5 year plan update

I’m sitting in a car with four 10 year old girls all talking at once. The conversation is about boys, boy germs, staying up late watching Lost (not that I was allowed to do this when I was 10).

Why am I talking about this you ask? I was reminded just how entertaining kids this age can be. Back when I was teaching I loved sorting out girly fights, kicking the footy with the boys outside and generally being the most popular teacher around.

In light of this I have decided to register to do relief teaching between now and the end of the year. I’m also planning to purchase a very nice laptop computer to help me through my MTS apprenticeship in the next two years. Working doing relief will help pay off this expensive purchase. However I’m convinced that it will be worth it, especially if my 5 year plan goes ahead.

supportMIKE thinks maybe he’s just a big kid who doesn’t want to grow up.

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Holidays

As of this afternoon I’m officially on Holidays. Unfortunately things got off to a bad start and I got sick while at work. I have the next two weeks to recover. Here is a run down on what I’ll be doing.
Week 1

  • Flying to Sydney (Tomorrow - Thursday)
  • Catching up with Seumas (and all my other Sydney friends) (Friday)
  • Doing a big rellie bash with my Uncle Aunt and Cousins (Saturday)
  • Attending CIM (Sunday)
  • Helping at Sutherland Reformed church to run an evangelistic Kids Camp. (Monday to Friday).
  • Flying back home (Sunday)
Week 2
  • FOCUS Mid Year Conference on the Holy Spirit (Monday to Friday)
Updates my blog will probably be spasmodic as I’m unsure as to when I’ll have access to a computer. Please keep me in your prayers as it will be a busy time for me.

supportMIKE is always burning the candle at both ends.

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Post Removal

I decided to remove the post on GB as my original comments have been removed. Also I don't think that it's helpful this debate rages on this particular thread. Thank you very much to all the people who commented. I appreciated the input thoughts and wisdom.

Any worries feel free to email me (see here)

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supportMIKE goes on tour


The official supportMIKE tour begins as of Thursday 29th June 2005. The supportMIKE tour will be in Sydney and making an appearance near you soon!

  • Southerland Reformed Church Sunday 2nd July 2005 Morning
  • Christians in the Media (CIM) Sunday 2nd July 2005 Evening
  • Southerland Reformed Church Sunday 9th July 2005 Morning

Mike will be available for interviews and publicity photos by request. The official Tasmanian launch of supportMIKE will occur later in the year

All inquiries see my profile

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The debate rages

It's going to be an early one tonight. I'm watching the soccer tomorrow.
I'll let the debate rage below. Enjoy :)

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What women want…

  1. Godly Christian Leadership. An ability to lead by example in the relationship/family. The degree to which this is important also depends on the individual woman’s Christian maturity.

  2. Good listener. Girls just like to have people who listen to them. A bloke can’t suggest solutions only listen. Empathy and being able to understand what they are feeling and going through comes into it as well.

  3. Someone who loves and cherishes them... makes them feel beautiful, respected, loved and encouraged. They need to be sensitive not brutes ... but no whiny babies either. If you aren't sensitive, women get annoyed with you for not picking up on things. A good bloke will notice when they have changed their hair and clothes etc.

  4. Sense of humor. Not just being able to laugh at a blokes joke but also someone who has a sense of fun and doesn’t take things too seriously. The ability to laugh at things together is also good.

  5. Hot – Good looks are important. We like to kid ourselves and think they aren’t… but really when we get down to it, they always play a role. Similarly it’s probably not as important to girls as it is to boys but none the less a valid concern.
hash it out for yourselves ... this is sort of a collaborative experiment ... Christine thinks she knows what men want ... I think I know what women want. We want to see if we're right.

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Thumbsucker

Thumbsucker came to me via a second hand recommendation from Slo. I enjoyed the interesting insights into teenage identity, the flawed central character and distinct air of artiness. I do however think the teenangst movie is getting to be a well trodden path. (Garden State and Donnie Darko did it much better).

The story revolves around Justin Clobb a thumb sucking confused teenager. Thumbsucking is his way of dealing with the difficult things in life. He is confronted with a number of strategies with which he seeks to deal with his teen angst including prescription drugs, pot and sex.
Philosophy of this film was frustrating. To me it seemed Justin underwent very little in the way of transformation. Rather the message seemed to be “It’s ok to experiment with sex drugs etc if they help you to discover and accept who you really are.”

As a Christian I think very differently. My identity and whole ethical framework are driven by the revelation that God runs and controls our universe. When I try to improve myself through self experimentation, I realise just how far short of God’s standards I fall. I need him to renew me from the inside giving me an identity and purpose that go beyond the superficiality of this world.

(three out of five funky chickens)

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Will this marriage last?


Onlinesoph has some excellent reflections on our/my generations approach to marriage and living life. Here's a taster...

These days it seems that young couples, not just celebs, are heading towards shorter marriages out of choice, not desperation. Here are some non-committal vows I recently discovered on the net in what I like to call ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style weddings:

“I promise to be as loyal as long as our love lasts.”
“I’ll be with you until our time together is over.”
(more here)

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A little rant...

