Tuesday, March 30, 2004
RLP's Recalcitrant Raccon Part 3
I have been reading a lot recently on the emerging church. I have posted links on this site and referenced a number of the other weblogs also discussing this. I have also taken the step of thinking outside of the online community and started cross referencing some ideas and thoughts with other people.
Here are some basics that I think need to be successfully dealt with for this "new" phenomenon to really survive ("There is nothing new under the sun" Eccl 1:9)
I would love to see your comments, and will myself add to this in the future as I think through it more.
Theology (or the study of God) is broken into many schools of thought. There are major schools of thought and within each there are splinter groups. For the emerging church to be truly trans-denominational than a lot of these schools of thought will need to be harmonious (at least on the major items). Note I didn't say all. I believe there are some schools of thought that are heretical, and would not therefore fit into this mold. These would be self evident by their unwillingness to join the ranks and agree to agree.
Standards and principles (beliefs)
I think that there must be some compulsory belief statements. Some will hold their hands up in horror, but I stand by this. The Bible is clear that there are certain issues on which we must be clear. I'll take a stand and say no to gay clergy, (not no to gay members), no to liberal theology that does not hold the whole of the Bible as the revealed word of God, No to cults that add their own "inspired" piece of dogma, and not to anti-biblical and anti-God attitudes and practices. Eg Moloch worshippers, pagan rituals and other occultist practices. There are more but you get the idea. The Bible is clear on these matters, and I have no problem stating these as fact.
There is a thought that the Emerging church must have an emerging theology; that is redefine theology. I disagree. We have 2000 years of church history and many creeds and confessions that define statements of belief for us, the Westmnister Confession of Faith and the Nicene Creed, the London Baptist Confession and many others. The emerging church needs to identify itself, not with one of these, but with most of them, and from there define itself by its other qualities of community and tradition.
One of the criticisms leveled at the traditional church structures are their lack of relevancy to the masses. 10% of Australia regularly attends church on a Sunday. What do the other 90% do? Why don't they attend, when 50 years ago over 50% attended. Is it really lack of relevancy, or is it simply apostasy and agnosticism. I would suspect a mixture of the tow, and would go as far as to say that the emerging church will still not be relevant to all or even most of the population. Yet we must realise that a cultural battle has been fought and largely won by the anti-Christian culture, in most cases without the Christians even knowing it was going on. That is why I agree with Gary North that the battle that Mel Gibson has started is a battle for the culture of our western nations.
So an emerging church has the chance to develop its own community, of ordinary everyday people, waitresses and barmen, students and teachers, plumbers and electricians, public servants and taxi drivers. Relevance will come from meeting where they are at, authenticity will come from adherence to the Biblical standards and principles espoused above.
Alan makes a valid point regarding the superstructures of institutionalised churches, and the power corruption that can occur. Here's his final comment on the linked post "That's why when we read the New Testament we find no evidence of denominational superstructures; we find no complex hierarchy. We find the local church overseen by elders. When we go beyond that we'll always run into trouble."
Local community should have local leadership. Leadership comes from within the community and is chosen according to the New Testament principles for Godly leadership found in Timothy and Titus. Anything else is to suggest we know better.
Tradition (or practices)
Just as people relate to anecdotal stories when learning, so communities, whether they be churches, sport clubs. community minded lions clubs or even extended families, have traditions that they feel comfortable with. These create a sense of identity and belonging that help people connect. Initiation ceremonies are a way of enforcing tradition upon newcomers. I'm not suggesting initiation here, rather well thought out practices that become traditions We don't have to look too far for the obvious, the sacraments, the Lords supper or whatever name you know it by is the most obvious, singing songs and praising God also. Each community will find its own idiosyncrasies will turn into traditions. The key to remember is that tradition for tradition's sake is largely meaningless. Tradition is merely a method of connection, and should not be performed as a ritual or by rote. Rather it should be like a comfortable old pair of slippers; slipped on to provide the function of warmth.
There are probably a few other major headings, and I will not pretend that I have either covered all of the major topics, or even covered these well. Rather I am laying out for discussion a number of items for discussion and debate. Feel free to comment.
Monday, March 29, 2004
Real Live Preacher has got a Raccoon
RLP is a site I read regularly. However his recent posts are a little different from the normal repartee. He is wrestling with a resident raccoon. (I refuse to apologise for the alliteration)
Check back later for the continuation of this story.
