6/30/2004 11:55:00 pm

Playing in Coles

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Coles Game.jpg

Injury Free.jpg

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Today was productive. I felt better than I did yesterday.

Yesterday I had the "Day-Off Blues" where you feel bad because you don't do much. I did have lunch with Mum though. That was good.

And commy dinner went well. I love caramel mud cake.

Today I went for a run. I want to "get back in shape" after slacking off since getting sick a few months ago. I did badly, but I'll work my way back.

And at work I was productive almost all day. I did lots of little things that needed to be done and it felt good. I only worked an eight hour day too. Woohoo. I'm almost a proper worker.

One of the most exciting things was that I got the cd sermon business fully operational. I even put last week's controversial sermon on cd. It was good. I got to listen to it and see what all the fuss was about. And now we have a week's worth of sermons on cd. Fantastic. I've been excited about it all day. I love things like this.

And I'm feeling pretty organised for once in my life. It's great. I love being organised.

Tonight we went to the Pub and had chats. Was still good. I do enjoy the pub. And we sat around at Coles. Good old Coles.

Priscilla came too. Yay for her.

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Life is a little strange at the moment.

It just has the strange vibe. Things are happening that I wasn't planning on. People are saying things that I wasn't expecting. I feel like there's a train coming that I have to catch, but I'm not sure where the station is. Everyone else does, but I've not been let in on the secret yet. I don't really want to miss the train.

It seems like there are God things happening, but I don't really quite have a grasp on the situation. Not that I ever really know what God is doing, I just feel like everyone else is in the loop more than me. That's not an unusual feeling, although, I don't often feel as lost as I do now.

That said, I'm feeling pretty good. Perhaps I'm feeling positively and apprehensively curious.

One day I may catch on.

Or maybe there's nothing to catch.

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I just rang up to get piano lessons. I was told to call back after the holidays. But I'm excited. I made a move. Soon I'll be Mr Piano.

Maybe not soon. But one day. You just watch out, Mr Freeman.

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I had a dream last night that I got lost at Sydney Theatre Company. I got lost in the wharfs there, and walked through rehearsals and un-used stages. I spent a while in the props store and that was cool. It was a great dream. I was having the time of my life. The magic of theatre. There were actors, and crew people, and dancers, and make up tables. I took lots of photos on my digital camera so I could blog them, but they weren't there when I woke up. I just walked around looking official and hoped that no one would stop me and ask me what I was doing.

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Today I went to lunch with the Swans, Junior and Senior. Marg cooked a fantastic bunch of vegies and John did some good lamb on the barbie. It was a genuine home cooked meal. Woohoo.

For youth today we went to visit a retirement village. After getting terribly lost 5 minutes from church (how you do that, I'm unsure) we arrived. Some of the young people played musical instruments for the retirees then we went and talked to all the old people. I talked to three women who were all 90. They was cool. One kept asking me what high school I went to. I had a lovely time. I think it may have been one of the best things we've done as a youth group this year. I had so much fun. It was really nice connecting with people who weren't in the same boat. I'm not sure what the young people thought, but I loved it.

Matt and I had a chat after church about creative things. We both want to be friends, and that's good. Matt is worth being friends with. All the creative stuff though? We're working on it...

Next week I'm preaching. I'm feeling the pressure again. Preach well. Teach the Word. Touch the people. Entertain the masses. Don't flop.

Oh well, that's life. I love preaching. I just hope I can remember to preach Christ first. We can have fun after that.

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I had lots of fun last night.

Lesley and I went out for dinner. We ate at a cafe in the mall. We spent a long time looking for somewhere good. We rejected a few because they weren't "romantic" enough. Not that we were looking for a romantic night, but I thought it would be more comfortable if the place could be romantic if that's what you wanted.

Anyway, it was fun. I ate a lot. I ate the grilled chicken. I picked it because it had mashed potato with it and I wanted to see what real mashed potato tasted like.

It was good to catch up with Lesley too. She's a tops person. I'd been looking forward to our night out for weeks and it didn't disappoint. Yay for Lesley and Yay for good food in Hornsby.

After dinner we met David, Anmol and Chris for our Shrek 2 experience. This involved buying tickets at the cinema and chocolate at Coles. I finally bought the chocolate I've been craving all week.

Mars bar. Ahhh. Lovely.

We met Mil just before the film and went in. There was an ad about downloading movies illegally off the net. It amused me.

The movie was fine. Nothing special. The best bit was the Counting Crows song that they started with. There were funnies, but it wasn't anywhere near the first film. I think they should leave it at one most of the time. But alas, this world is driven by money, and if you can make a bucket load off a sequel, then go for it.

We had coffee before home and talked politics. I walked home feeling cold.

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I am reading a book at the moment called Ten Great Preachers. I tend to read it at night before I go to sleep.

The book has a sermon delivered by one of the "Great Preachers" followed by an interview with them. It's very inspiring. I'm really enjoying it. It's like I get good preaching, good preachers and then good sleep. And it makes me excited about preaching. The problem is though, that when I try and sleep I start thinking about my next sermon. I don't feel nearly as "great" as them.

There's this bit where Tony Campolo says that he preaches cause he enjoys it. He does over 400 speaking engagements a year. If I didn't have to write stuff, that could be cool. I think preaching is fun. It doesn't feel like it should be fun. It feels like it should be all serious and important and certainly not fun. It shouldn't be fun to handle the word of God. It should be serious business. It is serious, but it is fun too. Once you get there, and you're at the lectern (I'd love to say pulpit there, but I've never preached from a pulpit) and you have everyone ready to hear what you're going to say. You know you could sink, you could swim or you could blow everyone out of the water. It could be fantastic. You tell jokes and people laugh, you tell stories and people connect, you get serious and everyone goes quiet.

