7/31/2007 08:22:00 pm

Going

Posted by Tom French |

We're going to the gate. Just took my pants off for the Customs people. You know how it is.

Next stop Dubai.

See you then.

We haven't died yet.

7/30/2007 11:42:00 pm

12458.36 kms

Posted by Tom French |

Tomorrow Howie and I are flying away. We're off to start our careers as international preachers.

Tomorrow night we're going to fly to Dubai. In Dubai we were going to hang out with my Dad who was going to be there for his work. But his work told him not to come, so now Howie and I are just going to be hanging out there. It will be sad to be there without Dad, but we have promised to go on the uphill waterslide in honour of him.

After a few days in Dubai, it's off to Kitale, Kenya. We're there because, in case you missed it last time, I got invited to go speak at a church's conference there by Pastor Albert who sent me an email. It's not often you get an email from some dude you've never met in a country you've never been to asking you to come preach, so I thought "Why not?" and then I said "Howie, do you want to come?"

So now we're doing a Youth Conference, Outdoor Meetings, Revivals and talking to Pastors and Leaders. All up, between us, we'll be speaking at least 10 times at 8 different events in four days. Fully hectic man.

Plus we're going to be praying for healing for people. Which is mighty scary. Like I've prayed for healing before but most of the time it happens in the natural course of time. God hasn't seemed to have given me the gift of healing. But I really do hope God does turn up and does heal, because that would be way cool.

After Kenya I'm off to the UK to hang out. I'll go to the Soul Survivor Festival.

Then I'll come home.

Unless I meet some hot girl and marry her. And then I'm not coming home.

I got sent off by the church yesterday. I got put in the magic spot and prayed for. It was cool. I haven't been in the magic spot for years, but it's good to feel the love.

Now I should go buy some travel insurance and read Harry Potter.

7/28/2007 04:35:00 pm

Looking

Posted by Tom French |

"People say they want to find God, but maybe all they really want to do is find themselves." - C.K. Knight

7/26/2007 11:43:00 pm

Lyric

Posted by Tom French |

We have all the time in the world
to get it right
to get it right
And we have all the love in the world
to set alight
to set alight - The Frames

7/25/2007 11:44:00 pm

Outta my Shell

Posted by Tom French |

I'm getting all these people adding me on Facebook as friends who I went to school with and I haven't seen since. So I'm not sure if we're really friends.

But I now think "Maybe they'll look at the photos of me and think "Wow, after school he really came out of his shell!"" Of course I was out of my shell during the school years too, just not as school.

I doubt they'll look at the photos of me though. And if they do, they probably won't think much at all except "Oh, that's what he looks like now."

At least I'm better looking now.

7/24/2007 11:11:00 pm

La La La

Posted by Tom French |

I had a Tuesday. I really needed today because work's been a little on the stressful side lately.

I did manage to wake up late, and lie in bed till later. There's a stereotype that Youth Ministers don't get up before 10am. I like to do whatever I can to live up to that calling on my life.

I had a shower, but we have no shower curtain because Ryan tried to clean it with bleach and melted it. Actually there was a little shower curtain but it was all in the plug hole.

I went to Macquarie and met the Gowies for lunch. The Bert and I visited Gloria Jean in Borders to do conference speaking planning. We're going to be international speakers. Scary.

I bought myself a bag/pack too. It's a pretty swanky Caribee. I love a good Caribee. The shopping didn't end there. Oh no. It was off to Koorong to by a preaching Bible (that means a Bible big enough to hide my notes in) and Anberlin on CD. I figure I'm a good Christian young man now that I own Anberlin. It's a good cd too. They make good music. I like.

Jo and I went to see Knocked Up. A funny movie it was. Warmed the heart too. Of course it was rather rude. But hey, rude things make me laugh.

7/23/2007 11:42:00 pm

Community Events

Posted by Tom French |

I hopped in my car and was about to go to work on Sunday morning when I noticed a man walking up our street. He stopped at our drive way (I was parked on the street) looked up it, then walked in. I thought "Oh no, someone's stealing our stuff again." So I hopped out of my car walked back to the house and found the man standing on a small garden bed wall holding some scissors and trying to cut a mandarin out of our mandarin tree. I said "Hello"

"Oh hi" he replied "I just thought these looked good so I thought I'd try one."

"Oh, ok" I responded, "They're not very good, but go ahead"

"Oh they look good."

"Well if you like it feel free to have them anytime you want."

"Ok, thanks." He said. And then I went to work.

Today I was sitting at work and I got a phone call from one of the youth group mothers and she said "I wouldn't normally do this but my husband is away for work, and I have a flat tire, and I just saw Jon and he said you'd be really good at it. So can you come up to the shops and change my tire for me?"

