4/28/2007 08:08:00 pm

Rearrange the Week

Posted by Tom French |

I regularly wish that Saturday was not the day before Sunday.

4/27/2007 11:53:00 pm

Good Things

Posted by Tom French |

I think I had a pretty good day today.

I spend the first part driving around Sydney getting stuff for tonight's youth activities and listening to sermons in prepartion for Sunday. I stopped off in Hornsby to visit the Gowies at their place of workage. We did visit the Field of Dreams and in the mall there was a stretch Hummer! It was there for some silly promotion for a disgusting protien bar. But they were letting you go inside, so Howie and I jumped and had a lounge around. It was way cool. I've never been in a limo before, but now I've been in stretch Hummer. It was the shiz. I'm almost Snoop Dogg.

Tonight was laser tag with the Junior boys. I didn't get to play laser tag because we didn't have enought sets. But I did like to see the boys again.

Then it was off to the city with the senior end of the youth group. We caught the ferry to Circular Quay and had Pancakes on the Rocks. Unfortunatly for me and two of the guys, we missed the ferry. So Karen (other leader) took the remaing 13 or so, and made sure they didn't drown, while we waited for the next one. Happily, we arrived just as they were at the front of the Pancake queue and we didn't have to do any waiting. Sweet.

I came to Hornsby, house of the perentals and caught up with the Wine and Word crowd, which was nice too.

So I'd give today 8 out of 10.

4/27/2007 11:49:00 pm

Sheep Dogs

Posted by Tom French |

This has got to be the funniest news story I've read in a while. There are lots of people in Japan who have been fooled by poodle scaming scamsters. Their customers thought they were buying cut price poodles but they were actually sold sheep. They only figured it out when their sheep failed to act like dogs.

I read the story in Westfield food court and I laughed out loud. Sadly there was no one to share my mirth with, so now I share with you.

4/27/2007 12:40:00 am

Spicy

Posted by Tom French |

The thing about living in this house is that you have to learn to eat spicy food, because there is many a night when you get home late and the only leftovers in the fridge are things that'll melt your face off. Still, I reckon being able to eat hot food makes you more attractive.

4/25/2007 11:36:00 pm

Hip

Posted by Tom French |

I went and saw Disturbia yesterday. I was expecting to be your standard teen thriller fare. And it was. But I think it was some of the better teen thriller stuff. The best bit about it was that it was extremely youth orientated without looking like it was trying too hard. Like it used X-Boxes, PSPs, macs, iPods, mobiles much in the way that teen use them. And they were more part of the character's lives rather than just put in to make the film seem "hip".

Although it could have been trying too hard and I just didn't notice because I'm too old. But I thought it was fun. Plus I liked some of the banter. It made me laugh. A lot more than Bean's Holiday, I watched that today, that was a load of celluloid poop.

I had dinner with David tonight. He's a good man. We all played Emperor/Scum here in the Commie house and, boy, was there fun to be had.

4/25/2007 11:08:00 pm

Revival Town

Posted by Tom French |

This game has been floating around MySpace and I thought it was fun I'm giving it a go.

RULES:
1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. Write down the name of the song.

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
Lonely Soul (UNKLE)

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Jangling Jack (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Elevation (U2) - Everyone knows I love the tall ones

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Indestructible (Matisyahu)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
Brownsville Girl (Bob Dylan)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Human Touch (Bruce Springsteen) - That's me, touch is my love language, baby

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
City Love (John Mayer) - Only the special friends think of me that way

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Desire (U2) - I'm not touching that

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Grey Ocean (Lior)

WHAT IS 2+2? - That's a stupid question
Message of the Cross (Delirious?)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BESTIE? - I'm assuming that's best friend
Gravity (John Mayer Trio)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Shake Your Groove Thing (Some silly cover band) - Yeehaa

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Journey (Prayerworks) - Pffft

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Fire in the Belly (Van Morrison) - I'm going to own a dodgy Indian takeaway

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Jesus Walks (Kanye West) - I'm such a good Christian boy

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Stonehearted (Transport)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Backstreets (Bruce Springsteen)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
ABC (Jackson 5)

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
English Summer Rain (Placebo)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Lilac Wine (Jeff Buckley)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Sanctify (Delirious?)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Caring is Creepy (The Shins)

WHAT SONG WILL BE THE SUBJECT WHEN YOU REPOST?
Revival Town (Delirious?) - So much Delirious?, how embarrassing

4/24/2007 06:47:00 pm

Got Soul

Posted by Tom French |

I think maybe I should do the ol' Soul Survivor wrap up. Ever since my digital camera packed it in, things as photogenic as Soul aren't nearly as exciting to blog about.

