8/31/2008 01:40:00 am

Video Blog

Posted by Tom French |

I just spent about an hour trying to make a 2 minute video blog. But it didn't work. Shame.

Though it's late at night so probably my jokes wouldn't have worked in the morning anyway.

8/30/2008 04:43:00 pm

Looking Up

Posted by Tom French |

The car did get fixed and it only cost me $637! I was so happy to be back on the road and broke.

I've also started moving boxes into the new home, which is good fun. It feels like I'm actually moving. I've managed to move almost all my boxes. Only stuff left to move is my furniture and the mess on my floor! Amazing.

I discovered Entourage last night. And I finished Season 1 tonight. It wasn't a real big deal seeing as there are only 8 half hour episodes. But still it was good fun.

So I'm feeling a little more permanent. At little less and a little more. But I'm happy to be able to drive places and I'm happy to be able to have somewhere to live. These are good things.

8/28/2008 05:14:00 pm

Courage

Posted by Tom French |

I'm at work. The car dude was meant to be here at 12 to fix my car, he never turned up. I got stood up by a mechanic. I should ring him and ask him what's going on, but I'm not very good at confrontation. I should ring him and tell him that this is taking too long. 5 weeks to fix my car is a little bit long. But I'm not good at getting angry. I'm not even feeling angry. I just feel like I should call.

Update: I just called and left an almost apologetic message on his voice mail. But I did ask that he fix my car tomorrow if possible. It was very demanding of me.

8/28/2008 01:12:00 am

Guglielmucci

Posted by Tom French |

I was about to go to bed but I got distracted by reading stuff about Mike Guglielmucci.

For those of you who haven't been following the story, Mike Guglielmucci was a Youth Pastor for Planetshakers. He has recently admitted to faking having cancer. He had been pretending to have cancer since September 2006.

He wrote a song called "Healer" which is about how Jesus heals (obviously). He performed it on the latest Hillsong DVD with an oxygen tube in his nose.

He recently admitted to faking his cancer as an excuse to cover up the symptoms of an unexplained illness which may have been caused by his guilt for having an addiction to pornography. He had been addicted to pornography for about 16 years.

I watched this Today Tonight story which is typically Today Tonight but I can't help but feel really sad for the guy.



I didn't know about this whole thing until it broke. Before that I didn't really know who Mike Guglielmucci was. I had seen him speak maybe, and I'd sung the song but I didn't know anything about cancer.

So I guess watching him on Today Tonight made me feel sad because he must be feeling terrible. I am sure he loves Jesus, otherwise he had no reason to admit his sin. And now he's getting a battering in the press, thousands of people are upset with him, he's let his wife, family, parents and church down. I can't imagine that the relief for admitting this makes up for what he's copping now as a result. It would have been easier for him to not tell anyone what was going on.

His Dad said in a statement to his church: "I can't begin to tell you how much this is hurting us on the inside. A few weeks ago Mike had a dream of Jesus on the cross looking down on him saying, 'the truth will set you free' and so he decided to confess and bring everything out into the open."

I do hope the truth sets him free. I don't think he's a con-man as Today Tonight and lots of others have made out. I think he's a sad man who was caught up in his own sin, pride and fear. I believe him when he says that he really did mean the song when he sang it, it just wasn't cancer he wanted healed. James says "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Maybe now he will find the healing he so desperately wants. I hope so.

Satan must be having a field day right now. I wish we ministry workers could keep it together.



If you want to read more I got most of my information from here, here and here.

8/28/2008 12:21:00 am

Plastic Jesus

Posted by Tom French |

I'm back from the Ent Cent seeing Mark Driscoll tell us all about Jesus. There was 2 hours of preaching. That's pretty impressive. I've never sat through a 2 hour sermon before. It's kinda like sitting through 5 normal length sermons in a row.

