3/30/2010 10:18:00 pm


Posted by Unknown |

When I arrived at work today the head of the finance division came into my cubicle and asked if I had time for a chat.

He pulled up a chair, and said "Now this hasn't really gotten out yet but on Friday we got a letter about you..."

When he first starts talking I think "Oh no someone's got cancer" then he keeps talking and I think "Oh crap, I'm totally busted for something". And my heart starts beating and I get nervous till he finishes his sentence:

"...from Centrelink. They want to know your employment details."

He's very serious, and I'm wondering why he's so serious. I wonder if I'm going to jail or something. Then I remember that Centrelink sent me a letter a while ago asking me for my employment details. I had already given them my new employment details but not the ABN number of my new work. I had ignored the letter on the advice of the Centrelink worker who told me that because of the way I'm paid in my full time employment I would be receiving $12 a fortnight from Centrelink forever, unless I stopped handing in their forms. So I stopped handing in my forms. My multiple attempts at breaking up with them face-to-face handn't worked. I decided to screen their calls and not return their mail. It's healthier this way.

This ignoring worked enough to get a letter in the mail from Centrelink telling me my Newstart is cancelled (win!) but not enough for them to not think I'm up to dodgy business and send letters to my employer (fail).

"Apparently someone over there thinks you're ripping them off" he continued.

He was sufficiently worried by the letter to meet with me as if I'm in trouble with the law. I find it amusing that Centrelink think I'm ripping them off because I'm ignoring them so they'll stop giving me money. Maybe they'll fine me for trying to stop getting money from them. It wouldn't surprise me.

Anyway, I'll call them tomorrow to tell them what I've been trying to tell them all along, I'm in a new relationship, could they please move on, I have.

3/29/2010 09:50:00 am

Anti-Christ Revealed!

Posted by Unknown |

I didn't know but it seems the anti-Christ is among us. The end times are here!

3/29/2010 12:00:00 am

Like a Lion

Posted by Unknown |

There's a song on the new Passion worship album by the Dave Crowder Band called Like a Lion. And the chorus says:

My God's not dead
he's surely alive
and he's living on the inside
roaring like a lion

It's meant to be rousing and inspiring. But I don't find it inspiring at all. I get this picture of God being a tiny, little lion living in me, roaring. And a lion who is small enough to live inside me is about as scary as a puppy of similar dimensions.

Of course I understand it's a simile. But still.

I guess assuring everyone that God's not dead he lives inside doesn't seem all that inspiring to me. I want a God who is outside. Of course I believe that God does live inside me, but not just there. Jesus is also reigning in heaven. And God is still bigger than the universe and holding it all together. His decision to take residency inside me is only a part of his living arrangements, which I find inspiring because of his humble desire to live inside me. But to me the song sounds like it's where he's been banished like Voldemort onto the back of Professor Quirrell's head. That doesn't do it for me.


3/27/2010 01:35:00 am

Siganme Las Buenas

Posted by Unknown |

I'm doing the sex talk at Soul Survivor in April. Except that I'm doing it pitched at teenagers, and it's going to be about three times as long.

Anyway, seeing as I'm a seminar speaker I had to submit a profile for the program. I hate writing those things. It's so hard to be interesting, and funny and say a little about yourself that people might be interested to know. In the end I gave up and just wrote mostly silly stuff. This is what I wrote:

Tom spends his days working in schools around Sydney telling young people about Jesus. He spends his nights wearing a cape and fighting petty crime. He is passionate about Jesus, movies and looking at photos of himself on Facebook. He has no pets, children or wives, nor does he love coffee.

I'm worried a) that I sound like an idiot, and b) that the last line will look like I'm lonely and letting all the ladies know I'm available, rather than a dig at seemingly every youth speaker's profile that I've read.

Still if the "Desperate-and-just-putting-it-out-there" look works, I won't be complaining.

3/27/2010 01:31:00 am

17 Again

Posted by Unknown |


I just watched 17 Again and I can see why teenage girls think Zac Efron is hot. And besides his looks, he can dance and is good at basket ball.

It's a pitty his acting skills are a little lacking.

3/24/2010 05:55:00 pm

All in a Day's Work

Posted by Unknown |

It's been an interesting few days at work.

Yesterday I visited a lunchtime Christian group in a primary school. I was one of the guest panellists in their hard questions/Bible quiz show, along with three other males on staff at the school.

