Thursday, May 28, 2009

Feminist rethinks her attitude to women and children

Research done in America as part of the college's Families, Children and Child Care study of 1200 children claims to show that the more time young children spend in care in their early years, the more aggressive and disobedient they will be by the time they reach primary school.

A feminist changes her tune on women in the workplace.

h/t Craig

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Big Picture

I haven't blogged in a few days, so I thought I would do the proverbial "I've got nothing to write so I'll link" post.

Pictures can speak louder than words, and a confronting or beautiful image can draw you to a story much faster than a catchy headline. This blog, The Big Picture, is the news in pictures. Check it out, subscribe and enjoy. It'll take 6.4 seconds out of your day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pulpiteering with Integrity

Imagine you are doing a sermon that calls for you to be devoted to pray or evangelise, but you neither are devoted to prayer or evangelising. You are committed to the truth of these things, but the reality is that when it comes to doing these things, you are not much different to an unbeliever. It seems to me that you can do one of three things;

1) Preach it and acknowledge that you are a hypocrite, unfaithful in this area

2) Don't preach it until you are faithfully doing it yourself

3) Preach it as though it was just God preaching to the hearers, and you are just another hearer

To me number 3) is not a good option.

Any thoughts?

Starting to get nervous...

I'm preaching this Sunday and I haven't really started writing my sermon yet. Normally I've begun writing 2 weeks in advance, but things have been a bit hectic lately. I figure it's good practice for parish ministry, as it is likely I will only have a couple of days each week to write my sermon anyway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I nearly got in a fight with a 12 year old last night - Part 2

So it happened again, but was a lot worse tonight. I really don't know what to do.

The same boy turned up to youth, to ask if he could come tonight. When I explained to him that couldn't, for the obvious reasons of course, he got really angry and began pushing me. Pushing me hard, my back's a little sore. After I wasn't retaliating he started spitting in my face. Boy that's fun, I can tell ya (sad thing is it's happened before from other kids). Spitting in my face, and pushing me, and I just gotta stand there and take it.

What do I do? Seriously, I've got no idea. Next Monday he's probably gonna rock up to Oz tag, and if he does it again (or worse) I have no idea how to handle the situation other than make sure I don't touch him. I do have a few ideas, just not really sure if they'll work.

The other thing that I can't work out in this situation, is how do I show him the grace and love of Jesus but at the same time communicate that what he is doing is just not on.

Meh. Please pray for this kid. I love these guys, and I love this area, and if it was God's plan for me to stay here and tell these kids about Jesus for the rest of my life I'd be rejoicing. But I'm really at a loss and it's quite hard. Youth group was terrible tonight, so bad that we've called it off for next week. We didn't even get to reading our Bibles.

I'm glad Jesus loves these kids. Even though it's been a bit hard lately I know they know that and I know they know it from hearing it from the Bible over the past couple of years. God's word will achieve what it wants, and maybe 30 years down the track while sitting in prison it'll click for them. Hopefully sooner.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I bought a new book today

It's called the Bible. Seemed as good a book as any to me.

Steve Gardner is blogging

That's right folks, the wait is over, head on over and check him out!

I nearly got in a fight with a 12 year old last night

I didn't really, but this boy wanted to fight me. I'm talking about the boy I mentioned here, who I'm not letting come back to youth group for a while. Oz tag went really well yesterday We had about 12 locals showing up to play, and one boy I hadn't met before. As the numbers grow you have to step up with the behaviour management. I had to send people off for racist remarks or physical threats, but the vibe was pretty good and the relationships are growing.

Anyway, as I was walking a couple of the kids home, said boy comes running up with his friends behind him threatening to punch one of the boys I was with. I had to step in between them for my friends safety, and suddenly he turns to me and we had one of those "eye to eye, stand real close to each other" moments, and not the romantic kind. It was all a bit surreal. There I am, face to face with this kid in this back street in Redfern at night, while he makes racial slurs at me, calling me white boy, and urging me to go home to my own country (insert many 'f' words in between), cars are having to slow down as they come by because there's all these kids on the street, some are jumping up and down yelling "punch him! punch him!", someone is throwing around this bag of mince meat (don't ask), and I'm standing there with my phone in hand ready to call the police as I tell him he doesn't want to get in any more trouble, all the time in bewilderment thinking "This kid is in year 7?!". It settled down after a while, and obviously he wasn't going to do anything, so he muttered a few abusive words and walked home.

But it is so bizarre, what were you doing in year 7? Did you have a curfew with the police?