Little did Jon know that I've never changed a tire in my life, but I'd seen my Dad do it once. I'd never changed one because I've never had a flat tire. Not because I get other people to do it. But I figured, how hard can it be.

So I went up to the shops and fiddled around. Her son was with her (he's in the small group I run), so we intuited our way through the process and changed the tire. It was pretty fun. I didn't really know what I was doing, but now I do. So if ever I need to change a tire, I can. It's not that hard. And I had dirty hands afterwards, so I felt pretty manly.

7/23/2007 11:38:00 pm

Reunion

Posted by Tom French |

Jo, Ryan and Mil are all home and living here again now. It's nice to have almost the whole house together again.

We went out for Thai at Doy Tao tonight. I know everyone has been raving about it at me for months, years perhaps, but I didn't think it was spectacular. Not as good as Anna Thai in my books. Still we had fun.

7/22/2007 12:00:00 am

Too Many Phone Calls

Posted by Tom French |

There were too many phone calls today. Most of which were a little intense. Oh well. You get that.

7/20/2007 12:01:00 am

Conviction

Posted by Tom French |

We had a fascinating small group yesterday on the current Government initiative in the Northern Territory. I'd write about what I think, but I want to go to bed. Maybe tomorrow.

But what was great about the small group is that we went away, after looking at the issue, and the issue of corporate sin, convicted that we are people who need to respond to the terrible situation of some of your fellow Australians. I love the Bible studies where you come away feeling convicted, and convicted as a group rather than as an individual. Maybe the rest of the group didn't feel the same as me, but it felt like it.

Hopefully our conviction will translate into action.

Today I spent the day doing a mail out with Nathan. My goodness mail outs take a long time. Still we had fun, and I love our colour laser printer at work. It makes things so much more pretty.

7/17/2007 05:38:00 pm

Harry Potter and the Day of the CDs

Posted by Tom French |

I think I've come out of a CD buying drought four new CDs in 3 days. That's pretty good. On Sunday I got out of the post a new Counting Crows live cd, Rebel, Sweetheart by The Wallflowers. Today I bought Minutes to Midnight by Linkin Park and The Cost by The Frames. Yep, I'm gonna pretty musically content for a while I think.

I also went to see Order of the Phoenix. Last week was such a hard week knowing I couldn't go see the film. I almost cried myself to sleep most night. So getting to see Harry today filled me with glee. I would almost be willing to say this was the best Harry film so far. Harry wasn't nearly as annoying in the film as he is in the book. I only wanted to slap him a little bit.

The wand fights were really cool. And I loved the sets. The score was pretty good too, although I miss the Harry Potter theme. And there were only one of two silly lines in the script, it was very well written. At least I thought so.

I loved the look of the Ministry of Magic.

So I'm impressed. Well done Potter People.

7/16/2007 12:04:00 pm

Hot

Posted by Tom French |

What I want to know is, if water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, and at that point turns to steam, why does my shower steam even though I'm not showering in boiling water?

7/15/2007 11:56:00 pm

Sex Camp

Posted by Tom French |

Camp two was the young adults camp for my church. I went as a camper rather than anything official.

Benny came and picked me up from the church with Carmen and Kathleen and we had a rollicking good trip down to Picton.

The camp was about "Understanding Intimate Relationships and Sexuality" which meant it was quickly dubbed "Sex Camp".

The food was good.

On Saturday we had 3 older couples come and share about their stories and give advice on marriage and life and stuff. Which was nice, they had good stories. Though it felt a little irrelevant to me because it's not where I'm currently at. I'm more preoccupied with doing single well than marriage well at this stage. I'm not even preparing for marriage.

Now that I've said that, I'll probably get married next week.

Today we had a guy come and share about Sexuality and Spirituality. It was a good seminar though I think I'd probably thought about it all before in different places.

Except he did tell us we should all ask ourselves 3 questions for some reason. (I think it was something to do with finding your identity and healing)

1. Who am I?

2. Where am I going?

3. Who am I going with?

About which I first thought "I can't be bothered answering them." I think I'm lazy when it comes to introspection. And then I realised I can't be bothered because I'm not all that interested in the answers. But I have answers for you. So now I will bear myself to the world on my blog.

1. I am me.

2. Wherever God sends me.

3. Whoever comes with me.

That might seem lazy, but I think it's the truest answers I can find. Life will happen, and I will be who I will be. I'll do my best to be obedient to God and everything else will slot in.

But other than that, the seminar was good. I do always like talking about sex. I'm not sure why. I guess it's interesting.

The rest of the camp was good. We played good games. Nathan and I pretended to beat each other up. John and I played bread roll pranks on each other. Or at least I bread roll pranked him. He put a bread roll in my jacket hood. So I put one in his pillow slip, bed, bag, on his dashboard and in his glove box. I'm not sure he's found them all yet. When we woke up this morning he discovered the one in his bed when I suggested he look. He'd slept the night with a bread roll in his bed and not noticed. I was pretty pleased with that.