For one of the challenges, in between answering tricky questions about the Bible, I was made to play Evangelism Twister. Which is pretty much twister on a world map ("Left foot Asia!"). This meant that on this stinking hot day, where I was sweating like a pocari, I had to get down on the floor and get to know these three other male teachers, very intimately, (kinda like this). "Hello!"

Today I was speaking at a boys school and thought, because I was speaking to boys in years 3-6, I would would start my Bible talk with an illustration about being a ninja. I took my ninja sword along and the boys were quite excited. It's understandable because swords are awesome.

Following my talk the Chaplain decided to call me Ninja Tom which stuck. I spent the rest of the day at school having boys call out "Hi Ninja Tom!" which was rather good for my ego.

At their lunch time group for one of the games they stuck a target on me and got the boys to just peg balls at me. I just had to sit in a chair and take it. I had a teacher next to me whose job it was to protect me but he just chucked the balls at me too. Seeing as I was Ninja Tom the boys seemed to relish the opportunity to assault a ninja.

It's a good thing I like my job.

3/21/2010 11:00:00 pm

Sex, Sex, Sex That's All You Ever Think About

Posted by Unknown |

It's the end of a long week.

I've still got sex on the brain.

I preached on it tonight and it felt really long with out many jokes. I think I might have been the first person in my church to ever say in a sermon "Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, babe."

Even though it felt long, I wanted to preach on the topic for a good three hours. I feel like we don't regularly teach a good Biblical theology of sex in the church.

I reckon these days I have a higher view of sex and marriage than I ever have. The more single I am the more I appreciate what it means for people to be together. And it doesn't make me jealous, nor does it make me feel lonely. I guess I feel excited that I have friends who get to get married, and have sex, and have kids, and participate in this great gift of God.

I wonder, as I have before, if this is because I am so unmarried and unsexed, that I can idealise it from a far. Maybe that's my role at the moment. Everyone else can do the hard work of marriage, and I can to the easy work of telling everyone how good it is.

On the other hand, I never have married people telling me how good singleness is. Perhaps they should. Then again, most people don't covet singleness like a lot of people covet being in a relationship. Perhaps the only people who covet singleness are the ones who are too righteous to covet having an affair, getting a new partner or doing friends with benefits, but too unhappy to enjoy their current relationship.

Maybe I could do a survey.

Or maybe I could go to bed.

I'll pick the latter.

3/17/2010 06:34:00 pm

Losing Soul

Posted by Unknown |

Light Doorway.jpg

Seeing as I'm preaching about sex on Sunday, I've been thinking about it for a few weeks now. Of course, if you go by the "statistics" men think about sex every 5 seconds, so nothing's changed really.

I'm reading Every Young Woman's Battle because I'm trying to understand the issues of a single Christian woman. Actually I'd like to understand the issues for women in general, but I figure that's too broad, so I'm just going with the single Christian ones. If there are any women who wants to tell me what it's like being a woman, feel free. I've never been one as far as I know.

Anyway, there was one line at the beginning of Every Young Woman's Battle which said about some promiscuous boys "Each time they had sex with a girl, they took a piece of her soul." This worried me. While I understand what the writer is saying, I'm uncomfortable with saying that girls who have sex lose their soul. I think what the writer is saying that having sex outside of marriage does real spiritual damage, which I'm quite happy to agree with. But if a girl having sex outside of marriage loses some of her soul at some point she'll have no soul, which is almost like saying she's lost her humanity. It seems to imply that somehow a girl who has had sex is less valuable than the girl who hasn't.

Of course I know this isn't what the writer is saying. The gist of the book is "You're too valuable to be giving yourself away to people who aren't going to be committed for a lifetime." But it's the language that worries me. Probably because I think it reflects how Christians often talk about sex outside of marriage. We seem to say that sex cheapens a girl. While we should be saying that we can cheapen the act of sex, but we can't cheapen the person.

The other issue I have is that the language seems to be used much more often in conjunction with women. So the girl who has sex a lot loses her soul and cheapens herself. The guy who has sex a lot is expressing his masculinity in an unhealthy and selfish way. If I had to choose I'd rather be the person who expresses my nature wrong, than person who loses their nature.

Isn't it just as true of girls as it is for guys? A girl who has sex outside of marriage expresses her feminine sexuality, her desire for love, intimacy and pleasure in a way that is in essence unhealthy and selfish. The issue is not that she becomes less, but that sex should be so much more.

Anyway, I could say a whole lot more on the issue of sex at the moment. But I have to save up the gold for Sunday. That's just something I've been thinking about.

