9/26/2011 11:34:00 pm

Hard Day Out of the Office

Posted by Tom French |

I've been at a conference today for work. It's a chaplains conference.

I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought I would have to do a lot of networking, which isn't really my strong suit. I hadn't put any thought into the sessions.

Turns out the sessions have been pretty good. Good for the head, hard on the heart, important for the soul.

The first keynote speaker we had (we have five keynote speakers, which could be a record for keynotes) was John Dickson speaking about humility. He said a lot of good stuff but what struck me most was something he didn't really talk much about but is something I've been thinking about and that's seeking criticism. I never go out of my way to have people tell me what I'm doing wrong. I never look to have anyone tell me of my sin. I just hope the people close to me are kind enough to tell me my faults, and I'm humble enough to listen.

I've been thinking maybe I need to figure out a way to listen to people criticisms of me, and to help people to feel safe to tell me where they think I have room for improvement. But until I figure out a way to do that, feel free to just tell me, or email me, or comment on my Facebook, and I'll try and humbly listen and change.

We had a talk about burn out and stress, which was nice, because I feel like I'm doing ok with that one.

Tonight we had a talk about the pornification of our culture and the sexulisation young girls from Melinda Tankard Reist. It was pretty horrid content but quite important. Very emotionally taxing. I feel like there's probably a whole other post in it, so I might leave it till I get to it.

In summary, this conference has been harder and easier than I expected. The networking has been pretty low key and easy. The sessions have been demanding, but good.

Maybe tomorrow will be easier.


9/25/2011 11:51:00 pm

Provision

Posted by Tom French |

I woke up this morning and was trying to work out what to have for breakfast. There was no milk. I didn't want just toast.

Then I found a can of spaghetti in my room. It was like manna from heaven except it was spaghetti from the floor.

I went downstairs to find a can opener. I couldn't find one. So I went to the shops to buy one. I bought some milk, some Coke and some Doritos. The essentials.

When I came home Johnny had returned from church and his home group was on their way over with a giant lunch feast, which I was most welcome to join. Breakfast provided, again.

I ate and it was good.

I still have a can of spaghetti, in case of a rainy day, the end of the world and/or another lack of milk. A milkocalypse if you will.

I think in terms of food, today I won.

9/25/2011 01:04:00 am

Crashers

Posted by Tom French |

I went to April's birthday party today. She turned thirty. It was fun.

A few hours in three teenage guys walked into the hall in an attempt to crash the party. They were quickly shown the door. However, the party must have looked like so much fun they kept trying to get back in.

It was pretty amusing. It seems to me that, no offence April, but, aside from a retirement village's Christmas party and perhaps a Mosman ladies' Tupperware party, a dry, 30th birthday party in the middle of the afternoon in East Lindfield is probably the least exciting party around to crash for a bunch of 15 year-old boys. Still what else is there to do in Lindfield to do on a rainy afternoon?

9/22/2011 12:04:00 am

Free Speech

Posted by Tom French |

I really enjoyed this article. It is quite good at showing the absurdities of some current political correctness/free speech issues. I don't know who the guy who wrote it is. He's probably some right wing scary person who I'd disagree with on almost everything. However, I liked this article. I'm pretty on board with freedom of speech. Even if someone wants to say terrible things about my back hair, my faith or my family, I'll be sad, and hurt, but I don't think the government should tell us what we can and cannot say. And I don't think people should get in trouble from the law for the things they say which are offensive. I don't want people to say things that offend me or my friends but I want the right to say things which offend them.

So I say, let's all speak freely and offend liberally. Except perhaps politicians and the political correctness thought police, I think we can all agree those guys should shut up, they've said enough.