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Enfolded in her arms of love
I'm the luckiest man alive
One breath away from the end of the day
I've found that peace for which I strive
Now do I get up out of bed
To write the thoughts I find
Or do I take the chance that sleep
Will not erase them from my mind
(Obviously I didn't take the chance)
Tony Abbot Speech
Tony Abbot (The Australian Federal Minister for Health and Aging and the Leader of the House of Representatives) gave a speech on the 16th of March about Christian politicians in Australia.
This is awesome.
Thanks Rodney for the link.
Darren wrote an article today about the talk he is preparing for his national leadership.
Heres my comment on his article
You have to tell them this story - they have to know.
Thats the point of the emerging church in my mind - to be relevant.
The traditional structure has completely lost it, and the more evangelical churches while more "friendly" are not real enough. I generalise here but they are 80% full of Sunday only Christians - and that shows.
Real Christianity is meeting with people like Jo where she is at. Well done on how you handled that - you now have a chance for conversation with her later, and maybe an invite to a "real church".
One last comment. I remember street witnessing years ago (in the 80's) with a bunch of well meaning guys and gals, however when it came to the crunch - we failed miserably. One of the guys had bought a brand new leather jacket - nice tan soft and supple leather - man was he proud of it. A homeless dude spurned the tract that was offered and quoted the verse about giving them your jacket when they take your coat. He asked - dude will you give me your coat if you are real about this? My friend couldn't do it and in our debrief afterwards, we all realised that we couldn't have either. We are NOT saved by works (by grace alone), but by our works are we known.
Too many people like Jo see the fancy buildings and the empty words and are never connected with the reality that is Jesus in us. Whose fault is that...
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Religion & Philosophy & Politics
Religion from Wayne
Mr. Codswallop: St. Paul says when you become a man you must put away childish thingg.
Mr. Flapdoodle: He also said to take a little wine for the stomach. I followed that advice. One out of two isn't bad. Kinda like a coin toss.
Philosophy found while surfing - Nagel's Bat Argument
and finally (anti)Politics from Little Red Boat
Why Do I Blog?
John inspired this topic.
I was so engaged by his article, and by his readers comments that I have written my own here.
I started blogging in November 2003.
Still in all the busyness of Life I have found time to write.
I guess thats because there is so much to write about, and emptying my brain of observatons and experiences helps me analyse myself and the world around me as well as making room for more information in my brain.
I also blog for another reason.
I am creating a family dynasty and want my children and grandchildren to have some idea of their forefather and his family. I want my blog to evolve with me as I become more mature and patriarchal. I am trying to encourage my father and mother to record their life's stories too. My grandparents had one essay done on them by myself and my sister and I think that is the extent of written infomation about their lives, and I dont even know if they have been kept by my mum. I dont want that to happen to my parents or my generation.
Thanks to all the other commenters to John's post for their input.
15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction.
16 He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious place free from restriction,
to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
I liked this a lot.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
I saw the saddest thing yesterday at the train station. A young boy of around 10-12 smoking a cigarette. He was in the company of an older boy around 15-16. The young kid was even spitting out between drags. I felt so sad that in 10-15 years time this kid will be totally addicted to a crippling financially and health wise, habit.
What is it with woman and fashion?
Some women have NO IDEA about clothes. A young lass walked onto the platform, maybe 20 or so. She was wearing a mid thigh mini, white with exaggerated brown pinstripes, teamed with a pink jumper. Nothing wrong with that. But she was also wearing a pair of brown baggy slacks that were so long she was walking on the cuffs with her shoes. Just totally ruined the effect. Another lady, whose body mass had concentrated itself between her sternum and her thighs was wearing skin tight pedal pushers and an off the shoulder tee that was stretched tightly over her belly. If you are shaped like an orange, why wear clothes that accentuate your disproportionate fat distribution. Hey, either have some liposuction or wear something flattering. This lady wasn't very fat at all and could have worn something less tight that still showed off her shapely calves and ankles without drawing attention to the roll of fat around her middle.
Well that's my rant for the day.
On the positive side, most people I saw were dressed nicely.
I like this prediction by Thijs van der Vossen. I concur.
Technorati is now running its Beta site as its main site. It is a great tool.
The 46 best freeware utilities
Here are my picks from that list
Gadwin PrintScreen Easy and functional Print Screen capture program.
DLL Archive ckean your PC pf unused DLLs.