Actually, I wouldn't really call Soul photogenic, except when the mist rolls in every night. That's when things look good, and you wish for your shutter skills and tools.

I think I'll just talk about the whole week in one big chunk, I can't be bothered trying to put things together in any ordered fashion.

The thing everyone has been asking me is "How'd Donny go?" So I guess I should debrief on the Donny experience.

Doing the show was lots of fun. My favourite time is always interviewing the guests. Especially when things go well. I think the interviews are where the magic comes out or it's the place where you crash and burn. But it feels good when Donny and the guest are bantering, the absurdities are coming out, and the audience is enjoying it.

Or there are times when everything just falls flat and you can't find anyway out. You're struggling to find the funnies, and the interest. You feel like the whole audience is just waiting for something to happen, but you've got nothing. That's tough. But that's the adrenaline of it I guess. Knowing you're out on stage in front of hundreds of people, no script, very little plan, and the only thing between you and boredom is the wits of you and the guest. Maybe it's like jumping out of a plane with no parachute hoping you'll grow wings.

Anyway, this year was a pretty good year for guests. Maaike from Holland was the find of the conference. She was a great guest, she gave as good as she got. She made Donny work hard for the audience. She really kept me on my toes. It was good fun.

Mike was fun as usual though I don't think it was our best year. Ben played well. He's a good sport.

The rest of the show was ok. Tabitha was quite tense this year. I think I found the line you can't cross with politically incorrect humour at Soul. While it's hard to know exactly what's going on from the stage, most nights the video would run and you could feel most people thinking "Is this actually funny? Should I be laughing at that?" I could be wrong, but I don't feel like people came with Tabitha as much this year.

I didn't hear any complaints though. Maybe they're yet to come.

Our live satellite feed segment was kinda fun, though I feel like we needed to spend more time on it. It wasn't as obvious as it should have been. Oh well. It wasn't bad, it just could have been a lot better.

The games were fun as usual. Some were more fun than others, but I do like to make a mess.

I generally end every year wondering what Donny actually does for the conference. The show rarely makes any important commentary (except perhaps in the videos), it really is mostly foolery. But I figured this year my job is to get people in the tent before the main meeting, and that happens, so I guess I'll count the year as a success.

On the rest of Soul...

I really did enjoy eating this year. Especially having bacon and egg muffins from the Kiosk in the mornings.

I didn't find much that was world changing this year. I might be more to do with where I'm at, rather than Soul. I did get challenged to keep working in faith to see God do stuff. It's easy to only pray prayers that are safe to pray. Prayers that you'll never know if they were answered or not. But I want to trust God in how I pray. I want to pray so I can see when God answers. I don't want to just believe God answers, I want to see God's answers. (There's the sermon line right there.)

I really enjoyed the week with my youth group. As usual that was the highlight of the week. They're much fun to spend time with. Perhaps because they're just as happy to be stupid as I am. And I think because they're so much more willing to be changed by God. To change an adult you have years of defenses and habits to break through. To change a teenager, God normally has a much more willing heart to work with.

I did like doing my seminar. I think it went pretty good. I didn't feel like it was earth-shattering, world changing stuff. But I guess I was trying to inspire people in the everyday, not put them on eagles wings. And that's God's job anyway.

And that's where I'll leave it.

Except perhaps to say, I did really like sleeping in my bed these past three nights.

4/23/2007 04:40:00 pm

Idiot

Posted by Tom French |

I've left two voice mails today and mistook voice mail for email. So I've finished saying "Cheers, Tom" rather than "Thanks" or something. You reckon you'd figure out the difference between speaking and typing, but I guess not.

4/23/2007 11:13:00 am

You Never Let Go

Posted by Tom French |

For all you Soulies out there who are wondering "You Never Let Go" is a Matt Redman song. Track two on his new CD. Now you can go get it and relive the fist pumping magic of those "never let go" main meetings.

4/22/2007 01:38:00 am

Returned

Posted by Tom French |

I'm back from Soul. Just ate McDonald's. That's about I'll I've got at the moment.