I just remembered this morning, when my wife and I first met this boy in scripture when he was in year 4, he threatened to punch her in the face. He was also really inquisitive about God and asking really good questions. The other sad thing is he was one of the smartest kids in his grade, getting into the 'Opportunity Class'. It's real sad.

So he won't be coming back to Oz Tag for a while now, it's just too dangerous for the other kids. Come to think of it, in the years to come as they get older it's going to become much more dangerous for me. The more and more I'm with these kids and I see them on their turf, I realise how much inner city work is cross-cultural mission. Firstly, these kids aren't growing up with any of the inherent Christian values that most in Austrlia do, and secondly, how much if these kids are going to take a stand for Jesus it's really going to cost them with their peers. I couldn't imagine how to cope with such peer pressure and violent surroundings.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Essay Tip

When your writing an essay on a subject such as, I dunno, Thomas Cromwell and the English Reformation, don't just grab as many books as you can and look up Thomas Cromwell in the index and write down a lot of quotes. You'll get to a day before the assignment is due and know a whole bunch of disconnected things about Thomas Cromwell and nothing about the English Reformation.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Soccer will overtake Aussie Rules in Indigenous Communities

Thompson, 61, a handyman at Borroloola School who played Australian football in his younger days in Tasmania, says soccer is a natural sport for Aborigines because they are so agile and swift..."I'll make a brave prediction …soccer will eventually overtake Aussie rules up here because it is a global game,"

Awesome! Check out this article about an indigenous community who have rejected that odd shaped ball for the perfectly round one, and are apparently pretty good at using it!

I have to admit that even though I like Rugby League, I'd love it if Soccer became Australia's national sport. As a country we're so good at sport, and if everyone was into it I think we'd really make it on the world scene.

Where The Wild Things Are

The most exciting thing about this movie for me is that it's directed by Spike Jonze:

I'll have to go and buy the picture book for Noah now, so we can look forward to watching it together. I think I'll really enjoy this film, the trailer makes me go all tingly. The soundtrack sounds like it's going to be killer!

For more info on the book Where The Wild Things Are, check here, it's an American classic.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We should ditch Bible readings in Church

And replace them with Bible Hearings. It's the same thing essentially, just a different title. But I think the title says a lot. In our church service we always see ourselves as doing things, and it would be far more helpful if when the Bible was read we realised we are actually hearing the words of God being spoken to us then and there. We are the recipients of the word. We don't do anything to it, it is revealed to us.

It's not my idea, but a good friend of mine did it at his church. It was actually the first decision he made as a Pastor there. It apparently upset some people, but I think it's a really good idea.

NRL still has a long way to go

It was hard to try and read this seriously, this league player trying to defend his right for group sex:

How can he (David Gallop) tell us what we can do in our private lives? What if there's more women than guys, is that wrong, too?


"I do see what they're saying about risk; you just never know how a girl's going to react afterwards. You're not supposed to say it publicly, but everyone knows that if you're polite afterwards and pay her cab fare home you usually don't have any problems."

Form an orderly queue, ladies!

A long long way to go...

The rest of the article is here

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Cancer a gift" says Piper. If so, then what isn't?

In order to uphold the doctrine of God's sovereignty, Piper asks that we do not waste our cancer and see it as designed by God, and as a gift from God. It is a good thing to uphold God's sovereignty, and I do believe that God is in control of all that happens to us, both good and bad. But is it a mistake to call it a gift?

Cancer is wretched. It may result in fruit, but in itself it is not a good thing. Cancer is not what God intends for the body in the created order is it? It just doesn't seem right to therefore call it a gift

I find it hard to get past the logic of Piper, as well as the use of biblical texts I might add. But if cancer is a gift, what isn't? By calling cancer a gift because it was designed and given by God, we therefore call every single thing that happens in our entire lives whether good or bad a gift from God. Therefore everything is a gift, and nothing is not a gift. This does not seem right. Or have I missed something?

This post got me thinking about the issue, over at F&T.

NRL Sex Scandals on Four Corners Tonight

"Are there mothers around the country today looking at rugby league and saying, 'Do I want my son involved in this game, are these attitudes prevalent today, has it changed, are the NRL doing anything to wipe out these attitudes in the sport?' and that is really the question we have to answer."
Ferguson also questioned why the earlier Cronulla incident did not attract much publicity or action. "I think we all agree that is quite extraordinary in this case that such an event somehow managed to evade discussion at the time." From SMH

I had never much cared for the NRL until I moved to Redfern, and since then it always saddens me when I hear of stupidity and moral looseness of certain players which brings the game into disrepute. This quote is by Sarah Ferguson, a reporter for Four Corners, which is airing a story that will look at what they are calling the "Code of Silence" and the pack mentality that appears to be flourishing in the NRL. Should be an interesting watch.