YahooPOPs Read your Yahoo mail on your own PC email client for free.
Real Account Awesome Outlook Addin.
Bookmark Bridge Synchronise browser bookmarks.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Blogger Idol Week 9 - Childhood Treasures
This weeks topic is "Childhood Treasures"
Visitors for Sunday Lunch
All my life as a kid, I can barely remember a Sunday where we didn't either have visitor's for lunch or special rarity - we were invited somewhere. My parents had a policy of either planning to invite someone for lunch, or finding whoever didn't have somewhere to go. For most of my teens I (as the eldest child) was in charge of preparing Sunday roast. I prepared the meat, floured and salted it, put it in to the oven to cook, peeled and washed spuds, pumpkin, carrots, parsnips and sometimes kumara and put them in the roasting pan. Then it was off to church and let's see who we can bring home today. Often one of my school buddies came regardless of who else might be invited. His family were not Christians, so Mum and Dad took it on themselves to provide a home for him to be welcome in after church, to discuss spiritual matters and to hang out with me and my sister.
I met many fascinating and diverse people from all nationalities, creeds, social standing, political leanings and religious persuasion. We had eastern philosophy people, naturists and commune dwellers, hitchhikers and backpackers, over seas tourists, visiting preachers and missionaries as well as folks from our own area.
Consequently I learnt my racial tolerance from my parents, who truly love all men as their brothers and sisters.
In the last few years we have started to do the same thing with our family, starting small and building up. We have held BBQ's after church in a local park next to a dam where there are great facilities and a cool playground. We are teaching our children the value of a stable home and friends the same way I was taught.
This Sunday just gone we invited some friends from church (met the week before - but have known of for many years.) They have been in Ukraine as missionaries (in fact he is from Ukraine) and we had a great time with them.
On Saturday we are going to McDonalds with some visiting speakers to our church from a couple of weeks ago.
This Thursday we extend further, we are starting a weekly discussion group for some of our neighbours.
Thanks Mum and Dad for the lessons learnt, the relationships formed and the experiences of meeting all those people.
We look forward to continuing your legacy.
Sunday, March 21, 2004
So the music companies are losing money beause of 12 yr old online kids swapping files?
Kazaa sued again - only this time its for its own software by an ex employee.
Great article about web design by Gerry McGovern
Tim Henman beats Andy Roddick
Popcorn Victim wins $20M Damages
Lord of the Rings - Hometown Acclaim for Kiwi director Peter Jackson
This is a cool superhero site
Check out all the photos and jewellery.
Thanks Judith for the link
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Sweet CSS Code
Check this beta site out for a really clean flexible 3 column layout
Thanks to the boys at Glish for the coding ideas along with these sites
Pixy for his cool CSS colour scheme code generator
W3C for awesome tutorials
AWPA - Australian Web Publishers Association for excellent HTML references
and Doug (though he doesnt know it!)
I shall have to modify my column settings now...
Code Code Code
Dinner and kids
Soccer Soccer soccer
Conan the Barbarian - with a lot of snoring cos i fell alseep thru most of it!
Some CSS code
Thursday, March 18, 2004
32 Degrees in the shade
I have written an article for the Brisvegas Bloggers and Brisneyland
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Paint your day Green - St Patrick's Day!
Can you see that I wore a green shirt to hide the ugliness of my bald head?
Go to Lypton Village to check out the rest of the Paint Your Day Green entries.
Shave for a Cure
Today I participatd in the World's Greatest Shave for a Cure
I know it was supposed to be last week but I was set up by one of my client's staff. They raised $200 to see me go bald and when I went there today out came the clippers!
Here is the evidence.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Blogger Idol Week 9 - Letter to a Celebrity
This weeks topic is "Letter to a Celebrity"
To Ciaran McMeamin, Kiefer Sutherland and Robert Carlyle
I watched your movie tonight - the one David Cunningham directed. That's right "To End All Wars".
It was a powerfully moving story of how love and forgiveness can overcome hatred, revenge and "bloody justice".
I was struck by how the message which was enshrouded by inconceivable conditions on that railway slave gang, while so obvious to the viewer, was yet so foreign to those individuals bound by honour and false morality to not buckle from their positions of hatred. I am reminded that as apparent as the story of forgiveness seems to me, to others it is foreign. This is why some people reject God outright, and others receive Him openly. (For me the most moving part of the Passion of the Christ was the flashback to the mount of olives where He gave the Sermon on the Mount to love your enemies; this flashback occurring cinematically while Jesus was being crucified.)
