it had on me, that we haven't learned anything. We're still sending these beautiful young people out to die.

DAVID STRATTON: Perhaps we can just send the politicians out there.

Read the rest of the review HERE


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon


Lest we forget.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


For a long time, I've been a subscriber to the on-line magazine from Grassroots Music. I've always liked to dig out new music that none of my friends have heard before, and I've found that Grassroots constantly has a new stack of Indie artists to check out, complete with downloadable MP3's. However, every week or so, I receive their newsletter/magazine in my inbox. Many times I'll skim over the articles, and if one catches my eye, I'll stop and read it. Today's editorial piece was one of those that caught my eye - so much so that I'm putting it here for you to read. Challenging stuff.

November 8th

I just got back from LA where I screened the new Johnny Cash biopic, “Walk The Line.” There is a great scene in the film where Cash is auditioning for legendary record producer, Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Phillips stops Cash in the middle of his first song, a popular Gospel tune of the day, and asks if he has anything else.

‘You don’t like my Gospel?’ Cash asks.

‘I don’t believe you,’ Phillips replies.

I had an epiphany right there in the movie theater.

There is a lot of talk in our industry about being ‘transparent,’ and ‘vulnerable.’ Guess what? You don’t have to try very hard to be transparent or vulnerable. Most folks can see right through you if they are sensitive at all. And while people who know and love you might be willing to listen to what you have to say, those who don’t know you, who don’t love you, may not give you the benefit of the doubt. It’s not that what you have to say is false or invalid. They just don’t believe you.

Cash couldn’t convince Phillips of the truth of his Gospel, because he didn’t believe it himself (at least not at that time). It wasn’t inside him. What was inside was prison, and trains, and heartaches and honky-tonks. When what was honest came out, it made Johnny Cash a star.

Cash, it must be noted, was a tragically flawed hero. So were King David, and the Apostle Paul, and Moses, and a few others I could mention. What made them flawed with their propensity toward their darker human weaknesses – lust, anger, pride. What made them heroes was their tenacity, honesty, and commitment.

“I trust my instincts and do work that is honest, and it comes out however it comes out,” singer/songwriter, Derek Webb told Grassroots Music’s Kevin Breitinger. “I don’t always even recognize the full significance until long after the fact and it’s often something I never intended.”

What’s inside of you? What’s inside of me? No one with an ounce of sensitivity is going to believe our Gospel unless we first believe it ourselves. Selah.

-Mike Parker
Grassroots Music Magazine

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

holiday pics!

here's the second installment of holiday photos...click on the photo for a larger picture.
more to come soon.

With my brother & sister @ Pacific Harbour, Fiji

Our tour guide through the arts village

More to come...blogger's chucking a fit, and won't let me upload anymore photos at the moment...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lane Cove's Hole

Construction of the Lane Cove tunnel has caused a hole to open up in the ground under an apartment block in Lane Cove. All 60 residents were evicted from their homes on Tuesday, as the building became structurally unsafe. Emergency crews have since poured over 1000m2 of concrete into the hole to help sure up the building, but the future of the apartment complex is still uncertain. The last report I heard about the building was that it was likely to be condemned. Footage was shown on the news last night of one of the rooms in the first floor apartment falling into the hole. Interestingly, it's become somewhat of a tourist attraction. (Personally, I'd probably go and have a look too, if I lived closer to Lane Cove!).

This morning on Sunrise, they had what they were calling a "Tweety Twupdate". It turns out that one of the residents left her baby bird inside her apartment, and was quite worried about Tweety. When I left for work, they were unsure as to how they were going to get the bird out, as no humans were being allowed into the front of the building (where the hole is) - only police robots were going into the building.

But a bit of googling later, and I came across this article:

Robot may rescue stranded pet Tweety
Friday Nov 4 11:44 AEST
The apartment crumbles (Photo: Channel 9)

A police bomb squad robot may try to rescue a pet cockatiel trapped on the top floor of a partially-collapsed Sydney unit block.

