Posted by Tom French |

Reading

Today Jem and I went and saw Elizabethtown. That was a pretty fun film. Orlando if pretty good looking. I can see why girls find him hot. He was a bit of a pansy as Legolas though. Not that Orlando's looks were the highlight of the movie, I just noticed it. In a manly, hetro kinda way.

The memoral scene was pretty special. I was impressed.

Afterwards we went to the St Mary's Cathedral to see inside. It was very impressive. I reckon the nicest church in Sydney. Better then the Anglican Cathedral. I reckon we should see if we can swap for a bit. Run a Cathedral exchange program.

We folled this with a visit to the State Library. Wow, that was cool. Last time I went I was too scared to go into the big library. But since I had a friend I made it through. I looked though the catalogues and wondered about all the information that must be in the stack. So fun. Although I wasn't brave enough to figure it out. I'll have to take Lesley one day.

I read a book called Leviathan: The unauthorised biography of Sydney. I much enjoyed the first 13 pages. I want to go buy it. He's good that Birmo.

I had Chef's Lucky Noodles of dinner. No 31 with Thick Rice Noodles. Lovely!

Posted by Tom French |

Burn in Hell

Last night when I started my sermon I pretended to have a good rant about the prosperity doctrine. I got to say that anyone who preaches it is "spawn of Satan!" (which I don't believe.) It was way fun. And my favourite bit was saying "Come out! Come out and stand on the Truth that God wants you to be miserable and poor!" or something like that.

I hadn't really thought about whether or not it'd be fun before hand. I just decided it was the right thing for the job. But once I'd done it I wanted to do it again. I think I need to become an angrier preacher and call down more curses. That'd be heaps fun.

It's sad I don't think it's a very good idea.

Posted by Tom French |

From the Dust

"Music, as well as being the most dispensable of arts, is probably the hardest to throw off. It pursues...by strange means. Music lives beneath the soles of our feet. Given no encouragement music rises from the dust itself." - Tim Winton

Posted by Tom French |

Mr Miyagi has Died

Pat Morita, who played Mr Miyagi in The Karate Kid series, has died. He was 73.

That's sad.

From here.

Posted by Tom French |

Post-Podcast Comedown

The day after podcasting is always a hard one. I live in fear that this time I've oversteped the mark. I'm going to make someone, somewhere angry. That'll I'll get angry emails from parents of people in my youth group.

That hasn't happened yet, but it certainly is a fear. I guess I realise that most of the world doesn't find toilet humour as funny as I do. And that my humour, when it's at it's most offensive (eg characters making racist comments), is usually making the opposite point than is being espoused. It's scary because you're jumping between the extreamly childish and the social commentary (which is hopefully a little more grown up, although it's probably not much). I doubt anyone really comes away thinking "Yeah that really made me think." But I do at least hope that people don't come away saying "The world could do without that sort of thing."

Posted by Tom French |

Podcast 5: For Angus

Well here it is. The people I would like to appologise to this time are:
Indonesians and Michelle Leslie.

I'm sure one day I'll get in trouble for this.

Podcast 5

Posted by Tom French |

I love Chef's Lucky Noodle. I'm having it for the second Friday in a row. God is good!

I tried writing Sunday's sermon yesterday. It didn't work. It was like trying to give birth to a echidna, which I assume is rather difficult.

Posted by Tom French |

Ethical Conundrum

Fighting Men Small.jpg

I was walking to Community Dinner on Tuesday and I saw some guys across the road at the bus interchange, about 25 metres away (I was outside Forty Winks, they were at the Toilets near Jack's) start arguing with each other. There were four of them. I was intrigued. I'd been watching them for a little while because they looked to be doing the usual business that goes on in those toilets.

Anyway they started arguing. And as I was standing at the lights about to cross William St, they started fighting. There seemed to be two-on-two with punching and kicking and all the rest. Also at the lights with me was an old woman and a young guy. The young guy was extremely interested. He started saying "Get 'im! Just F***ing get into 'im!"

When the lights beeped instead of crossing the road this man ran across the Highway to join in the fight. The Old Lady and I started crossing road. I don't think the Old Lady noticed the fight. I kept watching as I walked because it was rather interesting.

