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Helen rang me just before I left church tonight to ask me if I wanted to talk after "Aimee" is shown tomorrow night. In a fit of silliness, and love for the gospel, I said "Yes". I have now realised I have 24 hours to prepare a talk, as well as do all the other things I need to do, like pack my bags, sleep, visit Grandpa and Valentina, and drive to Canberra. Oh well, should be fun, nerve racking, and may even go well.

9/28/2004 01:38:00 pm

Louis Writes Good Sentences

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"He took the old man over to the window, threw open its shutters, and an explosion of midday heat and light instantaneously threw the room into an effulgent dazzle, as though some importunate and unduly luminous angel had mistakenly picked that place for an epiphany." - Louis de Bernières Captain Corelli's Mandolin

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Being Novacastrian

Yesterday we drove to Newcastle. 'Twas much funness. Jo and I had decided to drive there and eat dinner one day to get her learner driver hours up and Rach, Jem, Ryan and Anmol came along too.

I went to look at Chris' new house yesterday, that was fun. It's kinda scungy, but cool. It's falling down and you can see why the rent is cheap, but I think it's fun. It's like the perfect bachelor pad, real bachelor pad, not pretend movie bachelor pad. I got to sit in Chris' room and it looks like he's been living in it for years. I like Chris.

After that I picked up Anmol and we went and met the others for our road trip at Maccas Waitara. We all set off in high spirits and at about 80kms an hour. In fact most of the trip was at 80kms an hour, but that's the joy of learners. Jo was a good driver. She screamed sometimes, but usually that was the scariest bit of her driving.

After a few hours in the car of silly conversation, zappos and a toilet stops (actually the toilet bit happened outside the car, in the toilet) we made it to Newcastle. Once there we wandered down Beaumont St and saw Ryan's old house. I would have to say that house is the coolest. It's not really a house, but it's cool.

We at our dinner at a Chinese restaurant which had a love for the air conditioner and heavy furniture, straight out of the Ornate Iron Age, if there was such an age. The food was good. My faith in Chinese food is slowly being restored, which is good, because I would never have stopped eating it, I would have just been bitter about it for the rest of my life.

Post dinner drinks happened at the Exchange Hotel (I think it was called that). It had a puffy couch which was quite a contrast to the Chinese furniture. I enjoyed my beer. My manhood is being confirmed.

Ryan bought wedges but I didn't eat any because I was full of rice and Mongolian sweet and sour meat.

Before heading off we had a quick stop off at the beach for a group photo.

Ryan also directed us to a really big bucket that we needed to play in. I think it used to be used for scooping up coal. I thought it was great. I like big buckets. And big metal things. And big machines. The bucket was large and cool.

We stopped at Hexam on the way home. Hexam is the traditional stop off point to or from any trip up north. And what a wonderful place it is. I had a sticky date pudding, which I was informed, when ordered, the counter lady said into the microphone "Sticky date!" Isn't that funny? Heh heh.

Driving back to Belrose Jo, Rach and I talked about sex. Perhaps when midnight is gone one gets a little more candid. I'm sure I've had more candid conversations, but sex is always fun to talk about.

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Last night when I took my jumper off, it smelt like someone else. That was strange because no one else has been wearing my jumper, and I smell like me. Oh well. Maybe I was a different person yesterday.

I did wear shorts yesterday too. That was fun. Except I forgot what my bare legs look like with shoes at the bottom of them. And add the odd socks to the mix, and I look a little absurd from where I'm standing.

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And perhaps I should talk about Friday night.

We set up for the Term Celebration at church on Friday arvo. Afterwards Jo and I headed off to Christ Church to see Revive play. We went in to the dark, sweat smelling hall that was full of people who looked about 13. We met Chris and his friends there. We didn't expect to see him, but it was a good chance to give him a hug while he was un-aware.

Revive played good. They get better every time I see them I think. Not that I see them that much.

After the show Jo and I talked to Tanya and many a connection was found in our lives. Mainly Jo and Tanya's. But we managed to talk to all sorts of people that were wandering about. It was one of those events where I managed to know lots of people. I expect Black Stump will be similar.