Thanks for making such a powerful film David Cunningham. I knew someone who was there. He died a few years ago now, but Jock Neeson was a man who found God on that railway and while he never talked about the horrors of the jungle and those POW camps, he would often talk freely in his Scottish accent about how God had found him and rescued him.
Thanks for reminding me of the reality of racial hatred, and how the solution is so simple yet so foreign to so many people. We are all humans, no matter what our racial origin. As I held and looked at my 5 week old daughter tonight while she was sleeping in my arms, I knew that your film told us to be like her in innocence of other races apparent differences and freely celebrate the brotherhood of all mankind.
So Gidday from Down Under (or on top depending which side you are on!) and thaks for a brilliant film - I give it 5/5.
A Must See.
Blogger Idol Week 8 - Judging Time
Last weeks topic was "I Confess"
My top picks from the other entries.
The funny ones...
Codswallop and Flapdoodle
Where the hell was I
and the romantic ones...
Ian's Messy Desk
Saturday, March 13, 2004
What a great day today!
I got a power of work done this morning while the kids were at the birthday party. So this afternoon while waiting for a colleague to deliver some information we went off to the beach and played in rockpools with crabs and snails and things, then swam in the lagoon. Off to the "eat all you can" seafood restaurant where we ran amok and gorged on seafood! These kids can eat their weight in prawns I reckon, and Miranda always has a go at the crab. Jadeen and Erin both had a go at the octopus and I ate 1 1/2 dozen oysters, 1 1/2 dozen mussels and 1/2 dozen octopii, along with hoki and salmon etc. Judith ate more desert than she should have! YUM!
Excel Tip of The DayUsing a slider to control values in a cell
This is a cool function that can assist you to make easy to use adjustable tables.
Using the example of a mortgage, I used the loan wizard in Excel (under New Worksheet) to create a mortgage example. (Download Sample File). I then added a graph of the closing balance.
So now we have a nice looking chart that shows the closing balance of our mortgage over time.
Lets say we want to add the ability to easily change the additional payments and see graphically what that will do to our loan timeline.
From the Forms toolbar select the scroll bar. Then drag your mouse over where you want it on your sheet while depressing the left button.
Now right click the control and select format control. Set it up as follows.
Now you can scroll up and down and as you do the additional payments changes by $10 a time, and the loan balance jumps accordingly. Clicking in the slider will cause it to page up or page down at $100 a time. Obviously you can make these settings what ever you desire for any application where you need to rapidly change 1 (or more) variable and see the results.
Friday, March 12, 2004
Big couple of days. Lots of work has meant little time for family. I don't like this situation.
Today I even tried to take a break from work to play with the kids but was so exhausted I fell asleep.
Now I am doing the work that I didn't do then.
Tomorrow the kids are going to a 5 year old birthday party with some friends. I am taking that time to do work at home without distractions. We have been so busy in the last couple of months we haven't even had a birthday party for Jadeen. - She turned 5 in December and we had put off her party til after the holidays so we could invite her friends who were away, then we had to delay for some other stuff, then the baby was born and then its been work work work! We have to have it soon though. She will be 5 1/4 in 2 weeks time. Fortunately she doesn't seem worried when we talk about it with her.
The older kids are all enjoying the new baby.
I have also been deepening my relationships with my siblings and enjoying that too.
Happy Birthday Jono for yesterday!
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Wow! - Where do I start?
I am pretty much going to paste in the notes I took through the movie (Yes I am a tech geek and used my iPAQ to take notes as I watched!) and comment further on each. Then I will summarise my thoughts and impressions at the end. Note: This is my opinion only. If you don't agree fine - feel free to comment by clicking on the comments link below. I am interested in responses to my thoughts and opinions and also to alternative impressions.
I recognized the humanity of Jesus in the garden
I think this was the first time I ever connected with Jesus' humanity - the human struggle with the terrible decision and the willpower it took to determine to go through with it. The temptation to quit must have been horrendous - and to not do his Father's will. The 40 days of temptation in the desert must have paled into nothing beside this. In perspective, our struggle with sin, that point of temptation where we know we can back out, or go ahead and sin anyway becomes petty beside the discipline of this man who was truly God.
I related to Peter when he denied.