Photo by Cazpoo - I'm not sure why I picked the photo. I thought it was less obvious than a flower I guess.

3/15/2010 03:44:00 pm

On the Fly

Posted by Unknown |

I turned up at a school today prepared to do three different talks. Jesus feeding the 5000 at Chapel for years 3-4 and Chapel for years 5-12 and Jesus and the Woman at the Well for the lunch time group. Unfortunately the Chaplain has been terribly busy and forgot that I would be preparing something for the 3-4 Chapel and had prepared a chapel on the 2nd Commandment. So he asked if I could do something on that. I had a period to write a talk.

I thought I should be able to do it because God provides. However when I sat down in the Chaplain's office to write the talk I was visited to by to friendly boys who I had met two weeks ago who were keen for a chat. Far be it from me to ignore two teenaged visitors, so my talk writing time was reduced to the few pauses in conversations when I could stare out the window and think and on the walk to the Chapel with the Assistant Chaplain.

Needless to say it wasn't the greatest talk I've done. But for a few minutes work, I was pretty pleased with it. God provided. We learnt that Coca-Cola won't answer your prayers.

3/13/2010 10:22:00 am


Posted by Unknown |

I was speaking at a school the other day and I was talking about Jews and Samaritans. I said "Jews and Samaritans, they didn't like each other. They didn't associate with each other at all. Just like vampires don't associate with werewolves. That one's for you, ladies."

And then instantly I regretted adding the "ladies" on the end. Because saying "ladies" makes you sound seedy. Especially when you're talking to a bunch of school kids. 27 year-old men shouldn't call school girls "ladies". I had even planned not to say it, to say "girls", or "that's for all you females". But it was "ladies" that came out.

When I came home and Brendan, the flatmate (he is very flat), told me about this piece by Demetri Martin and then I felt like even more of a creep...ladies.

3/10/2010 11:36:00 am

Stop Over

Posted by Unknown |

I'm currently in Maccas using the free wifi. I'm in between schools visits. I preached in a chapel in Sydney's South West this morning, now I'm about to go to one of Sydney's posher schools to do their chapel in an hour. Happily I'm doing the same talk so it's not going to be too hard. I'm preaching on Jesus feeding the 5000.

At the school I was at this morning I was taken to visit a classroom called Gumnut Cottage. I thought about referencing Summer Heights High but thought better of it.

I'm speaking again tomorrow on the Central Coast, but it's a whole new talk that I've only just started writing. This one is on Jesus with the Woman at the well. The moral is "Don't have lots of husbands you dirty hussy, drink water."

Lara Bingle is on the news here. Poor lass.

I know this isn't a very insightful post but the wifi is free so why not post?

Is hussy realy rude? Can I say it in a school chapel?

3/07/2010 11:35:00 pm

Oscar Time

Posted by Unknown |

It's that time of the year again. So here are my Oscar picks for 2010.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
  • George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
  • Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
  • Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Matt Damon in “Invictus”
  • Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
  • Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
  • Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
  • Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
  • Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
  • Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
  • Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
  • Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
  • Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
  • Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film

  • “Coraline” Henry Selick
  • “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
  • “The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
  • “The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
  • “Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction

  • “Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
  • “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
  • “Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
  • “Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • “The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray


  • “Avatar” Mauro Fiore
  • “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
  • “The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

Costume Design

  • “Bright Star” Janet Patterson
  • Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier
  • “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
  • “Nine” Colleen Atwood
  • “The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell


  • “Avatar” James Cameron
  • The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
  • “Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)

  • Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
  • “The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
  • “Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
  • “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
  • “Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
  • “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
  • “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
  • “Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
  • “Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

  • “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • “District 9” Julian Clarke
  • “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

  • “Ajami” Israel
  • “The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)” Peru
  • “A Prophet (Un Prophète)” France
  • “The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)” Argentina
  • “The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)” Germany


  • “Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
  • “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
  • “The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

  • “Avatar” James Horner
  • “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
  • “The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
  • “Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
  • “Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)

  • “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • “Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
  • “Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
  • “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture

  • “Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • “The Blind Side” Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Producers
  • “District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • “An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • “A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • “Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • “Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

  • “French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
  • “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
  • “The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
  • “Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
  • “A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

  • “The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
  • “Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
  • “Kavi” Gregg Helvey
  • “Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
  • “The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

  • “Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
  • “Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • “Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

  • “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
  • “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
  • “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
  • “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

  • “Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • “District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • “Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • “An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • “In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • “Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
  • “Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • “The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • “A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

3/06/2010 12:02:00 am


Posted by Unknown |

So my friend Chris Morphew wrote a book, and invited me to his Birthday party which was also a book launch. He was selling his book there for a bargain $15. So I went to get the incredible discount, and in the hopes of seeing some famous authors there. Seeing as he's a published author I was pretty sure he'd have a few others hanging around him at his party. I thought maybe he might have some models there as well, which he quite possibly could be dating. I was disappointed to find that Stephen King and Matthew Riley were not in attendance. Nor were there any models. Or if there were, I missed them. His cousins were there however and I played a board game with them before all going and doing rock-star cocaine together in the bathroom.