But that's not the funnest bit. My favourite bit is where I get to talk about the Gospel, especially to Christians*. When I get to stand up in church and tell people about the death of Christ and his glorious and amazing resurrection, that's fantastic. I can tell people that we're forgiven, we're new creations and we've God living in us. That's cool. That's fun. That's what it's all about. That's when you're soaring, because as good as anything is that you can pull out of the bag, as funny as your jokes are, as involving as any of your stories may be, or as potent as your wisdom is, the Gospel is always better. God's stories are better, his wisdom is timeless, and his Word brings life. And when it's God speaking, that's preaching, that's fun and that's a privilege.

*I do like preaching the Gospel to non-Christians, but it's harder work. You know they aren't onside with you and you have to explain it in their terms. So it's fun, but not nearly as fun as preaching to the converted. Then you're all agreeing and you can revel in the Gospel together.

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At small group yesterday we had masses of chips. Because I was sick last week I told the guy who was on food to bring them this week. When I talked to the person who was on food this week I forgot that we already had food organised. So I told him to bring some. Then the sister of the boy who's house we were at had a party that day at pre-school or something and brought home a few packets of chips. So it turned out we had 8 packets of chips. There was enough for a packet each with on left over. It was massive. And the was such joy within the room when people realised they could have a whole packet of their favourite chips all to themselves. It was a chip abundance. We had some left over (only about a packet though) and I felt like we'd fed the 5,000. Baskets left over and everyone had their fill. It was great.

I love chips.

After small group I went and picked Jo up and we headed down to Manly for Gem and Mil's birthday which was good fun. The pizza tasted nice and the company was much pleasurement. I laughed lots I think. And I didn't feel sick. It was great. I really wanted a hot chocolate, but I retrained myself. I thought it might be bad for me stomach.

We talked road trip and I'm getting excited. It's interesting seeing David at the moment because I'm aware that he's going to be gone soon. I'm enjoying seeing so much of him. He's got an "I'm about to go away to a developing country" aura about him at the moment. He's good to spend time with.

Today I've sat around. Mum made me some lunch because she's fussing over me. Kaia rang me before to get a phone number and it was good to talk to her. Tasmainia is so far away.

I might go flying somewhere next week, when I get some free time.

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When I saw the doctor he gave me some pills. Yay.

And I'm feeling better now than I did this morning.

While I was lying on his bed and he'd just finished poking my stomach and knocking on it, he noticed something about my finger nails. He got me to show them to him, and he spent a minute or two examining them from all angles. Then he said, "Hmm, there's a few things that could cause that, but I'm not going to tell you what they are because I don't want to scare you."

Brilliant. Lucky I thought it was funny because I might be worried otherwise.

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Tassa got busted

I just answered a knock at our door and it was a man from Hornsby Council saying that someone had made a complaint about Tassa. She barks too much. If she wasn't our dog, I might have made the complaint myself.

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Tomorrow I'm going to the doctor. Yeah baby.

"What's wrong Mr French?"

"I'm sick"

"Ok, take two if these you'll be better in 20 minutes. Oh and stop eating mashed potato and toast. Go eat ice cream, chocolate, and a fatty, juicy steak with a side order of deep fried chips."

"Thank you doctor, will do"

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I would really like to eat some chocolate.

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Because I'm just the smartest...

Chris could have done a better job anyway.

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I've had a good day today. Work was fun.

We played games in Scripture today which was jolly. I hope they learnt stuff, but it was fun even if they didn't.

I did stuff at work. I set stuff up so we can record sermons on cd rather than tape. Now our church will be most technological. CDs have only been around since the 80s.

Rach came and visited me and we ate some mashed potato that Mum cooked. She's good, Mum.

Small group was very small. Only one boy turned up for the second week in a row. Hmmm. May have to re-think that one.

And the Pub was fun too. Lots of people. Regulars, newbies, oldbies, and otherbies. Most were women, but that's just the way it goes. I'm part of the generation raised by women (thanks David) so why not hang out with a few? Mil and I walked there and back together. Fun. We had frank discussions which would have made me blush a few years ago but I'm all grown up now.

Tonight I will write a Bible study. Then I'll sleep.

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Now that Helen is gone I'm the king of the Upstairs. Infact, when Belinda goes home I'll be king of the Church centre. Helen and Steve are on holidays, so I'm holding the fort. It's kinda fun. I'm doing work. I'm feeling productive, sending emails, making phone calls, organising, writing theological things and blogging. This is what work should be like.

If only I could eat pizza for lunch.

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From last weeks Bible Study (written by Helen):

"I need to not explode next time my mother asks me to vacuum"

You'd have a lot more than vacuuming to do after that mess.

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I sowed a button on to my pants this morning. I'm learning new tricks every day.

Whoever marries me is going to be a very happy lady. I can sow buttons and cook porridge, what more could a woman want?

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Yesterday was a good day up until the point where I got sick again. Actually it was good after that, but deteriorated.

I woke up late. And went slowly. I was struck by the idea that I could have porridge for breakfast. It was a great idea. My diet lately has been pretty much vegemite toast and mashed potato (although I reckon one of the best things about being sick is the mashed potato). So I had porridge. I cooked the instructions that served 3 and ate the whole saucepan. The porridge was fantastic.