Today I got a bill. A very big bill. A very very big bill.

I owe $20,426 for my uni education.

One thing I couldn’t help but notice is that HECS is now called HELP. I’m sorry but I can’t help but be a cynical. Perhaps the name HECS was bad PR maybe its alliterative nature sounded nasty. Why the name change? Often it feels like government departments reinvent the wheel every couple of years... “I know if we change the name (at the taxpayers’ expense) we’ll seem so much nicer and friendlier.” OR “If we change the name and make it sound more sexy people will actually want to pay the money back.”

I know I feel sooo much better owing 20 grand to a Scheme called HELP... Grrrr

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You ripper

We love it when Australia wins...

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John 8

I heard a sermon on John chapter 8 last weekend. For the slack who don’t look stuff up the story is of the woman caught in adultery. It’s got whooper brackets around it. Almost every big gun I know says it isn’t part of the original text (Metzger, Carson the early church fathers) blah, blah… uncharacteristically Luken blah, blah.

Having said that how would I/you preach a sermon on it? The sermon I heard took the main point as Jesus humility (ie Jesus was prepared to stoop and associate with sinners etc)

I’m not sure I agree with this. The more I thought about it the more I thought the point of this passage is more that God’s justice and God’s mercy and how they are held together in the person of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t condemn the woman rather forgives (has mercy on) her and sends her off telling her to sin no more (justice). What do you think?

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Pressure...

“Often when under pressure our true nature is exposed.”

I find that when I get stressed which has happened a bit at work lately I often get frustrated with those around me. Similarly when I’m tried or grumpy I get much more on edge and sometimes quite volatile mentally and often get very angry.

I’ve especially noticed this when I work with JH. He is a great bloke but English is his second language so communication often means I have to say the same thing twice. This is usually fine but when I’m stressed it gets so much more difficult. I’m impatient and my self control slips.

Please pray that I’m able to be more patient and self controlled in my relationships with those around me.

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I'm on Google Earth

I checked in on Hobart this morning and coverage has improved dramatically! I have circled the house where I’m currently located. It’s about 3 minutes walk from the CBD (north east corner of pic). Other local readers from deepest darkest Kingston (and heaven forbid Margate) will notice the coverage is similarly good for there.

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Mike does "Gushy" Poetry

It has been suggested (here) that blokes get gushy and write poetry when in love... further more it was suggested that I'm incacpable of ethereal poetry... this is clearly rubbish. I offer the follwing classic ode. It was first and famously (or perhaps infamously) read at my old flatmates wedding. Enjoy.

An ode to Chris who is incredibly Buff
And always let’s us borrow his stuff

He plays the pipes and pisses us off
But when push comes to shove he’s very soft

He has long hair (A birds nest describes its look).
And to be honest he’s not a bad cook (When he doesn’t use Cumin).

He has a Pintara (I mean Skyline) that does 60 in first gear
And when I drive it he quakes in fear,
To see if we will screw the clutch
And totally wreck it with my clumsy touch

When he wakes in the morning he’s grumpy and upset
Cause “Chriiiiis!! We’re out of milk!! which you’ll have to get”

He’s sometimes slack and leaves us at Crossroads.
And forgets to bring home the shopping, we buy by the truckload.

He puts up with our annoying habits like being rude (to Lucy).
However he’s learned to cope when we eat his food.

He has a somewhat irritating niceness and smelly faeces,
That annoying alarm clock we nearly smashed to pieces.

But really. All in all, we love our Chris.
Even though his nickname’s Piss.

Have a good married life with lots of cheer.
When you go we’ll miss your beer.
And possibly even shed a tear.

Stay a Chris-tian

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5 year Plan Part 2

It was asked with regard to my 5 year plan (see here) why I wouldn’t do ministry in a secluded area on my own. Don't I think that I can rely on God to give me the strength I need? It’s a good question. There is no doubt that a single person can often be particularly effective in ministry (1 Cor 7:32). However for me personally I think the answer is no for a number of reasons.

Firstly in an isolated ministry location on my own I’d probably end up going insane. I’m a person who thrives on relationships but I get burned out as many of my friends can testify to. Having the support of another person for this type of work is essential in my book. Secondly I also could argue biblically (see Gen 2:18). Thirdly I don’t think I have the gift of singleness and temptation is something that needs to be considered (1 Cor 7:9). And finally I really love kids and one day God willing I’d like some of my own.

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Thankyou!

Last night for the first time in my short blog history I didn’t post. I was just too tired. I have on the other hand been tremendously encouraged by all the people commenting and posting on my blog. It’s great to start each long day at work with some nice comments to think about. Thankyou very much.

What has made me tired you ask? Well I have... since Sunday.