That said, it was good. He kept us engaged, he told us about Jesus, he made us laugh. So I'm happy. I think seeing him live at a special event is better than everyday podcast Mark. Maybe just because he made fun of Austrailans, and Sydney people in particular. The crowd interaction was good.

I do appreciate Anglican worship music now more too. It's so theologically correct. It's kinda like singing a basic theology text book. But good thing is I think the music has improved. I didn't see one saxophone the whole night.

The sound was bad. And Mark made fun of 25-year-old males still living with their Mum. Lucky that's not me.

8/27/2008 04:16:00 pm

Preacher Superstar

Posted by Tom French |

I'm off to see Mark Driscoll tonight. It's a little strange. We're off to see him at the Entertainment Centre. It's kinda like seeing a rock band but so much less cool. The event is called "Burn Your Plastic Jesus". I'm gonna take my plastic Jesus, but I'm not going to burn it because I like my plastic Jesus.

But I'm looking forward to it. I've listened to a lot of Driscoll's preaching, now seeing him live is kinda like going and seeing a band.

I read an article where someone was saying that some people are in danger of idolising Mark. I think I would be but I disagree with him too much. Lucky that.

Still it should be fun. Plus I'm taking some of the youth and I'm gonna take them to Eating World. I love Eating World.

8/26/2008 02:44:00 pm

Terrorist?

Posted by Tom French |

I've been meaning to blog this for a while.

When we were entering the United States they made us fill out this form.

US Arrival Form Small.JPG

It was these three questions which were my favourite:

US Arrival Form CU 1.JPG

One does wonder how many people the Department of Homeland Security have caught using this method. I also felt that perhaps asking me if I was planning on engaging in "immoral activities" was a little subjective. I mean some people think it's immoral for a Christian to drink and I planned to drink. In fact I did drink. I had a Budweiser. I wouldn't say I sought entry specifically to drink a Budweiser but I did feel that drinking a Budweiser while on US soil was important to my experience of the US.

For the record the beer wasn't very nice. And I ticked "No" even though I felt that some might find my morality rather questionable. I'd hate to think the conundrums an unmarried couple planning to sleep together while in the US would go through. I would think that George W would think that it was immoral for them to do so, plus a large number of US citizens.

Still I was happy to be able to tell the Department of Homeland Security that I have never been, and am not currently, involved in genocide, as I really dislike genocide.

Finally they had this piece at the bottom:

US Arrival Form CU 2.JPG

Surly one of the first steps to reducing paperwork would be getting rid of the Paperwork Reduction Project and all the letters people send them complaining about the paperwork. But what would I know? I'm just a pleb.

8/26/2008 11:40:00 am

Me and Barack

Posted by Tom French |

I had a dream I was friends with Barack Obama last night and he promised to hang out with me when he was President. It's good when you know your friends won't forget you even when they hit the big time.

8/20/2008 06:54:00 pm

Complaining

Posted by Tom French |

I've been thinking a little bit about complaining recently. God (the Bible) tells me not to complain. Problem is, my life has been kinda going to the dogs in a very manageable and only rather inconvenient way recently. Like, I'm not dying and no one else I know is dying, and everything that's really important is good. In fact, I even got a place to live (Hello Gowies!)

But still things are kinda falling apart. And I want to talk about it, because it's interesting. Like the fact that at the moment my car only has two wheels and is stuck in my church carpark. That's very interesting, quite embarrassing, and it seems like it's worth talking about it. But how do you talk about it with out complaining about it. Like if I mention negative feelings towards having a car that's doing an impression of a bicycle, is that complaining or is that just me talking honestly? Do I just need to state the facts so that I'm not complaining and let other people fill in the blanks that it sucks.

Anyway, I'll keep working on it. Feel free to give me your judgments.

8/19/2008 10:07:00 pm

Taken

Posted by Tom French |

I went and saw Taken today. Liam Neison pretty much just efficiently kills people the whole film. It was pretty cool. I enjoyed watching it.