Then I found out what time The Punisher was on up at Hornsby and called Chris to see if he would go with me. Luckily it's exam time, so he was willing to ditch study for a movie.

The movie wasn't very good. Very violent, and didn't make you feel very good. It was all about revenge (although the main character said it wasn't revenge, it was punishment). Silly, silly film. I enjoyed watching a movie, but this one wasn't really worth watching. It was just un-pleasant really.

I came home and was very hungry. I cooked myself some pasta. I was getting adventurous and I was still hungry. But alas, the pasta was my downfall. I think it may have been something to do with the sour cream and cheese that I added to the mix. It didn't sit well with me.

Mum and I went over to the Castle's and I wasn't feeling great.

It was fun visiting though. Ryan, Jem and I hung out in the kitchen. Then after dinner Jem and I hung out in the lounge room as I got progressively worse.

Last night was horrid. I think it was the worst night I've had so far. I couldn't sleep at all between 2:30 and 4:30 because I was in too much pain. I watched TV but even with 45 channels there was nothing worth losing sleep over. Eventually I managed to fall properly asleep at around 6am and spent the rest of the time dreaming about Student Alpha.

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I want to vomit.

Perhaps that would solve my problems. I haven't vomited for days. Sometimes when you vomit you feel better. I want it all to go away. Maybe it'll come out my mouth and I'll be fine.



I went to work today because I declared myself better. But alas it wasn't to be. I felt pretty rotten at the beginning, and deteriorated as the day went on. By the time youth was finished I didn't think I'd be able to sit through church comfortably. So I slept. I went into my office put some couch things on the floor, grabbed my pillow (which I had brought as I am always prepared), turned on my heater and fell asleep to the melodic sounds of Chris and friends singing about Jesus. It was a more comfortable way to do church.

Mike suggested today that we install plush couple chairs at church like at Gold Class. I'm all up for that. They wouldn't be fun to move, but how comfy. Ahh.

The good thing is I'm in a better mood today. I think spending the day with people has made me happier. My feelings of self-worth go up when I'm productive. Isn't that a shame.

I hope I sleep tonight. Nights are so boring. I might go the Foxtel route again tonight. I wonder if there are any movies on.

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To recap my night: Bed, couch, bed, couch, bed

Kinda like my day really. Last night we watched Spellbound which was tops. Heaps of year 8 people trying to spell big words. It was very good.

I spent all night dreaming about spelling bees. That was fantastically boring. I didn't manage to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time. At 4am I gave up and thought I'd fall asleep infront of the tv. I watched this documentary on Showtime called: 20th Century Fox: The Blockbuster Era. According to the documentary the blockbuster era spanned the entire length of Fox's life as a company and every film they made was a blockbuster. It wasn't hard to guess who funded that insightful piece of journalism. But it did its job and I managed to fall asleep infront of the tv for an hour, before being woken up by Hannah when she emerged early in the morning.

Today I am missing out on a Breakthru' Artz meeting which I'm bummed about. It seemed like an important one to go to and I'm stuck here blogging and watching Simpsons re-runs.

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So I'm a little sick of being sick.

It seems to occur sometimes. As one of my small group boys told me on the phone today "We all get sick sometimes." Which is quite true, although I would rather not, and I'd rather do it less. Or get sick where you can still function. Not sick that puts you in bed for the day. My protestant work ethic is continually rearing it's ugly head, especially when I can't work.

Anyway today so far as gone like this:

Bed, shower, bed, couch, bed, couch, bed, chair in kitchen, computer.

I went to bed at 10:45 last night hoping to get a really good sleep. Instead I woke up every hour feeling sick. At least I was able to see that night looks like night at all times of night.

Yesterday was lovely. I did very little. I fiddled with my computer. I wagged food court because I wasn't in the mood to be social.

I took myself alone to the movies. I went and saw Raising Helen. This seemed like a good idea because I had the memory the Jo had done something similar and it had a been a none too shabby affair.

It turned out that I enjoyed the movie, even if it was made for chicks. I sat in the cinema with two other women who sat right at the back. They laughed at a few of the right spots and many of the wrong ones. I laughed most at the religion jokes, because, well, I'm a church boy at heart. I almost cried too, which I think is a testament to how tired I was.

When the movie finished I snuck out so that the women wouldn't see me. It would be embarrassing to be a 21 year old male caught alone in a chick flick.

I wagged photography too and came home and spent the night with my family (after blogging). I enjoyed that. Jo came over too. She also decided to wag photography. We had take away Indian. I had butter chicken which I think is the cause of today's issues. It wasn't even all that good. If it had been the butter chicken at work though, I would almost sacrifice a day in bed for it.

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Congratulations on a great effort team.

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"i have to have a small portion of bitterness cause its important to turn loss into a bad attitude" - Kemp

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Church Planting Conference. Well, um. I was looking forward to switching off. My brain was fried. People said good things mostly.

The person who led the bible study (A leading Sydney Evangelical who will not be named) was talking about prayer said something like:

"If you have something to say to God that takes three hours than by all means take three hours. If not, say what you have to say, then stop talking. Stop wasting your time and stop wasting God's."

Well, um, yep. I disagree. I doubt God doesn't have time for us. And if we want to pray, and He got the point the first time we said it, I'm sure He has no problem with us saying it again. It would be difficult to waste the time of the creator of time.

