Posted by Tom French |

Brain Strain

I've been trying to write a sermon this week. And trying especailly hard today. From about 3pm till now I've been thinking about Sunday's sermon but it hasn't been working. The passage is probably the hardest one that I've had to do a sermon on I think.

Only about 20 minutes ago did the sermon actually "click". Up until then I'd just been staring at a blank word document and listening to boring sermons on the passage. I wish it had been one of those easy ones that just happened. But alas it is not.

Posted by Tom French |

Site Arrived

My baby, ChristianSpeakers.com.au, is finally finished and running. Hooray. Now all we need is some speakers and the site might actually be useful.

Thank you Ryan and Chris who made it happen. Yous are tops!

Posted by Tom French |

Podcasting Again

We've returned with one more for the podcast collection!

Here it is.

Posted by Tom French |

Goodness Me

Jem, Mil and I are going to try and spend the whole day today without using "Good" as a descriptive word. It will be hard but a helpful challenge. We want to have better vocabularies.

Posted by Tom French |

Monday

Today (Monday) was an interesting day. Helen was back on board which was fun. I like having her back. Office productivity has gone down and time spent at lunch has gone up.

We had the lunchtime group at school and one of the guys shared his story about becoming a Christian. He used to be a "bad boy" (drugs, alcohol, violence) but went to a local youth group, became a Christian and now he's on fire. It was very cool to see. I loved seeing someone so passionate about Jesus.

I created a Bible Study about the Bible, which was fun. I had lot's of curly questions in it like "Is it ok for the Bible to be self-authenticating?" and I was really looking forward to a bit of vibrant discussion on the whole thing. But when it got to small group everything was rather quiet. I'm not sure why. So I'm not sure what people thought. I found it hard because I didn't know what people were thinking so it all felt a bit flat. And when you ask curly questions, and then try and give good answers but you don't get much feedback you worry that maybe you've just destroyed people's faith or something.

Anyway I hope everyone went home a Christian.

At home I had very nice chats with house people. Jem and I spent ages sitting on the couch discussing vulnerability (again) and commitment and other important things.

Posted by Tom French |

I do like it when people become Christians.

Posted by Tom French |

I wonder if the internet is dying. There are so many websites that aren't working tonight. I makes me want to go to bed and read a book.

Infact, I think I will!

Posted by Tom French |

Pow

The Nurse at the Periodontist gave me some mouthwash to use so that my gum doesn't get infected. It's pretty potent. It tastes like 2000 mint slices without the chocolate. It burns. I meant to keep it in my mouth for a minute but I cough it out at around 10 seconds. It contains ethanol. I'm hoping to get better at it though. I don't want to be a mouth wash pansy.

Posted by Tom French |

I went over to Howie's last night for his birthday celebrations. We celebrated by watching Dave Hughes on a DVD and The Chaser on some digital television. It was quite a celebration. I never knew 24 could be so much fun. I'm looking forward to when I get there.

Twas a funny bunch of wacthing though.

I ended up sleeping here last night. I slept in and didn't wake up in time to make it to the church working be that I told people God would be angry at them if they didn't attend. Oops.

Anyway now I am going to leave this house and see if I can find something to do with my day. Maybe I'll end up in a cinema. And I might eat thai food.

Posted by Tom French |

Tooth 2

I got my replacement tooth today. It's very white. It's not the permanent one, it's a fill in for four months till I get the final one.

This morning my class at college got cancelled and my dentist appointment got moved so I had a free morning. That was nice.

I went to a Christian Democratic Party in the afternoon where Gordon Moyes was meant to be talking about why Christians should be involved in Parliament. Which would have been good. But he talked about himself and his job for an hour. Which was also interesting but not what I went to hear.

At least I learnt about Parliament some more plus I like the CDP more now too. At the end they tried to get me to sign up to their mailing list, but I declined. I don't think they were too happy. Perhaps it is my duty as a Christian to vote CDP. But I'm not very good at that.

I went to the Dentist after that and he gave me my new tooth. He just put it in where the screw was, got a little screw driver and screwed it in. It was pretty quick but I'm in more pain now than I was yesterday even though yesterday I had a hole drilled into my head. Strange.