We met Ruth and some people from her church. It turns out Tanya seemed to have a connection with them all, so we decided to eat dinner together. Unfortunately we discovered that Tanya had locked her keys in the car. But deciding that food was more important than two forms of transport we drove across to Thornleigh in my car to eat McDonald's with Ruth and friends. We found more people who we all had in common, it was quite funny. I didn't eat any Maccas, I did have some chocolate cake though.

Finally we packed up and all headed back to St Ives to break into Tanya's car. Ruth and friends came too. They had stopped off to get some coat hangers on the way. In the car park we met Mike and a few of his friends who we're still there after the "gig". They came over to have a look at the fuss. Then more people who Mike knew turned up, as well as some bloke in a big white van (like really big, bigger than mine) and the security guard too.

We had many a laugh as people tried various methods. Jo was world class. If I ever become a car thief I'll go into business with her. Well, her or the NRMA man who turned up later.

The whole time people were trying to break into Tanya's car (I'm sure no one there knew everyone there, and Tanya probably didn't know most of the people breaking into her car) they were talking and finding more social connections. It was amazing.

Eventually, when Jo was almost into the car, the NRMA man arrived and did it in about a minute. But he stuck around for a bit get the broken bits of coat hanger which were stuck in the door out.

Then I went home. It was one of the strangest experiences I've had for a while. Very fun night though. Fellowship over car thievery. Lovely.

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Beards and Pink Toilets

I think maybe I now might have the chance to talk about all the things that I want to talk about. There's a lot to cover. Well I feel like there is, but perhaps there isn't. Whatever happens, it'll probably only be interesting for me.

On Monday night I got a phone call from Waleed, one of the Muslim guys who came to visit our Bible study a few weeks ago. Waleed invited me to go and watch The Passion with a bunch of Muslims ane hear a talk about it. I thought that was a good idea, but I told him I might have stuff on, can could I talk to him the next day and let him know.

So on Tuesday I rearranged my life and called Waleed from Loftus station to tell him I could come. He told me I could bring people with me, male or female, so that made me feel a bit better. So that night Kaye, Rach and I went to Lakemba to see what would happen.

We arrived at the Mosque, where Waleed was meeting us, half an hour late, and Kaye and Rach were the only women around. That was a little strange. I was wondering if I had committed a terrble crime bringing them along. But soon Waleed came out and met us and he didn't seem worried. He brought out his friend Ali who we had also met at Bible study and we headed off to get some dinner.

They took us to this fantastically nice Lebanese restaurant. They paid for us and we talked about life and religion. We were all more talkative when it came to religion. Did I say that the food was great?

After dinner it was time to go to the film. We were taken to this old Bowling club that had been converted into a Muslim youth centre. Rach and Kaye were sent to one door with the women, I was allowed to go in the with men. That was a little strange. It's the first meeting I've ever been too when the guys and girls have been split up, just because that's what you do.

My room was full of Muslim men. I've never seen so many beards in one room. I was feeling particularly clean shaven and white. Waleed took me to my special seat in the front row. Yikes! If anyone was looking for the Christian in the room I wouldn't have been hard to spot.

Even though we had arrived an hour late, the event hadn't started yet. They were trying to organise it so the girls could get the same stuff on their screen that we had on ours. In the end they gave up and started the show.

This black American man (who I was told lives in England) got up to talk to us. He sounded just like a black American evangelist. He was a little intimidating, especially in the front row where he kept making eye contact with me.

He talked to us about the need to be smart Muslims in the way we watch films and TV. And as Muslims we need to telling people the truth about the Prophet Jesus. It didn't really ring true to me, but I guess you had to be a Muslim. He went on to tell us what was wrong with the portrayal of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. It was very interesting to hear what Islam says about Jesus. I didn't agree, but I has happy that I could hear.

After the man talked for about an hour they showed us the last 10 minutes of the film, leaving off the resurrection. I'm not sure if that's because they didn't want to show it or they forgot that it was there.

After the film I went to the toilet which was for men, but used to be the ladies. It was all pink and had a sign on the door which said "Lady Bowlers". There were signs on the wall from the Koran about keeping urine off your hands.

Waleed and Ali then took the three of us to go see the mosque. That was cool. They took us up some back stairs and into the large, mostly empty carpeted room. There were lines drawn on the carpet so that people would know which way to face when praying. I was most impressed.

