2/25/2010 06:10:00 pm

Boxing

Posted by Tom French |

So I'm moving house again. For the first 23 years of my life I lived in 1 house. In the past four I will have lived in 4.

Anyway, I'm moving out of the house in Hornsby with the Gowies into a unit in Artarmon with two guys. If you're wondering why I am moving, here are some reasons:

  • Theological - Howie doesn't believe in mentioning Jesus' substitutionary atonement at every family dinner we have. I'm moving in with a Moore College student to compensate.
  • Romantic - Jenny and Howie have done a lowsy job at inviting single Christian ladies around for me to woo. I'm hoping that Dave and Brendan (my new flatties) improve my prospects. The only problem might be that, depending how single they are, some cat fights might ensue. It'll be like the Next Top Model house for Reformed Evangelical Men.
  • Possessional - Oscar keeps drinking my beer.
  • Marriage Support - I think Howie and Jenny may be a little sick of me interrupting their Date Night, and having to let me hop in bed with them when the possums scare me.


Now that I've made that clear, I must go begin to pack. It's time to fill some garbage bags.

2/21/2010 10:16:00 pm

What's in a Name?

Posted by Tom French |

I got to church late tonight and I arrived during communion which was being held at the back of the church for some reason. While I was standing there, I noticed a girl who I'd met at a party the other week, we'd had a conversation about why she wasn't going to church stuff any more, and then there she was at church. So thinking it'd be good to be welcoming and affirming, as we were walking back to our seats, I said "It's Mabel* right?" I was so pleased with myself for rememebering her name. But she responded "Ahh no."

"Oh" I said "So we haven't met."

"No. I'm Gwendolynne*" she said.

"Oh sorry, I'm Tom. Well it's nice to meet you Gwendolynne." And then I sat down, feeling like an idiot.



*Names have been changed.

2/21/2010 05:36:00 pm

Toiletiquette

Posted by Tom French |

So I've been ruminating about my relationship with public toilets recently. Whenever I walk into a Public Toilet, if I don't see any men in there, I immediately worry that I've walked into the Women's. So I check for the urinal. If there is a urinal, I decide that I'm probably in the Men's. Though I am still a little cautious, because how am I to know if there are urinals in the women's toilets?

That said, I think I must feel pretty sure women don't have urinals because whenever I use one, I get a feeling of pride in being a man. I enjoy using urinals because it's something that only men (and drunk women) do. I stand there peeing, with my brothers-in-manhood just feeling pleased that chicks can't do what we're doing. It truly is secret men's business by virtue of the fact that women aren't built for urinals*. Women get to have babies, we get to pee against the wall.

I used to only use toilets, but now, as I become older, less inhibited and more proud to be a man, I'm using the urinals much more often.

However, as much as I love urinals, my issue with urinals is that when you go to a porcelain urinal, some are heighted and designed in a way that, if you aim incorrectly, you get splash back. And because there are so many different designs and heights for urinals for each one you have find the sweet spot for minimum splashage and it's always in a different place. Plus you have to find the sweet spot quickly or you may get an unacceptable amount of wee on your shoes, or the floor, or your leg warmers.

I think that's all my thoughts about public toilets at the moment. I know that's nothing actually to do with toilet etiquette but I wanted to used the title anyway. So stuff you, haters.



*Some people may want to argue from the implication of the sentence that urinals were built for men, not men for urinals, to which I would say "You're wrong". But still whatever the case, my point still stands, no matter who/what was built for who/what, women were not built for urinals.

2/17/2010 10:57:00 am

Goodness

Posted by Tom French |

Sometimes I'll go into a shop to buy something and realise that it'd be really easy to steal it. When I pay for it rather than stealing it I'm really pleased with myself for my superior moral character.

2/15/2010 06:30:00 pm

I am Brain

Posted by Tom French |

"Physicians and society are not ready for 'I have brain activation, therefore I am.' That would seriously be putting Descartes before the horse."

Neurologist Alan Ropper commenting after a study came out saying that people in a vegetative state can signal yes or no via brain imaging.

I read it in Time. I'm not really thinking much about neuroscience, I just liked the pun.