  1. Listened to 6 talks
      Steve Timmis on Church planting x3
      John Piper on Prayer
      Benny Walter on Hebrew 7
      Andrew Barry (CIM Sydney) Judges
  2. Worked about 33 hours
  3. Attended a Launch team meeting (For Church) last night.
  4. Edited and uploaded a testimony from the women’s conference.
(This is a photo of my tired face actually taken just after I woke up)

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That hat!

"You’re not going out with that s**t on your head?" Says my brother with a tone so disdainful it could melt lettuce.

I’m about to head out to Retro drink coffee and "pretend to be arty" with this hat on my head. It's a genuine old mans hat which was left at my Dad's church in lost property for a couple of years before being rescued.

I try to be deliberately memorable when I dress. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly as a Christian I want as many people to know about the gift Christ has given me in sending Jesus to die on my behalf.

Getting people to remember who I am by being an individual is one step along this path. It's not a cynical ploy. I’m a friendly guy and I love making new friends and chatting to people regardless of whether they want to talk about the big things in life or not.

Secondly people who are a little weird or individual are less threatening to talk to. By being different I’m less threatening. I get looks and smiles from people in the street all the time.

Thirdly I enjoy it. It works

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Am I metro?

I have recently acquired a new pair of shoes (in the process actually). You can’t actually buy these in Australia. You can get a similar style but you can’t get the color that I wanted. Similarly all the places on the internet don’t ship to OZ. So I have a “friend” in the States has bought me the said shoes and is sending them over.

It has been suggested by said “friend” that these shoes make me "Metro". I propose two questions;

1. Am I “metro”? (closet or otherwise).
2. Do these shoes make me “metro”?

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Mood: Content

Today was a very restful day. I slept in, read the Bible and prayed for a while (which was good as often I struggle to do this). I finished off reading almost all Hebrews.



I spent the morning hanging with Benny. He worked on his talk for Sunday while I drank coffee, read the paper, pretended to be arty and read over some material for a kids camp I have coming up. We adjourned to the sunshine of Salamanca Market and looked at the ice sculpture (see picture). I then got another coffee from Retro and pretended to be arty some more.


Finally I went and chatted to a bunch of people who work at the market who I used to know pretty well. Before I knew it the day was almost over (winter solstice)

This evening I went down to the Mid Winter Festival and fire twirling. It was pretty cool. It was Mike’s birthday and we moved to Kaos CafĂ© where I had a little smoke and drank a nice malted white chocolate. I feel rested and content.

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Cooking

People still think that I can’t cook. For the record I can cook. I just hate it. Tonight I pumped up 1.FM got the house pumping and cooked this pasta and sauce.



Ingredients

  • Pasta (cooked)
  • Sour cream
  • Diced Pumpkin, Capsicum, Bacon, Snow Peas and Onion.
  • Sun dried tomatoes

Things to do better next time
  • Chop up all stuff smaller… much smaller
  • Get a better way to cook asparagus
  • Cook less pasta
  • Not start cooking at 8:30pm
  • Invite someone/people over

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My 5 year plan

“Michael what are you going to do with your life?" Says my Dad in serious voice. "You can’t walk round University like a monk for the rest of your life you know."
It’s a good question and one I have given thought to. Here is what I want to do with my life... Full time paid ministry. There are a number of options. This much is certain…

  • Currently Window Cleaning part-time self funded ministry down at the Uni and Xrds.
  • 2007 MTS working for the University Christian Group. (FOCUS)
  • 2008 MTS working for the University Christian Group (FOCUS)

Following this a little more hazy. My ideal situation would be…
2009-2011 Bible College either Moore or SMBC in Sydney.

And then on the proviso that I’m married…
2012 Fulltime Ministry Job working with under privileged Aboriginal Communities in rural New South Wales doing mission, evangelism and outreach. Coordinating local churches to follow up and pastor young Aboriginal Christians with the aim of raising up leaders. (Theoretically employed by the Reformed Church of Australia).

The other possibility is funding myself to do this through part-time work as a teacher, check-out chick, laborer, window cleaner, salesman, veggie picker, mechanic, journalist… (you name it I’ve done it).

That friends is my plan.
(NOTE picture not an actual plan of my life)

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Encouragement

After my long hard day at work yesterday I received a great and encouraging card which really lifted my spirits.

Dear Mike
There is always light at the end of every tunnel for a Christian - For us the world is as bad as it gets. For a Non Christian this world is as good as it gets.

Been praying for you hope things are improving.


Thanks heaps to this person.

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Update

What a week. I worked my little backside off. It was stressful but I have survived two weeks running the business while my boss was away. This week I spent working on my own. Today I finished two fairly large houses ($200 and a $100 house) in the eight hours I worked. The views also were quite nice.

My mental state recently has been surprisingly good however I’m entering a danger period. Being worn out run down and stressed always leaves me more susceptible to getting depressed.

I wasn't going to blog tonight and now I've done three posts... it think that's what you call addiction. Tomorrow I intend to TRY and take it easy.

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How much is too much?