Waleed and Ali were very cool. I really liked hanging out with them. They were very polite and keen to answer our questions. I want to do more stuff with them. I really like finding out about other religions too. Fascinating.

But still, I am happy, very happy, to be a Christian. Seeing Islam makes me appreciate how much I have been given by God, and how good Jesus is. I'm happy to be saved by grace.

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I got to hear U2's new single Vertigo today. I like. Very cool. Rocky, kinda like it's back to 'old school' U2. The song sounds like it came out of the Boy, War kinda era. Yeah baby. Solid stuff.

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While tonight was one of the weirdest (but quite fun) nights I've had in a while. I won't blog it yet.

I've been a dodgy blogger. I have to talk about too much. Especially Tuesday night, that was special. But for now I just want to say that God has given me almost everything I could want. And while that's not the basis on which I love him, it certainly makes it easier. I'm blessed, and he's tops. I can't complain.

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Hairy Situation

From now on I'm not shaving.

At least not properly till the 13th October. Or maybe 12th.

Anyway, I'm growing my face, and I'm going to have disappointingly small mo at the end of it. Fun fun fun.

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A Creed

We believe in Jesus Christ,
our saviour and liberator;
the expression of God's redeeming and restoring love;
the mark of humanness,
source of courage, power and love;
God of God, light of light, ground of our humanity.

We believe God resides in slums,
lives in broken homes and hearts,
suffers our loneliness, rejection and powerlessness.

But through death and resurrection
God gives life, pride and dignity;
provides the context of our vision,
offers the contest of our struggle,
promises liberation to the oppressor and the oppressed
hope to those in despair,
vision to the blind.

We believe in the activity of the Holy Spirit
who revives the decaying soul,
resurrects our defeated spirits,
renews our hope of wholeness
and reminds us of our responsibility
in ushering God's new order here and now.

Yong Ting Jin (Hong Kong)

I think Jo stuck it on our notice board. I liked it, so blogged it got.

It occurred to me as I drove home tonight, I'm so glad God knows what he's doing, because I've got no idea about either of us.

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My day:
Sitting around
Driving lesson
Hannah drop off
Fun at Castles

Verdict: Pleasant - Would have been tops if I got to see a movie too.

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Countdown to U2's new album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb".

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I like getting junk mail sent by people named after early church fathers.

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I went clubbing last night. Sort of. I don't think it wouldn't be properly defined as clubbing. Maybe Clubbing-Lite. But I wouldn't know though, because I'm not really someone who has ever gone clubbing.

Anyway, it was after a lovely Saturday. I went to have lunch with Martin and many others. We had a barbecue. Fun. I stood around the barbie with my Dad, Keith and Anmol with a beer and well, you can tell how manly I felt then. (My masculinity is a recurring theme in my life at the moment.) We ate tofu, sausages, rice and other stuff. It was then I was invited to go out clubbing. I thought I would probably go. It was a bad idea for sleep, but I knew I'd sit at home feeling annoyed that I didn't go if I didn't go. We looked at Martin's clothes to see if there was anything I could wear there. But in the end they just picked an outfit for him.

I went to church after lunch for a meeting about Black Stump. I wasn't very well behaved. But I didn't manage to pick up any jobs. Oh actually, one. But an easy one.

David called, it was good to talk to the man. Then Rach and I went driving. We nearly crashed into a car when I told Rach there was a free lane beside us, and there wasn't. Oops. They say scare experiences are the quickest way to learn, but it wasn't my intention.

At 8:45 we drove to the city, Mil, Jem, Martin and I. We picked up Jo and Rach along the way.

After finding a park we headed off to our desired club, only to find the cover charge was $15 more than we expected, and they opened later too. Shame. It was a casual dress place, and we couldn't go. While we wandered off to meet Jo my sister, we went looking for somewhere else. Rach, Jo and Mil all seemed to know what they were talking about, Jem and I were a bit lost, Martin has never been to Sydney before so he's allowed. We checked out one place and the bouncer, before I had even asked to go in, told me my shoes were too casual. How rude.

