Posted by Tom French |

Stuck in a Moment

I'm going on Dirt Bike Camp for boys in years 5 and 6 tomorrow (8am! Ahhh!) and I'm the speaker. Over the past week I've been writing 5 talks. It's an odd experience writing 5 talks at once. It's daunting, hard, unrelenting. You just get lost in this world of a never ending cycle of "point, illustrate, apply, repeat, point, illustrate, apply, repeat". It's so hard thinking of illustrations all the time.

When I planned it I thought "Oh I'll just rehash some talks, make them for a younger audience, cut stuff out, easy" But I've found it's not that easy. I'm basically rewriting the old ones from scratch and writing some brand new ones.

Oh well the end is in sight.

Posted by Tom French |

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Yesterday Jo and I bought our tickets to Europe for next year. Yeepah!

I have no savings.

Posted by Tom French |

Did you know that it was a Belgian priest who first proposed the Big Bang theory?

It was. His name was Georges LemaƮtre and he did it in 1927. I think that's cool.

From here.

Posted by Tom French |

I forgot to say, I thought the White Witch in Narnia was excellent. She was the best character of them all. So well done. So vicious. Tilda's the bomb!

Posted by Tom French |

I went and watched Good Night, and Good Luck. today with Ryan, Libby and Lesley.

What a great film! It's about Ed Murrow who was a News Reporter with CBS in the 1950s. He did a series of reports on Sentator McCarthy during the height of his communist witch hunt. I first read about him in February while sitting in a park in Croydon reading my book Tell Me Know Lies. I thought he was pretty cool then. The McCarthy witch hunts have always interested me, ever since studying The Crucible in school. So it was fun to see McCarthy and Ed Murrow (or at least an Ed Murrow actor) do their thing.

The film is a very pointed critique of the erosion of civil liberties which is currently going on in the US. I thought it was interesting that The Crucible was written about the Salam Trials as an allegory of what was going on in the McCarthy era. Now the McCarthy trials are being used to take a shot at what's happening now. I hope they make a film about what's happening now in the future to have a go at their contemporary issues. Although if we have to wait 300 hundred years (as was the space between The Salam Witch Trials and The Crucible) I may sadly miss the film.

But all that said, it was good, well written, well acted and smart. The film reminded me a bit of Fail Safe but that may have just been because it was shot in black and white and had George Clooney in it.

So in light of the past few days film watching I will have to revise my Top 10 of 2005:

1. Million Dollar Baby
2. Cinderella Man
3. Batman Begins
4. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
6. Ray
7. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
8. Good Night, and Good Luck.
9. Downfall
10. The Aviator

Posted by Tom French |

Gravity

Gravity, is working against me
And Gravity, wants to bring me down
Oh, I've never known what makes this man
With all the love that this heart can stand
Dream of ways to throw it all away

...Just keep me where the light is - John Mayer

Posted by Tom French |

I watched Fun with Dick and Jane with Ryan yesterday. I was expecting it to be pretty crappy. But, alas, it was surprisingly good. It made me laugh, and engaged in a bit of social commentary. What more could you want from a bit of Hollywood fluff?

Posted by Tom French |

Narnynaa

I went and saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tonight with the usual suspects. And what a special film it was. Oh, yes. It was sheer joy. I loved it to bits. It was well written, well cast, well shot, well acted, well…everything. I’d give it a proper review, but I can’t, it was just special.

I think Adam Adamson had a real hard job directing in the shadow of Lord of the Rings but he did it. And it came off well. It’s a kid’s movie, it’s not LOTR. It’s not as violent as I would have liked, but 7 year-olds have to watch this, so I can cope.

Aslan was great. I want to meet Aslan and hug him. Please don’t tell me I already have.

The film opened really well with London being bombed. It anchored us in the read world, and established the characters and their situation quickly.

Yeah. It was cool. I reckon I’ll buy it. Yeppers.