9/14/2011 08:21:00 am

Worst Day in History

Posted by Tom French |

After 9-11


"On 9/11 I thought, For the most powerful, militarized nation in the world also to think of itself as an innocent victim is deadly. It was a rare prophetic moment for me, considering Presidents Bush and Obama have spent billions asking the military to rectify the crime of a small band of lawless individuals, destroying a couple of nations who had little to do with it, in the costliest, longest series of wars in the history of the United States. The silence of most Christians and the giddy enthusiasm of a few, as well as the ubiquity of flags and patriotic extravaganzas in allegedly evangelical churches, says to me that American Christians may look back on our response to 9/11 as our greatest Christological defeat. It was shattering to admit that we had lost the theological means to distinguish between the United States and the kingdom of God. The criminals who perpetrated 9/11 and the flag-waving boosters of our almost exclusively martial response were of one mind: that the non-violent way of Jesus is stupid. All of us preachers share the shame; when our people felt very vulnerable, they reached for the flag, not the Cross. September 11 has changed me. I’m going to preach as never before about Christ crucified as the answer to the question of what’s wrong with the world. I have also resolved to relentlessly reiterate from the pulpit that the worst day in history was not a Tuesday in New York, but a Friday in Jerusalem when a consortium of clergy and politicians colluded to run the world on their own terms by crucifying the Son of God.” - Bishop Will Willamon

From here.

9/13/2011 11:21:00 pm

Whose fault? Whose glory?

Posted by Tom French |

We had a discussion at work the other day about why it is we say sorry to God for our sins, but then we thank God when we do something good. We take responsibility for the bad stuff we do and we say that God is responsible for the good things we do. It seems a little odd to me, either we're responsible for our actions or God is.

I know the correct answer to this, and I agree with it. But that doesn't mean I can't have an unorthodox thought every once in a while.

9/10/2011 02:33:00 pm

New Digs

Posted by Tom French |

Outside House

Hello from my new home in St Ives!

I'm so freakin' St Ives now, I'm changing my last name to Goldstein.

Johnny, Curt and I are moving in this weekend, though I'm the only one free enough to move in properly. Johnny and I are going to be doing most of our moving tonight and tomorrow afternoon.

I'm sitting in an empty lounge room. Well empty except for some empty Nandos and a cable modem. I've dealt with the big things first. Hello internets!

I also went shopping today and bought many things for the house none of us housemates have, like fridge, washing machine, vacuum and the all important 40" LCD TV. I'm not loaded we're sharing the buying. The only things we're missing now is the Xbox and some plugs for the sink. Oh and we might need chairs, but that's pretty minor compared to the need for the internet connected TV.

What's also cool about this house that is has a bar downstairs. I'm really excited about the possibilities of recreating famous bar scenes from films in there. I also plan to sell moonshine to the locals. It's going to be great.

It's pretty special to have somewhere to live now. I'm very thankful to my parents for letting me stay with them for so long after moving out of my last place. I'm very thankful to God that I'm moving in with some great guys and we have some good dreams for our home. Things like community, movie watching and household film making fun. Yeah.

Come visit some time.

9/06/2011 04:16:00 pm

Wounds

Posted by Tom French |

"He whom God would use mightily, he wounds deeply." - Matt Chandler (misquoting Tozer and attributing it to Luther)

9/05/2011 11:17:00 pm

Court Out

Posted by Tom French |

I was happy that the High Court told the Government they couldn't do offshore processing. If it drives them into the arms of the Libs so they can legalise more inhumain ways of dealing with asylum seekers, I'm not so pleased. If only the High Court was able to rule on the morality of the issue and not just the legality. I don't really what the High Court ruling on the morality of things. But just this once it would have been nice.

9/05/2011 11:10:00 pm

Pipester

Posted by Tom French |

I may not have been blown away by John Piper during the conference, but I keep thinking about things he said. One of the biggest things has been working at asking God to give me the joy to the things I don't want to do but I'm going to do because they're the right thing to do. That wasn't one of his big things, but it's stuck with me.

9/01/2011 11:13:00 pm

Porn Star

Posted by Tom French |

I was looking at my Vimeo statistics tonight. They're not very impressive. I did notice though that one of my videos has had few loads on a blog about top porn stars. Now I haven't checked out the blog. I'm pretty sure my accountability software would have a field day telling on me. But I am flattered to think that one of my videos might be considered "top porn". Or perhaps Matt, Andrew or I are considered top quality porn stars. We are pretty impressive. They say that 30% of the internet is porn, but if that includes any of my videos, porn connoisseurs are going to be pretty disappointed.

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