4/16/2007 07:42:00 pm

So You Think You're Funny

Posted by Tom French |

I've been thinking about funny lately. With Soul Survivor coming up, I'm getting that usual re-occurring thought "What the hell are you doing?". Sometimes it occurs to me that I do a comedy show and that's a bizarre thought.

If someone like me were to tell me they did a comedy show I'd think "You're rather full of yourself aren't you. I bet you're not funny." You have to be pretty pretentious to think you're funny. Especially funny enough to take up half and hour of people's time five nights in a row. What's wrong with me?

So as usual I'm scared. But I guess it's a better place to be than confident. I'd probably suck if I was confident. Maybe I'll bomb this year and they won't ask me back. That'd solve some problems.

4/15/2007 03:51:00 pm

Miranda Speaks

Posted by Tom French |

For the first time in the history of ever, I think Miranda Divine might have said something I agree with.

In her article here about the over-sexualisation of young people she actually seems to complain about something worth complaining about. Though feel free to read it and tell me what's stupid, it feels a little too good to be true.

4/15/2007 03:15:00 pm

More Wisdom

Posted by Tom French |

Yesterday I was editing the videos for Soul and I watched one of this year's Tabithas and it started to make me uneasy. Uneasy because I'm worried that this one might be that little bit too offensive to so. A little bit too edgy. I'm quite liking the video, it makes me laugh, and I understand the point I'm making. But there is always the worry that other people won't get it and think you're saying the opposite of what you are.

Anyway, I guess I'll make a decision over the next few days.

But just in time for Soul I have uploaded a new Tabitha video. This was the first one ever made, so it's different from all the rest. It's a different look, a different voice. It looks a bit like a pilot I guess.

Anyway have a watch. It's a reminder of the days when Tabitha was a much tamer lady.



In other news I got an email from the costume hire place and the reason that they didn't return my emails is because the person I was talking to got killed in an accident two weeks ago. It's so sad. My worries that I might not get the costume I want seem rather petty in light of this now. But they'll let me hire the costume. So Donny should have the same ugly hair.

Death is stupid.

4/14/2007 05:57:00 pm

Donny's On His Way

Posted by Tom French |

I've been doing Donny Jaffa stuff all day. I shot a new segment in the morning with Liam. That was fun, rather absurd. Now I've edited all of them, I finished editing the "Wisdom with Tabitha"s too.

Now all I have to do is put the actual show DVDs together, put the Breakthru' Artz DVD together, edit a teaser for "Pilgrim" and write my seminar, and then I'm ready for Soul. Easy!

Oh and I have to actually find Donny's costume. The costume shop that I hired it from got bought by a costume shop that hasn't opened yet. They said they'd hire me the costume anyway, but they've disappeared off the radar. They've stopped returning my emails and they don't answer their phone. It's a worry. Perhaps Donny's going to have to get a hair cut.

4/13/2007 12:35:00 am

Johnny Passes

Posted by Tom French |

I went and saw John Mayer tonight. That's number 2. He played the Entertainment Centre. He's an awesome guitarist. Watching him play makes selling your soul to the Devil to have guitar skills seem pretty tempting. And he didn't seem so sleazy this time, though that may have been because I was a lot further away.

The support act wore very tight jeans. He had way too much wobble for my mild sensibilities.

We did visit Eating World before hand, which is always a treat if only for the overload of tacky atmosphere. I'm not sure how impressed my concert watching colleagues were, I hope they one day take their Grand Children and say "It all started on the night I saw John Mayer". And I hope Eating World doesn't change a bit.

Now I have no concerts to look forward to. Nothing's on the radar. Maybe it's time for Bruce Springsteen to come to Australia. And Michael Franti can come back too. And U2. Yeah that'd be the stuff.

4/11/2007 11:27:00 pm

Oh Gravity.

Posted by Tom French |

Oh Gravity.
why can't we
seem to keep it together?
- Switchfoot

4/09/2007 05:01:00 pm

Hoopla

Posted by Tom French |

It's a public holiday today! Thank God. I mean that, I thank God. The weekend that's been has been pretty tough. Mostly I spent the time in an empty house trying to find a sermon to preach on Sunday night.