Anyway, the people who talked about church planting did good. I wouldn't mind being part of a church plant. I like building the Kingdom.

After lunch we had discussion groups. My group seemed to be a lot of ministers telling each other how bad their situation was. Except for one guy who kept being able to tell us how well his church was going. I didn't say anything the whole time. Infact I fell asleep three times, which is rather embarrassing, especially when you're in a circle and people are looking at you when you wake up.

I had small group in the evening. Only one person came. Steve and I sat around and chatted with them. We talked about muggings, fights, bashings, police, cars, and girls. Can you tell it's male small group?

Pub happened. Lovely.

And Blu happened too. I had Mars Bar pancake which was great. We left the cafe in high spirits. Some people went home (Ryan, Chris, Jem, Anmol and Julian).

It was off to Woolworths for David, Howie, Jo, Rach, Kaye and I. Rach and I had a race to Westfield on our heals. On the escalator, I started to feel a bit funny. As I walked past the nut shop talking to David I thought I was going to vomit. By the sushi place I decided I better head for the toilets. But I didn't make it. I vomited into my hand and on my clothes. What the...? Damn it. Where did that come from? One minute I was fine, the next, revisiting my Mars bar crepe. I liked it but not that much.

I went to the toilets and did my best to clean myself up. Then went to Woolworths feeling like an idiot, looking like a drunk and smelling like vomit. Gross.

I walked home with Howie, and felt fine. I think all my tiredness must have just got to me and stomach said "Oi, watch me do a trick!" Really I just felt stupid. And I smelt. Oh well.

Perhaps these things happen to everyone?

Praise the Lord!

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Early up. Again.

And off to school.

Howie and I got there early. One of the people at school saw us and our bags of Chuppa Chups and said to me "Hey are you those priest guys?" Yep, that's us, priest guys.

During the next ten minutes the team turned up, Sal, Jo, Helen and Zoe (Jamie and Melanie came during the first session) and we assessed our situation. We were down a few leaders and had a big gymnasium. This could get messy. We prayed. Courtney came to visit, she was praying for us elsewhere in the school. Fantastic.

We had year seven first. They were noisy, and the gym just made it worse. For the first 15 minutes it looked like it was all going down the tubes. But we recovered, I talked and the kids listened. The were well behaved by the end. We had small groups and good discussion. Jamie got told by a bunch of girls never to become gay. Good plan.

When they were done it was year 8's turn. Being a little older and wiser we managed to pull of the seminar with much less fuss. More good discussion.

For year 9 we were in a new room. A much better quieter room. Jamie and I split the whole back row up. They were talking and punching each other. How very teacher of us. I always thought scripture teachers were less important than substitute teachers when I was in High School. I wonder if everyone thinks that.

But it was still good. And year 10 went nice. Kaye joined us for those ones. Lots of good talking was done during the day. Sometimes people say nothing, but sometimes lots of good stuff gets discussed, and we pray that makes a difference.

Feeling tired we had lunch together. It was a nice wind down.

I had coffee with Sal to talk film making. That was nice. Although, I had completely lost all my adrenaline by then so I wasn't very vibrant.

Home was a bit of work, then it was off to home groups. We had a meeting about the 18-30s age group at church. I was put in a sticky situation that I felt dodgy about. I chose honesty and felt bad. Sometimes being a staff member isn't always the best.

David and I left pretty soon afterwards. I enjoyed the drive home. David is good.

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Started really early for a public holiday. I woke up angry at the sun for not being up yet, and my clock for telling me un-pleasant news.

I recovered soon and walked to the station listening to Radiohead piano concertos. Just what one needs for the crisp winter air.

I caught an express bus to Strathfield and slept most of the way there. Buses aren't comfortable to sleep on, but when you're feeling tired...

I met Jo (sister) at Strathfield. When she picked me up picked me up I had my breakfast (Bacon and egg roll and hot chocolate) in my hands and I squeezed into her lovely Corolla.

We drove to Centennial Park all ready for our photography lesson at 9am. We found our class at the meeting spot and waited for the teacher to turn out. More students arrived. A group of three people sat down next to us and told each other how drunk they got on the weekend. Jo and I talked about private schools and sex before marriage.

Eventually the three people left again, and Jo and I took that as our cue to leave too. We'd been sitting around for 45 minutes and the teacher hadn't turned up. It turned out that neither of us wanted to go to the class anyway so it was a nice surprise. We went for a walk, bought and paper and Jo bought a coffee. Then we sat in the park and talked for a while. It was nice. We had good talking.

Eventually it was time for Mum's birthday picnic.

Centennial Park has toilets placed as far away from anywhere as possible.

The picnic was good. Many lovely people. I hung out with Hannah a lot and Mark. I also climbed a tree.

I spent the whole picnic craving Coke. I had some Apple and Strawberry juice, but that did nothing for me.

I slept all the way home in the car.

Howie and I went shopping for 500 Chuppa Chups. Then it was off to work for me. I had some scripture seminars to plan. As I sat at work I got more and more stressed.

I had a break in between for a preaching course, which was very inspiring. It gave me much food for thought about the role of preaching in Church life and the importance of preachers. I think we should give our Senior Ministers less work.

Then it was back to work. I stressed and kicked things, and had visions of masses of angry teenagers, and hours of chaos. I eventually went home at around twenty to one after deciding that my half prepared talk was enough, and I could do all things through Christ. If it was going to be good it was going to be his show tomorrow.

