4/29/2010 12:13:00 am

News from the Home Front

Posted by Tom French |

I signed up to get some internets today. Fast internet. Good-bye wireless broadband! Hello ADSL2 and superfast Justin Bieber downloads!

I also went and door knocked my neighbours again and gave them invites to our house warming on Saturday. I feel like a Mormon. I reckon they're going to get sick of me soon. "Oh gosh, here comes that guy from Unit 5 again. Here to give us chocolates or another freakin' invite. We just want to relax! We have a security door at the front to keep people like him out!"

Oh and I'm pretty sure my flatmate is a wizard. I think he might even have a Pensive because he stores his memories in a box:

Dingo Box.jpg

4/25/2010 11:58:00 pm

ANZAC

Posted by Tom French |

Today was ANZAC Day so I wore my Gandhi t-shirt.

I had my jacket on all day so no-one saw.

4/24/2010 01:28:00 am

Christian Side Hug

Posted by Tom French |



I just found this for the first time. Why haven't I found it earlier? Youth ministry would be so much easier.

Favourite quote:

If a girl walks up
With her arms spread wide
And she's front hug bound with that look in her eye

You better turn to the side
And pat her on her back
Cause Jesus never hugged nobody like that

4/24/2010 12:12:00 am

Staying Over

Posted by Tom French |

I'm currently sitting in bed at the Gowies, in my old room. I'm sleeping over. Howie was on his computer when I arrived tonight, though in the office, not in the living room, which is different.

It's nice to be back for the night. It's a little odd being in the room I once lived in. Though everything else feels normal. I know how to open doors with minimum of sound, how to work the taps, which floor boards to step on. All the things you get wrong when you sleep over at someone elses place, I'm not worrying about. Excellent.

I'll see Jenny and Oscar in the morning too. Woo!

4/20/2010 02:22:00 pm

Small Beginnings

Posted by Tom French |

At 6:30am we had the first prayer meeting for my church plant this morning. I was the only one there. Well, there was me and God. Which if you include God makes it pretty big.

I decided after Soul that I should be doing regular prayer for this church. So Tuesday mornings it is. Probably at least until someone else joins the team then it might be at a more reasonable time.

I just wanted to blog it, because it felt like an auspicious occasion.

4/19/2010 06:53:00 pm

New Work

Posted by Tom French |

While I was at Soul Survivor my division at work moved into new offices downstairs.

This is good. Everything is quiet now and I think I concentrate more.

People keep asking me questions about my work. So I thought, I'd show you where I work. It's like taking you on a tour of my work place. I'm sure you'll all be thrilled because offices really are thrilling.

Office Wide.jpg

This is a wide shot of the office. It's still messy from the move. But it's nice and corporate looking. This is to help us all fulfil our childhood dreams of becoming desk-jockeys.

Desk Wide.jpg

This is my desk. I put paper on it to make it look like I do work. There's plastic on the phone because I work for a Christian organisation and the plastic filters out any swear words I might hear or satanic messages from hold music being played backwards.

Work Phone.jpg

This is a close up of my phone. It says my name on it so that when it rings I know I should pick it up. It's like the other end of caller id.

I took the plastic off because School Chaplains swear so much if I kept it on I wouldn't hear 80% of what they said.

Accountablity Faces.jpg

These are the faces that look over my shoulder. They are accountability faces. They make sure I don't go on Facebook more than 30% of the working day.

Poo Lunch.jpg

This is what I eat as a snack at work sometimes. It looks like poo. Slimy poo.

4/19/2010 02:35:00 pm

Soul KYCK

Posted by Tom French |

I'm at work now. On my lunch break. It's a little sad the youth conference season is over and I'm back to the old work. However we are in a new office and that's making me feel very productive.

I am a little tired now that it's over it was pretty big.

This year was the first time I had ever been to KYCK. I know it's terrible. I've spent 8 years in conservative Sydney Bible Colleges, 7 years working in Anglican Churches as a Youth Minister and not once did I make it to a KCC convention. It's only now that I've become a Baptist that I'm forced up the mountains to listen to Bible teaching.

But it was a good experience. We had a group of 8. There were 5 leaders, 1 assistant cook and 2 youth. We were perhaps the most over staffed youth group in attendance.

I did enjoy having a whole weekend of solid Bible teaching. And the music was a whole lot less Sydney Anglican than I thought. There was not one saxophone to be seen, let alone there being a glut of saxophone solos. Plus the songs sounded more like Hillsong than a theology text book most of the time. Which I like. I still would have liked to the music to be louder. Worship music is best played at rock concert levels in my opinion. I think because then only God can hear me sing, and this is probably better for everyone.