I came home and did church. Church was special. For some reason I found it really easy to engage with the worship tonight. I was more focused on God than I usually am. So I was thankful for that. I'm not sure what was different but it was good.

I hung out at Maccas after church with the youthies. Hooray for my youthies.

I really enjoyed my weekend, I loved spending time with familiar people. After a week of living with 90 people I didn't know, a weekend with 30 people I knew was great.

Now however the bed of mine is calling.

7/15/2007 06:08:00 pm

I Speak on Camp

Posted by Tom French |

So I'm now the camp king. I haven't slept in my own bed since Friday last week. But I had my pillow with me this past week, so that brings a little bit of home with me where ever I go.

Camp one was a week long camp for random high school kids who are mainly from the area where I work. They may not be random, but as far as I can tell they all just come from seeing ads at their schools and coming with their friends.

So I spent a week with about 70 young people and 20 leaders. I was the speaker. It was an interesting dynamic for me because the camp thing feels more like work than a novelty these days. Which is ok, especially since it is my work. But you come at the whole experience differently. I quickly discovered early on in the week that I didn't really feel like being on camp. Not because I didn't like the people, or the camp, I just felt like having the holidays. I wanted the freedom to wake up when I wanted, eat when I wanted, go to bed when I wanted, go home when I wanted. And I wasn't really in the mood to be surrounded by people for a week.

But I figured, I didn't really have a choice about being there or not so I would just have to have the best time I could.

And in the end I had a pretty good time despite how I was feeling.

The camp itself was a really good camp. The directors were good at their job. They're a husband and wife team who are passionate and really focused on the gospel. They have lots of love for their leaders and the young people. It was special to see.

James
was my room mate and the program director. He was a tireless worker for the camp, and did his job well. Plus he was a good roomie. I liked spending the week with him.

The leaders were a good bunch. Only one of them I knew before I came on the camp. They seemed to know what they were doing. There were no real doofusses in the team which is always a worry with groups like that. But I liked them all. I didn't really get to know them all, but I liked them all.

I spoke on the topic of "Jesus Fact or Fiction". It was a mainly evangelistic series, but I did a bit of stuff for the Christians too. There was a good response from the campers and team. A few of the campers became Christians, people laughed at my jokes. I was pretty pleased.

I spent most of my time with the campers doing camper activities. I figure while being the speaker on a camp you always have the option to be the "celebrity" and only do the stuff that interests you and disappear when you feel like it, I figure the more time you spend with the campers the more effective your message will be. Unless you're knob and then it's probably best just to leave them alone.

I did take time out a little to prepare my talks for each day, when I would inevitably fall asleep. But apart from that I was there doing everything. I liked it.

I did go Ice Skating. It was better than the last time. I was only on the ice for about 20 minutes, but it was long enough for a bit of healing.

We had a day of running around the City doing scavenger hunts.

We had a movie night watching a film called The Librarian: Quest for the Spear which was an action movie about a Librarian. Lesley you'd love it. But it was pretty bad. Funny in it's badness, but bad none the less. I hear it's a trilogy, so I'd quite like to watch the other two now, just to experience it all.

There were some kids on the camp that were children of various adult leaders who were good fun to play with. We watched movies together, jumped on the trampoline, and played chasings. I like kids.

I liked the campers too. I didn't remember all their names. There were one of two challenging personalities. But you always get that. And you grow to love those ones too. However I generally find it hard not to like teenagers, so I guess it's pretty obvious that'd I'd like these ones too.

I'm not sure what else to say about the camp. It was quality, well done team.

I went back to church afterwards, at some food and slept. Then it was off to camp two.

7/13/2007 06:32:00 pm

Pit-Stop

Posted by Tom French |

Just had a two hour sleep. Now I'm off to Camp Two! Yip!

7/12/2007 11:38:00 am

If I lived in Springfield

Posted by Howie |


I'm pretty hot!

7/07/2007 05:54:00 pm

8 days in the Wilderness-ness

Posted by Tom French |

I'm off to do two camps now. I won't be home till Sunday.

First I'm off to speak on a teen camp till Friday. Then I'm off to the Church's young adults camp on the topic of sex. So pretty much, I'm going to be the camp king. And by Monday I'm going to be stuffed.

Don't miss me while I'm gone. Send me SMSs and I'll feel loved (though I can only sneek a look so that I'm not caught with the phone. I'm going to put my phone in a condom and swallow it to get it into camp) And be my friend of Facebook. I want to be popular when I get home.

That's all. Have a good week, world.