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The video we made in drama we premiered in the morning service at Church. We missed the first title. I thought "Oh well, we made if for this evening"

During drama we played ping-pong ball soccer with our fingers most of the time. I couldn't be bothered running a proper session. I thought we deserved a break after making such a good video. It was fun.

Helen, Matt and I had a meeting about the big live/film project for the year. It all seemed a little daunting. I was excited by Matt's story, but I'm not sure if I have the talent to pull it off. I'm just a small time, handicam man. But I'm excited about the challenge.

Youth group was fun. We played games and I had fun during dinner. I was silly, and I like silliness.

After church at Macca's Jodie and Pip told me off for saying "Crap". Oops. I'm a bad person.

I do enjoy McDonalds even if I don't eat it.

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I think now I may have a little space to fill the gaps.


Yay for Saturday.

I woke up. Jem had a birthday breakfast in Manly which I thought would be nice to go to. But it occurred to me that going would be a bad idea.

I went to church to set up for the term celebration. I wasn't much help. I was feeling mostly Zombie like. Tim and Pete were doing special things with lights and lasers. They always do special things.

I was sent on an expedition during set up to Bunnings to get gaffa tape. In my half-waking state Bunnings was a dream. A beautiful dream. Isles and isles of hardware. Things I'd love to buy just because they looked cool. Like how much fun are isles of switches, or taps, or pipe fittings, or safety gear, or coils of chain and hose. Fun, fun, fun. Bunnings was great. It took me about half an hour to find the gaffa tape, because the place was huge. But I wasn't too upset. Happy is the man who can spend hours in a hardware store.

I doubt I would be able to do anything productive with any of the stuff there. If I was any less handy, I would have been born without hands. But still, it's about the stuff not its usefulness.

Anyway way, back at church I got to tape some cables to the floor, and that's always fun. Makes me feel technical and safety conscious.

I came home and edited a video for church the next day. That took up all the time before I had to go back.

We had a meeting with all the leaders, dancers and musicians. I enjoyed that. We prayed and prayer is good, prayer is powerful and effective, prayer is posh.

The night went good. There was a really fun vibe. Helen and her team danced good. I told a silly story about me hiding from my surprise party. I did it because I stood at the back of the room remembering my youth ministry lecturer saying that it was often good to tell a story to open a meeting. So I did. Just because I don't do much my lecturer told me to do, so I felt perhaps once I should do as he said. It was a silly story with silly God connection, but really, a story is worthwhile in itself.

It was really good to have a night where there was lots of energy, where God was worshipped, God was taught, and God was met. That's what it's all about really. All our silly games, our lengthy meetings, our long hours and late nights, that's what it's for. And well, I'm quite happy to be serving Jesus.

We packed up. Helen and I debriefed, then I drove home listening to something or other but I can't remember what.

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"You humble me Lord" - Norah Jones

I think when you're over tired you should learn to contain yourself, or it can get a little embarrassing.

At least, that's what I've found.

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As I was driving home from Westfield this afternoon I saw a man vacuuming his car and showing some bum crack. It wasn't bend over bum crack it was stand up crack. So much funnier.

I thought, "That'd be fun to take a photo off. It would be fun to start a collection of photos of bum crack. Whenever I see some bum crack I could take a photo and make an album or something."

Then when I continued to think about the idea, I decided it wasn't so good after all. But still just as funny.

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I really want to do a big post. Or something.

But I'm too darn tired.

Needless to say, God is good. Better than me and he makes me better.

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I'm in the middle of stress days, and sleepless nights. Tomorrow is pretty full and somewhere in there I have to plan Scripture Seminars.

Last night's term celebration was tops. It felt big, which was the plan. God did good stuff. And we had fun. People laughed in most of the right places. Yayness.

Today was full. As usual. Meetings and the like. We showed a video which we made in drama at church this morning and the evening. Sadly the beginning was cut off both times. So we missed some of the best bits. At least, the contextual bits.

I had a meeting about the big film project for the year. I'm getting both excited and overwhelmed at the same time. I'm hoping to pull a good crew around me this time. I'm going to try not to do it all. That would be nice.

At 12:30 on Tuesday the stress will go and I'll just be tired. I'm so excited. That's the time I'm aiming for. After that the brain can switch off. Yay.

I have to be at Strathfield station at 8:30 in the morning. Best be off to bed.

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Tonight I made some stupid comment about what a good singer I was (I think because I noticed I was doing a bit of vibrato as I sang the Oasis that was stuck in my head) and Kirsty said something like "You're not that bad actually." How nice. I don't believe her, but it was nice anyway.

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Living without a microwave sucks. As a memeber or the mircowave generation I feel disjointed and I tend to have irrational mood swings. Dinner at 1:30 in the morning just isn't the same with out a microwave.

One day the microwave will be back. It's been about two weeks now...

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So today has been long and good.

Interesting really. It started at 7:15am having a prayer breakfast at church. I like prayer and I like breakfast, so apart from the time it was good.

I retired to my office for a bit of a sleep after that. Lovely. I did other work, and some blogging, when I wasn't asleep.

We went to the high school again today, and the lunchtime group is really taking off. We had 21 people today. Last week we had 25. It's blowing me away. We set a goal at the beginning of the year to get 50 people and now we're halfway there. It's great. And truly, we're not doing much. It's all God. People just turn up. It's like "Wow!".

I had a staff lunch, played with the air hockey table that arrived for tomorrow nights term celebration. It's going to be fun.