The pain and "unworthiness" of Peter knowing he gave into the temptation to deny and then the realisation of what he did. I am going to re-read the passage in John where Jesus forgives him.
I felt for Mary in the whipping scene - that she didn't yet understand how the promised salvation would come, just that it would come.
Mel's direction indicated to me that her belief was unshakable, in spite of not knowing. Whether this is artistic licence with the passages about her witnessing the event, or catholic tradition I don't know. He certainly gave her a very human touch later. Note to non catholics. There is very strong catholic symbolism in Mary wiping up the blood on the floor. Correct me if I got this wrong but to a catholic, the sacraments (bread and wine) actually transform into Jesus' body and blood when blessed by the priest. An accidental spilling is reverently wiped up. This is an example of artistic licence and panders to Mel's Catholicism. I can not find any reference to this in the gospels. It doesn't affect the movie at all. If anything it helps to develop Mary's character well.
And what is with the ugly hairy grinning baby?
The character development of Jesus was shallow.
Admittedly I wrote this just after the whipping scene. At this point the only real character development I had noted was through the use of the flashbacks. As others have noted this is very skilfully done, and it does help to fill out the story a bit. It also breaks up the brutality. Once again this is a movie construct, and artistic license. Of course there is no way we can actually know what Jesus was thinking of during this time. Thus it is very hard for character development to occur. I think the couple of times he tried to rise up and "take the lashes like a man" and the fact that he didn't break mentally was the extent of the attempt to depict the courage and unshakeable resolve. I felt this was a little lacking and that Mel had to resort to the flashbacks to attempt to generate some "reasoning behind actions". Thinking about this afterwards, I realise just how hard a project this was. How do you show the character of a man who suffers this event when he only speaks 6 or 7 times during the whole thing? Especially when all the accounts of the event are written by onlookers and barely describe emotion or facial expression etc. In Mel's favour I would have to say that his character development of Mary was awesome and also Simon of Cyrene. To me these two characters were the main characters (besides Jesus).
Once again I related to Mary's emotion in running to Jesus' side when he fell.
This scene is an intertwined flashback for Mary of a time when Jesus as a boy of about 5-6 tripped and fell and Mary ran to his side as any mother would. At the same time in the movie she is running to Jesus' side as he falls under the weight of the cross. I cried as I recognised the parent's emotion in me here. Mel has children also, and I am sure this was a natural construct to add to the movie. It certainly worked with me.
The physical damage was such that he was half dead from loss of blood by the time he got to the cross
If the depiction of the treatment to this point was accurate - and it must be close at least, then Jesus was physically not far from dead before he actually got to be crucified. There is an obvious contrast with the two other criminals who are much stronger and fitter, and need their legs broken in order to hasten their death.
The connection to love those who persecute you was extremely contrasting to a situation from where he was surrounded by those who loved him to where he was surrounded by enemies
This note was written during when they were preparing to nail to the flashbacks of his sermon on the mount. He acts his sayings here by loving those who hurt him as they were hurting him. What a lesson for us.
The nails were horrible
That's all I'm going to say.
The Romans were pretty immune to this. It was just a job. Hurry up so we can get out of the sun and back to the barracks for a cool drink.
To the roman soldiers brutality was a part of life. For hundreds of years their history as soldiers had been a series of long bloody brutal campaigns of conquering nations and then putting down uprisings. Sure there were some sadists amongst them, particularly during the whipping, but you got to put this in context. This was no special person to them. He was just another stupid criminal silly enough to make claims of kingship and then be made a public spectacle of. Most of the officers were above getting involved, but they understood that to humour the men and give them something to lash out at when they were in a very sensitive political situation where they couldn't afford to make mistakes with the normal public makes a lot of sense.
Caiaphas resolve and apparent cruelty and disinterest in the earlier scenes becomes clear when he has Jesus on the cross and as a parting argument in a theological debate tells him to come down. He thinks he has won and restored his threatened position as the religious benchmark.