How’s that for a good review?

Posted by Tom French |

I feel like I should write about Christmas. I don't have much to say, it was rather quiet. Grandpa and Valentina came around. As tradition dictates we went to the Castle's before that. And before that I went to church at St Pete's for the one service of the year (not including weddings). And that was it.

But it was nice. It felt more like a Sunday when people came over for lunch, but that's ok. Tomorrow I'm off to the Gong for Christmas with the large (numerous, not fat) side of the family, so the fun continues. I'll try and be less tired tomorrow.

I got a tool kit. Now I'm a real man. And I got a dictionary so I'll be smart. And the new John Mayer CD, so I'll be happy. Plus other happy goods.

It was good of Jesus to come to earth, it meant that I get presents.

Posted by Tom French |

For your viewing pleasure

In the continuing tradition stupid photos of me...

This was taken last night after the Midnight Service.

Tom in Castro Hat.jpg

And this is the Christmas Tree in Darling Harbour with the Novotel in the background. I took that on Friday night.

Noel and Tree.jpg

I went to 3 church services yesterday. I was almost over Christmas before it had even started, but doesn't that happen every year?

I did a children's talk in the 5pm service and it was one of the hardest kid's talks I've done in my life. The kids were noisy, and playing with Christmas presents. They didn't really seem to be understanding me very much. And every time I'd say something like "Isn't it true that one of the best things about Christmas is the presents?" they'd say "No" or just look at me like they had no idea what I was talking about. Oh well, these things happen.

Posted by Tom French |

Christmas Cheer

Click Here to See My Christmas Card

Happy Christmas to you all!

Posted by Tom French |

Oh. It's Christmas.

Posted by Tom French |

Posh

I'm sitting here in 5 star comfort at Star City. It's kinda fun. Howie and I are staying here, well, because we can. And so we don't have to go home as far after going to Westfield Bondi tonight.

I arrived in the Hannah Van. I gave it to the Valet parking guy and told him he better not scratch it. He thought that was pretty funny.

David
came over to visit tonight because Howie has gone out to dinner with his lovely lady.

David and I explored the pool and spa which was fun, then found some expensive dinner to eat. While we we looking for a resturant, walking through the gaudy surrounds of the Casino, a big scary looking man tried to grab me on the bum. Generally only my friends do that so I turned around to say "Hello" but realised that this wasn't someone I knew. Oh well. As least I known people find me attractive.

After dinner David and I went out for Ice Cream at Darling Harbour. It was very romantic. Now I'm about to have a bath then a nap for a bit.

Then at 3am it's off to Westfield. Woohoo!

Posted by Tom French |

I finished most of my Christmas shopping today. It's a nice feeling. I did it all but 2 presents about 1 hour. How good am I?

Posted by Tom French |

Don't you worry 'bout your mind
Don't you worry 'bout your mind
You should worry 'bout the day
That the pain, it goes away
You know, I miss mine sometimes - Fast Cars - U2

Posted by Tom French |

Top 10s

Paul Byrnes has picked his top 10 and bottom 10 of the year on SMH. I don't often agree with Paul, and I don't really agree with him now. I guess anyone who spells Byrnes like that is bound to someone I disagree with.

Here's what he said and my comments on the ones I've seen:

Tops

1 War of the Worlds - Good but top? No, MDB was much better. I don't think it'd make my top 10
2 Downfall - Yes, this was good. It was depressing. This deserves a place
3 Mysterious Skin
4 Million Dollar Baby - What a film! Ouch, it hurt. Clint is a genius.
5 Look Both Ways
6 Little Fish - Well written, fantastic characters, silly implausable ending
7 Bad Education
8 The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
9 Sideways - Good
10 The Upside of Anger

Turkeys
1 Alexander - Yes Paul, yes. What a useless piece of film. They should have lengthened the men's skirts and shortened the film
2 Luther - Perhaps I'm biased because I owe so much to the reformation, but it wasn't that bad
3 Heights
4 The Island - Come one, don't we need some fluff here and there? It was fun. And Scarlett is great.
5 Bewitched - As above, minus Scarlett
6 You and Your Stupid Mate
7 Elektra
8 Alfie
9 MirrorMask
10 Elizabethtown - This film was cool.
___

Ok so it's not that bad. I agreed a bit, not with his bottom 10. Perhaps I should make my list.