I went up to Soul Survivor on Tuesday night, going straight from work. The music was louder there. Soul was up in Newcastle this year. We were doing Soul in the City which means that in the morning and evenings there was a main meeting with worship and teaching, and during the day everyone went out to do projects to serve the community.

I really love the format of getting hundreds of teenagers together to love a bunch of people they don't know just because Jesus loves them. It's entirely outward focused and you very rarely find youth events, or any big Christian event for that matter, that is so outward focused and practical about it.

What I appreciate about Soul is that as far as growing a large, Christian conference goes, it's doing everything wrong. After 5 years in one location it packed up and moved to Canberra. Then after two years in Canberra, it packed up and went to Newcastle. Next year it'll be back to Sydney. The year after I think the plan is to split itself across a bunch of rural towns and bless them with acts of kindness, like Soul in the City but it's Soul in the Bush. If you want to build a big conference this is not the way to do it. You would think the best thing to do is find one adequate location, run the event in the same place, at the same time, and then do the same thing every year but bigger and better with more and more famous people every year.

But this isn't really about building a big conference, it's about following Jesus. And Jesus is outward focused, and has no desire to build big movements just for the sake of big movements.

I like Soul because they follow Jesus*.

For me the Soul Survivor experience this year was hectic. I was speaking in seminars on 3 out of 4 mornings. And making videos with Sal every day.

We'd start making the video after the main meeting at about 1pm and then have to have it done for showing before 7:30pm. The 6 hour turn around from concept to shooting to editing then rendering, was pretty hectic. But I did enjoy it. It was like the extreme sport for video geeks.

This is a poor quality version of the first video we made, teaching people how they should behave while on projects:



It was a fun few days. I would do it again. Though I would like a little more sleep when it's all over.

*That's not to say that the KCC crew don't follow Jesus. My reflection on one conference is not in contrast to the other.

4/18/2010 11:54:00 pm

Smallest Winner

Posted by Tom French |

I watched The Biggest Loser finale tonight. It inspired me to lose weight. But first I need to put some weight on so I have some to lose. So tomorrow I'm going on a trans-fat diet with sugar for snacks.

(I think there's a Soul Survivor/KYCK blog in me, popping out soon.)

4/13/2010 01:05:00 pm

99 Balloons

Posted by Tom French |

4/10/2010 11:42:00 pm

Youth Conference Junkie

Posted by Tom French |

I'm in the middle of a youth conference frenzy. I'm currently in lying on an air mattress in a church hall in Blackheath. Someone is snoring and someone else's stomach is grumbling. I'm up here with my youth group for KYCK which is a conservative Christian youth conference in Katoomba. It's been good so far. The talks have been solid, Dave Miers spoke well tonight and I got to pray with some guys who recommitted their lives to Jesus. Excellent.

On Tuesday, after working Monday and Tuesday, I'm heading up to Newcastle for Soul in the City. I'll be there doing video stuff at night and seminars in the mornings. Every spare moment I get now is for seminar prep. Except perhaps for the youth leaders meeting on Monday night. Goodness. I'm just living youth ministry these days. Once I just did it for a job, now it's my volunteer life too! Still, youth ministry rocks, so I'm not complaining.

4/02/2010 11:25:00 pm

This Good Friday

Posted by Tom French |

nails.jpg

Good Friday is good.

I love that we spend a day considering the death of Jesus. I love the sombre mood of church. The darkness. The quiet.

The King is dead. Our Lord crucified. Naked, alone, suffering the wrath of man and God. It's hard to know how to feel on Good Friday.

Sad. Contemplative. Thankful.

So often we jump straight to the resurrection from the crucifixion. But at Easter we have time take it slowly, to let the reality sink in.

Now, at this time on the Friday, darkness had fallen on the land. Jesus was in the grave. Hope crushed. The creator's lifeless body, on a cold rock shelf, in a darkened tomb.

Tomorrow our Lord does not stir. Decay begins. The dawn was coming, but who really knew?


He was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
- Isaiah 53:5,12

He has done it. - Psalm 22:31c

Photo by: jurek d.

4/01/2010 11:21:00 pm

Bunny Boy

Posted by Tom French |

I got real excited the other night because I've been trying to figure out how to connect to my neighbours and I realised I could give them all a packet of Easter eggs. I thought I could door knock, say "G'day" and hand over some eggs and an Easter card.

However, while I have the eggs, now that it's not 1am on Tuesday night, I'm not feeling so excited. My house mates asked me if I'm going to dress up in a bunny suit and hand them out. Bah! I wish I didn't believe in community.

But I'm going to do it. Sunday 11:30am. You can hold me accountable to that.

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