I initially though Caiaphas was portrayed fairly cynically as the bad evil dude, something I found hard to understand, in spite of my knowledge of the story. This final scene where he verbally confronts Jesus changed this for me, and shows insight into Mel's development of the character of the High Priest. Politically and theologically Caiaphas had a huge amount to lose by Jesus being who he said he was. He had tried several times before this to get rid of Jesus, once even with an attempted stoning. Now he finally has him - on trumped up charges and by skillfully publicly manipulating a compromised Pilate. His final sum up from a debating perspective is this. "You prove you are who you say you are and come down from there." Man that must have been a temptation for Jesus, though interestingly Mel doesn't use Satan in this scene or use this to further show Christ's resolve. (I thought a cut to a legion of angels standing by for the word to go would have been appropriate, as well as thought flashes of what Jesus would like to do to Caiaphas - presented by the devil as an alternative to staying on the cross - would have really strengthened this moment.) However it does allow Caiaphas a dramatic exit stage left as he stalks off having won his debate. Unfortunately he doesn't understand that he is debating the wrong supposition. Christ is there for much higher purposes than arguing a theological point with Caiaphas.
The effort displayed to ensure his mother's wellbeing was incredible
This scene was very moving for me as Christ expended valuable energy to make two statements to ensure that his mother would be looked after. Sadly John is a very two dimensional character throughout the movie.
The ending was just surreal.
I didn't like the ending. Don't know how it could be done different - but it left too much unsaid, unexplained, and it left you with no understanding of the hope provided by the resurrection.
First of all the violence. This was not a violent movie. Sure I wouldn't take kids to it, and it deserved the MA15 rating that it got here in Australia. I cannot for the life of me understand the R rating it got in the States. The only thing that I could suggest was the nails, but even then you didn't actually see the nail penetrate the flesh.
I know this says something about the movies I have watched in my life that I am not altogether proud of but I can think of several movies way more violent than this.
I think that the movie is brutal, and at times gory, but it is realistic. I believe that a movie that deliberately sets out to shock the senses with graphic (pornographic in a non sexual way) violence though the use of sadistic deliberate torture for mere entertainment purposes, even if that is intended by the movie makers to force the viewer to think in some bizarre twisted way is far worse than viewing a dramatic recreation of an established historical event, where we have plenty of evidence about the methods employed.
Movies that recreate the violence and horror of modern day war are far more graphic, Saving Private Ryan and We Were Soldiers Once and Young are two that spring to mind. They graphically illustrate the depravity of man, and the barbarism that is employed to "resolve" conflict. Sometimes this is necessary but the subject of another debate. Point is I didn't find this movie violent beyond what I felt was realistic. To me it was more brutally realistic than gratuitous movie violence.
I believe that people who argue this is violent are probably saying that to avoid the guilt trip that comes from recognising that their sin is what placed Jesus there in the first place, and the inability to own up to and confess their fallen nature and surrender to the grace of God. The gospel is a stumbling block and offensive to those who don't want to hear.
Regarding the talk about anti-Semitism. This movie is about as anti-Semitic as a bowl of milk. I simply cannot understand how someone could say that, unless it was once again in an attempt to assuage their guilt and take the spotlight off themselves.
One small criticism. There is some inconsistency in the cross scenes that got my critical movie goers goat. The soldiers have to stretch Jesus arms to get the second nail in. Shortly after there is a camera angle looking up from about his waist where he is hanging down from the cross bar, hands conveniently out of the picture, but to get this picture his arms would have to either be longer or his hands were no longer where they were nailed. The very next camera angle cuts to a face view where his arms are very clearly in line with the bar again. Not sure whether this was simply camera angles playing visual tricks or an attempt to show the way that a crucified person has to thrust themselves up to breathe or a mistake.
Just me being picky.
See the movie. Be convicted. Find a Bible. Read Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Decide whether you want to live your way or God's way. Seek help. Email me if you want.
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Blogger Idol Week 8
This weeks topic is "I Confess"
I must admit (pun intended) that I was dumbfounded by this week's topic. I had visions of all sorts of posters confessing sordid stories. That didn't interest me at all.
Next I turned my thoughts to confessions that I could make on the internet that would be interesting to read. Hmmm. Nup.
Past loves? Big Nup
Then I finally twigged. This is the chance to tell the story of my conversion. Hold tight. This is the short version!
I was raised in a Christian home, but as my dad always says "a mouse born in a biscuit tin is still a mouse." I understood that I needed a relationship with God that was of my own choice. At the age of 12 I was convicted of my sinful nature at a camp and decided to become a Christian. For the next 5 years I struggled with being a teenager and growing up and living a "Christian life". I didn't realise it but I was setting myself up for a fall. I had my life set up based on the practical outworking of Christianity and head knowledge. I did and said and read all the right stuff (at least publicly) but I wasn't converting that to my heart. Big changes were to come.