2/14/2010 04:13:00 pm

Awkward

Posted by Tom French |

I organised to have lunch today with Cathy who I used to lead in my old youth group. Only after we organised to catch up did both of us realise it was Valentine's Day today. Awkward.

Happily when we met, we both mentioned it, and then got on with a rather unValentineish lunch. Or at least it was about as Valentineish as every other lunch I have.

2/14/2010 01:08:00 am

Prophesy

Posted by Tom French |

I turned up at a party tonight after going being at another party. When I arrived there were lots of cars and no body arriving which I thought was odd seeing as the party had only started an hour before I arrived. I thought everyone was oddly punctual.

When I walked in I found out the party had been going for two and a half hours. Oops. I got the start time a little wrong. When I apologised to the Chris, whose party it was, he said it was ok because he knew I was going to be late. Apparently I'd warned him. So as it turned out, even though I thought I was on time I'd pre-warned Chris about the lateness that I was doing even though I didn't know I was doing it.

Does that make sense?

2/11/2010 11:32:00 pm

Crazy Hat Party

Posted by Tom French |

We went over to Dee and Mark's for dinner. It was all very normal till the end of the night when my father asked to borrow a Hat from Dee. With that more craziness ensued than at an afternoon tea of Episcopal bishops.

John in Hat.jpg

Jane in Hat.jpg

Getting Hat On.jpg

Getting a kiss.jpg

Dee and Mark.jpg

Jo and Victor in Hats.jpg

Tom in Hat.jpg

Victor in Hat.jpg

Looking at Photos.jpg

2/08/2010 11:21:00 pm

Hillsong

Posted by Tom French |

Blurred Band sml.jpg

I went to Hillsong on Sunday with Jo, Victor, Dad and Hannah. We went because heaps of Victor's friends in Guatemala had been asking him when they heard he was going to Sydney if he was visiting Hillsong. So we took him to Sydney's greatest Christian tourist attraction.

I was pretty excited to be going. Partly because I'm a church nerd, partly because I was going to one of the most famous churches in the world and I love seeing famous things.

I was impressed.

Hillsong over the years has copped a lot of flack in the media and from other Christians over the years and it's not as if I haven't also said a thing or two against them (till I gave it up in favour of church unity). It's copped flack for a lot of things but especially because it's attitude to money.

That said, they seem to have taken the criticism to heart.

Sunday was Vision Sunday so we got to see the churches vision, and it was all about changing lives and helping the poor and marginalised in the world. They did an offering talk but as far as I could tell it was all about just sowing into the Kingdom so kingdom could be a blessing, but I wasn't really paying attention.

It's been so good to see a church change so radically. These days they have such a huge push for social justice. I think that sort of change is impressive because it shows a humble heart that's open to correction. That's important in a church.

I also enjoyed seeing a church that was so ethnically diverse. It's rare that you find churches in Sydney that are as diverse as the city they inhabit. But Hillsong seems to be demographically representative of our city. It would be interesting to see if they had stats on that.

If I had any encouragement for my friends at Hillsong it would be that I thought they needed to mention Jesus more, especially the cross. The closest they come to mentioning the cross in the video below is when they talk about reconciling humanity to God. Usually in the video and throughout the service they'd just talk about God. But it's not as if they don't believe in the cross or are ashamed of Jesus. It's in their statement of belief. Their logo for the vision is a heart shaped tree with the word JESUS in the place of the root system. It's a pretty clear symbol of where they see their life coming from. I just think it needs to be said more. In face it probably can't be said too much.

I mentioned this thought to my mother, that I thought they should have mentioned the cross. Mum asked me if I thought the cross should be mentioned every time the church meets, to which I said "Yes". It made me consider if it's just a cultural hang up or if it really is an important principle. I decided that I'd happy to say it's an important principle.

If I went to a church that didn't mention the cross one week I wouldn't say that it's a failure. However I do think that the death and resurrection is central to our identity as Christians and our identity as the church. The cross keeps us humble, it keeps us thankful, it reminds us that we are not our own, we were bought at a price, it shows us that new life is only found through Jesus, it focuses of God's greatest demonstration of his love, and his most glorious act to which all of redemption history and future points.