Forty-seven residents were evacuated on Wednesday when part of the three-storey building at Lane Cove crumbled into a massive pit, which opened up when a section of the Lane Cove Tunnel project collapsed.

Read more [here]

More news and related articles:
Sydney Morning Herald Slide Show
New Zealand Herald
NineMSN Video: On the Edge
NineMSN Video: Ground Stability Fears

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Seven Dwarfs

When it comes to the seven dwarfs, I've often been referred to as Dopey. That didn't bother me too much, as he was my favourite, and I know that I can be downright Dopey when my brain's not engaged. However, today I think that Grumpy would describe me much better.

It's now been 1 week to the day since my car was stolen, and moved down the road. 1 week later, and my insurance company has informed me that my car has been considered a "total loss", and my claim should be finalised by next week. That's handy, as that's also when I'm due to return my rental car. (However, by boss' friend has agreed to sell me his 2000 Hyundai Excel for only $600 more than I paid for my 1987 Ford Laser - and it's only got 80,000kms on the clock.)

That's not really what I'm grumpy about though. What I'm grumpy about is that the thief had to wait until I'd put a new motor in the car, and got it re-registered before they went and stole it! Hopefully everything ($$) will work out nicely, and I'll be driving my own car again within a week.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Frappr! seems to be a good thing. It's an on-line mapping program that looks quite similar to Google Maps, but it allows your blog readers to enter their location so you know who's from where.

So I thought that I'd give it a go - and see what happens.

To enter your location, follow this link - [here]
(it's quick and painless...trust me!)

And a quick little HT to Randy over at Ethos for the link. Thanks!

(Side note...more holiday pictures coming soon to a blog entry near you!)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Crazy Times

Makybe Diva has just won her third Melbourne Cup in a row.
Port Lincoln would be going absolutely crazy at the moment. I know for sure that the pubs will be full for at least the next 12 hours :)
Probably a good thing that I'm not home then...

Marcos Witt

Ok, I'm converted.

Until this weekend, I'd never heard of Marcos Witt.* (All my Spanish friends, please don't kill me!)

I'd heard him "explained" as the South American "Darlene", but even that didn't even sit with me...until Saturday night. I arrived at church at 5pm for sound check, and there were already people lining up in the car park waiting to get in. There were lines for all 4 sunday services, and even for last night's meeting with Marcos.

I think we had probably an additional 4 churches in all our meetings over the weekend...and, well, put it this way - if you didn't speak spanish, then you were the minority!

It was Marcos' first visit to Australia, and his fans were out in force. His merchandise (CD's, books, etc) are very hard to come by in Australia, and he sold out of everything in the first meeting.

Marcos preached in all 6 meetings, and also taught us some new songs. That was interesting in itself. Marcos didn't teach the CM team the songs in rehearsal - he taught them to us live on stage. We were learning along with the congregation, although most people in the church knew the songs better than we did! The songs we did were BEAUTIFUL! Simple, but totally God-focussed. The worship was incredible. We even learnt one chorus in Spanish, and I managed to sing it in Spanish! (Don't ask me to remember it now though! My mind is still asleep!)

Last night after the meeting, Marcos met and prayed with anyone who wanted to meet him or have him pray for them. I was with some guys from Hillsong, and we were last in line. I think we left church pretty much at Midnight. (ooh...midnight on Halloween!!!) And I was so awake that I didn't get to sleep until 2am!!! Needless to say, I'm a bit slow at work today!

Anyway, hopefully Marcos will be back, and soon!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A bit of background on Marcos: He has released approximately 20 albums, sold over 7 million albums, many of which have gone at LEAST platinum, he has won 2 Grammy awards, and is currently nominated for his third. Marcos has established a Bible College for Worship Leaders that currently has over 3000 students. He also owns his own record label, Canzion, and speaks all over the world - he receives 100 invitations to speak EVERY WEEK.!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

* Both websites linked here are in spanish...