The last thing I saw of the fight was of the guy who'd been standing with me at the lights trying to break the top off a branch he'd found on the ground so he could use it in the fight.

I just kept walking.

I was wondering what I should have done. I didn't really like the idea of getting involved and trying to break it up, but I didn't feel particularly good walking away either. I felt like I should have done something. I decided I was allowed not to get involved because I remembered this verse:

Like one who seizes a dog by the ears
is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.
- Proverbs 26:17

But I can't say that verse convinced me not to get involved, it was more a justification of my desire not to do anything.

It makes me wonder what I would do in other situations.

The reasons I hope I would get involved:
My friends, family, people I knew, were involved
It was unprovoked/one party was not wanting to participate
They were in a weaker postion (Women, children, elderly, uneven)

The reasons I had for not getting involved on Tuesday:
I'd probably get hurt
No-one seemed to want to avoid the fight (I'd been watching for about 5 minutes before the fight broke out, both parties had plenty of time to walk away)
There was two-on-two (not three on one for instance)
The above verse

But still I felt more like a coward than someone who was morally right. I could have called the cops I guess. I'm not sure.

Jesus did say: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matt 5:9). While I do know that I've spent a lot of my life attempting to make peace, I can't help but feel in this situation I only succeeded in looking out for myself.

Views anyone?

Posted by Tom French |

I went to KFC today with some of the Staff. I ate it just because I forgot what it tasted like. Now I remember. It hasn't improved.

11/21/2005 06:21:00 pm

Pretending to be a Traveler

Posted by Tom French |

Or perhaps I'm just just a lowly pilgrim.

I'd rather not call myself a pilgrim, it sounds rather like I'm subtly extolling how humble I am.

I am feeling like a traveller though because I'm in a net cafe near Central Station. It's a backpackers one as opposed to a gaming one. This one is full of people talking in all sorts of foreign languages, where as gaming ones are full of people speaking Asian or bad language. To come to this one I had to join up with some thing called Global Gossip. They gave me a form to fill out where every field was mandatory, which I think is a little rude. When it got to Mobile Number I lied and clicked the box which said "I don't have one yet". I wouldn't have lied but they didn't have have a "I don't want to give you my number I just want to use the internet" box to tick.

Anyway net cafe forms are not all that interesting at the best of times, I can't see why you would want to read about them second removed on my blog.

I've spent the day (at least the meaningful half after 12pm) preparing for my sermon. I went to college and read and wrote in the Library. I didn't start falling asleep till about 3 hours in so I thought that was pretty good effort. Better than any of my study efforts.

This morning, after dropping Hannah at school, I bought myself the new U2 dvd. I'm all set to watch it tonight after Dosas. My life is quite full of U2 at the moment.

Now I'm just mooching around on the net continuing my sermon research while I wait for Dosas to start. Did you know that John Cadbury (who owned Cadburys in the 19th Century) created the Animals Friend Society a forunner to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? He did. (Wiki told me)

That's all I have to say.

Posted by Tom French |

March 31st. U2. Oh yeah.

Posted by Tom French |

Today

Today marked my beginning to the 3rd Annual Shirts Off Summer. It's probably not the most auspicious event of the year but it's a neccisary one.

Jo, Hannah, Howie, David and I all went off to Freshy. It was my first time at the beach this summer. I do enjoy a frolick at the beach. The swell was flat, but the water wasn't too cold. It was a good day for the beach.

I'll have to do more of it.

When's the next hot day?

Posted by Tom French |

Friday

Well yesterday wasn't as eventful. It was a work day. They're normally fun, but un-remarkable.

At the lunchtime group at school the people who came handed out flowers and chocolates to their fellow school mates. It was cool. We suddenly became popular and our group doubled in size even when the chocolates and flowers ran out.

In the afternoon I ran a Bible Study for the year 8s. It was fun. It was planned to be a study for people to go deeper into the Bible than in their usual small groups. I was a little worried that I might not be smart enough for it. But I think we managed ok. I challenged to group to stay focused this time and they did well. As opposed to my usual small group, everyone participated and stayed on track. I had enjoyed myself.