I’m outside a HUGE house located in one of Hobart’s most exclusive suburbs to quote for a window clean. The house is positively intimidating. I feel like a booger on a freshly ironed clean white hanky. I take a deep breath and begin my calculations.

The house is spotless, from the immaculately kept garden to the recently renovated everything. I continue my walk ascending several levels with smaller entertainment and living areas. Just as I think I’m about lost I reach the Mother of all entertainment areas with a 25m swimming pool. This is easily one of the biggest jobs/houses I’ve ever seen.

(not actual house but about same size)

I charge the most amount I can then add a little extra just because I can. Perfectly calmly I knock on the door. I used to worry about telling customers big quotes. Not anymore. I’m a hardened professional.

“Hi” I say smiling. “That will be $630 to do the inside and out,” I say casually. To lessen the blow I break it into two small bite sized chunks for easy digestion. “It’ll be $420 dollars for the house area and another $210 if you’d like the pool entertainment area done as well.” The ladies perfectly plucked eyebrows don’t even move.
“We’ll have the house area done for a start and maybe the whole lot in another six months,” She says shortly with out even a blink “When can you do it?”
Damn I should have charged $700.

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The Robin Hood… Window cleaner

Well sort of… I take more from the rich and less from the poor.

We use a secret formula to calculate how much to charge people to have their windows cleaned. It is roughly based on a square meter of glass. I add up the total amount of glass then multiply by “x”. Built into this though is a degree of variability for what “x” is.

This means I can be flexible in how much I charge. If I perceive a customer is “freaking loaded” then I use the high figure. If they aren’t then I use the low figure. Similarly if they drive me up the wall and follow me around I charge them more. If they are nice and leave me in peace I use the low figure. If I don’t want a job or it looks like I’ll probably die trying to complete it I use the high figure.

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Looks like me... maybe

According to a friend I was just chatting to I look a bit like this guy... Do you agree?














Oh well it could be worse. Prisonbreak is one of my favourite shows.

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I'm NOT a SNAG... evidence

  1. I drink straight from the bottle. (I'd have to wash a cup if I drank out of it)
  2. I sometimes skip showers.
  3. Sometimes I'm about as sensitive as a shedgehammer in a china cabinet.
  4. I'm a bad listener.
  5. I have two gardening tools; a chainsaw and a whipper snipper.
  6. According to Seumas "I just don't fit the catagory". Is he wrong? And Can you trust a Moore College student with orange hair?

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Awkward... (Part 2)

“Can I help you?” she asks. What the heck does she think I’m there for? I’m wearing steel caps and a belt fuller of tools than Inspector Gadget.
“Ummm” I stutter tongue tied... “I’m here to pick up money.” I vague out.
She looks at me blankly…
“Sorry for the windows.” I say snapping back to attention. Get a grip man.
“Sure she says I’ll just grab it.
“Have you had a busy day?” She asks. Now I’m really rattled I just want to escape and she’s engaging me in conversation.
“Um… yeah not too bad,” I squeak. Yeah man real smooth.
“Thanks” she says smiling and handing me the money. I can’t even look her in the eye.
“Arr… Have a good morning” I say. “I mean um… evening… er” I splutter out.

It’s about 2pm in the afternoon. You idiot.

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Top 5 reasons I'm a SNAG

  1. I’m very moody especially when I’m tired.
  2. I own CDs by the Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Cleine Dion and Dido.
  3. I get tongue tied and nervous when talking to attractive girls.
  4. I watch the OC and have a favorite character.
  5. I pretend not to know or care for fashion but really it's something I always consider when going out.

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Awkward... (Part 1)

I find it easy to talking to most people. It's not that I'm up myself it's just a gift that God has given me. It probably had a bit to do with growing up with Dad working as a minister.

In any case I'm cleaning the windows of a shop in Sandy bay. This shop sells racey undies negligees etc. Now being a bloke and walking into a shop like that, feels about as comfortable as a dream where everyone is staring at you wearing only your undies.

I walk in to collect the money for the windows and there’s a really good looking girl behind the counter. Almost perfect features, maybe a bit too much makeup. Up until this point I've been cool, calm and collected but it’s too much. Just the girl OR just the shop on their own and I would have been fine, but both… I’ve cracked.

(To be continued...)

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Day off well sort of

I don't really like public holidays. Let me explain why. I work three days a week (Monday to Wednesday) This means that when there is public holiday on a Monday all our work falls a day behind (yes window don’t stop getting dirty on public holidays). This in turn means that I get to Wednesday night and I still have to work another day. *sigh* Consequently it feels like a four day working week.

I took it easy most of today as it was a public holiday. Slept in as best I could (6:30am). My body isn't used to Mondays mornings like this. My day was very productive I sorted through a 200ish email contacts. I’m sending it to ask them to supportMIKE. I moved many of them from my old Hotmail address to my new Gmail one (no easy task). Anyway my monster group email is almost ready to rip and I’m waiting on permission from the Crossroads elders.