We met my sister and ended at a a Latin Club somewhere. It was kinda cool. The bouncer was friendly, and the music was friendly too, even if I wasn't really into it. I was the first person from our group to get up to dance. That was an achievement, because always went being the least likely to dance. I was dragged in to the dance by the professional dancer who was running a Congo line. Good on me.

We danced on the floor for a bit to the Latin music, but I didn't really enjoy myself. Dancing seemed a bit useless to me. I felt a bit out of place because I couldn't dance, I didn't have a partner, I wasn't a girl and I wasn't a sleazy guy (at least I wasn't trying to be), so I was quite in the minority. Although if you make enough categories you can always be in a minority.

I tried to dance twice but it didn't work. In the end Jem and I went and got some food and I felt much more comfortable in Ali Baba talking about the doctrine of original sin.

When we came back the crew had moved. There was now dancing on the hip hop floor. I had more fun there, I could understand the words. We danced for a while. And then went home.

I got home at 3am. Which is fine except that I had to get up at 6:30 to go to church. I went to the 8am service this morning. I had a bad night sleep last night too. I dreamt all night about dance floors.

But the 8am service was great. I love it. Prayer book all the way, Baby!

Now I'm going to have a sleep I think.

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So now I'm home aren't I?

And Friday has just been. So has Thursday. And Wednesday.

I haven't blogged much.

I watched Honey last night at Helen's parent's house. I was feeling sick and I was the only guy there. But it was fun. There was dancing on screen and funny lines. I love film clips. I love the way they can do whatever they want with them. Stylistically you can do things in film clips you can't do in normal film. It's great. Not that Honey is all film clips, but there are a few and it was cool.

Today I soldiered through the day. It was a Friday like many others. The term is finished now. At least for small groups it is. I can't believe we're three quarters of the way through the year. God has been good.

Black Stump is in less than 2 weeks. Yeah baby.

I sent David's package yesterday. How fun was that? It was big box going all the way to India. I love the post. David is going to get the exact same big box in India that I sent from Hornsby. It's like email with attachments but much slower, more tangible, and more fun.

I went to Mil's tonight to meet Martin. He's cool. I think Mil's done well for herself, he's a lovely man. I think I'd like to go to their house for barbecues when they grow up.

Ryan, Jem and Jo (sister) came over too and we drunk Kahlua, ate cookies, danced, and watched One Perfect Day. It was a fun night and the movie wasn't too bad. Martin gave me a pair of sandals that are made out of Goodyear tires. How funky is that? They're the coolest.

Now I'm still inspired to write a movie script. I started dreaming again while watching the film. I think Australian movies make me want to make movies. They make me feel it's a little more attainable. Perhaps it is.

I wonder if I could make a feature film in a few years without getting stressed? I doubt it.

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Perhaps Hungry Jack's doesn't understand the meaning of "Vegetarian"...


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Essence of Class

In the Bin.jpg

Aren't we all just stunning?

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In Other News...

It's good to see that the ban on assault rifles has been lifted in the US. I wouldn't want to see the freedom of my American friends restricted in anyway.

I say, in today's dangerous world, every kid needs a mobile phone and a Uzi. Otherwise they can't call Mom and Dad to come and pick them up after Little League practice and they can't shoot anyone who tries to kidnap them while they're waiting.

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We had Scripture Seminars today. They were really easy today. I just kinda turned up and they happened. Very stress free, praise the Lord. I really didn't want any more stress, so it was good.

Now I'm feeling a little free-er for a bit. Nothing too huge for me is coming up. An assessment or two. Some youth stuff. Black Stump and school holidays. Poshies.

I'm looking forward to my life for a bit.

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I spent most of the day sitting in the sun reading my book. That was great. That's the way to spend a day off.

When I wasn't doing that I was driving Hannah around, Rach was driving me around, I was driving around looking for my sister's house, I was eating at my sister's house, or I was driving Graham to my house.

Monday done.

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Sometimes the The Message makes things a little more complicated than they need to be.

2 Corinthians 3:17


Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The Message:

They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it!

I just thought that was funny.

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I'm happy now that Aimee is done. It went well, now I can sleep. People became Christains, tops-a-roony! I love it when people get saved. Best part of the the whole night.

The show went well. Matt spoke good. I was very impressed. There were lots of things that he did that I wouldn't have thought of doing. Good stuff.