At 18 I left home to attend a tertiary institution. From here life started to get complicated. I discovered girls and they confused the heck out of me. I was still attending church but with my first car came freedom to do what I wanted. That was party. At first it was on the fringes. Then at 20 I left for the "big smoke" and got my taste of real partying. Here I started to drink also. Finally I came to a crux point. I realised I couldn't be a hypocritical Christian anymore. I was either going to be a 100% Christian or quit. So for 1 week I gave it my best shot. About Thursday I screwed up and that was it. I chucked it all in.
For the next 3 years life was pretty much a blur. There was a lot of sport, partying, binge drinking, girls and drugs. I don't remember a lot of the details but I do have clear memories of some specific events. Becoming demon possessed was a huge thing. I remember that very clearly. I even deliberately pursued the feeling that gave me.
Finally God brought me to my knees with a series of accidents that culminated in my losing my job through inability to attend work because of illness. At this point my loving parents rescued me. My Dad came and collected me, drove me round while I sold almost everything I owned in an attempt to pay all my debts. I went home and spent a good deal of time talking to my mentor Ross. He never ever judged me and for that I was so very thankful. I confessed my sins and accepted Christ into my life as the sacrificial gift from God for me on 20th May 1993. I was also released from the control of the 5 demons that plagued me.
Life wasn't easy from then on. However I knew that I no longer had to be a 100% Christian. Christ did that for me. My responsibility was to live for him and confess my mistakes and errors, ask for forgiveness and move on.
Tomorrow night I go to see the Passion. I am planning on doing a lot of crying and will take a box of tissues.
I'll talk to you afterwards.
Blogger Idol Week 7 Results
This weeks topic is "Play"
My top picks from the other entries.
Ians Messy Desk Blog wordplay
News, Rants, Soliloquies and Reveries Backyard Cricket
Our Hangout Toys and life
Cliff Between the Lines The day the music died - and came back
Violet Pappy learns to play
Wake, Shower, Ride Motorbike, Train in Outlook, Ride Home, Lunch snack, Work, Bank, Work, Play with Kids, Clean Bird Cage, Clean Pool, Stop Fights, Work, Eat Dinner, Work, Say Goodnight to Kids, Wife Time, Work, Blog, Bed.
Monday, March 08, 2004
Had a 12 hour KROSTEch LAN saturday.
Today I went to church twice and worked through the afternoon.
Now I need sleep and am gong to bed.
See you when I wake up!
Saturday, March 06, 2004
Shiite Muslim Ashoura Ritual
Joshua Claybourne posts some images (purportedly) from this festival.
A fascinating thread of comments follows the orignal post.
Andrew Hamilton has written a definition of the emerging church. I think our church is just starting to cross into stage 5 now. Its exciting to be involved.
For me the emerging church is just obvious. I'll start with what it's not.
It's not a rebellion against hierarchical church structures.
It's not a new "branding" of church.
It's not an attempt to be relevant even although that is certainly a result, but it's not what it is.
It's not a more professional business structure type of organisation, though that certainly helps.
I think the emerging church is simply what church is meant to be.
If you read through Acts the definition of an emerging church is everywhere. It is relational, missional and relevant. It looks after people who need looking after (widows, orphans etc) though redistribution of God blessed wealth. It reaches out to the lost where the lost are using tools the lost recognise not as tools, but as real people seeking to be of real help.
People like Andrew Hamilton, Darren Rowse, epitomise those who are moving forward, not worrying about definitions, just getting the job done.
Too many people I know consider "religion" to be the TV News stereotypical image of the priest in long robes and a pointy hat ceremonially parading down a cathedral naive flanked by sycophants waving smoking candles and smiling altar boys singing angelically.
They have dismissed this wholeheartedly as having any relevance for them and I can see why.
Emerging church reaches these people with real religion where they are at.
We are having a storm here - kids have all piled into bed with Mum - Dad was in bed with Mum - now Dad's in the office on the pc!.
We have had a flood again - at least we have had water getting into things and about 4 inches lapping around the back of the house and flooding across the yard.
Sorry - the pics didnt come out well - camera was low on batteries and the house kept moving around while we were taking the photos!
Friday, March 05, 2004
Andrew Harding the BBC Correspondent reports from Uganda and the recent killings there. Scary stuff.
The Register has a follow up article to the Internet Governance Issue
The War of The Worms heats up!