Tonight we had a farewell dinner for Howie because he moved out of the parent's house. Was fun. We laughed. Jenny ate tofu.

Posted by Tom French |

Grusome Photos

If you want to see my bloody, screwed up mouth, click here and here. And this is my face. Aha!

Posted by Tom French |

The Tooth is Out There

So I lost my tooth again today! But this time it was done by the Dentist. Today was implant day. At least day one.

I got up early. 6am. So early. I went and hopped on a train and arrived at Dentist's door at 7:32am. Can you think of anything worse?

Anyway the dentist saw me and took my fake tooth out so that the Periodontist could put the implant in. He scrapped all the resin off my teeth and buffed them up. I now have nice smooth teeth for the first time in almost 6 months!

When he was finished, and just before I left, the Dentist had a go at me because the insurance company hasn't paid a single fee to my Dentist. He told me to get the money to him fast or else. At one stage appealed to his philanthropic personality by saying "I'm not getting anything out of this you know." Which then caused me to wonder where all the money went when he charged me $90 for him to take digital pictures of my mouth. But I didn't bring that up. I just nodded and tried to side with him not the insurance company. I figured that was safer.

Once that was done I headed out into the world of Chatswood missing a tooth. My first real experience in public with a missing tooth. It's funny what a missing tooth does to you. My self-confidence plummeted. I went to Boost Juice and Coles to buy stuff and when I spoke I mumbled, opened my mouth as little as possible, kept my head down and couldn't look the shop people in the eye. I wanted people to see me as little as possible. Plus having no tooth gives me a huge speech impediment, so I don't want to talk at all. I'm sure this is teaching me about something that is good to learn.

Anyway, I caught to train to the city and visited Dr Periodontist. They put me in the chair asked me how I was then walked out of the room. They came back in asked me if I'd eaten any breakfast, walked out again. Came back in, handed me 5 pills, told me to take them, walked out again. Came back in and said we just need to get some paper work, walked out again. I fell asleep in the chair. The Dr Perio came in and said "We've been talking to your insurance company and they said they'll pay for your treatment. But that was only a verbal agreement so if they don't you'll be liable to pay for the surgery. Are you happy with that?" I nodded and fell back to sleep. He left. Came back and stuck lots of needles in me then left again. Then a nurse came in with the actual paper work and I signed to say that I was willing to pay $3300 to give someone the privilege of putting a titanium rod in my skull. I thought "Oh well, it's either a tooth or a car" and I fell asleep again and dreamt about savings. Finally I was woken up by the Periodontist saying outside my door "But he's all ready drugged up!" And he came in and did the surgery.

Well, it was special. To know what it feels like to have someone drill a whole into your upper jaw, you need to have some one drill a hole into your upper jaw. It was pretty cool. He was drilling straight into bone and it makes your whole head vibrate. I think I enjoyed that, I felt like I was in some bizarre science fiction movie where crazy scientists drug people and drill holes in their head.

And then it was done. And now I have a metal screw in my mouth.

I caught the train back to the dentist again who did an impression of my teeth and had given his secretary the job of following up the insurance people so he was no longer threatening cement boots. We were friends again. He sent me home to have a rest.

So I went home. Watched some Desperate Housewives and mooched around.

Now my jaw hurts. I'll go back to the dentist tomorrow to get a comsmetic tooth put in. Yip!

Posted by Tom French |

David has Landed

I went to Commie dinner tonight. I found myself in Hornsby with nothing to do so I went. And aren't I happy I went.

We were sitting around having a chat about my love life and in walks David through the back door bringing wine and Tim Tams. It was rather surreal. David is meant to be in India. He isn't meant to be home till Friday. But there he was. It took my brain a while to figure out why it was odd that David was there because it seemed perfectly normal for him to walk in the back door. But my brain caught up eventually and there was lots of screaming and hugging from the women folk. I gave him a pat on the knee.