8/14/2008 10:58:00 pm

Sexy Time

Posted by Tom French |

As three of the four of us in this house are currently sick, my father persuaded the doctor to make a home visit. So the doctor came and, without warning, undressed me in front of Hannah's babysitter*. I always knew moving back in with the parents could be a whole new adventure.


*In defence of the babysitter, she didn't hang around to watch. As soon as the doctor got into it, she scuttled away to do her uni readings. A wise move if you ask me.

8/14/2008 11:26:00 am

Still

Posted by Tom French |

I'm still home sick. Today I'm missing a special training day run by the diocese. I can't say I'm totally depressed about that. I'll still have to go at some stage but it won't be today.

I hear from a professional doctor that this flu takes about 10 days to get over. There is little joy in that news.

Still at least I'll get to watch some DVDs.

8/12/2008 06:28:00 pm

Spy

Posted by Tom French |

When I was at the retirement home visiting the residents for youth group on Sunday I met a man there who was a spy in Paupa New Guinea during World War Two. I was pretty impressed. I wanted to ask him lots of questions but I feel like it's rude to ask people questions about what is probably a rather traumatic experience. He seemed happy to talk about stuff though. He spent the most time telling me how he met his wife. That was nice.

Next time though maybe he'll want to tell me about hiding out in the jungle spying on Japanese. That'd make my day.

8/12/2008 05:51:00 pm

Bler

Posted by Tom French |

I'm sick today.

The dilemma with being sick is, you don't want to be sick and have to skip work. But being sick on your day off kinda bums you out. I wanted to go to the movies tonight, perhaps today too, but I had to stay home and watch the Olympics, and sleep. Bah.

I'll probably feel fine tomorrow and head off to work happy and healthy.

8/06/2008 11:52:00 am

Near Death

Posted by Tom French |

I almost died today. Seriously. I was almost involved in a horrendous car accident.

As I mentioned before my mechanic told me when he serviced my car that everything was fine, except the brakes could fail at anytime. And I half believed him. I believed him enough to not drive most of the time and only drive when it was really important.

So I decided to drive from church to Scripture today because it's about a 20 minute walk and my class was starting in 10 minutes. I hopped in the car, drove down the road, got to a Give Way sign, put my foot on the brake and nothing happened. The car just kept going merrily along. This was a serious problem, I was flying along at 20km/h if I didn't slow down soon I would commit a traffic offense.

Luckily, since I had been told my car could lose its brakes at any moment I had been mentally rehearsing what I would do in case of a break failure - gear down, neutral, handbrake, park. And my self training kicked in like clockwork. I said "Bloody hell!" then swerved all over the road hoping that any on coming cars, trees, telegraph poles or people would be less likely to crash into me if I was covering as much ground as possible.

As it happens, I turned left and managed to park my car on the side of the road. I actually don't know how I did this, but the swerving must have done the trick. Then I walked back to church and borrowed Anika's car.

After Scripture I went back to get my car. Anika drove behind me with her hazards on as I drove myself back to church in first and second gear while only turning left. I must say I could become a stunt driver. I also confirmed during the drive that my handbrake has about as much stopping ability as a fat man going downhill in a shopping trolley. Still like the fat man in the trolley at least it has novelty value.

But I am thanking God that I didn't die. Today has proved to me that I'm probably going to be famous. God has preserved my life for a reason. Watch this space.

8/04/2008 10:55:00 pm

Wanted

Posted by Tom French |

I just went an saw Wanted tonight with my youth leaders. It was their idea, so I can't discourage it when they want to create a bit of fellowship. Had it been my idea we would have watched something wholesome like Mamma Mia.

Firstly may I say, that reflecting on my leaders' meetings this year, I think they have been the most silly and unproductive meetings that I have ever run. I have a wonderful time, but we generally get 20 minutes worth of stuff done in an hour and a half. But we get about 70 minutes worth of dumb jokes, eating and general mirth in. So I reckon that's pretty good.