It all looked really good. The stage, lights, dances, looked posh.

We hung out at Helen's afterwards. That too was fun.

I think today was rehersals and stuff.

Now I think bed beckons.

"Come Tom!"

I want to make my feature film.

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I think that today was a good day. It was lesurely for a dress rehearsal day. I woke up at 12, mooched around, had a quiet time, had lunch at Hungry Jacks then arrived at Church at 3.

Once there everything was set up all I had to do was press play at the appropriate times. This dvd is much less work during the performance. All I have to do is press play. It's great.

The show is looking good. People are dancing around goodly. I don't understand how dancers dance, or make dances. It's all so foriegn to me. But good on the dance people for being good at it.

The sound on the dvd is annoying me. But I don't think I'm smart enough to fix it. I've done my best, but I'm not a sound wizz.

Tonight I went out to dinner with the young adults. I like going out to dinner. It makes me feel grown up. We did coffee after. And that makes me feel grown up.

Soon I will burn the dvd for the performance. Then I will go to bed.

Yay for bed.

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I have now burnt the dvd. Sleep time.

I have had about 2 hours sleep while rendering. Somewhere around the 4:30-6:30am mark. I am looking forward to the rest of my sleep now.

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I've just finished editing.

Now all I have to do is fix the audio, write the end credits, render it and burn it to dvd. I don't think I'll be in bed before four.

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God taught me something as I drove home tonight. It was nice to learn.

Then I tried to work out when I could use it in a sermon illustration.

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Yesterday I did a lot of editing. I'm pretty happy with how things are turning out. I'm pretty sure tonight will be a late one though. I'm wondering if I should edit everything and burn the DVD tonight. I like that idea then I can sleep in. Let us hope God has mercy on me and everything works how I would like it to.

If not, well, God is still good. Usually what happens is it only comes together at the last minute. I'm hoping God will teach me about the beauty of sleep tonight and help me to understand what it means to be able to wake up in the morning and know that all you have to do is be at a rehersal at 2pm.

Today I think I had a meeting or two. And I did a bit of shopping and sent some emails and ran a small group. And visited the high school. Not a very interesting day but pretty good. I got to spend some time with Kaye in my travels which was fun. Kaye works a lot now so I don't see her as much. Tis a bit sad. But it is good when Kaye is around.

I bought 3 cds from Koorong yesterday. And ordered a book and a cd at Amazon.

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Miss Universe falls over!

If that's not news worthy I don't know what is.

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If only I could feel exactly what I wanted to feel all the time. Happy when I want to be happy. Excited when I want to be excited. Angry when I want to be angry. Content when I want to be content.

How often in life do people tell you things and you think "I would love to be excited about that, but I'm not" Or you hear about some injustice but it does nothing to you and you wish it did. Or you get annoyed by something that you really know shouldn't be annoying at all. And there are those times where you want to be energetic, and motovated, but you just can't.

I'm not sure what life would be like if you could feel what you wanted to feel, but in theory it seems like a good idea.

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My wallet is too fat. And it's not with money. I think maybe I'll have to be ruthless one of these days.

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I have discovered that while editing it is fun to run and dive, face planting, on to your bed from as high off the ground as possible. Perhaps not really productive, but there are moments when the computer is doing stuff and I just have to fill in the time some how. My other past time is to walk around creating alternative dialouge. It's never all that riveting.

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With all these crazy weather things, terrorists, wars, and evil giant corporations, one hopes that Jesus will come back soon.

It's an exciting thought but he hasn't come for the last 2000 years, I don't want to get my hopes up.

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Hairy Editor

I'm about to start editing Aimee for the day but I thought I should blog first. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because I figure if all goes acording to plan I'll slog on through till I go to bed. Ya ha!

I had college today, and that was fine. I had to do lunch wash up again. It's alright but it's the only job I can do seeing as I'm only there one day a week. One day where you get given jobs anyway.

And apart from that, I don't have much to say. I haven't shaved since last Wednesday. I'm feeling a little hairy, quite itchy, and kinda rugged. At least, that's what Graham called me. Rugged. "I eat raw meat!"

I hit my head on the roof of the train today. What is it with trains and me hitting my head? I think perhaps I'm an idiot.