Stella and Annie were arriving so we suggested David hide himself from them. When they arrived home he jumped up and ran to hide downstairs, slipped, and fell down them instead. We all thought it was pretty funny, till David swore and said "I've cut myself!" and indeed he had. He landed on his chin giving it a nice, juicy gash.

So I was privileged enough to cart him off in the HannahVan in search of a doctor. I was hoping not to spend another night in an emergency ward, as I'm feeling that activity is wearing a little thin. But we found a medical center which got him into treatment in the same amount of time it took me to call his Mum and ask for his Medicare numbers.

The Nurse and the Doctor were a bit of fun and we were all rather jolly. David got four stitches, then went back to Commie dinner to have his dinner.

It'd great to have the man back. And it's wonderful to see him make a grand entrance.

Posted by Tom French |

Holy Wisteria

Tonight with my Year 11 and 12 small group we did a Bible Study on Desperate Housewives. It was pretty fun. We watched the Pilot and talked about the themes and message of the show and how we interacted with it as Christians. I'm not sure what the group thought of it. I had fun. I like the opportunity to give more indepth thought to films and TV. Usually I just watch and enjoy. But I like thinking about what makes them tick, what images they use, what the characters are like, what's driving the action. It was cool.

It did make me wonder though, is there significance in the fact Mike lives at 4356 Wisteria Lane? Does the out of order sequence say something about his character? And how do you get 4356 houses on a lane anyway? That's a big lane.

Posted by Tom French |

Tonight we sat out on our roof and drank Baileys. Special.

Posted by Tom French |

Call me Geek

At night, before going to bed, I've been reading a "A Short History of the Early Church". I'm enjoying it.

Posted by Tom French |

Lost and Lost and Found

I didn't end up finding my way to work today till about 3:15pm. It was wonderful. I got to sleep in and mooch around the house, stuff up the website, and hang out with Ryan and Jem. Nice.

Tonight I went on a race with the junior half of the youth group. It was rather fun. They were given a location many kilometers away to get to and a series of tasks to complete along the way. They got points for the tasks and lots of points for getting to the location first. They had to read a street directory and guide their driver the whole way. It was fun, although people in year 6 and 7 find navigation rather difficult I have discovered.

We arrived at our location (West Ryde Maccas) but one of the other cars failed to materialise. I called the driver but there was no answer. I called again, no answer. I called every 5 minutes. No answer.

It was a little worrying. I had vision that they'd gotten so lost they crashed their car into a ditch or in to a tree in some deserted wasteland near Sydney and there was this lonely mobile ringing in a car full of dead or unconcious young people. Or perhaps they were in an ambulance being transported to hospital and the ambulance man was ignoring the mobile because he was doing cpr or something.

In the end we had to leave McDonald's and just hope they'd headed back to church. I drove back wondering how to explain to a bunch of parents that their children have disappeared and we have no idea where they disappeared to.

When we got back to church the car wasn't there either. All the young guys jumped out of the cars and ran to their parents to say "We won" and "We lost a whole car". It makes you feel like a competant youth minister.

But finally the missing car turned up full of happy girls. They had gotten very lost and the leader had left her phone at home. Happily no one was dead. But needless to say, they lost the race.

Posted by Tom French |

This is cool. 55,000 fireworks in 5 seconds. Oh gosh. I want that job!

Posted by Tom French |

I've been flossing regularly. I'm a dentist's pet.

Posted by Tom French |

Ouch

I went and saw a play tonight called "Peribanez". It was about two peasant newly weds who have a few issues when a Count (perhaps) falls in love with the wife and decides to have her. It had a really good set, I'm not too sure what I thought of the play. It ended with plenty of murder if you like that kind of thing.

I made me think that it would be unpleasant to have a man courting your wife even if she wasn't falling for him.

Posted by Tom French |

Wisdom

I spent most of my day sitting around with people drinking Coke and Chai Latte. During one of those sits Matt said to me (quoting some other guy) "The destination is sure but the road is always under construction." I think he was just looking for a quote to sound wise.

But I reckon, bugger that, why spend your time building your road to the destination when obviously someone else has been there before you, otherwise how would you know the destination was sure? Just follow their track and you'll save a bundle of effort.

