4/30/2009 01:21:00 pm

One Thousand on Two

Posted by Tom French |

I have 1000 words to punch out on two Greek words today. I think a little snooze of preparation might be in order.

4/29/2009 05:22:00 pm

My Island Home

Posted by Tom French |

I read in the Good Weekend last week that Australia has over 8000 islands in its possession. It occurred to me that, as an Australian, I gotta get me some deserted island action. And then I'd get Brooke Shields (80's Brooke not post-millennial Brooke) and a monkey and we'd move to the island and live there. We'd get married, and have freaky babies, and then commit suicide by eating berries when we weren't beautiful anymore.

That'd be the life.

4/28/2009 06:34:00 pm

Crisis Averted

Posted by Tom French |

You'll all be pleased to know that there were no fingers involved in today's medical. I did get to watch a nurse play with my wee. That's a unique experience, which I'm sure some people would find exciting. I felt worried for her myself. She made me stand in the room and watch as she poured my urine into three little vials.

That was the drug test David commented on. I'm pretty sure I won't test positive for cocaine.

Another doctor made me strip to my boxers and try and touch my toes. I couldn't. So that was humiliating on both counts.

They made me wash my hands with purple soap that smelt like wee. That was disconcerting. I took a wee smell with me where ever I went till I ate some Doritos. Now I smell like vomit because that's what Doritos smell like but they taste better.

4/28/2009 02:17:00 pm

Fun Time in Employment Land

Posted by Tom French |

I just found a job working for Disney where you need minimal experience, and love of kids, pop culture, movies and music. I'm totally applying. I want to be a part of the magical kingdom!

4/27/2009 10:39:00 pm

Doctor Date

Posted by Tom French |

I have to go for a medical tomorrow for the prospective job with Sydney's biggest supplier of trains. I'm really hoping they don't want to stick their fingers in the back door. I'm pretty sure I don't I want the job that much.

4/26/2009 11:35:00 pm

Soul Thoughts

Posted by Tom French |

So I'm back from Soul now. I drove home last night at 11. I got home at 2am. It was great. I had such a good time. I drove, listened to sermons, and prayed. Nice.

I had a very good time at Soul. I did a seminar called "The Bible Makes Me Giggle". It was much fun. I got to spend an hour looking at many of the best incidences of genitalia, farting, fatness, talking animals, preaching zombies and fighting bears in the Bible. I can't think of a more fun topic to cover. When I get a copy I'll stick it online. I'll also link to the videos we made if they get YouTubed.

I have come back from Soul Survivor with things to think about. It was a good year for challenge. These are the things that are running through my head.

First up I'm thinking about the role of signs and wonders in the life of the church and especially in evangelism. Mike did a talk about how Jesus and the Apostles used signs and miracles for the purpose of bringing people to faith in Jesus. He was saying that God is still wanting to do it today, the problem is on our end.

For me, I totally agree but I'm rather sceptical that I'll see it. I believe in God's power to do miracles today. I believe he heals and I believe he does other miraculous signs, and I believe he does it to glorify himself and it's often in the context of evangelism.

But I never see it. Every now and again I hear stories. (My Dad's back got healed the other the week, that was pretty awesome.) But I don't feel like it'll happen when I'm involved. I try and pray in faith that things will happen, but I don't often see a miraculous answer. I tend to feel like if God's gonna heal, chances are it'll be through the normal ways. As usual I feel like that guy who says to Jesus "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief."

Mike told a story about a guy who had a vision, and the point of the vision was that God wanting to pour out his power on everyone, but only some people were willing to accept it. It make sense but I don't see it.

Mike also talking about the same guy who was challenged by God to preach healing from the Bible saying "Are you going to believe what you see or what I say in my Word?" I believe the Word, but it gets hard when you don't see it in practice.

It's also hard when you have a theology that says it's not about what you do, but what God does. It's not about how hard you pray, or using the right formulas and twisting God's arm to do things, God heals and does miracles because he wants to when he wants to. And if that's the case then you automatically ask why God isn't doing them with the frequency we would like.

The balancing argument to that is that Jesus generally heals as a result of people's faith. So we're left with this problem of how do we manage to find the right way to have faith to see it happen. And then there are all the books and seminars on how to pray for healing and see God work. If it's up to God to work, surely we don't need a seminar on the techniques on how to get God to work. Surely God sees our heart and not our technique.