I've never seen the house so empty as it was over this past weekend. I saw Martin and Matt for 10 minutes on Friday and that was it. No-one. No one else slept in the house till last night. There were tumbleweeds in our lounge room and cobwebs on every chair but mine at the dinner table. Normally this emptiness would be fantastic. I know I live in "Community". But being an introvert the idea of a whole weekend in a Community House with no Community in it is a marvelous one. I was intending on writing my sermon on Friday, then spending all Saturday to enjoy the quietness and the ability to walk around with no clothes on and pee with the door open. But the sermon wouldn't come. Not on Friday and not on Saturday.

On Saturday night I went and saw the CCC production of 3rd Day which was fun. But I had to go home to keep writing sermon. I can tell you by that stage I was starting to get pretty angry at God. I wanted to go out to dinner with friends in Dee Why, but no, I had to go sit in a cold, dark, communitiless house and tap out the ministry of the Word. I was ready to pull out a Psalm of lament and use it on His Eternalness. "My God, My God, why haven't you forsaken me?" Can't I have a long weekend like everyone else! I thought Easter was meant be a religious holiday but it's only people who work in religion who are working. I'm waiting for our pluralist society to start taking public holidays for solstices and Buddha Days, then I might actually get a day off, 'cause I ain't preaching about Buddha's resurrection, I can tell you that.

Anyway, the sermon didn't actually finish coming together till 6pm yesterday. Half an hour before show time. But I was happy with it. And this end of the sermon, I think it's worth the sacrifice. It is a privilege even if it hurts my brain and recreational life.

Yesterday afternoon I went out with Jo and Hannah for some family Easter excitement. Jo busted Hannah out of respite and brought her to meet me. We went off to McDonald's. It was nice, if you ignore the McDonald's bit. Jo helped me find my last illustration for the sermon. She suggested talking about the outing we were in the middle of, and it turned out to be a winner. Thanks Jo.

And while I'm on it, I just want to publicly correct what I said last night. When I preached I may have given everyone the impression that Hannah lives in an institution. She doesn't. She was just staying in respite for the weekend while Mum and Dad are in Vanuatu. My little sister lives with my parents. And they love her very much.

Hopefully that clears things up a little.

Anyway, today I slept in. I celebrated the end of Lent by buying some CDs. I had a beer with Phil. This is the joy of not having sermon to write.

4/09/2007 01:18:00 am

End

Posted by Tom French |

Finally, I'm home, I've preached, I have two days off. I've been waiting for this all weekend. I'm quite happy.

4/07/2007 12:43:00 am

Meating

Posted by Tom French |

I had a meeting with Nathan the SIM (Student In Ministry) on Thursday at Brooky Pub. It was cool. We went for about 3 hours. We cooked our own $10 steaks, had some drinks (though only one beer was consumed between the two of us because we're well behaved Christian men and you don't want to go planning your youth ministry under the influence or you'll get calls from parents saying "Why is my Child learning about Chuck Norris in Bible Study?" which you would have to reply "That may have been the Tooheys New that made that decision"), visited JB Hi-Fi (for legitimate Youth Ministry research purposes) and Nathan lent me a DVD or 16 on the way back to church. Plus we got the teaching planned, some pastoral care sorted out, and started on next terms socials. I reckon I should have more meetings like that. Productive and tasty.

4/07/2007 12:26:00 am

Rather Good Friday

Posted by Tom French |

It was a mostly quiet day. I didn't really engage with the whole Easter thing. Probably the problem with going to church at 9am and sitting right up the back. Sometimes Easter loses it's significance on the actual day, but marvel and gratitude at the sacrifice of Jesus make regular appearences through out the rest of the year, so it can't be all bad.

I always love Easter Sunday though. It's exciting. What's not exciting about a resurrection?

I went home after church and read lots of commentaries on Philippians which did a marvelous job of going in one ear and out the other. I had to re-read many paragraphs. I had study breaks with Futurama and Prison Break.

Tonight was spent with The Gowies and Debbie. We drove to Maccas for our dinner. My car made "Bang-I'm-falling-apart" noises on the speed hump. Howie told me I had a flat tire. I was a little worried, but a flat tire is better than having your suspension hanging of the bottom of the chassis*, which is what is sounded like. Happily Howie's vision skills were overly pessimistic and it just turned out to be a big stick that had jammed itself underneath my car.

We went home and ate and played board games. We did laugh. I did lose a bit. Oh well. It's not all about winning. Unless you win and then everyone else is a loser.

I drove home listening to The Power of One. I like the audiobook thing. It makes long, lonely driving more interesting and companionable.