I also wrote a longish paper on my experiences and thoughts from seven years of work with under privileged Aboriginal Australians. I my blog it in several parts (as it’s long). Some other blog posts I’m planning for the future include my run down on NT prophecy and more thoughts on the Holy Spirit and what speaking in tongues are. Peace out

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The Jolly brothers review

Thanks to Amy and Luke for thier great company (click here) It's really worth a look. five out of five e-props.

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E-props 2 Mike

I must give what I think are called E-props to a new blog where Mike Lynch (our church head honcho home missionary duder) will post his Christian Reflections (see here). He usually posts once every couple of weeks. I'm helping him to get the technology side of things sorted so stay tuned for more details. Being a smart brainiac his thoughts are always worth reading. Drop by and comment.

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Hebrews 7

Tonight Benny gave one of the clearest explanations of Hebrews 7 that I have ever heard. He carefully explained why we need an intercessor between us and God. Why Jesus and only Jesus is qualified to do this. It was fantastic. So fantastic that I uploaded it straight away in the hope that some of the people who didn’t hear it will have a listen. It's only 30 minute talk as well. (click here to listen online) or right click and select "Save Link As..." to save to your computer.

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Baptism of the Spirit (Part 2)

The question arrises. How then should we think about experiences where people seem to have had some kind of life changing infilling of the Holy Spirit type of event?

I think it is more helpful to view Christian life as a continuum of growth and infilling with the Holy Spirit. A “baptism of the Spirit event” (in the Pentecostal sense) may be simply explained as a large leap forward on this continuum. Often these types of events comes as result of confessing all known sin repenting of unknown sin and committing themselves whole heartedly to him. It shouldn’t surprise us that a person experiences a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit as a result of this. Quite often such leap results in a renewed focus of prayer, reading of God’s word and growth in spiritual gifts.

Hence Grudem prefers to use the term being “filled with the Spirit” or the exhortation to go on being “filled with the Spirit”. This moves the focus from, a one time experience for the Christian, to something which is ongoing and may occur throughout their lives.
The scriptural evidence for this? Most obviously Eph 5:18 “be filled with the Spirit”. This has, according to Grudem, the implication in the original text of being an ongoing process. The repeated filling of the Spirit can also be seen in Acts 2:4, 4:8 & 31, 9:17 and 13:52.

Using our new terminology, (“filled with the Spirit”), we must note that being “filled with the Spirit” doesn’t always result in speaking in tongues. To check this for yourself here is the link for all occasions of "Filled with the Spirit" (click here).

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Revelation Singular

I spent an enjoyable evening hanging with Luke and Amy who came round for tea. We ate a sweet and sour stir fry (made by my brother) and Amy cooked a nice Chocolate pudding. Delish

Unfortunately during the evening I was reminded of one of my pet hates. People who say “Revelations” when referring to the book of Revelation. It really gets my goat up. I’ve heard everyone from kids (who don’t know better) to ministers who lead churches use “Revelations” to refer to the book. Ministers who have been to Bible college! Man it’s sooo freaking annoying it makes me want to hit myself. Look it up people! It’s in the Bible... It’s RevelatioN. There is no freaking “S” on the end.

“Oh” you say “Jolly isn’t there more than one revelation in the book though. Can’t we call it Revelations because there are a number of revelations to different churches?”
“Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Revelation 1:1 The opening verse of the book… is surprise, surprise… ‘The revelation of Jesus Christ’ singular. One complete Revelation!

Steady breaths. I think I’m going to drink some chamomile tea to calm down.

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Baptism of the Spirit (Part 1)

I've been doing some reading on this here are my thoughts. I need to credit Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and John Stott's Baptism and Fullness.

Key passages to support the view that Baptism of the Spirit is a subsequent experice to conversion are Acts 2 8 and sometimes 10 and 19.

The phrase "Baptism of the Spirit" occurs only seven times in the New Testament. Four of these are ambiguous. Two of these refer directly to Pentecost. The final one (1 Corinthians 12:13) is a mistranslation. For we were all baptized in one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or Free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Although there is a slight difference in the Greek in this verse from the others ("One Spirit" rather than "Holy Spirit") Grudem argues the context would indicate that the Holy Spirit is what is very much what is on view. This verse leads us to conclude that Baptism of the Spirit is something that occurs at the time of conversion (and isn’t a subsequent experience after conversion).

But what of the other passages listed above? Acts 2 seems to be as the first instance of a generous pouring out of the Spirit on all believers as the new covenant experience of the Holy Spirit is initiated. In other words, this out-pouring of the Spirit is part of a time of transition between the "old" and "new" covenant work of the Holy Spirit. This can’t be taken as prescriptive because we no longer live in this transitional period.

The passage I have most difficulty with is Acts 8. Grudem dismisses the argument that the Samaritans had a deficient faith (lacking true salvation) and I agree. My explanation is that God waited to give the "new covenant empowering of the Holy Spirit" to the Samaritans until they were present among the Jerusalem apostles. This then acted to show they were full members of the Christian body and not "second class citizens".