My small group afterwards was a crazy as usual. It was a distinct contrast to the one before.

After small group I went out with Howie, David and Anmol. I ate half a box of Chef's Lucky Noodles for dinner (Number 30 with thick rice noodles) and we went off to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. That was a good movie. Smart, funny, witty, twisted, black, cool. That's my six word review.

I ate the rest of the noodles for breakfast this morning.

Posted by Tom French |

Thursday

Thursday morning consisted of study. Not hard core study, but a solid hour and a half perhaps. I reckon that's a pretty good effort.

I caught the train to college and studied more as I traveled because I'm a bit of nerd. My train came late but I only missed the role call.

The exam wasn't too hard. Which probably means I failed. But what can you do? I'd studied for two of the questions that morning, so things were pretty fresh. That's when cramming really comes into its own.

After the exam I found a place to give me an early dinner (a resturant called "Chicken Quicky" or something; it was full of flies) then meandered my way to the Sydney Superdome. It was TD Jakes night. I got there about an hour and a half early so I walked slowly from Concord West to Olympic Park. I enjoyed the walk through Bicentennial Park. The grass was green, the fountains bubbling and the there was no one about. I stopped along the way to read a monument to King Cyrus who lived around 550BC. I learnt about him at College and was wondering why he managed to get a monument in Homebush. It was from Persian Appreciantion month in 1994 or something. I like the monument though.

When I arrived at the Superdome I had to run a gauntlet of cheery CCC volunteers. They were all smiling and every single one of them said "Have a good night" to which I inevitably replied "I'll give it a shot." It sounded like didn't think I'd have a good night, but that wasn't the case. I did. I just didn't want to promise I would. When I'm given a bubbly command to "Have a good night" I don't want to commit to it as having a good night is not wholly in my control. So I gave it a shot and ended up succeeding.

I went into the Superdome and found three seats about 2 thirds back from the stage and but near the floor. I watched the ads on the big screens and noticed that every CCC ad is big. They have big orchestral music, footage of mountains, waves and wild horses and every conference seems to be advertised as "The once-in-a-lifetime moment when your life will be changed." That said they have good production values. They did well with the ads.

It was fun sitting in the Superdome imagining that I may be back there in a few months time to see U2 play. How exciting.

Anyway, the show started. Howie and Jenny arrived. I didn't know any of the songs we sang until Darlene arrived.

TD Jakes was cool. He's a big, noisy, Black American preacher. People say he's the next Billy Graham. I disagree. He wasn't much like Billy, but he was cool. And he was powerful. He preached about the Prodigal Son. He was quite theatrical, using the whole stage, sometimes preaching with his back to the audience, or sitting on the choir stands behind a rack of guitars. And he'd say things like "I don't think you're hearing me" when he wanted the audience to clap more.

It would be fun to preach like he does. I'm not sure my church would cope. Nor would I have the courage.

At the end he made the altar call and it was great to see heaps of people go down the front. He did an interesting thing where he said "Imagine this is the last 60 seconds of your life. Would you be sure of you're destiny? If not, come down now, you have 60 seconds." Then he counted down. People came running. I was getting nervous. It was effective. I haven't decided if it's a good idea, but it was smart. It added drama to an altar call too, but I doubt that was its intended purpose.

I'm glad I saw TD.

We came home after that. I had a Caesar salad and yoghurt for dinner.

Posted by Tom French |

I've been a rather bad blogger these past few days. Wednesday and now it's Saturday. Hoi! That's disgraceful.

I'll try and write about all the things that I've missed. Here we go...

Posted by Tom French |

Well done Socceroos.

I have my exam tomorrow. I reckon I've done 2 hours study. That's a record for me in the past few years. I'll probably blitz it with that much work.

Posted by Tom French |

Hey Hey, Ho Ho, I went on a another protest march-o

I went on the IR Reform protests today. They were fun. Much like every other protest really. Lots of speechs and sore legs, a march and sore legs, then more speechs and sore legs. But still fun.