*I'm guessing that's the right word, but I'm not confident enough in my car knowledge to know if I actually do know what I'm talking about.

4/05/2007 04:28:00 pm

Lonely Weekend

Posted by Tom French |

So I'm looking at this weekend and a lot of my friends are going away. Jo, Ryan and Mil are all up in Byron. Along with David, Gemma, Keith and Stella. Martin is spending the weekend at The Great Escape. Mum and Dad have gone to Vanuatu. Howie and Jenny are off to Uluru on Sunday. Helen and Jon are off to Rockhampton. And well, I'm left here in Sydney with no plans except a few Church services.

Actually that's not true. I'm hanging out with a Gowie or two tomorrow night, and some Swans on Monday. But there will be a lot of time alone. I might edit some Tabitha. And I'll have lots of time to write my sermon. Hooray! Sermon writing! A wonderful substitute for friends. That's what I always say.

4/05/2007 12:37:00 am

What up Gs?

Posted by Tom French |

I made some Gangsta rap for youth group last week. I made it with Nathan the SIM. The rules were to make a song containing the words "Ernie" and "Methuselah". So this is what Nathan and I made.

Have a listen.

4/05/2007 12:25:00 am

Making Little Children Cry

Posted by Tom French |

I made Kindergarten kid cry today. I was doing the Easter assembly talk today at the local primary school and part of my talk was to do lame magic tricks. Like I said I was going to make a blind person see, then I told a kid to close their eyes and open them when I clicked my fingers. Thus making a blind person see. They didn't think it was a very good trick.

For my finale I was going to bring a dead chicken back to life. I had a Woolworths chicken, cold, dead and in a plastic bag. I tried telling it to come to life and that didn't work. I tried dancing around it and that didn't work. It was when I started trying to give it mouth to mouth resuscitation that the kid started to cry. Poor thing.

Needless to say, the chicken is still dead.

4/03/2007 11:14:00 pm

Watching Leo

Posted by Tom French |

I watched Blood Diamond and The Departed today. One at the movies, one on DVD. Leo was good in both of them. I reckon his character in Blood Diamond was probably the most interesting character I've seen him do. I really enjoyed him. The film was good, good action, and a conscience.

The Departed was excellent. I can see why it got Mr Oscar. So much good story and good acting and good characters and smartness. Good stuff I reckon.

I do like my days off.

4/02/2007 11:12:00 pm

Earth Hour

Posted by Tom French |

I did Earth Hour on Saturday with Ryan. It was pretty fun. But the only lights we saw go out were the Harbour Bridge, but still that was exciting to see that disappear. The city was kinda cool without so many lights on, but it didn't fulfil my apocalyptic dreams.

We met Mum, Dad and Hannah on the bridge too, which was also fun. Hannah was happy to see us so it made me feel like a good brother.

4/02/2007 12:41:00 am

Fun and Beanbags

Posted by Tom French |

We had an awesomely fun time at youth group tonight. We were meant to play a wide game with about 25 small beanbags that an old lady donated to us a few years back. But before we could start the game, actually before we could finish our leader's meeting it was an all out beanbag throwing war. It was cool. We had almost everyone playing from big 18-year-old guys to small 11-year-old girls. It crazy fun. And some of those beanbags can hurt, especially if you cop one in the face, as I did. Way cool. Sometimes youth group is much more fun when you stop worrying about people getting injured. Oh how I wish I was a youth worker in the 80s.

This morning was pretty cool too. We decided to April Fool the youth Dance and Drama teams. So Chez, Pip and I organised for an announcement to be made in church that all the Dance and Drama leaders were away. Then two of the adults in the morning congregation were to take the groups for a lesson on rules and Leviticus. They were to be quite strict. Eventually we were going to walk in and say "April Fools" and take them to Maccas.

It went off wonderfully well. Chez, Pip and I hid down at the local shops for about half an hour while church began. Then hid in the park behind church to watch the young people walk to their lesson. Finally we walked in and surprised them. Though we spent about 2 minutes standing in the room before any of them really noticed. They were too busy studying making notes on mildew regulations to see us. It was fun. I think they were pretty happy to see us. They liked Maccas too. We'd lined up money with their parents beforehand so no one went hungry. Fun times. Though I won't see another April Fool's Sunday for a while, which is sad, because Sunday is the best day to April Fool when you work for a church.

I also told Howie that I woke up in the morning and had become a dog, but I don't think he believed me.

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