Acts 10 and 19 are simple as it seems that the people discussed in each passage simply weren’t Christians to begin with. More soon.

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People who look like other people 2.0

This is a little more disturbing...

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Please understand me

I have been a subscriber to The Briefing for a number of years. I’ve been getting a little sick of it recently however an article in the most recent issue to grace the floor beside my bed on depression was one of the best I’ve read in a long time. The article entitled Helping a Friend with Depression looked at ways other Christians can help people with depression.

  1. Recognize the person does indeed have depression (they may look well but they aren’t)
  2. Pray for them
  3. Encourage them and reassure them
  4. Be patient and understanding with them
  5. Be ready to help practically
  6. Support the primary carer
  7. Remember it’s all going to pass away

I think this is fantastic advice.

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Productive

Today has been a busy day. I have formatted 3 different bulletin styles for Xrds. I reckon they look pretty cool. We'll see which one gets the nod. I also have a heap of sorting out to do with the last issue of Gurge which I got back from the printers this arvo. I also uploaded and linked up all the latest talks for the website. I also had time for a nice long black at retro cafe.

The evening I spent hanging out with my mate Mike Scaife and his wife Clare having dinner. Mike works cleaning windows with our company and I taught him how to window clean. They have a beautiful baby girl only 4 weeks old. She's pretty cool as most babies are.

The stress and cold from earlier in the week have caught up with me. Pray that this doesn't drag my mind down into the murkey depths.

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Absolutely shameless

As this is my blog I’m going to engage in some shameless self promotion.
Music that I like that is free and legal

Tv Show’s I’m currently addicted to
  • South Park - Monday
  • Media Watch - Monday
  • Prisonbreak - Wednesday
  • Smallville - Thursday
  • The World Rally Championship - Saturday

Finally a picture of me...


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People who look like other people

My last few posts have been text heavy so...

Don't you think that
Bron looks like....






Christine (the Christian Feminazi)

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Answers

I had a good chat to a mate today. Here's my Q & A

Can the Bible apply universally for all time?

Christians believe that the Bible is God’s word. That is it was divinely inspired by God as he spoke to people and so applies for all people for all time. The words they wrote down they claimed came from God and applied universally for all time (understood in their correct context of course). Of course these divinely inspired texts have a degree to which the author’s style is obvious too. This however has little effect on whether the text is perceived to be true or not.

Is the Bible reliable?

I would want to argue yes. There are many ways you can use to test a text to see if it is true or not. I’d encourage you to read the scriptures for yourself and test them to see if they are true or not. I know in the last 7 years of reading the Bible I’m yet to find a place where it has holes mistakes contradictions etc. Further more I’d want to argue that the Bible is a much more reliable text than many of our so called historical texts.

Aren’t all religions the same?

Again I argue practically that this simply not true. Looking at Christianity and say Islam. Islam says that Jesus was just a prophet. Islam says Jesus died, Christianity says he died and rose from the dead furthermore that he was the Son of God and that if he didn’t rise we’ve wasted our time for the last 2000 years. This is a fundamental difference. Hold these in tension? It’s illogical not to mention patronizing to the particular religions themselves.

What essentially you end up looking at is a plethora of different explanations about the world and universe. I’d encourage you to look carefully at each and decide which is true and follow it whole heartedly. Not the one the suits rather the one that is true. How can you know truth? I’d argue the same way you can know anything to be true through carefully weighing the evidence and having an open mind.

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Window cleaning FAQ #1

It’s a chilly Hobart morning and my hands feel like they’ve been in the deep freeze over night. I’m working on windows of Chickenfeed (ironically my old place of work). I like cleaning these windows they’re easy and you always get a great result.

“So what do you put in the water?” the lady asks uncertainly. Maybe she feels a little intimidated by the black beanie atop my six foot muscular frame.

I take a deep breath. If had a dollar for every person that asked me this I would have been able to retire from this job long ago. In fact I could move to Jamaica and spend the rest of my days sipping pina-coladas served to me by bikini babes on the beach...

“It’s just dishwashing liquid and little bit of ammonia.” I reply as politely as one can, when they have answered the same question a thousand times.

“When I clean mine at home they always have smears,” she replies looking unconvinced by my explanation. Again I’ve had this conversation a thousand times. “That’s because you aren’t a professional,” I reply cheekily with a slight twinkle in the eye. “I mean if you could do as good a job as me, I’d be out of business.”

She looks at my bucket of soapy water a half smile begins to creep over the sleep lines in her face. “Actually" I say my brain clicking into gear, "it’s probably got more to do with the right tools and good technique both of which I have in abundance”.

I give her a business card hopefully we’ll meet again.

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Window cleaning FAQ #3

That last post my prompt you to wonder why is it that I work as window cleaner?
After all Jolly you do have two University Degrees and are a fully qualified teacher.