7/07/2007 12:58:00 pm

Contraband

Posted by Tom French |

I'm about to go on camp for a week and I'm just looking at the list of things to bring and not bring. The letter has clearly told me:

Please note that Camp does not allow any of the following:
Mobile phones, computer games, iPods, alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.

One wonders if the penalty for bringing an iPod or mobile on camp is the same as bringing a kilo of coke.

7/06/2007 03:27:00 pm

Flying

Posted by Tom French |

So I'm going on Camp tomorrow. I have 6 talks to do.

And I now have three done, and three almost done. So I am pretty happy. A bit more typing and prodding and I'll be there. I may not even be up late tonight.

In other news I went and had the rest of my jabs for Kenya today. Yellow Fever, Meningitis, and Cholera. So now I'm pretty much walking immunity. Bugs can't hurt me. Yeehaa!

7/05/2007 04:24:00 pm

$100

Posted by Tom French |

I'm trying to figure out where to go for our Youth Group camp. I want to go for $100 or less but it's really hard.

There is one place that looks good, which we could do for under $100. They have one of the longest flying foxes in Australia but to do that would put the price of the camp up to about $115. Plus it'd take up about 3 hours of camp time which is a lot really. But I don't want to go there if we can't go on the flying fox because it would be so sad to be near such a big flying fox and not be allowed on it!

Grrr.

7/04/2007 05:52:00 pm

Wash Out

Posted by Tom French |

I went to work today to do some work.

Alas I got to check my emails then the Computer man came in and stole our server so I couldn't do any more work. No more email, no more word files, no interenet. Crippled I was! The whole church office ground to a stand still. It's amazing that the work of Jesus relies so much on a computer.

Seeing then that I was spiritually paralysed, I left. I went and had a Kenya meeting with Howie. We're all planned now. Sortof.

7/03/2007 07:13:00 pm

Anti-Perversion Alert

Posted by Tom French |

Ryan pointed out that the main sex symbol of Transformers is meant to be about 16 years old. It was at that point that I realised that she wasn't attractive at all. And I retro-actively refused to have ever found her attractive.

Take that you conniving Hollywood-types!

Just so you all know, the actor is 21. She can legally drink and show cleavage.

7/03/2007 12:25:00 am

Steak and Bartlett

Posted by Tom French |

I got my steak today.

I had a "Youth Minister's Fraternal" with Mitch and Graham today. I've never called it a Youth Minister's Fraternal before, but Kathy in the office suggested it because it sounds more official than it's real name of a "Bitch and Moan Session". I did enjoy the catch up. I rarely see other youth ministers. And even less rarely ones I'm friends with. So it's special to see people who are doing the same as me.

I have 5 talks to prepare for next week's camp between now and Saturday evening. I got most of the way through talk number one today. I'm sure I'll get the rest done soon.

I was home alone tonight so I hung out at the Wrights. Helen cooked a winner vegetarian lasagne and we watched disk one of season 6 of The West Wing. It was good to have the Bartlett administration back. And I think this season isn't looking as silly as the last one.

When I was walking home, I was walking down a dark back alley and I had my iPod in. I got chased down the street by a couple with a lot of change in their pocket. I heard their change, but I didn't really pay much attention to them. Till they were really close and I thought they may have been talking to me. I took my iPod out and said "Sorry?"

"Oh we just had someone prowling around our courtyard, we thought it might have been you." the woman said.

"Oh ok." I replied.

"Sorry if we scared you" she responded.

"No worries" I told them.

"We're trying to find a stalker" said the man. And then they ran off.

It was odd.

Now I'm home, and I didn't see any stalkers.

7/02/2007 12:12:00 am

This Day the Lord Have Giveth

Posted by Tom French |

I went to Maccas today with the youth and tried to stuff a whole cheeseburger in my mouth. It didn't fit. Almost though.

When we got back from Maccas they all stole my shoes and I got beaten up by a bunch of 13-year-olds. Happily I like them or I would have been annoyed. As it worked out I enjoyed the fun of chasing my shoes around a soggy park.

I spent most of the rest of the day working on my sermon. It was nice to have a day to fiddle with it. To move things around and tweak it.

But when Church came, God did stuff, and I didn't get on till about 7:45 and all the nice stuff went out the window, and I had to edit the sermon as I went. People said it was good, though I didn't like it very much. But that might have been because I was in a bad mood.

I went to First Sunday feeling rather unsocial and wondering why I was going. But I ended up enjoying it. I hid in the kitchen and it was safer there.

I drove home with my friend Damien Rice.

If I squeeze my grape, then I drink my wine
Coz if I squeeze my grape, then I drink my wine
Oh coz nothing is lost, it's just frozen in frost,
and it's opening time, there's no-one in line
- Damien

Subscribe