My favourite part is always the march. They're noisy, look good, there's lots of police and helicopters, you can walk in the middle of the road, you get to catch up with friends and you get to stand up for something you believe in, what more could you want?

The highest highlight of the day was being able to march along and shout "The workers, united, we'll* never be deafeated!" and shake my fist in the air. It was like a real protest.

People also shouted: "Whatdowewant?!"

"Workers rights!"

"When'owewann'em?"

"Now!"

Which I thought was silly seeing as we were protesting against our rights being taken away. So we have them now, when'owewan'em? Next year as well! Although that's not quite as catchy.

I hope the Government listens.

*or is it "will"?

Posted by Tom French |

U2 is coming to Australia!

From U2.com:

"Vertigo//2006 will commence in early February with stops planned in Mexico, South America, New Zealand, Australia and Japan."

Yeehaa!

I'm there, I'm there, I'm there!

Posted by Tom French |

Straight Talking

In John 11 Jesus proposes that he and his disciples go to Judea but they react saying "Rabbi, a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"

Jesus replies "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."

Now if I was a disciple I would be rather frustrated by that response. I'm not particularly sure what that means and why Jesus said it there. I would have preferred Jesus just said "We cannot be deterred by fear" or "Stop being wusses we do what God wants" or "Sticks and stones may break your bones but I'm the Son of God!"

A bit further on Jesus is talking about Lazarus' death referring to it as having "fallen asleep". The disciples don't get this so Jesus puts it plainly "Lazarus is dead". That's what I'm talking about. That's the Jesus I can understand.

Posted by Tom French |

Today at the retirement home that we were visiting with the youth I offered an old lady my phone number. It was all innocent on my part, but I got in trouble from the youth for chatting up old women.

Posted by Tom French |

Brothers, Sisters, Corpse and Noodle

I had a BSBB training day today. It was interesting being in a non-Christian training environment. Especially a Children's/Youth one. It's been so long since I've been in the real world properly I couldn't work out why we didn't open and close with prayer. It was good though. Good to meet a group of people who aren't Christians and aren't all that interested in whether you're one or not. They all seemed like good people.

Then tonight David and I went to see Corpse Bride. Tim Burton is a twisted man, but probably a genius too. It was very good. Funny, charming, good story. I was impressed.

For the record, as an act of civil disobedience against Greater Union's silly allocated seating David and I sat where we wanted. I'm going to write a letter.

Afterwards David and I had dinner at Chef's Lucky Noodle. The Noodle is always great. We talked a lot about power imbalances, pastoral care, being a Christian super-hero, and mentoring. I enjoyed.

I also returned my DVD 5 days late and David's book 4 years late.

Posted by Tom French |

Chlorine

Last night we took the youth group to the Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre. It was a massive logistical event. We planned all our car spaces down to the very last person, then had extra turn up and drivers pull out. I did a lot of organising on the fly. We even almost left without one person but we got them in the end.

Apart from being extremely self-conscious of having to run around in just a pair of boardies, I had a great time at the pool. Youth Group socials are one of my favourite parts of my job. They mainly just involve playing with teenagers. What more could you want? Pools are good fun.

Today, two showers and much soap later, I still smell like chlorine.

Posted by Tom French |

Fact of the Year

Botton is the 65444th most popular surname in the USA.

From here

Posted by Tom French |

A little Stressful

We had Scripture Seminars on this morning, and I went to bed last night with less than enough volunteers coming, no game to play and no speaker. Scripture Seminars always stress me and these weren't particularly turning out well. Lots of people hadn't been able to make it and Stephen, who was meant to be speaking, was sick. Basically we had no seminars to run and we had 4 periods stuck with 100 students at a time and nothing to do with them.

I woke up this morning and showered while trying to work out at what point we cancel seminars.

The thing about seminars is that they never seem to look like we can run them. But I have this belief in me that even if the seminars don't look like they're possible to run, God'll come through and we'll run them. I don't think I've had a seminar which I've ever felt like they can run. But this one is the first time I've still been wondering if we can pull out on the morning of the actual seminars.