Tops

1. Million Dollar Baby
2. Cinderella Man
3. Batman Begins
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
5. Ray
6. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
7. Downfall
8. The Aviator
9. Closer
10. Oyster Farmer

Turkeys

1. Sister Hood of the Travelling Pants
2. Constantine
3. Alexander
4. The Dukes of Hazard
5. Fantastic Four
6. Raise Your Voice
7. Cellular
8. Be Cool
9. Hide and Seek
10. Stealth

Posted by Tom French |

I had a full day at work today but mostly it just involved sitting around and talking to people. I drank Coke, ate Thai food and drank Beer as I conversed. What a good job I have.

Posted by Tom French |

Podcastrianics

The last podcast for the year. With the low-down on the engagement. Sorry it's long.

Here it is.

Posted by Tom French |

Kanye

Kanye West will be the Support Act for U2 in Australia. That's fun. I was just thinking while I was in the shower today that I would be interested in going to see Kanye, now I guess I won't have to. He's coming to me.

Of course I only know two of his songs, now I'll have to learn a few more if I am to fully appreciate the experience.

Posted by Tom French |

Red Light Special

Hooray for Howie and Jenny getting engaged. Well done folks.

I was dropping Howie at the station so he could ask Jenny's parents for permission when I drove through the red light and good booked. It was because I was so excited about my task as driver and upcoming event that I didn't notice the red light. So for that I expect Howie and Jenny to pay me $300 for my role in securing their marital bliss.

Either that or an invite to the reception.

Posted by Tom French |

Angels on the Back Verandah

B2B Angels.jpg

Yesterday was fat.

It started at midnight when I was still writing my sermon for the morning. It was a hard one to write. It only really started to feel good at 11pm after a conversation with my family. I was writing till 3am.

After 3 hours sleep, I got up, showered, got dressed, drove to work. I was there by 7:20. It was rather early. I added an illustration to the sermon then printed it out. I ran through the hard parts then headed over to the church. I was feeling pretty shot. It's a bad way to start the working day.

I preached at 8am. It felt ok. My tiredness got me a few times, I almost lost my voice, and in an illustration I said "when I was in year sex" instead of six. No one laughed at then, which was sad. I got good feed back though. The 8am congregation are very encouraging. I like them all.

10am was a rushed service, but I preached better. I'd warmed up, and I knew the sermon a bit better.

I think people liked the sermon. I only heard good comments. Lots of people came up to me and said they appreciated my honesty, and my bravery with sharing my stories, but I didn't think they were particularly hard to share.

After that service it was Back to Bethlehem all the way. Back to Bethlehem is our church's annual Carols by Candlelight equivalent. We set up our church property to look like Bethlehem (sort of) and run a market place were people can do craft and enjoy the atmosphere, then we do a nativity play. Last year I was Joseph. This year I borrowed a sheet from the Buckley's, wrapped it around me like a toga and called my self Hotus Guyus Maximus.

Back to Bethlehem was good. The market place was fun. I got to do lots of craft, and meet people. And the play was well done. Probably one of the best nativity plays I've done. They used the whole property, stables in the park, the Inn under a slippery dip, Joseph's house in the car park, Angels on the back verandah. It was fun.

After the Back to Bethlehem there was a lot of packing up and carrying to do. Finally Jon, Helen, Stephen and I retired to Big Fish Little Fish in Chatswood at around 11pm for dinner. That was very exciting. I do love dinner.