I spent this evening setting up for the celebration. It should be cool. Everything is going pretty smoothly. I had lots of fun hanging out with all the young people and leaders. There was a lot of floating around and being silly but it was good bonding and the church is looking good.

After that, it was off to the evangelistic speaker at the pub. Our church organised this bloke to come and talk who died and came back to life and is now telling everyone about Jesus. I went a bit skeptical, but he was good. He spoke for an hour and a half and held my attention the whole time. He didn't say anything that made me think "Uh oh" and it was all quite biblical. He spent the last bit of his talk jumping around in the Bible showing us stuff. It was cool. He talked the gospel. In the end he says something about it not mattering what we think of his story and whether he died or not, it's how we respond to Jesus and his death that is important. That was very good. He wasn't crazy, and he told a good yarn.

People became Christians too, so that was exciting. Talking in the carpark afterwards with people about what had happened was very cool.

I drove home feeling, weird. Probably useless is the most fitting word. For some reason events like tonight leave me feeling flat and not particularly useful. Like there are 100 other people around who could be in my position and doing a much better job at it. So I drove home considering those uplifting thoughts and continued to pray and be reminded that God is bigger than my feelings. Not that I felt any less un-necessary, it's just good to know that I'm not.

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Hibibby, Hibibby!

I had a good day yesterday. It went forever. I had stuff that I planned to do, but I didn't get around to doing, and I made videos that disappeared themselves into thin-cyberspace, but it was still good. I had fun doing my various activities and that's very important.

Harry Potter was cool. I've decided I still like it. The director made some nice changes, but there were a few shockers. He changed many of the sets. The whole Hogwarts castle seems to have been picked up and moved to a completely different place. I think I like this Hogwarts better, but I don't think it was a good choice to change at this stage in the series.

There was a lot of handheld stuff in this one, and a lot longer takes. Much grainer too. He made it seem less "fantastic" and more functional. They had this overbearing, reoccouring, motif of time. There are clocks, pendulums, and models of the solar system all over the place. The passing of the seasons is marked with lots of significance. The problem is, I can't see that point. I'm not sure why Alfonso was emphasising time so much. There is time as an integral plot point, but it in itself is not the point. Maybe it's to do with the theme of growing up, but I'm not sure. It seems a bit obvious (and not obvious) to me.

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Harry Potter Day! Yay, Hooray!

Robbie Williams is, hmm. I like a lot of his music. His dvd, is well, a little hedonistic, I guess. He seems to be one of the most honest famous people around. It's funny. I have never really got into Robbie, untill I borrowed the cd of Rob a few weeks ago and now I'm a Robbie convert. But I'm not comfortable with him yet. I'm especially not comfortable with his dancing girls.

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I have decided to live simply for the rest of the month.

I've discovered I have $145.26 to last till the end of the month. I think I also recycled a $150 cheque the other day. That was a little silly. I should be able to get that back though, it'll just take a while.

Anyway, this could be a good exercise in seeing how good I am at spending nothing.

Or perhaps, just seeing how good I am at scabbing.

At least I have no debts.

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Why is it that whenever I do a bad scripture lesson, the teacher stays in the room with me?

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I went to a Graduate's Conference at College today. I didn't do very well. I only talked to people I knew. They were safe. I could broken out of my comfort zone, but I didn't go to college with that mindset. I thought, "I'm at college, this is somewhere where I am comfortable, I'm going to be comfortable today." So I was. Mostly. I was too tired to be competely comfortable without being asleep.

I told people about my Wiggles experience and I think they were suitably impressed. I was probably the coolest person there as a result too.

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Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle

I went and saw The Wiggles today!

I had a great time. Howie and I went up to Hornsby RSL for the 3pm show. There were no tickets left, but Howie managed to sweet talk the man at the desk while I hid (we thought it may look a little funny, two 21 year old guys going to see The Wiggles by themselves) and got us two tickets.

We went because it was on and we both had a day off. Plus, having Hannah as a little sister means I've been watching the Wiggles for the last nine years. That's longer than I've been listening to U2. So to get an opportunity to see such an infulencial group of musicians, it must not be missed. Plus it was only an hour long, and ten minutes walk from home, so it never took much out of our day.

We went in and took our seats at the back of the auditorium filled with noisy kids and scary mothers. (I don't know why but I always find the mothers of little kids and babies the most scary kind of mother.) I went and got us some drinks (Coke and a Lemon, Lime and Bitters) and we waited for the show to start.

When it did start it was great. We saw Jeff, Murray, Anthony and Sam. Sam was replacing Greg (the Yellow Wiggle) because Greg is sick. Poor Greg. We also saw Henry the Octopus, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, and Captain Feathersword, plus The Wiggles Dancers. All my favourites.

The performance was lots of fun. They made jokes and I laughed when all the kids were meant to laugh (like when Jeff fell asleep) and I laughed when the adults laughed (like when Captain Feathersword sang "Quack, Quack, Quack, Cock-a-doodle-doo" to "Angels Brought Me Here" by Guy Sebastian). We got the best of both worlds. And there was lots of colour and all the songs went for about a minute so it was hard to get bored.

I was a little worried throughout the show that someone would turn to us and say "What are you doing here? You freaky men! Get out. Don't come near my child!" I think we may have got a few funny looks, but no-one shouted at us.

So now I can say I've seen The Wiggles. What fun. The Hooley Dooleys are coming in July, but there's no way I'm going to see them. I only have love for The Wiggles.

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I think I had a pretty happy day today. Full, but happy.

Maybe content.