With that in mind, I think we should make it a discipline to always come back to the cross, and to talk about it whenever we get together as Christians. It is so vital to who we are, we cannot afford to forget it. And while forgetting the cross may seem like an impossibility for the church, it's exactly what much of the church has done. Or if they have not forgotten it, they have sought to change its meaning, and in doing so have emptied the cross of its power.

I know Hillsong haven't forgotten the cross, I'd just encourage those up the front to talk about it more.

As far as the rest of the service went, I enjoyed myself. The music was excellent, as you'd expect. I liked the fact that it felt like a show, and within its context I don't think there's anything wrong with that.*

After the vision video they did a new song called "Awakening" or perhaps "Awake My Soul" or something along those lines. It was written by Chris Tomlin and Reuben Morgan. The worship leader started off on a darkened stage playing to a darkened auditorium with just 5 low, bright white lights shining out into the congregation, through the smoke, back lighting him. As the song built, and people in the church started to stand up to join in, the lights came up till we were all singing. It was good theatre and it was a good song.

And check out the video. I'd love to be able to do video stuff like they do, it was good work. Maybe I should get a video department going at my church. I'm sure we'd be at Hillsong production levels in no time.



So there you go. That was our visit to Hillsong. I'll do it again one day. But for now I'll just love my own church.



*I'd justify that but I can't be bothered.

Photo by: alliance1911

2/08/2010 11:03:00 pm

Redux

Posted by Tom French |

It annoys me when I go to quote some lyrics and then realise I've already quoted them. But damn it, I'm just going to quote them again, because I want to.

We're not questioning God.
Just those he chose to carry on His cross.
We're no better, you'll see.
Just all of us, the lost causes.
- Anberlin

2/07/2010 11:10:00 pm

New Car

Posted by Tom French |

I have been given a brand new car. I got it on Thursday. Happy Birthday! It's a Toyota Corolla Hatch. It's black, shiny, and has a auxiliary input on the sound system, so I'm satisfied.

I have been thinking, "Should take a photo and blog it." But it's been wet and dark ever since Thursday so I can't take a photo of it in it's peak hatchback beauty.

Thank you new work for the new car.

2/03/2010 11:58:00 pm

Sex Bomb

Posted by Tom French |

For those of you who were on the edge of your seat, the preaching topic has been revealed! And while I didn't pick it, I'm sure it'll make some of you happy (David), cause I've been asked to preach on sex. The title of the sermon is in fact "Myth Busting Sex".

James you will be happy to know that your idea to have a single person's perspective on sex was shared by the pastors of my church. To quote my email from Pastor Chris: "We thought it’s good to get teaching on Christian sexuality from a single guy...even though I assume your experience is limited."

Dan, if you're lucky I'll cover dating a little. But probably not too much. And Ty, I really hope this'll be a message smothered in grace, because if there are any messages that need them, it's the once on sex.

Anyway, the brief is that they want me to "think up all the cultural ‘myths’ that shape our view on sex and ‘bust’ them...in light of a biblical perspective." Of course I don't know all the cultural myths about sex, so I need your help once again faithful readers.

Tell me, what do you think are the cultural myths about sex? And while we're at it, what are the church's myths about sex? If you're lucky, I may just bust your myth, and won't you feel famous then!

I think I may have trouble covering all the cultural myths in 20-30 mins, but I'll certainly have a fair whack at a few, no pun intended you dirty minded people.

2/01/2010 11:44:00 pm

Mannequin Shenanigans

Posted by Tom French |

While we're displaying iPhone photos, I took this on Australia Day morning.

Pants Down.jpg

I have the feeling he was getting into the Australia Day festivities a little too early.

2/01/2010 11:13:00 pm

Fence

Posted by Tom French |

Due to increased baby mobility the Gowies have constructed a giant fence in our kitchen/dining room. It's like living in our very own mirco-sized West Bank. I bagz being on the Israeli side. We have better tanks.

Oscar Fence.jpg

The Oscar Wall - in crappy iPhone definition

The fence is at about the mid-point of my journey between my bed and my toilet so I'm envisaging regular toe stubbings and muttered obscenities while scantily clad in the early hours of the morning.

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