Posted by Tom French |

I just got booked for driving through a red light. Oops. I wasn't really paying attention. It was at Hornsby Station. I was turning left, the cars around me were moving and I didn't check the lighs.

That's $300 and 3 demerit points. But at least I got to talk to a cop and see the flashing lights. That was fun.

I think I need to learn to think about driving while I drive. It may save me money.

Posted by Tom French |

The Youth Ministers - 2004-2005

Helen and Tom Glenelg.jpg


Tonight was the last night I did youth ministry with Helen. We had our youth ministry Christmas party. It was fun, it was sad. We said goodbye to Kristen, Rob and Helen. They're all tops. Everyone is great. I heaps of fun hanging out with the young people. They're lots of fun.

Leading the youth ministry these past 2 years with Helen has been special. She's good stuff.

It was fun. Thanks Helen.

The photo was taken in January at Glenelg in Adelaide. I figured this would be a good time to pull it out. We had a whole set of us staring into the distance attempting to look inspired or inspiring. I think this is the one that turned out best. I would have prefered Helen in the front but we did a follow up series with Helen in the foreground but they didn't work. So you'll just have to put up with my ugly mug. Sorry.

Posted by Tom French |

Long Kong

My life is so full at the moment. I'm having dinners and meetings, writing sermons, going to parties, sleeping, watching films. It's kinda fun but rather bulky.

I watched King Kong last night with David. It was ok. The script was pretty poor, Peter, Fran and Phillipa didn't have Tolkien backing them up this time. It was too long. We spent about 2 hours just on the island with the main characters battling overgrown animals. There was good stuff there, but way too much of it. Peter Jackson shouldn't have been given free reign. A bit like the Watchowski's and their overgrown trilogy, Jackson seems to have been let free to do whatever he wants because he's made the studios so much money.

Once the film got back to New York it got better. The scene in the theatre was so sad. But still, there was too much of New York. They should have cut it down.

Oh, well, better luck next time.

Posted by Tom French |

I'm home from being away in Forster. I went up on Sunday night and now I'm back. Since I left Sydney's started bashing each other and I'm disgusted. I need to go to bed but I have to go to work early tomorrow as I have no car. But I wanted to register my disapproval before I go to bed. I'm especially upset with those people who look more like me, because I guess I feel like I'm part of that group.

12/10/2005 12:10:00 am

Why I want to be American

Posted by Tom French |

One of the reasons Mike Spence, the president of the California Republican Assembly, has for wanting Mel Gibson to run for Governer of California: "His [Gibson's] last movie made more money than the Governor's [Terminator 3]."

From here.

Posted by Tom French |

Moving to the Country

Iran's president has said that Isreal should move to Europe. What a stunning idea! Why didn't anyone else think of that? I wonder if they'd put every building on the back of a truck and drive in a massive convoy up the road?

Perhaps while we're at it, we should move a few other things. Canberra could move to Tasmainia, just so that Tasmainia can feel important and New South Wales can get the valuable land back that we lost when they made Lake Burley Griffin, and built the world's biggest round about. Australia could move to America to complete the sell-out. Guantanimo Bay could move to Mars because I don't think even international law applies there.

Oh the posibilities!

Posted by Tom French |

The Preaching Blog

I have been thinking for a few months about making a podcast/blog of my preaching. I have been tossing up whether it would be a good idea to stick my sermons on the net so the whole world can listen. The reason I wouldn't is because it feels like self-promotion, unhumble. But I also think if God has gifted me then I should use my gifts, and sticking my preaching on the net is a way of doing that. It means they might be able to impact more people.

So now I have made a blog and posted my sermons. I've posted four of my sermons 2 old ones and two new ones. Over time I'll add more as I go. I've also made it a podcast so that all my many, many fans can subscribe and always know when a new sermon has been posted. Hopefully this podcast will balance people's view of me a little against the me on the other podcasts.