I finished my teaching degree on Uni in 2004. This was a difficult year for me as I had some difficult circumstances arise. Suffice to say I struggled through and managed to graduate. I decide to get a part time job to get me though Summer and into 2005. I sort of stumbled into window cleaning. My boss was awesome (a Christian elder of Hope Christian Centre) and the work wasn’t too bad. I decided to stick with it for a year part-time in a sort of tent making form of paid ministry. I’m still going.

I currently work Monday to Wednesday every week. I then take Thursdays off as my Sabbath before going hardcore on church work on Friday to Sunday. But why not teaching you ask? Isn’t it a waste we need more male teachers blah blah...

It’s simple. Full time teaching would have required all of my time. This practically meant I would have to give up much of the ministry I so love at Crossroads. I made the decision to stick with ministry and make working fulltime for church my goal. This was to happen last year but I decided to push tent making out to another year while I could still hack it. And work hard at growing and maturing as a Christian.

I’m also keen to work with University age students before I get older, uncool and loose touch with much of youth culture. Teaching is something I can come back to when I need to settle down get married and have kids etc. For now I’m making the most of the single life working hard in ministry.

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Da Boss

Work is finally finished for the week. With my boss on holidays I’ve been Mr. responsible. As I predicted here I did get stressed to the max. For those who care here’s a brief run down.

Monday 5:30am start 2 degrees
Tuesday 7am start 2 degrees
Wednesday 7:30am 1 degree

Highlights
The window falling out of my bosses car (brr it was 2 degrees remember)
The window falling out of my bosses car again (brr it was still 2 degrees)
Finally fixing the window of my bosses car.
Swearing under my breath more than I have in a long time.
Earning a truckload of money… for my boss.
Shocking a number of customers by telling them that a) I’d been to Uni and b) I was turning 26 this year. For some reason they thought I was “a lot younger”. Hmm I guess I should take it as a complement.

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And another one bites the dust… is there something in the air?

My old school mate Tim got engaged to his long time girlfriend. Tim was a great bloke we did a heap of drama together right through high school and were both quite good at it too. I just realized that last sentence was in the past tense making it sound something like now he’s engaged he’ll be really horrible.

I'm sure Tim will continue to be a great bloke long after he is married. In any case that’s two in one week. And here Christine got proposed to…

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Combined Meeting*

The combined churches meeting last night was fantastic. I left greatly encouraged. It was great to have a big group (about 400 maybe?) all singing and God's praises in one place. I saw heaps of old mates and friends praising God united by the gospel. It was really good. The other cool thing is that it was real "gospel" unity that brought us together. I really can't stand polite showiness that brushes important theological differences under the table.

Rob White preached from Acts Chapter 2:1-13. I was a little under whelmed. Not because I think that he's a necessarily bad preacher. In fact I've heard him do a number of really challenging sermons especially early on in my Christian life. (I also thought that he was under appreciated my many of us at Crossroads especially early on).

Having said that though I found the structure of his talk confusing. Essentially we were to look at the Acts passage and see "vital signs". That is signs that bear witness to the power and purposes of God. Two of the OT signs seen in Acts were, firstly the "wind noise" linked to the wind in the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37 etc) and secondly the tongues of fire were linked to the burning bush (Moses etc) and Isaiah and the coals on his tongue. He also talked about speaking in languages (tongues) as a reversal of the tower of Babel confusion stuff. I wasn't sure about these connections and earmarked them for further investigation.

Also being a heavily evangelical gathering he spent considerable time on traditional "evangelical whipping boys". Conversion and baptism of the spirit go hand in hand, we shouldn't expect this stuff today blah blah. These seemed a little predictable for me and took up too much of his time. The rest was a little foggy. I also was a little foggy as to the exact take home message. But in all a good experience.


*This is NOT meant to be a bagout. I would have no idea how I'd go about preaching a sermon based on this passage and I respect Rob greatly. I'm merely trying to use the wisdom and discernment God has given me.

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Controversy

Me… stirring the pot of controversy… never (see here)

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This weekends achievements


* Written letters to some Aboriginal kids in Mclean and Ballina.
* Almost finishing a difficult evangelistic talk on Hebrews.
* Entertaining Mel and Christian for dinner and a movie.
* Cooking a lush veggie curry see picture.
* Cleaning the bathroom, kitchen and vacuuming the whole house.
* Doing a stack of washing.
* Meeting my mate Mike S for lunch, chewing the fat and talking premium sound gear.
* Meeting JK and reading more Dirty Don (that’s Carson to you).
* Attending my mates 25th Birthday party and dinner.
* Finishing watching the entire series of John Safran’s Music Jamboree.
* Reorganizing my MSN contacts list.
* Organizing the women’s conference talks for download.
* Attending a most encouraging combined Pentecost meeting @ Kingston Reformed church.
* Last but not least wasting far too much time fiddling more with my blog and posting on others’.

This coming week I’ll be...
* Running my bosses business for him.
* Getting up at 4:30am to run my bosses business for him.
* Getting stressed to the max running my bosses business for him.

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A church I'd join...