Plus I made meat ballettes tonight and they weren't terrible. So this was good too.

**Spoilers Ahead**

Anyway, Wanted. Long story short, it was dumb. I haven't seen a more amoral movie for a long time. It was rather fun, and had cool shooting. Lots of cool shooting.

But in the end it was pretty silly. The premise is, there's a Fraternity of Assassins who are guided by the Loom of Fate. The Loom of Fate constantly weaves a fabric with a secret binary code in it. When the Head Assassin decodes the fabric it tells him the name of the next person who needs to be killed. The assassins obey the loom and kill the target.

In case perhaps you think trusting a loom to delegate your assassination targets is a tad risky, Angelina tells James McAvoy a story about a homicidal maniac whose name once came up but the assassin didn't kill him so he killed a judge. "Kill one, maybe save 1,000", it's the Assassin's Creed, we're told. This of course clears everything up, if the loom once spat out the name of a homicidal manic it must be right. And if there is a possibility you might save 1,000 people, well, why not play the odds?

They neglect to deal with the fact that during one assassination they derail a train and kill everyone on board by plummeting them into a ravine. Kill one, kill a couple of hundred.

The film ends with a message for the viewer-our hero turns to the camera and says "What the f*** have you done today?" right after he's shot another man in the head. The moral is: if you have a dead end job, and everyone walks all over you, get buff and kill some people. No worries.

But did I mention the film looked cool?

Garth Franklin said "If a young John Woo had made love to an ILM graphics server - this would be the offspring."

They was an awesome scene when they filled a factory with exploding rats, shortly followed by an assassin who kills around 30 people, in about 5 seconds (all in slow motion) using mostly guns that he's taken off the people he's killing. It really is something to behold.

So my verdict? It's definitely worth seeing, it's just not worth paying any attention too. I love a bit of good action but I think it's even better when they at least try just a little bit to plausibly justify the violence.

However I reckon it was probably a lot better than Mamma Mia. Guns and amorality or Abba songs and no guns. It's a no brainer.

8/03/2008 11:24:00 pm

Good News Phillip

Posted by Tom French |

I went to College on Thursday and turned up to class for the first time (I think this is a pretty decent effort seeing as it's only week 2) and had probably the best class I've had at my current college ever. The subject looked rather boring. But the Lecturer was interesting, told stories, made jokes (with good comic timing) and he made the subject interesting. I didn't fall asleep once the whole class which I think might be a first for this college. So I was happy.

And with me having enjoyed the theology intensive in the holidays, this could just turn out to be the best semester of college I've ever had.

Plus I went to a Theology of Youth Ministry conference on Friday. I only made it to the second day, as I had to be at college on the first day. But that was rather interesting too. Partly it was nice being at a conference for me and my type. I've been to other conferences before, and none of them have been about Youth Ministry. So it was good to have something where I felt like it was all relevant.

I kinda ended the day wondering how many youth ministers regularly think about the theology of what they're doing. I doubt many do. I don't. I think in someways your theology gets ingrained in you and you act out of your theology. Other times your habits work counter to your theology and you never think to question it.

I did sit down and figure out all the theology of why we do what we do a few years ago, and in essence we haven't changed much, so I think we're safe. But generally you spend your days figuring out how organise camps, write bible studies, help depressed young people. That sort of thing. And most of the time you don't think deeply about the theology behind what you do. It's generally like "Jesus loved people, told me to love people, so I might try and love people." That's about the extent of it.

And that's why it's good to go to conferences which force you to think it through. But I'm back to logistics and teen stress now. I'll just have a few more big words to describe it.

8/03/2008 03:19:00 pm

New Serm

Posted by Tom French |

I've just stuck up the sermon from two Sundays ago.

For those who are on the podcast, you may need to fire it up again, I've been absent from podland so long.

Anyway, listen if you're keen. Don't if you're not. Gosh, if I ran a country I'd be the best dictator ever.

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