I've also made a comment on each sermon, kinda like the preacher's commentary. I guess to justify the blog, but also because it's nice to be able to give some notes. Clarify some things, talk about what worked and what didn't. It also means I'm able to review myself and hopefully pick up my faults. So far I discovered that I really need to stop saying "Um" and "Ahh". And I finish every sermon with "I'm gonna pray".

Anyway, if you're interested (I won't be offended if you're not), here is the site: http://tompreaches.blogspot.com/

And you can subscribe to the podcast at this address: http://feeds.feedburner.com/tompreaches

As the Bible doesn't, but perhaps should say: "Preach the Word; be prepared in iTunes and out of iTunes; correct, rebuke and encourage - ?with great patience and careful instruction." - 1 Timothy 4:2

Posted by Tom French |

Feeling the Rhymes

I had a dream last night that I was at the park with a bunch of firends having a meeting. One of them said something offensive to my friend Graham about a close relative of his who died (I don't think he's lost any relatives lately). Graham got upset and started crying and shouting at them through angry tears. I saw this and jumped up to encourage him saying "Don't stop mate, let it out, don't stop! This is where the Hip-Hop comes from!"

Posted by Tom French |

Enticed

I was standing at the lights near the Botanic Gardens on Macquarie St today waiting for the lights. I was listening to my diskman and looking at the building across the road. It had three statues on the corner built into it's facade. They were called "Mercy", "Compassion" and "Justice". I found this very interesting, I thought about the fact that they were three attributes of God, wondered about whether or not they were an ideal lived up to by the designers of the building, and what they might look like up close.

As I was staring at these, the beeper for the crossing went off, so I started off towards the statues, thinking only about getting a closer look. As I walked across the road I noticed there was a black 4WD coming very quickly towards me. I thought "That person is obviously is not obeying the road rules." I looked up at the little green man and found, to my confusion, that he was red.

I looked around and found myself in the middle of peak hour Sydney, with everything driving towards me. I ran for the other side of the road, realising that the beeping had been for the other crossing next to me and feeling rather embarrassed that lots of people just saw me do something vague and stupid enough to get myself killed. Like Odysseus'' sirens, the lure of Mercy, Compassion and Justice had enticed my towards my death. But I'll tell you I forgot all about them when I was about to get run over.

So the moral to the story is: When confronted by the imminent death (or severe physical injury) mercy, compassion and justice go out the window.

Posted by Tom French |

Cooling Down

I heard it was 38 degrees today. My body odour can testify to that at the moment. I had a fun-ish day.

It started early with a trip to my scripture school. It was my last time there this year. I'm happy with that. My Scripture class this year really didn't like me. I don't I have been so disliked by a group of people as I have by my class this year. Except perhaps when I went to Griffith and told the whole of Year 8 they deserved to go hell*. But I have never been this disliked for such as sustained period of time.

Today, though, I didn't have to teach any classes. It was Christmas Scripture Assembly day. I was privileged enough to be the speaker again. I'm the regular speaker now. One day I'll get bumped and my ego will take a bruising. But till then..

My talk was about what makes Jesus so special. It was fun because I got to talk about Jesus being really smart and creating a rocket ship out of grass and manure, or being really strong and tearing a cow in half. In the end I said that the baby Jesus didn't do any of them. He was special because he was "God with us". It was way fun. Especially the infants, they thought it was quite funny.

After the Assembly, when I was going back to my car and I got surrounded by Kindergarten kids who wanted me to tell them jokes. I tried but couldn't think of anything. In the end I resorted to just giving them high fives. That descended into 25 little kids repeatedly slapping me. I thought I was going to get slapped to death by a bunch of 5 year-olds in an horrific, Lord of the Flies-style scene of abuse and over-zealous affection. I was lucky to get out alive.

We had staff meeting after that and I fell asleep during the prayer time, so I got too scared to pray, in case I said the same thing as someone else.