And not stressed. Not yet. It's coming. Whenever I see a full, stressful period of my life ahead I get the lyric in my head "I can see it coming, I think I know what it is" (U2). And I walk around singing "Stuck in a Moment".

But today was pretty nicely stress free.

The drama group in the morning was much fuller than planned. People must have heard we were making a video. We joined with Jo and Kaye's group for the day, and ended up having almost every kid from both groups, plus two extras. I didn't have nearly enough jobs on crew, or roles in the script for all of them. But seeing as I thought it was a dodgy script anyway, I scrapped it and Jo helped us to create a whole new video on the spot. Conceptually it's much better. We'll see how it turns out on paper.

There was a lunch meeting which was nice. And an after lunch meeting too. And a meeting after the meeting after lunch. And perhaps there was a mini-meeting in between the lunch meeting and the after lunch meeting.

I really enjoyed the lunch. How good is food? I think God created us with the needs for many things, and all of them are good. Especially food. And water. Water is wonderful.

Youth Group was good too. It was on time, seemed mostly energetic, and I had fun. And really, youth group is only for my own personal enjoyment. It's stated in our core values: "So Tom can have fun."

Phil did a meaty sermon tonight. I told him at Macca's "I enjoyed you meat". It was theological, and chewable. At least much more than our usual fare. Not that I mind our usual fare, but it's good to get into it every now and again. I was reminded how much I enjoy college and learning about the Bible. So much fun. Next term I'm learning about Daniel and Psalms. Cool dude! I'll be able to buy four new commentaries. I'm enjoying putting commentaries on my bookshelf even if I have never read them. I look smart because the books look boring.

After Church and Maccas we came home and Howie, Mil and I watched a documentary on Submarines. Good times. Discovery Channel has this fantastic bit called "Extreme Machines" or "Extreme Power" or something like that and they just show documentaries about really cool machines (usually military stuff). Very male I feel, but very cool. My favourite one was the one about Extreme Trucks, they were the bomb. Trucks. Big Trucks. Lot's of wheels, very heavy. Cool.

I think the submarines would be the one time in the past few weeks that I've watched TV. No Maccas, no Coke, no TV, I'm almost a vegan hippy.

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I'm the flame I can't get burnt
I'm wholly understated
- Matchbox 20

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Robert and I might go and see The Wiggles tomorrow (today) at Hornsby RSL.

Fun Fun.

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I wonder if I have my 5 year High School reunion this year. I wonder if I'll get invited. I wonder if anyone will bother organising one.

I can't wait till my reunion, I'll bust down the double doors, and I'm going stand on the tables and tell everyone how much cooler I am now. "I am no longer a library geek everyone! I watch films, I own name brand clothes, I drive a big white van. I'm cool! I haven't been to the library in weeks!"

I'm not really looking forward to any kind of reunion, but it could be funny. I'm sure I'll just have the usual conversations. "So what do you do now?"

"Oh, I work for a real estate agent."


"What do you do?"

"I work as youth minister at a church in Belrose"



Or then theres:

"Hey Tom do you still make films?"

"Not really. I work for a church."



If I go, I'll just sit in a corner with Howie, Chris and Anmol. Every now and again Tim will come and visit us. And then we'll go home.

It'll be a lovely night.

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I just wrote the beginning of the script for drama. And I accidentally clicked the little "X". When is said "Do you want to save before closing?" I thought "I don't want to close the program" and clicked "No", so I lost my work. Bugger.

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I should write my script for tomorrow. I have a video to make with many young people. But I'm not.

I also want to go to Westfield and buy a dvd or two. That's sounding very appealing.

We have a mouse who lives in our house at the moment. I think he moved in last night. I heard him scratching at the bathroom door.

I went to Jill and Brent's wedding today. It was very nice. Short too. About 40 minutes or less if I'm not mistaken.

Weddings always make me plan mine. I'm sure mine will not be 40 minutes long. Although I have so many plans, I'm sure the wife will say "No Tom, we cannot play the Eno game at our wedding" and stuff like that. At least if I have lots of plans I should get some of them passed. As long as I don't marry Miss Megalomaniac. I bet she'll have been dreaming of her perfect wedding since she was three and never once would those dreams have involved the minister dressing up as Elvis. What a shame.

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For all those who are complaining that my photos are too big, here's your bloody one liner!

6/05/2004 01:08:00 am


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Monk on Bridge.jpg



Shadow Bridge.jpg

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So I'm at work and I thought I'd take this opportunity to blog.

The Harbour Bridge really is a lovely thing to photograph. Yesterday I went back to the bridge with more film in my camera and went photo crazy. It was wonderful fun. I'd post some of the photos but I only took one or two on my digital, and they're still stuck in the camera.

I haven't shaved since last Sunday and I'm feeling very itchy.

We were asked at college today how our ministry life was going, and I said "Wonderful. Lovely church and lovely people." I then elaborated and talked a bit more about how things were. But I felt I needed to give a chirpy answer because most people we're having a good time. Court cases, lost ministers, job changes. Me, I just do too much. And this week I'm not even sure if that's the case. I think I'm going to work about an hour overtime this week. Fantastic. I think that's because I've been at college today. But I've been diligently trying to work less.

Helen and I have been pushing each other to work less. It's good to have Helen around. We keep each other accountable. And it's much less lonely in ministry. We got told at college today that ministry is a very lonely place. But I don't feel all that lonely. I guess that's the plus of doing youth ministry with someone else. We're both doing the same thing, so we both know what's going on for the other.