I guess all this leaves me with a good sized desire to see God work, but I'm jaded because I don't see it happen. At least not in the miraculous ways. I see God work. I see people become Christians, I see him provide, I see him guide me and my friends, I see that he changes people, I see that he is always faithful. I just don't see him healing and doing miraculous things when I'm around, and I want to. I want to because I want other people to see God, and see the God I see. I feel like I could go the rest of my life and never see a "sign" or "wonder" and not lose any faith in God. But if God wants to work in the Church in bringing people to himself through his supernatural displays of power then I want to see that, and I want to be part of that, I just don't quite know how to get involved.

I'll read a book.

Second I've been thinking about how to love the people around me, particularly those who are not Christians. I really want to, I just feel like I'm crap at it. I left ministry this year to be freer to work engage with people who are not of my faith, but it's not really happening much. I'm challenged but I'm not sure how to execute. I don't know how to meet the needs of those around me, and I don't know how to love my neighbours.

I need to keep praying that God will give and show me opportunities. I'm pretty sure that's a prayer he wants to answer.

Thirdly I've been thinking about chasing my dreams. There was a talk done by one of my friends about how God is the author of our dreams and so we shouldn't give up on them or think they're un-Godly. We should be free to dream, to never give up on our dreams, and free to chase our dreams.

In some ways it worries me. It reminds me of that worship song that asks "Would you believe me if I said that all of the dreams in your heart can come true today?" Which I would reply to wholeheartedly with a "No". (Though the talk wasn't actually saying that.)

I don't believe that God is going to make all my dreams come true. My t-shirt that says "Not all dreams can come true" sums up how I feel (which incidentally I was wearing on the day of the talk). I don't believe I will ever be a rock star, astronaut or kung-fu master. I don't even think there is much of a chance that I'll be a famous film director.

On the other hand, I do believe that God is the author of our dreams. And I believe in dreams and I believe in people pursuing them to the extent that they fit in with what God is wanting to do. I want people to be free to dream and to dream big. When people start restricting their dreams, when they stop believing that they can achieve anything they want they start settling for second best, and start compromising. They compromise their dreams for their comfort. And I believe in dreams a lot more than comfort. When people stop dreaming they tend to stop taking risks and a life without risk seems to be a life running counter to a life of faith.

I think the biggest challenge of the talk came because my life is a life that has been shaped by God's call on me to give up my dreams. From when I was 4 or 5 I have always loved film and television production. Till I was 18 there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to work in film and television. And then one night God turned up and said to me, in the clearest conversation I've ever had with God, "I want you to go into youth ministry." God clearly asked me to give up my dreams. And I did. I did because there is no use fighting God.

Now my life is not about getting into the film industry, it's about how I can be a better full time worker for Jesus. My whole life is the way it is, not because I followed my dreams, but because God asked me to give my dream up.

The challenge of the talk was to make me consider if I am now a person who has denied my God given dreams to pursue something that is more seemingly pious. I now have an attitude that any great desire I have needs to be handed over to God. I'm suspicious of anything I want to do, because it could easily be something God doesn't want to do. I make myself dream with my hands open.

I don't really live free of dreams. God asked me to give up one dream to give me a better one. God is the author of my dreams and I'm sure God gave me the dream to work in film and television. And that's a dream that has paid dividends in my life. I just spent a week making videos. But more than just giving me my own dreams, God is also the author of new, bigger and better dreams.

If God calls you to be a rock star or an astronaut then that's pretty awesome. But if God calls you to be a youth minister, a preacher, a missionary, a full time mum, a school teacher, or a hairdresser, you haven't lucked out, God has just authored a better dream for you.

But if God calls you to be a rock star, astronaut, full time mum or missionary, but you're too afraid to take the risk and just settle for something that makes you more comfortable, that's when you've lucked out. God is the author of dreams, safety and comfort kill them.

I think that's what the talk was getting at. God doesn't want us to settle for the small things. God wants us to dream, to dream big, to dream out loud and to dream with Him. It wasn't anti-sacrifice it was just pro-chasing the dream. The dream to change to world and the dream to be everything you can be in Christ.