I decided on a game and drove to the school making up a talk in my head. As I drove a got a call from one of the volunteers saying they too were sick to come in. I arrived at school feeling rather ambivalent. Only a few leaders had turned up, some were running late. I couldn't run the game I had planned because there were no doughnuts at the shops. It may not sound like a big deal but with everything going wrong it was feeling like it could be the last straw. I had no speaker, no game, and very little ability to run small groups.

I started discussing with the other leaders at what stage we pull the plug. As we were talking the Acting Principal walked in and asked if we wanted the back doors unlocked to let some air into the room. I said "Yes" and chickened out of pulling out. I figured once you've had the doors unlocked there's no turning back.

Courtney rang one of her friends and got him out of bed to come join us, the rest of the leaders turned up and things felt a bit manageable. Chez thought of a game and Helen volunteered to MC the day. Once I was committed to doing it things felt a bit better. We prayed and waited for our first year to turn up.

The year sevens came in, and were as rowdy as ever, except the guy who usually shouts out "I love Satan!" was shouting "I love Jesus!" which I guess is a bit of an improvement (or a lot of an improvement depending on where you think his sincerity levels were at).

Helen welcomed everyone and we had the game which was fun. The students had to speak for a minute on a subject of our choosing without saying "um" or "ahh". They didn't really manage to do it.

Then it was my turn to speak. I've heard about a lot of preachers who have gotten into similar situations to me today. They have to give a talk or sermon at very late notice. And almost every time they say that they preached one of their best preaches then. It's funny. So I figured if I did have to talk God would come through. I preached and it did alright. I think it was probably the best scripture talk I've ever done. I got good feedback from the students and that never happens. And they seemed to come with me a lot more than usual.

My talk was about what God is like. Does he exist? And if he does, what's he like? I used the Prodigal Son because that was the last thing I preached on thankfully. And it all came out good.

Our small groups were big, but most leaders said they were productive. In the end the seminars turned into some of the best seminars we've done. "Good on God" I say. He does things like that.

Posted by Tom French |

Qld Premier demands Channel Ten reinstate Dan on Idol

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has demanded the producers of Australian Idol reinstate Brisbane-based performer, Dan England. Because Queensland is not on Daylight Saving Time his fans say they were not able to vote for him.

Mr Beattie said "Look we were robbed. I mean Dan was robbed...I'm asking Channel 10 to wake up to themselves to turn back the clock to Monday and give him a fair go."

It's good to see Queensland politicians have such important things to worry about.

From Here

Posted by Tom French |

Does it seem a little worrying that the Police/Government wants to arrest people but they can't because there are no laws to do it, so they change the laws and arrest the people a week later? Doesn't that seem a little like those kids who you played with when you were young who would change the rules half way through the game to make sure they'd win?

But as I said before I am still for catching terrorists and stopping terrorism. I just hope we're going about it the right way.

Posted by Tom French |

Police have raided homes in Sydney and Melbourne arresting 15 men suspected of planning terrorist attacks.

It's hard to know what to think. I'm all for stopping terrorist attacks from happening. If that's what has happened then, good. I'm a little suspicious about the timing though. It seems these raids will do well to cement the case for the need for the new anti-terror laws.

I wish I could trust my Government because right now all I would feel would be pride and respect for the work of our police. I wish things were a lot more black and white.

Posted by Tom French |

Sedition

Senator Andrew Bartlett has outlined on his blog the Government's definition of sedition. In the new Anti-Terror Laws you can get seven years for displaying seditious intention. Bartlett wrote:

"seditious intention means an intention to effect any of the following purposes:

(a) to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt;
(b) to urge disaffection against the following:
(i) the Constitution;
(ii) the Government of the Commonwealth;
(iii) either House of the Parliament;
(c) to urge another person to attempt to procure a change, otherwise than by lawful means, to any matter established by law of the Commonwealth;
(d) to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth. "


In that case, I'll join with him, in showing seditious intention. Disaffection is defined as "disloyalty to the government or to established authority". As long as our Government is trying to force dodgy laws on us I urge disaffection against the Government. When they will try and deprive their citizens (and those who may just happen to turn up on our shores) of their civil and human rights, I will urge disaffection. I will urge people to show their loss of affection and loyalty by voting the Government out, by writing letters, by telling their friends, by protest, by any peaceful means they can find.