What's the solution? Some clubs are thinking of banning the players from drinking, others are running education programs. I think they are only band aid solution to a deeper problem, which is moral. If this type of behaviour is to end, it will come about through repentance and a desire to seek good. Hopefully this will be from a recognition that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ricky Gervais on becoming an Athiest

Gervais became an atheist at the age of eight when Bob, his older brother by 11 years, asked him why he believed in God. "My mother went 'Bob!' and that was it. I knew she was hiding something and he was telling the truth. My tool to understanding throughout my life has been non-verbal communication, observing the minutia of human behaviour. It's in my acting and my writing and that was where it began."

His mum's word vs my mum's, I guess.

From the SMH

Friday, May 8, 2009

Apologies in advance

to whoever sits near me in our Greek exam today. This river of booger isn't drying up for a few days.

It's always a tough decision whether I should go for the big blows and have a period of clean, booger free breathing, or sit there continuously wiping my nose throughout the exam. It's hard to tell which is more annoying for those around me.

In praise of Andrew Katay, If I ever ran Moore College I'd make sure there was a booger room for exams, where you could blow, sniff and wipe conscience cleared.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sorry, you can't come to youth group...

About 6 months ago I suspended two guys from youth group for punching up one of the littler boys, in a completely unprovoked situation. Since then they hadn't been speaking to me as I saw them around the traps. They would literally ignore me if I approached them. Well they came to OZ tag yesterday which was awesome, and we all had a lot of fun, and hopefully the relationship between us will become much more positive as it used to be.

I'm not sure what to do if they want to come back to youth group though. One of them can be fairly disruptive and I fear he may make youth an unsafe place. Even though he is in yr 7, I've heard he has started "rolling" (mugging) people, and his Mum told me she had previously called the police because he was hitting her. This was the same boy who once said Jesus was more important to him than footy.

It's a strange position to be in, not allowing a child to come to a place where he'll hear about Jesus. Kinda sucks.

Monday, May 4, 2009

So we're thinking of buying a dog

Not now of course, as Amelie is still mental (she really is mental, I just can't stress the mental factor enough) and our landlords may say no. But if we get one, I would want one of these;
or, perhaps more sensibly, one of these;

But I'm just not sure if I can bring myself to own a breed with such a dorky name

Pumpkin Soup!

The Apostle Paul would rejoice at Mars Hill in Australia

The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. (Phi 1:17-18 NIV)

I don't think Driscoll has the wrong motives of course. I mean he might. But do you get my point? Paul is in prison, and people are preaching the gospel to cause him further anguish, yet his biggest concern and joy is that the gospel is being preached!

So lets critique and think all this Driscoll stuff through. It's dangerous if we don't. But I think before we criticise Driscoll about his methods or the effectiveness of Mars Hill in Australia, first and foremost we ought to be very glad and celebrate because the gospel is advancing through the preaching of Christ. I think we (and I'm guilty of this) have a tendency to go straight to what we think is wrong with everything, which sometimes causes us to miss the point.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wright on a tight budget and schedule

I'm not convinced by New Perspectives, but I do find NT Wright on it convincing, and definitely think he is important to read. This is especially the case if we are going to say we have an opinion on the issue. However, like me you may not have the time to read one of his books at the moment, so if you have a spare 15 minutes you may like to start here. It's a short piece written by the man himself, outlining his view on the Righteousness of God, Final judgement according to works, and justification.

Hope you find it helpful

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Chaser Arrested Again

This time for flying over the Vatican, which is a no-fly zone. As much as I love watching, and appreciate The Chaser, this time I hope they get charged for it. Well, I hope they get charged for it in the sense that I hope they don't get away with it simply because they are cheeky celebrities and everybody likes them. The law is the law.

Read more here

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our house looks like a bomb has hit it

It is getting worse and worse. Washing is lying everywhere, my desk and the table is just getting stacked higher and higher with all kinds of junk, and don't even get me started on the washing up. It's all part of the fun of having children.

Here's the kicker, now that BOTH children have gone to sleep, Sarah and I have a little time to ourselves. Do we spend that time cleaning up, or do we do something we both enjoy and relax (in my case, my doctrine readings)? What would you do?

Sars and I have opted for relaxing. She's gardening, I'm doing this and reading doctrine. The house is disgusting.

What ever happened to me?

When you get married, you realise how selfish and self-centered you are. Then you have a child, and that realisation increases tenfold. Then you have another...

I'm not sure how much more realisation I can deal with