Jesus' call on our life is that we must give it up in order save it. The Christian life is one of greater denial of self so that we can have a greater participation in the life of Christ. Often that will mean giving up on your dreams so that you can take hold of God's dreams. We are not called to lose the ability to dream, but we are called to be willing to give up our own so that God may give us new ones. And that sounds good to me.

I don't want to be comfortable. I want to chase God's dreams, always.

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
- Psalm 37:4


And that's what I'm thinking about.

4/25/2009 10:00:00 am

Souling It

Posted by Tom French |

I haven't blogged because I'm at Soul. I'm not dead. It's good. We've been making movies and doing silly shows. I've been given a nice HDV camera to play with. But I'm not very good at using it.

I've been happy having a week where I've been working the whole week, doing seminars, making videos, planning and doing shows. I start at 9 and go home to Jimmy's couch at somewhere between 11 and midnight. It's good to have purpose. I'm having fun. Though, I will get to go home tomorrow and I'm looking forward to that too.

And there is my update.

4/17/2009 11:07:00 pm

Eating Today

Posted by Tom French |

Today I had Coke for the first time since last Saturday. It was a very special moment. And I had sushi, and gnochi. Not that this is really worth broadcasting over the internet, but it is relativity important to me.

On second thoughts, maybe I shouldn't have told you. I should be saving internet space for dogs on bicycles, fat people injuring themselves and porn. I apologise.

4/16/2009 12:31:00 am

Mozzies

Posted by Tom French |

I love killing mozzies. It make me feel like a man.

4/15/2009 10:53:00 am

Easter Sucked Bad

Posted by Tom French |

After Good Friday (which was good) everything else was pretty bad.

I had a bad sleep on Friday night, woke up Saturday feeling lethargic, got worse. I slept all day Sunday, except when I was on the toilet. I had a headache. Since then, it's been more of the same with a slow recovery.

I ate nothing for Sunday and Monday. But now that it's Wednesday I've had some toast, mashed potato and rice, so I can't complain.

I had things planned every day this week. Today will be the first thing I'll actually make it to.

And I was meant to be going flat out on Soul Survivor prep, I was excited that this year I'd have plenty of time to work on everything I needed to do. But that's gone out the window too. Bah.

I usually love Easter. Oh well.

4/11/2009 10:49:00 am

Jesus has Ninja Skills

Posted by Tom French |

At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. - John 8:59

I always knew there was a reason why I liked that guy.

4/11/2009 12:42:00 am

Bad Ad

Posted by Tom French |



This is embarrassing.

4/11/2009 12:13:00 am

The Long Barbie

Posted by Tom French |

I went to church this morning at my new church. We had communion and they ran out of wine (juice actually, cause they're Baptists) just when I got to the server. It was most disconcerting for me.

After church I got invited to a Barbie with my friends. I ummed and ahhed, and eventually after being chased up, I decided to go.

It was out in Berowra. I went for the Barbie, which turned into a Monty Python watching, which turned into roast dinner, which turned into post dinner Wii games.

I was only expecting to be out for the afternoon, but I only just got home. I'd left my jacket at home so I got a little chilly by the end.

I had fun. I'm feeling more comfortable with the group now. I get the jokes more, I'm better at speaking up. I did like spending a whole day with this crew, they're a good bunch, I enjoy them a lot.

I had a good Friday.

4/08/2009 12:24:00 am

And Counting...

Posted by Tom French |

You know how on the Gmail site it tells you how much space you get with Gmail and the number is always ticking over, higher and higher, as you watch? Is there some little man* in Google land whose job it is to just install hard drives on the Gmail server? Constantly, day in day out, night and day, installing hard drives. That would be a tough job. Poor guy.


*Notice how I said little man, just assuming he's little and male? Some would call me condescending and sexist. I would say, I'm a realist. If you think about it, the job has probably been given to a munchkin. Who else works day and night? And who else is small enough to fit in those confined spaces like servers with the speed needed to install hard drives fast enough to stay ahead of the ever increasing demand for Gmail storage space? And when have you ever seen a female munchkin do any work at all? You haven't because they're at home, in their tree, having munchkin babies. And we should thank them for it because they continue the legacy of munchkin work all over the world, having babies so that for generations to come we will have lots of email storage and people to live in those boxes by the side of the road and change the traffic lights.