The rest of the day was hot really. I mooched around the office, ate a quiet lunch with Helen and Maryanne, made some posters and some phone calls.

Tonight I went bowling with the Young Adults. It was pleasent, I enjoy the people. I was a rather mild bowler though.

And that is the day concluded.

*That sounds really bad. I tried to be as diplomatic about it as possible.

Posted by Tom French |

I don't want to moan about being a bad blogger but I am. I just haven't been making the time for it.

Today Helen, Jon, Lauren and I moved Helen into her new Newtown house. It was good fun. Lots of lifting and stairs climbing, but also time to explore Newtown a bit. I got to dream about next year and the joys of living in the Newtown. (I learnt why Newtown was called Newtown the other day, something to do with a farm and a general store, but I've forgotten now.)

Tonight we hung out in the flat ate noodles, drank sparkling white wine and Coke and ate chocolate. It was fun. I laughed a lot.

Yesterday was rather stressful. Getting the U2 tickets was hard. Mum, Howie and I were all calling the Ticketek line. Howie and I were both on our computers trying to get onto the website. At one stage I had six different windows open all trying to get onto the site. Then finally after 40 minutes of trying, the seas parted, and two of my browsers arrived at the site. I logged on as both Howie and myself and bought 12 tickets. Phew.

After that I made a few phone calls to see how others had fared, then went back in to try and shop for those less fortunate than I. That meant that I was online watching as the last tickets were sold. Contrary to media reports, that was 1 hour and 40 minutes after the sale started, not 60 minutes. But 60 minutes does sound good.

I'm wondering if I should go to the concert on the Saturday night too. Go sit somewhere different. See the show from a different perspective. It would cost money. There are starving children in the world. Although there are billions of them and only one U2. Please don't bother trying to correct that logic.

I didn't get to shower yesterday because there were workmen next door cutting up the sewerage pipe. It meant I smelt a little until I got to the shopping centre to wash up a bit with soap.

I did other things yesterday too (Max Brenner's Chocolate World with Ryan and Libby, Lunch with Matt, a sleep in the park, Pub with the boys and girl) and they were all fun. I was well blessed yesterday.

Posted by Tom French |

We're going to U2!

Posted by Tom French |

So Much to Tell You

Of course I've been a real bad blogger lately. Harry, Bible Study Marathons, Weddings. So much to say.

But it's real late at night at the moment. So I'll just share something small.

On Friday morning I paid the deposit for Jo and I to go to Europe in June/July next year with Granpa and Valentina. That was fun. I've enjoyed visiting the travel agent. I've felt all grown up doing it all by myself. And what I thought would be a big, daunting experience turned out to be rather easy. Of course there was a lot of work to find the cheapest, easiest way of getting around. But it wasn't some complex process that you have to be really smart to do. You just rock up and say "I wanna do this" and the Travel Agent says "Ok" and off you go. So fun. I want to go overseas more.

I really wanna go to America. The Mother Country!

Posted by Tom French |

Oh Well

No email. No codes. Pre-sale closed. Oh well. I'll be buying with everyone else on Monday.

Funny thing is, I'm listening to Howie's iMix and while 12pm ticked over U2 was playing I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

Posted by Tom French |

20 minutes

Posted by Tom French |

Waiting for the Code

I'm a paying member of U2.com which means that I should get a Pre-Sale code for U2 tickets. The problem is that I haven't gotten one. The presale ends in 48 minutes. I called Customer Service in America yesterday and they said they'd try and get me a code. I called this morning and they said they'd send me a code as soon as they could. Now I'm waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

I'm checking my emails constantly. The stress. The stress. If I get my code in the next 47 minutes I'll have tickets to U2 today. If not I have to wait till Monday and join in with the General Public. Oi! It's not the end of the world. But it'll be the start of a whole new level special feelings if I get tickets today.

At least I have tickets to Harry Potter tonight.

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