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Days off are really good. I should have more of them. Oh yes.

I went to visit Grandpa and Valentina today. Valentina filled me up with Russian cuisine. I liked it. I felt quite full when I left the unit. Grandpa showed his new video camera off to me. I thought I was going over to help him pick a camera to buy, but he had already bought it. Lucky though, he had bought the one that I was going to tell him to buy. I've trained him well.

I took Rach on a driving lesson. That was fun. We spent two hours parking, and doing three point turns and driving around the same few back streets near her house. I now know that area quite well I think. I got to sign the log book and feel official.

I went removalisting with Chris, his brother and mother. We got a couch from his Grandparent's house then drove it in the van to his house. A man with a van is a popular man. I like using my van to drive big things around. It makes me feel useful.

Tonight Annie and her Dad came over for dinner. Hannah got sick and had to come home from respite so I made the salad and desert. Plus I got to sit with Hannah while she lay in bed. She's a cute girl my little sister.

Now I'm aiming for bed so I can get lots of sleep before college tomorrow. Good plan Stan.

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Old men should have televised fartings competitions. How good would that be?

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I was thinking at the camp how I didn't feel like I got much out of the talks. They were good, but they didn't ever "get" me. But then in church tonight lot's of stuff in the talks got me, and I got delayed Godification. It was good.

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Well I'm home from Camp. And College for that matter.

College was interesting. A little uncomfortable, but good. We finished early so I got to have a long lunch with Graham and Mitch. It's good to spend time with Christian, male, youth ministers, my age.

Camp was good stuff. The guys in my cabin were very good at going to sleep. I didn't have to tell them to be quiet nearly at all. I don't think I'm that kind of leader who lets you stay up all night. Actually I am if it not in the rules that you have to go to sleep. I'm silly legalist.

I'm sore all over from various physical activities. I did many physical activities that un-physical me never does. I climbed things, wrestled, ran, played soccer, perhaps other stuff. But I enjoyed it all. Which is good for me. I was never one to be really into physical activity with other people unless I was completely comfortable. Perhaps I'm just better at being comfortable these days. (Um...No) Perhaps, I'm just a better person. Or maybe? I don't know I can't be bothered continuing the self analysation. I want to get this post finished and have a sleep.

I really liked spending time with the young people on camp. We had fun. It's different being on camp when you're running the whole thing. I didn't get to spend nearly as much time playing as I would have liked. But that's ok. I did get to spend time with people. We made a campfire, and that burned good like.

It was fun to get into the Bible too. Always is, but still fun. And I enjoyed spending time with the people who were on camp with me last year. It struck me at one stage what a privilege it is to spend time with young people as they grow in their faith.

And God was good, as usual, but still no less remarkable.

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I am finding it difficult to get motivated to do what I need to do. Maybe I need to set a reward for myself when I finish my work. I have to write a talk and a theological reflection for college. The talk is a bigger task the theological refection is due sooner. Grrr.

Oh well. Get to it boy.

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Taking children hostage is terrible. This wins terrorists no friends. I wish I could do something more than just get angry. It's just horrible.

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I have been at work for a few hours today. I am reading up on Philippians so I can write a talk for the camp. I have been having difficulty staying awake. But I am now getting excited about pressing on for the prize of Christ.

Before this I had a coffee with Matt. We sat and talked about what makes us passionate. The gospel makes us passionate. Wahoo!

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So my day today started with the letter W.

It wasn't bad. I got things done again. I really like that feeling after you've made lots of phone calls and you can think to yourself, "I now have less work to do".

But apart from that, there isn't too much to remark about today. I beat Dad in an arm wrestle. I decided a few days ago that that might be a fun thing to try and do. I read about it in a book once. Sons have to beat their fathers at things, to grow or something like that. So we compared arm sizes (my Dad has bigger muscles than me) and then we wrestled. He may have given in to make me feel better. Probably did. He's a generous man my dad.

All the staff got given a fat books of quotations. That was good fun. Someone donated them. Yay.

I had coffee with Kaia tonight, that was nice. We talked and laughed and had a lovely time. I liked the catch up.

I'm going to try and be in bed in not too long. I have a talk to write tomorrow.