4/07/2009 06:08:00 pm

Climbing the Ladder of Success

Posted by Tom French |

I ran the bible study at Bible Study last night. It was only my third week at the group and I probably won't be there again for a while. It's on Monday nights and I usually have college. So I was impressed that they let me lead on my third week. I remarked on this when I started and made some crack about how I was going to teach from the Koran about our great prophet Muhammad. It did go down with the hilarity that I had planned. Mainly people just looked puzzled, so I moved on quickly.

I enjoyed running the study. We did doubt. I took three weeks of studies that we'd done in youth group last year and condensed them into one. I could do that because we had more time, and I was pretty sure we'd have less inane discussions about anything but the topic (yes old small groupians, I'm talking about you). On the other hand taking three weeks to look at three passages would have meant we could gone deeper with each one.

All up though, I was happy. I enjoy doing stuff like that.

4/05/2009 11:05:00 pm

Sundays are Good Days

Posted by Tom French |

I spent much of today sitting in the backyard reading. I also had butter chicken for lunch. And I watched the special features on The Bourne Ultimatum as a special treat because it's Sunday which means it's the Sabbath which means it's a day for special features. I'm pretty sure that's what God intended.

I also went to church. I'm really liking going to church. I just sit there. I'm totally a church consumer. I do nothing. It's the Sabbath, why work? Church workers are Sabbath breakers. They should be stoned to death.

4/04/2009 12:17:00 am

Kicking It Old School

Posted by Tom French |

I've been watching a lot of movies on DVD lately, with a bias towards older ones. I've been having a wonderful time. Let tell you why I've had so much fun.

1. The Matrix

I loved watching this movie again. I hadn't seen it in years. And then I watched it the other week and it brought back all the memories of the first time I saw it. People talk about films like Star Wars and about how when it first came out it was ground breaking. The Matrix is that movie for me. It changed action movies. Bullet time was a revelation. And having white people, shoot guns and do kung-fu like a Hong Kong movie... so special.

I remember paying attention to the whole production process while they were shooting it here in Sydney, and then to see the finished product, which turned out to be amazing; I was thrilled.

2. Conan the Barbarian

I had never seen the movie so I felt I should, it was Arnie's big break, and I'm feeling a great affinity for action movies at the moment.

I was totally not disappointed. Though I think it would have been difficult to disappoint me. There was plenty of a mindless violence and dumb villains.

By far my favourite bit was where Arnie punched a camel in the face. Cinema doesn't get better than that.

3. The Borne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy

What can I say? Jason Bourne is awesome. Another film that changed the action genre, Bourne took the whole good with guns and hand-to-hand combat thing that The Matrix started and took to a whole new, realistic, shaky-cam, quick cut level. You watch Bourne and you think "Yeah, that really could happen." Or at least I do, but maybe I'm gullible.

4. The Green Berets

This was the first film ever made about the Vietnam war. It was shot in 1968, had John Wayne and was pretty much just one big piece of propaganda. The whole thing was shot in the USA, it's like they thought "If we just scatter a few Asians with conical hats around no one will know we're actually in Georgia." Damn Francis Ford Coppella had to come through and ruin it all for everyone. (On a side note, did you know that Full Metal Jacket was shot entirely in England? It's true. They had much more realistic conical hats so we were all fooled.)

Also adding to the un-authentic flavour was that the Viet Cong's guerrilla tactics pretty much resembled trench warfare without the trenches. They'd just walk out of the jungle shoulder to shoulder in a line. With tactics like that it's no wonder the US lost the war.

Anyway, aside from being terribly unauthentic, I had a wonderful time watching it. Propaganda is always fun. I think my favourite moment was when a US soldier, being kind to an orphaned Vietnamese boy, let him hop in his bed and spend the night with him. In the 60's you could do anything.

5. Notes on a Scandal

The first non-action film in the list, this was great. I'd been putting off watching it for a while because everyone told me it was horrible. And it was. It was a train wreck of story. Judi and Cate are just amazing. I'm glad I watched this. I'm also glad I put off watching it for a while. I think I needed to be in the right head space.

6. Nixon

Long, but good. What is it with Oliver Stone and American Presidents?


I love DVD.

4/02/2009 12:36:00 am

Tooshy

Posted by Tom French |

I've been in a little bit of a bad mood all day. It's probably because I haven't had enough sleep.

I need a holiday.

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