Posted by Tom French |

Gosh that was a long post.

I dropped off the suits from the wedding back at the hire place today and parking cost me $20 for 9 minutes. That hurt.

8/15/2006 05:18:00 pm

Nuptials

Posted by Tom French |

I went to a wedding on Saturday. Helen and Jon got themselves hitched. They're friends of mine. Jon was kind enough to ask me to be a groomsman. Which meant that I got to wear a suit and stand up the front of the church.

I woke up bright at early on Saturday morning and drove out to a convent in Kensington where the Hannahvan was on lone some people who like to holiday in convents. I drove up the drive way and very excitedly, and a little fast, executed a three point turn in the car park drive way. I think one of the Nuns must of heard because she poked her head out the door and gave me that angry look that only angry nuns can give.

Anyway I swapped the little gray Pulsar my parents lent me, for the big white van my parents gave me. And drove back to my house.

At home everyone was away and creating breakfast. For the last time ever the whole house was in one place together, making a wedding day breakfast for Jon. It was way fun, there was fruit, shoe shining, music and dancing. It was a lovely way to see Jon off. We all got to pray for Jon too, which was special. It's a special privilege getting to spend the wedding morning with the groom. Plus everyone's so excited, you can't contain your joy. It must be let out with loud talking, laughing, silly jokes and lots of kitchen dancing. The best sort because who cares about looking good on the kitchen floor.

We were planning to leave at around 11:30am, so at 10:30 I figured it might be an idea to go and get the van washed because it still had a bit of egg residue on the side and you can't have a wedding car with egg on the side. This seemed like a good idea, until we were still sitting in the car wash place at 11:10 and they still hadn't finished washing the car. Jo and I went over to get the car back and the man who was washing it abused us for having a dirty car. I thought perhaps he must be new and not have realised yet what the purpose of a car wash was.

I got home at 11:22 and raced upstairs, apologised to Jon, who was getting dressed, shaved and cut myself a few too many times, raced to my room, threw on my suit, raced to my mirror and did my hair in 15 seconds and raced out the door. I think I took about 10 minutes all up. Take that bridesmaids!

We loaded up the Hannahvan with all the Groomsmen and headed off with a quick stop at Helen's to pick up her luggage and so Jon could put his wet washing in the dryer, then it was off to Wedding Land. It was fun driving the non-locals who were amazed at the amount of traffic. It made me feel like an experienced Sydney-ite, able to negotiate even Sydney traffic. Not that it's all that hard.

We arrived at the church and people kept thinking I looked, dapper, cute or funny. It's funny, you get all dressed up and people laugh at you. I was expecting people to faint and stuff but sadly none of that. I decided that would come when I ripped it up on the dance floor.

At the church we got out photos taken, prayed of Jon, then stood around waiting for the ceremony to start. It started pretty close to time I think. And what a start it was.

It was great. The procession was led by a beautiful wedding dance by some of the Helen's dancing stars. And they danced good. It was pretty special. The bridemaids came next wearing their turquoise dresses (or were they teal?), whatever their colour they were looking good. And then came Helen looking wonderful and bridal, and all smiles. I don't think I've ever seen Helen so happy. The whole procession would have moved me to tears were I a person who was capable of expressing emotion. I did get a happy lump in me throat. It was very special.

The ceremony was nice and traditional. All the usual prayer book, with a commitment from the congregation to support Helen and Jon thrown in. I couldn't see any of what was going on because all the groomsmen in front of me blocked my view. All I could see were blackcoated backs. I even missed the kiss. It was going to be the first time I'd ever seen Helen and Jon kiss (apart from a conservative peck) but, sadly I had to wait till the signing of the register. You give up a lot to be a groomsman I tell you.

After a creative reading involving actors and photos and a not so creative reading, involving a sister, a Bible and a lectern, I was called on to give my sermon. It went down pretty good I felt. I only stuffed up a few times. I said something about how I'd try and get a better view next time. Which was embarrassing and sent me digging my way out. I think I made it out ok but not without a lot of digging (David I'll upload the sermon for you, I want a prize!). But I was happy with it and people said nice things to me.