St Patricks Day is Coming
Amanda at Lypton Village suggests Paint your Day Green
I'll let you know what I am going to do when I decide - or maybe after the event - we will see...
Thursday, March 04, 2004
My day today
This blog is supposed to be about me as well as the fascinating things I find out there on the web
So for those who want to know the next installment, well guess what - today I had a great day!
You see I only ever have great days - or sometimes fantastic ones. I choose to have great days and believe it or not they turn out that way - always.
You heard the definition of optimists and pessimists as being people who look at a part filled glass of water as half full and half empty respectively.
I have chosen to become a SUPER OPTIMIST. I see the glass as completely full. Half water and the other half air (or H2O on the bottom and on top a mixture of O2, CO2, N, H and a few other trace elements for the scientists amongst us!)
So today was a great day.
I went and delivered my proof of concept code to the client and got a blanket go ahead to develop the technical scientific application. Without breaking confidentiality this is high tech manufacturing physics - stress loads, metal shear coefficients, etc for mega multi million dollar machinery that operates over several kilometers in length. So I'm rapt that my design skills have got me the job. Even better he paid me on the spot for the work done to date - so that will keep the wolf from the door for a week or so!
From there to lunch and a blood test, then drop Jude and Miranda at the mall and went to lick the middle two kids up from preschool. They were excited to see me - nothing better than scanning a playground for your kids to hear "DADDY" from one followed by "DADDY" from the other one and to see two little darlings running full tilt into your arms!
They have such fun there. Today Jade wanted to know why I was "early". She wanted to keep playing. We are always early to pick them up - don't like leaving them there for more than 5-6 hours.
Then off to the mall where I picked up my new toy (oops tool!) for the office. We got walkabout handsfree speaker phones with a digital answering machine built in. I have been getting more and more frustrated with trying to hold a phone to my head while I work with clients on the phone. Now I have two portable speaker phones! Got them cheaper than retail too! They were shelf display stock (funny that I chose the only combination in the store that they didn't have in the shelf already boxed!
So the batteries are charging for 24 hours (yeah right!) waiting for me to get at them and learn how they work. (Already read the manual!)
They are Doro DECT 5045.
Then home for a power snooze before dinner - lying on the floor with phone instruction manual on my face so I could absorb its contents.
Then off to the office to work. Right now I am helping the girl next door do her school assignment on the causes of World War 1. Fascinating tool the internet. Even found copies of the original treaties and alliance documents between Germany, Prussia, Hungary etc.
See - another
Mark Shea writes an awesome review
Secret agent Man does too.
He Lives dispels many myths about the movie and points to some other great reviews.
I am going to see it next Wednesday with our church. Dont spoil the ending for me please...
Spam the Spammers
Pedro offers this interesting piece of html code to get back at the spammers with!
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Church Web Development
Rivers Baptist Church is running a 40 Days of Purpose program this year. Here is the Web site I have been in charge of developing.
Couldn't have done it without the invaluable support and technical expertise of Rohan at RDSSA, Editor Rebecca and Photographer and Graphics Anna. Thanks Guys and Gals!
Andy has done a great job here
He has started a read through the Bible in a year project, and is writing commentary as he goes. He supplies a link to an online Bible for the text he's reading also. I am finding this very useful. He is currently in Job; a book I hadn't read for a long time.
Take the time to check this out and enjoy the Word.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Electronic Frontier Foundation poses a very well written solution to the current P2P file sharing music situation. You may be aware of the court cases surrounding firms like Napster and KaZaa.
Check my previous posts here.
All you ever wanted to know about syndication.
Actually I am mostly posting research I have aggregated from a bunch of other web sites on syndication here.
I have had an atom XML feed for a while - since blogger made it available actually. See button on the left hand side.
I have also been using Intravnews for my aggregator - which incidentally can't open atom XML feeds yet. But the developers say it is coming and as it is free I will wait.
But aggregators are the way to go - they allow you to subscribe to feeds from web sites. In short, a piece of code that is published every time a web site updates allowing you to see that in your aggregator. Intravnews tightly integrates with Outlook so I don't have to have another software application running. The blog posts appear just as they do on the web site, and you can also subscribe to a Haloscan user's comments (provided you know their Haloscan username). Thus you can quickly get updates on blogs as they post, without having to check them all just in case!
Here then are a bunch of links to getting you started with finding out about syndication and aggregators.
These two pages will give you a stack of links that will assist you so I won't bother recreating all the links here.