There was an interesting article in SMH about how Jesus would have been easily charged with sedition under the new laws coming in. If Jesus can be charged with sedition, then me too! WWJD? Yeehaa!

Posted by Tom French |

Backish

I've been a rather slack blogger recently. I was going pretty much non-stop from Thursday 8:30am-2am everyday no-breaks. I slept in today but I'm still pretty tired.

The reason for all this was Impact, the Breakthru Artz concert. I was in charge of creating and running the DVDs and Powerpoints that had all the music and visual stuff for the whole show and getting the show. We had two projectors for the front and the back of the stage. I had to swap between the two making sure that either one or neither was on at a time. I had to make sure all the music started at the right time. Almost the whole show ran without a hitch. It was pretty good. We did well.

Unfortunatly the good run went to the dogs last night in church when the simple job of playing a DVD for a dance was just too hard for either me or Pete the sound man. We may have had a technological emotional breakdown.

I went to lunch with a family from Church yesterday. We had a barbeque and sat in the sun. It was rather fun as was youth group. I enjoy playing soccer but I really need to get fit, I feel like I'm going to die when I run around. Oh dear.

Posted by Tom French |

My Grandpa sent me this. Tis funny. He made it himself. He's a funny man.

http://muglets.com/6YBA

Posted by Tom French |

Up late making another DVD. My life is a perpetual DVD creating cycle.

Posted by Tom French |

Something fishy is going on when the Government keeps trying to rush legislation through without a chance for people to look at it properly. Like when you're in a group and you try and fart quickly and quietly so people don't notice it was you that made everything stink.

Posted by Tom French |

Read My Thoughts

I went and had my 2nd interview for BSBB yesterday. It was a long one. 2 hours, but I had fun. I got asked lots of personal questions about traumatic experiences, my love life, how I learnt about sex, whether I do drugs, what I think of pedophilia, things that make me angry and more. Lucky I'm not all that worried about answering any of those questions for anyone. It didn't feel all that personal, but maybe I just don't have all that much I feel like hiding.

The best bit of the interview was when I got the results of my psychological profile. The man said to me "The test results say that you were quite defensive when you did it. Do you think you were defensive?"

I replied "No. I don't think I was defensive." I thought that was pretty funny.

The guy also asked me if I was a risk taker and if I thought I had a good amount of insight. Apparently the test said I was defensive, a risk taker, had low insight and therefore an inflated view of myself.

It did strike me as a bit odd that the computer that read my test thought I had an inflated view of myself but it's never met me. I could have a completely reasonable view of myself.

I don't think view is inflated at all. I'm pretty special and everyone knows it. I'm smart, witty, good looking, strong, caring, sporty, coordinated, tough but gentle, inspiring, universally loved, simply spectacular in every
detail and damn good at spelling.

The guy also said I answered two questions with true answers that he wanted to ask me about:

People can read my thoughts and Death would be a relief.

I can't remember why I thought that people could read my thoughts, maybe because I blog. It may also have been that I feel pretty transparent and people seem to know why I do what I do. I said that death would be a relief because heaven will be tops, not because I'm suicidal.

Anyway I got through to the next stage of the program. It's a training day, probably where you have to play hand holding get-to-know-you games, have lots of sharing times and climb over 3 metre high brick walls blindfolded. Things like that.

I'm enjoying the BSBB process though. The people at YWCA are nice, they give me water. And I'm looking forward to being a Big Brother.

Posted by Tom French |

I don't even know where my horse went. 6th or something by my TV watching.

But that's ok. Makybe was pretty special.

Posted by Tom French |

Tom's Melbourne Cup Tip

Ok folks, listen up. In 2003 I picked the winner, in 2004 I picked second place. So now you're all salivating for my pick for this year's Melbourne Cup. Well here it is:

RAILINGS
No.7

Of course I'd love to see Makybe Diva win again, 3 years would be smashing, but my odds are on Railings.

Yeehaa!

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