Not much happened after that. They signed the register, we were blinded by the flashes of excited photographers and we processionaled out to "Everlasting Love" Jamie Cullum style (except it was Matt, guitar and band).

We had the cake cutting in the kindy which is always a spectacular location for a celebration. I can't really remember much of that. But it was nice enough. I think I was a little dazed to take it all in. I couldn't see the cake getting cut, too many people in the way. Story of the day really.

Then it was off to photos. I loaded up the Hannahvan with Groomsmen (minus Groom) and jumps in the wedding convoy behind the Rolls and the Jag. The Nissan looked hot man!

Photos were mostly just standing around drinking Champaign. I'm sure Helen and Jon did more than that, but I was very rarely called upon to present my face to be photoged.

And then it was reception time. We were in the Harbour Watch room at the Sebel. It was pretty swanky. You can see the Harbour Bridge. I'd been there before for my cousin's wedding, but it was the day after the tooth loss so I didn't really feel like being there.

The reception was a lot like other receptions. You float around and talk to people. The Best Man said the bridesmaids made "good decorations" which I think was him fulfilling his duty to compliment them on how they looked. The Uncle of the Groom gave a long rather funny, but useless description of Jon's family tree. The first dance was lovely. Helen danced like a dancer. Jon danced like an actor. Jo and I danced self-consciously when it was the wedding parties' turn to dance. But I hung around the dance floor after that and danced for a whole 5 or so songs. I think that's my record at a wedding. I'm virtually a dancer now I reckon.

Eventually Helen and Jon left after hugging everyone in the room, and we all potted home too. I had the privilege of driving the presents home. Our living room looks like Christmas with no tree now.

I went to bed and slept well. At least well until I had to get up again for Church. but that's another day.

Posted by Tom French |

Hooray for John Howard not getting his un-compassionate way!

Posted by Tom French |

If our house burns down, blame it on the electrics.

I probably shouldn't write that incase the house does burn down and people think I did it and I just wrote that to throw people off the scent. But the electrics do suck, and I have nothing to gain from burning the house down. I'm not insured and we'd probably lose our deposit, not cause it was our fault just because we didn't leave the house in as good condition as we found it.

Posted by Tom French |

The Day After the Day it All Began

I think that blogging about the wedding would be good. And I want to be in the running for some of David's fabulous prizes. So I'll hold off on that one.

But the day after the wedding, well that was today, and I would have loved to have slept for the majority of the first half of it. But I had to go to church.

We went to the retirement village today and it was lovely. The residents were ready for us today. We had a record number of young people, for this year at least, and it was great. I really do like that ministry.

I also had a nice conversation with one of the senior girls who said she'd come to youth group to serve the younger people in the youth group. I thought that was good. I love it when people come to serve. Yay for them.

I think my tiredness gave me a looser tongue today. I did the announcements at church tonight and managed to tell everyone that we were going to burn down the church at the church working bee, that God would be angry at them if they didn't come, and that the Holy Spirit couldn't work if we didn't have the banners up in the church building. Then when asked by Steve I told the whole church my gift's in preaching were all because of my gender. I think most people realised I was joking, except the man in front of me who kept giving me greasies.

Soon I will sleep I think.

Posted by Tom French |

I don't like John Mayer's hair at the moment.

He's still good though.

Posted by Tom French |

Abdul, Abdul

We went out for Jon's Buck's night on Wednesday night. It was lots of fun. We went video game playing at Galaxy World first up. I always love a good Daytona race. It's funny, that game is so old (1994), yet still well loved amongst all the latest, more boring amusements. I played a game of air hockey with Tim and he won. Embarrassingly my right arm now hurts from all the exercise I gave it.

After clearing the place out of all it's good stuff (Chris won an iPod Nano in one of their skill games) we trekked off to a wonderful restaurant called "Abdul's" that'd I'd found on CitySearch.