Yay for Helen.

I also got told that when I put my hand for ministry I was putting up my hand to be a lightning rod for "aggression and conflict" or something like that. Fantastic. Woohoo. I love conflict.

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My goodness the blogging world is expanding.

I just discovered Beth's blog, and I read Luke's for the first time today. And well, it's going crazy. Fantastic.

I have no idea who reads my blog either. I'll have to be careful now to make sure I say only wonderful and insightful things so that I keep up my image of a wonderful insightful person.

I'll have to make sure I don't talk about sex too much either, because that's embarrassing (and Mel will tell me off). Or farting. What if someone finds out I think farts are funny? I'd be done for.

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I am really hanging out for my 1,500th post. I should have a very special post. You know how on Home and Away when they get to their one thousandth episode they would have a special cliffhanger 2 part episode.

Maybe on my 1,499th post I can say "I'm blogging from the back of a car. We just had an accident. My mum is pregnant with an unexpected child and we aren't sure if it will survive the crash, she may have to give birth through the window which the fireman has been kind enough to smash. I, on the other hand, am also stuck in the car, although the other car. I crashed into my mother as she reversed out of the driveway and I was driving in. The ambulance man has told me that I may be a paraplegic for life, and that I have cut an artery in my neck and may die in the next few minutes. I decided that this was an ideal opportunity to blog as I may never walk, or live for that matter, again."

Everyone will be on the edge of their seats. "What's going to happen to Tom?" they'll say.

And then on my 1,500th post I'll say "Today was an interesting day. I have a new baby brother. We are calling him Pulsar after the car he was born in. I also got in a bit of a pickle but the nice emergency service people helped me out and everything is fine now. Must go to bed, I'm getting up early in the morning."

In other news Ryan and I went for a run this morning. Ryan beat me for the first time in years. Oh dear. I'm going to have to go running some more. Damn him for staying fit while I stayed in bed.

In other other news, I have written over 176,000 words. To be precise this is my 176,591st word ever written on my blog. Fantastic.

That's a lot of words. Most of them are probably useless. If anyone was going to read all my blog now it would take a long time. They would have to really like me.

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I thought I should blog before midnight, so I'm sitting in Ryan's room making sure it happens before the day is out.

Michael is playing with the weights and he's stronger than me. I'm about to drive him home and never talk to him again. At least not until I've beefed up a bit and feel better about myself.

He subtly hinted that he wants me to let you all know that he's the drummer from Me and Ty (now Revive). He's a very good drummer and will one day me a minor Christian celebrity.

We watched Harry tonight. It was fun. Hermione is cool. As is Ron. And Harry.

Now it's time to drive.

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I found this in a commentary:

Regarding hospitality: "This widely praised virtue in that day was practically a social obligation for the householder. It also became a mark of Christian behavior (Rom 12:13; 1 Pet 4:9). What sometimes passes for hospitality today (the entertainment of friends and church members, often with the expectation of a return invitation) is a rather dim reflection of the New Testament concept. The practice of hospitality among Christians was often urgent, sacrificial and risky: urgent because Christians might be forced from homes or jobs with no one to turn to but fellow Christians; sacrificial because material goods were often in short supply; risky because to associate oneself with those who had been forced out meant to identify with their cause. Thus hospitality required sacrificial sharing and stretching. It was a very practical expression of love, not a source of entertainment. While the practice of hospitality had primarily the needs of believers in mind, there is no reason that it could not be a way of showing concern for unbelievers."

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There's this bit in Robbie Williams: Live - Summer 2003 where Robbie says to the audience "When I say 'Alcohol' I want you to say: 'Yeah!' and when I say 'Drugs' I want you to say: 'Boo!'"

Then he goes on to say "Alcohol" and everyone cheers. And "Drugs" and everyone boos. He does that for a bit getting faster and faster till he says "Alcodrugs!" and everyone starts to cheer but ends up laughing halfway through. And everytime I hear that I laugh. I know it's coming, but it's always funny.

Oh Robbie you're a trickster.

6/01/2004 12:30:00 am

Bourgeois Cinema

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Now I've done Gold Class.

I always wondered what it was like now I know.

First up, The Day After Tomorrow wasn't too bad. I enjoyed myself. I didn't feel all that cold but I did see everyone snuggling up in sleeping bags and I thought, "How fun". And the effects were pretty good. Lots of people died.

If ever we have an ice age, I'll be pretty happy that I'm living in Australia, because we were fine. The movie wasn't too patriotic either. And there was a good line about the Western Countries now having to live in the 3rd World Nations. It was a nice, leftist irony.

The Gold Class though, that was silly. A lot sillier than the film. You arrive and enter this "exclusive" bar area where you can sit around and have a drink before going into your exclusive cinema that only seats 30-40. You can order your food (hot food like wedges) and drink from the bar and have it brought in to you at any stage during the movie: "I'll have my frozen Coke at 10:35, thank you." Everything has to be paid for. I thought you got free pop corn and soft drink, but in actual fact, it all costs money.

You do, though, get to sit on comfy seats. And they recline all the way. I was happy to know that if ever the film got boring I could quite comfortably fall asleep.

The toilets were nothing special except there was only one toilet and one urinal. Where's the community?

Basically you don't get much for you $30 but the feeling of being special. It's all a bit elitist. Fun to do once, but not worth more than that. There were a few people there who looked like that's what they do whenever they go to the movies. Shame really. I'd rather sit with the plebs. More fun, cheaper, and there are more toilets.