Sojourn colors outside of lines and conforms to nothing but God's will.
we are a family on an authentic, radical journey with, and to, God.
we are poets and musicians, carpenters and accountants.
we are students and we are social workers.
we are shop owners, IT specialists, and retail clerks.
we are actors, graphic designers, and home-makers.
most of all, we are brothers and sisters,passionate about prayer, driven to know God,
and thrilled to tell others what He's done, and doing, with and for us.

one other thing:
sometimes we suck. Occasionally, we really, really suck.
we sit down on the path and get complacent, or we wander off the path entirely.
we don't care for each other, much less those outside of our family.
we don't feed the hungry or clothe the poor.
we talk too much and listen too little.
we hoard our resources and our love.
we even hoard the hope we've found in Christ.
we commit, or permit, all kinds of evil in His name, and this is blasphemy.

forgive us. we're on the journey, but we are not there yet. we pray that the recognition of our own fallenness always leads to repentance and an acceptance of the grace that God showers upon us, which spurs us into doing His work, and letting His Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

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Address Change 4 MSN Messenger

For those not aware I have changed my address for MSN Messenger. It is
now the same as my email address. jollym(at)gmail.com.

Interesting facts

I have 108 contacts altogether (sorted into groups)

Christian 24
Crossroads 34
Non Christian 21
Mainland 23
Family 3
Unsorted 3

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You go girl

An interesting critique of so called "Princess Theology" in Pentecostalism. (see here)

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Another one bites the dust

My old school mate Sam celebrated his 25th Birthday tonight... he also announced his engagement to Beck joining the long trail of married sellouts. I'm very happy for both of them they'll make a great couple.

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My boots... a little experiment

I just got my blunnie work boots back from being re-glued. In celebration I have just cleaned them... but with a twist I cleaned the left boot with Nikwax and the Right boot with Sno Seal to see which sealing agent is best and most effective. Which will be better?

Now if I had written this on a piece of paper I would surely have lost into a black hole that exsists somewhere in my room. But if I blog about it I'll never forget.

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Sunrise



I promised Bron I'd upload these. It was one degree on Wednesday morning when I started work. I took these snaps with my little camera from my bedroom window just b4 I started work.

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Two long years

I just realized it’s been two years. Two years is a long time. It was this time two years ago that I was going to get married to Ex number 2. The first Saturday of swot vac. I still feel the hurt. More than is probably healthy.

Part of the reason for this is that I don’t know if she is still a Christian or not. I have doubts. The other reason is that she won’t talk to me at all. What hurts more is that she’s quite happy to talk to my friends especially recently. I still blame myself for the whole breakdown although blame was really shared. Even though I’ve apologized a thousand times it’d be great to smooth things over and talk.

For those who know E please pray for her that she is able to forgive me and find peace with God as her savior.

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Jonny's advice #1

My single mate Jonny and I always eat take away and fast food. A more expensive but easier option for the single life.

Jonny: I had a talk with Prof. Frank Bullen
Me: Sorry man I'm cooking atm.
Jonny: I am so sorry. I didn't know you were that poor!
Me: rofl

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Window Cleaning FAQ #2

"How tall are you?" Asks a short round lady. I can tell she's a bank teller by her uniform and the embroidered logo.
"Um six foot four and a bit." I reply, using imperial measurement which based on my perception of her age she'll understand.

"Wow that must be a really helpful in being able to reach up to the top of windows."
Um yes... the fact that I have a good reach hasn't escaped me. (Why is it that people feel they need to point out the bleeding obvious. I don't mean to be rude infact I welcome the chance for conversation but bleeding heck it's like they think I live in some deluded fairy land where I'm totally oblivious to being tall).

"Yes." I say.

"Do you play any sports?" she continues.
"I've been known to play quite a few." I find these conversations quite boring mostly because I've answered them so many times. I decide to mix things up.

"I used to play cricket. I raced mountain bikes for while but I gave it up cause I was busy with church stuff." She looks a little surprised and confused. "Yeah I'm a Christian.” I add pushing my point home.
"Being a Christian was more important to me than any of the sports that I played," I finish casually.
"Fair enough" she says. I can see the conversation is dying and I don't want her to think I'm some kind of ascetic.
"I played mixed netball most recently but a girl broke two of my ribs," I offer.
"I thought it was a non-contact sport?” she says sounding surprised.
"So did I. I stopped playing a little while after that when my mate who ran the team moved away."

"Have a good day" she says, suddenly realizing she’s putting my work schedule behind. She’s not getting away quite yet.
"I’m Mike," I offer my hand, "Thanks for chatting."
She smiles "I’m Enid".

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Never underestimate the power of smell

While looking on the back of my Lynx deodorant bottle this morning I noticed the following little picture (which I'll have to describe).

A small picture of shower and Lynx shower gel, a "plus" sign, a man spraying Lynx deodorant on, an "equals" sign and a girl in bikini icon with flowing hair.

I suddenly realised the problem. Clearly all this time I've been only wearing half the equation. I'm going to buy some of the shower gel this weekend. I'll keep you posted if anything happens.

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