Abdul's was the best. All 19 of us we put in this pokey cushion room, where we were served by the great Abdul himself. As Ryan said, I've never seen a restaurant owner with more disdain for his customers. Abdul would wander around and grunt at us. When he brought out food he'd just mumble what it was called at us. I found a candle stick under my cushion and put it on the table. When Abdul saw it he commanded the guy next to me to put it on the shelf behind us then told us "Look. Don't touch!" It was rather special.

We ended the night with Jon dressed as a fairy in a roadworker vest and a blue dress in a pub somewhere in Surry Hills. You can't get much better fun on a Wednesday night. Actually you probably can, but please excuse the hyperbole.

Posted by Tom French |

Going to the Chapel

I'm writing Jon and Helen's wedding sermon at the moment. It's fun, exciting and scary. I think I'm the only part of the service that hasn't been planned and designed by the happy couple. So I'm hoping I get up to the standard.

But as I just told Jon, if this sermon doesn't make their marriage perfect, nothing will. I have a lot of faith in myself.

Posted by Tom French |

I just called the local retirement village to talk to the guy I always talk to about the youth group visiting, but when I had to ask for him, I totally forgot his name and the receptionist had to help me. It was very embarrassing. Oh well.

Posted by Tom French |

I went to the Laundromat before with bags full of wet, heavy washing because our washing machine has given up the ability to wash. It can still fill itself up with water and empty itself again, so I think we can still classify it a machine, just not one of the washing variety.

Anyway, I went to the Laundromat and it was 10 minutes before they closed so I wouldn't have time to wash my clothes. But when the woman who works there saw me she said I could put my wash on and come back to collect them in the morning. She said "I don't want you to have to walk all the way back with those heavy bags." She was very nice.

I got a hair cut today. Hair cuts still scare me. Every time I go to get a hair cut I have to walk past the hair dresser a few times before I pluck up the courage to go in. It's sad but it's true. None of them hair dressers have killed me yet. My hair dresser today asked me what I did for a job. I said "Youth minister" to which he replied "Great! You're doing a wonderful job!" I'm not sure how he knew but I welcome the encouragement.

Posted by Tom French |

I Like Mondays

I think Mondays are my favourite day of the working week. I think it's because they're pretty easy usually pretty nice. After Sunday's they're a really good come down.

I usually sleep in till about 10. What a wonderful way to start the day. I arrive at work around 12ish. I go to the High School, where I help with the Christian group. I don't run it, just help. That's rather stress free.

I eat lunch. I like lunch.

I do a few odds and ends. And then I have my senior small group at night. And they're good fun, and I don't have to keep telling them off. And that's my day. It's tops.

Posted by Tom French |

Trippin'

I went on a road trip last night with my year 11 and 12 senior small group. It was good fun. After much indesiciveness from the group we ended up in Penrith. It was a good place to end up, except perhaps for the bunches of boys that would drive past and whistle at the girls in my group. I don't think guys should whistle at girls. I'm not sure that it makes the guys very attractive. But I'm not a girl, so maybe they like it.

We went to a Chinese Restaurant and I became the waiter's best friend. When he asked if we wanted entree I replied that we'd already had chips in the car. He thought that was very funny, and he spent the rest of the night rubbing my shoulders whenever he came to our table. It's nice to make new friends.

Oddness.

Posted by Tom French |

The Night Andrew Bevis Came to Tea

Andrew.jpg

Andrew came round tonight and asked for a mention on the blog. Chris and Mike came around also. It was Pad Thai night. Mil and Jem cooked us all Pad Thai. Ryan was there too. He just ate it I think. Martin came later. Oh and Jon ate too. It was real fun.

Having Andrew here from the UK gave us all an excuse to watch some of the old films we made back in the youth group days. It was embarrassing at times, rather funny and quite shocking. I forgot what a badly behaved youth group I went to. Some of the things that we did in youth group then, I'd lose my job if I did them with my youth group now. And for good reason. We found a poem that some of us wrote together that was the most offensive thing I have heard this year. And I'm not exaggerating.

I realised that these days, though I regularly feel like I say stupid and offensive things, I'm much better than I used to be. I'm a bit more boring too, but at least I can keep my job.

Posted by Tom French |

The Hannahvan got egged last night. Only by one egg though, I think.

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