Not all of that last sentence was true.

Anyway all this is preface to say that when I bought the bargain priced book I told Chris I would review it so, this is my review.

Contact Book.jpg

Contact is the second book of Morphew's series The Phoenix Files. It's about a three teenagers, Peter, Luke and Jordan, who find themselves living together in a mysterious town, owned, built and run by a corporation. As it turns out this corporation is, like all corporations except Apple, evil. The corporation is planning to kill everyone in the world. At this stage I'm not sure how that's good business practice as they are, presumably, destroying their entire customer base and severely limiting their market expansion potential.

But I'm not sure that's the point. The point is, when the first book, Arrival, starts it's 100 days until the end of the world. And three teenagers must work together to uncover the mysteries and stop the impending apocalypse. And so far, the adventure, has been a lot of fun.

Pacing-wise the book reads like a Matthew Reilly book for young teens. Every chapter ends on a note of suspense. It's not the kind of book you should read before bed, it's easy to read and hard to put down.

The first book was written in first person perspective through Luke, the newest kid in town. The second book is also written from first person perspective, but through the eyes of Peter, the other teenagers in the trio of mystery solvers. When I started reading the book I didn't realise the perspective had changed between book 1 and 2. So I spent the first third of the book trying to figure out why this kid's life was so different from what I remembered from the first book. Once I solved that mystery though, the book made a whole lot more sense.

One theme I'm noticing is that all the adults in the book seem to be either evil, crazy, ignorant or useless. For young teen fiction, this seems like a rather useful ploy. For teenagers to remain the heroes on works of fiction there has to be some legitimate way for the teenagers to remain the heroes throughout the whole book. In the case of an evil corporation trying to kill the world and three teenagers trying to stop it, it's hard to plausibly pull this off without sidelining all the adults for one reason or another.

Knowing that Chris is a raging Christian, and probably a CS Lewis fan, I've been looking for the Aslan character or no-so-subtle gospel allegory through out the books. Much to Chris' credit, I haven't found Aslan yet, but he is forfeiting the opportunity of getting regularly quoted in sermons after he manages to get two beavers to succinctly explain the character of God.

Anyway, I realise I haven't really said what I thought of the book, and as this is a review I probably should. I did rather enjoy the book. It's such a fun read. The plot moves along fast making it rather hard to put down. Due to it being pitched at the young teen crowd it's a pretty easy read and makes you feel like you've got excellent reading skills when you realise you're two thirds of the way through the book when you thought you'd only just started.

Peter, the main character is rather annoying at times due to his excessive crush on one of the other main characters. He regularly deserves a good slap. Though his annoyingness levels never reach the levels of Harry in Potter 5, which made me want to stop reading.

The massive capabilities and evilness of the evil corporation give Peter, Luke and Jordan a task of sufficient magnitude that I'm not sure how Chris is going write another five books while keeping the three of them alive. Maybe he only has four more books to write. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop for the rest of the series.

All up, these books are worth the read, and not just because I know the person who wrote them, though that probably does help.

Arrival and Contact are available in all good bookstores and at Chris' birthday parties.

3/04/2010 12:05:00 am

Room Duck Dust

Posted by Unknown |

New Room.jpg

I'm in my new place. This is my new room. It had two picture hooks. Now it only has one.

I've been a little too busy to blog. Travelling all over Sydney preaching to school kids, which isn't that impressive because they have to be there.

Here's a duck that joined me for lunch in Picton the other day. As you can see it was so excited to be eating lunch with me it pooed.

Lunch Duck.jpg

And this is the vacuum cleaner before I vacuumed my previous room:


And this is it after:


As you can see, either I'm very good at vacuuming or very bad.

There is currently a girl asleep in our lunch room. She may be a homeless person or she may be a housemate's sister. It was dark so I didn't investigate. If she is a homeless person maybe we're turning our place into a single women's refuge. That'd be a great way for three single guys to meet some ladies. If we're not already doing it, I might put the idea to the boys for consideration.